Review by: justsaynototake, 2005-03-10
I bought this device about a month ago. I never bought a grigri since I just started climbing about a year ago. So I figured if I was going to get used to an auto-locker, why not get used to one that is lighter.
A lot of people are talking about how difficult it is to lower people once the device is loaded. I agree that it is a little difficult but once you get used to it, it becomes second nature. Lowering people on this device is fairly different from lowering people with a grigri because, as has been mentioned, the lip on the grigri which can be used to help brake by friction is missing on the Cinch. Therefore one needs to rely more on using the lever for lowering with variable speeds. This can wear out the Cinch over time I would think but I really don't think that would be too much of an issue.
As far as lead belaying with this device, it is truely "a cinch." With the right hand placement one can easily open the locking mechanism and feed the rope very easily while....get this....keeping a few fingers still grasped firmly around the rope in the breaking position just in case the autolocking mechanism fails or you need to pull in slack real fast. This is a big advantage over the grigri because not only does it feed a lot better but it allows you to keep your break hand on while feeding. A fantastic idea in my mind.
In conclusion I would say that this is a really nice device. The weight is fantastic and the lead belay potential is great as well. The lowering mechanism could be worked on if you ask me but as with anything, practice makes perfect and eventually you will be lowering people just as if you were using your beloved grigri or ATC-XP.