When the wheel was invented, it changed everything. When the GRIGRI came along climbing completely changed. A revelation. Safety increased, belayer comfort massively increased, even standards increased as the climber/belayer teamwork was enhanced. For the sport climber, a GRIGRI was simply an essential and expected part of the kit along with the rope and the harness.

The GRIGRI 2 took it further, slimming it down, jazzing it up, and future-proofing it for skinny ropes.

The GRIGRI + is the next level. Unsurprisingly from Petzl, they’ve come up with something truly excellent.

GRIGRI+ review

First of all let’s get it straight. There isn’t anything wrong with the GRIGRI 2. I’ve been using one for years and will continue to do so. But the + gives a few extra features, that to some of us could be really important.

   ·       Anti-Panic lever. With GRIGRI 1 and 2, and most self locking devices, you pull the lever to allow the rope to run through when lowering. Pull it more and the rope runs faster. As with any device, use requires care and skill. If for some reason a person panics when lowering, and pulls the lever even further the rope will just go faster. Not so with the GRIGRI+, the device lock onto the rope again, stopping it immediately. For inexperienced belayers or for group use this feature is essential.

   ·       Anti-panic lever. As above, however, for the experienced user they will note this new lever is easier to control than the GRIGRI 2, giving a smoother transition between lowering speeds. It just feels nicer. And if the anti-panic system is activated and the rope blocked, pull back even further on the lever to use just like the normal grigri2.

   ·       Top rope and lead modes. Inside all GRIGRI devices the rope runs around a spring-loaded cam. When tension is placed on the rope by a falling (or resting) climber the cam is jammed against the rope which holds it solid. The GRIGRI + has two modes that alter the spring tension. In top-rope mode the spring tension is very low, meaning the cam is activated very easily, and with very little weight, ensuring the maximum safety. The device stops the rope incredibly effectively. In Lead mode we have a higher spring tension, so that the cam does not jam the rope so easily when paying out slack to a leading climber. Shifting between modes is done with a simple twist of a button. However, there is a small clip on the button which if activated fixes the button and prevents moving between modes. This could be important if the devices were being used by groups.

   ·       Stainless wear plate. Probably something you won’t notice, but this addition should prolong the life of the device. Not that I heard of anyone wearing out a GRIGRI!

Overall the GRIGRI + is an awesome belay device. It is apparently optimized for single ropes between 8.9 and 10.5 mm, so that pretty much covers everything, though is at it’s best with the common diameters of around 9.5mm. So far I can’t fault it, and am using it in preference to my GRIGRI 2. However, the GRIGRI 2 is still great. If you don’t have a grigri at all then it probably makes sense to get the Plus, though if you already have the Two, you might not need to buy the Plus version, yet, till your Two wears out, gets lost, stolen, scratched, or you just fancy a new colour.


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