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Gear Review

4 5

Great device once you get used to it

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Now that I've had this thing for a few months, it's my favorite belay device for toproping, lead, and multipitch (when I'm not worried about weight.) Belaying from the anchor and toproping are ridiculously easy. Feeding out slack is smoother than on any other device I've tried.

It does take some practice to get used to the Cinch, and it's awkward if you don't use it the right way. I'd recommend watching Trango's demo video before trying to belay anybody: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9TO5ikqXwo

I ran into two problems when I first got this thing:

1) Locking the device while feeding rope for a lead climber. Avoiding this is mostly a matter of holding the Cinch by the pivot hole and not short-roping the leader in the first place. If you do accidentally lock the rope, you can reach up and pinch the device with your brake hand to unlock it. (Don't do this if it requires you to take your brake hand off the rope. Use your free hand instead.)

2) Jerky lowering. Redirecting the rope through a biner clipped to a harness leg loop helps smooth things out.

By now I've gotten to the point where these aren't really an issue anymore.