In the event of a fall, a belay device is used to brake the rope and arrest the falling climber. Tube style belay devices like the Black Diamond ATC, and assisted braking devices like the Petzl Grigri are the two most common types. Regardless of what style of belay device you decide on, all must be used with a locking carabiner. Proper training, experience, and attentive use are all required to ensure the safe function of any belay device.
The two most common types of belay devices are tube style and assisted braking. Tube style devices are simple to operate, compact, and can be used for every style of climbing as well as rappelling. Assisted braking devices use a camming mechanism to aid in stopping a climber’s fall, and are most often used for sport climbing.
All belay devices require a carabiner with a locking gate to securely attach the belay device to the harness of the belayer. Some belay carabiners include a mechanism to prevent cross loading.