A belaying device is an essential mechanical piece of equipment that plays a vital role in the climber’s safety. It is used to control a rope during belaying when applying friction. Petzl’s GriGri and Black Diamond’s ATC are two of the more popular belaying devices.
But what are the differences between the two? There are a lot of differences between these two belaying devices in terms of features, functionalities, and other information. After reading this article, you will know the difference between GriGri vs ATC.
|Rope Compatibility||8.9 mm – 11 mm||7.7 mm – 11 mm|
|Weight||GriGri 2: 170 grams
GriGri +: 200 grams
|ATC-XP: 64 grams
ATC-Guide: 88 grams
|Usage||Outdoor UsageLead Climbing
|Gym and General UsageRappelling
|Double Rope Rappel||No||Yes|
|Price||More Expensive||Less Price|
The two belaying devices differ in functionalities in so many ways. When you are using GriGri, what you will get is the assisted braking feature. This belaying device will allow you to lock down the rope without the constant tension from the belayer.
On the other hand, the ATC belaying device has one functionality that the GriGri cannot do: double-rope rappelling. Unfortunately, the GriGri cannot be used with more than one rope which is a big deal since double-rope rappelling is always used when descending.
Another difference between these two devices is their best use during the climb. If you are a climber who does a lot of lead climbing or prefers to climb outdoors, the GriGri belaying device is the right equipment for you. Grigris are known for their safety, versatility, and power.
But when you are spending your climbing activity in the gym, I suggest using the ATC. Multi-Pitch climbing is another type of activity best suited for ATC belaying devices. It is essential to be familiar with it and maximize its functionalities.
Both of these devices have the functionalities to be used outdoors or indoors. However, the difference is the auto-locking feature of the GriGri, which makes it perfect to be used for climbing outdoors.
On the other hand, ATC does not have the auto-locking feature that GriGri has. But sometimes, there are also exceptions to the rules. For example, alpine climbers love to use light equipment which makes them prefer the ATC more than the GriGri.
Another difference between the two is the weight. Based on the table above, the GriGri is heavier than the ATC; meaning climbers are also divided in using them because of their weight.
As mentioned earlier, the alpine climber prefers lighter belaying devices and is more inclined to choose ATC because of its lesser weight.
The ATC belaying device is known for its simplicity, but weight matters when it comes to climbing. This belaying device is an excellent fit for climbers who prefer to climb light because it is lighter than the GriGri.
Comparing the price of these two devices will also show the difference between these two products. The GriGri is more expensive compared to the ATC belaying device. But for me, the price difference does not matter since both belaying devices offer unique features between them. So, the pricing should never be an issue.
It is also best not to look for the price, especially since it is related to your safety. Belaying devices plays an essential role in protecting and making you safe during the climb. So, choosing between GriGri and ATC should not be based on their price tag.
Other Related Information
They say that GriGri is the standard and the preference of many climbers when it comes to protection against worst-case scenarios. Many climbers are familiar with GriGri, which gives them the confidence to use GriGri during the climb.
You can easily back up the GriGri with a knot to a locker for multi-pitching while correcting the issue. With a GriGri, you can sort out the issue without having to deal with managing the tension of the rope being pulled with the device.
On the other hand, I do not see any disadvantage when using ATC either. It is all about using the device correctly. ATC has been proven to be safe and effective throughout the year. When teaching the proper belaying technique to new climbers, ATC is the go-to device for learning.
Beginners using assisted-braking belay devices such as GriGri can lead to many unsafe things. So, learning through ATC is much better. However, using an assisted-braking device such as GriGri feels safer compared to the riskier side of the ATC.
Comparing GriGri vs Atc gives you so much information, but the two belaying devices differ in functionalities and features. There are advantages and disadvantages to using the two belaying devices. But rest assured that the two pieces of equipment have been proven to protect and make the climbers safe. It is all about maximizing their functionalities and features.