Widely described as the best rappel device in the world, rappel racks are simple, rugged, very versatile and a vital piece of rescue or work-safety equipment. While there are a variety of other devices such as Figure 8 Descenders and mechanical belay devices, the basic, standard length, six bar J-frame rappel rack has versatility that most devices lack, allowing the user to adjust friction by adding or removing bars while under load, doing so results in greater control of the rate of descent. A rappel rack may be quickly tied-off which then frees both hands in order to assist with a patient in rescue scenarios, for rigging other gear, and in a variety of other situations. All SMC Rappel Rack frames are stainless steel in order to provide exceptional strength, reliability, and durability. SMC is one of the few US manufacturers with rappel racks that are UL Certified to NFPA standards. Further, with the addition of a new line of U Racks, SMC has one of the broadest selections of NFPA Rack Assemblies, bare rack frames, and brake bars in the world.
J Racks (aka Cole Racks in recognition of John Cole the inventor of the rappel rack) are intended to connect via the eye on the longer leg. The short leg of the rack should be oriented down and away from the user. Longer racks provide space the use more bars as well as provide more space for spreading out the bars. What this means is that the user is given a greater control range, in effect a larger “sweet spot” within which the correct amount of friction is developed for safe operation. Effective as either a rappel or lowering device, a distinct advantage to J Racks is the option of adding or removing bars while under load or on rappel, providing the user a greater range of friction and control. Racks may be used with a wide range of rope diameters and the rope, or in some cases ropes, and tends not to twist the rope as may occur when using a Figure 8 descender.