Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: $89
Pros: Adjustable tree slings, great to walk at low tension
Cons: Poor ratchet design
Best Uses: Walking, Surfing
The Freeflow Charger 40 Slackline Kit comes with classic military spec webbing, but the mismatched size of the ratchet and the webbing makes it hard for us to recommend this line.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
Freeflow is one of the newer slackline companies to hit the market. The Charger 40 kit comes with 40 feet of military spec webbing and a handy bag to carry it all in. The only extra purchase necessary is some padding for tree protection.
We really like the adjustable tree slings included in this kit. They make it very easy to keep the anchors close to the trees. Although we didn't break them in this review, we know that they do have their limit with force. Be sure to make more than one wrap around the tree if you want to make the line really tight.
This is one of two lines we reviewed that comes with military spec webbing. At very low tension this webbing feels great to walk on. Add a little tension and it becomes a really good surfline (see image above).
The Freeflow Charger 40 is a 1 inch wide slackline, sold with a 2 inch wide ratchet. This simply does not work. The instructions tell you to wrap the tail of the line parallel to the coil of webbing that is under tension. We found that this caused the webbing to ride off the spool, inevitably causing the sharp edge of ratchet to damaged the line (see image F2 below).
This was the poorest quality ratchet we tested. The second time we rigged this line, the ratchet started to bind up, and the teeth started to wear down (see image above).
The "tension buckle" is meant to allow you to reset the ratchet once the spool is full – this is meant to be a way around the spooling limitation of a ratchet. In theory, the tension buckle should enable you to rig longer and tighter lines with a ratchet. The cam on the buckle, however, damaged the line almost every time we used it (see image F4 below). The area of contact on the buckle is just too small to hold the force without damaging the line. The tension buckle is a nice idea, but decidedly non-functional.
— Damian Cooksey
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: July 21, 2011