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Steven L.

Steven L.

Steven L.

Steven L.wrote a review of on August 11, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I was given this product from Backcountry, but this review Is my personal opinion.

Before I get into my product test of the Revo I think it's important to note that "THE REVO IS NOT A GRI-GRI AND DOES NOT OPERATE LIKE ONE"!

I tested the Revo over several days in Rifle, Colorado and used it in all the typical situations, including lead belaying, top rope belaying and project belaying (aka working a route/hangdogging). I found several pros and cons with the device that I have listed below.

In terms of ease of use the Revo is very user friendly. It pays out rope and takes in slack like butter.
The locking feature works well and gives the leader an extra level of assurance when being belayed by the not so attentive belayer or newer climber. In the event of a leader fall the locking feature can sometimes lock and then quickly unlock when the belayer pulls down on the brake side of the rope. This doesn't affect the operation of the device but does take some getting used to.
Finally the Revo works in either direction so you cannot thread the rope in backwards and the device works the same whether you are right or left handed.

Weighing in at approximately 10oz (per my scale) the Revo is one of the heavier belay devices on the market. But since it is designed primarily for single pitch cragging I don't think this will be an issue for most climbers.
One of the biggest issues I found with the Revo was its tendency to lock when pulling in slack to quickly. This happened to me several times when my partner yelled "take" and I pulled the rope in to fast. Once it locked I was unable to pull in rope until I manually pushed down on the locking mechanism with my free hand. I adjusted for this by pulling in slack more slowly but it was still frustrating when it happened.

Additional Considerations:
Although the Revo is not meant to operate like a Gri-Gri I think some comparisons should be noted for those who are used to the latter, especially for project climbing. When belaying someone that is "working a route" and hanging a lot (this applies to topropping as well) the Revo does not lock up and hold the weight of the climber like the Gri-Gri does. So for this reason the Revo would not be my go-to belay device for this type of climbing. But for lead belaying and onsight climbing the Revo works great and is a much safer option than a typical tube style belay device. For these reasons I think this is an excellent belay device for newer climbers and those who don't typically project routes.