Anchor Strength, Anchor Wear & Anchor Engineering

Peak Design Pro Kamil Tamiola shooting pro climber Lumi Toma atop Mont Blanc. Tamiola is using Slide to hold a PhaseOne medium format camera.

Our Anchors are built to withstand over 200 lbs (90 kg) of absolute force. That means they are strong enough to handle a safe working load of any professional camera rig. That's any sized camera, lens, grip, and/or other accessory, including large telephoto lenses, medium format cameras, and more.

They're also designed to hold up to rigorous use in extreme environments. Many thousands of professional photographers trust Peak Design Anchors to hold their priceless gear on a daily basis.

We've also been working to continuously improve the performance of our Anchors since their inception, and ensure that all Peak Design products are designed to seamlessly integrate with our Anchor Link system.

Lastly, we support our Anchor Link system with a lifetime warranty, meaning that if your Anchors ever begin to show signs of wear we will replace them for free.

ANCHOR WEAR & FRAYING

If you’re experiencing fraying with your Anchors, please do the following:

  1. Inspect the cord closely. Is the fray occurring just in the outer strands of the cord? Or is it penetrating deep and affecting a large portion of the cross sectional area?  Superficial fray on the outside of cords is ok. Deep fray means your Anchor should be replaced immediately.
  2. Inspect the connection point closely. This may be a Peak Design quick-release plate or a strap lug on your camera. Is the surface smooth? Or do you see rough/sharp edges or burrs? Many Peak Design plates have been hand worked, and a few may contain aberrations on the inside corners that slipped through our older QC procedures. If there is roughness on your Peak Design plate, you can get a warranty replacement.
  3. Try rotating your Anchors and quick-release plate. Like rotating tires on a car, this can ensure your Anchors wear evenly and last longer.

If your Anchors or quick-release plate need replacement, those are both under warranty. Follow the directions on our warranty replacement page.

A NOTE ON ANCHOR CORD ENGINEERING

Behind the scenes, we’ve been improving the performance of Anchors since their inception. The two areas we’ve been focusing on are failure strength, and cord longevity. The failure strength has to do with how the cords are embedded into the Delrin resin that surrounds them. We’ve been honing this tactic for two full years now, and have our breakage strength consistently close to 250 lb (113 kg). For reference, the very first Anchor prototypes experienced failure at about 75 pounds. It’s also worth noting that we’ve never heard of an Anchor failing from the cord pulling out of the Delrin resin.

Fraying has been the bigger challenge we’ve faced over time, and we continue to make improvements to get better performance. In an abrasive environment (such as an Anchor connected to our plates), all cords will fray over time. As such, Anchors should be rotated and changed, similar to the tires on your car. 

With the first 2 generations of anchors we saw some inconsistent fraying over time, and have worked hard on addressing that issue. The reason that some cords will fray faster than others has less to do with the cords, and more to do with the sharpness of the plates to which they are attaching. The now-discontinued ARCAplate, DUALplate and MICROplate have machined 90 degree edges that are not so friendly to the cords, and tend to reduce their life. In fact, for Slide and Clutch purchasers who also have these old plates, we recommend using the Standard Plate that came with your Slide or Clutch. That may seem counterintuitive, but the fact is that the Standard Plate designed with Anchors in mind, whereas the older plates weren’t.

We have rounded the edges on our Standard and PROplate plates and have improved the cord used in the anchors once again. We started using Kevlar® in the Anchors, but weren’t thrilled with the way they appeared to wear. They had a tendency to get ratty looking rather quickly. Switching to a similar material called Vectran® was an improvement, but we still were not satisfied.

The new chord on our anchors that come with all of our straps is made from 3 nesting layers of Dyneema®.  Dyneema is stronger and far more resistant to fraying than Kevlar or Vectran.  Instead of fraying when abraded, it does something called “cold setting”.  It hardens around the area of maximum stress, essentially developing a protective “skin.”

So why didn’t we choose Dyneema from the beginning? Well, it was in the running.  But Dyneema has a low melting temperature, and when we put it into our first tooling, it appeared that it was failing at low strength because the materials had been compromised.  With our new design though, the Dyneema is first coated in epoxy before entering the Injection Molding machine.  This protects it from temperature degradation, and also controls the frayed ends that occur when the cord is trimmed to size.

Another benefit of these new Anchors is that it will have warnings of when you need to change your Anchors.  The outside “sheath” is colored black, while the outer core is yellow and the inner is red.  Needless to say, we are excited to have these new anchors! 

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