We feature the ‘best of all’ belay devices, descenders, and figure 8's from Petzl, Edelweis, CMI, Kong, CMC Rescue, and ABC. These are the products we use and recommend to our clients.
Belay Devices and Descenders are essentially friction brakes. They are indispensable for controlling the rope, whether one is descending, stopping a fall, or protecting a move. Devices can be used on single ropes (one strand for rappelling or belaying), as well as on double ropes (two strands for rappelling or belaying).
"A belay device should be simple and easy to use. The rope should run smoothly through the device so your attention is always on the climber, not on tangled or twisted rope. There are dozens of belay devices on the market. Some are simple friction devices, like stitch plates, tubes, or figure 8's that have no moving parts. An alternative is an automatic belay device that works on a camming principle. Stitch (or belay) plates are flat pieces of metal with holes for one or two bights of rope. Usually the openings are two different sizes. Plates are easy to use, but they aren't smooth rope handlers. Tubes are a modern reincarnation of the traditional belay plate. They have two equal sized holes, so you can switch from single to double rope belays with ease."
By Nancy Prichard