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ATC Pilot

Item# BD620078BLAKALL1
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A single rope geometry assisted belay device with enhanced braking, the ATC Pilot introduces a system that provides an added level of security to your belay, while allowing for smooth rope payout.


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The lightweight Black Diamond ATC Pilot represents an advance in technology for the world of assisted braking devices. Providing an added level of security to your belay, the ATC Pilot threads similarly to other tubular belay devices and accommodates ropes from 8.7-10.5mm. The durable steel braking surface has no moving parts, and the smooth and secure control allows for gradual lowering. With an easy rope payout, the ATC Pilot makes single-pitch projecting burns less tiring for the belayer and more secure for the climber.

  • Accommodates ropes from 8.7-10.5
  • Provides an added level of security to single pitch belays
  • Smooth rope payout
  • Controlled lowering
  • Steel construction
  • Ergonomic, non-slip surface
  • Single rope use


Tech Specs

Tech Specs

Weight :   92 g (3.25 oz)





ATC Pilot is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 58.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Robust Simplicity I bought the ATC Pilot because I am driven toward simplicity. I usually do not opt for a piece of gear that is meant for only one purpose, and have been a die hard user of the ATC guide because it is multi-functional. This piece is, however, is extremely light weight, and does it's job well. The thumb-catch is excellent for feeding rope quickly, and when there is a need to hang out it's no sweat for the belayer. Lowering a climber is smooth as long as your rope isn't chunky. Works best with a wider 'biner like the RockLock series. This piece is now integrated into the rack, as I prefer it when only going up one pitch.
Date published: 2017-10-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Like a Gri Gri for ground belays Very simple, handy and light at a great price. Super Intuitive and smooth for top-ropes. Beginners can remember to never to take their hand off the belay and use the assist-hand to lower. At times with smaller ropes it doesn't completely lock but it provides a great deal of holding power. Only caveat - if you're using the Pilot to belay a leader it works very similarly to a Gri Gri. The belayer needs to be ready to pre-feed for quick long clips and/or lift the 'lip-extension' with the belay hand and pull from the top with the assist hand. Once you've got it, it is awesome. Train up or be short-roped! Great job BD!
Date published: 2017-10-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Comfortable, and smooth Very happy so for with my purchase. I was a little worried about the lack of reviews on this device, but could not be more pleased. The device is very comfortable and easy to brake with. Lowering is very smooth and controled, and paying out rope is lightning fast. A little bit of a learning curve with getting used to device orientation, and hand position for lowering and pay out, but once I was comfortable with it, I have set my old atc aside. The device is also great for heavier climbers with a smaller belayer. Why wife is able to catch and lower me with much less effort and stress than other tube devices.
Date published: 2017-10-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Simple and functional. Not a quiver killer. Easy to use and adds a nice bit of security for those more familiar to belaying with an ATC, easier to figure out than other devices in the same category. Makes a nice lightweight option for a brake assisted device in situations where a grigri may seem heavy. That being said I don't believe this device replaces a grigri, it doesn't lock up hard like a grigri does and it slips a little depending on where your brake hand is. This makes it so you cant tie a catastrophe knot in the brake hand to do other things as you would with a grigri, it also makes it less than ideal for long belays on sport projects where your partner is jugging the rope a lot or boinking, etc. This device is really nice and makes a great addition to any quiver of belay devices, but in my opinion it's not a replacement for all devices.
Date published: 2019-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent!!! I am a climbing instructor and I think the Pilot ACL is an excellent belay device for the following reasons: It reassures me that I will catch anyones fall whilst climber is lead climbing It gives climber confidence to push themselves harder whilst feeling safe The device works more smoothly feeding the rope or lowering climber compared to the usual belay device It will take some practice lowering climbers back down and it is bigger but I think the advantages far outweighs this. In my professional opinion I think the Pilot ACL will replace the conventional belay devices.
Date published: 2017-11-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A welcomed addition smooth belay device. Great upgrade from the standard ATC. It takes a bit of practice to catch the lip with your thump while lead belaying without having to look down. once you get that right it is very clean at paying out slack. I bought this with the magnetron grid lock. unfortunately the plastic section of the pilot is a bit bulky and doesn't clear the magnets as easy as I would have liked when clipping in and out. I since have switch it out with the screw-gate gridlock.
Date published: 2019-04-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great for gym use! Works great for people with small hands. Really smooth rope pay out and auto locks perfectly. The video shows that you can pull rope without pressing the thumb area up, but if you are paying out really fast you still have to. The thumb area is nicely design and doesn't hurt (like another similar product out there). A bit heavy and bulky feeling. Not more than other assisted devices though. I will continue to use it in the gym, not sure I want to lug it outdoors. Context: - Tested in the gym with a 9.8 rope. Partner took some lead falls. - My partner and I have a big weight difference. - I have small hands so I use a ATC instead of existing auto locking product in the market. One is too big for my hands. The other's thumb area is really awkward and not smooth.
Date published: 2017-10-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sweet lead belay piece Feeds smoothly for lead belays, and catches well with my rocklock locker. FYI, it does seem like your biner affects how well this device bites. I've found fatter lockers work best, and thinner ones tend to slip. I've reached out to BD for comments on this. One thing to consider with this device vs a grigri is it's awesome for new belayers learning to lead belay. To smoothly feed slack with a grigri, you need to pinch down the cam. If you show a new belayer how to do this, you're also showing them how to drop you during a fall if they panic. With the pilot, a fall overrides force on the thumb catch, and also feeding and catching are two different mechanics. Definitely my go-to with new belayers.
Date published: 2019-12-19
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