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Petzl Reverso Belay Device
  • Petzl Reverso Belay Device
  • Petzl Reverso Belay Device
  • Petzl Reverso Belay Device
  • Petzl Reverso Belay Device
  • Petzl Reverso Belay Device
  • Petzl Reverso Belay Device



My vote: None ( 4.8 avg )


Lightweight, multipurpose belay / rappel device; can be used to belay a second in Reverso mode.

The lightweight REVERSO is a multi-functional belay/rappel device designed for cragging, multi-pitch climbing and mountaineering. Reverso mode provides assisted-braking while belaying one or two seconding climbers from the top of a pitch. It accommodates most rope diameters: single rope 8.5 to 10.5 mm, half ropes 7.1 to 9.2 mm and twin ropes 6.9 to 9.2 mm. The specific design of the rope slots allows the rope to glide smoothly and reduces wear.


  • Multipurpose and easy to use:
    - classic belay technique with both hands on the rope
    - ropes glide smoothly through the device
    - can be used for rappels
    - Reverso mode for belaying one or two seconds; commonly used on multi-pitch climbs
    - independent and simultaneous belaying of two seconds in Reverso mode
    - while belaying in Reverso mode, a carabiner placed in the release hole allows the belayer to give slack when the device is under tension
    - rope installation diagrams for belaying and Reverso mode are engraved on the device
  • Durable and lightweight:
    - the rounded design of the rope slots limits wear and extends the life of the device
  • Material(s): aluminum frame

Retail price

US$ 39.95

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Device Type

Device Type


The most commonly used belay type also called an “ATC” or “tuber.” Other than a distinction between other belay device types, “Tube” is a rarely used term, most climbers just assume you're talking about this style when they refer to your "belay device."

Tube belay device example

Figure 8

Mostly used in rescue, canyoneering, tactical, work safety, or by old school climbers and rappellers. One reason they went out of popularity with recreational climbers is because they tend to create twists in the rope.

Figure 8 belay device example

Brake Assist

These devices assist in stopping the rope when a climber falls or hangs on the rope.

Brake Assist belay device example

Often referred to as “auto-blocking” but that’s not the official terminology because no belay device should be assumed to work automatically by itself, even if it feels like it does (or does most the time).


When simplicity is a must, or you started climbing before Tubers were the norm. Bonus: They tend to be very light weight.

Plate belay device example


For rappelling, not for belaying a lead climber or top-roping.

Descender example
Weight (g)

Weight (g)

In grams, the weight, as stated by the manufacturer/brand.

57 g
Belay Brake Assist

Belay Brake Assist

This is when the belay device significantly reduces the amount of holding power the belayer must exert to stop a fall and hold a climber.

This is also called "assisted-braking" as the device must hold a significant amount of the climber’s weight; this term does not include friction-adding "teeth" found on some tube style belay devices.

Confusingly referred to as “auto-blocking” or “auto-locking” these terms wrongly imply the device will always, automatically, stop a fall or hold a climber even if the belayer/rappeller is hands-free. These devices are not meant to be used without a hand on the braking side of the rope; the belayers/rapppeller brake hand should always be on the brake rope.

Worth Considering

Most of the mechanical brake assist devices only hold a single strand of rope and are not capable of double-strand rappelling (the most common method of rappel).

Rope Options 1 or 2 ropes
Guide Mode

Guide Mode

This is when you belay directly off the anchor instead of your harness. Guide mode is helpful if you climb outdoors a lot because it reduces the holding power required from the belayer. When your partner falls or rests, the weight of the climber is held mostly by the anchor and the belay device.

Tubers and Plates

When belaying in "guide mode," the tubers and plates turn auto-blocking. During a fall, the climbing rope pinches the slack rope, completely stopping the movement of either rope. A common guide mode setup shown below.

A double rope tubular device guide mode example

Mechanical Brake Assist Devices

There is no difference in the functionality of the device. A brake-hand should always be on the rope to ensure the climber is caught in the case of a fall. A common guide mode setup shown below.

A single rope mechanical brake assist guide mode example

Where guide mode is used

  • multi-pitch sport or trad climbs
  • single-pitch where you need to bring up a follower (say for a walk-off)

Learn More

Up to 2 followers


Teeth are only seen on tube devices. They add friction that helps grip the rope for more belaying control.

This is helpful for belaying heavier climbers. Teeth are becoming standard on new tube devices.

The belay device teeth are shown in the red circle

Worth Considering

Teeth do wear out. You can limit wear by rappelling on the side without teeth (if you don’t need the extra friction). Once they’re worn, you’ll still have a usable belay device, just less friction.

Rope Range (mm)

Rope Range (mm)

The range of rope diameters, in millimeters, that the manufacturer/brand specifies can safely be used.

This is the best case scenario and does not necessarily take into consideration that certified ropes have a tolerance of +/- .3 mm.

Recently, manufacturers have started to add an "optimized" rope range -- this is the range that will result in the nicest handling of the belay device.

6.9 mm  - 10.5 mm ­­
single: 8.5 - 10.5 half: 7.1 - 9.2 twin: 6.9 - 9.2


The main climbing gear certifications are CE and UIAA--and normally the UIAA creates the rules that the CE body also supports. When possible, we try to list all the certifications the product carries.

To sell a climbing product in Europe, the device must be CE certified. There are no official requirements to sell climbing gear in the US. The UIAA certification is a voluntary process.

Learn More

Rock and Ice Certifications Guide
( 5 avg )
( 6 avg )

Go to material

Lightweight multi-purpose
Wears off quickly
I’ve used it a ton

Go to system. Super light super versatile. Can't go wrong buying this one. People should buy this one rather than anything else. I wish they would go a reinforced version with steel insert rather than full aluminum. It wears off quickly.

Go to system. Super light super versatile. Can't go wrong buying this one. People should buy this one rather than anything else. I wish they would go a reinforced version with steel insert rather than full aluminum. It wears off quickly.

( 4 avg )

good, but not as good as the older model.

wide range of rope diameter
wears off easy
release hole not big enough
I’ve used it a few of times

This is the newest version of the reverso. It is still lighter than the black diamond atc guide and still better looking! (Most important thing is to look cool, right?!) 

There are two things i dont like about this device. One is that it does wear out very easily. The day i bought it, me and my partner went to practice lowering a climber from above. the release hole got very shap scratches very easily. I would suggest being careful what biner you use to do this. Second thing i dont like is how they made that release whole smaller. 

Outdoor Gear Lab Gear Review rating 4/5

For years the Petzl Reverso and Black Diamond ATC Guide have been two of the most popular belay devices among American multi-pitch climbers. It's easy to understand why: they're both affordable, smooth, and reliable. At first glance, our testers thought they would prefer the Reverso because it's lighter and the shiny anodized finish looks cooler. However, when we compared the two side-by-side with the same ropes in a controlled environment (especially in auto-block mode) the ATC Guide came out on top. The difference is small though, so if you've already got a Reverso and like it, don't feel any pressure to switch.

Updated Petzl Reverso
Instruction for Using Reverso Belay Device

This video is really long but informative, it shows all the instruction for using Reverso belay device in details.

How to Choose your First Belay Device