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The Petzl GriGri is a very controversial belay device which is designed to lock when a fall is detected. Only suitable for 10-11 millimetre ropes.
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Petzl GriGri Reviews
Reviewed by Jonathan (Birmingham) on 2006-01-06:
General comments: The GriGri the most talked about belay device I know of. Mostly due to people using it wrongly. In general I like using on as it takes the strain off your hands if the rope is loaded for a long period. It is important to find out the policy of a climbing wall before using it as some places have banned them while others prefer them. I like the grigri but it is very expensive for a belay device and should be used with caution.Comment on this review...
Pros: -Locking (Under correct circumtances) which allows a very different usage style
-Rope is let out via use of a lever so when belaying for long periods hands don't get blistered.
Cons: -Bulky, it is much heavier than most belay devices so fills up and weighs down your bag.
-Promotes bad belaying style. I have seen more accidients when using grigris than everyhting else. Novice users make mistakes like expecting the GriGri to catch a fall every time. They also pull lever fully giving an uncontrolled outlet of rope.
Reviewed by Paul Smith (Cannock) on 2006-02-21:
General comments: The Petzl Grigri, is not a fail safe device, it should be used in exactly the same way that any other belay device is used. I.e. you always keep hold of the dead end of the rope. There have been loads of accidents when people have been using grigri's incorrectly, make sure you read the instructions and or the BMC's advice.
The grigri is ideal for sport climbing, but people do struggle when it comes to giving out rope for the lead climber, don't be tempted to do what some people do and hold down the lowering lever with the thumb, if you are doing that you should really have saved yourself some money and brought an ATC-XP or something similiar, as you are stopping the device doing what it is designed for.
The Grigri is also not designed for belaying a leader who is placing natural leader placed protection (nuts, cams etc) as the load that the device puts on the anchors can be very high!Comment on this review...
Pros: Great for sport climbing and working routes
Cons: Moving parts, expensive, not for use with leader placed protection. Heavy
Reviewed by graeme (durham) on 2006-04-06:
General comments: I refuse to use the Petzl GriGri as I consider them to be dangerous. My local indoor climbing school refuses use of them and like the first reviewer I find them a particulary controversial talking point as soon as it comes out someones bag. Good belaying and relying on your partner are the basis of rock climbing and this device is an accident waiting to happy. Seatbelts are nice when you are in your car, but you dont want to be hanging off a rock relying on one with your mate holding the button. You can get away with mis-using other equipment such as ascenders and descenders as they just dont go anywhere, but if you mis-use one of these you are in soapy bubble. Do not buy under any circumstances, buy a decent pair of gloves if your worried about blisters and sore hands or shop around for other belays more suitable. Hell, just be a figure 8. Heavy, cumbersome, ugly, useless, dangerous can you tell I dont like themComment on this review...
Cons: The fact it is used.
Reviewed by Dave Stocks (Todmorden, West Yorkshire) on 2006-04-09:
General comments: The Petzl GriGri has become common place amoung Sport Climber but it is great not just for sport climbing it is great bit of kit if you work as a climbing istructor or in a situation were you are using ropes. I personally use my GriGri for all climbing situations execpt when climbing with two ropes and then i use a Reverso. Anyway the GriGri I find it good for teaching beginers setting up belays at the top of climbs when with a group as it is safe and easily adjusted so that you can wonder around and if you slip you not going to fall to your death! The GriGri because it is self locking using it for sport climbing is great when your mate is hanging around and working routes if gives you a rest and is possible to have something to eat and relax a little. Another use is if you are teaching a person to lead climb you and jumar up next to them and if you need to get back down you can abseil on the GriGri. The only points that i think are worth talking about is the fact that the can shock load belays and if the leader falls and the belayer grabs the wrong rope it will not lock and could cause a fatal fall. Anyway enough of that the GriGri is a brillant design as well as a good invention i haven gone back once i used one. Remeber read the instructions before you use. Finally if you are not sure about the GriGri why don't you rent one at your local wall and have a go! Comment on this review...
Pros: Self locking, very usful
Cons: expensive, heavy for trad, the twisting makes them easy to drop (bad if above the sea)
Reviewed by David Lundberg (Canada) on 2006-04-09:
General comments: The Petzl GriGri is the ideal auto locking belay device for the gym, I would and do not use the device in outdoor climbing due to its weight and bulk. I have never had a problem with the device indoors even with heavier climbers. I actually insist that my wife use this device while belaying me as well as anchor to the ground as we have a signifigant weight difference, that being said she is also a seasoned climber/belayer and knows what she is doing. I don't think people should be taught with to belay with this device right of the get go as with a non- auto locking device it is VERY important to stay attached to the brake end of the rope, where the GriGri can build a bit of laziness in that aspect. I do like this device and use it in all my indoor climbing, lead and top rope. It is expensive but it works well. I do think that this device will be obsolite soon due to devices like the Cinch coming out.
Comment on this review...
Pros: user friendly, auto lcoking
Cons: a bit pricey, because it is mechanical there is always that potential for failure if not used properly (BUT that is with any device), bulky, heavy
Reviewed by Pete Baars (Merseyside) on 2006-06-13:
General comments: The GriGri is a great belay device if you know what you're doing with it. If you don't then you might as well take over the next plane that you travel on and try and land it. It's designed for sports climbing (or indoor wall use), where you use nice secure anchors (bolts), not for trad, where placements may be more marginal. I get really worried, when I see it described as an autolocking device, it may well lock automatically, but there's no guarantee of this happening unless the live end of the rope is held in the belayers hand. I've even overheard people describing this as a "hands free device", this is lunacy. It needs to be used in accordance with the manufacturers instructions to ensure that it functions correctly. When used correctly it's a brilliant device, when used incorrectly it's death on a stick (particularly if used in conjunction with a new rope, which is slick and runs easily). NEVER leave the Petzl grigri clipped into a ground anchor, with a climber on the other end (I've seen this done). Use it like a normal belay device and it's great, lowering off is easy. My advice by a simpler device first, learn the skill of belaying and then by a grigri when you can handle one.
Comment on this review...
Pros: Very efficient, usual high quality Petzl construction.
Cons: Potentially lethal if used by an inexperienced climber.
Reviewed by Charlie Boscoe (Lancashire) on 2008-05-07:
General comments: It seems that a lot of people like to get on their high horse about Gri - Gris and label them dangerous and a dangerous replacement for good belaying. There's probably a bit of truth in that but they definitely have their uses. Everyone knows that they sren't suitable for trad, they're too heavy to carry on a route, and that in the wrong hands they can cause complacency (and therefore, bad belaying). However, if you go to the wall regularly, or are going to clip bolts on holiday, they are superb. Down at the wall or on a sunny spanish crag, it's a bit much to ask your belayer to stare at your every move to belay well, they are inevtiably going to look athe view/chat to others etc. If you're leading at the time it can be pretty disconcerting if they are clearly not paying 100% attention to you, but if they have a gri gri you know that if you fall off without warning, and they aren't expecting it, they will hold you. if using a stitch plate, they will hold you 99 times out of 100, but that one time they may just have reached to pick something up, or only have one hand on the rope and so on.
They are also superb for use woth beginners, provided you explain that they are never to be relied on. It allows you, as an instructor, to let new climbers belay, with the peace of mind that they can make a mistake with their belaying without causing huge risk.
Obviously, if you rely on one, or use it in any way differently to how you use a stitch plate, you're going to have an accident, but in the right hands with proper instruction, they're a very nice back up.Comment on this review...
Pros: Good peace of mind for leading sport routes and at the wall, also allow beginners to learn to belay with a back up in case of a misunderstanding.
Cons: Some people rely on them working and abandon the basics of belaying
Reviewed by AR (Somewhere) on 2008-10-06:
General comments: Some people hate the Petzl Grigri and label it unsafe or dangerous. When used incorrectly it is dangerous, but so is a belay plate when used incorrectly. And a rope is dangerous if you donít tie into it properly. If you go to any serious sport climbing crag you will see lots of climbers hanging off bolts working moves, and they will all be belayed with Grigris. It is the ultimate belay device for sport climbing, it is easy to hold a fall with as it locks off and it is much more comfortable to use when your partner is sitting on the rope as you do not have to hold the dead rope tight. Peopleís unease with the device often come from thinking that it is a hands-free device Ė it is not. You have to pay attention and know how to safely pay out slack quickly but it will make life at the crag much easier. I donít use them at the wall as there is very little hanging about but when youíre down at the local sports crag working your project they are excellent. They are also one of the few options climbers have for solo-leading but that is a different topic altogether.Comment on this review...
Pros: Make life much easier when belaying your mate working his sport project.
Cons: They have a bad reputation as some people don't understand how they work - make sure you do.
Not suitable for use in trad climbing.
Reviewed by Ashley Scott (Hampshire) on 2010-11-17:
General comments: I will soon be taking a Site Specific training course and needed to learn how to use a GriGri, I must say I found it very easy to use when I was top-roping and after working out how to pay out rope quickly to a leader, fine for lead climbing.
I normally use a device called 'click up' http://www.climbingtechnology.it/en-US/clickupen.html which has similar usage and advantages. Personally when belay I will stick to using my 'click up', but when helping with lessons / birthday parties I am happy to use the GriGri.Comment on this review...
Pros: Tried and tested,
Cons: Still expensive, Limited to 10-11mm rope (until the GriGri 2 gets released)
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