CAMP proves that simplicity beats technology with their Shell Belay Device.
Share your thoughts
Very long lasting ATC
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Nothing really impressive about this ATC. Pretty standard. Will last a very long while, but i have noticed that after many many many uses the wire and the covering at the base will separate i think its just a cosmetic thing, but It could be a safety issue if it continues. So I upgraded when it started to happen just to be sure.
Light and simple, it does what it's supposed to do. No issues at all. It's a ripoff of BD, and thats why I like it.
OK Rap Device
I canyoneer a lot, and I bought one of these a few years ago off of SAC for $8 and it does what it is supposed to to, but I prefer the ones with the high friction end and a low friction end. My all time favorite ATC is the Wild Country VC Pro 2 Belay Device. If you are looking for a cheap, simple ATC then this is a good one to get. I lost mine a couple of years ago and I wasn't to sad about it.
I lost my BD ATC awhile back, and decided that getting the cheapest ATC possible would be best for the next time I lose it. This is the ticket - has slightly more friction, but I'm not sure who is going to complain about that. The only time that it even comes into play is with gnarly 11mm gym ropes, but otherwise is the same as an ATC with a better catch.
Basic gear that works
I bought this belay device as a beginner, and it hasn't failed me yet. I've never had trouble catching a fall, holding a resting climber, lowering someone, or rapelling. Yes, I occasionally have to do a bit of rope-feeding to lower a light climber on a thick and fuzzy rope, but I much prefer that situation to not being able to control the descent of a heavier climber. Same thing with rapelling - I'm not that heavy and sometimes the rap is slow if I've got the brake on pretty hard, but a little less friction on the device and it's not a problem - I'd rather go a bit slow than too fast.
I have found this belay device to be durable, despite being hauled around the world, sat on while I've got my harness on, scraped against rocks, and well-used. It's got some scratches, but that's all.
Yes it works. Yes, you can belay. And rappel. But I disagree that it is just like the Black Diamond ATC. Loading the belay device is not smooth. Rappelling on the Shell device is not at all fast. Good luck lowering a climber who weighs less than 140 pounds. The belay device puts too much friction on the rope, preventing the rope from running smoothly. Finally, I'm concerned that the exposure of the wire loop (see below) could pose a significant issue for the integrity of your rope. Spend the extra Lincoln, and you won't have to purchase a replacement.
like a cheap ATC
I love this belay device, and i like saving $5 over the exact same black diamond product.
Not as good as Black Diamond ATCs
The cable loop of the CAMP Belay Device may be too flexible and can get caught in the ropes when rappelling with 2 ropes. When this happens, the plastic rubbed off and the steel cable is exposed. Yikes.
Details: You will be OK if you are rapelling slowly, at a turtle's pace (ZZZzzzZZZzzz), and are watching the cable loop. I was double rope rappelling with two different sized diameter ropes (not ideal, but still safe - google it). However, my partner was using my new Black Diamond ATC Guide and it was fine with a fast double rope rappel.
I used Black Diamond ATC for 5 years and recently a Black Diamond ATC Guide, double rope rappel numerous times, with different diameter ropes, with no problems.
- Dave, Seattle, WA