First things to know: Daisies (aka daisy chains) are used for aid climbing to assist in stability and positioning. PAS are used while sport or trad climbing for quickly connecting to an anchor.

A daisy Chain and an Adjustable Daisy
PasAdjPAS 1

Why is this so confusing? At first glance daisies and PAS’s can appear to be the same device, both made from webbing, with multiple attachment points. Also, many climbers have used these gear type names interchangeably. Even some manufacturers are adding confusion with how they name their products – where they have a device that is built and tested to be a PAS and have named it a “daisy.”

For the record, you can use a PAS as a daisy, but you should never use a daisy as a PAS.

Why do the names matter?  Never using a daisy as a PAS is what really matters. When climbers (and brands) interchangeably use these names it creates a misleading sense that they are interchangeable products, which they are not. We repeat: Do not use a daisy as a PAS. (We go over all the details why below).

Why another 1500 words on this subject? We’re harping on this issue because these two different pieces of gear have very different uses, and when used incorrectly, have serious safety consequences.

Understanding how their misuse can create dangerous situations requires being able to tell them apart by look and function, regardless of what someone may call them.

Below we dive into the differences of how the majority of the industry defines daisies (daisy chains) and Personal Anchor Systems, how they’re tested, and how you can easily identify them.

Daisy Chains and Adjustable Daisies

A traditional daisy chain is a piece of sewn gear used as a part of an aid climbing system. It is made by stitching periodic loops along a loop of sewn webbing.

A daisy Chain and an Adjustable Daisy

While aid climbing daisies are used for:

  • Temporarily connecting the leader to a piece of protection
  • Creating leverage to keep the climbers weight forward and onto their aiders or the rock
  • A leash to keep from dropping an aider

A daisy is one of an aid climber’s primary pieces of gear while leading an aid pitch. It is designed and intended to hold a climbers weight while they suss out their next placement.

They also are used to provide tension as they ‘aid up’ an aider (or ladder) to reach higher. Many aid climbers connect their daisies to their ladders to keep from dropping them in case a piece of protection pulls and they fall while they are bounce testing it.

A daisy is essentially a method of progress capture that is variable in length that allows an aid leader a way to weight a piece of gear. Most aid climbers connect the daisy to their harness via a girth hitch, and use a fifi hook or a non-locking carabiner to hook into a loop in the daisy that is the right distance for the task at hand (e.g. reaching higher, applying leverage, holding weight, etc.).

Short clipping a daisy chain with a fifi hook
An aid climber uses a fifi hook to temporarily shorten the length of a daisy clipped to a gear placement.

Daisies are never and should never be trusted as a piece of PPE (personal protection equipment) because they are not rated or tested to catch a fall (which we’ll cover in a bit), and are best thought of as a very temporary way to hang your weight at various distances from a single piece of pro. Daisies are not designed or tested to be used as a Personal Anchor System.

While NOT aid climbing daisies can be used for:

  • Gear sorting
  • Hanging a hammock
  • Hauling firewood
  • Dog leashes

Adjustable versions of daisies are made from webbing with some form of metal buckle system that allows them to be shortened quickly with a pull or lengthened with a squeeze or lift of the buckle. This ‘infinite adjustability’ has arguably made aid climbing significantly faster and more efficient while climbing because the effort to unhook an re-hook has been replaced with a simple tug while standing into a ladder. Like their cheaper fixed-length cousins, adjustable daisies are not certified or tested to hold more than body weight.

These adjustable daisies should not be confused with adjustable belay lanyard PAS that are CEN/UIAA certified and made from dynamic rope materials, which we’ll get into next.

Personal Anchor Systems (PAS)

A PAS is a piece of sewn gear used by climbers to connect themselves to an anchor. It can be made of a series of interlocking rings of webbing in a chain, or from rope dynamic material with loops sewn on either end. Some of these lanyard style models can have multiple arms and/or metal buckles that make them adjustable.

PasAdjPAS 2

Personal Anchor Systems are used for:

  • Temporarily connecting the leader or the follower to an anchor at the top of a climbed pitch
    • This can be while cleaning gear off the top of a pitch before lowering/rappelling
    • OR to secure a climber at a belay station while they bring up a follower
    • OR safely connecting a climber to a rappel station while rappelling a multi pitch climb
  • Extending a belay device away from the harness during a rappel
  • Chain construction PAS can also be used to make temporary equalized anchors on multi pitch climbs or in emergency or rope rescue situations
Two armed adjustable PAS at a climbing anchor
A climber uses an adjustable PAS with 2 arms to connect to an anchor while belaying from above.

A personal anchor system can be a handy tool in the toolbox for climbers. PAS make a strong, secure, tested way to connect yourself to an anchor without using the rope or other gear like slings or quickdraws that you might need elsewhere. Similar to a daisy, a PAS attaches to the harness using a girth hitch but instead of a hook or non locker, uses a locking carabiner for a more secure connection to an anchor.

A PAS is essentially a device of convenience that is put on the harness before a day of climbing and kept out of the way until needed. When a climber is ready to clean an anchor or before lowering or rappelling, they can attach themselves directly to bolts which allows them to freely remove gear and set up their lower off without needing to use the gear at hand.

Using a PAS to extend a belay and to build an anchor
Chain style PAS can make connecting a belay device easy for extending a rappel away from the harness (left). Longer models are also particularly good for building quick anchors in multi pitch or rescue situations.

In a multi pitch situation PAS are indispensable at giving climbers a secure way to connect and be out of the way of rope management and other climbers. They are variable in length, but as strong or stronger than the anchor climbers hang from, which allows for more mobility and versatility throughout various situations. Because they are designed and tested for this purpose, personal anchors offer climbers a safe extension of the anchor that is personal to their stance and is removed from the system should they need to untie, escape the belay, swap leads, or changeover to a rappel.

What are PAS and Daisies Certified to Do

In addition to the name and description of the product, the best way to tell whether your gear is made to function as a PAS or not is to look for a certification from the CE EN or UIAA. There are two certifications that PAS have, either certified as a belay lanyard or a sling for mountaineering.

There is no certification for being a “daisy.”

Devices tested to function as a belay lanyard (can absorb fall forces) will be marked CEN 17520, UIAA 109, or both. These have been tested to absorb factor 1.6 falls from above the anchor and not to allow more than 10kN force to be transferred to that anchor. This is a great choice for using as a PAS, and could perform the function of a daisy during an aid climb.

If your device is marked CEN 566, UIAA 104, or both, it has been tested and certified as a sling for mountaineering. This means it has been tested to hold as much as 22kN of force when pulled. Because slings can be made from Nylon (some amount of stretch) or Dyneema® (no stretch) they may or may not absorb any forces from falls, and in some situations can act as a force multiplier on the anchor. When used as a PAS, this device can perform just fine, but static PAS should be used with caution in situations with loose rock, marginal anchors, and trad gear, and should never be used in a situation where the climber may be above the anchor. It can also make a fine daisy if the length and form factor are right for you.

If your device has no certification marking, you are taking a risk with its ability to keep you safe if you are trusting it as a sole piece of PPE.

Certifications aren’t just about testing strength, and actually involve quite a bit of other requirements including materials and repeatable manufacturing processes. A piece of gear that you use as part of a system like a daisy doesn’t have much requirement of holding weight past a few hundred pounds (Stitching between pockets on daisies has been tested to fail at as little as 1-2kN), and because it doesn’t perform the function of PPE (in aid climbing, the rope is your PPE) it doesn’t have to. Put in this context, using an untested or uncertified daisy (1-2kN) as a PAS (10kN dynamic, 22kN static) is at best a dice roll.

It is great to get into the habit of checking for certs on your gear when you buy it and taking a quick moment to understand just what they are made to do. For each PAS on WeighMyRack we list the exact certification numbers so you can see what it was tested to handle. And for the nerdier crowd out there, the UIAA allows you to search certified equipment on their site.

Differences of Daisies vs. Personal Anchor Systems (PAS)

A Daisy Chain


  • A series of sewn pockets
  • OR Sometimes adjustable
  • Used with a fifi hook or non-locker
  • Not rated to hold falls
  • Not a Personal Anchor

Use it for:

  • Leading an aid climb
  • Hanging your hammock

A Personal Anchor System


  • Sewn links of chain, or sewn ends on rope
  • Used with lockers
  • Sometimes certified to hold falls (lanyard)
  • Sometimes certified to hold 22kn (sling)
  • Absolutely a Personal Anchor

Use it For:

  • Connecting yourself to an anchor
  • Extending a rappel
  • Cleaning a single pitch anchor
  • Fancy underwear

Why using “Daisy” and “PAS” Correctly Really Matters
The bee is still in our bonnet. 

As we mentioned above, the use of the word daisy is pretty muddy in climbing today. There are some brands that make PAS and call them daisies and in all fairness, they could perform the function of a daisy in an aid climb as well as be a tested piece of gear for anchoring.

The difficult part is when you go the other direction and use the word daisy but mean a PAS. A good example of this is if a climber asks someone at a gear shop, “which daisy do you recommend?” when they actually are looking for a device for a personal anchor. Without knowing it, someone could unwittingly buy something to trust their life to that isn’t made to perform this function.

We have witnessed this first hand in conversations at crags and gear shops, and it is the highlight of why we thought this post was important to write.

In Summary

  • Daisies and PAS are not interchangeable terms.
  • Daisies are for body weight only and positioning while aid climbing.
  • PAS are tested and intended to be used as a personal protective equipment – such as tying into an anchor.
  • Although you can use a PAS as a daisy, you cannot safely use a daisy in the same ways as a PAS is intended to be used.

You can read more about daisies and learn more about the nuances of using them while aid climbing with our daisy post.

If you want more PAS info and want to learn more about the different types and their benefits read our PAS post.

If you just want to see (literally) all the options, click below to head to WeighMyRack.