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Introducing the DMM KINISI MAX

Introducing the DMM KINISI MAX

The Ultimate Tree Climbing Harness!

We have been teased, we have waited, and it’s finally here; the DMM Kinisi Max harness! Experienced or beginner, arborist, or recreational climber; this harness is designed to meet the needs of tree climbers at all levels. DMM Wales has pulled through and delivered a top tier harness to the tree care industry! This blog will cover my review as well as some need-to-know features specific to the DMM Kinisi Max.

Sizing and fit

This sit harness is available in three sizes: small, medium, and large. The sizing difference will be unlike most other harnesses, where the only thing that changes is the waist belt. No, the Kinisi sizing will differ in padding, accessory tool slots, and elastic bands.

  1. There will be a visible difference with the back pad and leg pads when looking at the different sizes. The sizing is as follows:
  • Small – waist 25.6”- 32.7”, legs 17.3”- 23.2”
  • Medium – waist 29.5”- 40.1”, legs 18.5” – 24.8”
  • Large – waist 34.6” – 48.4”, legs 20.1” – 28.7”
  1. Both medium and large will have a total of four tool slots, however the small will only have a total of two tool slots.
  2. Medium and large will have a total of four elastic bands that adjust the distance between leg pad and harness. The small will only have a total of two.

If you have access to try on the different sizes, I highly recommend it. The hip D’s should be in line with the hips or positioned slightly forward. If you work in regions where you must layer up due to the change in climate, think ahead and imagine where those hip D’s will be once layered. If you find yourself reaching further back and to access your hip D’s, I have some bad news for you; size up. Your shoulders will thank you!

Webbing Stopper

For the sake of this blog, let’s assume you did size up; now what about the excessive waist, leg, and riser webbing? Rather than just letting it all dangle loose, DMM has devised a solution for you; following the proper instructions, the user is allowed to cut the excess webbing off. It’s a good thing we all save the instructions right!? If you happened to “misplace” them, I have your back! There are a total of six webbing stoppers, three on each side. Before we continue, these webbing stoppers MUST be present on your DMM Kinisi Max harness! You will need a ruler, crosshead screwdriver, and a hot knife.

  1. Fit the harness accordingly and try to foresee how much layering you do in the winter months. This will ensure you have left enough webbing when it comes to layering up. Note: the waist webbing is NOT replaceable, so proceed with caution.
  2. Remove the webbing stopper and take note on which leg of webbing it is being removed from. The webbing stopper does not pierce through both webbing straps!
  3. Mark at a minimum of four centimeters from the buckle to the center of the proposed webbing stopper location.
  4. Follow that by marking another line at two and a half centimeters from the center of the webbing stopper, and this will be the cut line.
  5. The hot knife is required when cutting in order to cauterize the webbing, this will prevent any fraying.
  6. Don’t forget to install the webbing stopper!

Adjustable Bridge and Configurations

Why such a long bridge? This question is brought up quite frequently, so let us give you some reasons why a long bridge may work in your favor!

  1. O-Rig – A traditional O-Rig requires the climber to configure one’s system slightly different from a standard moving rope system. This may be an inconvenience for some; however, it is still effective if foot locking is not in your cards. Thanks to the adjustable bridge, configure your system as you would (MRS) and just extend it, making sure the system is at arm’s reach. Voilà, a super easy way to O-Rig!
  2. Limb walking – Prior to commencing the limb walk, you may choose to shorten the bridge. This will keep your system accessible and eliminates that awkward reach to pay out slack, you know what I’m talking about.
  3. Spar work Proper tie-in, even on spar, is a must. Whatever way you choose to configure your tie-in, is on you; I’m here to say that not all systems will be as tight to the spar as we would like them to be. By shortening the adjustable bridge, the user can easily condense the overall length, allowing that tight like a tiger feel!
  4. Ascent – During the ascent, it may be beneficial to shorten the bridge and keep the system tight once again.
  5. Staying on rope – Shortening the bridge that contains the primary climbing system and extending the second bridge to connect to the on-rope-system makes for a super easy way to apply this technique.
  6. Here’s a quick tip when it comes to extending the bridge. The patented bridge adjuster has a camming system that will not release while under tension and even after being loaded, it can prove to be slightly cumbersome. To simplify this, draw in a bit slack from the bridge and boom, the cam is now easy to lift and allows to draw out the bridge.

If you find those long bridges to be cumbersome, there will be other bridge options available.

  1. Double sewn eye bridges will be available but will have to be paired with Rope Bones.
  2. A webbing bridge will also be made available. Again, it must be paired with the Rope Bones.

It is important to note – if you replace the adjustable bridge, rope bones, and the Nyloc nuts are removed, they must be replaced with new Nyloc nuts.

Bridge Storage

As for the excess bridge length, DO NOT cut it! DMM Wales has made it very clear that it is not ok to cut them to length. Take a close look at the end of the open-ended bridges, they are whip stitched or in their words, they have “stiffener tacks”. The stiffener tacks are there to prevent any shifting from core and cover; it is a safety measure taken place! There are different ways to store your bridges and if you need some inspiration, social media will provide with more than a few options! For example, determine how much bridge you will actually use and neatly coiling the rest. Or, threading thin cordage through the very end of the bridges and clipping them back to the harness (courtesy of Mark Bridge). There is a way!

My Quick Review

I have climbed in Petzl’s Sequoia, Drayer’s TreeAustria Pro, first gen TreeMOTION, TreeMOTION Evo and of course, the TreeMOTION Pro. Don’t get me wrong these are all fantastic harnesses and my favorite of those, happened to be my TreeMOTION Evo. I didn’t necessarily have to stop climbing in my Evo, but I had caught wind of DMM working on a harness and well, we all want shiny new gear! I’ve been climbing on the Kinisi for a few months, and I love it!

I had been climbing on the Evo before switching to Kinisi; there were no holdups, it was a smooth and simple changeover. The Kinisi does bear the resemblance to its predecessors but once you slip into it, you can immediately feel the difference! It is a bit heavier (my opinion) due to the larger back pad, but the extra weight is outweighed (see what I did there) by its unmatched comfort! Think about it, you don’t really think about weight as you flow through the crown. If anything, it’s always: “damn, this harness is cutting into my hips or, it’s riding up my nether regions”. Once you welcome the DMM Kinisi Max into your life, get ready to say, Au Revoir to uncomfortable climbs!

I have not cut any of the excess webbing on the waist, risers, or legs; instead, I have them neatly tucked where they do not impede my movement or my tools. Some do not care for the extra red elastic that comes on the leg pad, you may remove those if they are not desired; however, they do prevent the leg pad from shifting around the thigh. Riser webbings are the first to begin breaking down with this style of harness and replacing them isn’t too difficult (previous harness), however DMM has managed to simplify this process more. On the Lying Ring you will find the Lying Ring Axle, which can be removed and that is where the simplicity comes in. No more having to peen rivets into place! Oddly enough, these two are my favorite features thus far!

I too have mixed feelings over the length of the bridges, but I have come to like it. On my harness, I have routed the extra length over top of my DMM Lock Vaults with the help of some accessory cord and a few XSRE carabiners, this keeps my bridges away from my chainsaw. Also, I have it configured to only pay out a set amount of slack; I have found myself rarely extending the bridges. It’s quite the opposite for me; I shorten my bridge more often when it comes to spar work and limb walking. Having your climbing system close is MONEY!

As far as accessories go, the DMM Tendon is at the top of the list! I don’t necessarily have to wear a chest harness anymore thanks to the Tendon. The Tendon configures around top of the Kinisi and there is no need for the knee ascender bungee to connect up top anymore. I very much prefer this knee ascender setup, controlled easy steps up the rope. Think about it next time you ascend at work; are you really blasting up the rope or is it slow and controlled? I did have a makeshift Tendon with tubing and zip ties, which did work for the time being but every once in a while, the zip ties would shift around and dig into my arms, that is whenever I’d rest my arms at my waist.

Overall, I love my DMM Kinisi Max.

What can I say, I am a DMM Wales fanboy!

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