'Climb assist' claims to reduce strain when climbing ladders; however, no research has yet substantiated this. The purpose of this study was to assess the physiological and psychophysical effects of climb assist on 30 m ladder climbing at a minimum acceptable speed. Eight participants (six male and two female) climbed a 30 m ladder at 24 rungs per minute with and without climb assist, and were monitored for heart rate (HR), [Formula: see text]O2 and rate of perceived exertion (RPE). All three variables decreased significantly (p < 0.05) with climb assist with [Formula: see text]O2 decreasing by 22.5%, HR by 14.8% and RPE decreasing by a mean of 2.3 units on the 10-point Borg scale. When descending the ladder [Formula: see text]O2 decreased by a mean of 42% compared to that ascending. At the minimal acceptable climbing speed climb assist decreases the physiological strain on climbers, as demonstrated by reduced [Formula: see text]O2, HR and perceived exertion. Practitioner Summary: 'Climb assist' systems claim to reduce strain when climbing, however; no research has yet been published to substantiate this. A crossover study compared [Formula: see text]O2, HR and RPE at a minimal acceptable climbing speed with and without climb assist. Climb assist significantly reduced all variables confirming it reduces strain when climbing.