Curious about the new Wild Country Revo belay device? Staff Member and coach, Jock on a Rope shares his thoughts...
I am what you would call a dyed in the wool Gri-Gri lover/abuser and I don’t mean the sad impersonators of late, no I am referring to the original and best. So you can imagine when I was offered up the use of the new spangly kid on the block (we have seen this before) REVO from Wild Country, I wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit to have a go.
To be honest I was critical from the start: it felt heavy, slightly cumbersome and I couldn’t see the point of it. Fast forward a week and to say that I am convinced of its merit would be an understatement. If you ask everyone whom I have had any contact with they would say I haven’t shut up about it. So I hear you say, what is it that is so revo-lutionary (see what I have done there).
Well lets get a little bit technical - but not too much, you can check out the blurb and various videos from Wild Country for that. So the beauty of this thing over the aforementioned device, is that it locks based on from what I would refer to as the inertia of the wheel. In reality what this means is that no matter how much friction is in the system, once the wheel reaches a certain speed it does its magic and hey presto locks. So the Achilles heel of the Gri-Gri being a slow fall that gathers speed gradually is impossible to occur from what I have seen and practiced.
We have tried to abuse it to see it we can make it fail to lock and the only time this works is when you have the dead rope too tight, which ultimately means that you are holding the rope akin to a traditional plate device, so you have held the fall any way, I don’t see that being an issue really. What I found from that point forward is that I had to tell myself to not hold the rope overly tight in a fall as you want the rope to feed to activate the wheel. Once you do this and get used to it you quickly realise that it locks every time, Genius!
So is it revolutionary? I guess time will tell but for one I am convinced of its value. Will it replace the Gri-Gri? Well have a go and tell me what you think!
James Blay explains more about the Revo in this short YouTube video: