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A belay device is an extremely vital device for climbers and improves climbing safety. It works similar to a brake by applying friction to the climbing rope. The device using in congruence with the climbers’ swift braking hand maintains tension to the rope, thereby protecting the climber at the opposite extremity. Usually they are constructed from aluminum and steel and very important part of every climbers’ gear.
At this time, there are a large number of belay gadgets available in the market; in fact every manufacture produces 12 different belays. The frequently used belay devices are the assisted braking, the tubular type and figure “8” type. Climbers may select their kind of belay depending upon their climbing programs and intentions. We enlist the best ten belay devices for your review.
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Last update on 2020-07-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Fusion Titan Terminal 8 Descender
Fusion presents the Titan Terminal 8 Descender that is a first class, robust and multi-purpose belay. The device looks strikingly great with a polished finish and is just appropriately sized. Climbers intending to repel or rescue climb find this device perfect. It permits climber to secure while utilizing both of his hands for other activities to relieve your climbing than simply adjusting the descender.
Slackers 40′ Zipline Falcon Series Kit with Seat
Slackers 40’ Zipline Falcon Series Kit with Seat is ideal for your children’s amazing adventures within your backyard. Kids enjoy this device for long hours while strengthening them and improving their athleticism and balance. The cable is short at about forty feet length and easily installs a few feet above the ground. This simplifies your kids ride and makes it a fun gadget.
Petzl Ascension Ascender
Petzl introduces the Ascension Ascender that is extremely lightweight. Climbers can now glide ahead on the rope easily and conveniently especially is the ropes are icy and slippery. This device has specially designed angled teeth, spring-loaded steel, chrome plating and a slot that cleans on its own to assist rope grip in extremely icy, wet and muddy situations.
Y&Y Belay Glasses
Y&Y presents Belay Glasses that are actually prism glasses. These glasses enable the climber to reflect the vertical vision for the belayers. Usually, belayers require raising heads to oversee their climbing associates. At times, this could cause neck pain and discomfort, leading to distraction and possible danger. With the Y & Y Glasses, you can assist belay your climbing associates devoid of any neck strain.
Black Diamond Big Air XP Package
Black Diamond presents the Big Air XP Package that assist climbers to ascend and descend vertical surfaces. While handling icy ropes, it has a greater friction mode to keep climber in control. A key lock is provided with the miniature Pearabiner Screw gate carabineer to prevent problems.
Black Diamond ATC Guide Belay Device
Black Diamond presents the ATC Guide Belay Device that is very popular amongst alpinists, ice climbers and traditional climbers. This gadget permits belay of two subsequent climbers when you eat your snacks or tighten your footwear or eat snacks devoid of risking another climbers’ life. This adaptable belay gadget grants total rappel and belay functions and functions comfortably with diverse sizes of rope.
Black Diamond ATC Belay Device
Black Diamond presents the ATC that is simple to use and is very light in weight. Climbers can rappel and belay smoothly with this gadget. Manufacturers have used aircraft quality and drop-forged aluminum making this gadget very light and exceptionally strong. The double-slot adaptable design enables single feed and double ropes effortlessly and grasps falls easily. A greater surface area improves the speed of heat dissipation.
Wild Country Pro Guide Lite Belay Device Set
Wild Country introduces the Pro Guide Lite Belay Device Set that is designed extremely insightfully. This device is very simple, smooth and ergonomic and blocks automatically. The device is provided with grooves that are deeply ribbed and enables use with different types of ropes. Climber can use the automatic-block mode to enable up to two followers. This Belay Device Set is ideal for use on alpine climbs, multi-pitch rocky routes and guides.
Mad Rock Aviator Belay Device
Mad Rock presents the “Aviator” that originates from the ordinary tubular belay device with improvements added upon it. The device has a distinct removable spring that prevents locking while feeding the rope. The device is made from forged aluminum used in aircraft that is quite light and dissipates heat optimally.
Petzl REVERSO 4 Belay Device
Petzl presents the Reverso 4 Belay Device that is extremely light in weight. It weighs 25% lesser compared to its preceding edition. It offers similar flexibility for belaying and rappelling. The distinct feature of this gadget is the “Reverso mode” that instantaneously self-brakes. This permits lead climber belaying up to two climbers directly starting from the anchor position.
Belay Device and Rappel equipment Buying Guide
Belaying is still considered as one of the vital climbing skills that an individual can master. There is no real belaying without an appropriate device, however. You can get away with using an outdated hip belay with the rope being attached to a carabiner but as soon as you taste the feel of the modern belay devices, you will realize why they are so much better, you will switch and won’t look back.
Belay Devices Work by Friction
There is a huge variety when it comes to these devices and you can choose between multiple different sizes and shapes. The rappel devices allow you to either rappel (as the name suggests) or descend by simply sliding down your rope. The great thing about Belay devices, in general, is that they let you manipulate the frictions on your own. You can form them on your own and then pull them around as the rope is threaded through the set itself. It is not easy to choose the best Belay device even if you are an experienced climber. I can recommend “playing it safe” and getting a device that was already tested and/or used before. These solutions are proven to be the most secure and their flexibility is also at the highest level.
4 Types of Belay/Rappel Devices
There are 4 different types of belay devices to consider and they are:
- Belay plate
- Belay tube
- Self-locking device, and
- Figure-8 Rappel Device.
This belay device is very simple and you can easily get around it even as a beginner but it can be really annoying if you use it when you are rappelling.
You need to grab a piece of rope and then you need to pull it through the slot and attach it to a nearby locking carabiner. In case you are using a plate instead of the rope, you need to double-check and ensure that you have 2 slots that allow 2 different ropes to be pushed through them in order to be able to rappel properly.
This is by far the most commonly used belay device for quite some time already. It is moved very easily and it is very simple to use. The tube itself is functioning very similar to the plate but with one significant difference – it is the belayer itself that is able to “manipulate” different parts of the rope as it goes through it. You are also able to have a better control of your movement speed while you are hanging on the rope. You can really use the belay tubes for just any kind of climbing as they are doing their job perfectly. My personal recommendation would be the ATC belay tubes designed by Black Diamond Equipment.
Self-Braking Belay Devices
Similar to Petzl GriGri,this kind of devices is a perfect choice if you are into sports climbing and/or single pitch routes. There is an integrated camera that gets attached to the rope as it goes through it. This results in the rope being immediately locked up as soon as the camera is triggered.
In my opinion, the single best thing about self-braking devices is the fact that you can easily remain stationed in a single spot while hanging on the rope. You literally don’t need to break a sweat! On the other hand, they require a certain degree of knowledge and previous experience in order to be handled properly. Another thing worth noting is that they aren’t suitable for people with a tight budget. If you wish to enjoy them, you will need to spend a decent amount of money. Lastly, they are not very suitable for rappelling and should be avoided on ropes that are not 100% clean. Wet and icy combinations should also be avoided at all costs.
Figure-8 Rappel Device
This device was the “industry standard” for all kinds of belay devices for quite a long time. The name comes from the fact that the device looks like an actual number eight. It comes with two different holes (of different sizes as well).
The way this device works is that a part of the rope first goes through the bigger hole (of the 2) and the small hold only to become fixated between the two holes as the end-result The locking carabiner connects the device and yourself.In order to belay properly, you need to pull through a section of rope through the smaller hole (the smaller of the 2) and the carabiner on the harness. Although they were once extremely popular, I would personally recommend avoiding them nowadays because they lack the flexibility and the precision of their modern counterparts. It might be a better idea to use them during the rescue missions and caving instead.
Always buy the locking carabiner as well!
At the very end of this article, I would like to note that you should always get yourself a locking carabiner as an addition to the belay device. It will prevent the carabiner from suddenly opening and it will add one extra layer of overall safety.