Top 5 Reasons You Don’t Want a GriGri +

By now you’ve probably read multiple reviews about why the GriGri+ is so great. Well, I’m here to tell you it’s not all roses, people, and below are five reasons why you might not want to get a GriGri+.

You like dropping people

Perhaps the most interesting new feature of the device is the anti-panic function. If you pull back too hard on the lever while lowering, the cam locks, preventing rope from flying through the device. A common concern I have when teaching newer climbers how to use a GriGri is that they’ll typically lower too fast, as it often takes a moment or two after they start to pull back the lever before the climber starts to descend. Watching one of my students use the plus this summer, I got a good laugh when she kept cranking it open to lower, and had to keep resetting the cam when it locked up. A by-product is that this should teach people to be better belayers and more subtle with their movements. If the cam does engage, you can either release the handle to reset it, or pull back harder and it will re-open the cam, though the handle is then at an odd angle. One thing to note is that the sweet spot for lowering smoothly at a reasonable speed is smaller than on the GriGri 2, and takes some time to hone in.

Anti-panic function locks up the device if a climber is lowered too quickly.

You like spending money on gear as often as possible

Since the GriGri 2 came out in 2011, I’ve gone through at least three of them. If you climb outdoors a lot, especially in places with sandy or gritty soil, you can wear through the aluminum quite quickly. Some people push their GriGris well past when they should use them, but if you keep a close eye on your gear and retire things as needed, the stainless steel components will be welcome relief to your bank account.

Stainless steel will last much longer than aluminum.

You have small hands

OK, this might actually be a LEGIT reason you wouldn’t want to get one. The device is bigger than the GriGri 2, so if you have small hands, you might find it harder to feed out slack. Tracy says it’s not a deal breaker for her, but definitely something you will notice in comparison to the GriGri 2.

You don’t like climbing on skinny ropes

I love skinny ropes. 9.5 is our fattest cord these days, and there are some great offerings now in the 8.5 – 9.0 range. If that’s your jam as well, the GriGri + is designed to work on ropes down to 8.5mm. By comparison, the GriGri 2 is only rated down to 8.9, even though people do use skinnier cords with it. Especially when new, smaller diameter ropes can be slick and move through the device very quickly, so using them with the plus improves the margin of safety.

You don’t want a heavier belay device

Aside from size, the only other real con in my mind is the added weight, though it’s not a huge difference. The GriGri + is heavier than the GriGri 2 by 30 grams, which might be enough of a difference for those who like taking it on multipitch adventures to stick with the Gri Gri 2 instead (or you could figure out somewhere else to lose one ounce of weight).

Other thoughts:
There is a mode selector for top roping and lead climbing, and when in TR mode it does make it more difficult to feed rope, so if you forget to switch it back, like I may or may not have done one day, you might find you short rope your partner more often, as I may or may not have done that same day.

Bottom line is that if you want some added safety features, climb on skinny ropes and want a device that will last longer, the GriGri + is worth a look. It’s also an excellent choice for guide services, schools and any other setting where it’s going to see intense use and the added safety features will be a benefit.

Retail: $149.95
Weight: 200 grams
Ideal uses: Sport climbing, gym climbing, institutional settings

Find more info and tech specs on the Petzl website

Disclaimer: Wait! Before you go handing over your credit card number, ask yourself, do you really need to buy more new stuff? If so, this product is worth a look. In the spirit of full disclosure, it was provided to for the purpose of reviewing. Don’t worry, though, our integrity can’t be bought!

2 Responses to Top 5 Reasons You Don’t Want a GriGri +

  1. One positive— when you are belaying your second directly off the anchor you can put the Gri-Gri in “TR Mode” which makes it less likely the rope will fall out of the device because to the ropes weight–depending on the diameter of your rope this was a constant problem before the newest Gri-Gri.

    Tom November 4, 2017 at 8:40 am
    • Good point Tom, hadn’t tried that but I rarely use my GriGri for multipitch because of that. Will check it out for sure!

      BJ Sbarra December 12, 2017 at 1:40 pm
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