Sunday, April 23, 2017

GEAR JUNKIE: Mad Rock Lifeguard

Petzl's GriGri line has dominated the assisted braking device market since the 90's, but could that be about to change?


The Mad Rock Lifeguard is the latest rival of the Petzl GriGri which has dominated the market for almost 25 years. It is lighter, smaller and more affordable than other auto block devices on the market and it's holding power unmatched. Having spent some time fiddling with this at the crag and gym, I now find myself leaving the GriGri at home in favor of this.

Cost: $$
As with all products from Mad Rock, the price tag is very reasonable. At $90 each, it's roughly $60 cheaper than its strongest competitor, the Peztl GriGri+ which retails around $150 and still $40 cheaper than the new Wild Country Revo.

Performance: 4/5
I've had this for a month now and I paired it up with Madrocks new Gemini carabiner (looks crazy, check it out here!). It took some getting used to, but once i'd become accustomed to the size and holding of the Lifeguard, it's performance was great. I tried it with a Sterling Fusion Nano IX and it never once got jammed feeding rope. The handle on the device took a second to find that sweet spot where i'm not crawling, but i'm not free falling either, but after a handful of belays, i'd got it down. Though slightly lighter than the other devices on the market at just 156g, it's structure feels incredibly dense and sturdy. Overall a very solid device and performed well. 

Value: 5/5
With an affordable price, great usability and unmatched holding power, the Madrock Lifeguard is a steal for the price.