Black Diamond ATC XP, $20
Summary: Looking for a cush ride and a smooth catch? The ATC XP is our device of choice — its deep, curved jaws caught falls with aplomb and provided excellent variable friction for free-hanging rappels, all without causing hang-ups when we were feeding out rope for frantic clips. While you can use this device in its low-friction mode, we didn’t have much need for it — the high-friction mode sufficed for all situations. The XP’s thick walls and gently curved rope-bearing radius also made it one of the most rope-friendly devices in the test.
Pros: Very versatile.
Overall grade: A
Black Diamond: (801) 278-5533,www.bdel.com