The Sterling Ropes Chain Reactor is available in two versions – standard and Guide edition. While similar in design to the Metolius Personal Anchor System, this unit is made exclusively from Nylon and contains no Dyneema or Spectra. This removes the concern created by the use of these materials in the personal Anchor System as this unit can be repeatedly shock loaded without compromising the material strength (although if it is, you might want to re-evaluate your Canyoneering methods). The standard version is exceedingly strong but the guide version “maxed out” the load test equipment at Sterling Rope without breaking. The down side of this product? The loops are a bit wider than the Personal anchor System thus adding a nominal amount of weight. It also seems to be a touch shorter than the Personal Anchor System.
I use this device as an extension for my rappel device, a clip-in point for an ascender, as well as a clip-in point to the anchor to keep me safe while I rig my rappel device and perform my final safety checks. There are many uses for this and the list is only limited by your resourcefulness (and practicality). This piece of gear is a staple on my harness and I have used it for everything from casual rappelling to rescue situations where it was necessary to clip into the patients belay loop and cut the rope above her to get her free (not recommended without A LOT of training!).
Although it is highly unlikelyto be an issue, in certain circumstances Dyneema or Spectra can lose most of their strength if it is shock loaded or severely stressed even one time. Canyoneers don’t generally place these kinds of loads on their equipment and even many rock climbers aren’t likely to shock these materials to this point. However in the interest of playing it safe, I would rather avoid these materials in my gear if at all possible. Since Nylon can be loaded and shocked repeatedly with little or no loss of strength, I have decided to replace my Metolius Personal Anchor System with the Sterling Ropes Chain Reactor.