Being that we’re called StanchionDepot(dot com!) it’s only natural that we know a thing or two about stanchions. And we’d love to share that information with you! For example, what is a stanchion? What are the different kinds, and what makes them so different? Well, keep on reading and we’ll tell you! There are three main types of stanchions used in crowd control and queue management: retractable belt barriers, classic metal post and rope stanchions, and plastic posts. Each have their own benefits and unique qualities that make them suited to specific applications.


Examples of Metal Posts and Stanchion Ropes

This type of stanchion is pretty much just what the name describes: a post with a rope attached to it. Get several posts and string them all together with ropes, and you have yourself a crowd control barrier. The post typically sits on a heavy circular base to provide stability, and features a forged metal ring near the top of the post for the rope to attach to (via a hook or snap-end). The rope used can be a velour rope with a velvet covering or a twisted nylon rope, depending on the aesthetic you’d like to achieve. The posts themselves are metal, usually steel or brass, and are often polished to a shiny finish. There are different top styles, including the ball top or urn top, and again which one you choose will come down to your own personal preference. The classic metal post is a great choice for situations where you want a solid, durable post that offers plenty of stability while also being aesthetically pleasing. When you want a traditional, classic and “elegant” look, classic post and rope stanchions can fill that role very nicely. Think museums, galleries, theaters, upscale hotels, and red carpet style events.


Examples of Plastic Stanchion Posts

Superficially similar in design to classic posts, plastic stanchions feature a base, post and top, but they are quite different in a number of ways. Instead of a loop near the top, they have C-hooks on either side, which allows for the attachment of plastic chains (as opposed to ropes). Instead of metal, these posts are made of UV stabilized plastic, which makes them both lightweight and weather resistant. As such, they’re a good choice for outdoor events: think amusement parks, carnivals, fairs, street festivals, car shows, parking lots valet stands and the like. Since they’re lightweight, they’re also good for areas that require a lot of reconfiguration, because they can be repositioned easily. If you require a bit more stability for your crowd control set up but still want to take advantage of the weather resistant qualities of plastic posts, you may wish to consider a heavy duty water stanchion, which features a base that can be filled with water. This added weight helps stabilize the stanchion, and also increases the allowable span between stanchion posts. Both standard plastic posts and heavy duty water stanchions are available in many color options, including highly visible choices like yellow, orange, white/orange and yellow/black alternating, and more. There are also simulated gold and chrome options for a more elegant look without sacrificing the lightweight benefits.


Examples of Retractable Belt Stanchions

These posts are the workhorses of crowd control; you can find them in use just about everywhere. Like the others, they consist of a circular base and a post, but at the top instead of having attachments for rope or chain, you get a self-contained cassette with a polyester belt spooled with in. This belt can be extended and attached to points on adjacent stanchions for a full queue and crowd control set-up. A more versatile option than traditional metal posts, belt barriers allow you to customize the length between stanchions easily, since any amount of belt can be deployed (up to the maximum length, which varies depending on the stanchion). You can also easily retract the belt to allow access when desired, without altering the overall configuration. Though they’re usually made of metal, there are plastic retractable belt barriers that are used in outdoor applications. Retractable belt stanchion posts are an excellent option anywhere you desire a reliable, durable and versatile crowd control solution: banks, restaurants, bars, warehouses, airports, retail stores, offices, lobbies, movie theaters…basically anywhere you need some solid crowd control. They may not be as pretty as classic posts, or as light and weather resistant as plastic posts, but they will get the job done.