User Review: Black Diamond ATC-Guide
The BD ATC-Guide is a tube-style belay/rappel device with friction ridges. In this respect it is very much like its predecessor, the BD ATC-XP, and innumerable other similar devices. What makes the ATC-Guide unique is the addition of two loops of aluminum. What this addition achieves is threefold:
1) For belaying a second, the ATC-Guide can now be set-up to brake automatically, much like the Petzl Reverso/Reversino. Note that all normal belay attention/precautions apply, but just that there is now a backup to normal belay.
2) The additional loops of aluminum functions as an effective heat sink, allowing this device to run cooler than comparable tube-style devices.
3) The additional loop of aluminum is helpful for setting up a Z-rig rappel, which greatly increases friction. This is applicable mostly for canyoneering, where single-stranded rappels on wet and thin (9mm or less) rope necessitates that level of friction.
It has been noted that user feedback for the ATC-XP convinced Black Diamond to tone-down the friction ridges for the ATC-Guide. Whereas the ATC-XP has been said to have ~3 times the friction of the plain ATC, the ATC-Guide is said to have ~2 times the friction. In any case, the friction ridges still provide quite a bit of friction to the point that I prefer rappelling without using them in normal conditions. But it is certainly nice to have should the need arise.
There isn't much more to say except for the fact that the device works as advertised, with no obvious faults to speak of. It is good enough to go unnoticed, which is actually high praise.