Reviews for Smart Belay Device
Average Rating : 4.43 out of 5
Item Details | Reviews
SMARTer than a Gri-gri
Review by: mtkinji, 2010-02-01
The Smart belay device does exactly what it has been designed to do, and it does it better than any other device on the market.
A few reasons the Smart is Smarter:
Most people will deactivate the auto locking function when paying out slack from a Gri-Gri. This is bad, but Gri-Gri users have found that it's the easiest way to make sure you don't short rope a leader.
So what if that leader falls? - even an experienced climber may forget to let go causing the device to remain unlocked = climber fall. Hence many gyms have gone away from using Gri-Gris for the safety feature. The Gri-Gri is still great, and I have one, but I prefer to use a non-mechanical belay device.
The Smart on the other hand REQUIRES conscious belaying. A user can't just assume the device will do its job and absent-mindedly watch the birds fly by. The belayer is actively paying out slack, taking it in, or otherwise performing their job. Paying out slack is 10x easier than the Gri-Gri, and therefore safer. The #1 reason I would use a Smart over a gri-gri is that you don't have to deactivate the auto-locking function to pay out slack. This is where the Gri-Gri fails.
Oh, and the Smart is LIGHT - MUCH lighter than the auto-locking devices. Not only is it lighter, but it is simpler. This means there will never be a mechanical failure, there will never be a need to clean the gunk out of moving parts. Lastly, the Smart works down to an 8.9 rope - the Gri-Gri is only rated to 9.6.
Why then does the Gri-Gri dominate the market for belay devices? Five letters. PETZL. It's a matter of recognition. The Gri-Gri has been around so long, and Petzl is such a great company that people have taken it for the standard. Well now there's a new standard for safe belaying - The Smart belay device by Mammut.
Review by: FabienenCordoba, 2009-09-28
I am very satisfied. I found it easier to feed rope to the climber than using the Gri-gri (which is heavier and more expensive). I have not stopped any leader falls with it but it holds the climber's weight when locked into position. It takes some getting used to (nothing similar to the Gri-gri).
Extremely pleased with this little jewel:
Review by: Aunor, 2009-07-20
Extremely pleased with this little jewel: simple, works, light, and cheap. Anyone that doesn’t like this is going to be the sort that doesn’t like green eggs and ham.
Mammut is smart!
Review by: retro, 2009-07-08
I bought this device to basically replace my Gri Gri after a partner dropped my last season. 20+ years and it finally happened, but it was enough of a scare to make me second guess the safety of the Gri Gri. I still use and enjoy the benefits of the Gri Gri, but I wanted to find something that might be a bit safer and a bit more user friendly...and along came the smart device.
What I appreciate most about this little device is the ease of use, how quickly it pays out rope to the leader, and how quickly it locks up on a fall. They do not claim that this is an auto locking device, but anyone that has used this little gem knows that it locks as quickly and as tightly as a Gri Gri. I really didn't want to like this device and some ot the reviews that I had read were hot and cold, but once I tried it for myself, I now leave the Gri Gri at home and use this device soley for sport climbing and single pitch trad routes or top-ropping.
The advantages that this unit offers are as follows:
1. easy rope handling and pay out to lead climbers
2. very light weight and easy to rack
3. locks up immediately when arresting a fall
4. must have two hands on the rope and device when lowering (great safety feature!)
5. Great device for one pitch, sport climbing and top-roping
6. ergonimic design fits comfortably in the users hand
7. easy to learn to use after a few tries
Some of the drawbacks I found are:
1. Cannot be used on multi-pitch climbing
2. It will react differently with different shaped biners (you must experiment to get the best results..I like it with the Petzl William)
3. It is a belay device and should not be used to rap with
Overall I think Mammut hit a homerun with this device. Once you get used to how it works and performs I think you will agree that it is one of the most responsive and safe devices on the market (particularly for less experienced climbers).
I give the smart a 4 out of 5 simply because its uses are very specific. Try one out and see what you think, I am confident it will find its way in you quiver in short time!
Review by: crabnebula, 2009-06-21
The Smart is a great device that is very similar to the Wild Country SRC but maybe easier to use. I am happy with the unit but I would include in teaching people, that (as a reminder) it is NOT auto locking, it is a harness only device, and that clipping in a second carabiner to the "open space" behind the load bearing carabiner, takes away the space that if used incorrectly can open the Smart for a fast and spontaneous release....the second carabiner keeps high friction as well as "e" limit nates the possibility to accidently drop someone a little....nonetheless, it is a tool that I use when guiding to be sure that on hard routes the belayer will catch me if I fall and I am unsure of their true belaying skills...as the Smart feeds rope easier than the Gri Gri.