MASTER – specialist’s opinion
Since the 1990s, I’ve moved from sports harnesses to whole-body harnesses in my rope work.
It was quite the jump. Thanks to legislative changes as well as clever Czech producers, I was gradually able to choose from our local products. In time, these became higher quality with unique designs, eventually rivalling even the best established brands. Today we even have our own patents. Rock Empire makes the unique, cutting-edge whole-body harness MASTER.
It’s unique thanks to its patented partitioning of the lumbar area of the harness. This is divided into three parts, which can adjusted and moved in relation to each other.
Why is it so unique? Why is it worth patenting?
It gives me two advantages that other whole-body harnesses can’t offer:
- Thanks to the adjustable waist I can change the waist size. Am I all bundled up in winter? Adjust the waist size and everything is in its place. Working in a T-shirt this summer? Adjust the waist size and everything is where I need it. Do I need to kit up my buddy with a different body size? Once more I can adjust the waist size.
It’s magically simple and unbelievably practical. Nothing is tight, everything fits just right.
- Whole-body harnesses used mainly for rope work and positioning have massive padding sections in the lumbar area. That’s great when I’m hanging around without moving much from side to side. But as soon as I start moving around more, like in construction, under a roof and so on, my sides and lower ribs quickly get sore. Simply put, the padding is squeezing me. Until I started using MASTER, I took this to be a necessary evil. But with MASTER, I’m nice and comfortable. Thanks to the partitioned waist, not only can I adjust everything perfectly, but the individual parts slide against each other easily, copying my body’s movements. It works great. For rope-work I now only use my MASTER.
But that’s not all. I’m quite slim, so tightening the straps means I’ll have plenty of free strap after the clasp. The elastic holding it has a small area, so the strap falls out and in time they loosen anyway. Necessary evil. Or not?
The solution is Clip Smart. Simple, functional, replaceable. I can turn it around, put it on the end of the strap, switch it out to the place I need it most. I never would have thought such a “thingymajig” could bring me joy and save me worry.
The central part of the MASTER partitioned waist is the largest and contains the adjustable system. The system is covered with Hypalon. That is very strong and durable. That’s why it has prepared holes and openings. To these I can add material loops, hang my first-aid kit, attach my gas detector… Wonderful.
I like using quickdraws. They are light, easy to use, save time and make handling easier. The narrowed strap of the leg loops and therefore smaller quickdraw on the legs compared to the waist is another very user-friendly bonus.
The attachment of the loops at the back uses an elastic strap. That’s nothing special. All whole-body harnesses have either an elastic strap or a strap with a buckle. But MASTER has both. The elastic strap goes from the leg loop to the waist buckle. I don’t know why it took so long, but I can finally make use of the advantages of both systems. Thanks, Rock Empire.
MASTER has removable shoulder straps. True, I don’t really use the harness seat without the shoulder straps. But I can switch out different shoulder straps. Rock Empire offers 5 types of shoulder strap that I can change at will. And that’s great. So far I bought some shoulder straps with a chest blocker sewed on, shoulder straps with lights and ones with steel attachment points. I can switch them out in a minute.
All of the shoulder straps have their slots in the same place, so whatever equipment I take, my habits don’t have to change and I don’t have to keep checking where things are before I grab them. This also significantly reduces clutter around the waist. And that’s not all. The shoulder straps are also used for ATLAS and even EQUIP uses the same system. That’s what I want.
How do I feel overall? MASTER is what I’d call the cutting edge. It fits great, nothing gets in the way, it has lots of room for adjustment. And mainly: everyone can modify it to fit their needs. It’s my “Precious”.
Mgr. Martin Riedl, DiS.,
- Height specialist
- Instructor for work and rescue at heights and above free depths
- Special rope technique instructor
- PPE engineering inspector for work at heights and above free depths
- Assessment and testing climber for PPE producers for work and rescue at heights and above free depths
- Development team collaborator
- Co-author of several new products
- Voluntary fire brigade member
- IRATA member (Level 3)
- Mountain guide
- Co-owner of a firm that designs and installs restraint systems
- 25 years’ experience – including work and internships abroad