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Grivel G1 Review

High quality and a decent price, it offers solid performance
Grivel G1
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Price:  $80 List | $59.96 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 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
#15 of 17
  • Self-Arresting - 15% 7.0
  • Digging & Step Chopping - 15% 7.0
  • Use as Improvised Anchor - 15% 7.0
  • Steep Ice & Snow - 25% 4.0
  • Comfort to Carry - 5% 9.0
  • Weight - 25% 5.0

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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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Good price, excellent self arresting performance, decent steeper snow climbing ability, comfortable to carryOne of the best ice axes for the price, lightweight, comfortable to carry, excellent self-arrest performance, solid adze performanceExtremely lightweight, second lightest model we tested and the lightest overall to feature a steel head, steep snow climbing performance and self-arrest abilities, versatilityGreat price, self-arrests very smoothly, adze is above-average for digging snow anchors or choping tent platforms wellComfortable to carry, great price, decent adze performance, head is easy to clip in several fashions
Cons Just okay steep snow climbing ability, marginally on the heavier sideJust okay steep snow climbing abilityNo real spike, only available in one fairly short length (45cm)Less comfortable to carry than other models, particularly in self-arrest positions; slightly heavier than averageDoesn't penetrate firm snow or ice well, below average steep snow performance
Bottom Line High quality and a decent price, it offers solid performanceOne of the best models you can buy for the priceThe lightest model to feature a 100% steel head, it's surprisingly versatile for its weightIf you are new to the sport or on a tight budget, this is adependable model that offers solid all-around performance for the priceExcellent price for a solid all-around mountaineering axe for use on moderate snow climbs and basic glacier routes
Rating Categories Grivel G1 Petzl Glacier Petzl Ride CAMP Neve Black Diamond Raven
Self-Arresting (15%)
7.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
5.0
Digging & Step Chopping (15%)
7.0
7.0
4.0
7.0
7.0
Use as Improvised Anchor (15%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Steep Ice & Snow (25%)
4.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
3.0
Comfort to Carry (5%)
9.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
10.0
Weight (25%)
5.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
5.0
Specs Grivel G1 Petzl Glacier Petzl Ride CAMP Neve Black Diamond Raven
Measured Weight 16.7 oz/473 g 12.3 oz/350 g 8.4 oz/240 g 15 oz/425 g 16 oz/437 g
Category General General Ultralight General General
Rating CEN-B CEN-B CEN-B CEN-B CEN-B
Pick Shape, Material, and Construction Hot-forged steel, classical neutral Forged steel, classic positve curve Tempered steel, classic positive curve Forged chromoly steel pick, classic positive curve Laser cut, stainless steel, classic positive
Lengths Available 58, 66, 74 cm 60, 68, 75 cm 45 cm 50, 57, 65, 73, 80 cm 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 90 cm
Included Pommel or Leash? Leash Yes No Slider leash No
Hammer Option No No No No No
Shaft Design Straight Straight Bent Straight Straight

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
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