Mad rock lifeguard opinions


Original Post
Callum Parkinson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 95

Hi I a member looking for people's opinions on the madrock lifeguard and how well it works for belaying and rappelling. I am not interested in how well it works aposed to other devices. Just how well it works for general tasks.

20 kN · · Hawaii · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,128

It's okay. Similar to the GriGri, just about a third the size. Maybe not quite as smooth. I wouldent use the carabiner that is designed for it, use a different one.

Pavel Burov · · Russia · Joined May 2013 · Points: 25

My $0.02 on the topic.

Buy a Grigri. 'cause everybody knows how to use Grigri. Price tag is not a valid argument 'cause it will serve you for years and the price is virtually nothing versus all gas and food expenses you will have in those years to travel to your favorite crags.

P.S. Personally I do not use and do not trust those fancy devices and prefer to be belayed with good old tube.

Callum Parkinson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 95

Thanks I am looking at it more for abseiling as I am an instructor and like that extra piece of mind when I am helping out students.

that guy named seb · · Britland · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 0
Callum Parkinson wrote:

Thanks I am looking at it more for abseiling as I am an instructor and like that extra piece of mind when I am helping out students.

Buy a petzl rig.

zoso · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2007 · Points: 425

I personally like it as it feeds slack nearly as easily as a tube.  Lowering with it, otoh, is on/off; hard to modulate it very well. 

Peter Brown-Whale · · Randallstown, MD · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 0

I used one for several months, feeding slack is quite smooth, in fact in that regard I preferred it to a grigri but I never liked how it was with lowering.  I stuck with it for a while to see if I'd get used to it but never did and so switched back to my trusty megajul.

Noah Yetter · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 10

Love mine. I basically don't use anything else anymore. Grigri2 is a bit better when it comes to lowering, but I don't care nearly as much about that as actual belaying.

20 kN · · Hawaii · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,128
that guy named seb wrote:

Buy a petzl rig.

Kind of unnecessary for recreational use. They are far more expensive than most belay devices (~$190) and they wont work on thin ropes. If you go with a device like that, I'd reccomend the Stop instead. That's more or less the recreational version of the Rig--kind of. It only works for rappelling though, you cant belay with it.

that guy named seb · · Britland · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 0
20 kN wrote:

Kind of unnecessary for recreational use. They are far more expensive than most belay devices (~$190) and they wont work on thin ropes. If you go with a device like that, I'd reccomend the Stop instead. That's more or less the recreational version of the Rig--kind of. It only works for rappelling though, you cant belay with it.

Petzl rig goes for a mere £90 here, i guess you guys are getting bent over a barrel on the pricing. He said he wanted the extra security for rappeling with students, if he wants ultimate security he could always go for the ID. The stop goes at around £70 and is severely lacking any versatility.

See if you could order it in from Europe even with import fee's it would be drastically cheaper than $190.

Callum Parkinson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 95

The main reason I am looking at the lifeguard as an option opposed to the rig is it is 2-3 times smaller, cheaper and lighter. Also I am just considering this is another option and am looking for opinions on the lifeguard not other devices that may be "better".

Brian L. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

I don't have direct experience, but what almost every review says is it's not as good as a Grigri for lowering/abseiling. So you may want to find one to borrow before employing it for primary abseiling duty.

I am wondering if using a biner like the Freino might help the situation (or just using a 2nd redirect biner on the brake strand). I haven;t seen anyone mention trying this yet. 

I ordered one on sale yesterday from back country. I'll play around with it when it arrives, and report back.

(Hmm, strange. not listed on backcountry.com's site any more. I did notice their amazon listing said only 1 in stock. Did I get the last one?)

Benjixxx · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0

I own one and a gri gri 2,  I prefer the lifeguard especially if a relative noob is belaying me as it tends to feed slack smoother.  Lowering is a little more snatchy but no problem.  I actually prefer the CT Click up to them both.

Josh Janes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2001 · Points: 7,953

The Lifeguard is awesome!

Compared to the GRIGRI it is lighter and more compact, it has a more solid construction, and is easier to pay out slack using “proper” technique and harder to prevent proper locking by accidentally squeezing the cam closed.

It has now replaced my GRIGRI for multipitch climbing. I still use the GRIGRI as my workhorse/cragging device - or if I know I’ll be descending fixed lines - as the size and shape of the flange make it easier to feed out slack using the “pinch the cam closed” method (which is useful for intense belaying) and it lowers *slightly* better. 

I think the difference in lowering between the two is noticeable but exaggerated in this thread and others. Note I’ve only used sub-9.5mm ropes with it.

In practice it handles very much like a GRIGRI and transitioning from one to the other is easy. I’ve been using a GRIGRI for 15+ years and love it, but if I could only have one device, at this point, it would be the Lifeguard.

Noah Yetter · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 10
Brian L. wrote:

I don't have direct experience, but what almost every review says is it's not as good as a Grigri for lowering/abseiling. So you may want to find one to borrow before employing it for primary abseiling duty.

I am wondering if using a biner like the Freino might help the situation (or just using a 2nd redirect biner on the brake strand). I haven;t seen anyone mention trying this yet. 

I ordered one on sale yesterday from back country. I'll play around with it when it arrives, and report back.

(Hmm, strange. not listed on backcountry.com's site any more. I did notice their amazon listing said only 1 in stock. Did I get the last one?)

I use a Freino with mine and it makes a big difference. Highly recommended.

Callum Parkinson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 95

I don't really need the Fresno and plus it is really expensive in Australia so if I need more friction I will probably just add in a carabiner with a munter or something along those lines

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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