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Climbing Gear > Tube Style Belay Devices > Auto-Blocking Belay Devices

Black Diamond ATC Guide

Weight102 g
Max Diameter (mm)11

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Black Diamond ATC Guide
4.8 out of 5 based on 91 user reviews.

Cred: 40569
Review by marks on Mar. 31, 2007
This is Black Diamond's response to the reverso. The main advantage is the dual friction mode. The loop is designed to help aid in releasing the auto-blocking feature. IMO if you can't release the reverso, you can't release this either so I don't view this as an improvement. I prefer the flexable stem over Petzl's rigid stem but thats not a major issue.
Petzl Reverso

Cred: 1451
Review by Keese on Nov. 07, 2007
Autoblocking, much easier lowering of an autoblocked second than the Reverso, wider selection of rope sizes than the Reverso, non rigid cable, teeth for improved gripping
umm ???? doesnt come in the color green?

Cred: 555
Review by rmcgibbo on Aug. 03, 2008
Really beefy construction. The release hole is big enough to get a small biner in to use as a handle. Cheeper than the new reverso. Won't sharpen up like the old reverse.
A little heavy, but I don't really count grams on belay devices - it's not like you're carying 50 as you are with biners.

On my 10.5 it's a little hard to feed when belaying the 2nd, but on my friend's 10.2 it's a lot better.
Petzl Reverso

Cred: 594
Review by checkpositive001 on Nov. 06, 2008
More solid than the original reverso, because it is one continuous piece of metal. Doesn't form any sharp edges with wear like the old reverso can.
Hands-free direct anchor belay is very convenient.
Sometimes hard to pull larger diameter ropes through on direct anchor belays.
A smidgen on the heavy side, but it'll last a long time.
regular ATC
petzl grigri

Cred: 556
Review by jasoncordier on Feb. 06, 2011
Well designed and cheap product. Great of belaying from above with the device locking off itself through auto block. a cheaper alternative to the Petzl Reverso 3.
Repelling through the friction end can be a little slow, but the up side is the safety.
Petzl Reverso 3

Cred: 584
Review by agoldstein on Mar. 01, 2011
Love all of the options with this. Can't wait to put it to use. Autoblock, high friction mode, autblock lowering release point, bomber construction
Heavy, but necessary if you want all of these features.
The 2011 was just released with holes drilled to lighten it up. Buy a 2010 or earlier for great prices all over the interwebs.

Cred: 1321
Review by MikePB on Jul. 13, 2011
This works great for belaying leader and top roping as well as repelling. You can use it for double ropes. The guide autoblock just works ok.
The autoblock feature is cool, but it has its drawbacks. First it is hard to just pull the rope through, you have to feed and take, using botj hands. Secondly if you want to give a second slack when the rope is under load it is a bit of a pain to release.
Mammut Smart Alpine. It take rope up better and is autoblocking in belay and guide modes.

Cred: 289
Review by fb_29707558 on Jan. 21, 2008
Best belay device for multi pitch climbing period. More size range on acceptable ropes than the petzl reverso, and it also has a nifty hole to attach some cord for lowering a second in the need should arise.

Cred: 2509
Review by livextreme41 on Dec. 17, 2008
dual friction and autoblocking. works great. Does what it's supposed to do and does it well.'s a bit heavy, and holds quite a bit of heat if you are on long rappels. Works best with larger diameter ropes
reverso 3

Cred: 248
Review by Shifu on Jul. 06, 2011
Does everything the Reverso does while being more durable. I prefer it over other locking-assist devices like the Grigri or Cinch because it weighs less while doing more. Nuff said.
Kind of a workout to bring up a follower in autoblock mode on any rope thicker than 10.2 mm.

Cred: 180
Review by Jake0167 on Sep. 06, 2011
I love my ATC guide. The one pictured here is the older version. BD has made them lighter now. The gate of a big biner can go through the large hole, which matters more than you think.
Can't think of any.

Cred: 18
Review by Niles on Dec. 05, 2011
This device is great for multipitch climbs. I like the variable friction as well as the autoblocking when you are belaying the 2nd. I like these more traditional ATC belay device over things like the GriGri because there is less to worry about breaking. Great belay device.
There isn't much I dont like about this belay device except for one issue I had is when lowering a 2nd so that, say they can start climbing again, you need run the rope through a 2nd belay like a munter. It is an incredibly easy way to drop a climber when releasing the autoblocking property.
Petzl Reverso

Cred: 1088
Review by dvalente on Jan. 03, 2013
It works. Catches rope well, consistent performance with a number of different size ropes, easily works with a number of different belay setups.
Wow is it bulky. Only get one of these if you plan to belay from the top. But all guide style atc devices are bulky and heavy...
Sport/gym climbers should get something like the Petzl verso. That's my go to belay device these days.

Cred: 476
Review by fb_722631787 on Feb. 06, 2008
Very easy to use. Allows a second to be belayed off the anchor and the added small hole allows you to unlock the second once weight is added.
Petzl Reverso

Cred: 4460
Review by jonnymtman on Mar. 10, 2009
I wish I hadn't bought all the other belay devices I have sitting in my basement. My favorite piece of equipment and always with me.
could be lighter and gets hot on long abzeil

Cred: 1364
Review by zephyr7863 on Nov. 16, 2009
Great stopping power and lots of friction, but the rope slides well through when you need. Made really well and very durable
Quite honestly, I can't think of any
Petzl Reverso

Cred: 685
Review by Radoskier on Apr. 30, 2011
I like the ability to auto lock when your partner is following up multi pitch routes
Petzl Reverso

Cred: 844
Review by genghis on Oct. 26, 2011
Great device. Works smooth, stops strong and does it's job great. Its a sign of a great piece of equipment when everyone else's new devices start looking strikingly similar.
Petzl Reverso

Cred: 24
Review by agumpel on Mar. 01, 2011
Does absolutely everything belay, rappel, autoblock and can be made-shift into a progress capture device for a pulley system or for emergency ascending
little on the weighty side but is more than compensated by its versatility
Petzl reverso

Cred: 17
Review by atvalleroy on Mar. 15, 2011
I like the dual friction option and the rigid loop. I think it's a good piece of equipment for the price.
As noted in some of the other reviews, it's a bit snug with a 10.5 rope. The weight hasn't been an issue for me.

Cred: 218
Review by NorCalNomad on Mar. 01, 2013
Bomb proof, Wears WAY better than reversos, if you have to have just ONE belay device this is it.
Sure the reverso 4 is lighter but I'd rather have a longs wearing. Elat device than drop a few paper clips of weight.

Cred: 8
Review by jimmyw on Nov. 16, 2007
Very smooth, the teeth work great for heavier climbers.
Too much grip when trying to rap
Normal Atc or figure 8 for raps but for belays you cant beat it

Cred: 150
Review by pescador555 on Jul. 08, 2011
its a all in one devise, If you are doing a multi-pitch it is a must have. Great for belaying from an anchor
had to fit bigger ropes

Cred: 360
Review by iwish on Oct. 26, 2011
Simple, can be used with a bunch of different rope diameters and can be used with or without serrations.

Cred: 2643
Review by ndonaldj on Mar. 28, 2012
Best multipitch belay device out there. Its pretty much a staple in the trad and multipitch world. A classic
Petzl Reverso; Petzl Reversino; Camp Cassin Piu

Cred: 30
Review by cscolt on Mar. 18, 2008
Auto-block mode and Great friction. This bad boy is a great addition as a main belay device, and its tough as nails.
Too heavy for use as a backup,
Petzl Reverso, Camp Ovo belay plate, Munter hitch.

Cred: 38
Review by fb_555560325 on Mar. 21, 2008
Best device I've ever used.
Great grip.
Reverses for the smoothest rappel ever!
Solid construction.

Cred: 36
Review by fb_737207491 on May. 30, 2008
Versatile e.g double rope use, adjustable use according to rope thickness and slickness.
I've never used the guide function, so no functional addition for me.

Cred: 1073
Review by scottydo on Sep. 02, 2008
Just got this but it seems super solid and very handy
A little on the heavy side compared to the regular ATC

Cred: 426
Review by eddiemack on Sep. 23, 2008
Great for simul climbing or all around ATC. Works the rope nicely. Gets a good grip when needed.
I also like the Trango Cinch, but the guide is a standard piece.

Cred: 120
Review by stevendo on Dec. 02, 2008
solid design, friction mode delivers-
none except i can't use this at my local gym b/c the ropes generally are too thick there-
have only used for belaying-

Cred: 27
Review by [email protected] on Jan. 13, 2009
Smooth operation and easily belays a second in autoblock mode. Good friction for belaying a leader as well.
It's sort of heavy.
None, the reverso3 is a hair lighter but I've never used it to compare.

Cred: 9
Review by addictedclimber on Apr. 29, 2009
Excellent friction on the grooved side. Great for hanging belays and multi-pitch climbing.
Petzl Reverso

Cred: 17
Review by jman3 on Mar. 03, 2011
Great for belaying second off of anchor, autoblocking feature is nice.
heavy, new model has less material
new model of same belay device with hollow sides

Cred: 13
Review by tetontraveler01 on Sep. 19, 2011
can top belay from anchors, easy set up, lightweight
lots of friction on rappels
grigri is always a go to for sport climbing and an 8 is great for rappels

Cred: 315
Review by scottdotnearing on Aug. 25, 2012
seems to be standard equipment, VERY versatile and can be used for than just top rope belaying; you should get one

Cred: 5
Review by K2sjb1 on Oct. 24, 2007
I have been climbing for over two decades. I have used many, many belay devices from multiple manufacturers. This is my favorite so far because of the versitality and the auto lock off feature.
The only bad thing so far is that large assault type ropes will not work with this device.

Cred: 454
Review by fb_12711439 on Mar. 21, 2008
awesome versatility for slow or fast raps, anchor loop is very helpful

Cred: 815
Review by climbandkayak on May. 11, 2008
Versatile, especially if you'll ever belay from above.

Cred: 60
Review by Jon Cannon on Aug. 13, 2008
Guide belay setting is awesome
Funky to figure out at first.

Cred: 601
Review by [email protected] on Jul. 29, 2009
Great design, versatile, dissipates heat well
BD ATC, Petzl Reverso

Cred: 1096
Review by jeepnphreak on Dec. 21, 2010
My favorite mulit pitch device and ropes that are over 9.8 mm

Cred: 5
Review by ccerling on Mar. 02, 2011
Very simple to use. This is probably the last belay device you ever really need to buy. Sure auto belay devices are nice but I don't think you can beat the simplicity and durability of one of these. The autoblock feature is great especially for belaying from the top or for lowering a second.

Cred: 1194
Review by bruton on Sep. 01, 2011
Ridges hold larger loads and smaller ropes well.
Auto blocks great.
Not in design.
Petzl Reverso

Cred: 102
Review by Delta V on Sep. 25, 2008
Awesome for twins, doubles and belaying 2 clients at the same time

Cred: 5
Review by mountainmicah on May. 11, 2011
-Auto Block
-Metal doesn't wear down
-Can handle thick and thin ropes
Only other thing it could do is belay for you!
Petzl reverso (but beware, they wear down fast)

Cred: 42
Review by fb_38400292 on Jan. 21, 2008
great multi-use belay devise
Petzl reverso, but the guide is better

Cred: 44
Review by fb_1568880112 on Jan. 23, 2008
great belay device, autoblock mode
a touch heavy

Cred: 22
Review by fb_73201981 on Feb. 28, 2008
great for multi uses. can be set up as an autolocker if you know how

Cred: 36
Review by wild country on Mar. 23, 2008
quite usefull and does well on any rope climb and diameter

Cred: 311
Review by fb_894465643 on Apr. 02, 2008
I like the ability to belay the second.

Cred: 12
Review by wrongfloor on Apr. 08, 2008
auto-blocking for multi-pitch
high & low friction

Cred: 24
Review by dvsbenz on Apr. 10, 2008
high friction and low friction side. loop for belaying from the top

Cred: 28
Review by fb_34320665 on May. 22, 2008
Two friction settings and multiple applications.
A bit heavier than the ATC.

Cred: 18
Review by climberboy123 on Mar. 23, 2009
Easy feeding, great breaking with the V-grooves, can be used as auto-block

Cred: 9
Review by Jambro87 on Nov. 16, 2009
Light weight, works great, easy to setup, all the modes are super

Cred: 5
Review by nikelleb on Jun. 15, 2011
I loved it! Took it through tons of canyons in southern Utah for canyoneering! Quick, easy, foolproof.

Cred: 238
Review by jciccotti on Feb. 26, 2008
the loops on either side to make belaying off the rappel easier.

Cred: 25
Review by fb_10732529 on Apr. 02, 2008
Great all-around belay device

Cred: 3
Review by baker0408 on Mar. 05, 2011
Feels sturdy. Cheaper and accepts a larger range of ropes than the reverso.
A a little heave.

Cred: 31
Review by ClimbingDoogie on Jul. 07, 2011
A must have for trad climbers! No other ATC works as well as this device. There is no match!

Cred: 212
Review by rockabilly315 on Dec. 08, 2012
Great for alpine/multi-pitch climbs.

Cred: 3607
Review by Sapdawg1 on Feb. 16, 2013
Great belay device. Absolutely no negatives

Cred: 18
Review by Eddie2170 on Feb. 19, 2013
Guide Mode, lightweight
ATC, Reverso, Mammut Vader

Cred: 12
Review by fb_504763858 on Feb. 11, 2008
Get your reverso out of my atc, get your atc out of my reverso

Cred: 99
Review by climbercam on Feb. 20, 2008
Auto-block, smooth belaying and easy catching, even with small mm ropes.

Cred: 73
Review by forsakenclimber on Apr. 28, 2008
Makes multi pitch belaying easy as pie
Hard to give slack.

Cred: 27
Review by devin on Oct. 28, 2008
Autoblock is useful but I find it a bit clumsy.
Reverso 3

Cred: 5
Review by asheron2 on Apr. 16, 2012
Belaying from lead
Not enough bite on smaller ropes
Petzl reverso

Cred: 25
Review by ethatch on Jan. 18, 2008
revirso...just kidding they suck

Cred: 147
Review by fb_829070088 on Feb. 06, 2008
Good on softer ropes

Cred: 22
Review by fb_717530056 on Feb. 14, 2008
High friction mode

Cred: 17
Review by Rico Suave on Mar. 20, 2008
super crazy awesome

Cred: 32
Review by fb_1068828154 on Apr. 15, 2008
The best belay device I've ever used

Cred: 49
Review by fb_598762461 on Apr. 19, 2008
Love the extra ring.

Cred: 63
Review by thissilentdream on Apr. 24, 2008
really really cool!

Cred: 43
Review by fb_5216704 on Jun. 13, 2008
Breaks like no other

Cred: 26
Review by Kirill Zemlyanskiy on Jul. 19, 2008
light, handles easily
Petzl Reverso 3.

Cred: 27
Review by DRoth on Jul. 27, 2008
Havent Found any yet

Cred: 169
Review by skillet on Sep. 04, 2008
best of the bunch! 'nuff said!

Cred: 332
Review by bencounter on Jan. 02, 2010
All good. Great piece of gear.

Cred: 6
Review by fb_562035226 on Jan. 18, 2008
works good

Cred: 67
Review by shoesbasecamp on Feb. 11, 2008

Cred: 12
Review by wolfen_at_max on Jun. 13, 2008
Extra loop

Cred: 420
Review by San Dog Scotty on Aug. 15, 2008
Just got this.

Cred: 5
Review by shawd01 on Sep. 25, 2008
the best

Cred: 11
Review by fb_17815208 on Apr. 07, 2008

Cred: 6
Review by Reed P on Jul. 11, 2008

Cred: 0
Review by raymeister on Jul. 28, 2008
autolock mode

Cred: 1
Review by spirdermonkey on Jan. 04, 2011
ultra versatile

Cred: 0
Review by psecody on May. 22, 2008
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Maximum Diameter (mm)Weight
Black Diamond
ATC Guide

$21.98 - 29.99
11102 g
Smart Alpine

135 g

123 g
Smart Belay Device

82 g
Reverso 3 (Discontinued)

77 g
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