Written by Steve Thompson
(note: edited 19/12/2018 to add Petzl's force ratings)
Going to keep this one short and sweet, much like the product itself.
The Petzl Tibloc is a super-simple ascender/rope-grab. It takes up almost no room on your harness and weighs only 35 grams. The original version of the Tibloc had issues where it could become slightly disengaged from the rope and if the teeth were moved in this state it could really tear up the rope sheath. The updated version includes an orange-coloured spring that ensures the Tibloc does not disengage.
The new-and-improved Tibloc in use, keeping a Bosun’s chair in place
Because of it’s small size and weight, there is really no reason to ever take it off your harness. It can be incredibly useful for multi-pitching (i.e. ascending the rope if you fall on an overhung section, or hauling up a struggling partner). It’s also pretty handy to keep around for emergency situations requiring rescue maneuvers. While a prussik can be used in the same situations, the Tibloc is much quicker to set up and easier to use but doesn't carry the same weight, bulkiness, or price-tag of a full-sized ascender.
Note that, like other toothed ascenders, the Tibloc will start to cause damage to your rope - even if set up correctly - at around 4kN of force and has an absolute braking limit of 12kN.
Even if you already have the older version of the Tibloc, it’s absolutely worth purchasing the new version as the spring-based keeper is a big upgrade and solves the biggest criticism of the original Tibloc.
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