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The long-awaited Wild Country Revo Belay Device is finally here, and it lives up to the hype. While it should still be treated as a device without a backup locking feature, and proper attention is required to operate it, the Revo is an assisted braking device with features that contribute to your climber's safety.
To minimize accidents that occur from incorrectly loaded belay devices, Wild Country designed the Revo to be bi-directional, meaning the device works in both directions. This also makes it simple for someone who is left-handed to use the device without having to adapt their belaying technique. Additionally, the emergency locking function is panic-proof, and can't be overridden by incorrect handling.
The Revo doesn't require any deviation from the standard belaying technique, and has the feel of a tube-style belay device, but with the benefit of an emergency locking feature. No special locking carabiner is required either, so you can use your favorite locker on your rack.
- Assisted locking belay device for dependable catches
- Panic-proof locking mechanism reduces human error
- Locking function works properly no matter the rope orientation
- No changes to standard belaying technique are necessary
- Item #WDC003A
- Q & A
Whole new belay experience!
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I was given the Revo from Backcountry, but this review Is my personal opinion.
The Revo will definitely make you the cool kid at the gym or crag! it is a unique belay device that acts like a hybrid between an ATC and a Gri-Gri. You operate it closer to that of an ATC, but provides a safety net for big falls or fast lowers (we had fun with this feature). Below is the rundown:
Assisted belay! Can't lower too fast and if your climber takes a big fall the Revo will automatically lock. The rope flows smooth through the device by rotating around the inertia reel inside, much smoother than a Gri-Gri. Minimal friction and reduces any heat build in the device, so you don't have to worry about being too hot after a long lower. Was able to feed and take rope with ease and match my climber's pace. You have to pull pretty hard for the auto-lock to activate, this didn't get in the way of my belaying. The Revo also has bi-directional loading and works well for the ambidextrous. Sleek design!
Heavy for a belay device! Outweighs the Gri-Gri and ATC by far. Since there is not much friction, felt like I had to break a little harder than when using an ATC. This really wasn't much of an issue though. Cost compared to other belay devices.
Overall, I am having a great time with the Revo! It's a lot of fun and significantly reduces the risk of an accident at the crag. Not sure how it would work on a multi-pitch as most of my climbing is single pitch, but probably similar to that of a Gri-Gri. I gave it a 4-star rating due to the weight and relatively high cost of the Revo, but it works great. If you have a few extra bucks then I recommend this product for your climbing adventures!
Works well but not perfect
- 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.
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.
Revo in action
Wild Country Revo Instructional Video
Here is a brief rundown of how to use the new Wild Country Revo.