User Review: Petzl Grigri
Price Paid: Borrowed
Not a good choice for the beginner. I used one of these during a belaying class and it seems like the obvious choice for the beginning climber. It's automatic. How much easier can it get?
In reality, I found it rather difficult to control descents as compared to the old trusty ATC belay-plate type device. On top of that, I think the fact that it's "automatic" causes the beginner to become a bit complacent.
I'm sure this is a great device in the right hands on the right application. However, for the beginner inclined to spend the extra money thinking they're getting something great, I recommend saving the cash and buying an ATC for their first belaying device.