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Best Belay Device in 2017 – Top Products Preferred By Experts

Rock climbing is challenging, yet exhilarating. Between the adrenaline rush, and the thrill of climbing a tough peak, rock climbing is not a sport for lightweights. To successfully climb a mountain, you should have the best gear with you. Not only should you have the best rope, but a belay device will ensure the rope won’t move while you’re climbing. If you’re thinking about getting into rock climbing, you should find out what the best belay device is, and why it’s right for you.

Best Belay Device

Things to Consider Before Buying - Best Belay Device

Experience

Your experience level will help you determine which type of belay device is right for you. Beginners should look for a belay device that is easy to use, and provides a smooth feed. More experienced users may want a belay device that works for abseiling.

Once you consider how long you’ve been climbing, and what type of climbing you’re going to be doing, you can find the right belay device for you. You don’t want to get one that’s too complicated if you’re just starting out, and abseiling does take a long time to learn.

Use

You should look for a belay device that works for what you’re trying to do. Whether you’re using it in a gym for rope climbing, rock climbing, or ice climbing, different belay devices are better for different sports. Once you know how you’re going to use it, you can make a better decision.

Getting a belay device that is suited for ice climbing may not be ideal for using for rock climbing. You should know what you’re going to do, and see what belay system would be perfect. You can see what ropes you need, and find out which belay system would be better for your needs.

Locking System

You should look at how the belay device locks. When you’re out climbing, you don’t want to get injured. Some belay devices have automatically locking capabilities, making them ideal for beginners. For those with more experience, you can look for one that use your concentration to brake when you need it to.

Most belay systems have a form of automatic braking, but some devices are more sensitive than others. You want to make sure the belay system won’t brake when you don’t need it to, and have it brake when you do.

Durability

You should find out what the belay system is made from before deciding on the right one for you. There are those that are made from aluminum, stainless steel, and other materials. Depending on what you’re doing, you may need one that works in different types of environments.

Some belay systems can get ruined when they’re taken to a place that can’t handle the environment. When you’re looking for the right belay device, you want to make sure it won’t rust, especially if you’re planning on going ice climbing. You don’t want to have to spend more money on a new belay device because the last one rusted out.

Weight

The weight of the belay device shouldn’t be too heavy. When you’re climbing, you’re already dealing with a lot of weight. Using a belay device that is lightweight will help you in your climbs, and prevent you from getting fatigued. When you become fatigued while you’re climbing, you have a higher chance of having an accident.

Belay Device

You should make sure the belay device is lightweight, yet durable enough to handle your abilities. Stainless steel is an excellent option, but if you’re looking for something that is ultra-light, you may be better off going with forged aluminum.

Design

The design is one of the most important parts of the belay device. Depending on the type of climbing you’re doing, you should find a belay device that is versatile. You may want to climb with partners, and you should make sure the device will accommodate your partners.

If you’re planning on using it yourself, you want to make sure the device will hold your rope. Different devices use different sized ropes, so you want to make sure the belay device will hold your ropes. Whether you’re using a thicker or thinner rope, the device should accommodate you.

Changeover

You should find a belay device that is easy to changeover when you’re climbing. Though you may find a device that looks good, if you have trouble changing it over from ascending to descending, it won’t help you. Finding a device that is easy to change over allows you to go up and down quickly.

When you’re out climbing, the last thing you want to do is be fiddling with the device for changing. Depending on your experience level, you may not need to worry too much about how easy it is to changeover. You want to make sure the device will work for you, and what goals you want to accomplish.

Recommended  Top 10 Belay Device Reviews

1. Petzl GriGri 2 Belay Device

Petzl GriGri 2 Belay Device

Classic Design

For belay designs, you can’t go wrong with the classic design. You can keep both hands on the rope, and the belay will break your fall.

The design allows you to stop when you grab the free end of the rope.

Assisted Braking

The belay design provides assisted braking for you. When you’re descending the face, you hold onto the free end of the rope. The belay system will start slowing your descent. It will pinch until you come to a complete stop.

Patented Handle

The patented design provides a gradual release of the rope. The braking system is strong enough to hold your weight. When you’re ready to stop, you can grip the handle easily. It works with partners or for rappelling down the side of a cliff.

Durable

The belay is made with stainless steel, providing durability for you. The cam also is made with stainless steel, ensuring the belay won’t break down or rust. If you’re a lifelong climber, you’ll appreciate having a durable belay device for your climbing adventures.

Pros:

  • Safe when used properly
  • Doesn’t cause your rope to snag
  • Assisted braking provides a safe descent

Cons:

  • No auto locking

2. EDELRID - Eddy Belay Device

EDELRID - Eddy Belay Device

Easy to Use

The device is ideal for beginners because it is easy to use. Not only can beginners learn on it, it is safe.

It has a semi-automatic belay, allowing beginners to get a hang of the device. If you’re just starting out, you’ll love using this device.

Smooth Operation

The device provides a smooth operation, which is ideal for any rock climber. The rope will glide easily through the device, and provide you with maximum control. No matter how long you’ve been rock climbing, you can use the device for any adventure.

Safe

The device will prevent any accidents, and includes an anti-panic system to keep you safe. Even when you’re falling, you won’t have to worry about pulling the device to stop you. It’ ideal for those that want to make sure they don’t get seriously injured.

Easy to Thread

The device is easy enough to thread the rope through, which is ideal for anyone using the device. You can climb more rocks and mountains with the device, especially when you’re not trying to thread the rope through it.

Pros:

  • It is durable
  • The auto-feed makes it easy to use
  • Locking system is sensitive

Cons:

  • May not work for everyone

3. Camp USA Matik Belay Device

Camp USA Matik Belay Device

Assisted Braking

The belay device includes assisted braking to help you descend the side of a cliff. You have more mobility and control when you’re using this belay device for rock climbing. It’s practical for those looking for more safety.

Cramming Action

The gradual cramming action reduces the impact force when you fall. If you find yourself falling, the device will slowly stop you, instead of resorting to a violent jerk. It also prevents wear and tear on the ropes to maximize their lives.

Anti-Panic System

The anti-panic system will automatically block the rope when you’re falling. If your hand slips accidentally, you can rely on the device to stop you, rather than trying to stop falling yourself. It’s safe and practical for any user.

Ultimate Control

For those that love climbing, you want to have maximum control over your rope and movements. This device allows you to have more control, and operates smoothly. It has a fluid motion that makes it easy to control.

Pros:

  • Easy to load
  • It has a smooth operation
  • Provides ultimate control

Cons:

  • It takes practice with the safety lever

4. Mammut Smart Alpine Belay Device

Mammut Smart Alpine Belay Device

Versatile

The device is versatile, allowing you to use it for alpine rock and ice climbing. You can use it for half and single ropes, making it versatile for any type of adventure you want to go on.

If you love climbing, you’ll appreciate using this device.

Dynamic Braking

If you find yourself in an accidental fall, you need a belay system that is sure to catch you. This device has dynamic braking, preventing you from falling too far. When you apply slight pressure to the device, it will start the braking process to ensure you’re safe.

Auto Locking Mode

If you’re using this device, you can try it out on different styles of climbing. You can independently belay one or two climbers from the auto locking mode. The device was made to account for multiple people climbing. If you’re planning on climbing, this is the ideal device.

Abseiling

If you’re planning on abseiling, this is an excellent device to use. Since abseiling is such a dangerous skill, you want to make sure the device is capable of handling abseiling. You don’t want to injure yourself, and using this device will cut down on the possibility of an accident.

Pros:

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Good if you’re the lead belay
  • The feed out is easy to use

Cons:

  • Not  for multiple people

5. EDELRID - MegaJul Belay Device

EDELRID - MegaJul Belay Device

Versatile

You can use this device for just about anything you want to do. It is made from stainless steel, which makes it ideal for any activity.

You can rely on this device, even if you’re going over some tough terrain.

Excellent Brakes

The brakes allow you to use the device quickly and easily. The high-performance braking system makes it ideal. It is easy to use, and will support those in a freefall. The brake booster prevents serious injuries while you’re climbing.

Small Eyelet

The small eyelet allows you to release the unit with a carabiner when you’re climbing with a partner. If you’re trying to belay the leader, or bring others up, the device will work well. You can also use the device for abseiling.

Smooth Operation

The rope can move through the device quickly, making it practical for those that want to climb fast. The rope will glide through the device, providing slack for the leader while they’re climbing. You only need your thumb to open the device.

Pros:

  • Easy to move the rope through
  • Includes an auto lock
  • It is reasonably priced

Cons:

  • May not be able to do everything you want

6. Black Diamond ATC-Guide Belay Device

 Black Diamond ATC-Guide Belay Device

Multiple Friction Modes

For those that want some variety for their adventures, they’ll appreciate having this belay device.

You can belay while you’re climbing, or use it for rappelling. No matter how you want to use it, you can rely on it for an exciting adventure.

Machined Windows

The machined windows are built throughout the device, allowing you to use the device easily. It saves weight, which is practical for anyone planning on using the device. You can use this device without weighing you down.

Guide Mode

The guide mode allows you to climb by yourself or with a partner. Whether you’re ascending or descending, you can use this belay device to make climbing more fun. It’s practical for those that need to have a device that works with multiple people.

Durable Cable

The durable cable prevents the device from bending and breaking. One safety feature is that it prevents your ropes from getting caught in the device. If you’re climbing with another person, you want a device that is safe to use.

Pros:

  • It fits most belay systems
  • The device is sturdy and durable
  • Includes an extra loop

Cons:

  • It is bulky

7. Petzl Reverso 4 Belay Device

Petzl Reverso 4 Belay Device

Light Design

Thanks to the forged aluminum, this belay device is lighter than other belay devices. If you’re looking for a lightweight belay device, this is the way to go.

It has a minimalist construction, making it ideal for those looking to start rock climbing.

Effective Braking

The effecting braking works on half and twin ropes, allowing climbers to use it in a variety of ways. You can belay the leader, and up to two other climbers with the device. It is also good for rappelling, making it ideal for anyone looking for versatility.

Quick Changeover

You can use the device for multi-pitch routes. You can quickly change it from the reverse gear to the forward gear. You can use it independently or simultaneously, making it ideal for anyone using the same climbing rope.

Friction Channels

The V-shaped friction channels provide increased friction on thinner ropes. The friction will adapt for larger diameter ropes. When it is placed on a rope, the locking will increase. It works well for those looking to go backwards.

Pros:

  • It is lightweight
  • It can hold a lot of weight
  • Works well for thinner ropes

Cons:

  • It is difficult to unlock

8. Black Diamond ATC-XP Belay Device Spring 2012

Black Diamond ATC-XP Belay Device Spring 2012

Light

The device is light, making it ideal for anyone that loves climbing. When you’re not adding too much weight to the rope, you have more control over it.

It’s ideal for those that need a device that won’t weigh them down.

Friction Mode

The high friction mode provides a better hold and stopping power. No matter how high you’re climbing, you can rely on this device to break a fall. It will hold up extremely well, especially in difficult circumstances.

Durable

The durable cable will keep its shape, allowing you to use for longer. It has a longer life than other belay systems. The device won’t get caught between ropes when you’re using, allowing you to have more control over the device. It is ideal for those that need a reliable device.

Versatile

The design of the device allows you to use it for differently sized ropes. You can use ropes that are 7.7 to 11 mm, making it ideal for any climber. If you’re planning on different rock climbing adventures, this is the belay system for you and a partner.

Pros:

  • Provides a smooth lowering
  • perationo Ideal for partners
  • Good for indoor use

Cons:

  • No belaying loop

9. Petzl Verso Belay Device

Petzl Verso Belay Device

Ultra-Light

If you’re planning on using this device, you’ll be happy to know that it is ultra-light. For those that don’t want a heavy device to carry around, they can use this for anywhere they go.

It’s ideal for those that love to venture out to new places.

Durable

The device is durable, thanks to the forged aluminum. You can use this device for just about any type of climb you want to go on. You can use it for a single person, and it will hold up for a long time. For those that want to save money on a belay device, this is an excellent option.

Decreased Friction

When you’re providing more rope to the leader, you want to make sure the device allows the rope to go through it quickly. It has a decreased friction system, which allows you to put the rope through the device quickly and easily.

Compact

If you’re looking for a smaller device to take with you anywhere, this is the device for you. It is super compact, making it easy to grab with one hand. You won’t need to take your hands off the rope when you’re using it.

Pros:

  • It is a simple device
  • Catches the rope quickly and easily
  • It is durable

Cons:

  • Not ideal for multiple people

10. Trango Cinch

Trango Cinch

Reliable

The design of the belay device allows you to have a reliable device. It is perfectly functional, and aesthetically pleasing.

No matter what your favorite outdoor activity is, you will love using this device. It provides a secure grip on the ropes.

Easy to Release

Some belay devices can be difficult to unlock. You can unlock this device quickly and easily, allowing you to get on with your adventure. You won’t spend a lot of time and energy trying to get the device opened, which is ideal for anyone.

Fluid

The device allows the rope to flow through it smoothly, allowing you to ascend and descend quickly. It won’t get caught up on the rope, and will work to help you get over a tough area quickly.

Compact

The design of the device is compact enough to fit comfortably in your hand. For those that don’t want a bulky piece of equipment, this is ideal. You can use one hand to control the rope, and the other to control the device for when you’re climbing.

Pros:

  • It is simple
  • Works well for 10mm ropes
  • Perfect for first time climbers

Cons:

  • Not ideal for heavier climbers

Final Verdict

Belay devices are crucial for anyone looking to climb. No matter what you’re planning on climbing, you should find one that accommodates you. If you’re looking for a belay device, we recommend the Mammut Smart Alpine Belay Device. It is versatile enough for anything you want to do, and strong enough to handle the toughest tasks.

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About the Author Kevin Fox

A passionate blogger! Editor at Chooserly, and a regular author at HuffingtonPost, LifeHacker & Forbes!

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