The Beal Birdie is an assisted braking belay device with the cam and friction parts in stainless steel to increase durability. This device works much the same as a GriGri, assisting braking should the climber fall, and utilising a similar kind of handle to lower the climber. The axis ensures the rope doesn't twist when going in or coming out of the device.
|ROPE COMPATIBILITY||8.5 - 10.5 mm|
• No twisting of the rope
• Compact and ergonomic for a good grip
3 product reviews
I purchased a few of these devices for my family and I've used one roughly 10 times. The only device I've used to compare it to is the ATC pilot and the pilot seems like a better product, for now. The birdie is a little heavy and feeding rope isn't as easy as the pilot. Also, lowering someone is not that smooth - my wife was having a lot of difficulty lowering me.
The construction of these seems really good though and it's possible after a few more uses I"ll end up liking it better and maybe even more than the pilot.
The Birdie feels solid and smooth, yet its still easy to hold on to. Locks quick and the release also works well. Only downside is that the rope tends to dance around quite much when lowering your partner, the "thumb-trick" - as mentioned in the epic-tv video review feels rather akward.
I took the chance and ordered the Birdie over the Grigri. Tested it today and am very pleased :). Solid piece of kit, well made. Tested it with a 8.9, 9.8 and 10mm rope. The 8.9 is very easy to give out slack also when the climber is clipping, no need for extra tricks like with the grigri. Just push and pull the rope through. The system lock is reliable but it really takes a fall to activate. The 9. 8 and 10mm rope is also easy to feed out slack, no early lockups. But it takes a bit more finesse when paying out when clipping. Still no need to lock the cam. The system lock is beautiful with both 9.8 and 10 and lowering is a joy. Really happy with it!
I'll alternate the birdie with my BD atc pilot, still think the pilot doesn't get the love it deserves. Love the atc pilot when lead belaying, so smooth. Now got 2 solid pieces of gear I can belay my ass of with. Happy times to be :)