Black Diamond Big Air Pilot Package Belay Device

Gearflogger reviews the Black Diamond Big Air Pilot Package belay device

I have a pen. I have pineapple. Uh! Pineapple pen. I have a Gridlock. I have ATC Pilot. Uh! Big Air Pilot Package. If you don't get the reference, we are sad. Click on link because 200 million people can't be wrong.

Black Diamond combines two excellent products into one belay device wunderdeal. Note the ATC Pilot is a specialized device intended for single pitch and toprope belays. It's not for rappelling or any of those fancy multipitch, multibelay, multirope scenarios; that's what the other ATC variations are for.

The ATC Pilot is good on ropes 8.7 to 10.5mm, and what it does on those ropes it does very, very well. It catches single rope falls reliably and softly, and enables the buttery smooth payout of rope when needed for slack or lowering. The device locks up automatically – this does NOT mean you can release your belay hand – making it much easier to hold a climber in position like you need to do frequently with beginners or even with advanced climbers working a project, placing bolts, etc.

Using the Pilot does take a bit of practice to get used to how it locks and pays out line, but nothing that a few gym sessions won't bring you up to speed on. The Gridlock we've reviewed before, and it's still a great belay device biner anywhere, anytime. The whole package, biner plus belay device, is a great deal if you're looking for a single pitch solution that weighs nothing, works flawlessly and adds a small but welcome margin of safety to your next climbing project.

$48.71 (on sale from $64.95) at Moosejaw


Note to readers: As of November 1, 2022, Gearflogger no longer participates in affiliate programs or accepts commissions on links to products. We’ll find some other way to make money. Maybe get a real job. Maybe not.

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