Best Belay Devices for Climbing

2 Rock Climbers in the desert

A belay device is arguably the most important part of a climber’s array of gear. But finding the right one for your mission can be a challenge. Whether you’re climbing 5.6 in the gym or climbing multi-pitch 5.13 routes we’ve got the list of the best belay devices to make sure you pick the right one.

What makes the best belay device?

  1. Safety: First and foremost safety is the biggest concern for our team. We identified the most reliable products with amazing features like auto-blocking and anti-panic handles. You should choose the safest helmet and belay for your climb
  2. Durability: These devices are expensive and get run through the wringer. We chose devices made out of materials that could withstand seasons of abuse. Most of these devices incorporate steel and aluminum to ensure long-lasting performance.
  3. Weight and Size: We chose devices that could easily fit in your pack for longer missions and wouldn’t weight you down. 
  4. Mission Profile: We chose a variety of devices that can cover many different types of uses. Everything from single-pitch outdoor climbs to ice-climbs.

Enjoy the list and happy climbing!

1. Petzl GriGri+ Belay Device ($129.95)

5/5

Weight: 200g

Style: Active Assisted-Braking

Best Use: Single-Pitch Climbing

Rope Sizes: 8.5-11mm

2 Rope Capable? No

Features

  • Anti-Panic handle for breaking 
  • Reduction handle for control during descent
  • Special mode for top-rope belay

2. Trango Vergo Belay Device ($99.95)

4.8/5

Weight: 196g

Style: Passive Assisted-Braking 

Best Use: Single-Pitch Climbing

Rope Sizes: 8.9-10.7mm

2 Rope Capable? No

Features

  • Indicators and geometry to prevent accidents
  • No Need to override the device, even when feeding
  • Smooth feeding and lowering

3. Edelrid Giga Jul Belay Device ($52.95)

4.6/5

Weight: 100g

Style: Passive Assisted- Braking

Best Use: Multi-Pitch Climbing, Ice Climbing 

Rope Sizes: 7.1-10mm

2 Rope Capable? Yes

Features:

  • Hybrid design
  • Lightweight aluminum body with steel in abrasion zones
  • High braking power in case of falls

4. Black Diamond ATC Guide Belay Device ($29.95)

4.5/5

Weight: 80g

Best Use: Multi-Pitch Climbing

Style: Auto-Block Tube

Rope Sizes: 8.1-11mm

2 Rope Capable? Yes

Features:

  • Lightweight but durable design is only 80g
  • Auto-Block capability to assist in belaying climbers on multi-pitch routes
  • Auto-Block release hole can handle smaller carabiners

5. Wild Country Revo Belay Device ($144.95)

4.3/5

Weight: 245g

Best Use: Single-Pitch Climbing

Style: Tube-Style W/Lock

Rope Sizes: 8.5-11mm

2 Rope Capable? No

Features:

  • Inertia reel automatically arrests climber’s fall
  • Panic-proof locking mechanism allows a a climber to be lowered without a handle
  • Bidirectional locking works whether belaying up or down

6. Mad Rock Lifeguard Belay Device ($89.95)

4.2/5

Weight: 154g

Best Use: Single-Pitch Climbing

Style: Active Assisted- Braking 

Rope Sizes: 8.9-11mm

2 Rope Capable? No

Features:

  • Small size and weight than other products with similar features
  • Entirely made of aircraft-grade aluminum and stainless steel
  • Auto-Block to ensure climbers are unable to drop

7. Mammut Smart 2.0 ($44.95)

4/5

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8. Petzl Reverso Belay Device ($29.95)

4/5

Weight: 57g

Best Use: Multi-Pitch Climbing, Ice Climbing

Style: Tube-Style

Rope Sizes: 6.9-10.5mm

2 Rope Capable? Yes

Features:

  • Incredibly light and compact design
  • V-shaped grooves for easier braking
  • Reverso mode allows you to belay second climbers at once

FAQ

The safest belay device is going to be one that you are the most comfortable with that has the most safety features. In many cases that is the Petzl GriGri with its Anti-Panic handle, auto-Block, and active assisted-braking.

Many belay devices offer you the ability to rappel. Some of the more common devices that can do this are the Petzl Reverso, Black Diamond ATC Guide, and the Edelrid Giga Jul.

To rappel with a GriGri you will need to be able to perform a blocked rappel. This required practice and isn’t recommended for beginners.

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