Skylotec is very serious about the SIRIUS (sorry had to do it). The SIRIUS (part number A-050) by Skylotec is really an incredible choice for an industrial descender. It's quickly becoming a go-to choice for many rope access technicians as well as the belay descender of choice for most rescue bags.
Why? Why are folks buying the Sirius over the Petzl I'D, the CMC Clutch, the ISC D5, and even the old school fisk descenders, figure 8 descenders, bar rack descenders, etc.? Well for starters, price. Skylotec has priced the device so competitively, because they are confident that if you can get it in your hands, you won't look back. It's super compact design really feels great in your hands and leaves plenty of work-room in front of your harness. Using for a rescue? While you're welcome to use a redirect with a two person load (as you would with the Petzl I'D) Skylotec doesn't actually require it. We've tested the SIRIUS with a two person load, and man is it smooth! Similar to most of the descenders these days, the lever automatically returns to it's position and has a small radius of operation, again so as to not take up so much dang room in an already tight space. And yes, the connecting carabiner can stay in the Sirius while you're inserting the rope into the device, so there is no chance of dropping it!
And for those newbies, like many other industrial descenders used by rope access technicians and rope rescue technicians, the Skylotec Sirius has the anti-panic feature to keep you from going for a ride. This, along with the auto-lock returning lever makes this device super safe for many industrial uses where it may be used by the lesser experienced technicians.
The engineers ensured that the path of the rope through the SIRIUS would minimize kinking and twisting and thus decrease wear and tear, since they know how you all put these things through the ringer. Along with this, the anti-panic feature isn't too sensitive, so you can abseil at a super smooth and quick (fun but not dangerous type of "quick") abseil or descent speed of 2 m/s.
Yes, the Sirius might feel a tad heavier than say the Petzl I'D, but it's surprisingly not. It's just dense! Well that's intentional, because they wanted to make the device 100% metallic (aluminum and steel) without any plastic parts, to ensure that even in the most rugged conditions of use, the Sirius will operate as intended. So with the Skylotec Sirius weighing in at just over 1 pound, it's actually a hair lighter than the Petzl I'D (small or large) which weighs in at just under a pound and a half. Also, very cleverly, with the SIRIUS Skylotec has designed it so that it will self close once loaded, if the user has forgotten to close the face plate all of the way.
Oh and for good measure, below is a video from our friends at Skylotec showing off how serious they are about their SIRIUS industrial descender (sorry again). But really, just listen to the serious music. Be sure to stay tuned to this device. A little birdie told us that Skylotec is heavily investing in future iterations of this device in the North American market, of course because of all the great feedback and reviews they've received on it. So keep an eye out for more standard ratings and compliance tests as well as product improvements.
Get all the gritty details on the Skylotec Sirius here.