DMM Vault review

Overview

DMM have outdone themselves, what a great invention.  I know they have just reinvented the wheel, an ice clipper made from metal seems to be making a comeback after the Charlet Moser ice clipper went out of production.  A functional, good looking piece of kit.

People On Mountain

Technical information

Variant Non PPE MBS Gate Opening Weight Max Webbing Size Cat no
Locking Gate 3kN 20mm 79g 45 x 3mm A552
Wire Gate 3kN 23mm 63g 45 x 3mm A558

 

In this review we are only looking at the wire gate DMM Vault.  Some of the plastic ice clippers I have used, are flexible, and have undone whilst climbing.  The last thing you want as you look down at your harness to grab one of your ice screws, is seeing one tumbling down the face you are climbing.  That’s a £40-£50 mistake you do not want to relive.

The attachment to the harness works best on the provided slot, for ice clippers.  The DMM Vault comes with rubber rings which can be used to prevent excessive movement of it on the clipper slot, and prevent wear on your harness.

It is a large carabiner, so a bit weighty compared to plastic ice clippers, but for me personally I prefer the security of not losing any screws than saving 40 or so grams.  Also, The DMM Vault has a lip on the top of its frame, which is perfect for parking an ice screw(s) on top to get to another ice screw placed below on the DMM Vault.  It’s also beneficial when climbing with a rucksack.  The rucksack waistbelt can sit on top and not interfere with the function of the Vault, i.e. racking and unclipping of ice screws.

It functionality means you can rack your ice screws on the DMM Vault or carry your axes at the end of the route, on the descent.

Pros

  • Ice clipper made from metal
  • Option of wire gate or locking gate
  • For ice screws or carry ice axes
  • Easy to use system for racking screws
  • Can carry 6 ice screws comfortably
  • Easy to unclip an ice screw ready to use
  • Good looking piece of gear

Cons

  • It is very pricey compared to the plastic ice clippers, but at the cost of a little more than one ice screw, you can get two DMM Vaults
  • They are slightly bigger and heavier than your average plastic ice clipper.

Conclusion

We recommend the wire gate DMM Vault for climbing.  A beautifully finished, great looking piece of metalwork, which is very functional, durable and in my view will force all plastic ice clippers obsolete. One word, brilliant!