Benefits Of Belay Devices

By Matt GerholdLast update: 2024-03-02

If you have ever participated in climbing trips at altitudes above 500m with professional athletes who have passed many competitions and have good climbing technique in all cases, then you will know about the equipment. wearable.

How does my belly fit the trip and myself? In the unlikely event, your teammates fall and are far from the target and they also affect you, including the leg of the person next to you slipping and losing control. And they will fall from above. At that time, you have to brace yourself against the rock, and at the same time look down so that any debris that falls from above will hit the helmet. Meanwhile, using a brake booster can greatly assist you in avoiding serious injury or falling on the ground.

The belay device is known to use the frictional force of the bend of the rope to force the person to fall and have to lower the climber. Currently, there are three types of climbing: tube-brake climbing, powered-brake climbing, and figure-eight climbing. In general, depending on the material they are made of, they will have different prices, uses, safety features and levels of brake assist.

On the other hand, the main purpose of the belay device is to help you wear the rope, manage the rope when climbing, help the climber avoid falling and lower the climber after touching the ground. Furthermore, the belay device is also used to climb or slide down the cliffs. In addition, some belay devices offer more safety features than most, and they require less handling.

It is worth mentioning, you will not be able to climb with other people without belt devices, thanks to them, they will help you control the rope to go up a lot, limiting the situation of falling out of control. Almost, your climbing trip depends on the belay device. There are many different pieces of equipment on the market, which we mentioned above, but anyway depending on the type of climbing you may end up choosing to use the belay at the gym or the space outside.

It is important that no matter what type of belt you use, you must not remove the handbrake from the belt while it is on. And you should practice continuously before starting a long trip, thereby forming a more stable habit and reflex. Here are some sharing about the benefits of belay devices before you start using them.

1. What is the belay device?

A belay device is known as a small mechanical climbing device made of aluminum or alloy that is used to drive a rope during the harness process. With a sturdy design, it is very safe to climb. Usually the vines are kept facing the outside, away from the body, then it will move relatively freely so it is very convenient for the professional or beginner climber to be able to grab or return the slack.

When the rope is brought to the back, one side of the body, the rope is also tied into tight bends and rubs against the belay or other device, whereby they allow the climber to keep his foot in place. in the event of a fall. The rubbing will slow down the rope, but it will also create heat on the rope, so you should have climbing gloves on. Regarding the location of the belay devices, most belt devices are usually attached to the harness of the sling through a carabiner. Moreover, multiple belay devices can be used to manage a single rope or two parallel ropes together.

In general, the main function of the belay device is to act as a friction brake because when you climb a mountain and fall, thanks to the belay device, you will quickly stop. On the other hand, there are also automatic devices on the market that allow climbers to climb a person in a simulated climbing gym.

2. How does the belay device do?

Having said that, there are many reasons to use belay devices not only for climbing rope management, helping with falls and safely lowering climbers to the ground, but they can also be used to climb (or slide) down the bottom of the cliff while climbing. If you are the first person to climb the mountain, you will know that climbing equipment is also known as a belay device. Thanks to such diverse functions, they offer many benefits to many climbers.

First of all, support for belayers can be smaller and lighter to easily maneuver the fall of a heavier climbing partner. Besides, they also allow climbers to slowly lower the climber to the ground safely and accurately. There are still some types of belay devices on the market that are flexible during use, such as assisting the driver into a brake mechanism, while other belay devices require manual locking or braking.

Tubular belay device

Tubular belay device is a type of device most used by professional mountain climbers, they are known as tubular belay device (ATC), meaning "air traffic controller". Knowing that, the ATC is a specific model created from the Black Diamond brand. Usually tubes have no moving parts, they will work with a locking carabiner and a rope or two.

Besides, tubular belay devices can be used for almost all types of climbing such as sport, business, gym, multi-pitch and ice climbing. There are two slot shapes that also work for traditional rappelling. In general, people would use them as a bight, with a bend of rope to get through a groove, then just clip the locking carabiner through the ring and attach the tubular belay device to the belt loop on the climber's harness .

Thanks to the friction created by the contact of the rope with the belt device, it can help stop the friction of the rope when falling, in addition some have additional ridges for friction. Next, use the handbrake to hold the end of the rope free to increase friction and keep the weight of the climber balanced. On the other hand, some tubular belay devices almost act as brake assist in guide mode.

Prove they will have another attachment point for strapping from an anchor, which is ideal for straps from the top of the route when engaging higher elevation styles. From there, you can attach the strapping device directly to the anchor instead of the harness. And they are quite appropriate, the part about some other tubular devices that can be set up as an effective brake aid between two people.

Assisted braking belay device

The assisted braking belay device is an automatic stopping, auto-locking, self-braking or self-locking device, a rope-locking assist brake device to help climbers easily grip and keep people stationary when climbing and avoid falling. In fact, there will be two types of this assisted braking belay device: passive and active.

  • Passive assisted braking belay device is an automatic device similar to the tubular belay device, but it is clamped between the devices and carabiners are used to stop ropes. However, you still must not be subjective and should pay attention when using passive devices. Passive does not necessarily mean inactive due to the fact that the type of brake assist device has no moving parts. They are useful for those looking to cross mountains and are usually lighter than active brake assist devices. There will usually be two active slots for traditional rappelling. In contrast, this type tends to lock in, the case when your climber is heavier than you.
  • Active assisted braking belay devices will contain moving parts, you can see them in the gym and outside for multi-court sports, trading and climbing. However, they are mainly used for solo climbing. Instead of clamping the rope between the belay device and the belt, these assist brakes use an internal clamping mechanism to clamp the rope, locking the rope when the climber falls. In general, they are quite safe, easier to control but the most expensive on the market and cannot be used for a traditional rappel as they contain only one rope. And especially not used for ice climbing. More practice to be able to drop the rope effectively. Very suitable for climbing, gym climbing, multi-industry climbing.

Regarding the advantage of the assist barking belay device, which is to prevent the climber from falling, the combination of power-assisted braking devices with a deceleration mechanism makes it easy to lower people and have good control.

But you should also check the parameters carefully before buying and this type is quite heavy for belay devices with cushioning mechanism, not suitable for use with wet or icy ropes. In addition, they have an assist mode that will be locked when installed in this mode, making them difficult to use as lowering devices.

Figure-eight belay device

The figure eight belay device is used for search and rescue cases, it has an appearance similar to the figure eight which also works to prevent lag. And this one is made of metal and it's designed with one top hole and one bottom hole that's bigger and doesn't contain moving parts.

The way they work is to first do a bit on the rope and pass it through the big hole. Next loop the bearings around the outside of the small hole until it rests on the neck of the figure eight. Then you clip a carabiner buckle through the small hole and onto the hoop on the climbing harness. Just keep using the handbrake to keep the end of the rope free to create friction and balance the weight of the climber.

Overall, the figure eight belay device is mainly used for climbing. As for straps, different devices have different practices for securing the cord through the device. Therefore, when buying, you should learn how to set it up properly.

It is almost the least expensive of its kind, and along with the rope moves quickly and smoothly during steep climbs, it can accommodate a wide variety of wire diameters. However, they are still not recommended for belayer beginners as the rope moves fast while the harness requires a lot of force and attention from the belayer, as they will put a twist in the vines which can cause difficulty for wire handling.

And when it comes to belay equipment, to see which one is right for you you can try on different types by renting from a gym or borrowing from other climbers before you buy. But if you climb different types of routes with different partners, you may need more belays to increase your climbing efficiency. Whichever form you choose, aim to be comfortable when using the belay device.

3. Benefits of belay devices

Of all the equipment needed for climbing, the part that affects the climb or descent, stop or continue on cliffs, rocky roads, the belay device is one of the support belt devices for the person wearing the rope, manage the rope for them while climbing or descending, and they also help you prevent falling or lowering the climber after finishing the climb. Besides, the belay devices can be used to climb (or slide) down the cliffs you are on.

In fact, a belay device offers many benefits to the climber, firstly they are needed to support a belayer that can be smaller and lighter to easily manage the fall of a heavy opposite climber. with minimal physical effort. At the same time, they also allow the climber to slowly lower the climber to the ground safely. However, belays are used to their full potential when climbers understand them well how to operate, starting environment and when to engage, type of belays for suitable sites, size belay devices that you need.


Finally, in order to have a good belay climbing, it is necessary to look carefully at the brands in the market because many companies have produced many different belay climbs. Also pay attention to the comparison between types, in terms of shape, materials, most popular features, type of climbing suitable for belay device.

The important thing, you should practice through to feel them well and comfortable. If you're new, try the older varieties and start from there, and always bring plenty of locked carabiners for any climb. Thank you for reading at gearinstant.

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