The Mad Rock Lifeguard belay device uses a camming mechanism that engages when there is a strong pull on the climber’s end, which results in the device stopping the rope to feed.
If you have ever used a Petzl GriGri, then the actions required to operate will be second nature, if not then you’ll want to practice before putting it to work.
It offers good control for such a compact device and soft catches for lead falls. You can use it for ropes up to 11mm, but thinner ropes feed much better.
It’s made from forged aluminum, is durable and weighs 153 grams, which makes it a light-weight camming device.
Unlike the GriGri, the rope is meant to run from the front and down and not the side, which takes a big of getting used to. But once you have it, everything runs smooth.
All in all, the Lifeguard is a trustworthy belay device that is good for the gym or crag.