PURELOCK – A revolutionary weblock?

Mhhhhhhm. Yet another „revolutionary“ weblock design.

Must be the fourth this week?

But is the PureLock really all that revolutionary? I don’t think so. It is true, that the slackline community has come quite a long way since Scott Balcom’s first Slackdog design. However, it’s been more than 10 years and countless weblocks later there still is no perfect solution.

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Let us take a look at some of the advertised features of the PureLock and see where it’s packing and where it’s lacking. I’ll just go by the order demonstrated in the product video, since I am not very creative. Here we go:

#1 „The world’s first All-in-One weblock“

No. Wait? What does that even mean? It’s not the first weblock. That is obvious. It’s also not the first weblock that comes in one piece. That would be the RamLock. And the PureLock isn’t even one piece. Maybe „all-in-one“ is meant in relation to it’s functionality? Let’s see. The PureLock works like any normal weblock does. It only fits one width and it doesn’t even really fit thicker webbing, nor double webbing and neither does it properly fit double-wrapped webbing. That surely isn’t all-in-one, is it? It does come with great versatility in regards to it’s connectivity though! Since it’s a shackle and weblock (OOOOH!, now I get it..) it is really easy to connect it to almost anything. That works great. In a sense, it’s similar to the RamLock, since it connects directly to soft-material, but with the added bonus of being open- and closable. All in all (or rather all-in-one?) that adds up to 6% revolutionary.

#2 „Specially designed shackle + lock insert“

Well, can’t argue with that. Looks really special. One extra point for that.

# 3 „Precisely CNC machined from high strength 7075 aluminium alloy“

That is mostly true. The two parts do in fact fit together. Brilliant. The lock insert slides in perfectly (not going to try to make a joke here) and the clicking noise is terrific! However, the edges on the side-plates could be a little nicer. They aren’t sharp, but not round either. A little polishing on the grooves of the CNC machine would also do the weblock some good in regards to its shinyness. No extra points here.

#4 „The shackle has some unique features“

A captive pin is fairly uncommon in shackles, but not so much in weblock design. But all „unlosable“ front pins in weblocks so far have the possibility of being installed incorrectly, which happens more often than it should. The PureLock delivers a much better system here (you’re going to love the clicking noise!). To unlock the front pin, you have to push a slider at the side of the shackle, which is a little difficult, if you’re not looking at the shackle while doing so (Disclaimer: I might also just be senso-motorically handicapped). As far as the lock insert goes, it’s not really unique. The Airbow in combination with the new Lockman is pretty much identical in functionality. The main diverter of the PureLock is also not cylindrical which brings us to the next point..

#5 „Easy pre-tension with the PureLock“

YES! YES! YES! Pretensioning is proper smooth. I mentioned the non-cylindrical diverter shape? My assumption is that it has a linear spiral shape, just like my old design, which is fantastic for pretensioning. With the added bonus of having a really big front pin, the PureLock might have the best pretensioning of all devices currently on the market. So yeah, that’s like 10% revolutionary. Maybe 12%.

The video is over at this point, so I’ll just continue with the rest of the statements on the website:

#6 „Super light weight“

243g. Doesn’t go much lighter than that. Most weblock and shackle combinations weigh more than twice as much. Even the lightest conventional weblocks can’t match that. However, it’s surprisingly large for its weight.

#7 „A pin you can’t lose, a shackle you’ll love“

We covered that one above. And yes, you’ll love it.

#8 „Works with your gear“

It does. It does fit almost everything. You might want to be wary of connecting to harder metals though, since you’re going to create nicks and burrs in the PureLock rather easily.

The rest of the statements are not so interesting, so let’s jump right to the end..

#9 „Pricing – $129 / €139 / A$179“

With 139€ per piece the PureLock is truly entering revolutionary spheres in the financial sense.

And that is pretty much it. With an accumulated revolutionary-level of 21% the PureLock is not ground breaking. It’s a continuation of the steady development of slackline equipment in the past decade: Lighter, stronger, more versatile and above all more expensive.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s an excellent piece of equipment. I’ve had one to test it for some weeks and it is a really useful and a really useable weblock. It’s lighter than anything else currently on the market and the pretensioning is phenomenal. I would love to say, that it’s worth all the praise and all the price, but it just lacks that tiny extra bit to be truly exceptional. There are three features, I immediately missed when using a PureLock:

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#1 Higher sideplates

The sideplates of the lock insert are just too low. It’s all good and well, if you can see and inspect your anchors and if you have a lot of tension in your system. But for Highlines, I’d really like to have more guidance for the webbing. Otherwise it might just jump out sideways and be loaded over the edges of the insert.

#2 Additional anchoring point

An additional point of contact can be really helpful in a lot of situation: It’s always a bit of a struggle to get over the edge on highlines and it would be great to anchor your tensioning system directly to the weblock.

#3 Different shackle version

Nowadays, I always rig my lines via soft-release. Using the lock insert design with an anchoring tool that allows one to tension your line would be a fantastic addition to the PureLock. Something like the Sheriff and Direct combination from EQB would be ideal.

Is it the best weblock currently available? Mhm. Depends on what you’re looking for. If weight is your primary concern this is the solution for you. If you are in financial despair, but still want to go light, it’s never too late to learn some knots (please don’t actually use knots..). To sum up, there is no perfect weblock (yet?) and the PureLock is definitely a very specialised design with very distinct pros and cons that won’t suit everyone’s needs, but if you are somewhat experienced and know how to put this to good use, please, give it a try.

That will be all for now. I’ll keep using the PureLock some more and let you know how it fares. Other interesting weblocks are coming up and we’ll hopefully get the chance to review them at some point. Now try to remember how often you heard the clicking noise in the promo video and then go watch it again. It just doesn’t stop clicking..

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Disclaimer:

It is true, that the review is a little harsh. I changed some of it afterwards and fixed the picture (although the link on FB doesn’t automatically update that). Originally I was absolutely loving the weblock and all its little nuances to make it a great product.

After using it a little, I felt like my (eventually too high) expectations were disappointed. But this is not so much the fault of the weblock, but also myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve designed weblocks myself and know how difficult it is to deliver a product that really works how you intended it to.
I think the PureLock is another (great) step forward as far as weblocks are concerned, but we’re still ways off from a perfect solution.

 

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