What’s the Difference Between Grigri and Grigri+? A Comprehensive Guide

Have you ever found yourself wondering what the difference is between Grigri and Grigri? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. These two words may look similar but they represent two very different things. Grigri is a popular belay device in the climbing world, while Grigri, with an extra “i”, is actually a West African amulet believed to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits. In today’s article, we will be focusing on the former – the Grigri belay device.

Climbing is a thrilling and challenging sport that requires skill, focus, and the right gear. While there are many different types of belay devices available, the Grigri has remained a popular choice among climbers for years. Its unique design allows for effortless rope control, making it a reliable and trusted tool for both beginners and advanced climbers. But what sets the Grigri apart from other belay devices on the market? And is it worth investing in one for your next climb? These are all questions we will be exploring in this article.

Whether you’re an avid climber or someone just curious about the sport, understanding the differences between various belay devices can be incredibly helpful. The Grigri is an innovative device that has gained a lot of attention in the climbing world for its advanced safety features and ease of use. But when it comes to making a decision about which device to use, it’s important to have all the facts. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of what sets the Grigri apart and whether it’s the right choice for you.

Grigri Device History

The Grigri device was created in the early 1990s by French company Petzl. It was the first belay device to use an assisted braking mechanism for added safety during rock climbing. The name “Grigri” is derived from the French word “grigri” which means good-luck charm or talisman.

Since its creation, the Grigri has gone through several iterations, with each version improving upon the last in terms of safety and functionality. The Grigri 2 was released in 2011, featuring a smaller and lighter design, as well as an improved braking system.

Key Differences Between Grigri and Grigri+

  • The Grigri+ has an anti-panic handle that stops the descent if the user pulls too hard on the brake lever.
  • The Grigri+ has a top rope mode that allows for smoother lowering of a climber.
  • The Grigri+ is slightly heavier than the Grigri 2.

Benefits of Using a Grigri Device

The Grigri device offers several benefits for rock climbers, including:

  • Assisted braking mechanism for added safety during belaying
  • Able to handle a wide range of rope diameters
  • Works well with both single and double ropes
  • Easy to use and intuitive design

Grigri Device Comparison Chart

Model Weight Compatible Rope Diameters Assisted Braking Mechanism Top Rope Mode Anti-Panic Handle
Grigri 2 170g 8.9-11mm Yes No No
Grigri+ 200g 8.5-11mm Yes Yes Yes

Both the Grigri 2 and Grigri+ offer excellent safety and functionality for rock climbers, but the Grigri+ has a few added features for added peace of mind during use.

How to Use a Grigri

Grigris are popular belay devices that aid in climbing protection, safety, and comfort. But how do you use one? Follow these instructions to ensure that you are using your grigri safely:

  • Attach the grigri to your climbing harness using a locking carabiner.
  • Feed your climbing rope through the grigri and insert the rope into the device’s camming mechanism. Make sure that the rope is threaded correctly and that the rope and device are oriented properly.
  • Hold the rope’s brake end firmly with your non-dominant hand, while keeping the other hand on the belay device’s rope-side handle.
  • Begin to feed the rope through the device by slowly pulling it through its brake-hand’s side and ensuring that the brake is functioning properly. Don’t let go of the brake end.
  • Belay your climber or top rope yourself by leaning back and pulling the rope into the device’s cam using your dominant hand while simultaneously releasing the brake hand’s grip slightly.
  • Monitor the rope’s tension while you belay and ease your climber up or down.

It is imperative that you learn how to use the grigri before taking it on a climb. Practice using it properly on the ground or in the gym before trying it out high up on the mountain.

Grigri vs. Grigri+

One of the most common misconceptions is that grigri and grigri+ are the same devices. However, the latter features upgrades that take it to another level. The Grigri+ has the following features:

  • A new ergonomic handle with a slightly curved design and an increased rope holding surface.
  • Smaller and lighter design that fits comfortably in your hand and your harness.
  • A harder shell that protects the device better, while also ensuring it lasts longer.

Although the grigri+ weighs more, it balances this out with its additional safety features, which include:

Grigri Grigri+
Single-rope use Mono-and-double-rope use
2 patented systems – ASSISTED BRAKING for minimum rope slippage, anti-panic handle for optimal control and safety actions. Hydraulic assisted braking
Maximum safety level of 2018 model = 8.2kN Maximum safety level of 2018 model = 10kN
Cost-effective climbing device Advanced device that balances out cost with additional safety features and increased durability

If you’re a beginner, start with the Grigri, work to your strengths, and climb the grades you’re comfortable with. As you proceed with more challenging routes and climb often, jump to Grigri+ as it comes with additional safety assurance and comfort.

The Evolution of Climbing Equipment

As climbing has become more and more popular over the years, the equipment used by climbers has undergone a significant evolution. From the early days of alpinism to the present day, climbing gear has become safer, more effective, and easier to use. One of the most important pieces of climbing gear is the belay device, which is used to protect the climber in the event of a fall. Two popular belay devices on the market today are the Grigri and the Grigri+, both of which have undergone their own evolution.

What is a Grigri?

  • The Grigri is a single-rope belay device that is used by climbers to protect the climber in the event of a fall.
  • There have been several versions of the Grigri over the years, including the Grigri 2 and the Grigri+.
  • The Grigri is made by the climbing company Petzl and is one of the most popular belay devices on the market.

What is a Grigri+?

The Grigri+ is the latest version of the Grigri and has a number of important improvements over the previous versions. Some of the key differences between the Grigri and the Grigri+ include:

  • The Grigri+ has a new design that makes it easier to use, with a wider rope channel that allows for better control of the rope during a fall.
  • The Grigri+ also has a new anti-panic function that slows down the descent in the event of an emergency, preventing the climber from falling too fast.
  • The Grigri+ is also lighter than previous versions, making it easier to carry on long climbs.


The Grigri and the Grigri+ are just two examples of the many advancements that have been made in climbing equipment over the years. As technology continues to improve, climbers can expect to see even more innovations that make climbing safer, more efficient, and more enjoyable.

Grigri Grigri+
Single-rope belay device New design for easier use
Several versions over the years New anti-panic function for emergency situations
Popular belay device made by Petzl Lighter weight

Whether you’re a beginner climber or a seasoned pro, it’s important to have the right gear to stay safe and enjoy your climb. The Grigri and the Grigri+ are just two examples of the many advancements that have been made in climbing equipment over the years, and climbers can expect to see even more innovation in the future.

Belay Device Comparison

Choosing the right belay device is essential for any climber, whether you are a beginner or an experienced pro. When it comes to belay devices, two popular options are the Grigri and the Grigri+. While they may look similar, there are several differences between the two that you should consider before making a decision.

  • The Grigri has a single rope capacity of 8.5mm to 11mm, while the Grigri+ can handle a wider range of ropes from 8.5mm to 11mm and even 7.1mm to 9.2mm. This means that the Grigri+ is a more versatile option if you plan to climb with different ropes.
  • The Grigri+ has a more ergonomic design, making it easier and more comfortable to hold and handle. It also has a larger release lever, which makes it easier to lower your partner smoothly.
  • The Grigri+ also has an anti-panic handle, which stops the device from locking up if the handle is pulled too hard or too quickly when lowering your partner. This feature can be a lifesaver in emergency situations.

When it comes to the stopping power of the devices, the Grigri and Grigri+ both offer excellent control and stopping power. The Grigri+ does require more hand strength to operate due to its additional features, but this can be a small price to pay for the added safety and comfort it provides.

It’s important to note that while the Grigri and Grigri+ are both top quality belay devices, they may not be suitable for all climbers. If you are new to climbing, it’s recommended that you use a simpler, more straightforward device before moving on to more complex belay devices like the Grigri or Grigri+.

Feature Grigri Grigri+
Single rope capacity 8.5mm to 11mm 7.1mm to 9.2mm, 8.5mm to 11mm
Ergonomic design No Yes
Anti-panic handle No Yes

Ultimately, the choice between the Grigri and Grigri+ comes down to personal preference and the type of climbing you plan to do. Whether you choose the Grigri or Grigri+, make sure to practice with it extensively before using it in a climbing situation, and always prioritize safety above all else.

The Importance of Proper Belay Technique

Belaying is a fundamental skill in climbing that involves controlling the rope to protect your climbing partner in case of a fall. When using a Grigri or a Grigri+, it’s crucial to have proper belaying technique to ensure a safe and efficient climbing experience.

  • Ensure the rope is threaded properly through the device before belaying.
  • Test the device before use to ensure it’s functioning correctly.
  • Maintain a firm grip on the brake-side of the rope, keeping your thumb on top of it.

Proper belaying takes practice and attention to detail. Mistakes happen most often when belayers are distracted or complacent. It’s important to always stay focused and mindful of your partner’s safety while belaying.

Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the Grigri and Grigri+.

Grigri Grigri+
Single rope belay device Compatible with both single and half ropes
For use with ropes between 8.5-11mm in diameter Recommended for ropes between 8.5-11mm in diameter, certified for use with ropes between 8.5-10.5mm
Weighs 170g Weighs 200g
Designed for experienced belayers Intuitive and easy to use for both experienced and beginner belayers

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced climber, proper belaying technique is vital to your safety. Take the time to practice and perfect your belaying skills, and always use appropriate equipment for the route and type of climbing you’ll be doing.

GriGri models: differences and similarities

The GriGri series of belay devices have been popular among climbers, both beginners and experienced ones, for a long time. The design includes an assisted braking mechanism which offers an added safety benefit, allowing you to belay with one hand. These models are manufactured by Petzl and are mostly identical in terms of shape and weight. However, they come in different series, and each series has some features that set it apart from the others.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the GriGri models, highlighting their differences and similarities. There are six main models we’ll focus on:

  • GriGri
  • GriGri 2
  • GriGri + (plus)
  • GriGri 3
  • GriGri Light
  • GriGri Smart
Model Weight Rope diameter range Assisted braking Price (approx.)
GriGri 225g 10.0-11.0mm Yes $90
GriGri 2 170g 8.9-11.0mm Yes $100
GriGri + (plus) 200g 8.5-11.0mm Yes $150
GriGri 3 175g 8.5-11.0mm Yes $170
GriGri Light 93g 8.9-10.5mm Yes $100
GriGri Smart 58g 8.5-10.5mm Yes $45

GriGri vs. GriGri 2 vs. GriGri + (plus)

The original GriGri was released in 1991 and has since undergone a few design changes. The GriGri 2 was then released in 2011, and the GriGri + (plus) in 2017. The main difference between these models comes down to their weight, size, and rope diameter range. The GriGri + (plus) is the heaviest and largest of the three, with the widest rope diameter range. The GriGri 2 is the lightest with the smallest rope diameter range of the three and also has a higher price point, while the GriGri is in between the two in terms of weight and rope diameter range.

GriGri 3 vs. GriGri Light

The GriGri 3 was introduced in 2018 and is more compact and lighter than the previous models, with a wider range of rope diameter. The GriGri Light, released in 2019, is the lightest and smallest version of the GriGri, with a narrower range of rope diameter. Both models have a more ergonomic handle than earlier models, making it easier to hold and open.

GriGri Smart

The GriGri Smart is a hybrid between a traditional tubular belay device and a GriGri. It is not as versatile as the previous models, as it only allows for lead belaying and not top-rope belaying. It’s much lighter than other models, making it an excellent choice for multi-pitch routes. It’s also quite affordable, making it popular among beginners and budget-conscious climbers.

In conclusion, the GriGri series has a lot to offer, with various models that cater to different climbing needs and preferences. The assisted braking mechanism and ergonomic handling of these belay devices make them a top choice among climbers. When choosing a GriGri model, it’s essential to consider factors such as rope diameter range, weight, size, and price before making a decision.

Recommended gear for sport climbing

Sport climbing can be an invigorating and challenging experience that requires the right gear to ensure a fun and safe climb. One of the essential types of gear that any sport climber can have is a reliable belay device. Two of the most popular belay devices on the market today are the Grigri and Grigri+.

What is the difference between Grigri and Grigri+?

  • The Grigri is a classic belay device that functions similarly to a standard plate device, but it has an assisted-braking mechanism that will slow or stop the rope when a climber falls or while being lowered. It’s best for beginners who are still learning how to belay safely.
  • The Grigri+ is an updated version of the classic Grigri, with a more ergonomic design and improved handling. It also offers a multi-purpose usage by adding a top-rope mode feature. This allows the climber to easily use the device in a no-fall-style situation, making it perfect for beginners and experienced climbers alike.

Other recommended gear for sport climbing

In addition to a reliable belay device, sport climbing also requires durable and functional gear such as ropes, quickdraws, harnesses, shoes, and helmets. Here are some gear recommendations based on our experience:

  • Ropes – Find a rope that has the right balance of strength and weight. Dynamic ropes are perfect for sport climbing, as they’re designed to stretch to absorb forces from falls.
  • Quickdraws – These are used to connect the rope to the anchor system and are essential to any sport climber. A standard length quickdraw usually ranges from 12 to 18 cm.
  • Harnesses – They come in different styles, but a sport climbing harness should be comfortable and allow for easy adjustments. Choose one with adjustable leg loops if you plan to climb in different weather conditions.
  • Shoes – Comfort and performance are the two main things to consider when selecting a pair of climbing shoes. For starters, find shoes that are comfortable and snug, but not too tight.
  • Helmets – Always wear a helmet for added safety when climbing. Look for high-quality helmets with adjustable fit and durable—materials that meet CE certification.

Recommended Gear Set Overview

Here’s a complete gear set recommended for sport climbing:

Item Brand & Model Price Range
Belay Device Petzel Grigri+ $150 – $200
Rope Sterling Evolution Duetto Dry Rope $260 – $290
Quickdraws Petzl Spirit Express $20 – $25 each
Harnesses Black Diamond Solution $69 – $79
Shoes La Sportiva TarantuLace $80 – $100
Helmets Petzel Sirocco $130 – $180

By using this gear set, you’ll be able to climb safely and comfortably, as well as have access to the latest technology in belay devices that can help you climb with ease. Remember that investing in quality gear is key to ensuring your safety and enjoyment while climbing.

FAQs: What’s the Difference Between Grigri and Grigri?

1. Are Grigri and Grigri the same thing?

No, they are not. While both are belay devices used in rock climbing, they are different products made by different companies. Grigri is made by Petzl while Grigri is made by Trango.

2. How do Grigri and Grigri differ in design?

Grigri has a unique camming mechanism that helps to brake the rope in case of a fall or sudden stop in rope movement. Grigri, on the other hand, uses a braking system that relies on friction generated between the device and the rope to control the climber’s descent.

3. Can you use Grigri and Grigri interchangeably?

No, you cannot. It is important to understand the specific usage conditions for each device before making a decision on which one to buy. While they may look similar, their different designs make them unsuitable for interchangeable use.

4. Which one is easier to use, Grigri or Grigri?

This depends on individual preference and experience. Some climbers find Grigri easier to handle due to its automatic braking system, while others prefer Grigri’s simplicity in design and handling.

5. How do the prices of Grigri and Grigri compare?

Grigri is relatively more expensive compared to Grigri due to its advanced camming mechanism. However, both are priced reasonably for their respective designs and features.

Closing Thoughts: Thanks for Reading!

We hope this FAQ has helped you understand the difference between Grigri and Grigri better. Remember that it is crucial to choose the right belay device based on your skill level, preferred climbing style, and the conditions of the climb. Always prioritize safety and adhere to guidelines provided by the manufacturers. Thank you for reading, and we hope you will come back for more informative articles about rock climbing. Happy climbing!