Unnecessary, "psychological" backup. I was terrified…

Rating: rated 1 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: retail


Unnecessary, "psychological" backup.


  • Creates a sense of security


  • Creates a false sense of security

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 a panic situation, a person does not unconsciously let go (next time you're with a driver who slams on the brakes, notice your clenched fists afterwards). So in order for the Shunt to actually work, you have to intentionally let go at a moment when your nature reaction is to squeeze tighter.

The Shunt gave me the initial psychological security I needed to get use to rope work. But once I became familiar and accustomed to my equipment, I realized how useless this piece of equipment really is.

Save your money and take a quality rappelling class!

I highly recommend the Shunt. Use with extreme caution…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it used


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'!


  • Simplicity
  • Double rope use
  • Rope friendly (no teeth)


  • Requires full understanding of the device
  • Heavier than a Prusik cord

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.


Welcome to Trailspace, Stephen! Thanks for the review of your Shunt.

7 months ago

Where to Buy

sponsored links
Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support Trailspace's independent gear reviews.