An Inside Look At Petzl Pulleys

Written By: Lance Piatt

Pulleys are used to haul up equipment or raise a person in a rescue situation. Some of them can be combined with a rope clamp to facilitate maneuvers, others allow movement along rope or cable.

A quick, down and dirty way to categorize the types and or styles of pulleys, but first!!!  Here is a quick vid seeing many of the products listed in action.


  • High Efficiency pulleys: Versatile, high performance pulleys adapted for intensive use.
    • Petzl Pro: Openable even when attached to the anchor, the PRO pulley is designed for maximum simplicity when setting up hauling or load deviation systems. The side plate that locks under load, the large-diameter sheave and the high efficiency sealed ball bearings make a pulley that is well suited for handling heavy loads.
    • Petzl Partner: The Petzl PARTNER is designed with day-to-day tasks in mind. It is designed to be used with personal ascent and positioning systems, tyrolean traverse. A personal load pulley, the PARTNER features a sheave set on sealed ball bearings for increased efficiency and longevity. The PARTNER is a true high-efficiency pulley with a rating above 90%.
    • Petzl Rescue: The Petzl RESCUE’s large diameter sheaves combined with sealed ball bearings provide excellent efficiency and a high strength factor. This pulley is equally well suited for single person and two person loads. The connection points can accept up to three carabiners for versatility in anchor connections. The RESCUE features high grade aluminum side plates, with a stainless steel sheave set on sealed ball bearings. A high working load helps keep system safety factors high. The RESCUE pulley is for use on ropes from 7mm – 13mm, and is also available in tactical black.
  • Pulley-carabiners: Combining a high efficiency mounted sleeve bearing system with a carabiner.
    • Petzl RollClip A: is a pulley-carabiner with a gate opening on the pulley side that facilitates installation of the rope when the pulley is fixed to the anchor. It is available with an automatic TRIACT-LOCK locking system, or without a locking system. ROLLCLIP A may be used with a CAPTIV positioning bar to favor loading of the carabiner along the major axis, to limit the risk of it flipping and to keep it integrated with the device.
    • Petzl RollClip Z: is a pulley-carabiner with a gate opening on the non-pulley side to facilitate installation on anchors and devices. It is available in two locking systems: automatic TRIACT-LOCK system or manual SCREW-LOCK system.
  • Progress Capture pulleys: Pulleys in an integrated progress capture system which can be used to replace traditional pulley/rope clamp or prusik systems in hauling systems.
    • Petzl Pro Traxion: is designed to facilitate introduction of rope into the pulley without being disconnected from the anchor. It’s internal zero loss cam makes it ideal for hauling system, and it’s very efficient sealed ball bearing sheave allows for smooth hauls even under heavy loads or long evolutions. 
    • Petzl Micro Traxion:  is a high-efficiency pulley with a cam device built in. The cam’s teeth ensure good traction on the rope even under less than ideal conditions, such as a frozen or muddy rope. The MICROTRAXION can be used in personal haul systems for immediate progress capture, for complex split-pull mechanical advantages and for self belay during climbs.
    • Petzl Jag Traxion: Designed for use with the JAG double pulley to make a 4:1 haul system. Toothed cam with self-cleaning slot optimizes performance under any conditions (frozen or muddy ropes…) Sheave mounted on sealed ball bearings for excellent efficiency
    • Petzl Jag: Double pulley designed for use with the JAG TRAXION double progress capture pulley to make a 4:1 haul system. Sheaves mounted on sealed ball bearings for excellent efficiency.

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  • Prusik minding pulleys: High performance pulleys designed for use with a prusik friction hitch to build a lightweight progress capture system.  The shape of the side plates allow the hitch to be released when it stops against the pulley.
    • Petzl Mini: The Petzl MINI pulley is a high efficiency, prusik minding pulley. This compact, versatile pulley features specially designed side plates which work to mind a prusik hitch. This allows the prusik to be used in a haul system as a progress capture
    • Petzl Gemini: Petzl GEMINI is great for use in compact mechanical advantage systems. This double pulley is built with sealed ball bearings for high efficiency and with prusik minding side plates to allow for progress capture by means of a prusik hitch.
    • Petzl Minder: A high-strength, efficient pulley, the Petzl MINDER is ideally configured for use with two person loads. The bell shaped side plates allow for the use of a prusik for progress capture, while the large diameter sheave and sealed ball bearing provide excellent efficiency. Great for use in haul systems or for change of direction the Petzl MINDER facilitates easy hauling and promotes good system safety factors by helping to keep down system friction.
    • Petzl Twin: The Petzl TWIN is a general use rated, double sheave pulley. This pulley is ideal for rescue haul system and is designed to work in conjunction with a prusik hitch for progress capture. The large sheaves are mounted on sealed ball bearings for high efficiency. A beckett is included on the bottom of the frame for clean system rigging and versatility of loading application.
  • Single pulleys: Lightweight and versatile pulleys designed for situations that do not require  high levels of strength and efficiency.
    • Petzl Mobile: The Petzl MOBILE is a lightweight, single sheave pulley. Well suited to use in compact haul systems, personal ascent systems, such as the RAD, or as a quick change of direction pulley. The pulley is constructed using high-grade aluminum sideplates with a sheave mounted on self-lubricating bushings for increased efficiency. 
    • Petzl Fixe: Fixed side plates allow quick installation and coupling with a rope clamp. Designed for hauling systems and deviations. Sheave mounted on self-lubricating bushings for good efficiency
  • Transport pulleys: Pulleys for movement along a rope or cable. Extremely quick and easy to install these types of pulleys have fixed side plates and ensure perfect stability with their two aligned sheaves.
    • Petzl Tandem/ Tandem Speed: Designed for Tyroleans and can accept up to three connectors to factitae maneuvers.  Tandem is used on a rope and the Speed can be used on both rope and cable. 
  • Specialized pulleys: Specialized pulleys are designed for particular application requiring passage of knots or movement along a mechanical lift cable.
    • Petzl Kootenay: The Petzl KOOTENAY is a knot passing pulley designed for use in tyrolean traverses on two rope track systems. The sheave can also be locked off to allow a large diameter connection for full strength tie-offs, such as the blitz hitch or tensionless hitch.
    • Petzl Rollcab: Designed for movement and evacuation along mechanical lift cables
  • Prusiks Ready to use kits (systems) designed to a large array of applications including but not limited to hauling systems, redirects, pick-offs and lowers.
    • Petzl Jag System: Haul kit for pickoffs, making a releasable anchor, or tensioning a system, thanks to its 4:1 mechanical advantage and excellent efficiency (sheaves with sealed ball bearings). The collapsed kit is very compact, making usage possible even if the distance to the anchor is very short. The JAG SYSTEM haul kit is quick and easy to deploy: it is ready to use thanks to the flexible cover that prevents any risk of tangling. The haul end is color coded for instant identification.
    • Petzl Jag Rescue: The JAG RESCUE KIT is a ready-to-use reversible rescue kit designed to easily pick off and lower a victim. It contains a JAG SYSTEM haul kit, a RING OPEN gated ring, an I’D S descender, a CONNEXION FIXE 150 cm anchor strap, a BUCKET bag and an AXIS 11 mm rope with two sewn terminations.

Peace on your Days…


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