The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Grivel G1 Review

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $80 List | $74.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Good price, excellent self arresting performance, descent steeper snow climbing ability, comfortable to carry, looks cool
Cons:  Just okay steep snow climbing ability, marginally on the heavier side
Manufacturer:   Grivel
By Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 18, 2015
  • Share this article:
78
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 15
  • Self-arresting - 22% 9
  • Digging & Step chopping - 17% 8
  • Use as improvised Anchor - 8% 9
  • Steep ice and snow - 22% 8
  • Comfort to carry - 11% 9
  • Weight - 20% 5

Our Verdict

The Grivel G1 is a solid, well-designed ice axe that is made of high-quality materials for a sweet $80 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.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Grivel G1
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award 
Price $74.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$149.95 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$179.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$153.00 at Amazon$99.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
100
0
78
100
0
89
100
0
87
100
0
86
100
0
85
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Good price, excellent self arresting performance, descent steeper snow climbing ability, comfortable to carry, looks coolHot-forged pick, excellent self-arrest performance, fantastic adze design, below average weight particularly for an all-mountain option, solid steep snow climbing abilityHot-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 performanceLightest weight mountain axe with a spike, great price, very comfortable, solid self-arrest performance
Cons Just okay steep snow climbing ability, marginally on the heavier sideSlightly more expensive side, not the best ice performanceA 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 shaftOnly comes in one size, just okay steep snow performance
Rating Categories Grivel G1 Petzl Summit Petzl Summit Evo Grivel Air Tech Evolution Petzl Glacier Literide
Self Arresting (22%)
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
9
Digging & Step Chopping (17%)
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
9
Use As Improvised Anchor (8%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
9
Steep Ice And Snow (22%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
Comfort To Carry (11%)
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Weight (20%)
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
5
10
0
9
Specs Grivel G1 Petzl Summit Petzl Summit Evo Grivel Air Tech... Petzl Glacier...
Weight (oz/gram) 16.7oz/473g 13.4 oz/380g 14.8 oz/420g 17.6 oz 11.2 oz/320g
Size tested 59cm 59cm 58cm 50cm
Lengths availible 52, 59, 66cm 52, 59, 66cm 48, 53, 58, 66cm 50cm
Rating CEN-B CEN-B CEN-B CEN-T CEN-B
Category General General

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison



Self-Arresting


The Grivel G1 was one of our highest scoring ice axes overall in our side-by-side self-arrest comparison. Our testers thought the G1's hot forged pick bit into firm snow extremely well in addition to very good soft snow performance. We thought the G1 self-arrested noticeable better than the Black Diamond Raven and Raven Pro especially when conditions were firmer and about the same as the Petzl Glacier. During our comparison our testers felt they liked how a curve shaft self-arrested every-so-slightly better than a straight shaft and as a result felt the Petzl Summit and Grivel Air Tech Evolution performed marginally better.

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. We thought the G1 climbed steep snow better than the Black Diamond Raven but not as well as the Petzl Summit or Grivel Air Tech Evolution.

Use As Improvised Anchor


The Grivel 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 was in general above average at hacking out icy tent platforms and digging anchors. The G1 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 bad in self-arrest position, it just wasn't as comfortable as the Black Diamond Raven, Raven Pro or the Petzl Glacier.

Best Applications


The Grivel G1 is best for general mountaineering applications and is suitable for early season backpacking or ski mountaineering, but is a little heavy. The G1 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.

Value


At $80 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 Black Diamond Raven and Black Diamond Raven Pro and was similar in overall scoring and performance to the Petzl Glacier.


Ian Nicholson