Gear Review: Petzl Grigri II

The Petzl’s Grigri is used by many pros and enthusiasts for good reason: it locks auto-reliably. In the last 20 years no other belay device has been able to compete with the Grigri, until now. Aside from being lighter and smaller and handling thinner ropes, the Grigri 2 just works better.

RECALL ALERT! I have to start by saying Petzl has issued a recall on Grigri 2′s with serial numbers, where the first five digits are, between 10326 and 11136. So if you have a Grigri 2 with a bad serial, send it back!

The Grigri 2 is a real head turner, even for those who have already used the original Grigri. Aside from being lighter and smaller and handling thinner ropes, the Grigri 2 just works smoother. Petzl has taken a great product and made it significantly better in every way.

In the last two decades, the Grigri has been so successful that its name has become synonymous with all auto-locking belay devices. Now that Petzl has released its long awaited rendition, the GriGri is able to accommodate skinnier ropes supporting trends toward lighter, quicker climbing techniques. The more ergonomic design fits in your hand better and just feels right.

So here’s the skinny: The GriGri 2 feeds much easier than its predecessor when using a rope in the recommended range (8.9mm to 11 mm).  Paying out standard amounts of slack on lead is as easy as feeding it out smoothly. Pulling large amounts of slack rapidly involves a simple hand positioning that is early ingrained into your tactile memory. Belaying with the GriGri 2 is more like belaying on an ATC but with all of the advantages of the auto lock.

Most sport climbers don’t climb on line thicker than 9.8 mm, but here at ThrashReview we usually climb with a 10.1mm –  10.5mm rope for reliability while testing gear. Our biggest climber is 6’3″ and 205 lbs, so you can’t really blame us for erring on the side of caution. That being said, we ran a 7mm and a 9.1mm through the Grigri and the bite was surprisingly just fine.

To say that, the only improvements to the Grigri is rope diameter compatibility, reduced size and weight, and progressive descent control system.  Well, that would be accurate and yet a wild understatement. The Grigri 2 is better in every way. If you’re already a GriGri user, then the II is a great update to your beloved device. If you’re still holding out on an auto-locker, the GriGri 2 may be the very thing to make you reconsider your position.

Product: Petzl Grigri II
Price: $99.95
Rating: 10/10

2 Responses to “Gear Review: Petzl Grigri II”

  • I don’t think I would ever want to climb without my Grigri no that I have one. Once you learn the ropes I would consider it a must have.

  • We still use our standard ATCs a lot but we always carry our Grigri for sure. For learning though nothing compares to a plane jane ATC.