Kong GiGi Belay Device

An effective auto blocker, you’ll need to do a bit of searching to uncover whether or not you’ll need the Kong GiGi. One of the most effective belays for anyone but a lead climber, this is a system you can really rely on.

Kong GiGi Belay Device Review

While you might think that the most important climbing gear is the stuff you interfaced with directly to scale the face or the wall that you’re climbing, the reality is that your group safety system is absolutely essential as well. And while there are all different kinds of personal feelings about the best safety gear you can find, choosing the right belay and rappel is mission critical. One of the fastest and cheapest auto blocking belays on the market, is a very real and serious reason they’ve never heard of the Kong GiGi.

Kong GiGi Review — First Impressions

While the Kong GiGi was the first ever auto blocking belay on the market, it still hasn’t exactly swept itself into the arms of climbers all over the world. There are a couple reasons for this, and even though it’s become incredibly popular among guides and climbing professionals, most amateurs shy away from it because the simple design flaw: the Kong GiGi simply can’t be used to belay a leader. The easiest auto blocking belay to use on the market Even still, this is by far the easiest auto blocker to use on the entire market. There is literally no other option in the climbing world that is as easy to pull a rope through than the Kong GiGi. In case you don’t know, auto blocking simply means that the rope is automatically caught when belaying directly off of an anchor above you. While this means that all follow-up climbers will have instant on safety system to rely on and climb with, the fact of the matter is that the lead climber will be without a safety set up. Now this is only true if he uses the Kong GiGi as his only belay (which is not recommended), but does add a little bit to the weight in the amount of tools will be hanging from your belt.

Kong GiGi Video Review

When speed is everything

It would literally be impossible for you to find any outdoor reviews that talk about the Kong GiGi in anything less than glowing remarks regarding the speed and ease of drawing a rope through the belay. There is simply nothing on the market that can even come close to the comfort and control and ease-of-use when using this belay system. What’s difficult put a percentage point on how fast you be able to go when you use the Kong GiGi, the fact of the matter is that even just using it once upon a big Texas smile on your face when you realize just how easy belay systems should and can be. But it’s not just how quickly and easily you can hook into a belay when you talking about the system, but also how easily and quickly you can escape a belay. While there are other auto blockers on the market, none make it as simple to escape is this product from Kong does. The Kong GiGi has a large hole easily and seamlessly helps you slip and change the orientation of the device to feed the rope. A raised rib on one side forces the locker shift to one side but keeps both ropes from locking. Sure there are other products on the market that let you do this, but only after some rigorous practice time and serious training. None of that is necessary when you use this belay, and clocking in at just under two half ounces is also the lightest auto blockers.

It’s all about follow the leader

The biggest drawback and something that cannot be avoided is a simple fact that the Gigi cannot be used to belay a leader. While much of the design has made this much loved on the ropes for follow-up climbers, leaders will have to have a different and secondary system to use as their main belay while they scale the face. There is no keeper loop, and while there is a next her whole that you can clip to isn’t nearly as secure as other products on the market are, causing a bit of trouble for anyone looking to be the first of the face. If you’re looking to belay from above this is probably not a major drawback, but anyone starting a ground-level going up, up and away we need to take serious considerations into the secondary belay system. If you’re willing to pass your belay back and forth or using multi-pitch roots you’ll find no trouble at all, and if you’re strictly a follower you’ll love this belay.

Kong GiGi Specs

Weight 2.4 oz / 68 g
Material aluminium allo
Best Use Multi-Pitch Routes, Rappelling, Sport Climbing
Belay Device Type Manual Catch
Rope Capacity 8 11 mm
MSRP: $14.37

Conclusion

The cheapest auto blocker on the market, you’d be crazy not to use this frustration free device as long as you’re not the leader. Look for the Kong Gigi to help you scale face faster and more easily than ever before.

Written by Stan Tyan