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Grivel G1 Review

High quality and a decent price, it offers solid performance.
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Price:  $80 List | $74.95 at Amazon
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Good price, excellent self arresting performance, decent steeper snow climbing ability, comfortable to carry
Cons:  Just okay steep snow climbing ability, marginally on the heavier side
Manufacturer:   Grivel
By Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 18, 2015
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59
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#16 of 17
  • Self-Arresting - 15% 7
  • Digging & Step Chopping - 15% 7
  • Use as Improvised Anchor - 15% 7
  • Steep Ice & Snow - 25% 4
  • Comfort to Carry - 5% 9
  • Weight - 25% 5

Our Verdict

The Grivel G1 is a solid, well-designed ice axe that is made of high-quality materials for a sweet price tag. The G1 was above average in nearly every one of our comparison categories and is a fantastic option for general mountaineering applications. It's an okay option for steeper routes but doesn't perform as well as many of the other ice axes we tested with more aggressive picks and slightly curved shafts.


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Grivel G1
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Good price, excellent self arresting performance, decent steeper snow climbing ability, comfortable to carryHot-forged pick penetrates snow and ice extremely well, no-teeth on gripping area of pick, curved shaft and teardrop/oval shaped shaft excel in steeper terrain, exceptional self-arrest performance, one of the best overall adze designsBest steep snow climbing performance, durable, penetrates hard ice well, excellent self-arrest and steep snow climbing performanceCEN-T rating, rad FlickLock style slider pommel, curved shaft keeps hands warmer and drier during steep snow climbs, heavy tapered pick provides great support/purchase during normal conditions, huge spikeHot-forged pick, excellent self-arrest performance, fantastic adze design, below average weight particularly for an all-mountain option, solid steep snow climbing ability
Cons Just okay steep snow climbing ability, marginally on the heavier sideA little on the heavier sideExpensive, slightly on the heavier side, like its slider pummel but wished it could be placed in more positions along the shaftHeavy, expensive, wide pick is strong but doesn't penetrate ice as well as someSlightly more expensive side, not the best ice performance
Bottom Line High quality and a decent price, it offers solid performance.The best all-around ice axe; while other models might perform specific tasks better, there is no better do-everything model.Across-the-board high performance helps this axe excel at almost any application; from general glacier travel to steep snow routes to alpine rock climbs, this model is among the best.It lacks overall versatility and is geared for challenging glacier routes and steep snow climbs.One of the most versatile models, the Summit excels in a wide-range of activities, from steep snow routes to alpine rock climbs.
Rating Categories Grivel G1 Petzl Summit Evo Grivel Air Tech Evolution Black Diamond Swift Petzl Summit
Self Arresting (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
Digging & Step Chopping (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Use As Improvised Anchor (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
Steep Ice & Snow (25%)
10
0
4
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
Comfort To Carry (5%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
8
Weight (25%)
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
8
Specs Grivel G1 Petzl Summit Evo Grivel Air Tech... Black Diamond Swift Petzl Summit
Measured Weight 16.7 oz / 473g 14.1 oz / 400g 15.2 oz / 430g 17 oz / 487g 12.6 oz / 360g
Category General General General General/Technical General
Rating CEN-B CEN-B CEN-B CEN-T CEN-B
Pick Shape, Material, and Construction Hot-forged steel, classical neutral Hot-forged steel, Classic Positive curve Hot-forged chromoly steel, classic positive curve Hot-forged stainless steel, classic positive curve Hot-forged steel, Classic Positive curve
Lengths Available 58, 66, 74 cm 52, 59, 66 cm 48, 53, 58, 66 cm 50, 57, 64 cm 52, 59, 66 cm
Included Pommel or Leash? Leash Lower Rubber Grip Pommel and leash Pommel No
Hammer Option No No Yes No No
Shaft Design Straight Bent Bent Bent Bent

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


The Grivel G1 is best for general mountaineering applications and is suitable for early season backpacking or ski mountaineering, but is a little heavy. It has okay steep snow climbing ability for more difficult routes, but if you plan to climb steep snow and ice routes more regularly, we would recommend the Petzl Summit Evo or the Grivel Air Tech Evolution.

Self-Arresting


The G1 earns a decent score in this metric. Our testers thought the G1's hot-forged pick bit into firm snow extremely well in addition to very good soft snow performance. We appreciated that the curved shaft self-arrested better than a straight shaft and, as a result, offered good performance in this metric.

Steep Ice and Snow Climbing Performance


The G1 was okay for steep snow and ice climbing performance and was slightly above average overall. The G1's pick isn't super aggressive (one reason it self-arrests so well) but was aggressive enough for moderate snow and ice routes.

Use As Improvised Anchor


The G1 is a CEN B rated ice axe, meaning it is suitable to be used as a deadman or in a "T-slot" type situation for moderate loads. We thought the G1 featured a well-designed pick that helped facilitate the axe to be driven into the snow for self-anchoring or as a backup while belaying on snow. The only thing our testers didn't love is that the hole on in the head of the G1 is a little difficult to clip and doesn't work super well with all carabiners.

Digging Step Chopping


The G1 offers above-average performance when hacking out icy tent platforms and digging anchors. It features a well designed hot-forged adze that chipped away firm and icy snow noticeably easier than the similarly priced Black Diamond Raven.

Comfort to Carry


The G1 was average to carry overall among ice axes in our review. Like many European models, our testers felt it was a little more comfortable to carry in self-belay (pick forward or piolet manche) position. It wasn't necessarily uncomfortable in self-arrest position; it just wasn't as comfortable as the Black Diamond Raven, Raven Pro, or the Petzl Glacier.

Value


The G1 remains an excellent value considering its hot-forged high-quality pick and construction.

Conclusion


The G1 performed better in nearly every category compared to the similarly priced models.


Ian Nicholson