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Every climber knows how important the belay device is to climbing. It is crucial for the safety of the climber. Due to the effectiveness of the belay device, the climber uses minimal physical effort in climbing and descending. We researched and handpick a limited number of belay devices which are some of the best belay devices below.




1.  50KN Rescue Figure Belay Device

The 50KN Rescue Figure Belay Device is one of the best belay devices available today. It is used for rock and tree climbing,
mountaineering, cave expeditions, emergency rescue, and more.

The 50KN Rescue Figure belay features a bent ear which gives the climber the opportunity to slow down the descending speed when the rope is wrapped around the ear. This also allows the climber to work at a high level. For nature enthusiasts, you can use this feature to hang in the air for a little longer and appreciate the scenery.

It is made of 7075 Aircraft-grade Aluminium alloy. The 50KN rescue figure belay device has superior braking resistance. Its breaking strength is 11,000 lbs (50KN/5000kg).





     What We Like:

  • Bent Ear Feature
  • 7075 Aircraft-Grade Aluminium Alloy
  • Superior Braking Strength
  • Easy Lock-Off
  • Safety Focused





2.  GM CLIMBING Micro Belay Device

The GM CLIMBING Micro Belay Device is a V-grooved tubular belay device. It is very light and compact and has smooth rope control. It is made of anodized aluminum alloy which is also hot forged. The GM CLIMBING Micro Belay Device is EN 15151-2 and UIAA certified.

It features a large gate opening of 9kN and the HMS screw locking carabiner has a 25kN breaking strength on the major axis 9kN on the minor axis. The GM CLIMBING Micro Belay Device features a teethed channel which allows it to work with skinnier ropes in the range of 8 to 11mm It also has double slots.





      What We Like:

  • V-Groove Tubular Feature
  • Anodized Aluminium Alloy Material
  • EN 15151-2 & UIAA Certified
  • Teethed Channel
  • Double Slots
  • HMS / Pear Shape
  • Major: 25kN; Minor Axis: 9kN; Open Gate: 9kN
  • HMS Screw Locking Carabiner
  • Light & Compact Belay Device
  • Easy to Use





3.  PETZL – GRIGRI +, Belay Device

The PETZL – GRIGRI +, Belay Device is designed for indoor and outdoor climbing. It is an assisted braking belay device. It is compatible with all ropes in the range of 8.9 to 10.5 mm in diameter. You experience a great descent handle due to the reduction handle.

The PETZL – GRIGRI +, Belay Device features two usage modes, the top-rope, and the lead belay. It all depends on your need. The PETZL – GRIGRI +, Belay Device features an anti-panic handle which when used with the top-rope belay mode, gives you a more comfortable belay. This feature makes it more appealing for learning.





       What We Like:

  • Designed for All Climbers
  • Two Usage Modes
  • Anti-Panic Feature
  • Compatible with All Ropes
  • Lightweight & Longlasting





      What We Don’t Like:

  • Costly





4.  Black Diamond ATC-Xp Belay

The Black Diamond ATC-Xp Belay Belay Device is a durable and versatile belay device that features multiple friction modes to handle almost any situation or rope diameter.

It features a high friction mode that offers 3 times more hold and stopping power than the regular friction mode.  It is machined windows through the body for weight savings. Moreover, the durable cable holds its shape and resists getting up between the ropes. It also features a versatile design that accepts ropes from 7.7 to 11 millimeters.






     What We Like:

  • Machined Windows Through Belay Device
  • Durable Cable
  • Versatile Design Accepts Ropes From 7.7 to 11 mm





5.  YXGOOD 50KN Rescue Figure

The YXGOOD 50KN Rescue Figure has a curved ear design which provides greater safety. It is made of aluminum-magnesium alloy through the process of hot forging. It is easy to carry, lightweight, and high strength.

The YXGOOD 50KN Rescue Figure has a very good breaking strength of 11000 LBF (50kN/ 5000kg) which allows for smooth rope movement when descending or securing. This provides the climber with excellent rope control.





       What We Like:

  • Curved Ear Design
  • Aluminium Magnesium Alloy
  • 11000 LBF Breaking Strength
  • Lightweight & Easy to Carry





6.  EDELRID GigaJul Belay Device – Slate

The EDELRID GigaJul Belay Device – Slate is a versatile belay device. It can be changed from an assisted braking tuber to a standard tuber by moving the green slider. It works with ropes in the range of 7.1 to 10.0 mm.

It has an intelligent hybrid design such that the body is made of very light aluminum while the areas that are affected by abrasion are made of stainless steel. The EDELRID GigaJul Belay Device has a simple yet effective guide mode. Additionally, it has an eyelet to release the unit in the second mode using a carabiner.





      What We Like:

  • Abrasion Resistant
  • Guide Mode
  • Assisted Braking Guide Mode
  • EN 15151-2 Certification





7.   AOKWIT Rescue Figure

The AOKWIT Rescue Figure has a bent ear figure 8 feature which allows you to slow down your descent when the rope is wrapped around the ear. It has many uses among them caving, mountaineering, fire and emergency rescue, tree and rock climbing to name a few.

It has a superior braking resistance with breaking strength of 7716 lbs (35kN/ 3500 kg). The AOKWIT Rescue Figure is made of 7075 aircraft-grade aluminum alloy. It has an easy lock-off feature thanks to the bent ear.





     What We Like:

  • Superior Braking Resistance
  • Easy Lock-Off
  • Figure 8 Descender
  • 7075 Aircraft-Grade Aluminium Alloy
  • Bent-Ear Figure 8 Feature





8.  Ito Rocky Climbing Gear Belay Device

The Ito Rocky Climbing Gear Belay Device can be used for climbing, exploring, mountaineering, and more. Its design makes it suitable for descending narrow passages. With the Ito Rocky Climbing Gear Belay Device, you can stop and hold your position thanks to its self-braking function.

The Ito Rocky Climbing Gear Belay Device is made of aluminum-magnesium alloy. It works with ropes in the range of 9 – 12mm in diameter and it supports up to 330 lbs.





      What We Like:

  • Aluminum Magnesium Alloy Material
  • CE Certification, EN 341
  • Supports Loads Up to 330 lbs.
  • Suitable for Ropes In Range of 9-12mm
  • Easy to Install
  • Self Braking







9.  Black Diamond Big Air XP

The Black Diamond Big Air XP features a high friction mode that offers 3 times greater hold and stopping power than the regular friction mode.





       What We Like:

  • High Friction Mode






What To Look For In A Belay Device?

1.  Rope Size

It is very very important that the diameter of the rope is compatible with your belay device. You can’t assume it will. It must be checked and verified. Read the owner’s manual for the device to be sure will work with the diameter of your rope.





2.  Double or Single Rope Use

Verify if your belay device works with a double or single rope. Some devices, like ATC and plate-style devices, use double ropes while others, like auto devices, use single ropes.





3.  Price

Your budget will play a part in your decision on the belay device you buy. There are the reasonable ones like most tube devices and the more pricey ones like GriGris. In the end, the one which makes the most financial sense coupled with your goals will be your choice.





4.  Location

Where you will be climbing plays a major factor in deciding which belay device to choose. Choose the appropriate belay device for the location.





Types of Belay Devices

1.  Tubular Belay Devices

Tubular belay devices have no moving parts. They can be used for all types of climbing. Tubular belay devices work with a locking carabiner and one or two ropes. They can be used for sport, trad, gym, multi-pitch and ice climbing. Tubular belay devices are lightweight, easy to use, and inexpensive.





2.  Assisted-Braking Belay Devices

Assisted-Braking Belay Devices lockdown on the rope to assist the belayer catch and get a grasp of a fallen colleague. They are in two types: passive and active belay devices. The passive or active belay devices refer to if they have any moving parts.

The passive belay devices have no moving parts. They pick the rope between the device and the carabiner to halt the rope. The active belay devices contain moving parts. They use an internal camming mechanism to pinch the rope, thereby locking down the rope when a climber falls. They are used for single-pitch sport climbing.





3.  Figure 8 Belay Device

Figure 8 Belay Device Is made of metal and has a top hole and a bigger bottom hole. The Figure 8 Belay Device has no moving parts.
This belay device is used for search and rescue operations and rappelling.





4.  Plate

The plate works like the ATC. It is a flat piece of aluminum with rope holes cut into it. It is not used as the other types of belay devices. It is more challenging to use but once you get to understand it, they work fine.









What is a belay device in rock climbing?
A belay device behaves like a brake on the rope when you apply friction. As the brake pedal engages the brakes in a car to halt it, so the belay device acts as a brake when friction is applied. It is a part of the safety system for climbing.
What is the purpose of a belay device?
The purpose of the belay device is to control a rope during belaying. It is a safety mechanism to help the climber with their duties. It makes climbing and descending easier.
What equipment do rock climbers use?
A carabiner, also known as a ‘biner, is a strong, light ring that is used to connect the climbing rope with other pieces of climbing protection, such as nuts, bolts, and camming devices. It is usually made from a combination of steel and plastic and contains a gate that allows the climbing rope to pass through.
What is the safest belay device?
There are many belay devices well designed to provide the best safe environment for climbing and descending. There are many brands and they all provide safety with engineered equipment. The safest one will be the one you are most comfortable with after doing your research and aligning it with your goals and activities.</p> <p>Some of the best brands are Rescue Figure Belay Device, GM CLIMBING Micro Belay Device, PETZL by Grigri, and EDELRID GigaJul Belay Device.
How does a belay work?
The belay device is attached to the harness worn by the belayer. The rope goes through the belay device. The amount of friction on the rope can be changed by changing the position of the end of the rope. In case the belayer falls to some length, the rope is pulled upwards.
How do you do figure 8 in belay?
To do figure 8 in belay, you remove it from the carabiner. Then pass a bight of rope through the big hole. You then pass the bight over the small hole and let it locate in the shanks as the bight is pulled tight.








The Bottom Line

There are many good belay devices. Your choice will depend on what you do and the criteria. Are you rock climbing, tree climbing, cave exploration, or fire rescue? We admonish you to do your research and choose the belay device best suited for your needs. Nonetheless, the belay devices we reviewed are some of the best belay devices on the market. Our recommendation for a belay device is the 50KN Rescue Figure Belay Device.





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