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How to Pick the Right Belay Device for Indoor Climbing

Learn how to pick the right belay device for indoor rock climbing from expert Cliff Simanski in this Howcast video.


All right. Now we're going to talk about some belay devices. Another critical piece of equipment for climbing.

This type of device right here is known as an ATC. Pretty simple, standard type belay device. A little bit more affordable. They do have two slots here which allows you to use this belay device as well for rappelling. Which makes it kind of a nice feature.

They're pretty light. Easy to manage. So good choice for beginners and folks that are still getting new to the sport. So, an ATC.

This device here is another type of ATC. But you'll notice there's a bit more going on. A couple of additional features. One of the primary features being that these ridges up front here put a little bit of extra friction on the rope, making it a little bit easier to keep a climber in space. Also prevent them from falling.

Just kind of a little bit of an added mechanical advantage for you. These other clip in points at the end just allow for some alternate uses, making these devices pretty handy for doing some other multi-pitch climbing. Things that you might not need for a climbing gym, but could be good to use down the road. So, another type of ATC.

This device here is known as a Petzl Grigri. This device is a great device for using in a climbing gym because they have an automatically locking mechanism. Basically, there's a camming device back here that toggles up and down so that as you're climbing, these devices are designed to automatically lock. Similar to the way a seat belt would when you jerk on them.

Not that you ever fully want to rely on the device to do all the work for you, but it's kind of a nice redundancy to have as far as the safety features are concerned. These devices also have a lever on the back here that's used to aid in lowering the climber to help them descend at a nice, smooth, fluid pace.

So, Petzl Grigri, great device. A little bit more expensive. But certainly worth the investment if you're going to be doing a lot of climbing. Really a great tool to have on your harness.

Finally, we have another Grigri. It's just the same device but a newer version of it. It's called the Grigri 2. Something you might see if you go out to find your own device. Similar to the first one. Except that they've kind of slimmed down the shape a little bit. Made the device a little smaller. A little lighter. A little easier to handle.

And, also, the lever in the back here that's used for lowering, they've added a couple steps in it. So that it can kind of go from being not necessarily fully closed to fully opened. But you have some increments in between that allow you to regulate how you're lowering a climber a little bit easier. So, that would be a Grigri 2. Another great device. Consider picking up one of those.

So that's a run down of some belay devices that you can have for climbing here in the gym.

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