The Mammut Smart Alpine works with single, double, and some twin ropes, and offers active braking support. “Rappelling with a heavy pack is a breeze,” reports our tester, since the device naturally cams against the rope and minimizes brake-hand effort. When belaying a second climber, the Smart Alpine locks up quickly but feeds out smoothly.
“No more yarding rope through your device and wearing out your arms for the next pitch,” he rejoices. Our sister publication, Climbing magazine, calls it one of the year’s best innovations. Available in two sizes: 7.9 to 9.5mm ropes, and 8.9 to 10.5mm ropes. $45; 5 oz.; mammut.ch
See all "essential" reviews from the 2011 Gear