Is it better to use brakes or downshift manual gears to keep from picking up speed downhill?

When encountering road conditions such as hill descents this will always create faster wear and tear on a vehicle’s brakes and braking system. In most circumstances and with no additional load (such as a caravan, trailer or loaded vehicle) using the brakes to slow down the vehicle will suffice. When you are carrying additional loads and are descending a steep hill, keep your speed down. Continue to use your brakes as the primary way of managing the vehicle’s speed. The transmission may provide some retardation, however it should not be relied upon in this way.