Today we tested webolettes, a tool for building 2, 3, and 4 point anchor systems. Most climbers build similar anchor systems using a sewn sling, also called a runner, which utilizes a loop of material. The webolette has two sewn eyes at either end of a single strand. It's basically a long rabbit runner and a sewn version of the Open Cordelette, that Jeremiah likes to use on big walls anchors.
The webolette never gained wide popularity. That's probably because its uses are limited and it doesn't save much weight over a quad (240cm) length sewn runner.
We broke three webolettes on our Slacksnap machine. The first two were equalized towards the direction of pull and the third was equalized at an off angle slightly off of the direction of pull. We also pull tested two slings of the same age in two point anchor configuration as sort of a control experiment. One sling was dyneema and the other was nylon.
Our first webolette broke in the knot @ 20.99kN. The second broke the same way @ 26.3kN. The third, which was not equalized in the direction of pull broke the short strand @19.83kN, then broke the other strands 10kn, the knot completely disappeared.
When we tested two single-length slings of similar age we got some interesting results. The dyneema sling broke @ 13.70kN! That's a pretty low result, still super good enough but definitely less force than we like to see. The nylon sling broke in the knot @22.5kN.
All of these anchor systems and results are strong enough to handle more force than is ever generated in a normal climbing situation. Would we trust the webollete? Yes! No problem. Would we carry one? Probably not. A double, triple, or quad lengths runner (120, 180, and 240cm respectively) can all provide the same functionality and also perform many other functions while adding minimal weight, so we'd carry those. However, the webolette has a place in ultralight alpine anchor systems or amongst climbers who find it simple and intuitive to use.
See how quad anchors hold up