The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Gibbon Flowline Review

This simple to set-up 1-inch line is great for your first foray into the art of longlining.
Gibbon Flowline
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $100 List | $67.46 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Easy to set-up, challenging
Cons:  Not great for beginners, no tree protectors
Manufacturer:   Gibbon
By Leslie Yedor ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 22, 2018
  • Share this article:
68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 12
  • Ease of Set-Up - 20% 8
  • Versatility - 20% 6
  • Quality - 20% 6
  • Disassembly - 20% 8
  • Features - 20% 6

The Skinny

The Gibbon Flowline set combines the traditional width of a 1-inch line with the modern convenience of a ratcheted anchoring system. Since their beginning more than a decade ago, Gibbon has been on a mission to make slacklining more accessible to the general public. Ratchet anchors eliminate the need for more complex knowledge of rigging and rope systems. With this product, Gibbon has found a way to blend tradition with convenience and offer a 1-inch line accessible to the masses. Bring your own tree protectors and don't expect the classic feel of the low-stretch nylon webbing typically found on a long line. This product, however, provides an easy and low commitment foray into the art of 1-inch longlining with its double ended ratchet system and 82-foot long line.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

If you're looking to progress into 1-inch longlining, the Gibbon Flowline is a simple setup that's easy to rig on your own. It doesn't feature many of the bells and whistles common in other kits, but add in some homemade tree protectors, and you will be set to slack to your heart's content. While it may have the length and width of a classic longline, the webbing material is thicker and less durable than the more traditional tubular or single-ply nylon found in the homemade lines of the '70s. If you want to push your slacklining abilities or are toying with the idea of progressing into highlining and aren't afraid of some basic rigging, our Top Pick for Traditional Slacklining, the Balance Community Primitive Kit is the way to go.

Performance Comparison


Using a standard ratchet on each end  this 1-inch longline is a breeze to set-up.
Using a standard ratchet on each end, this 1-inch longline is a breeze to set-up.

Ease of Set-up


As far as 1-inch longlines go, this product is incredibly straightforward and quick to set-up. Eighty two feet is a lot of webbing, and more traditional longlines require a ton of force to achieve desirable tension. We're talking pulley systems for mechanical advantage, or lots of strong-armed friends. But not for this line! With a standard ratchet attachment on each end of the line, you'll have it rigged at its full length in no-time.

No need for burly friends or a complicated rigging scheme to get this model tensioned.
No need for burly friends or a complicated rigging scheme to get this model tensioned.

Versatility


This product works great as intended, but it isn't good for much else. While it's an efficient longlining set-up, the 1-inch webbing makes it more challenging for beginners to learn on. True tricksters may be able to slack on just about anything, but if you're interested in learning tricks or already have a love for flips, the Voodoo Trickline is more your style.

Quality


Both of the ratchets that come with this model are of standard design and include plastic buffers to neatly accommodate the narrow line width. As with all of the products we tested, ratchet failure is exceedingly rare unless in the case of user-error. The webbing is thick and soft underfoot and is enjoyable to walk on with bare feet. Unfortunately, it's loose weave is prone to fraying. The portion of the webbing that gets fed into the ratchet is the most susceptible to wear and tear. Double ratchets mean both ends of this line are at risk.

The addition of plastic bumpers accommodates 1-inch webbing into the standard ratchet design.
The addition of plastic bumpers accommodates 1-inch webbing into the standard ratchet design.

Disassembly


This line is as simple to take-down as any other line with a ratchet anchor. You might think you'll have to brave the startling "pop" of the ratchet twice, but once you release the tension of the line on one end, the other side is much gentler to disengage.

Features


This model only comes with the additional feature of the two ratchets. No tree protectors mean you'll need to buy them separately or craft your own.

Best Applications


If you are psyched to learn to longline, but short on available friends, time, and/or rigging knowledge, this model is ideal for the solo slack session.

This simple kit is great for the beginning longliner.
This simple kit is great for the beginning longliner.

Value


While this line is one of the more expensive products we tested, it is still significantly less than a more traditional longline setup. If you are able and willing to shell out the extra dough, the Balance Community Primitive Kit will get you further for longer.

Conclusion


We had a great time testing this line and enjoyed the freedom of an easy to set-up longline. If you or your kids are looking to grow in your slacklining without taking anything too seriously, this is a great line.

Its easy to enjoy a solo session at the park with this efficient longline setup.
Its easy to enjoy a solo session at the park with this efficient longline setup.


Leslie Yedor