Voluntary Recall Notice:
Announced on April 14th, 2017, Targo has elected to voluntary recall all Trango Vergo belay devices in batch number 16159 and 16195 that were sold after October 1st, 2016. Please immediately cease use of all such Vergos and see Trango’s Product Alerts page for more information. Product Alerts
The Vergo is a mechanically assisted belay device which tends to be the norm in today’s ever-so-popular climbing gyms. The Vergo works by two plates that pivot under the force of a fall, clamping the rope in place as it tries to move through the device. This is a great device that fellow Gear Guy uses to belay me at our local gym and our favorite climbing spot, Devils Lake State Park. I find as the climber on the sharp end of the rope, the belayer can pay out rope much smoother and faster as needed. I do not find myself screaming (SLACK! SLAAAACK!!) as I am lead climbing, now that we have switched from the GRIGRI to the Vergo. Nothing worse than when you are projecting above your level and you have to get that next clip done, like now, and a handful of rope is nowhere in sight.
The need for a safe and ergonomic device while also being user- friendly for the belayer, is what the design goal of Trango was when creating this device. As climbers and belayers, we feel they nailed it. It is very comfortable to hold and to feed rope for the Gear Guy working the belay end of the rope, and when on the sharp end of the rope. I feel very confident with this device backing me up because as you will learn, there are no rests and we climb till we peel off the wall (or you are not climbing hard enough ) and nobody wants to hear that from a fellow Gear Guy! The safest way to hold the Vergo and maximize it’s performance is to simply use it as it was designed. The Vergo was designed with the help of a PHD, Ergonomist. The Gear Guys are cool with that because in our local gym, we find some of the best climbers to be a group of brainy guys and gals who need a little extreme action during their time away from work. Smart people and climbing…what a combo…who knew!
The result of this smart design is the Vergo must be held in a very specific way. Thankfully, the hand position is comfortable, intuitive and maximizes the devices safety and performance, and we are all about performance, right? (Heck yeah!) With practice, this horizontal method will allow you to pay-out rope smoothly, quickly, and safely while reducing unwanted device lock up. To quickly give slack without locking up the device, there is an official method to momentarily disengage the cam with the same hand that is about to pay-out slack. This is a genius design by Trango for any belayer who accidentally short-ropes the climber (push-ups will be in order if you do that!!!) or needs to pay-out rope faster. The great safety feature in this design is if the climber falls when the cam is disengaged, the bealyers hand that is holding the rope (or giving slack) is pulled away from the disengagement area and the Vergo instantly locks up minimizing the wet-your-pants-whipper that is about to take place!!! This gives the climber a little bit more confidence when going for a sketchy next hold for a clip.
When feeding out slack it is recommended that you feed the rope out in a horizontal motion, keeping your hands parallel to the ground. While this is the technique that the manufacturer recommends, we have found that after many years of belaying with a GRIGRI, using the same technique as the GRIGRI of feeding rope in a vertical motion (instead of horizontally as recommended) is much faster and easier, as well as reduces the chances of the belay device locking up while feeding slack.
OK, we all know the Gear Guys are going to take a whipper and let me tell you, the Vergo locked down on the rope so well I thought I heard the rope cry from the crushing force this device puts out. The tight rope friendly squeeze was perfect on 9mm ropes with a very comfortable reassuring nonslipping stop. The device is rated for ropes 8.9mm to 10.7mm and weighs a load saving 195 grams.
Bottom line, Trango just did not design a device to give the GRIGRI a run for its market share, they designed an awesome climbing experience for both the belayer and the climber.
Just a note: Gear Guys have provided this information as an honest review and is no way intended to replace the manufacture instructions or to teach how to use the device. As ,when new to climbing gear or products, please seek out qualified instruction at your local gym.
Click on the link below to watch a short video by by Trango’s own climbers.
Introducing the Vergo by Trango