Figure 9 attached mid-rope. The top can also be attached to the other end of a cord. The free end is on the far right and can easily be removed by tugging.
When the weather is warm and the conditions are nice, nothing is lighter than the skills of basic knot craft. The venerable girth hitch, bowline, clove hitch, sheet bend, and taut-line hitch are weightless and will meet most all of a hiker's line securing needs. Considered a rite of passage among old-timers and Cub Scouts alike, learning knots is a hiking skill not to be flippantly replaced by cord locks and line tensioners.
But, that's not the whole story...
When your taut-line hitch starts to slip after the cord is rain soaked (or frozen), or your fingers are too cold to hold that slippery spectra cord, or it's too dark to even see the cord at all, line tensioners start to make a lot of sense. The Figure 9 Rope Tightener by Nite Ize is the most cleverly designed tensioning device I've seen yet. Its flexible design with no moving parts works in several configurations to keep your cords secure. I expect it may be just the ticket for winter tarp campers who must handle guylines with mittens. Hammock campers may be interested in the larger size.
What sets it apart from most other plastic and aluminum tensioning gadgets is that it doesn't require a loop on the end of the cord - it works cleanly even with a free end. This is important if you need to wrap your cord around an object whose ends are not accessible, like a tree, ski, or buried dead-man. With the Figure 9 Tightener, just pass the end of the line around the object, pull tight, and secure to the device with an easy tug. Need to re-tension in the middle of the night? Just pull the end to release, tension, and re-secure.
Specifications and Features
- Laser engraved instructions on device
- Aluminum Construction
- Compatible with cord diameter 1/16 to 3/16 in (1.6 to 5 mm)
- Weight: 0.13 oz (3.6g)
- Dimensions: 1.5 x 1.125 x .125 in (40 x 28 x 3 mm)
- Larger size also available for heavy-duty use (not suitable for climbing)