A device used in Rock Climbing for the purpose of Belaying a climber. The most common tube belay is the often used ATC by Black Diamond, however, just about every major climbing equipment manufacturer has a version of the tube belay. I personally use an Omega tube belay when I'm in need of one.

The tube belay is distinctive for a few reasons. First, it is the most common belay device. Having been used for many years, it has eclipsed most other belay devices and become the belay device of choice for many climbers. This is not a light thing to say about the device that is, quite literally, all that stands between you and death in the event of a fall.
The common features in almost every tube belay is one or two (usually two) slots in a vaguely tube shaped piece of metal. This usually has a plastic or metal cord of some sort attached to it for the purpose of clipping it to the belay person to prevent it from traveling up the rope and removing the belay from effective service.

Tube belays are popular because of their flexibility. They are appropriate for a wide number of climbing activities, and in a pinch, can serve as a device for things other than belaying another climber. The tube construction means a higher surface area, meaning more heat dissipation, something which is very important for a device that operates primarily on friction.

There is a full explanation of how a tube belay functions in the ATC node, as a vast number of climbers simply refer to their tube belay as an ATC.

Other types of belay devices are a Plate belay, and self locking mechanical devices such as the GriGri.

PLEASE NOTE: This node is not a replacement for training in any climbing technique or device. It's not a replacement for the advice of the manufacture of said device, who knows best it's limitations. It's not even all the information a person would need in evaluating a decision to purchase one device or another. This node exists solely for the purpose of providing a bit of information to a non-climber as to what those little bits are hanging all over that crazy bastard who's dangling like a worm on a hook on some cliff wall.

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