Overall Really Good Device
So I have been climbing for 6 ish years now starting out in high school, and for the longest time have avoided purchasing the a gri gri, or on that note, pretty much anything expensive. My first belay device was an ATC and after a few a years I upgraded to an ATC Guide. I mainly stuck to sport climbing and a little top roping outdoors in addition to gym climbing. I've dabbled in trad, but my large lack of budget forces that section of climbing to leveraged among friends, only two of which has a viable trad rack.
Anyways back to the point, recently this summer, I've been climbing with a bunch of new people (summer away from my usual climbing friends). Although I trust them as a person,I don't quite climbing wise. This led me to buy a Gri Gri 2. It is great in that it gives me that extra piece of mind. I recently went climbing outdoors with my friends, and it feeds out nicely on sport routes (I largely expected it to catch occassionally). It's a great device. Took a little getting used to, but it's nice to have for peace of mind. If a rock or something hits your belayer and they get knocked out or the rope slips, it is a nice extra precaution. It's a great device to learn on when you need to show new climbers how to belay and you don't have a back up belayer which is much desired with an ATC (It does teach them a little bit bad habits (the autolocking doesn't keep them as much on their toes)), but is a much better alternative to being dropped. Between added safety and peace of mind definitely a worthwhile buy. (Especially with a 20% coupon)
I've been an ATC until I die kind of guy, until I got this handy little piece of gear. I love the fact that it catches a falling climbing partner on its own, though it does not mean it is an "I can take my hand of the braking side of the rope and take off my shoes" piece of equipment. I've witnessed this in the gym before, don't do it. This is a 'brainless' belay device but only when used with a brain as a back-up safety device.
It does take some getting used to when feeding rope out on a lead climb but once you start getting the hang of it you should have no problem throwing out enough slack for your partner to clip. Taking on it is really nice, takes a lot of pressure off of your hands when working on a route. You can let your partner hang and read the route without ruining your chances of trying it again.
All in all this piece of equipment is a great addition to any rack and its safety features could save a life, just read some of the Accidents in North American Mountaineering reports. Learn how to use it properly (as with any climbing gear) and the Gri-Gri will never treat you wrong. Smooth, simple and brilliant. I love this thing and you will too. Get one.
First Impression=Thumbs Up!
I do not own the Grigri 2 yet, but being the owner of a Grigri and having used the new model, I must say it is a step up in every way. The obvious benefits of it being smaller and lighter had me on edge of if I should get a new one just to cut the weight, but ultimately I decided I didn't need it. Then, I got to belay with a friend's brand new Grigri 2, and was I blown away. The feel of the Grigri 2 in the belayer's hand is MUCH nicer than the original Grigri. The new lowering system is really "how it should be." Large sweet spot for much more control with lowering. The biggest seller for me was how well it pays rope out when lead belaying, and I was using a thick gym rope. On the original Grigri, I found that thicker ropes are quite a burden to yank out when lead belaying. Doable, but not even close to perfect. The Grigri 2 has nailed it. I can only imagine ropes pay even better as they get thinner, but my "thick rope" experience was a pleasure. I plan on using my dividend to purchase this and use it for indoor climbing, outdoor sport climbing, and outdoor trad, both single and multipitch. Phenomenal upgrade to an already phenomenal product.
Best Belay Device ever used ...
I just got the GRI GRI 2 and absolutely loved it. I have not used gri Gri 1 before , so cannot provide a comparision , but compared to other belay devices this is great !
The best part is that it auto locks and so I can concentrate on my climbing when new belayers are belaying me (instead of worrying about falling)
The device locks amazingly on a fall .. but the only part to take care with new belayers is lowering. The handle needs to be pulled carefully with a hand on brake side of rope.
This device is the best belay devie I have ever used.
One thing to note is that PETZL does not recommend using it for belaying the second climber directly off an anchor , whereas on several climbing sites I have seen this recommended. Petzl recommends to belay second from harness , by redirecting rope through the anchor which makes sense , but might be cumbersome. (I would rather use a munter hitch in this situation)
The GriGri is simply the best in the field - once you know how to use it. Auto-locking mechanism is absolutely wonderful, rope feeds through easily, and everything is surprisingly simple.
The new GriGri is smaller and lighter and even less of a hassle than its former counterpart, which makes it better to carry around all day. Most other belay devices are much lighter and smaller than this one, so this improvement is well received.
I was leading today and took a pretty big fall with a belayer who weighed a bit less than me - a recipe for disaster. She came off of the ground and got jolted forward into the rock wall and let her brake hand come off of the rope as she hit the rock - the only thing saving me from a deck was the GriGri. Use it, it saves lives.
Although I have only used it a few times, the gri gri 2 definitely feels like an upgrade from the Gri Gri 1. The lowering lever is very smooth and not quite as jerky as the first version. I feel like I have a bit more control over it. I have used this on a few 10.2 ropes and a couple 9.8 ropes. Very nice size, much smaller then the first version. I would definitely recommend this to someone with just an ATC or nothing at all, especially if you don't already have a Gri Gri. If you already have the first version, this isn't a necessary upgrade, but it is very nice nonetheless.Also, MountainGear, You all rock. . Always love shopping from here. Thank you for the Nature Valley bar too :D
I only belay with a grigri 2
I love using my grgri 2 when belaying. I use it with a 9.8mm rope and it is great. I feel safer using a grigri than I do using an ATC simply because it is like having a backup in case you get knocked out or something else unexpected happens. I take safety very seriously and I feel safer belaying with a grigri. I ask my belay partner to use mine when belaying me on difficult climbs or if I am likely to fall close to the ground. My only negative feedback is that it is a little loose in terms of the left and right side where they connect permanently. It feels a little flimsy, but I have never had a problem and it has saved me a number of times.
Useful for certain situations
Way nicer design than the original, pretty light, nice color. I really only use this for long belays, when the leader likes to take long and/or frequent rests, when the leader is likely to fall, and belaying followers. Also nice for self belays. Annoyingly you basically must remove the grigri from your biner to run the rope through, so it's not as fast as running rope through an ATC.
Overall, it has its uses. I still use my ATC for most belaying, and never use the grigri at the gym. So now I just carry around both the ATC and the grigri, because extra weight makes you stronger! I bought it on sale as an impulse purchase... probably would not buy it at full price. An ATC is $20....
Easy to use - just don't lose!
I use the Grigri for almost everything - even rappelling if I need to. Having the auto-locking feature is probably the biggest strength and makes it worth the extra $60 or so. Such a convenience if you need to make a small adjustment, grab a sip of water, or itch a mosquito bite (I know, I know, your attention should be fastidiously on the climber, however).
When lowering someone (or yourself when rappelling), it takes a bit of practice to operate it smoothly. It's a millimeter difference between a relaxing smooth belay and an adrenaline-pumping speed drop sort of thing. Be careful!
Also, the maneuver to remove the Grigri from the rope can sometimes be a little consuming. Just be careful not to drop it on a multi-pitch!
Does What it's Supposed to Do
I bought this as a secondary belay device for my brother to use while belaying me for the first time, because I wanted the added locking security with a new climber on a multipitch climb. It does everything it's supposed to do, but it is cumbersome to rappel low-angle rock given that it uses up both hands and I'm use to using my non-brake hand to guide me on the rock on low-angle. I ended up just giving him my Black Diamond ATC Guide to rappel on and telling him to tie it onto the rop and I'd pull it back up for me to use because I needed the ability to 2-line rap so I could then pull down the rope (we were bailing because of rain).