The Petzl GriGri+ is the best active assisted braking belay device for most climbers and feels very familiar to anybody who has used a GriGri before. It offers several new features that many will see as improvements on the GriGri 2, including an anti-panic handle, top rope and lead modes, and compatibility with a wider range of rope diameters. These additional features are largely helpful to climbers with little experience using assisted braking belay devices. The anti-panic handle was our favorite upgrade because it adds an unparalleled level of safety when the device is in the hands of a belayer who is still learning how to belay properly.
Some of the updates might be frustrating to those who have been using the GriGri 2 for years though. The anti-panic handle can lock up if you try to lower too fast, and switching from lead to top rope modes is a challenge and easy to forget. Most experienced climbers who tried out the + during our testing period decided that they would not upgrade to it. The GriGri+ is also $150, which is $50 more than the 2 and $120 more than the Smart 2.0 from Mammut, which is a passive assisted braking device. However, the safety advantages of the GriGri+ is worth the extra money in our estimation, particularly if you are relatively new to the sport.