2008 GEAR GUIDE - BELAY DEVICES

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Photos courtesy of Heidi Wirtz.

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I found myself at a Swiss crag with a guided climbing group. The group leader briefly demonstrated the use of a münter hitch for belaying and sent the first timers to fend for themselves. I watched as they torqued and pigtailed the ropes into a spaghetti'ed mess of münter madness. Still good in a pinch, this venerable knot has nothing on today's simple, bomber belay devices.For the modern-climber's purposes, there are three major types of belay device: full-manual, self-braking, and mechanical-assist, each with its own inherent benefits and weaknesses.

Full-Manual This category includes plates, tubes, or any belay device requiring direct belayer action to arrest a fall. They're versatile, lightweight, and afford-able, and create friction on a rope by bending it at two points. They're also good for trad climbing, when it's best not to shock-load the pro, as they give slightly during a catch. Available dual-friction designs can improve handling on thin or icy ropes. As "full-manual" implies, unhand the rope for an instant, and your partner could deck.

Self-BrakingThese belay devices are similar to full-manual options, but can also be configured to allow a belayer to bring up the second(s) directly off the anchor point in "self-braking" mode (i.e., the belayer can catch a fall without a fully manual lockoff; still a bit of a misnomer, as belayer attention and control are required at all times with all belay devices). These are pricier than full-manual devices, but well worth it for multi-pitch rock or ice.

Mechanical-AssistMechanical-assists use intrinsic moving parts to help grab the rope when weighted. These devices can catch a fall even if the belayer is momentarily distracted or incapacitated. (Great for hangdog sessions, they also hold weight with little or no effort.) Mechanical-assist devices have become de rigueur for many gym, sport, and even trad climbers, but they do have some weaknesses: none currently allow for double-rope rapping or belaying, they're heavier than tubes or plates, and they cost more. However, they're well worth it if they suit your needs.

See Climbing’s "New and Notable" Belay DeviceSee belay device tables sorted by COMPANYSee belay device tables sorted by PRICESee belay device tables sorted by WEIGHTSee belay device's page 1(A - E)See belay device's page 2 (F - O)See belay device's page 3 (P - W)

See Climbing’s "New and Notable" Belay DeviceSee belay device tables sorted by COMPANYSee belay device tables sorted by PRICESee belay device tables sorted by WEIGHTSee belay device's page 1(A - E)See belay device's page 2 (F - O)See belay device's page 3 (P - W)

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BelayDevices-GG08-reverso_7382

See Climbing’s "New and Notable" Belay DeviceSee belay device tables sorted by COMPANYSee belay device tables sorted by PRICESee belay device tables sorted by WEIGHTSee belay device's page 1(A - E)See belay device's page 2 (F - O)See belay device's page 3 (P - W)

Sorted BY COMPANY

Company

Product

Type

Price

Weight

New

# Ropes

Rope Range

ABC

ARC

T

15.95

2.12oz

2

9-11mm

Black Diamond Equipment

ATC Sport

T

16.95

2.12oz

*

1

7-11mm

C.A.M.P.

Ovo Belay Plate

P

7.95

2.04oz

2

Single 10mm+; Double 8-10mm

DMM

V Twin

T

24.5

3.14oz

*

2

8-10.5mm

Edelrid

Eddy

MA

159

12.35oz

1

9-11mm

Faders

Sum

MA

89.95

9.17oz

1

9.1-10.5mm

Kong

Ghost

AB

27.95

2.2oz

2

Single 10.5mm; Double 7.5mm

Mad Rock

Paradox

T

12.95

2.4oz

2

9.2mm-10mm

Metolius Climbing

BRD (Belay Rappel Device)

T

19.95

2.89oz

2

8-11mm

Omega Pacific

SBGII (Super Belay Gadget II)

T

18.95

2.72oz

2

8-10.8mm

Petzl

Reverso3

AB

29.95

2.72oz

*

2

Single 8.9mm+; Double 7.5+

Simond

Toucan

AB

29.99

3.52oz

2

7.5-11mm

Singing Rock

Hornet

T

24.95

2.01oz

2

9-10.5mm

Trango

Cinch

MA

69.95

6.42oz

1

9.4-11mm

Wild Country

VC Pro 2

T

14.95

2.79oz

*

2

Single 9mm+; Double 7.7mm

Key Device type T = Tube-style full-manual P = Plate-style full-manual MA = Mechanical-assist SB = Self-braking

See Climbing’s "New and Notable" Belay DeviceSee belay device tables sorted by COMPANYSee belay device tables sorted by PRICESee belay device tables sorted by WEIGHTSee belay device's page 1(A - E)See belay device's page 2 (F - O)See belay device's page 3 (P - W)

Sorted BY PRICE

Company

Product

Type

Price

Weight

New

# Ropes

Rope Range

C.A.M.P.

Ovo Belay Plate

P

7.95

2.04oz

2

Single 10mm+; Double 8-10mm

Mad Rock

Paradox

T

12.95

2.4oz

2

9.2mm-10mm

Wild Country

VC Pro 2

T

14.95

2.79oz

*

2

Single 9mm+; Double 7.7mm

ABC

ARC

T

15.95

2.12oz

2

9-11mm

Black Diamond Equipment

ATC Sport

T

16.95

2.12oz

*

1

7-11mm

Omega Pacific

SBGII (Super Belay Gadget II)

T

18.95

2.72oz

2

8-10.8mm

Metolius Climbing

BRD (Belay Rappel Device)

T

19.95

2.89oz

2

8-11mm

DMM

V Twin

T

24.5

3.14oz

*

2

8-10.5mm

Singing Rock

Hornet

T

24.95

2.01oz

2

9-10.5mm

Kong

Ghost

SB

27.95

2.2oz

2

Single 10.5mm; Double 7.5mm

Petzl

Reverso3

SB

29.95

2.72oz

*

2

Single 8.9mm+; Double 7.5+

Simond

Toucan

SB

29.99

3.52oz

2

7.5-11mm

Trango

Cinch

MA

69.95

6.42oz

1

9.4-11mm

Faders

Sum

MA

89.95

9.17oz

1

9.1-10.5mm

Edelrid

Eddy

MA

159

12.35oz

1

9-11mm

Key Device type T = Tube-style full-manual P = Plate-style full-manual MA = Mechanical-assist SB = Self-braking

See Climbing’s "New and Notable" Belay DeviceSee belay device tables sorted by COMPANYSee belay device tables sorted by PRICESee belay device tables sorted by WEIGHTSee belay device's page 1(A - E)See belay device's page 2 (F - O)See belay device's page 3 (P - W)

Sorted BY WEIGHT

Company

Product

Type

Price

Weight

New

# Ropes

Rope Range

Singing Rock

Hornet

T

24.95

2.01oz

2

9-10.5mm

C.A.M.P.

Ovo Belay Plate

P

7.95

2.04oz

2

Single 10mm+; Double 8-10mm

ABC

ARC

T

15.95

2.12oz

2

9-11mm

Black Diamond Equipment

ATC Sport

T

16.95

2.12oz

*

1

7-11mm

Kong

Ghost

SB

27.95

2.2oz

2

Single 10.5mm; Double 7.5mm

Mad Rock

Paradox

T

12.95

2.4oz

2

9.2mm-10mm

Omega Pacific

SBGII (Super Belay Gadget II)

T

18.95

2.72oz

2

8-10.8mm

Petzl

Reverso3

SB

29.95

2.72oz

*

2

Single 8.9mm+; Double 7.5+

Wild Country

VC Pro 2

T

14.95

2.79oz

*

2

Single 9mm+; Double 7.7mm

Metolius Climbing

BRD (Belay Rappel Device)

T

19.95

2.89oz

2

8-11mm

DMM

V Twin

T

24.5

3.14oz

*

2

8-10.5mm

Simond

Toucan

SB

29.99

3.52oz

2

7.5-11mm

Trango

Cinch

MA

69.95

6.42oz

1

9.4-11mm

Faders

Sum

MA

89.95

9.17oz

1

9.1-10.5mm

Edelrid

Eddy

MA

159

12.35oz

1

9-11mm

Key Device type T = Tube-style full-manual P = Plate-style full-manual MA = Mechanical-assist SB = Self-braking

See Climbing’s "New and Notable" Belay DeviceSee belay device tables sorted by COMPANYSee belay device tables sorted by PRICESee belay device tables sorted by WEIGHTSee belay device's page 1(A - E)See belay device's page 2 (F - O)See belay device's page 3 (P - W)

BelayDevices-GG08-p1_7383

See Climbing’s "New and Notable" Belay DeviceSee belay device tables sorted by COMPANYSee belay device tables sorted by PRICESee belay device tables sorted by WEIGHTSee belay device's page 1(A - E)See belay device's page 2 (F - O)See belay device's page 3 (P - W)

BelayDevices-GG08-p2_7384

See Climbing’s "New and Notable" Belay DeviceSee belay device tables sorted by COMPANYSee belay device tables sorted by PRICESee belay device tables sorted by WEIGHTSee belay device's page 1(A - E)See belay device's page 2 (F - O)See belay device's page 3 (P - W)

BelayDevices-GG08-p3_7385