selfie while rock climbing in the forest with blue anchor sling

Top 7 Best Personal Anchor System

What's the Best Personal Anchor System in 2022? Here's a list of top 7 Climbing PAS based on years of experience, real users’ reviews and most important features

Climbing equipment manufacturers are developing creative solutions to some of the most mundane but essential pieces of climbing gear to make climbing safely intuitive and easy. A personal anchor system, or PAS, is a much safer and stronger development of a climbing aid called a daisy chain, and they are used to safely attach a climber at height to an anchor on a climbing route so that they can easily take down the equipment that they put in without risking their lives.

What’s the Best Personal Anchor System?

While most personal anchor systems seem more or less the same, there are several subtle but important differences between products on the market. Below, we have come up with a comprehensive list of personal anchor systems that suit a range of different budgets and compared them against each other based upon personal experience, user reviews, and product specifications. We sincerely hope this information will help you when trying to buy a personal anchor system.

At the end of this section, we have answered some common questions to help you understand personal anchor systems a little better.

1. Metolius Personal Anchor System

PROS

Budget-friendly,

Color-coordinated for intuitive use,

Long loop on the harness end to easily attach with a hitch

CONS

A little on the short side

See it in your local store:

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Budget-friendly, Color-coordinated for intuitive use, Long loop on the harness end to easily attach with a hitch. While in a couple of situations users may find it a little on the short side, the Metolius Personal Anchor System is all that you need from a PAS and nothing more. Each loop can withstand 22kn of force, which is plenty more than enough for standard use. The color-coordinated design means that you will never be searching around for the end loop as you can clearly identify it. The long loop designed to attach to your harness is malleable yet strong enough to thread easily into a hitch. It is CE and UIAA certified and weighs less than 95 grams on your harness. It is simple, intuitive, effective, and life-saving.

2. GM CLIMBING 23kN Nylon Safe Chain

PROS

Can be purchased together with screw-carabiner,

Color-coordinated to easily see which end attaches to the anchor,

Reinforced for increased durability

CONS

Both ends are the same color, so while unlikely, it is possible to confuse them

See it in your local store:

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Singapore

Can be purchased together with screw-carabiner, Color-coordinated to easily see which end attaches to the anchor, Reinforced for increased durability

The GM Climbing 23KN personal anchor system is a touch stronger than the Metolius PAS above, and has been further reinforced to ensure extra durability and strength. When purchased through the GM climbing store, there is an option to include a 24KN screw closing carabiner which is required for most uses of a PAS. The product is also color-coordinated to differentiate the end loop from the other loops, however, both ends of the product are the same color which can be confusing in critical moments and force a climber to look twice before knowing the correct end. While this is unlikely, it is possible, and worth considering.

3. NewDoar Daisy Loop Chain for Climbing

PROS

Budget-friendly – the cheapest product on our list,

22kn of resistance for each loop

CONS

Name is ambiguous – this is a PAS and not a daisy chain,

The loop to connect with your harness is very long and might get in the way of other gear on your harness,

The cord is quite thick and hard to thread

See it in your local store:

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Singapore

Budget-friendly – the cheapest product on our list, 22kn of resistance for each loop

In climbing, a daisy chain and a personal anchor system are two different things, which makes the NewDoar Daisy Loop Chain a little confusing as it is, in fact, a personal anchor system. The main benefit of choosing this PAS over the others on our list is the price, as it is the cheapest product that can be safely operated in our selection. The diminished price does come with a couple of drawbacks – to begin with, the cord is quite thick and hard to thread, and the loop to tie to your harness is very long and can potentially get in the way. All that being said, it will secure you at an anchor and not be a big burden on your wallet.

4. STERLING Chain Reactor PAS

PROS

Nylon webbing gives a more dynamic stretchy feeling when in use,

Flexible material is easier to thread and still offers full resistance,

Extremely lightweight

CONS

Quite short, although long enough for most anchors

See it in your local store:

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Singapore

Nylon webbing gives a more dynamic stretchy feeling when in use, Flexible material is easier to thread and still offers full resistance, Extremely lightweight

The nylon webbing differentiates the Sterling Chain Reactor from its competitor’s counterparts, offering a more malleable and flexible design that is easily maneuvered into a hitch on our harness. Like the GM Climbing 23KN PAS, both ends are the same color which can be a little confusing but should not affect most climbers. While it is a little on the short side, there are longer versions available in a multitude of different colors. We do recommend buying one which comes in two colors and not one, so that can easily identify the loop at the end of the chain.

5. Metolius Dynamic PAS

PROS

Premium product – high quality at the expense of some extra dollars,

Dynamic design allows for some stretch,

Super strong

CONS

Expensive,

Material is quite thick and hard to fit onto a harness in some situations

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Premium product – high quality at the expense of some extra dollars, Dynamic design allows for some stretch, Super strong

The dynamic design of the Metolius Dynamic PAS makes it a very comfortable product to use. While personal anchor systems are not designed to take a fall, they can endure a small drop; however, it can be excruciating for the climber to come to a sudden stop as a PAS usually does not stretch much. This is not the case with the Metolius Dynamic PAS, which is manufactured to soften the stop. This element of comfort does come at a price, however, and also at the flexibility of the material used to create it.

6. Geelife Personal Anchor System

PROS

Long enough to provide plenty of length options by using different loops,

Colorful and eye-catching design,

CE certified

CONS

Color system can be confusing when using – it is more difficult to find the end,

Quite long – can get in the way

See it in your local store:

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Long enough to provide plenty of length options by using different loops, Colorful and eye-catching design, CE certified

The Geelife Personal Anchor System is a bright and colorful option with a delicious 70s style twist. It is a fully functional PAS that is CE certified and can withstand 22KN of force in each loop. The product is quite long and can get in the way when climbing or using other equipment, and the design, while colorful, makes it difficult to quickly identify the end loop which can be problematic.

7. Metolius Alpine PAS Sling

PROS

Very lightweight,

Thin cord makes it easy to use and thread,

Easier to carry and use than other products on this list

CONS

Not CE/UIAA Certified,

Offers much less force resistance and should absolutely not be used in a fall

See it in your local store:

United States
United Kingdom
Canada
Australia
Singapore

Very lightweight, Thin cord makes it easy to use and thread, Easier to carry and use than other products on this list

If you want a lightweight and easily installed PAS, the Metolius Alpine PAS Sling is an excellent choice, however, it is not CE or UIAA certified and is not as strong as other personal anchor systems on this list as each loop can only withstand 14KN of force. For this reason, we do not recommend this product as your safety is not guaranteed while using it.

All in all, the Metolius Personal Anchor System is all that you need from a PAS, nothing less and nothing more. If you are looking for the best Personal Anchor System that fits most of the climbers, that’s the one you can go for.

What You Should Know Before Buying Personal Anchor System

Buying safety equipment is always a difficult process as often climbers have to learn to trust the items they buy, literally with their life. Before investing in a PAS it is worth finding out what exactly a PAS is used for, how to determine if it is strong enough for the purposes that you would use it if there are better options for your personal usage, and even if you need one at all for the sort of climbing that you are doing. Below, we have answered a few questions to help you understand the functions and parameters of a personal anchor system and how to choose the best.

PAS Climbing - System set up in Batu Caves
Batu Caves Rock Climbing, hanging from a multi-pitch point on the wall. What a great view!

What is a Personal Anchor System

A personal anchor system, or PAS for short, is a safety device used to directly attach a climber to an anchor of a route. They consist of a series of chained loops, each of which is separately rated for the force it can withstand. While they have several purposes, they are most commonly used when cleaning equipment from a previously climbed route. You may have heard of similar products, such as “daisy chains” and “runners”, but these are not quite the same, and we will outline the differences a little later in this article. Some people may refer to a PAS as a “personal tether” or “anchor chain”.

How to use a Personal Anchor System

A PAS is used to connect the climber to the anchors of a route. These anchors can either be pre-installed gear, such as what you may find on a sports route, or a self-constructed anchor using trad-climbing equipment. To attach the PAS to an anchor, it is best to use a load-bearing and screw-closing carabiner to connect the two together, and tying the PAS with a girth hitch to your harness. Your anchor may require you to connect at multiple points, which is also possible with a PAS as there are multiple loops to choose from.

Top 7 Best Personal Anchor System - orange and blue anchor slings and safeties

PAS systems are used in both sports and trad climbing, but in slightly different ways. While the same products are used, trad climbing often requires the climber to tie into self-created anchor systems, which are usually already set up on a sports route in the form of bolts.

Climbing PAS Strength

The PAS originates from a similar product called a “daisy chain”, which is a tether of weight-bearing material with loops attached to it, often used for aid climbing and ascending. Some climbers were directly using this to clip into anchors as a quick method for securing themselves, however, daisy chains are not designed for this as they are not as strong and not engineered to resist the force of a fall. Their resistance is calculated from either end of the product.

A PAS, on the other hand, is made of a series of interconnected loops, each of which is rated individually for resistance. This makes them considerably stronger, particularly when clipping into multiple points on your anchor as if one breaks, the other should still hold rather than dismantle altogether. Similar to the slings that each loop resembles, most points of a PAS system can resist around 22KN of force when they are brand new.

Normally, one would not be falling onto a PAS system, and so it doesn’t need to be as strong as something like a quickdraw. Your climbing rope should be your main point of safety, and the PAS should only be used to hold your body weight in a static position. Therefore, 22KN should be more than sufficient.

Length of a PAS for Climbing

One of the benefits of using a PAS instead of a sling is that you can make it as long or short as you need it to be for each individual anchor that you are clipping into, at least up to the length of the PAS. They are, in total, usually around 1m or a little bit less in length, with each loop around 10-15cm in length. Be sure to attach it to your harness in such a way that it does not get caught around your feet or tangle with your gear while climbing.

PAS Weight

A PAS is made of lightweight but durable webbing. In total, they usually weigh a little under 100g. While every extra gram on your harness can make a difference to your performance, the weight of a PAS is barely noticeable if attached well.

What can be used as PAS alternative?

Depending on what you are using a PAS for, other products can keep you secure. The most common use for a PAS is for cleaning your placed gear from a route, which requires you to attach yourself to the anchor at the top to remove quickdraws and set up a rappel from your rope. The following are commonly used alternatives:
Daisy Chain
The daisy chain is the product that inspired the manufacturing of the PAS, however, it is not streamlined for safety and is instead more commonly used for aid climbing. It has a single resistance rating across the entire product instead of for each individual loop, and so, therefore, is not as strong or secure. It is, however, much better for ascending a rope with.
Slings/Runners
A sling or runner is comparable to a single loop of a PAS but is usually considerably longer. They are normally used to lengthen an anchor so that your climbing rope does not rub against the abrasive rock, causing unnecessary damage and friction. They normally hold around 22kn of force when new (check the rating on each individual product to be sure) but, like the daisy chain, is only rated from end to end. They are not designed to catch a fall, but simply to hold your weight.

Is PAS necessary for climbing?

For the simple act of climbing, as PAS is probably not necessary, however, if you wish to safely remove your climbing gear from a route so that you can use it on another route, it is highly recommended to have something keeping you secure while you rethread your climbing rope. In a climbing gym, you will likely struggle to think of a reasonable use for the product, but outside, you will use it considerably more.

Lydia Yang

Lydia Yang

Lydia Yang is a Singaporean city girl who decided to ditch her high heels for hiking boots and become a full-time traveller and digital nomad. She has been to almost 60 countries to date! She has a knack for adventure travel, especially rock climbing, and always hunts down the best climbing spots around the world. Check out her expert advice on the best outdoor crags to climb at or what workouts to improve your climbing performance.

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