Pros and Cons
Filed under:Climbing & Mountaineering, Gear reviews, Ropes
With the Grigri+, Petzl have fine-tuned their perennially-popular assisted- braking belay device, making it even easier to use for less experienced climbers. Its most innovative feature is the new anti-panic brake, which locks the belay device if the device’s handle is pulled back too far when lowering. Petzl aren’t the first manufacturer to build this type of back-up into an assisted- braking belay device, but they seem to have managed to improve on other offerings in ease of usage. Experienced Grigri users might find the anti-panic lock a little unusual on first acquaintance, as it can be easy to accidentally lock the device when lowering a climber, but once the ‘sweet spot’ for lowering has been found it works very smoothly.
The top-roping mode, activated with the turn of a switch, allows greater control when climbing in this style, but like previous versions the device works well for top-roping when used in lead mode too. Another advantage of the latest version of the Grigri is
its compatibility with a wide range of diameters of rope, from super-skinny 8.5mm’s
to hefty 11mm workhorses, with the Plus being optimised for use with 8.9mm to 10.5mm ropes, a greater range than
the comparable Grigri 2.
We found the device to work extremely smoothly when both taking in and giving out slack when tested with both a light- weight skinny single and a fatter 10.5mm rope, with an improvement in handling from previous versions. Both the anti-panic brake and the top-rope mode make the
Plus an obvious purchase for those looking for a device
to use with inexperienced climbers. For the more experienced climber, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend upgrading to the Grigri+ if you are happy with your current device, but the improved smoothness of handling offered by the Plus makes it well worth considering when the time comes to buy a replacement.