There are a ton of options for Personal Anchor Systems available today. So what are some reasons why you might choose one over another? This post dives into each of the features we catalog on to help you decide what is best for your needs, whichever version(s) of climbing you find yourself doing.

All of the features we cover below are also filterable on so you can compare models and filter to exactly what you’re looking for.

Personal Anchor Features

Personal Anchor Systems, or PAS as they are more easily spelled, are a piece of sewn gear climbers use to connect themselves to anchors. Which PAS you choose has a lot to do with the type of climbing you’re doing and the situations you plan to use them in. They can be necessary when cleaning gear off a route, before lowering or rappelling, or when backing up an existing anchor on a multi pitch or big wall climb.

PAS can be made of static or dynamic materials and have a couple of basic methods of construction: a series of sewn loops in a chain, or a piece of rope material with a reinforced loop at the end. Each design has its pros and cons, depending on your situation which we cover in this post about the 3 different types of PAS.

When choosing between similar models, it is helpful to get into the fine details, so in this post we’ll cover each available feature to help make sure get the most out of your PAS.


Lanyard style PAS are usually fairly simple devices made of one or two lengths of rope-like material. One of the things that makes them attractive to some is the fact that they can be knotted or clove hitched at any point in their length to make them more flexible. But if you don’t have the know-how or the free hands to hitch a lanyard shorter, you can be out of luck.

In the past few years brands have started to introduce lanyard style PAS with adjusters built into them. These adjusters are quite useful for easily dialing their length when you reach an anchor. This can be particularly nice for finding a more comfortable position at a belay or when you need to create space for another climber to pass.

These adjusters do not affect the strength of the lanyard, and were actually the cause for the creation of the UIAA/CEN certification for Belay Lanyards for Mountaineering when Petzl introduced their first model of the Connect Adjust. In order to pass this certification, all belay lanyards must hold 15kN and be able to absorb forces so that a max of 10kN is transferred to the anchor from an 80kg fall of factor 1.6 (or factor 2 for non-adjustable).

An adjustable lanyard PAS

Some Benefits of Adjustable Lanyards

  • Easier to dial the distance between you and the belay
  • Can operate one-handed (unlike some knots/hitches)
  • Doesn’t require extra gear or knowledge to operate safely
See Every Adjustable Lanyard PAS

Built-in Carabiner

Some PAS devices also include a built-in carabiner from the manufacturer. At first glance this might seem unnecessary or limiting but there are some good reasons for choosing this option.

Some brands chain style PAS have a very tightly sewn loop at the end similar to a dog bone on a quickdraw. This allows them to more tightly hold the carabiner on the end for easier clipping. If your PAS includes a carabiner, you can be sure it is loaded correctly into this loop. Other versions even use a molded plastic holder that the carabiner slots into, giving extra area for gripping and positioning while clipping yourself into an anchor.

Built-in carabiners also means you don’t have to constantly move a locker to and from your PAS when you’re racking or un-racking, you know you’ve always got a dedicated connector ready to go that you know is designed to fit well. It is also good to note that if your PAS is UIAA rated as a belay lanyard, that the testing must also include the connector if the manufacturer sells it that way. This means you can know that your PAS and the connector have been specifically tested and certified to work well together.

Built in Carabiner PAS

Some Built-In Carabiner Benefits

  • Ready to go out of the box
  • No need to move lockers from your rack to your PAS and back
  • The PAS is designed with that connector in mind
  • Certified Lanyard PAS are also certified with this carabiner
See Every PAS with a Built In Carabiner

Full Strength Girth Hitch

This feature is an interesting one that attempts to solve a long-time pain point for a lot of climbers. When a loop of soft material is passed around an object and back through itself, (known as a girth hitch or a lark’s foot hitch) its strength is reduced by around half. Climbers have used this method for attaching to anchors since before sewn slings existed, but there has long has been a point of discussion regarding its safety and potential risks. Many have concerns due to materials rubbing on themselves and potentially cutting or wearing through, especially in the case of UHMWPE (Dyneema).

In order to combat this potential wear, some companies have decided to design a new form of attachment loop; what WeighMyRack calls the full strength girth hitch. This bit of clever sewing includes an extra loop on the climber’s end of the PAS for a girth hitch to pass through before it is pulled tight. Essentially this loop keeps the loop end from being able to cinch down on itself, and instead tightens around the PAS. Essentially this creates two girth hitches (one coming from the climber over the PAS and one from the connector in the opposite direction), which doubles the amount of strength in the system.

If all of that sounds a bit cryptic, don’t worry it is a bit tough to picture and describe. One helpful way to think of it is with some very simple math. Remember that a single girth hitch reduces a material’s strength by half? If you double the amount of these connections (1/2 + 1/2 = 1), you’re basically making a ‘full strength’ way to attach to an anchor.

Full Girth Hitch PAS

It is important to note that when we talk about reduced material strength we should know that certified nylon and Dyneema slings are rated to 22kN (essentially 5,000 lbs of force) so even cutting that in half you are left with a strong and perfectly safe piece of gear. It is widely believed that a human body likely cannot escape severe injury or death from fall forces much lower (think like 8-10kN) so there is little cause to be worried about your gear failing above these numbers unless you’re hanging 20 people or a small car from your anchor for some reason.

Some Full Strength Girth Hitch Benefits

  • Doesn’t allow materials to cinch on themselves
  • Greatly reduces wear
  • Maintains maximum strength of materials
See Every Full Strength Girth Hitch PAS

Bluesign Certified

This feature tells you that a PAS has been designated as a Bluesign® product. This designation signifies that the manufacturer is committed to tracking and reducing the impact of textiles in their gear on the planet. As a third party Bluesign tracks its partners products from material sourcing through manufacturing, packaging, shipping, and distribution. A piece of gear that is considered a Bluesign® product must contain at least 90% Bluesign approved materials and be made by a Bluesign system partner.

We include this filter wherever possible on WeighMyRack to help make it easier for climbers to buy products that are intentionally designed with waste and pollution reduction in mind.

bluesign Product Logo

Which Features Do You Need?

We have to admit that some of these features may seem pretty niche, and in fact they are. But for those climbers who are looking to find an exact piece of gear (or perhaps avoid a specific type of gear) it is always helpful to be precise.

Some types of PAS on the market have one or multiple features listed above depending on their materials, type, brand, or even price. Which PAS you find the most useful for your climbing will depend on which of these features are most important to you.

Ideally these descriptions will help you decide if you you need any one of them or not, and you can use the filters on the PAS page at to really zero in on the best PAS for you.