The best ascenders, reviewed and curated by the Trailspace community. The latest review was added on October 16, 2018. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.
Recent Ascender Reviews
I highly recommend the Shunt. Use with extreme caution like any piece of equipment. Warning: Never attach a lanyard to the little hole at the back to be used as a 'Tow Line'! Warning : Never attach a Lanyard to the little hole at the back to be used as a 'Tow Line'! I use the Shunt for top roping usually with extended friction hitch backup above the Shunt, which is itself extended from the belay loop. Sometimes I use the Shunt for leg loop placement descending backup instead of a friction hitch. Full review
Kong Lift Ascender
A pretty good ascender that feels more solid than the Petzl. I borrowed one of these for a couple climbs. It is more heavy and solid feeling than the Petzl. I liked it, but I think when the teeth wear down a bit it may slide and catch. There are no teeth on the outside edges of the cam. That being said, it may take a long time to wear out one of these; the cam feels like solid steel. Also of note, the cam spring tension is more than a Petzl, so it takes more pressure for the rope to feed. Full review
Review for Short Ultracenders. These are smooth and bombproof. I got a pair of these a long time ago. Wore out the cams around 100,000'. CMI replaced the cams, then after 50,000-70,000' more the cams got replaced again. I still have them, and they still work, but the rope wells are getting very worn so I don't use them as much as I did. Super company, awesome product, and made in the USA. Full review
This is a great ascender. This is my favorite handled ascender. I own three of them. One is retired, and has over 150,000' of rope work on it. The teeth were starting to get too thin, so I replaced it with a new one. The ascender still bites due to Petzl's great design! Full review
Singing Rock Footer Ascender Sling
The Singing Rock Footer Ascender Sling is a quality, adjustable foot tape that allows those using a Frog ascending system to set the right length for climbing rope. As with all Sing Rock equipment I have used, I find it reasonably priced and well worth considering. At the heart of a "Frog" rope ascension system is a foot ascender, with its accompanying foot lanyard. The foot ascender has two lines coming off of it. The first, is the life supporting lanyard that attaches to the harness. The second… Full review
Unnecessary, "psychological" backup. I was terrified of rappelling and ascending ropes 14 years ago. So I bought the Shunt as a "back up" in case I messed up a rappel. The Shunt connects from your harness to the rope above your rappel device. To descend, you must use your non-dominate hand to hold open the cam. If you let go, the cam slams shut, pinching the rope and halting your descent. To that end, this device works fine. HOWEVER, human nature in a fall is to grab hold and squeeze tighter. In… Full review
Singing Rock Puller Chest Ascender Harness
An important part of any ascension system, the Singing Rock Puller Chest Harness is well-made and dependable. I have owned several of these units, retiring them as age requires. They are still available in climbing stores and well worth the few bucks. Singing Rock is a great company, and this is a great item to use with a Frog Ascension System. The harness keeps your chest ascender (I prefer Petzl's Croll) in place on a climb. Without it, a climber would risk the ascender disconnecting from the… Full review
Does what it is supposed to do quite well. I have been using the Patin for years as a supplement to my Frog Ascension. Normally, when you start out ascending a rope, you have to pinch the rope between your feet to get started. This is because, until you get a good 10' off the ground, there is not enough weight on the rope to automatically pull it through the ascenders. Pinching the rope with construction boots on can be a task, and a climber can expend a lot of energy in the initial ascent. The… Full review
The Petzl Ascension is the only foot ascender on the market worth looking at. Although the price is a bit higher, I have known cavers who regretted trying cheaper alternatives. If you are new to rope work, Petzl is the brand to buy...period! So, I have said the same thing on my Petzl Croll review, but in a "Frog" ascending system, the Croll and Ascension are both critical components. You can't safely have one without the other. The Petzl Ascention is the only foot ascender I've ever used for caving. Full review
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