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Climb X

Guide Mako Max-Air
Guide Star Star Star Mako Max-Air
 
V-Max XP XTC Pro Guide Version A<
V-Max XP XTC Pro Guide Version A

Overview


Guide
(#1847)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

I acquired my Climb X Guide from Climb X in 2015.

The Climb X Guide is a notched belay tube. It is forged from aluminum alloy and then soft anodized. It has two slots with ribbed v-grooves, a carabiner eye, a release hole, and a plastic-covered cable keeper. Mine is 94 mm. long, 43 mm. wide, 107 mm. high, and weighs 100 g. The slots are 35 mm. long and 14 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 19 mm. below the ends of the slots.

One side is printed with the Climb X logo. The other side is printed with a rigging illustration and "Ø7.7mm-11mm."

Comments

The Climb X Guide is one of the following closely-related belay tubes:

Image Device Side Eye Keeper
Black Diamond ATC-Guide, Version A Black Diamond ATC-Guide, Version A Thin Round 4.7 mm.
Black Diamond ATC-Guide, Version B Black Diamond ATC-Guide, Version B Open Round 4.7 mm.
Black Diamond ATC-Guide, Version C Black Diamond ATC-Guide, Version C Open Pear 4.7 mm.
BlueWater Ranger BlueWater Ranger Round
Hole
Round 3.8 mm.
Climb X Guide Climb X Guide Solid Round 4.7 mm.
Edelweiss Guru Alpin Edelweiss Guru Alpin Solid Round 3.8 mm.
Image Device Side Eye Keeper
Fixe Descender Fixe Descender
(a.k.a. Miku V2)
Open Round 3.8 mm.
Salewa Alpine Tuber Salewa Alpine Tuber Solid Pear 4.0 mm.
Wild Country Pro Guide Wild Country Pro Guide Solid Round 3.8 mm.
Wild Country Pro Guide Lite Wild Country Pro Guide Lite
Version A
Open Round 3.8 mm.
Wild Country Pro Guide Lite Wild Country Pro Guide Lite
Version B
Open Pear 4.0 mm.
 

Each of these is 97±4 mm. long and 41±2 mm. wide, but their weights range from 72 to 100 g., quite a span. Their slots are all 35±1 mm. long and 14±1 mm. wide. They all have plastic-covered cable keepers, with the Black Diamond and Salewa keepers being and stiffer than others.

The Black Diamond ATC-Guide was the first of these to appear, by many years. Version A was an improved version of their Black Diamond ATC-XP. From there, the basic design evolved and similar devices appeared from others.

RiggingThese extend the ATC-XP and equivalents by adding a carabiner hole at the one side and a cord hole beneath the jaws. When belaying a second from above, a guide can clip the device to an anchor sling with a carabiner passed through the carabiner hole, belaying in an autostop mode, much like one might with a Kong Gi–gi. One can release a jammed device by passing a cord through the cord eye and pulling on the cord - possibly by looping it through a carabiner and applying body weight - but don't let go of the braking end of the rope! All in all, I like these devices

Each of these has V-slots to give additional friction for belaying or rappelling. Each side of each groove has three V-shaped slots, giving the grooves "teeth" to grip the rope more effectively. These teeth act to guide the rope deeper into the slot, in much the same manner as the teeth on the Wild Country Hand ascender work. The teeth do not have the narrow angle found on the Trango Jaws or its equivalents, so they do not create the same wedging action. For this reason, I find these less effective than the Jaws family. On the other hand, the teeth on these devices provide a larger bearing area for the rope, which helps reduce localized heating. These are more massive than many belay tubes, but will still overheat on long rappels.

Some of these have a thin sidewall, a hole in the sides, or an opening in the sides and the central rib. When present, these reduce the device's weight, but also reduce the devices' surface area for rejecting heat. They weight savings is small and offset by heavier keepers on the Black Diamond devices.

I do not see any difference between the field performance of the round vs. pear-shaped eyes.

My slight preferences from this set are the Salewa Alpine Tuber and the Wild Country Pro Guide Lite, Version B These are the lightest of the group and have the stiffer keeper; however, they require closer thermal monitoring on rappel.


Star StarStarMako
(#1849)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

I acquired my Climb X Mako from Climb X in 2015.

The Climb X Mako is a notched belay tube. It is forged from aluminum alloy and then soft anodized. It has two slots with V-grooves and a plastic covered cable keeper. Mine is 59 mm. long, 48 mm. wide, 113 mm. high, and weighs 75 g. The slots are 33 mm. long and 15 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 14 mm. below the ends of the slots.

One side is printed with the Climb X logo. The other side is printed with a rigging illustration and "ø≤11mm ."

Comments

I like this design enough to give it three stars: StarStarStar

The following notched belay tubes, including the Climb X Mako, are essentially the same device:

Image Device
Alpidex Silenos Alpidex Silenos
Apex Rock Mako Clymb Apex Rock Mako Clymb
Climb X Mako Climb X Mako
Climbing Technology Double V-Row Climbing Technology
Double V-Row
Image Device
Edelrid Lotse Edelrid Lotse
(a.k.a. Multigrip)
Salewa Tubus, Version A Salewa Tubus, Version A
Salewa Tubus, Version B Salewa Tubus, Version B
Singing Rock Hornet Singing Rock Hornet
Image Device
Trango Jaws, Version A Trango Jaws, Version A
Trango Jaws, Version B Trango Jaws, Version B
Zero-G G-Wedge Zero-G G-Wedge
(a.k.a. Multigrip)
 

Each of these is 60±1 mm. long and 48±1 mm. wide, and has a weight in the 76±3 g. range. Their slots are all 33 mm. long and 15 mm. wide.

NotchesThese are just like many other devices except for one little difference, but that difference makes any of these a much better device than those others. The special feature is the teeth. First of all, if you don't need them, turn the device 180 degrees and they are out of the way. On the other hand, if you want more friction, then these teeth canprovide it. This is the only device design of this size and weight that I feel comfortable rappelling my 9 mm. haul line on. With any others, I never really felt completely in control (to be fair, I haven't tried this on the the Omega Pacific SBG or the Simond Cubik). The extra control is well worth carrying the extra 15 or 20 grams. One caution: like all belay tubes and tubers, these can get very hot on rappels.

I borrowed the following paragraphs from Trango's web site, although they should apply to any of the devices in the table:

Jaws stops better than most belay/rappel devices. The addition of the V notches really grabs the rope, assisting in slowing down the fall. In lab tests using a UIAA drop tower, an 11 mm. rope, an 80-kg weight with a fall factor of 1.2, and a clutch holding the rope with a 50-lbf slip threshold, we found the following results:

 Pyramid/ATC/Tuber style devices  16" - 20" slip, no rope damage
 GriGri  1" - 3" slip, no rope damage
 Jaws  6" - 8" slip, no rope damage

Jaws allows you to adjust the rope friction during a rappel. By flipping the rope out of the notches and over the side plates at the start of a long rappel, you can reduce the friction the device gives you at the start. When the rappel begins to speed up as you get closer to the ground, flip the ropes back into the notches to slow it down.

You must rig Jaws correctly. It's not symmetrical so you need to be sure the notches are on the brake hand side of the rope, not on the side which goes to the leader. Also, because of the additional friction provided by the device you'll find that the beginnings of long rappels can be a bit jerky. The solution is to allow rope to slide through by varying the angle of your brake hand rather than just letting rope slip through. On low angle slab rappels, turn Jaws around so the notches are on the anchor side and your brake hand is on the smooth side.


Max-Air
(#1846)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

I acquired my Climb X Max-Air from Climb X in 2015.

The Climb X Max-Air is a standard belay tube. It is forged from aluminum alloy and then soft anodized. It has two slots with V-grooves and a plastic covered cable keeper. Mine is 52 mm. long, 45 mm. wide, 88 mm. high, and weighs 58 g. The slots are 33 mm. long and 14 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 16 mm. below the ends of the slots.

One side is printed with "Climb X" and the other with a rigging illustration incorporating the letters "BBABE."

Comments

The Climb X Max-Air is one of the following closely-related belay tubes, all called "ATCs" after the original Black Diamond Air Traffic Controller:

Image Device Shell
Style
Keeper
Advanced Base Camp Advanced Rope Controller, Version A Advanced Base Camp
Advanced Rope Controller,
Version A
I 3.7 mm.
Advanced Base Camp Advanced Rope Controller, Version B Advanced Base Camp
Advanced Rope Controller,
Version B
I 4.7 mm.
Advanced Base Camp Advanced Rope Controller Rigid Advanced Base Camp
Advanced Rope Controller,
Rigid
III 4.7 mm.
AustriAlpin, Version A AustriAlpin, Version A I 3.7 mm.
AustriAlpin, Version B AustriAlpin, Version B III 3.7 mm.
Black Diamond Air Traffic Controller, Version A Black Diamond Air
Traffic Controller,
Version A
I 3.7 mm.
Black Diamond Air Traffic Controller, Version B Black Diamond
Air Traffic Controller,
Version B
I 3.1 mm.
Black Diamond Air Traffic Controller, Version C Black Diamond
Air Traffic Controller,
Version C
IV 4.7 mm.
Image Device Shell
Style
Keeper
Brasovia Wedgemount Brasovia Wedgemount II 4.0 mm.
Camp, Version B Camp, Version B II 4.0 mm.
Camp Shell, Version A Camp Shell, Version A I 3.7 mm.
Camp Shell, Version B Camp Shell, Version B II 3.7 mm.
Climb Axe Max-Air Climb X Max-Air II 4.0 mm.
Climbing Technology Double Climbing Technology Double III 3.7 mm.
Cypher Arc, Version A Cypher Arc, Version A I 3.7 mm.
Cypher Arc, Version B Cypher Arc, Version B III 5.2 mm.
Image Device Shell
Style
Keeper
Fusion Fusion I 3.7 mm.
Good Makings Good Makings II 4.0 mm.
GrandWall Wedgemount GrandWall Wedgemount II 4.0 mm.
Singing Rock Singing Rock I 3.7 mm.
Stubai Stubai, Version A I 3.7 mm.
Stubai BC Stubai BC III 3.7 mm.
Zero-G G-Spot Zero-G G-Spot I 3.7 mm.
   

Each of these is 54±3 mm. long, 46±1 mm. wide, and weighs 59±9 g. Their slots are all 32±1 mm. long and 14±1 mm. wide. They all have plastic-covered cable keepers.

The Black Diamond ATC was the first of these to appear, by many years. The basic design evolved and similar devices appeared from others.

The ATC is a lightweight, popular belaying device among climbers. Rigging is simple: insert a bight of rope and clip it with a suitably anchored carabiner, making sure that the rope is not running over the keeper. Two-rope rigging is similar. On thinner ropes, adding another carabiner helps.

My biggest complaint is that none of these give me enough friction when rappelling with a heavy load on fast 9 mm. rope. I also prefer more friction while belaying, unless my partner is particularly lightweight. For these reasons, I prefer using a Trango Jaws or one of its equivalents.

Any of these will overheat badly on long rappels. Overheating is not an issue when belaying, but can be a concern when lowering someone more than a short distance.

There are four different shell styles in use::

  1. There is a small shelf at each end of the shell with a hole passing through it. The keeper cable has a crimp at the ends, which are visible from the top of the device.
  2. There is a small shelf at each end of the shell with a blind hole in the bottom. The keeper cable enters the holes, and is staked in place. The stake dimples are visible at the ends of the device.
  3. There is a bulge at each end of the shell with a blind hole in the bottom. The keeper cable enters the holes, and is staked in place. The stake dimples are visible at the ends of the device.
  4. Like style III, but the shell has a shallow valley above the bulge.

The differences between the styles are cosmetic rather than functional.

None of the keepers-to-shell are strong enough to support body weight, so don't be stupid enough to rely on a keeper to protect you.

There are also several different diameter keeper cables used on these. Cable keepers are a compromise between a cord that stows easily but tends to get tangled in use, and a rigid rod that stands up to the rope running over it (by accident, of course). I prefer a stiff keeper, but any of these are stiff enough to be used without significant problems.


V-Max
(#1844)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

I acquired my Climb X V-Max from Kevin Liao in 2015.

The Climb X V-Max is a notched belay tube. Mine is 61 mm. long, 41 mm. wide, 94 mm. high, and weighs 65 g. It is forged from aluminum alloy and then soft anodized. It has two slots with V-grooves and a plastic covered cable keeper. The slots are 36 mm. long and 15 mm. wide. There is an opening in each side and in the central rib that help reduce weight. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 19 mm. below the ends of the slots.

Each side is printed with the Climb X logo. One side is also printed with a climber icon and a hand-holding-a-rope icon. These serve as rigging illustrations.

Comments

The V-Max is an improved belay tube that has V-slots that provide additional friction for belaying or rappelling. Each side of each groove has three V-shaped slots, giving the grooves "teeth" to grip the rope more effectively. These teeth act to guide the rope deeper into the slot, in much the same manner as the teeth on the Wild Country Hand ascender work. The teeth do not have the narrow angle found on the Trango Jaws or its equivalents, so they do not create quite the same wedging action, but they are much narrower and work better than those on the Yoke and its equivalents. The teeth on the V-Max also provide a larger bearing area for the rope, which helps reduce localized heating.

The V-Max is esssentially identical to the Kailas Spark.


XP
(#1848)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

I acquired my Climb X XP from Climb X in 2015.

The Climb X XP is a notched belay tube. It is forged from aluminum alloy and then soft anodized. It has two slots with V-grooves and a plastic covered cable keeper. Mine is 54 mm. long, 45 mm. wide, 117 mm. high, and weighs 93 g. The slots are 31 mm. long and 14 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 19 mm. below the ends of the slots.

One side is printed with the Climb X logo. The other side is printed with a rigging illustration and "Ø≤11mm."

Comments

The Climb X XP is one of the following closely-related notched belay tubes:

Image Device Side Keeper
Alpidex Aiolos Alpidex Aiolos Solid 3.8 mm.
Black Diamond ATC-XP, Version A Black Diamond ATC-XP, Version A Solid
/w Logo
4.7 mm.
Black Diamond ATC-XP, Version B Black Diamond ATC-XP, Version B Solid 4.7 mm.
Image Device Side Keeper
Black Diamond ATC-XP, Version C Black Diamond ATC-XP, Version C Solid 4.7 mm.
Black Diamond ATC-XP, Version D Black Diamond ATC-XP, Version D Solid 4.7 mm.
Black Diamond ATC-XP, Version E Black Diamond ATC-XP, Version E Open 4.7 mm.
Image Device Side Keeper
BlueWater Guardian BlueWater Guardian Round Hole 3.8 mm.
Climb X XP Climb X XP Solid 3.8 mm.
Kailas Kguard Kailas Kguard Solid 3.8 mm.

Each of these is 53±2 mm. long and 46±2 mm. wide. Their weighs range from 64 to 95 g., with variations in the lightening holes (or their absence) accounting for the differences. Their slots are all 32±2 mm. long and 14±1 mm. wide. They all have plastic-covered cable keepers, with the Black Diamond keepers being and stiffer than others.

The Black Diamond ATC-XP was the first of these to appear, by many years. Version A was an improved version of their ATC. From there, the basic design evolved and similar devices appeared from others.

Each of these has V-slots to give additional friction for belaying or rappelling. Each side of each groove has three V-shaped slots, giving the grooves "teeth" to grip the rope more effectively. These teeth act to guide the rope deeper into the slot, in much the same manner as the teeth on the Wild Country Hand ascender work. The teeth do not have the narrow angle found on the Trango Jaws or its equivalents, so they do not create the same wedging action. For this reason, I find these less effective than the Jaws family. On the other hand, the teeth on the ATC-XP provide a larger bearing area for the rope, which helps reduce localized heating. These are more massive than the ATC, but will still overheat on long rappels.

The ATC-XP and equivalents are rigged like the ATC, with the V-slots on the brake hand end of the rope. Alternately, they may be reversed to disable the V-slots.

Some of these have a hole or an opening in the sides and the central rib. When present, these reduce the device's weight, but also reduce the devices' surface area for rejecting heat.

My preference from this set is for the Black Diamond ATC-XP, Version C, which is the lightest of the group and has the stiffer keeper; however, it requires closer thermal monitoring on rappel.


XTC Pro Guide
(#2725)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

I acquired my Climb X XTC Pro Guide from Climb X in 2018.

The Climb X XTC Pro Guide is a notched belay tube. IIt is forged from aluminum alloy and then soft anodized. The XTC Pro Guide features two slots with ribbed v-shaped grooves, a large eye, a smaller release hole, and a stiff plastic-covered cable keeper. Mine is 103 mm. long, 42 mm. wide, 97 mm. high, and weighs 109 g. The slots are 37 mm. long and 14 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 24 mm. below the ends of the slots.

One side is printed with a rigging illustration, "Climb X," "Ø8mm-11mm," and "0415."

Comments

The rugged design of the XTC Pro Guide makes it one of the heavier belay tubes. The extra weigh provides more mass for absorbing heat.


Version A
(#2891)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

I acquired my Climb X, Version A from Adventure Outdoors in 2021.

Version A is forged from aluminum alloy and then soft anodized. Mine is 56 mm. long, 48 mm. wide, 99 mm. high, and weighs 57 g. The slots are 35 mm. long and 16 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 7 mm. below the ends of the slots. Version A has a flexible, plastic-covered, cable keeper.

One side is marked with the Climb X logo, while the other has two rigging icons, one showing the low friction arrangement with a "-" in a circle underneath, and one one showing the high friction arrangement with a "+" in a circle underneath.

Comments

The following closely-related belay tubes include the Climb X as an example:

Image Device Keeper High-end
Notch
Anpen Anpen Cable U
Brasovia Lightweight Brasovia Lightweight Cable U
Climb Axe Max Climb Axe Max Cable U
Climb X, Version A Climb X, Version A Cable U
Clog Flyer, Version A Clog Flyer, Version A Rod V
Clog Flyer, Version B Clog Flyer, Version B Rod V
Image Device Keeper High-end
Notch
Ellis Brigham Climb Ellis Brigham Climb Rod V
GrandWall GrandWall Cable U
Kailas Kailas Cable U
Kong Chuy Kong Chuy Cable U
KTD KTD Rod V
Mad Rock Max Air Mad Rock Max Air Cable U
Image Device Keeper High-end
Notch
Ocùn Tuber, Version A Ocùn Tuber, Version A Cable U
Ocùn Tuber, Version B Ocùn Tuber, Version B Cable U
Rock Empire Guard Rock Empire Guard Cable U
Simond Tubik Simond Tubik Cable U
 
 

Each of these is 55±1 mm. long and 47±1 mm. wide, and has a weight in the 54±3 g. range. Their slots are all 35±1 mm. long and 16 mm. wide. The main differences are that most have cable keepers and U-shaped notches on both ends, but some have rod keepers and V-shaped notches on the high end.

These have several distinctive features, but overall, perform like most devices of this type. The rope slots are hour-glass shaped, but this does not appear to affect their performance. They are slightly asymmetrical with a high and a low end, giving two distinct riggings. One would expect a difference in friction for the two riggings, with more friction if the braking line runs over the shorter end; however, I do not notice much difference.

Most of these have shallow U-notches at both ends. The Clog Flyer, Ellis Brigham Climb and KTD have V-notches at the high end, so I call these notched belay tubes. The V-notches are not as tall and acute as those on the Trango Jaws and its equivalents, so they do not provide as much braking. The U-notches on the others are are too shallow to noticeably amplify braking.

I prefer the ones with the rigid rod keeper. For the others, the plastic-coated cable keeper is moderately flexible, but stiff enough that it tends to stay out from under the rope.