Hands-on Gear Review

Petzl Tibloc Review

Petzl Tibloc
By: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief  ⋅  Apr 16, 2010
Price:  $35 List  |  $34.95 at MooseJaw
Pros:  Light, works on icy ropes, compact.
Cons:  Expensive.
Manufacturer:   Petzl

Our Verdict

The Petzl Tibloc is one of the lightest and most compact ascending devices out there. It does a great job grabbing icy ropes and is very compact and lightweight. It does not replace a tradition handled ascender]. Instead, it's meant more for emergencies.

If you have the money, this is a great device. If you are on a budget, and mostly a rock climber, I would probably just use a prusik cord instead. However, if you are a mountaineer and want a device that will grab icy ropes in an emergency, this is a great device. If you are looking for a real full-function ascender, check out the Petzl Ascension Ascender.

Our Analysis and Test Results



This is great for emergency and rescue situations whether you need to get someone out of a crevasse or just need to ascend a rope for a short distance. It is so light that you barely notice it when clipped to the side of your harness. Many people think of it as a prusik replacement. It is about the same weight as a prusik but less bulky. It works smoother and faster than a prusik and does a better job grabbing icy and wet ropes than a prusik.


This works great for ascending short distances but in no way is a replacement for a handled ascender like the Petzl Ascension. It it not as fast or smooth to operate and takes some getting used to. This fact is obvious to most people, but I mention it here just to make sure you understand its capabilities and limitations before buying one.

Best Applicaion

For emergency rescue situations where you need to raise an injured climber. Also can save you if you rappel off in the wrong direction and need to ascend a rope to get to the anchor.


At $34 each or $68 a pair (usually bought in pairs) it's really hard to justify the price for this. It's just a single piece of metal! By comparison, a few feet for 5-mm-7mm accessory cord to make a prusik will cost just a few bucks.

Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews

Most recent review: December 27, 2010
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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Average Customer Rating:  
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100% of 2 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 33%  (1)
4 star: 33%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 33%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Dec 26, 2010 - 10:06pm
harpo · Climber · South Lake Tahoe

Is there any truth to the rumor that these trash ropes, wether by slipping on icy ropes or even when they work correctly?

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   Dec 27, 2010 - 12:45am
Doug Robinson · Climber · Santa Cruz

Tiblocs are great. I carry a pair every time I climb. They just sit on the rescue biner, back of my harness with the belay knife. Their job is to be there, just in case, and they're good at it. So tiny and light they just disappear. Try saying that of your regular ascenders.

The point is not how suavely they ascend the rope, though I have taught many a curiosity-seeker the knack in 16 seconds flat. They do fine, considering, and no, those teeth don't hurt the rope. Look up close, you can see them push between strands of the sheath, not tearing and not abrading.

I carry prusik slings too, cuz using one cuts the rapping death rate in half. but that's a different story.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

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   Dec 26, 2010 - 10:11pm
Captain...or Skully · Climber · Where are you bound?
They're ok, but the teeth are pretty aggresive. They bite!
Bought as an experiment. THey work, & have no moving parts to break.

They still bite on icy cords. Don't use 'em a lot.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

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