Friction Saver Bear Bag System



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This nifty system will allow you to set your bear bag rope on a branch without the rope rubbing over the bark. To you that means less effort hoisting your bag, which in turn means you can get by with lighter, less bulky rope without destroying your hands. And if that wasn’t enough, you can also set it up with a 2:1 mechanical advantage reducing the lifting force even further!

The heart of this system is a device called a friction saver. It’s borrowed from the tree climbing industry, but sized for food bags and with a few modifications to reduce bulk and enable both 1:1 and 2:1 configurations.

How much lifting force savings am I talking about? Here’s a real-world comparison.

  • Bag weight – 14.3 pounds
  • Lifting force, rope over branch – 25.3 pounds
  • Lifting force, 1:1 friction saver – 20.7 pounds
  • Lifting force, 2:1 friction saver – 13.6 pounds

That’s nearly 20% less force in the 1:1 configuration and 50% in 2:1. Your hands will thank you!

Buy the friction saver and rope combo and be ready to go, or buy the friction saver alone and add your own rope (see here for splicing and knotting instructions).

Rope Length1:1 Max Branch Height2:1 Max Branch HeightSystem Weight - Zing-itSystem Weight - Dynaglide
0N/AN/A0.4 oz (12 g)0.4 oz (12 g)
60' (18 m)30' (9 m)20' (6 m)1.6 oz (46 g)2.2 oz (62 g)
80' (24 m)40' (12 m)27' (8 m)2.0 oz (57 g)2.7 oz (78 g)
100' (30 m)50' (15 m)33' (10 m)2.4 oz (68 g)3.3 oz (93 g)
NOTE: The bare minimum branch height is 22 feet to hit the recommended 15 feet off the ground and 5 feet below the branch with a 2 foot tall bag.

Additional information

Weight N/A
Rope Type

No rope (Friction Saver only), Red Zing-it, Yellow Zing-it, Blue Zing-it, Grey Zing-it, Green Dynaglide, Orange Dynaglide

Rope Length

0, 60' (18 m), 80' (24 m), 100' (30 m)

2 thoughts on “Friction Saver Bear Bag System

    • Nich Fugal says:

      You can search “throw weight” on Amazon and get several results. When I’m backpacking I won’t bring it because of the weight, I’ll just use a rock or sometimes a partially filled water bottle.

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