Safety is paramount when it comes to climbing equipment, with comfort coming in a close second.

From ropes and harnesses, we take a look at some of the latest kit on the market designed to get you where you need to be – up that tree.


Forestry Journal:

Harkie Global offers a growing range of climbing karabiners to suit the requirement of the arborist. 

Harkie karabiners are known for their durability and are made from premium grade aluminium. They have a remarkably high LOLER pass rate with excellent longevity. They also have an extra smooth gate with a very positive closing action, as well as a ‘blind nose’ which doesn’t catch on ropes when installing the karabiner. All Harkie climbing karabiners have a secure three-way locking gate, to help prevent accidental opening whilst in use. 

The excellent and consistent manufacturing quality has resulted in Harkie karabiners enjoying a long-term track record of outlasting other well-known brands, due to the reliability of the gate movement. 

Harkie karabiners are available in a variety of vibrant colours – many arborists prefer brightly coloured, highly visible gates, and having a variety of colours allow easy identification for organisational purposes, such as use of a specific colour for a particular item of equipment.   


Climbing karabiners are made from aluminium. They come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, depending on specific climbing applications. 

Arborist karabiners can largely be categorised into two types: oval or HMS/classic. The oval design is now the most popular for many climbers due to its symmetrical shape, allowing the karabiner to pass freely through small device eyes. HMS or ‘pear’ shaped karabiners are more of a traditionally recognised ‘karabiner shape’ and are still widely used by many climbers for particular purposes.

Harkie oval karabiner

The soft, even curves of the oval-shaped karabiner allow it to flow freely through a small space without getting jammed. The symmetrical shape also helps ensure correct loading on the vertical axis. 

Harkie HMS Karabiner

The classic wide pear shape design of this karabiner makes it suitable for use with all anchoring and belaying systems.
Both the Harkie HMS and oval alloy karabiners feature a tactile gate with good grip for easy opening even when wearing gloves and ensures easy one-handed use. 

Harkie karabiners are available in a range of four vibrant colours for clearly defined identification: black body and orange gate, black body and purple gate, black body and blue gate and black body and green gate.
For more, visit


Forestry Journal:

THE Akimbo is a unique arborist climbing tool that enables the climber to ascend, descend and position on both stationary rope and moving rope systems. The Akimbo features rope contact surfaces (upper and lower bollards) that adjust to accommodate a wide range of rope sizes to suit the climber’s needs or preferences – all without tools or disassembling components. The bollards can also be adjusted to increase or decrease friction to accommodate changes in climber weight, changes in environment, or adjust for natural wear of the Akimbo’s contact surfaces.

The Akimbo opens easily to remove or install a rope mid-line in seconds, and compresses back down into a compact form factor both on and off the rope. When climbing on stationary rope, the chest harness connection point facilitates quick connections by way of an innovative wire gate.

As opposed to a closed loop attachment, the wire gate conveniently allows the climber to use a small non-PPE karabiner to connect to the SRS attachment point, or directly to a loop of cord.

 Opens easily to install/remove rope mid-line, without detaching from harness.
 Accepts a wide range of rope sizes.
 Friction adjusts easily without tools.
 Suitable for both SRS/SRT and MRS/DRT climbing methods.
 SRS/SRT chest attachment wire gate provides quick connect/disconnect from cord or small karabiner.
 Ascend, descend, and position in the canopy without changing equipment.
 Lightweight and compact.

Gustharts is the exclusive UK and Ireland distributor and retailer for the Rock Exotica Akimbo, and it can now also be purchased through accredited stockists such as Honey Brothers, Treekit, Buxtons, and Sorbus International. 

For more information, visit, call 01670 789701, or email


Forestry Journal:

NEW for 2022, Vesper is an 11.8 mm tree climbing line with an all-polyester construction providing a low elongation rope with good friction and heat resistance. Compatible with most mechanical climbing devices, Vesper is designed to easily thread from either ultra-low profile spliced end or plain end. Vesper is fully compliant with EN 1891 as a type A rope and is both CE and UKCA certified. Available in two high-visibility colours with or without a low-profile splice termination. Available spliced in 25 m, 35 m, 45 m, 60 m or 200m reels.


Forestry Journal:

Also new for 2022, Marlow’s Work Positioning Lanyards are CE certified to EN 354 and are compatible with most approved climbing devices. The colour-coded lengths are made from 11 mm Marlow Static LSK rope. The lanyards provide high strength, low elongation, good abrasion resistance and high energy absorption. Available in 2 m, 3 m, 4 m and 5 m lengths – and in orange, red, yellow or blue.

For more information visit or visit your nearest Marlow stockist


Forestry Journal:

The Stein Voyager 60 is a 60-litre backpack made from a durable 1000-D Matt Tarpaulin material. 

This general purpose, water-repellent backpack has an innovative modern design. It is fitted with four internal plastic inserts to keep the bag upright when empty. A large external storage pocket with heavy-duty zip closure is ideal for storing essentials which you need for quick access. There’s also an external side pocket for storing a handsaw with a hook and loop securing system along with an expandable mesh external pocket. 

The backpack is fitted with three gear racks on the outside of the bag for stowing karabiners etc. Padded adjustable Alpine Cut shoulder straps and heavy-duty carry handles make this an ideal backpack for transporting and storing kit. 

Fitted with an internal drawstring closure system to help separate gear, it has a top closure flap with heavy-duty zip. 

This bag has been designed to accommodate up to three of the VAULT 15 storage bags inside.


Forestry Journal:

PETZL offers a range of solutions for arborists, including industry-leading helmets and their integrated accessories, a range of harnesses, ropes developed specifically for work in trees, positioning lanyards and the ZIGZAG and CHICANE.

For 50 years, Petzl has been built around four pillars, four fundamental values that motivate every decision made; remaining a stable family business, encouraging innovation to imagine the best solutions, insisting on industrial excellence with the goal of zero defects, and remaining engaged with communities by providing global best practices.

READ MORE: Letter from the editor, August 2022: Heatwaves, the role of arborists and the Arb Show

For everyone at Petzl, “accessing the inaccessible” is more than a promise to all professionals. It’s the guiding principle which continues to inspire. 

Along with the brand’s expertise and experience, it forms the foundation of knowledge, allowing it to imagine, create, and provide the specialised, high-performance, and safety-centric tools that help you get the job done right in the best conditions. It contributes to making each task easier and more efficient.


Forestry Journal:

The Edelrid Talon tree climbers are one of the lightest climbing gaffs on the market.

They’re designed to perfectly follow the leg, allowing for maximum precision and wear comfort when climbing. The Talon is built on a completely new fully modular design that maximises ergonomics and allows the highest level of flexibility and comfort. 

All textile parts are easy to remove and wash, as well as to replace when worn out, making the Talon one of the longest lasting spikes on the market.

Available with 43 mm and 70 mm spikes.
RRP: £375


Forestry Journal:

SOMETIMES it is necessary to update an existing poduct and that is what Courant has done with the Flexbee Lanyard. The updated Flexbee comes with a fresh touch to the colour, but the biggest change is the updated rope, which is now more wear -esistant and retains its flexibility for longer. On top of this, Courant has improved the adjustability.

The lanyard is a lightweight, flexible, and high-contrast coloured work positioning lanyard for arborists. It is made up of the 11.5 mm Squir rope with a length adjustment system and a Snapo connector. The Squir rope has a very durable yet still flexible polyester sheath. Its low stretch ensures that the bounce effect is kept to a minimum when climbing, and the rope is heat treated for greater stability.

The length adjustment system is made up of a Phoenix 8 mm, 70 cm hitch cord lanyard in Distel 5-coils setup; a Mova small aluminium twisting side plates pulley; and an Axxis TL aluminium triple lock karabiner. The Distel pulley/hitch combination ensures reliable and smooth adjustment, even under tension, while the Phoenix 8 mm rope with its braided sheath made of aramid offers exceptional longevity. It comes with an Axxis TL connector on the Distel side, and several connectors to choose from on the rope.


Forestry Journal:

1. Climbing Technology Roll N Lock Pulley – RRP inc VAT is £70, ex VAT is £58.33
 Ultra-light pulley/rope clamp (weighs only 80 g) designed for work, rope climbing manoeuvres, rescue and self-rescue situations. Ideal as a pulley, ascending a rope and hauling a load.

Main features:
 For use with ropes EN 892/EN 1891 Ø 8 –13 mm.
 Spring-operated cam for use as a rope ascender.
 Sliding lock for use as a pulley.
 It allows the hauling of light loads.
 Exceptional use with webbing 10–16 mm, for positioning adjustment.
 Developed to work also on wet or dirty ropes.

Forestry Journal: 2. Climbing Technology Orbiter M Pulley – RRP inc VAT £18, ex VAT £15
Pulley with mobile side plates that allow the insertion of any connector.

Main features:
 Made in anodised light alloy.
 Sheaves mounted on self-lubricating bushings.
 For use with ropes Ø ≤ 13 mm.
 Designed for hauling systems and deviations.

Forestry Journal:

3. Climbing Technology Quick Roll – RRP inc VAT £100, ex VAT £80

Innovative handle ascender with integrated pulley. Used in conjunction with a self-braking descender (e.g. SPARROW) it allows for ascending the work rope.

Main features:
 Moulded, ergonomic handle ascender, designed for greater efficiency when pulling and increased resistance to wear and tear.
 Cam opening lever usable with one hand; patented system for unlocking the cam, with just one downwards movement necessary.
 Steel cam, manufactured with technology that implements the resistance to wear and tear. Equipped with a set of teeth that protects the wear of the rope, but it is equally effective in blocking and ascending the rope. It also has three slots to prevent the accumulation of mud and reduce the effort needed to slide the device up the rope under any condition (muddy rope, frozen etc).