User Review: Petzl Grigri
Price Paid: $95
I think it's best to learn using a ATC-type devise, but once you've mastered the basic technique move on to the grigri! It's right at home when belaying someone heavier than you or when your forearms are bumpin from the route you just spent 10 minutes sending and your partner wants an immediate go to show you a "different way". Lowering takes a little time to learn smoothly as you can't feel it as much as an ATC but you catch on pretty quick. If you're still worried, Petzl makes a biner with a friction spur on the side that you clip the rope into when lowering for that extra bit of stopping power (I think the biner is called a frieno or something). Both are expensive ($95+$45 .. yikes!) but you'll blow people's mind with your belay set up, trust me.