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Petzl stop Vs other descending devices


Staff member
I bought a new version Stop in October 2019. It felt more positive on the rope than the old version and I do like it. I've got through a lot of Stops over the years, used Rigs and IDs at work and even had a rack on the occasional big foreign pothole. My new Stop now has small holes in both the top and bottom bobbins and needs replacing. As several suggested when this version came out it will wear more quickly and you will spend more on replacements. It is a good descender but it does depend on what is more more important to you as Simples will be cheaper to run. There is no right or wrong descender on the market it really depends on what suits you.


I started caving on a Simple but been primarily using an old style Stop with a Raumer for the last decade or so. Roughly 2 years ago I got a BMS micro rack because I got sick of changing bobbins all the time.
My old style Stop now has stainless bobbins, but I still prefer the rack for in situ long-ish drops and when transporting very heavy weights (25kg cement bags down to a dig). Never used a Rig, but would certainly give it a go.

Tried the new Stop and absolutely hated it. My main gripe was that with an old Stop depressing the handle naturally puts me in an upright position, whereas with the new one I felt like pulling the handle forced me further away from the rope being very hard on the core. Contrasting a device I've used for a decade vs. one I used for 180m of SRT is a little unfair, and ultimately an academic argument as I won't be able to keep the old Stop alive forever.

Like others have pointed out what's the bees knees for caver X will be completely useless to caver Y.


Active member
I used an id/rig for years and found that when you find the sweet spot if you tuck your elbow into your hip it becomes even smoother and no arm ache


Well-known member
I should add that I use a quickdraw dogbone (a little 10cm or 12cm one) to extend my Rig away from my central Omni which makes it slightly more comfy to use the handle.


I love my Simple. tried an old style stop and didnt like it at all. much harder work than the simple. wouldnt mind trying a rack but not willing to spend money on something i may or may not like given how the simple is, well, simple to use

Ian P

Active member
I have 4 “descenders” and always carry 2. I appreciate the initial investment is a bit “steep” but in my head at least it works out no more expensive in the long term ??
Stop (old), Simple, Rig (all paired with an Edilrid “bullet proof” snapgate) and HMS crabs on cowstails. I try and pick the best one for the trip. I.E. The simple for a trip through Swinsto and the Rig for working with a group. I quite often use an Italian hitch on my Cowstail for short “hand-line” type pitches or where a pitch is constricted and I only have my Rig.
Never had a Rack but maybe I should ask Santa for one.
The best descender?? The one you are most comfortable with I would say.


Active member
+1 for Italian hitch: very useful.

I once did an Alpine season with this technique, having abbed off the end of my rope (intentionally) and thus loosing my belay device (unintentionally) . A bit careless of me!

Like Ian I use it on handling and mini pitches.


Never really got on with the old Stop. I've been using micro racks with hyperbars for years. My current weapon of choice is the BMS microrack. I find they give a superbly smooth progression down the rope.