• Beal Birdie Belay Device

      MSRP: $75   When I show up to the crag with a tube-style belay device these days, it seems like every climber looks askance at me and the deprecated technology I cling to, as … Continue reading "Beal Birdie Belay Device"
  • Mammut Smart 2.0

      MSRP: $34.95 BEST FOR: Cragging, Gym Climbing   There’s something nice about being able to see everything that’s happening inside a belay device—all the bends in the rope, what allows that ever-so-important braking to … Continue reading "Mammut Smart 2.0"
  • Petzl GRIGRI+

    Petzl’s GRIGRI has once again evolved into the next generation model—the Plus. The new GRIGRI+ further refines the time-tested, 26-year-old design with improvements in safety, durability and functionality. Here are highlights: Wider rope range. The Plus, … Continue reading "Petzl GRIGRI+"
  • Edelrid Mega Jul

      Edelrid Mega Jul | $29.95  edelrid.de.com  ★★★★   The Edelrid Mega Jul comes as close to being a do-it-all, one-stop-shop no-drop belay/rappel device as any I’ve ever seen. This multifunctional tube-style device is super … Continue reading "Edelrid Mega Jul"
  • Mammut Smart Alpine

    Mammut Smart Alpine| $45 mammut.ch.com ★★★   According to Mammut, the Smart Alpine is the first “braking-force support” device that can be used with single, twin and half ropes. Braking-force support is another way of … Continue reading "Mammut Smart Alpine"
  • Petzl Grigri 2

    $94.95 | petzl.com ★★★★★ In the 20 years since the Petzl Grigri was invented, no other single-rope “brake-assisted” belay device has been able to compete with it in ergonomics, reliability and performance. Until now. The … Continue reading "Petzl Grigri 2"
  • Faders SUM

    Faders Sum| $90 fixe.com ★★★ Let us give thanks for auto-locking devices, for they have saved our butts. They allow us to loaf on portaledges, bolt sport climbs, hold our hang dogging chums and zip … Continue reading "Faders SUM"
  • Edelrid Eddy

    Edelrid Eddy| $117 edelrid.de.com ★★★ The Eddy is no Grigri 2, and it costs about $25 more. Need to read more? OK: The Eddy, Edelrid’s new auto-locking device, intends to improve on what could be … Continue reading "Edelrid Eddy"
  • Mammut Smart

    Mammut bills its Smart device as a tool for gym and sport climbers, and this no-frills “auto-locker,” designed to brake at even low levels of force, will work for those applications. The $50 price tag … Continue reading "Mammut Smart"
  • Petzl Grigri

    $94.95 | www.petzl.com There are nearly 50 different belay devices on the market, and fewer than five qualify as “auto-locking.”  It says quite a bit about a Petzl Grigi that today, 18 years after its … Continue reading "Petzl Grigri"