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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Petzl Belay Device

12:15:09 PM
Anyone had any experience with the Petzl Reverso device?


12:24:48 PM
Rupert, I added a little info over here:

1:44:46 PM
Thanks for that Mike - I'd still like to hear from someone (preferably here) whos been using one.

3:23:06 PM
i've used one and found them really good in top belay situations where they function like a gri which is the only area where they really differ from ATCs. Can be a bit hard to remove from locked to climbing but once u figure it out its fine.. (u just rock the second biner over). ONly other diff is that u have to have a second biner for when u want to lock it.

3:37:46 PM
lead belaying is actually pretty smooth too. If it pulls into the biner when lowering off (like most belay dvices do) you can simply use your thumb to push it forward making lowering a lot faster and product!

4:30:21 PM
I have one and use it almost exclusively now. I use it with Mammut 8.2mm doubles (well, half ropes if you want to be picky). The device handles 2 ropes very well, but doesn't generate as much friction as some devices. For sheer holding power on skinny doubles it'd be hard to go past something like the Trango Jaws or one of its imitators. That said, the reverso is well made, versatile etc.
6:59:04 PM
Reverso - I recently bought one after dropping my old WC variable controller off a cliff. I first used one while climbing with a guide friend in NZ. He said that they have become the device of choice of lots of alpine guides in NZ. The main advantage for them is that the Reverso combines a variable friction belay device with an auto-locking capability - very useful when belaying up clients who may fall lots whilst also trying to sort rope/ meal breaks, other clients trying to jump off the belay, etc.

It can also function nicely as the auto-block in a crevasse rescue rig. The reverso is the latest of an older style of belay device that I have seen guides using for years.

Main problems I have found:

Much less friction than my old Variable Controller - I found this to my near detriment on a long single rope (10.5mm) free hanging abseil.

Once jammed in auto-lock - unless the second can take some weight off the rope - you will need to unjam it with a mini-Z pulley using a long prussik. If you are climbing an overhanging route and there is any doubt that the second can climb the crux - it will be essential that you have the ability and equipment to do this - as you will neither be able to raise, nor lower the free hanging hapless victim.

If you are going to use the auto-block capability - both the leader and second must carry prussiks and know how to use them.

3:49:45 PM
On 8/06/2003 Anthony wrote:
>Once jammed in auto-lock - unless the second can take some weight off
>the rope - you will need to unjam it with a mini-Z pulley using a long
>prussik. If you are climbing an overhanging route and there is any doubt
>that the second can climb the crux - it will be essential that you have
>the ability and equipment to do this - as you will neither be able to raise,
>nor lower the free hanging hapless victim.
>If you are going to use the auto-block capability - both the leader and
>second must carry prussiks and know how to use them.
That's what i thought at first but you can unlock it by rocking the second carabiner over, bit hard to explain but once you know how to do it, it is reasonably easy.


11:25:49 AM
Well I went an bought one of these Reverso things to replace my worn old tube style device. Used it heavily the other day with it catching repeated falls, single rope belaying and double rope abseils and it was very smooth and locked down nicely at all the right moments. So far I'm impressed. I haven't yet used it for belaying a second in auto-locking mode though.

Rich would you care to try a bit more of a expanded description of rocking the second biner over? - I'm interested in what you mean here.

4:15:44 PM
Rupert I don't actually own one so I'm going on memory here, but the second biner, the one that is not connected to the anchors, flips up towards the sky when it locks. What I did was, once the rope is unweighted, rock/flip/move it back downwards which unlocked it. Once you try it yourself, you'll be able to do it. Hope that helps.

5:39:05 PM
Rupert, follow Mikes link above, there is another link from there to the US Mountain Guides site which seems pretty comprehensive on how to unlock this device (pictures too)

4:04:59 PM
Just had a look at the link mentioned above which basically explains how to transfer the belay to the anchors and then back into non-locking mode to actually lower the second, not unlock for the second to continue climbing (which is what I was talking about). It's not a quick process by the looks of it, so u wouldn't let ur second give up in a hurry! By the looks of it, in an emergency ud need to know how to do this and funnily enough petzl doesn't seem to have mentioned this in their brochure (here) that came with the device. It does however say that "it is not possible to give slack with the rope under tension [using auto-lock belaying the second]. A good knowledge of mechanical advantage is required to unlock the system. (see" great..
have fun!

Phil Box
5:29:54 PM
I love my Reverso particularly for bringing two seconds up at the same time and get this I reckon the self locking that it performs when belaying a second is fantastic. All the weight goes on the anchors which are usually built high and behind the belayer and this also has an added bonus of helping in a rescue scenario that the anchors are already up high. I love it when I have room to work and the belay device is behind me and up high out of the way.

Belaying a leader is cake too especially when belaying with two ropes (notice I didn`t say twins or doubles or half ropes).The unlocking of a Reverso isn`t that big a deal. I took quite a while to warm to this device and I really did not use it for the first 12 months I owned it as I waited around to see how other people used it.

The one thing to watch out for is wear from rapping on it and wear will create an extremely sharp edge on it that could cut your rope. It does need either replacing or filing down but you could only file it once otherwise too much metal would be lost and the integrity of the device could be compromised.

I`d recommend it but someone really does need to show novices how they can be used to their full ability.


There are 13 messages in this topic.


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