Mad Rock Lifeguard assisted braking belay device

Mad Rock Lifeguard Review – How does it Compare to the Grigri

Mad Rock Lifeguard Review


Name: Lifeguard
Website: Amazon.com
Manufacture: Mad Rock
Support rope diameter: 8.9 – 11mm
Material: forged aircraft grade aluminum & stainless steel
Weight: 154g or 5.4oz
Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty on defective product

Overall Rank: 4.2 out of 5

Lifeguard, Product Overview

The Lifeguard is a one size and one color assisted braking belay device. Its function and look are similar to a Grigri but slightly smaller, lighter, and cheaper in price.

The material is made of aircraft grade aluminum and stainless steel including the lever. The cam locks up and catches quickly when the climber fall.

The Lifeguard can be used similar to the tubular device belay techniques with single ropes ranging from 8.9mm to 11mm for lead and top rope climbing.

Although, the specification said that the Lifeguard can handle rope with the diameter up to 11mm, there is higher friction with thicker rope such as 10.5 and above when giving out slack quickly. This can cause the cam to lock up and make it harder to give climber slack. With thinner rope, the Lifeguard does a better job feeding out rope.

As far as smoothness in lowering the climber, some people still consider the Grigri to be better perhaps because of the lever. The Lifeguard release lever is slightly smaller and does not go back as far as the Grigri. It does take some time to find the right way to use it.


The Good & the Baddevil-and-angel

The Good:

PRO #1 – The Lifeguard is a smaller version of the Grigri with stainless steel and forged aircraft grade aluminum. It is a little bit lighter in comparison as well. The lever is metal instead of hard plastic like the Grigri.

PRO #2 – Feeding the rope through is simple, easy, and similar to the tubular device. You do not require to pull up the lever in order to feed the rope to the climber.

PRO #3 – Lock off quickly and do not require to have as much force holding the rope for the brake hand as the regular tubular device. Less stress on the brake hand.

PRO #4 – Limited Lifetime Warranty on defective product excluding wear and tear.

The Bad:

CON #1 – The Lifeguard may be too small and cumbersome for climbers with large hands.

CON #2 – Base on the testers from outdoorgearlab.com, it does not handle well with lightweight (below 100 pounds). The catch or bite of the brake does not perform as well with kids or adults under 100 pounds.

Who is Lifeguard For?

The Lifeguard is great for seasoned climber who like smaller and lighter assisted braking belay device with similar functionality of a Grigri. It is a bit of getting used to for the beginners to appreciate its features.

 

Lifeguard Training Video

My Final Opinion of Mad Rock Lifeguard

The Lifeguard does have the similar look as a Grigri except it is smaller in size.

grigri-lifeguard-comparison
Image posted by Noah Yetter on Mountain Project – Grigri (black/grey) & Lifeguard (red)

From my research, I see similar positives and negatives for one versus another comparing between the Grigri and the Lifeguard. It boils down to preference. They both have similar function, strong points, and weak points. The biggest factors that set them apart are the size and weight.

I have not belay with the Lifeguard yet. I have small hands and as you may have guessed it. I would probably prefer the Lifeguard because of its size. What is your preference?

Lifeguard at a Glance…

Name: Lifeguard
Website: Amazon.com
Manufacture: Mad Rock
Support rope diameter: 8.9 – 11mm
Material: Forged aircraft grade aluminum & stainless steel
Weight: 154g or 5.4oz
Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty on defective product

Overall Rank: 4.2 out of 5

Any questions or comments about the Lifeguard? I would love to read it. Please leave them below in my comment box.



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