In the origins of the climb the climber was tied, but the rope did not pass through any braking device, not even for the companion's body. They simply had no notions and they trusted in the provision, because in any case the rope could not withstand a fall of a first climber.
Today things have changed and the strings are more reliable, which has led to the emergence and evolution of climbing insurers.
Only a few decades have passed since the times of insuring with the body or shoulder, so far that several devices are used to guarantee the safety of the climbers, but the evolution has been very fast and has been driven by the " evolution of the ropes and the inventiveness of climbers.
Along the way, many prototypes, inventions and coarse designs have left us with the flower and cream of today's climbing insurers.
On the one hand we have the dynamic insurers for double ropes, also known as plates or baskets and on the other hand automatic belays for simple ropes or assisted braking devices.
As has happened very little time and the evolution has been so fast, old devices and new climbing belays coexist and it is easy to see and find old devices, even in stores.
The most recent designers have clear advantages over the old ones, starting with the weight, volume, ease of use, versatility and the possibility of using a wide range of string diameters.
In the case of dynamic climbing belays for double ropes, they are used for classical climbing, mountaineering and ice climbing, since it allows a dynamic belay that overloads less secure and makes the impact less. They also allow the simultaneous use of 2 strings that are common in this type of climb and simultaneously assure 2 climbers that follow the first one. In addition they allow the use of a single rope if desired, the use of different diameters, types of ropes and various secure techniques.
Dynamic climbing belay for double ropes not only make sure to secure a rope first, but it is more convenient to make sure one or two climbers go second, rack up and allow even the use of the device as an emergency blocker and even allow unlocking of the device under load ... All these advantages that many give for obvious and logical are very recent. It has not always been this way and it was very common to have 2 devices: one to secure and another to rapel or execute complex maneuvers to unlock a device under load ... Fortunately nowadays these problems are quite solved.
In the case of automatic belay, except for a very few exceptions, they are designed for simple ropes and their main use is for sports climbing. The braking is automatic, or almost, in the event of a fall, but it does not exonerate what it secure to be attentive and to ensure the climber's suitability and although they allow racking in simple, they are not the most suitable tool for this .
The advantage of automatic climbing belay is clear, they are automatic, or almost, helping to stop the fall long before, but on the contrary, they are not very dynamic compared to the dual rope devices, so its use has Always framing within the framework of a bomb-proofing equipment.
Although automatic climbing belays have been designed for sports climbing, alternative uses have emerged that have led to their derivation in special versions for vertical works, rescues and industrial use.