The Petzl Reverso 4 is the latest incarnation of Petzls most popular belay device ever. Petzl have managed to shave 25% from the weight of the Reverso 3 getting it down to an amazing 59g. Like all 'Guide' style belay devices it is very versatile and is perfect for long multipitch rock and winter routes but light enough that there's no good reason not to carry one.
First and foremost the Reverso 4 works brilliantly as a standard belay and abseil plate, feeding smoothly ropes up to 10.5mm diameter and usable on ropes up to 11mm. The toothed slot allows you to vary the friction on the rope to provide more or less dynamic belays - particularly useful if your partner weighs a bit more than you. On long abseils the greater surface area of the plate means it dissipates more heat than conventional designs. Added to this it doesn't twist or tangle the rope making multiple abseils a less stressful experience.
The Reverso 4 comes into its own is on multipitch climbs where one climber is taking most of the leads. To bring up a second the leader can rig up an autolocking, direct belay that can be used one handed. For guides this also allows two seconds to be bought up at once in safety, saving time and letting you get more climbing in.
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I had a standerd belay device but upgraded to this as my guide used one. It's very universal bit of kit. So easy to use. A must have for a serious climber. I'm on my second as I decided to leave one at the bottom of a sports route in Sardinia. Somebody got lucky!
This is my 4th reverso, and it is the best yet. A must have for lightweight guide mode belaying.
Have used my new Petzl reverso 4 three times now and I'm very pleased with it. I purchased it to replace my ATC which I dropped off a cliff (good one!) It has all the strengths of a standard belay plate with the added loop to make the system self locking. It is super light weight(you can barely feel it in the palm of your hand) so great if weight is an issue. It felt good to use with both thick and thinner ropes and has enough grip to make belaying on half ropes easy. Potential downside of this is that it is quite hard to get a thicker gauge rope into the slot as it is quite narrow. Had a bit of a fight with a 10mm so 11mm may not be too easy, but once I got it threaded it was fine to belay with. No wear after 3 uses, only time will tell whether the lightweight nature also means it wears more easily.
This is a slightly lighter weight version of the brilliant Reverso 3, I got this when my Reverso 3 finally wore out after about 14 months use (a very action packed 14 months). It is made of the same material as the Reverso 3, so durability may be more of an issue with this device, but what it may lack in longevity it makes up for in versatility. Brilliant as a belay or abseil device in conventional sense, working well on a wide range of rope thickness's and clamping well on wet or muddy ropes thanks to the groove. Guide mode is a useful trick if you know how to use it safely, it can really speed up changeovers on multi pitch routes and leave you more free to take on food or water/check route descriptions for the next pitch etc. as well as bring up 2 seconds at once.
Unfortunately Petzl haven't changed the thickness of the side of the device, occasionally the rope runs over the side rather than through the groove, largely reducing stopping power. competent belay techniques make this unlikely, but it is worth noting that this isn't really a belay device for a beginner.
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