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Gear Review



Page Type: Gear Review

Object Title: ATC

Manufacturer: Black Diamond

Your Opinion: 
 - 39 Votes


Page By: John

Created/Edited: Apr 30, 2002 / Apr 30, 2002

Object ID: 269

Hits: 3703 


Drop forged from aircraft quality 7075-T6 aluminum alloy, the Air Traffic Controller is one of the most popular belay/rappel devices. It’s light, easy to operate, and won’t lock up unexpectedly. Also, when used correctly, the ATC won’t kink your cord. The complex geometry of the ATC allows it to feed rope smoothly yet hold your partner’s screamers with ease. As a rappel tool the ATC provides a silky smooth ride and its extensive surface area dissipates heat.
  • Easy to use and specifically designed to feed rope smoothly
  • Locks up well with 9-11 mm ropes; with 8.1 and smaller, use two biners for more locking power
  • New models come with a stronger keeper wire
  • Simple, elegant design that’s stood the test of time and is now a classic
Accolades:Similar Products: DMM The Bug, HB Sheriff, Metolius BRD, OP SBG II, Petzl Reverso, Trango B-52, Trango Jaws, Trango Pyramid.


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PawkalaUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

Got it as a gift. Have used it probably a dozen times. Like it alot, the only problem for a big guy like me is its ability to have good speed control on a rope less than 10.5.
Posted Jul 4, 2004 2:28 pm

MoniUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

I have used a lot of different devices and am happy with my ATC. It's easy, idiot proof and works well for rappelling - so it's mutli-purpose. It locks quickly when needed - even with some of the bigger folk I have belayed.

It's way better than a figure 8 becuase the rope cannot slide around. The keeper actually works as opposed to the old belay ring, which had none (and which I regularly lost) or the Sticht plate.
Posted Jul 7, 2004 4:35 pm

Erik BeelerUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

Its the tool I started with (whats a figure 8 used for anyway?) and loved it from the get go. Durable and easy to use. Color slowy wore off but it lasted for years and years.

There are newer and better tools out there now so I can only give it a 4 out of five stars. I would buy the ATC-XP over the ATC as it is a bit more useful.
Posted Dec 1, 2004 10:36 am

The Defiant OneUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

This simple tool is light, idiot-proof, and versatile. It's great for gym or alpine/bigwall use. I do prefer the ATC-XP which is a few dollars more but offers even greater control. There's no point in hauling a gri-gri up to 20,000ft or even to 10,000 feet for that matter. This belay.rappel device does whatever i need it to do. I've Jumared with this used with a Peztl Asender.
Posted Mar 28, 2005 8:24 pm

BignickUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

Does everything well. Simple efficient design. Works well even with stiff cold ropes.
Posted Jun 6, 2005 1:09 am

m2rainierUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

The ATC by Black Diamond is super simple to use and effective for belaying and rappeling. I have never had problems with feeding out or taking in rope using this device. The rope runs smoothly and it brakes effectively as well. Every rock/alpine climber should have one of these on the rack because of its ease of use and lack of complications. The only downside to this device is you can't use it in an auto-block configuration. I still rate it a 5 star because it is idiot proof as a belay device.
Posted Oct 10, 2005 1:19 am

travisgollaherUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

The ATC is an easy to use belay device, and an easy to controle raping device. It is one of the best on the market very durable and idiot proof. If I ever loose mine I will be getting another. Also the device feed's quickley on my 9.5 rope,no jaming smoothe all the way.
Posted Oct 26, 2005 6:27 pm

slick858Since 1997

Voted 4/5

It definately fills the job position, not so much with heavier belays but I would recommend the Air Traffic Controller to anybody.
Posted Apr 23, 2007 11:55 am

Steve PritchardA great beginners belay device

Voted 4/5

I have used mine for years and although I've now gotten a Reverso for alpine/ rock leading, this is a superb, lightweight belay device. It's ideal for beginners and indoor/ outdoor top roping outdoors.

It belays well, and it's possible but not ideal to raise a second- there is no autoblock facility (that I know of). I've used it with ropes of 8.5 (2 x halves) - 10.2mm (1 x single) diameter with no problems. Also rapped off it on 2 singles, no problems.

Beginners should have no reservations about getting an ATC.
Posted May 20, 2007 3:37 pm

Jeroen VelsLight is right

Hasn't voted

I like this a lot. The feeding of the goes really well, breaking is good, the rope doesn't curle like with a figure 8 and it's light weight. The only disadvantage is that you can't belay a second up. So in my opinion it's good for sport climbing and indoor climbing. In the mountain's you would need two pieces of gear, so there goes your weight advantage.
Posted Dec 11, 2007 2:41 pm

stephoGood ATC

Voted 5/5

I use this ATC at the gym. It is lightweight, stops falls easily, and is very durable.
Posted Jun 15, 2008 4:42 pm

Augie MedinaFoundation Tool

Voted 5/5

Simple and elegant for belaying and rappeling. Sure, the ATC-XP has the built-in grooves for added friction, but you can add an extra 'biner for added friction on the ATC if you need it.

Definitely a great beginner belay device.
Posted Jan 28, 2009 1:19 pm

farrisglDoes the job

Voted 4/5

Simple, light weight and does the job. I really like it. If I upgrade, it will be to the -XP.
Posted Mar 24, 2009 11:57 am

mtnbndBD ATC

Voted 5/5

The ATC does it's job and is easy to load. Works good for belay and raps. I have never had a problem with one.
Posted Nov 11, 2009 3:32 pm

theflyingmountaineerA classic

Hasn't voted

No complaints about this simple, no-frills BRD. Raps smoothly even on my 10.2 mm rope. Love it.
Posted Apr 7, 2010 6:14 am

Andrew Rankinebackup device

Hasn't voted

This used to be my primary belay device until I got the BD ATC Guide. This device is good, but I would never go back unless I dropped the Guide on multipitch. This device is fine for belaying a leader, but I would recommend the guide because of the autolock "guide mode" feature for belaying a second. The locking slot on the guide is a little annoying, but worth it IMHO. This device is nice because you can't put the belay on backward.
Posted Jan 9, 2012 12:05 pm

mtnbndGood gear

Voted 5/5

Always on my rack, my go to belay/rappel device.
Posted Dec 27, 2013 1:33 pm

Viewing: 21-37 of 37 « PREV 1 2 NEXT »