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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. READ MORE
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. Learn More


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

Weight :   92 g (3.25 oz)





ATC Pilot is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 57.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Yet The Pilot has been my go-to device for 2+ years. I've bought a number of other assisted-braking devices, but the rest have either been sold or relegated to toprope duty. Advantages: --There's no cam to disengage. Based on my observations, most folks who use the Gri Gri make 1 of 2 mistakes. Either they short-rope me, or they let go with the brake hand while feeding. --Ideal thumb catch. In a surprise-clip situation, it's easier to hit the Pilot's thumb-catch than similar devices where the catch is obstructed by a cable loop. --It's ambidextrous--an advantage over the Gri Gri for us southpaws. --Lower impact force. Sure, a sensitive cam that locks immediately is reassuring in some scenarios, and the Pilot allows some slippage during a catch. However, if I'm relying on micro pro or rusty 1/4" bolts, that slippage could very well keep my pro (or the rock) from breaking. --Steel. In 2+ years, my Pilot has barely worn. While I agree that the plastic portion doesn't look good, it is not load-bearing. I'd be curious to hear how this device heats up compared to an aluminum ATC during single-rope rappels. --Lightweight. I don't think twice about packing this along with an ATC Guide on a multipitch route. --Friction can be adjusted by varying the belay biner. As noted above, fatter biners will cause it to brake more readily. With my 9.6 or 9.8 mm ropes, a Gridlock seems to lock up reliably, but I'd go for a fatter biner if using a thinner rope. Disadvantages: --Single tube. --Not fashionable. Based on my observations, a hands-free belay with a custom color device is the rage these days...but I never fit in with the cool kids anyhow.
Date published: 2020-01-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It’s good I have been a huge fan of the Mammut Smart and Smart 2.0 for a few years now, but I wanted to give the BD Pilot a try. In my personal opinion/experience the Pilot locks off better with thinner carabiners (*I do not like the carabiner BD pairs with this device) and feeds smooth when lead belaying. The materials and design seem to be durable. I do not like the hand rotation lowering technique because it feels awkward, but I don’t mind lowering with just a thumb under the spout (obviously, always with brake hand on). Otherwise it seems pretty good.
Date published: 2020-01-01
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
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Likin' it! It's a little challenging to pay out when belaying a lead climber, but no more than other belay devices. I teach kids and it feels safer than some of the assisted-braking devices I've used in courses, IMO. It's also light enough to bring for belaying the leader on multi-pitch.
Date published: 2019-08-17
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 Uncanny perfomance I loved it. It just works without any faf. You don't have to get used to it and it adds a new messure of safety.
Date published: 2019-06-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from King of belay devices I atched a video showing the pilot compared to other belay devices. bBeen using the Grigri for years and really like the gris-gris compared to an ATC or ATC guide. bought some Pilots and everybody who has used them as well as myself think that the it's the best belay device we've used.
Date published: 2019-06-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best lead belay I had used a grigri for years for lead belay and the Pilot has completely replaced it. Smother more intuitive motion for letting out rope for clipping and taking in slack. Much smoother and more controlled lowering. Much lighter than the grigri so it is now just part of my rack. And the safety of the auto-lock! Brilliant engineering!
Date published: 2019-05-31
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