Gear Shed

Q:

What's the Best Zipline Kit for My Backyard?

My kids have convinced me to rig up a zipline on our property, but I don't know where to start. Got any ideas?

zipline backyard ziplining outside gear guy

    Photo: Alexei Potov/Shutterstock

A:Ziplines are great fun for families, but the recent trend in lines is to make them fast and high, creating rides that challenge adults as well as kids.

“Everybody’s trying to figure out how to go faster and longer. And to get speed, you need drop," says Aaron Roper, a staffer and blogger for Ziplinegear. That’s why people are starting to build ziplines higher up in trees.”

In order to stay safe in such conditions, advanced zipline users are moving away from kits with a seat and handlebars. “The safer way to ride the ziplines is to hook directly to the trolley using a carabiner, lanyard, and harness,” says Roper. At the high end of the spectrum, commercial adventure parks are now using mechanisms that make it impossible to unhook from the anchor while up in the trees.

The following kit is a good example of the new breed of residential zipline systems. It stretches up to 500 feet and has a braking system that slowly brings you to a stop over the last 30 feet. We’ve also included two well-built zipline trolley devices that would make a great foundation for your own kit, especially if you already have a harness, carabiner, and other climbing gear on hand.

Ziplinegear Quicksilver Kit
C.A.M.P Wing Traveling Pulley
Petzl Tandem Speed Transport Pulley

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