If you need to add a descender to your rescue or recreational climbing gear, you should learn about the 5 best Descender rigs. Descenders are a type of "brake" used in a similar manner to a belay device. The difference is that most descenders are specifically designed for descending purposes only. The following best descender rigs will be helpful for professionals attempting climbing rescues or climbing caves.
- Petzl D21A Rig Descender. The D21A Rig descender is made for expert climbers and features an automatic return system and won't snag your rope. You can The D21A Descender rig comes in yellow or black and fits rope diameters between 10.5 and 11.5 mm. Note: The Petzl D21Z is not intended for belaying purposes as it is not designed to withstand a large fall.
- Petzl I'D Descender D20S. The D20 descender rig features a built-in "anti-panic" system, this self-breaking system is similar to a "grigri." The D20S is compatible with ropes 10 to 11.5mm in diameter. This best descender rig is heavier at 19 ounces and is not intended for sport climbing. The D20s is designed to be used as a rescue device.
- Petzl Simple Descender. This best descender rig is easy to use and it is designed to be compatible with single ropes with a diameter of 9mm to 12mm. The simple descender rig is U-shaped for long descends down caves, for example. The simple descender allows you to adjust the bars to fit your rope and achieve your desired friction.
- Petzl Pirana Descender. The Pirana descender rig is a figure-eight descender rig compatible with single or double ropes. You can take the pirana to the rock gym and use it for belaying, or you can use it outdoors for a fast descent. The Pirana is lightweight and should be used in combination with a carabineer.
- Petzl Stop Descender. This best descender rig is self-breaking, so you can stop your descent at different points on your rope. The stop descender can also be used on ascents (if they are short or indoors). The stop descender has aluminum wheels and rope can be put through the descender without detaching it from your harness. Reviewers say that the stop descender is easy to lock and use and it is weather resistant.