You need various aspects to extend the lifespan of your products like: transport, product usage (intensity, conditions, frequency etc.), and also the storage, maintenance and care. This helps avoid premature wear of the equipment.

Given below is a summary of precautions recommended by Petzl for maintaining your equipment.

Image source: Petzl

Basic principles 

  • It is important to take care of your safety gear. Don’t leave it anywhere.
  • Don’t throw your gear unsafe on the ground. 
  • Carefully read the instructions and recommendations for each product. 
    Refer the heading “PPE* Inspection”. 

* PPE refers to Personal Protective Equipment, equipment carried or worn by the user. It is classified in three categories:

Category 1: Light mechanical impacts, minor hazards, solar radiation (e.g. gloves, glasses) 

Category 2: Serious hazards (e.g. crampons, ventilated helmets)

Category 3: Deadly or major hazards (e.g. carabiners, harnesses, ice axes) 

Reminder of the lifetime for equipment

• From the date of manufacture for textile and plastic products, the maximum lifespan is up to 10 years  

• The lifetime for metal products is indefinite

• Caution: An unusual event may need you to retire a product after one use. This may require the type and intensity of use, or the environment in which it is used: sharp edges, aggressive environments, extreme temperatures and chemicals

• To know more, see the heading “PPE Inspection”. 

How to find the age of PPE? 

Petzl uses a serial number to identify its PPE products. The number is marked in different ways including: Engraving, laser, label etc.


• Storing the equipment in pack to protect it is preferable.

• You must take care that sharp objects or crampon points don’t damage your ropes, helmet or slings.
 • The temperatures can be extreme when traveling by train, truck, train, boat or plane which can degrade the products. Example: Don’t leave your helmets or textile equipment in the trunk of a car or under a window that is exposed to direct sunlight. The temperature can be higher than 80 °C. 

Example: Pay attention to your equipment’s possible proximity to car batteries, gas cans, or cleaners (risk of leaking)

Caution: Any contact with harsh or corrosive substances (e.g. acids) or chemical products is prohibited. In case of doubt, retire your equipment. 


• You should store your equipment in a well-ventilated area which is out of direct sunlight.

• It is suggested to reserve a specific place for your equipment. Caution: Contact with any corrosive or harsh substances (e.g. acids) is prohibited. If you have a doubt, retire your equipment. 

• Don’t store your gear in a damp place where mold can develop (bags, damp closets and waterproof containers with moisture inside). For long journeys,  be cautious of moisture in containers in ports or airports, during transit, and in salty environments. 


Repair and modifications of the products outside the facilities is restricted, other than replacing worn parts with replacement parts as referenced in the catalogs.


For washing, recommendations are indicated for each product family. 


• Even if cleaning isn’t necessary, remove your gear from packs after each activity.

• Let the gear air-dry away from ultraviolet sources 

• Avoid proximity to heat sources such as direct sunlight, wood fires, or a radiator. 


In general, the products don’t need any special maintenance, outside of cleaning, except for metal products when used in amateur sports. 

Metal equipment 


The metal products are marked with a label, a laser engraving, or a stamp showcasing the model name, the serial number for traceability and standards references. 

Usage tips 

To personalize your metal gear: 

• Engraving a metal equipment or a carabiner is not suggested as this is a modification of the product that can make it weak. Do not use punch or a stamp. The use of punches or stamps is restricted, as this type of marking may affect performance of the product, depending on the force of impact, the depth and the chosen area. 

• However, you can use an electric engraving pen which has (depth less than 0.1 mm) on the frame, right next to the serial number. 

• With a small amount of paint (“metal writing” paint or paint pen), you can mark your metal equipment.

Warning: Don’t dip your equipment in paint. Just apply a thin, small marking of paint, not too thick. 

• There’s no need to mark any working areas. The marks must be made on the body parts where there is no rubbing against another rope or device. These marks should not be hiding the original marking (standards, serial number etc.). 

• This marking type is forbidden on plastic pieces, as the chemical agents in paints can weaken plastic’s structure .

• It is advised to choose a metal-compatible paint, as we cannot test every available paint.

Use adhesive tape at places where the rope does not run. 


• Rinse with fresh water, after use in a salty environment (seaside).

• To remove oily dirt or mud, use a small brush.

• Wash your gear in soapy water that is lukewarm (ph neutral, 30 °C maximum), then wash with fresh tap water. 

• Do not use harsh cleaners or acid. Do not use WD 40 type degreasers because these products remove lubricants and their abrasive effect can accelerate wear. 

• Certain metal gear also has plastic parts. It is recommended to use only household face and body soap. All other cleaning products, like stain removers, degreasers, solvents, etc. are too strong and not compatible with plastic materials. 

• Take care that you do not use a high pressure water sprayer as it can damage joints and remove lubricants. 

• Lubricate only with graphite powder or fluid oils (machine oil) that too if lubricating is necessary. 

Clean oil residue with a cloth, after lubricating, 

to avoid getting oil on ropes or slings. 

Belay devices, descenders 


The Instructions for use indicate that the product must be retired, when a belay device has developed a sharp edge on the body. We suggest retiring any metal product that has wear which is greater than one millimetre (mm) deep on its body. The rope rubbing against the body of the REVERSO wears the metal, as with all descenders. 

You can round sharp edges by hand (using fine grit sandpaper) to prolong the use of your descender. The edge is thus less harmful to the rope. The operation can be performed within the 1 millimetre limit. 

The bobbins on the simple and stop descenders are available as spare parts. These can be replaced when worn (refer Instructions For Use). 


Information & Image source: Petzl