/ Belay device for sport climbing

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mattrm - on 25 Apr 2014
I'm looking for a belay device for sport climbing. I've got a decent selection of devices for trad (Bug and Reverso 3) and I'm looking for a sport device which will be easier to use while mates redpoint routes and fall off loads. Also something that I can give to my experienced trad climbing mates (but some don't sport climb much/at all) and they'll get on ok with it. Not fussed about the autolocking, but want something that it's easy to pay out rope on and once you've caught the fall, you don't have to hang on in the way that you do with a normal device. It must be easy to lower.

I've used a Gri-Gri before, but didn't like the faff with the lever when lowering. Should I persevere with that?

The click-up seems like it's simple and probably ticks the boxes, is lowering and holding folk easy enough? Smart the same?

I suspect that the Eddy and Cinch are going to be similar to a Gri-Gri when lowering off in terms off faff?

Or any other suggestions as I know that's not all the devices out there.

I know this has been done a lot recently, but I'm not a beginner looking for a fool proof device, I'm a reasonably experienced climber who's getting tired of hanging onto his Bug for ages when someone's taking a rest on a route.
Robert Durran - on 25 Apr 2014
In reply to mattrm:

Click-Up is brilliant. Works just like a normal belay plate, except it is very hard to drop someone and then remains locked off with no hands. Unlocking and lowering easy (you'll get used to it very quickly). I've tried a Smart as well but didn't like it - found the lever thing fiddly in comparison.
PPP - on 25 Apr 2014
In reply to mattrm:

Black Diamond ATC XP maybe?
jon on 25 Apr 2014
In reply to mattrm:

> I've used a Gri-Gri before, but didn't like the faff with the lever when lowering

Faff? What faff?
mattrm - on 25 Apr 2014
In reply to jon:

jon - I just didn't personally like it much, when lowering folk off that's all.

PPP - I'm not sure that a ATC XP is really much different to my Reverso 3 to be honest.

Robert - more comments like that please. I'm leaning strongly towards the click up, it's not expensive either.
filip.kamycki - on 25 Apr 2014
In reply to mattrm:
I have a click up...

It doesn't like the krabs I use (dmm aero, boa) and I don't really feel like getting a CT one.

It's a bit of a PITA with the thicker/stiffer ropes (but then so is the gri gri) but with a right rope&krab it works beautifully.

from my experience, if you want less fuss regarding rope/krab selection gri gri seems to work very well although I can emphasize with the dislike to the leavers, haven't used smart and only had brief encounters with cinch and eddy so can't comment on those.

if I was in your position I would be going for the gri gri. Although if you feel like experimenting I'd be happy to part with the click up for 20 posted :)


edit: it might be that my disappointment with it comes fron the fact I don't feel getting the recommended krab - considering it's part of the locking system this may well be the case.
Post edited at 17:05
In reply to mattrm:

I've found the Mammut Smart to be really simple to use and self locking with no moving parts. Like all these things it takes a bit of getting used to but after a few days it became second nature. For what it's worth both myself and my wife preferred it to the Click Up, though some of my friends are of the opposite view.
r0x0r.wolfo - on 25 Apr 2014
In reply to mattrm:

The Gri-gri or Gri-Gri 2 are both pretty nice. Part of the good thing, is that it's all internalised and you aren't playing around with different crabs to find one that's optimum. I just have mine on a phantom screwgate to keep things a bit lighter, Gri-gris aren't light, but being able to pair them with the phantom means you can shave some weight off the entire package.

All locking devices are always going to be more 'awkward' than a standard because you are having to overcome the locking nature of the device.

The level on the grigri will become very smooth with some practice, of course the same is true of other devices. There will be a knack to whatever you choose.
alooker - on 25 Apr 2014
In reply to mattrm:
Cheapest thing to do is to learn how to tie off your belay plate for those rests. It's good to know anyway.

Grigri is made for this kind of thing, obviously. I understand about the lever but nothing is perfect... The mammut smart as mentioned is another auto assist device but it has no moving parts to faff around with.

Must be said that the smart can be particular about the carabiner it's paired with too
Post edited at 17:35
AlanLittle - on 25 Apr 2014
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

We're talking about sport climbing, where the GriGri never needs to leave the ground, so why is weight a consideration?
AlanLittle - on 25 Apr 2014
In reply to mattrm:

> I'm leaning strongly towards the click up

Of all the devices I've ever been belayed with, the Click Up is definitely the most prone to locking up solid mid-clip. This is with a sample of N>1 experienced, competent belayers who were very familiar with the device, not an isolated incident.

Christheclimber - on 25 Apr 2014
In reply to mattrm:

I changed from a Grigri to a Mammut Smart last year. It is really good once you get used to it, like a Grigri without the moving parts.
r0x0r.wolfo - on 25 Apr 2014
In reply to AlanLittle:
Yes, you're right. I am partially thinking about baggage allowance(and I have been stung sport climbing once. Women and their clothes!) and that odd crag which is more than 20 feet from the road. There's also the odd multipitch sport route and might be tempted to lug a grigri up. So weight is a minor consideration.
Post edited at 18:35
PPP - on 25 Apr 2014
In reply to mattrm:

Not much really, just a simplier version without "guide" mode.
In reply to mattrm:

> PPP - I'm not sure that a ATC XP is really much different to my Reverso 3 to be honest.

I've used the ATC guide for years and a reverso for nearly as long and you're right - they are very similar. Think the XP is very similar to the guide.

I've been using an Edelrid Mega Jul recently - reading some comments on them here and on other forums they seems to be utterly loathed by some, but so far I've been finding it rather good. I belayed a mate with it just a few days ago when he was putting the first serious attempts in at leading a project he has cleaned and bolted. He surprised both of us getting through the crux on one of his first lead attempts so went for it after that. I didn't really know the clipping positions so just had to yard slack out quick as possible to him when he went for the clips - he was a bit too 'in the zone' to yell slack! :) Anyway the mega jul was perfect. Paying out felt like using an ATC but when you are holding someone toproping or having just fallen it locks up almost like a grigri. I don't take my hand of the dead rope for obvious reason but you don't have to grip it hard like you do with a normal belay tube.
Hannes on 25 Apr 2014
In reply to mattrm:

my personal favourite of the lot is the trango cinch. Lighter, less moving parts and in my opinion easier to pay out rope with than a grigri. It also feels more effective at autolocking however the lever for lowering is a little worse than the grigri.

Notice how I only mention those two devices? There's a reason for it.
mattrm - on 25 Apr 2014
In reply to TobyA:

The Mega Jul looks ace but it's been slated so heavily I was going to give it a miss.

Hannes - yes, again it gets a really good write up. I can also buy one in my local shop.

alooker - I do know how to tie off a belay plate. It's just not something that I'd really thought about doing when sport climbing. Nice tip.

Sounds like the Click-up and the Smart need a specific krab for them. I know that the Click-up is now sold with a specific krab.

I guess I ought to just bite the bullet, buy one and worst case I can sell it on here if I don't like it.
gouezeri on 25 Apr 2014
In reply to mattrm:

I own and use a Grigri I, Cinch, Smart, and a Click Up. My favourite is the Click Up with its own krab. They've all got their quirks and foibles, but for me the Click Up is the one that scores highest all round for working when it needs to, not locking up mid clip, and smooth lowering. My one hassle with it is old furred-up ropes at climbing walls, then it becomes grabby, so I tend to carry a reverso with me as well, in case. I've tried a bunch of different krabs with it, but I've not found one yet that works better than the one recommended by Climbing Tech. I have found the Click Up the easiest to use and the most inuitive. I paid a stupid amount for mine in London, then discovered it sells for 39 Euro here in France, so look around a bit before buying anything.

At the end of the day, I'm sure a lot of this is technique and personal preference. I'm sure there are people who find the Cinch, for example, just as easy to use. My advice, would be to wait a bit, hang around some indoor walls, and try whatever you can get your hands on.
Cheese Monkey - on 26 Apr 2014
In reply to mattrm:

Another vote for the mega jul. It definitely takes a while to get used to, but I wouldn't use anything else now it's great
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

> It definitely takes a while to get used to,

I'm not ever sure that's really true - I suppose the lowering is a bit different with the thumb loop, but overall it is not very different from using a Reverso. I am getting the scoring on the krab though like many say. It's not deep scratches and its not where the rope runs so I'm not very bothered by it but I can see why people note it.

What krab are you using yours with? I'm using a fat old Wild Country HMS - round bar stock. That seems to work rather well.

I note specifically in the instructions it says don't use it with a krab with a plastic keeper widget (ie DMM Belay Master), though I can't see why that would be.
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Morgan Woods - on 26 Apr 2014
In reply to mattrm:

>

> I've used a Gri-Gri before, but didn't like the faff with the lever when lowering. Should I persevere with that?


Yes - i think if there is any faff with a gri gri it is paying out large amounts of slack quickly and safely without it locking up. And that comes with experience. Lowering is dead easy and much more ergonomic than some other devices eg faders sum. Haven't tried the cinch but it seems to have a much smaller handle than the gri gri so not sure how comfortable that would be.

The gri-gri is the gold standard for a reason.

FYI - i still tie off the rope's dead end on my gri-gri when the climber is resting or hanging around for added hands-free security.
valjean - on 26 Apr 2014
In reply to mattrm:

another vote for a mammut smart/alpine smart.

megajul works brilliant too

between the two - smart probably locks up a tad quicker
Quiddity - on 26 Apr 2014
In reply to mattrm:

+1 for persevere with the gri gri. I agree with Morgs, it is the gold standard device for serious sport climbers for a reason. It *is* a bit knacky, and feels awkward when you are just trying it out, but after you get the hang of it it is pretty slick. For example I can now get armloads of slack out much faster than with an ATC type device. The lever for lowering, once you get used to it, is definitely not faffy and can give a really nice 'fine' control for those "lower me a bit... bit more... tiny bit more... tiny bit more..." moments.

I personally much prefer the original gri gri over the gri gri 2 FWIW.
In reply to mattrm:

There are some useful reviews in the system which are worth a look.

Group review here - http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=3498

MT Click-up review here - http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=4710
Mammut Smart Product News here - http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/news.php?id=2407
BD ATC review here - http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=1048
Edelrid Eddy review here - http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=489

Alan
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

And I currently have the Mega Jul (and Micro Jul) courtesy of Edelrid - originally to go with an upcoming review of their new Corbie ropes for UKC, but I'll happily write a review of the Mega Jul separately too if folks are interested.
mattrm - on 26 Apr 2014
In reply to TobyA:
A separate Mega Jul review would be excellent, if you have the time.

I watched the Cinch video last night. Not entirely sure I like the way that the rope is going straight out when you're giving out slack.

Also watched the GriGri video and Steve McClure made a good point about giving out slack, instead of just using the device, just step forward. I do that anyway, but it was a good point.

And many thanks to everyone for all the views. I'm totally conflicted now. Might just buy them all and flog what I don't like! (not serious about that btw).
Post edited at 12:14
In reply to TobyA:

> And I currently have the Mega Jul (and Micro Jul) courtesy of Edelrid - originally to go with an upcoming review of their new Corbie ropes for UKC, but I'll happily write a review of the Mega Jul separately too if folks are interested.

True Toby, but I was thinking that this thread was focussing more on single-rope devices.

Alan
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Yes, although so far I've only used the Mega Jul with single ropes and then it has this locking mode like a more complex device such as the Grigri. I haven't discovered yet if it locks in the same way with double ropes.
gouezeri on 27 Apr 2014
In reply to mattrm:

So far, I've found the Click-Up the least "knacky" of the lot. The Grigri I handle is definitely better than the Cinch, which seems two short. I've not tried a Grigri II though.

The other advantage of the Click-Up (which may not be of any use for some people), is that it can be used for top roping, when already locked off: you can take in slack as normal, but the device is already in its locked state. I've found this useful for belaying beginners who are scared of falling, as it adds an extra sense of security.
The Ex-Engineer - on 27 Apr 2014
In reply to mattrm:
> I've used a Gri-Gri before, but didn't like the faff with the lever when lowering. Should I persevere with that?

Another vote for persevering.

If you still find lowering an issue, then that is trivial to resolve (at a price) by pairing the GriGri with a Petzl Freino carabiner. It makes lowering easy and stress free even with the thinnest ropes and/or a heavy climber.
Linden - on 28 Apr 2014
In reply to mattrm:

I have a cinch, which I got purely as an alternative to the grigri some years ago.

+ I find it easier to pay out than a grigri; it grips the rope well; will take a larger range of diameters than a grigri 1 (which was all that was around at the time I got it, the 2 will take the same ropes now); feels reassuringly solid; smooth lowering, the handle works well and can vary the friction given (same as grigri); less common, so unlikely to get mixed up in a large pool of gear after a day out!

unlocking after taking a fall is easy, but will take a couple of goes to 'get the knack' and do it smoothly; the feeling solid can translate as being surprisingly heavy, not a major issue though; the handle is on the other side to a grigri (I use them exclusively at work, and have sometimes gone to grab a non existing handle on the cinch...)

I've not used an eddy or a click up, so couldn't compare it to them, overall I'd take the cinch over a grigri.
ashley1_scott - on 28 Apr 2014
In reply to mattrm:

I have in the past used the grigri, grigri 2, cinch and the click-up, I now own only one of these which is the grigri 2.
The click-up has a problem that unless you stay ahead of the climber in regard to slack, if they pull up on the rope it locks and is the hardest of all of the devices to release.
The grigri and the grigri 2 both work the same except that the 2 works with thinner rope. Paying out rope quickly you place your first finger under the curved metal edge and place your thumb on the cam, his is also what you do if it locks up mid clip.
The cinch looks really easy to pay out rope if you have it right, I spent an hour with someone that uses it all the time. They can almost throw the rope up to the climber it is that smooth, I however still cant feed the rope :(
As for the weight being a concern here are the weights without a carabiner, Cinch 182g, Click-Up 115g, GriGri 170g, the weight difference is about the same as an extra meter of rope (Edelrid Boa 9.8mm TS Duotec 62g/m, Petzl Contact 9.8mm 60g/m, Tendon Smart 10mm 65g/m, and the lightest that confirms to single rope Beal Joker Unicore 9.1mm 53g/m)
whenry on 28 Apr 2014
In reply to valjean: I find the Megajul great for skinny half ropes, but it's a bit sticky on singles. A Grigri is definitely my favourite for sport climbing.

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