The Petzl Stop is a popular choice of descender, thanks to it being easy to use and having the backup of the automatic brake (remember to lock it off if you've stopped though!). It can also be used instead of a chest jammer in an emergency on short pitches. The downside is that it can get a bit warm on long descents of a dry rope (think Alum pot North West) so take a squeezy bottle of water with you!
The Petzl Grigri is n single rope belay device with an assisted braking system. The internal cam pinches the rope as it is weighted, pivoting the device. Along with good belaying technique, the assisted braking helps hold a climber and catch them in a fall. The progressive action of the cam allows gradual control when lowering a climber.
The Petzl Grigri + is an assisted braking belay device that features an anti-panic handle. It is particularly suitable for learning and intensive use, such as belaying a partner whose really trying to push their sports grade, or for beginners who have just started belaying. The Grigri + is a cam-assisted blocking device for climbing in the gym or outside. The selector knob allows the user to choose between two belay modes: top-rope or lead climbing. Reinforced for intensive use, it can be used with single ropes from 8.5 to 11 mm.
The DMM Figure 8 is ideal for group or individual abseiling and has the advantage of a wide karabiner hole that will accept two karabiners, making it good for rescue purposes. If you do a lot of abseiling where your belay device overheats or gets worn quickly then get yourself a DMM Figure of 8.
The Air Force 8 is a lightweight "Figure 8" style descender, perfect for canyoneering, cold weather abseiling and high altitude mountaineering.
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