Author Topic: Original prototype testing notes from the D4 Kickstarter protos (2017)  (Read 901 times)


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John Verbeck really helped us out in the beginning by getting some protos used and abused in quick succession of Yosemite walls.  This email documents the first eight prototype D4 ledges--some destroyed.

From: John Middendorf <>
Subject: D4 Ledge prototype history and feedback
Date: September 21, 2018 at 8:20:29 AM GMT+10

History--we made eight (8) D4 prototypes in 2016/2017 that went out to climbers before going into production--all 4 point suspension systems.
#1--Marek's first ledge used in Baffin for 35 nights.
#2--Used on Ozymandias by me, then to John V (Zodiac, first video review), then Eliza Kerr (Zodiac), then Pete on Adrift. Bed was trashed, then frame and fly used for Proto 6.
#3 Yosemite model--used by Cam Burns.  Hanging end tube design. Then to Zion for a wall by Becca.  This one has gone off radar. Maybe the one used by Rob on Platinum Wall?
#4 First zipper door on fly.  Went originally to Twid Turner for Alaska trip, needed some repair work, and has since been seen in Morocco and other places.
#5 First continuous shock cord ledge, currently in use by Tasmania tree protestors (Steve Pearce).
#6 Went to Chris Trull, then to Pete.  Converted to 6-point system in the field by John V and Pete. This one has the old dangling end tubes?
#7 Mike Libecki then to Dave Alfrey, should be with John V right now.
#8 First ambidextrous bed, I believe I have this one, and has been used a bunch in Tasmania.

Then the first three Production models had 4-point suspensions, thereafter, 6-point suspensions.

Issues reported with Proto 6 (Pete):
--I think it has an older suspension.  I believe we lengthened the suspension of production models, 16" I think.The simple fix for the Pete's prototype #6 with shorter suspension is to add a sling in between the suspension and the quicklink!
--Regarding cam buckle slippage, it appears we might have used a thinner suspension webbing on those early ones, which might have caused the buckles to slip under large loads.  I will confer with Barry, but I think that issue has been addressed. Anyone else have any issues with buckle slippage with two people?

There is another ledge I would like to see if there can be more use and abuse for long term testing--the that is with John Verbeck right now (Prototype 7, which was first sent to mike Libecki, then to Dave Alfrey, now with John V).  It might have the same suspension system, I think Dave had some issues with it, even though it had been used prior with no reported issues. We have not heard any issues with suspensions in any of our production models, as far as I know.  Please let us know if that changes!  The idea here is to differentiate between prototypes and production models for feedback.  These prototypes are still giving us good field information, though, in terms of long term wear points on the new design.  John V,  if there was any chance of getting a status update on this one, super appreciated.

Really all the 8 D4 prototypes out in the field right now should be considered rough models, as we were experimenting with a lot of different features, fabrics, and designs for those models.

Hope this helps with identification of the ledges, especially when considering feedback on any issues.  Please let me know if you have any further info or feedback on these early protos!  Thanks.


(Please note this records the 2017 protos, all issues fixed now!)
« Last Edit: September 20, 2019, 04:00:17 PM by Deuce »