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Ascenders are a vital part of climbing technology, allowing climbers to safely ascend the rope and remain secure the entire time. Climbing ascenders are highly efficient and can be used for various types of climbing such as mountaineering and technical climbing.

Adding one of the best climbing ascenders to your gear is the perfect way to remain secure on the rocks with ease. They are simple to use and can help upgrade a stationary rope system, making things smooth, light, and above all, safe!

Quick Overview


Best Overall

Petzl Ascension Ascender

Price: $57.30

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Best Lightweight

Wild Country Ropeman

Price: $49.95

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Easiest Usage

NewDoar Ascender

Price: $36.99

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High Strength


Price: $35.90

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How to Choose the Best Climbing Ascender

Choosing the best ascender is critical as there are simply so many different ones available on the market. Whether you’re looking for mechanical ascenders, a chest ascender, or a tree cruiser system, the equipment you need is out there!

Before jumping into a purchase, there are a few considerations climbers need to make to choose the right equipment for their needs.

Ease Of Use

A difficult ascender isn’t very useful for any climber, especially since the whole point of them is to keep climbers secure.

Although compact, climbing ascenders can be technical as there tend to be various features to think about such as a foot ascender, a hand ascender, a rope wrench, a rope clamp, a locking carabiner, ropes, and more.

The goal is to source climbing technology that makes life easier for a climber and keeps them covered for rescue situations too.


No one likes lugging around heavy equipment on routes. It drains energy and makes hiking to remote climbing destinations far harder, unless of course, you’re adventuring with company and a friend doesn’t mind helping carry the weighty equipment!

Opting for lighter ascenders will prevent exhaustion before you’ve made it to the mountain-side, and makes things a lot easier when holding the ropes, and preparing to use the various devices.

Ease Of Rope Ascension

For many climbers, rope ascents are tough, particularly when ascending steep slopes and rockfaces. Not all ascenders are created equal, and some are more efficient and developed than others.

It’s wise to look out for ascenders that are comfortable, ergonomic, and able to adjust to each climber’s needs.

Ascender Type

Regardless of whether you use a knee ascent loop assembly, single rope technique, or fixed lines, choosing the right type of ascender is vital.

There are various types to wear from hand and foot to chest ascenders, and being clipped to each one will keep you capable and ready to tackle any climb.

Best Overall Ascender

Petzl Ascension Ascender ($57.30)

Our top choice is the Petzl Ascension Ascender, boasting an ergonomic handle for ultimate comfort and improved grip, an innovative design for ease of use, and durable materials with strong teeth.

This tool doesn’t come in pairs, so it’s worth considering whether to purchase a right or left ascender or both! This lightweight ascender has a wide hole for creating a lanyard and foot loop, and it also performs well regardless of whether the rope is dirty and wet or clean and dry.

This is the type of freedom I want when climbing, as you never know what weather Mother Nature will conjure up next! Since the handle can be gripped easily, it makes things far easier when you need to haul yourself up.

The toothed cam has a self-cleaning ability, meaning there’s less stress and worry if the tool gets dirty or frozen in sub-zero temperatures.


  • Wide opening ideal for bigger hands or gloves
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Lightweight and compact


  • Not Durable
  • High price-tag

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Best Lightweight Ascender

Wild Country Ropeman 1 Ascender ($49.95)

This Wild Country Ropeman 1 Ascender has a classic style, and a durable aluminum cam, and is optimized to attach a range of carabiners. It’s lightweight, improves climbing efficiency, and paired with a knowledgeable user, can make climbing safer.

Being vibrant orange means it’s easy to find this Ropeman during a climbing session, even if daylight is starting to fade slowly. This is a solid, mechanical ascender with many users using it with their lineman belt for improved security.

There are countless ascender styles, but this Ropeman device keeps adventurers well-equipped so they can slide, zigzag, and enjoy a variety of climbing forms and feel safe doing so.

The teeth on the Ropeman 1 aren’t as fierce as former models, meaning the rope will last far longer and receive less damage when pulled through.

One-handed adjustments can be made effortlessly, and this can be a huge bonus for climbers who have been used to not having much opportunity for a free hand when climbing.


  • Durable aluminum cam
  • Vibrant color


  • Rope may snag with continuous use
  • Best suited to ropes over 10mm

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Easiest To Use Ascender

NewDoar UIAA & CE Certified Hand Ascender ($36.99)

This NewDoar UIAA and CE Certified hand ascender credits itself as being a safe, secure, and dependable piece of hiking equipment. It’s designed for a range of rope sizes from 8-13mm, whilst remaining lightweight and compact.

There are various buying options for these hand ascenders from single left or right handles, or a set of pairs. Available in a range of colors, this NewDoar ascender is easy to spot and use, even during the toughest climbs.

This isn’t a pantin ascender for feet but instead provides a comfortable rubber handle to hold onto and rely on. With a weight limit of 140kg, this ascender is suitable for a wide variety of climbers, from novice to pro.

The stainless steel construction proves to me that this kit is capable of being put to the test. It’s also rustproof and has anti-corrosion, meaning it will last for plenty of climbing adventures in the future.


  • Durable stainless steel construction
  • Variety of bold colors
  • Rustproof


  • Sharpness could lead to rope deterioration
  • Co-ordinating foot equipment is complicated to use

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Best High Strength Ascender

SZCQ SRT Climbing Hand Ascender ($35.90)

Made from aluminum alloy, this SZCQ SRT Climbing Hand Ascender is a reliable option to put in your cart, offering impressive high-strength ability. Along with being capable of handling heavier weights, this ascender is also comfortable and easy to use.

There’s nothing worse than dealing with complicated equipment during a climb, and this device takes all of that stress away. The handle provides an abundance of space for maximizing comfort and can help prevent fatigue even during single rope technique climbing.

The strong locking mechanism allows climbers to push themselves to the max, knowing they are wearing the necessary equipment to keep them safe. Available in various bright colors, this affordable option from SZCQ makes ascending and rappelling a breeze.

This isn’t a Petzl Croll ascender, but it still offers maximal support for those taking to steep slopes and mountainsides. Carrying appropriate ascenders and descenders on any climbing adventure is essential for safety, and this SZCQ tool is a fantastic and affordable option to go for.


  • High strength
  • Solid aluminum alloy construction


  • Bulkier than other ascender options so slightly harder to pack and carry

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Choosing the best hand ascenders and descenders is essential for maximum safety on the ropes, even if you are a pro! With the right equipment, you can feel confident tackling new challenges and adventures, either solo or with company.

Each piece of equipment will have pros and cons, but knowing exactly the kind of tool you need to improve your experience will lead you to the best option available on the market.

Hopefully, some of the products we’ve highlighted will open your eyes to the advantages of using additional equipment such as ascenders and descenders. Remember to keep a look-out for the construction material, comfort of use, weight, and budget, as some devices are better than others.

Written By Beth Johnson

October 7, 2023