Skip to content

GRIGRI 2 Review – Assisted braking belay device

GRIGRI 2 Review
grigri disassembled
Grigri part names

Recall for replacement: GRIGRI 2


Concerns all GRIGRI 2’s (D14 2O, D14 2G, D14 2B ) with the first five digits of the serial number  between 10326 and 11136.


Click here for more information on the GRIGRI 2 Recall

GRIGRI Part Names:

(1) Moving side plate
(2) Cam
(3) Cam axle
(4) Friction plate
(5) Release handle
(6) Fixed side plate
(7) Attachment holes

Principal materials: aluminium alloy, stainless steel, nylon.

20 years after the original assisted braking belay device, Petzl is proud to introduce the GRIGRI 2 Which will be available in 2011

I’ve been using the Petzl GRIGRI whilst rock climbing for about 18 years now, it has to be one of my favourite and most used pieces of climbing gear.

GRIGRI 2 Review
GRIGRI 2 on top, the original GRIGRI below

GRIGRI 2 Review

The GRIGRI 2 is  lighter weighing in at 185 grams, which is a rather noticeable 40 grams lighter than the old one.

It takes smaller ropes; taking skinny ropes from 8.9mm up to 11mm – the old Grigri was certified to take 9.7mm to 11mm ropes.

With regards to functionality it operates just like the old one, only safer.

8.9mm ropes are short on supply in South Africa, so to test it I took a fall on a 9mm rope.  The GRIGRI gripped the rope straight away as if it were an 11mm rope (*Note – The belayer ignored the instruction manual and was not holding the tail end of the rope during the test – which means the GRIGRI auto locked by itself).

GriGri2 review
The old GRIGRI (left) Release Handle Axle protrudes – where as the GRIGRI 2 Handle Axle is tucked away

The handle is slightly shorter and the axle of the ‘Release Handle’ has been shaved off.  By tucking away the bulbous axle (*See photo above) you are far less likely to drop someone accidentally because you no longer have the power of leverage.  In the event of someone accidentally resting their hand on the ‘Release Handle Axle’ it should push your hand off the device in the event of a fall.  Whilst the GRIGRI 2 is locked, its almost impossible to release without pulling the handle back!

The smaller handle works well and you feel like you’re dealing with a more delicate device and less likely to grab it like a loaded slot machine!

Comparing the Cams of the old and new GRIGRI’s you will notice that the GRIGRI 2 has a larger Cam which gives you better control whilst you’re lowering someone (slowly).  Because of the increased size it is no longer as easy to lower someone at ‘high speed’ without getting an awkward speed wobble on the device.  To me this is another safety feature.

Notice the difference in Cam sizes between the old (left) and new (right) GRIGRI’s

For normal, safe lowering speeds its perfect and noticeably smoother too.
Another major benefit is that you can feed slack to the climber more easily (this is probably the most noticeable benefit).

Using the device is exactly the same as using the old GRIGRI, it threads, locks and lowers just like the old one!

I’ve had a few friends to test out the GRIGRI 2 at the crags over the past 3 months and no one could fault it.  Most commented that it was easier to give slack.

So should you ditch your old GRIGRI from your rack and go buy the new one?  I would say no, but if you don’t own a GRIGRI or you’re looking to replace your old one then the new GRIGRI 2 would be the obvious choice.

Also, GRIGRI’s do have a life span, after excessive use you will notice that big fluffy ropes pass through you older GRIGRI easier than your friends newer one… this is because your device is worn and probably needs to be replaced.

Abseiling on the GRIGRI2 is much the same as the old one, however whilst lowering oneself I found the lever to be more sensitive (just like when you are lowering someone).  You will want to practise abseiling with the device before going out into the big mountains.

In brief,  it’s lighter, safer, smaller and works like the old one (just like an old friend but now with benefits 🙂

Grigri2 review

Old and new Grigri compared
GRIGRI 2 on the left – Original GRIGRI on the right
Old and new Grigri compared
Notice the difference in sizes of the groove for the rope (the new GRIGRI (right) groove is smaller)
Old and new Grigri compared
Check to see how old your GRIGRI is – lift the lever back and check the year of manufacture
Old and new Grigri compared
Check to see how old your GRIGRI 2 is – lift the lever back and check the year of manufacture – on the GRIGRI 2 the number on the top left tells you the exact date of manufacture

Update:  1st of February 2011

Petzl’s GriGri2 and four pieces of equipment from Black Diamond have become the first braking devices to be certified by the UIAA and can now bear the UIAA Safety Label – the only certification for braking devices worldwide.

[youtube width=”500″ height=”400″][/youtube]

See also:

31 March 2011 – Catch This: A Close Look at Assisted-Braking Belay Devices


GRIGRI Keeper Cord

Nic Sent me photos of his GRIGRI with a keeper cord attached (just in case you drop your G) – See the comments section below:
Nic says “This alteration does not change the load bearing characteristics of the Gri-Gri

Naturally any modification is not endorsed or approved by Petzl or Climb ZA

Grigri keeper cord
Remove screw
Grigri keeper cord
Drill a hole in the bottom (plastic) of the GRIGRI
Grigri keeper cord
Pull the cord through the hole and tie a Stopper Knot on the end (knot on the inside)
Grigri keeper cord
Pull cord out until it the knot is completely inside the GRIGRI and replace the screw


  1. Does it still have the plastic plate underneath? It was quite useful on the Gri-Gri 1 for attaching a keeper cord to.

  2. Yes, there is a plastic plate at the bottom, although its slightly thicker (I’m assuming you drilled your own hole to attach the cord?)
    See above, the 3rd picture down (click to enlarge).

    Any chance you could send me a photo of yours with the cord?

  3. Thanks for the review. Easier slack feeding might be enough of a reason to upgrade.

  4. @Justin: Sent you the picture, feel free to post it if you like.

  5. Thanks Nic, see your pics above.
    To answer your question: Yes, in theory you should be able to do this to the GRIGRI 2 although the plastic at the bottom is a bit thicker than the original GRIGRI.

  6. I am very surprised that Petzl did not make the new Gri Gri with a swinging check plate. Much the same as the Rig and the ID. I have never used the Gri Gir for climbing, only during rigging work. It can be a very useful piece of gear but I hate it for having to disconnect it completely every time you need to change the rope. Do any of you find that annoying too?

  7. The Grigri 2 should be arriving late Jan 2011 😀 says “The Grigri 2 will start to leave our warehouse in France on the 17th of Jan. Then it can take from a few days to several weeks of shipping delay to reach all the countries. For USA they will hit the stores in March”.

    Graham, I know what you mean about having to disconnect the G completely (I am especially careful when using my G on multi pitch routes).
    Reasons for keeping it simple might be:
    – Keep the price down
    – Keep the weight down

  8. Grigri 2 now available at a climbing store near you!!

  9. Recall for replacement: GRIGRI 2

    Concerns all GRIGRI 2’s (D14 2O, D14 2G, D14 2B ) with the first five digits of the serial number between 10326 and 11136.

    GRIGRI 2 with the handle stuck in the position

    Petzl has discovered that exerting excessive force on the fully extended handle of the GRIGRI 2 can cause internal damage, such that the GRIGRI 2 handle may become stuck in the open position.

    When the handle is stuck in this position the assisted braking function is disabled. A damaged GRIGRI 2 in this configuration will function similarly to a manual belay device (e.g. tube style device).

    When using a damaged GRIGRI 2 with the handle stuck in the position as shown in Figure 1, failure to control the braking side of the rope will increase the risk of an uncontrolled descent. A GRIGRI 2 with a damaged handle must be immediately retired from service.

    It is important to note that failure to control the braking side of the rope is a misuse of the GRIGRI 2 under any circumstance (See GRIGRI 2 Technical Notice – pdf file, 2,5Mo).

    As of June 20, 2011, seven damaged products have been returned to Petzl through our worldwide distribution network. Petzl has no knowledge of any accidents resulting from a damaged GRIGRI 2 handle.

    Petzl Response

    Because the safety of our users is our primary concern, as a measure of precaution Petzl has decided to take the following actions:

    increase the mechanical strength of the handle on all GRIGRI 2’s since serial number 11137.
    recall all GRIGRI 2’s with the first five digits of the serial number between 10326 and 11136, and replace with a new revised GRIGRI 2.

    Petzl will pay for all shipping costs to complete this replacement.

    Contact Petzl America in one of two ways:
    – By phone: 1 (800) 932-2978 (toll free)
    – By email:

    The previous generation GRIGRI is not concerned by this recall.

    “While the potential risk of damaging the GRIGRI 2’s handle is very small, our total commitment to the safety of our users has led us to make this decision. With the summer climbing season just beginning, Petzl understands that this recall comes at an inconvenient time and we are working hard to ensure that everyone receives their replacement GRIGRI 2 as quickly as possible. Everyone at Petzl is committed to resolving this issue. We thank you for your continued support.”

    Romain Lécot
    Petzl General Director

  10. Not sure why you would want to spend that kind os money when a rescue 8 is cheap, smplie and the gold standard. More part, more things to go wrong. I’ve never had a problem hand breaking with my rescue 8 in all my years climbing. Plus you can feed slack effortlessly with an 8.

    • These are totally different devices. I’d rather say the GriGri is the gold standard of sport climbing belay devices. A rescue8 is a static device requiring user input at all times. The GriGri can hold a fall even if the belayer is for some reason incapacitated, and besides this, makes for effortless control over long days.
      What you said now is like saying whats wrong with a Mazda 323, why do you need a Porsche? They do the same thing, get you from A to B. Use a GriGri for some time and the answer is clear.
      Now the sad part is that the TRE stopped being made 🙁 Now THAT was a classic.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Routes Wiki

Climb ZA Site Search

Search through the entire Climb ZA site, incl. News, Forum, Directory & Routes Wiki.
e.g. Table Mountain or “Cool like that” or Climbing Gyms near Durban