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Petzl Grigri

rated 3.5 of 5 stars
photo: Petzl Grigri belay/rappel device

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.

Price Paid: $95

I had mine for years and used it for many purposes, mostly belaying. If I don't know the person that belays me I prefer to use the grigri and it makes me feel safer because it works every time! I also used it for solo top rope and have caught dozens of falls, even without my hands on the rope (not recommended per manual).


  • Reliability you can trust
  • Durable — doesn't seem to wear out fast


  • Requires technique to quickly and smoothly feed rope
  • More expensive
  • Can't rappel on two ropes

Overall this is a great piece of gear that is built to last. I have used it for lead climb belaying, top rop belaying, and rappelling. It has never failed me and has held my life many times.

Top rope belay and rappel is easy and convenient with the auto lock feature that doesn't harm the rope. Belaying a lead climber requires technique to feed the rope quickly and smoothly without engaging the brakes that can interfere.  Initially, it is common to find people not properly using it. For this reason, I suggest learning how to use it properly.

I've had mine for two years and I trust it more than my ex wife :-P

Source: bought it new

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.

Price Paid: Borrowed

It's a heavy device but it's auto locking. I use it exclusively on sport climbing single pitch routes and gives me peace of mind when my belayer has less climbing experience.

If you are climbing any kind of lead this is the belay device to have. It makes life so much better on those long hard routes.

Price Paid: $80~

I would rate this product with 10 stars if I could. Simply put, DO NOT LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT!!!!!!!

Happy and safe summit!

Price Paid: $84



  • Good for single rope rappel to work on a wall.
  • Some EXPERIENCED people like it and it works good for them.


  • Easy to confuse beginners and have them drop a climber.

Easy to confuse the release with a brake and drop the climber. I have seen three climbers dropped with a Grigri. One went to the hospital. All three were belayed by beginners who were properly trained, attentive, and thought they were doing right.

I have only seen one climber dropped by someone using an ATC. He was not properly trained and was not using correct technique. I would NOT allow a beginner to belay me with a Grigri.

Source: bought it new

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Price Current Retail: $99.95-$139.95
Historic Range: $59.98-$139.95
Reviewers Paid: $80.00-$95.00

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