Reviewed by Marty : Singing Rock's Shuttle
The SHUTTLE was designed by Singing Rock as their answer to the multiple guide-mode belay devices on the market. Comparable to Petzl's Reverso, Trango's B-52 and Black Diamond's ATC-guide, the SHUTTLE offers maximum versatility and performative function. It has grooves designed and shaped to provide equal friction for both thin and thick ropes, is lightweight (65g) and has the possibility of simultaneously belaying two climbers. We asked South Australian climber Marty (check him out on Instagram or Facebook @that_rock_climbing_guy) to review the SHUTTLE and compare it to his current belay devices. Read below for what he has to say.
The Singing Rock Shuttle rrp $33.95
After weeks of bad weather, I finally had the chance to head out to the crag at Onkaparinga to test out the Singing Rock Shuttle belay device. Having never used an ATC (as I have always used a GriGri+), I roped in my climbing partner Mick to assist in evaluating the Shuttle. Mick was excited to give the Shuttle a work out, as it is similar to his Petzl Reverso. We started at some technical grade 17s, and I geared up with my trusty Singing Rock Attack 2 harness. Mick lead the first route. I then handed over the Shuttle and began my climb.
Contemplating the route.
My Initial Evaluation
The first obvious difference with the Shuttle is its light weight. At only 65 grams the Singing Rock Shuttle looks similar in size than Mick's Petzl Reverso (which weighs 57 grams), which is only slightly larger, with a larger cable. Like the Shuttle, the Petzl Reverso also has a rope and climber direction printed onto the side, however the Reverso has a lip to protect the printing, where as the Shuttle has a smooth rounded exterior, which could possibly wear off with use over time. Initially Mick remarked that the Shuttle felt less refined with its smooth surface, thin cable and matte finish compared to the more rugged look and style of the Reverso. Once clipped onto his harness, the Shuttle came into its own and felt just as good as the Petzl Reverso. Any thoughts that the Shuttle might not be as good as the Reverso were quickly dispelled. Its size and weight were equally comparable to the Reverso and the Shuttle demonstrated well despite the differences, a testament to Singing Rock's commitment to build quality and functional products.
The V grooves of the Shuttle created ample friction for breaking and holding falls with our 9.7mm rope. The rope fed through the Shuttle with ease as I climbed, and held securely when locking off as I cleaned the route. Notably, whilst climbing I felt no grab as the rope ran smoothly through the Shuttle. All up the Shuttle performed exceptionally well as a belay device in all aspects of our climb. However, when we attached a carabiner to the Shuttle's attachment point we noted that it didn’t quite have as much space to move freely like the Reverso, which could allow the Shuttle to become stuck under load when attached to an anchor point. This was his only comment on an improvement that Singing Rock could consider in the future.
Comparing the attachment point size.
Mick on belay with the Shuttle.
Singing Rock has proven again that their design and manufacturing quality are up there with the best. As a ground based belay device, without moving on to more advanced use, the effort Singing Rock have gone to, to supply a well designed, multi-use device, that is easy to use, is evident. We simply could not fault the Shuttle in any serious way. We would like to see a larger connection point for the hanger on future designs, that being said the Shuttle’s functionality for our day of top-roping couldn’t be faulted.
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