Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: $40 | Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros: Light, low bulk, easy to adjust.
Cons: Not comfortable, inefficient to lead with.
Best Uses: Speed climbs or following where you want the lightest aider possible.
The Petzl Quickstep are some of the best aiders you can get in this style. I am generally not a fan of this adjustable kind because you can't lead with them efficiently. However, these are so light that I may consider using them as jugging aiders in certain applications, such as speed climbing. I just used them on a one-day ascent of Mt. Watkins with Tommy Caldwell and was pretty impressed.
Overall, they are a specialty item only suitable for experienced wall climbers who climb walls fast (and even those climbers may not want them). The main competitors are the Yates Speed Stirrup, which is much heavier but more comfortable, and the Metolius Easy Aider, which is a little heavier and more bulky but also more comfortable and a hair cheaper. Overall, I lean toward the Petzl because the whole point of an aider like this is to be as light and streamlined as possible.
See How this compared to the other aiders and etriers that we tested in our complete aider Review.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
These are the lightest aiders to use for ascending that I know of. They are also very streamlined and not bulky. The quick adjusting buckle is easy to use to get the right length. The buckle is also nice and small my main resistance to this style of aider is that most other models use really big, beefy buckles. Your feet generally stay in the aiders and there is even an extra cord to make them stay. I never used it but beginning aid climbers might appreciate it.
While these work great on walls with lots of ledges, they are not ideal for walls with many hanging belays. The steps are thin and not comfy to stand in for an hour or more. It is also a bit of a pain to constantly adjust the length at a belay because you then have to re-adjust it later.
While it is fairly easy to get your feet in and out, it is not as easy as with a typical pair of aiders. This means they are not great for tricky pitches to clean and not good for traversing pitches (like the Great Roof on The Nose).
These are ideal for mostly free big walls that you are climbing a day. They would excel on something like Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome where you want to save weight and want a low bulk aider for cleaning. They are not ideal for serious aid routes.
At $35 these are not cheap, especially in that they are not very versatile really only good for cleaning in specialty applications. For the same price or less you can get a real pair of aiders.
— Chris McNamara
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: August 30, 2011
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