Lowering a climber safely and smoothly to the ground with the anti-panic handle of the GriGri+. These tweaks are minor, but positive changes that only make this device function better. The Mega Jul has a learning curve, as with any other belay device, but after a few times belaying on it, most folks are proficient. While there are some downsides, GriGris have become nearly ubiquitous at the crag or in the gym no matter where in the world you are and offer tremendous advantages over standard belay devices. Although it looks very similar to its predecessor, this new GriGri has seen a number of minor tweaks, often incorporating aspects that were found to be successful with the release of the GriGri+ in 2017. Edelrid Mega Jul Sport: $36. A simple toggle switch allows you to reverse the device to switch modes. For situation-dependent belaying and abseiling, especially in alpine terrain. Most climbers who have been at it a couple of years or longer have long since crossed this hurdle, and for them, we still recommend the GriGri as the best belay device on the market. The technique felt natural after a few pitches. Lowering a climber from a high anchor off the harness with the Giga Jul in assisted-braking mode is much smoother than with the Mega Jul. Some passive assist devices are barely any more expensive, making them a compelling option instead. Feeding slack is a category we include to measure each device's usefulness for belaying a lead climber. Choosing a belay device is not an easy task, but the first step we recommend is assessing your own needs. Devices that lock up on a hair trigger are very difficult to master, and are the cause of many frustrated lead climbers as they are continuously short-roped by their belayer. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. The cam on the GriGri+ engages quickly and completely, rotating up to pinch the rope. At first, the company made braids and cords. However, for climbing anywhere close to your limit, where falls are a real possibility, then having brake assist is a serious advantage, and the nifty Giga Jul gives you that versatility added on to the standard multi-pitch device features. This category measures and rates how easy it is to catch a fall with a belay device. BUY IN STORE. Like most of us, his passion was kindled in the climbing gym, but soon carried him outside after beholding the mighty Diamond on Longs Peak, and deciding he needed to up his game enough to climb it. SLATE. Seven of the devices we tested began with an automatic advantage in this category — the ability to rappel two strands. That can be important in canyoneering or in general bushwacking where one may wish to … The Mega Jul Sport takes double ropes, making it more versatile for rappelling and belaying with half or twin ropes. Weight: 65 g Our most versatile belay and abseil device made of solid stainless steel for durability. The devices that reliably catch like this are the Camp Matik, as well as the GriGri and GriGri+, and they received the highest scores. The first is that the handle has an anti-panic feature. When lowering a climber, the belayer uses a lever-arm handle to release the grip on the rope. The final consideration for this metric is the range of rope diameters that a belay device is capable of gripping. PRODUCT INFORMATION. The Pistol-Grip Position: to feed slack with the Camp Matik you use your index finger and thumb to squeeze this black trigger on the bottom. The principle downside to this device is that it can only be used with a single rope, much like most active assist devices such as the GriGri, somewhat limiting its appropriateness for multi-pitching. The brake end must always be in control and lower than the climber end for the mechanism to engage. If the belayer is hit by a rock, slammed into the wall, or the rope somehow slips out of their grip, a falling climber will hit the deck in about one second. He has climbed large alpine routes and big walls all around the world, from Peru to Alaska to Mexico to the Alps. As the only tube-style and passive (read: no moving parts) assisted-braking device in this review, the Mega Jul Sport relies purely on the geometry of the device and the angle of the rope to catch a fall. Best of all, this device now accommodates ropes down to 8.5mm, which is currently the skinniest single rope on the market. Rappelling is a pain. The ATC Guide is also slightly heavier than its closest and most popular competition, the Petzl Reverso, but we think the extra durability is worth adding a couple tenths of an ounce. He bases himself out of Ouray, Colorado, an ice climbing mecca, but which also has great cragging and quick access to many of the West's finest destinations and most stunning mountains. Some of the devices require being set up in a way that is not at all intuitive. While it isn't as inexpensive as the tube-style devices that don't have auto-block capabilities, we think that the extra couple of bucks for this ability greatly enhances the performance if you ever intend to do any multi-pitching at all. In top-rope mode, the cam grips far more tightly, while in lead mode, it allows for an easier time paying out slack. Edelrid also makes a passive single-slot model called the Jul2 and an active assisted locking device called the Edelrid Eddy . Giga Jul Mega Jul Sport Mega Jul Micro Jul JUL² Guide Mode Additional Eyelet Single Rope Belay Twin/Half Rope Belay Rope Diameter 7.1 – 10.0 mm 7.9 – 11.0 mm 7.8 – 10.5 mm 6.9 – 8.0 mm 8.9 –11.0 mm Weight 100 g 88 g 65 g 62 g 105 g The Jul 2 is a single rope assisted braking device, the Mega Jul takes two ropes and has a sport climbing version as well, and the Micro Jul is the incredibly lightweight version of this for use with Edelrid's super-thin alpine ropes. Assisting on many of these reviews is Cam Ring, another lifelong climber, and former Yosemite Search and Rescue Member. Compared to the other active assisted braking devices, though, we found this technique to be relatively quick and intuitive to perform and didn't require much thinking after only a couple of pitches. Mega Jul Sport rappel Just got a Mega Jul sport belay device and am curious if any one uses it on a regular basis to belay/rappel. The devices featured here are of three main styles: active assist braking, passive assist braking, and tube-style, so be sure to identify your own needs to help you narrow down the selection. We hope the information provided has been helpful in your search. With a specific geometry for sport climbing, the Edelrid Mega Jul Sport has been designed for slicker belaying - including with thicker ropes - than the original Mega Jul to make it better for smoother, faster rope handling, but still retains the high-braking performance that the Mega Jul was recognised for. 717840006630. As with most great things, there are a few downsides. Product Discontinued by Manufacturer. SPORTS. BRAKINGASSIST TUBERS. The Mega Jul can be used to rappel in two ways: like a standard tube-style device, in which it functions about the same as an ATC Guide and requires a backup friction hitch for redundancy, and in an auto-lock mode which will lock on the rope unless the user disengages the device, effectively eliminating the need for a backup friction hitch. Some minors things with the mega jul: for older single ropes with some rope kink it's not as smooth as some other (well, non-assisted) devices I've used, not sure how the Smart handles these. If you're looking for the best value out there, we've picked out a few that we consider exceptional. ADD TO CART . With my limited use over the past few days, it would seem to me that an autobloc backup for the rappel might not be necessary. This model is also heavier and more expensive than the standard model. A secondary consideration, since we are all guilty of making mistakes, is how easy is the device to release once locked up so that I can quickly begin feeding slack again? If you pull back too far or too quickly the device will stop lowering. Among the active assist braking devices, the Mad Rock Lifeguard is a decent alternative for those that like to multi-pitch climb with a GriGri. We highly recommend checking it out if you don't like the way the GriGri feeds slack, or are curious about the other options out there. The "passive" Mammut Smart 2.0 - this device creates a pinch on the rope by rotating when the climber falls. Giga Jul Mega Jul Sport Mega Jul Micro Jul JUL² Guide Mode Additional Eyelet Single Rope Belay Twin/Half Rope Belay Rope Diameter 7.1 – 10.0 mm 7.9 – 11.0 mm 7.8 – 10.5 mm 6.9 – 8.0 mm 8.9 –11.0 mm Weight 100 g 88 g 65 g 62 g 105 g A second mode for lowering involved releasing the device via the thumb loop, but testers preferred the tilt method as they found it easier to control the speed of the descent. However, because you need to push and pull on them quite a bit to lower your partner, they are quite safe to use and lock up as soon as you let go. As you can see, the Vergo is a bit smaller than either of the GriGris, but it weighs the same amount as the heavier GriGri+. The new features also don't eliminate the need to lock out the cam while feeding out slack to a leader, a potentially dangerous moment, especially close to the ground. A new belay device can cost anywhere from the price of a case of beer up to the price of a new rope! While this is to prevent someone from accidentally dropping themselves or their partner, it creates a narrow window between lowering and locking up. The Vergo also doesn't have the same anti-panic handle as the GriGri+ or Camp Matik, so it's possible to open it up full bore while lowering and drop a climber very fast. Compared to most devices, it is heavy and on the larger side, but not prohibitively so. The Edelrid Eddy and Mad Rock Lifeguard have more friction, which makes it challenging to pay rope out quickly. We found the correct way a bit confusing since it seems to be upside down if you are used to a GriGri's orientation, and puts a half twist into the belay loop when used correctly. Due to their cam, they even allow a small amount of rope (a couple of inches at most) to slip through the device as they lock, which increases the dynamic aspect of a catch, reducing the forces on the climber, rope, and gear slightly. MEGA JUL BELAY KIT BULLETPROOF SCREW (0) EN DE US FR (0) MEGA JUL BELAY KIT BULLETPROOF SCREW ... Belay set containing Mega Jul belay device and HMS Bulletproof Screw FG carabiner. While it is not technically a tube, the Wild Country Revo functions just like one and is far and away the highest scorer when it comes to smoothly paying out slack. The sweet spot for a smooth, not too slow lower can be hard to find at first, but it's now much harder to drop a climber while lowering with a properly loaded GriGri+. These devices can also be hard to master for people with small hands, which may include children. Each device tested for this review was thoroughly researched before being put into use, and this often involves watching Youtube and demonstration videos to grasp the proper technique for belaying with newfangled devices. The assisted braking function which supports the braking force can be activated or disabled by an intelligent mechanism. This review is led by Andy Wellman, a Senior Reviewer at OutdoorGearLab since 2014. The assisted braking function which supports the braking force can be activated or disabled by an intelligent mechanism. The geometry of the device—how the rope runs over the brake side—translates to the belayer needing to apply little force to catch a fall. For those who are confused, this device updates the GriGri 2, which is no longer being produced or sold but is not at all the same as the original GriGri, which it shares the same name with. We believe that all types of climbers can benefit from knowing how to use a GriGri, and recommend the + especially for those new to the game. The belay technique is similar to any other tube-style device, but when feeding slack, the belayer must hold the thumb loop so the rope will run through the device without locking up. SPORTS. The result is a comprehensive comparison tested review, and some excellent recommendations regardless of whether you are new or seasoned, and climb in the gym, or on the largest faces and peaks in the world. I only tested ropes in the 9.1 to 9.8 mm range. For rappelling, we prefer the smoothness of manual mode with a prussic backup, but like how brake assist rappelling is also possible. We found ourselves most often belaying the leader in assisted breaking mode, although if the pitch is really easy and the climber is moving super fast, you can also just use manual. When it comes to the passive and active-assisted braking devices, results were more mixed. Belaying the leader with braking assist requires learning the technique, which we found to be pretty easy, but also takes slightly more effort than belaying in manual mode. Edelrid Mega Jul Sport Belay Kit has been discontinued by Edelrid and is no longer available. We would not use it to belay a second off the anchor from above. It takes some practice to dial in the sweet spot for the devices with anti-panic handles. The Giga Jul is a standard and assisted-braking tuber in one. Belaying a second directly off the anchor is a convenient way to ensure a reliable catch and a comfortable belay during multi-pitch climbing (be sure to read the manufacturer's instructions carefully, as this type of belay configuration is more complex and mistakes can result in death). The function for the Mega Jul Sport is the same as the Mega Jul. The thumb is slotted into the loop as shown here, and this hand also holds the brake rope. Those models are the ATC XP, ATC Guide, Verso, Reverso, Smart Alpine, and Giga and Mega Juls. Next, consider what techniques you already know, or what techniques or resources you have for learning a new belay style. Which brings up another downside of the GriGri — proper and safe belay techniques can be challenging to learn and perfect. On the upper end of the scale, ropes over 9.8mm, especially ones that are worn a bit, so they are fuzzy, create extra friction that can make it hard to easily force them through a belay device quickly. But the Mega Jul Sport has one big advantage: it can be rigged for double-line descents. The mega jul kinda sucks its flimsy all of the loops are small and its bullshit assisted brake only utilizes some increased geometry to make it harder for the rope to pass through, and locks up super easily in addition I find it awkward to lower someone with. Be sure to read the instructions so you understand how to properly load the device. At first the Mega Jul appears to be another plaquette-style belay device with two slots for double-rope rappels, an external "ear" for auto-block mode, an unlocking eye and a keeper cable. The second feature is a toggle switch between lead and top-rope modes, which adjusts the spring tension on the cam inside the device. The Vergo is only good to go with ropes 8.9mm and thicker, so beware if you commonly use an ultra-thin cord. While it has been a long time coming, the Trango Vergo is one of the most appealing active assisted braking devices we have tested. The engineers at Edelrid worked hard to solve many of the problems with the older device, and the result has quickly become our favorite belay device for multi-pitch climbing. Rappelling and lowering accidents are two of the most common types and are often easily preventable. Always use these devices with the manufacturer recommended carabiner whenever possible (usually an HMS type), and expect that any deviance (along with changes in rope diameter) will affect its performance. MEGA JUL (0) EN DE US FR (0) MEGA JUL. The active-assisted belay devices that employ a spring-loaded cam to pinch the rope when it is under tension provide the easiest and most reliable catch. In our comparative testing, many of the most popular and commonly used auto-block tubes also had some of the highest amounts of friction to overcome, which is slightly disappointing. We begin the testing process by using each device for months in the field, and then finish up by comparative testing each device side-by-side, rating them on five metrics (catch and bite, feeding slack, rappelling and lowering, weight and bulk, and auto-block) based upon how they perform compared to the competition. We rate each device for critical performance elements such as how smooth it feeds slack, how effective it is rappelling and lowering, and how aggressively it bites the rope when catching falls. It can be used in a gym, for Sport, Trad, and Multi-pitches with ease. Of course, like all assisted belay devices, a new technique must be learned and mastered to be an effective belayer, especially for leading. Obviously, the assisted braking devices are supreme once again, and the ability to easily hold a climber for an unlimited amount of time with little to no effort is the number one argument for using one of these devices while climbing. The Petzl GriGri and + feed slack well with little friction, but often require a technique that can reduce the safety of the device, especially if the climber is close to the ground. Assisted braking devices reduce the likelihood of dropping a lead climber, and also make it much easier to lock off and hold someone for long periods of time. Rappelling can also be done in multiple configurations—either with the device turned around to perform like a traditional tuber or in locking mode, though the locking configuration was not as smooth. The Mega Jul is designed for ropes between 7.8 and 10.5 mm in diameter. All trademarks property of their respective owners The active assisted braking devices have some of the more complex methods for giving slack quickly, and each features a different method. We also teach other climbers and partners how to use each device, and watch them learn and belay in order to notice problems, flaws, or benefits that we may have missed. Some of the highest performing devices, such as the Revo and Giga Jul, are also a bit heavier than their closest competitors, forcing one to choose whether saving an extra ounce or two is worth compromised performance, or whether ideal functionality is worth a small penalty in weight. Its smaller cousin is the Edelrid Micro Jul for skinny twin and half ropes from 6.9 to 8.0 mm. When it comes to something you're likely carry on your harness, the Edelrid MegaJul, Petzl Verso and Reverso, and the Black Diamond ATC XP are the lightest options. The passive assisted devices have some of the poorest lowering action. The Giga Jul awesomely negates that need, by incorporating passive assist braking with standard tube-style functionality (what they call "manual" mode), combined with auto-block, for the most versatile belay device we have seen. Feed out slack to the side as recommended, a method that allows one to pay out longer loops of slack with one arm, and the cam stays open. Although the assisted braking models all provide the ability to lock the device and rest hands-free, they often exhibit narrow ranges and jerkiness when lowering. Déclinés du système de tube classique, ils permettent l'assurage d'un premier de cordée, de un à deux seconds de cordée depuis un relais, et enfin de descendre en rappel. When assessing for friction, we noticed how each device felt while out on multi-pitch climbs, but also wanted some more concrete results, so compared one device after another on a mock anchor, noticing the differences in the amount of friction we had to overcome to feed the rope through the auto-blocked device. Designed with a specific geometry for sport climbing for slicker belaying, including with thicker ropes. Set up in auto-block mode hanging directly off the anchor requires using the additional carabiner hole at the top of the device, and loading the device the same as you would for manual mode. Got feedback? We then practice our techniques before hitting the crag, and have been sure to belay a minimum of 30 pitches with each device (but usually way more) before publishing our findings. The difference in lowering/rappelling scores comes down to the smoothness of the action and the range it is good for. In 2019, Petzl updated the most popular assisted braking device in the world for a third time, releasing the newest version, now simply known (once again) as the GriGri. The Mega Jul Sport is the sport climbing version of the award-winning Mega Jul. We only recommend using a round stock carabiner with this device. If you want the most versatile option at a fantastic price, this is the one we recommend. SPORTS. It also comes with a price tag that you would expect from a complicated piece of engineering. Despite the minor downsides, the Vergo is far and away our favorite active assisted braking device that isn't a GriGri. While significantly safer than a standard GriGri, the features found on the + can be annoying to workaround if you are so used to using a GriGri that it has become an extension of your mind and body. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Once mastered, this method proves far easier, and safer, than lead belaying with a GriGri. In "active" models, braking is created by a pinching mechanism inside the device itself; "passive" models rely on a pinch between the carabiner and the device to hold the rope. The ergonomic design of the Vergo also allows you to hold the brake end of the rope in the same hand as the device without bending it back, so there is less friction to overcome when pulling out slack. Belaying with the ClickUp+ on a peaceful afternoon in the sun at Smith Rock. WORK SAFETY. When you click on links to buy products we may earn money to support, How to Choose a Belay Device for Rock Climbing. The brilliance is that the device functions exactly like a simple tube, and the belayer uses the same simple belay technique they were taught when they learned. The device is light, simple, and easy to set up, and double-rope capabilities increase its versatility. In the past 10 years, we've tested over 26 different individual models, with 17 choices highlighted in our 2020 review. We expect to see this device become significantly more popular in the near future, especially for gym climbing and single-pitch cragging. Let us know! They use similar movements to tubes but require upward pressure on a handle or loop to disable the device's locking mechanism when feeding out slack quickly. The Climbing Technology ClickUp+ requires using a tube-style method of feeding out slack but is very quick to lock up, and difficult to unlock quickly compared to others. That's where lowering and rappelling come in. As the only tube-style and passive (read: no moving parts) assisted-braking device in this review, the Mega Jul Sport relies purely on the geometry of the device and the angle of the rope to catch a fall. Catching a falling climber is only half the duty of a belay device; getting that climber safely back to the ground is the other. In particular, it is easy to forget to switch from top-rope to lead, resulting in a frustrated leader as they get continually short-roped. This tube-style device allows one to use the simplest, easiest to learn, and most commonly taught belay style for paying out slack while leading, negating the need to learn a new style based on the belay device. Mega Jul: designed for single ropes; Mega Jul Sport: designed for sport climbing with thicker single ropes; Jul 2: designed for single pitch climbing at the gym or crag; How the Giga Jul Works: The innovative Giga Jul works the same as a regular tube style device (think ATC or Reverso) when in Manual Brake mode, making it easy to operate. Although they are expensive, high scorers like the GriGri are a great value due to their incredible performance. BRAKINGASSIST TUBERS. Lastly, we took into consideration the amount of friction in the system, which affects the amount of energy it takes to belay in this manner, with the smoother devices being preferred. The most versatile ever belay device. Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. Secondly, we assess for versatility, scoring models that can accommodate two ropes a bit higher. The Giga Jul is a standard and assisted braking tuber in one. Andy is a lifelong climber, with over 24 years of experience in all disciplines. For the passive devices, we like the Edelrid Mega Jul and the Mammut Smart 2.0 the best. The Mega Jul Sport supports rope from 7.9 to 11mm while the Mega Jul supports 7.9 to 10.5mm and the Micro Jul supports the Flycatcher rope of 6.9mm. When a climber is yanking for rope, desperate to make a clip before falling, and the device locks up, being able to quickly release it can make a difference between success or an extra-long fall. The cam that pinches the rope to provide the braking assist does not have a spring in it but uses the angle by which the rope is running over it to determine whether there is enough friction to catch or stay open. With an assisted braking device, whether passive or active, the slightest amount of gripping pressure on the brake rope will provide the tension and friction required to lock up the device, holding the climber in place. Top rope belaying with the Black Diamond ATC Pilot. Our product experts have helped us select these available replacements below.You can also explore other items in the Climb, Carabiners, Draws & Belay, Climbing Gear, Belay Devices, Hardware, Belay & Rappel yourself to try and find the perfect replacement for you! Order-No. In order to pay out slack on the Mammut Smart 2.0, you need to push up on the lever with your brake hand's thumb while pulling slack through with your guide hand. The Trango Vergo has the most ergonomic and smooth feeding design of any of these devices and does not require overriding the camming system to feed out slack, a nice safety feature. This feature alone greatly reduces the chances that a belayer could accidentally drop the climber while clipping, a problem even more dangerous when the climber is close to the ground. The Mega Jul Sport is a tube-style device that relies on its shape to catch the rope in the event of a fall, so it has no moving parts. It has one of our favorite catches, and it engages fully even with lighter climbers. ), so having a belay device that can handle these thin ropes certainly adds value. The ability to take and give slack quickly and precisely is important to ensure a good belay — especially when close to the ground. The ATC Guide adds another ounce to your harness but not much more bulk, whereas the Mammut Smart Alpine is both a little bulkier and heavier still. Of course, every belay device here will catch a fall by arresting the rope provided they are used with proper technique, but due to their unique designs, the assisted braking devices tend to do this with more reliability, and far less effort, than a standard tube-style device. While the GriGri is far and away the most popular active assisted braking device on the market, it still comes with the notable downside that one must lock open the braking cam to quickly feed slack to a leader, a design that has inspired countless competitors searching for better methods. Ropes on the narrow side can slip through some belay devices due to there not being enough friction if the design doesn't take narrow ropes into consideration. Searching for the best climbing belay device? Most of the devices we have tested offer some way to do so, and we have noted this in the specs table in the chart at the top of this article. Le micro Jul et le Mega Jul d'Edelrid Apparaissent, sur le marché des systèmes d'assurage, le Micro Jul et le Mega Jul, par Edelrid. A lead climbing belay requires more attentiveness and rope management skill than a top-rope belay. Every pitch climbed requires a belay device, and since our testers frequently get out on the rock many times per week, belay device testing is happening continuously. Whether the weight is a critical component for you depends on a few things: whether or not you are climbing with your device on your harness, and whether or not you appreciate the "training" weight in your backpack. Heat build-up and transfer to the lever hand during lowering is not an issue like it is with the Mega Jul. Our grading for this metric took into consideration whether a device is capable of being used this way or not and whether it is easy to set up or very confusing and challenging. WORK SAFETY. The result is expert tested reviews and recommendations, rather than just a listing of a product's stats that anyone can glean off the internet. ADD TO CART . Tube devices require the simplest motion to take or feed slack and receive the best scores in this category because of it. No matter which device you choose, it's important to tie a knot in the ends of the rope. Lastly, while Trango makes it clear in all its instructional documentation and training videos, it is easy to accidentally clip the Vergo into the harness the wrong way, which diminishes the amount of friction a leader puts on the catch cam. Lead belays and top rope laps on a sunny winter afternoon at Smith Rock. Thus, the Mega Jul was born, identical in functionality to the Micro Jul, differing only in what rope diameters it is designed to handle [Micro Jul: 6.9mm-8.5mm Mega Jul: 7.8mm-10.5mm]. The brake hand is still wrapped around the rope and in control of it at all times. The standard tube-style devices, like the Black Diamond ATC models and the Petzl Verso and Reverso, are what scored the lowest compared to the rest of the field. For climbers on a budget, and especially those that like to do it all, our recommendation is the Black Diamond ATC Guide. Both of the GriGris are also now capable of handling ropes down to 8.5mm. The primary difference is the support of a thicker rope. If you pull back too far on the lever, the unit locks up. Passive models are thus dependent on this carabiner, and its shape and size can have a significant impact on performance (up to 35% differences in our tests). In TR the Jul 2 worked just like the Mega Jul, but easier, in two senses. Suitable for 7.8 - 10.5 mm ropes you won't have issues matching it to … Lowering was not intuitive, however, as testers had to reorient their hands and tilt the device back. For instance, to catch a fall with a tube-style device, the belayer must lock the rope off down by their hip, while also gripping tightly to the rope to keep it from slipping. Both of the GriGris performed especially well in this regard, as did the Camp Matik. It does so by using an out of balance fly wheel on the inside that combines with centrifugal forces to trigger the locking mechanism above certain speeds. About Us. Feeding slack in assisted braking mode requires learning a new technique. These devices are unquestionably safer for lowering partners, but can also be perceived as more annoying to use. Material on GearLab is copyrighted. Firstly it handles the fat, fuzzy, semi-static TR ropes that Earth Treks uses better than the Mega Jul does. Which brings up another important consideration in this category: how easy it is to hold a climber locked off. Answering these questions will help you determine if the investment in an active assist device is worth it, or whether you might prefer a passive assist device instead. --The History of EDELRID-- EDELRID was founded by Julius EDELmann and Carl RIDder in 1863. Unfortunately, though, belaying in this manner can create substantial friction with many of the device designs that can exhaust a belayer's shoulders and elbows, and in extreme usage, like for mountain guides, can lead to tendonitis. Second best when it comes to this category are most of the "passive" assisted braking devices, like the Edelrid Giga Jul, Mammut Smart 2.0, and Black Diamond ATC Pilot. The Mega Jul is perfect for half ropes though. In this mode, it works much like the other tube-style auto-block devices, and while it is very effective at locking off the seconders rope, there is a fair amount of friction built into the system. The Mega Jul being used for sport climbing, the Cornice, Cheedale. The primary downside of all ATC or tube-style belay devices is that a firm grip is required on the brake strand of the rope at all times. PRODUCT INFORMATION. The Revo is a perfect device for any single pitch climbing, and was a surprise favorite of all who used it due to its simplicity and super smooth handling. It's only a little bit lighter but a lot more compact. Non-Assisted-Braking Mode: It's also slightly heavier and more expensive than a BD ATC Guide or Petzl Reverso, but this trade-off is minimal, considering you also get braking assist. Of course, we pretty much always belay up the second in auto-block mode. Its most endearing feature revolves around safety: it is not possible to lock out the catch cam mechanism, like on the GriGri. Lowering a climber in brake assist mode can be a bit jerky, so we mostly prefer this device for multi-pitching, and use something else for our daily cragging. These devices were the; Edelrid Mega Jul, Black Diamond ATC Pilot, Mammut Smart and we also tried the auto-locking Beal Birdie. Overall, I feel the Mega Jul is more pernickety to use at first than a Reverso, ATC Guide or similar, but once mastered it has a number of abilities that those other devices lack. So where does the Giga Jul fit into the range? The cam spring is a bit tighter, making it easier to pay out slack ATC-style, and the area on the back of the cam where you might hold your thumb to pay out slack is now lower profile as well, reducing the risk of holding this open when a leader falls. INSPECTION INSTRUCTION / SUMMARIES. The most important thing to consider is how easily and safely can I feed slack without the device locking up? The GriGri+, Camp Matik, and Edelrid Eddy all have anti-panic levers. It feels similar to lowering with a Grigri 2. 2019 saw the long-awaited release of the Edelrid Giga Jul, an updated version of the Mega Jul. VIDEO. The belay technique is similar to any other tube-style device, but when feeding slack, the belayer must hold the thumb loop so the rope will run through the device without locking up. First released in 2017, the GriGri+ has several safety features not found on the standard GriGri, hopefully reducing the risk of belayer error accidents. This is due to the wheel that the rope runs over, which greatly minimizes friction. Using a, I-beam carabiner like the one shown here added significant friction to the system, making it much harder to pull out the needed slack quickly. GearLab is reader-supported. It works, but to push up the end of the Mega Jul gets really exhausting really fast. Super lightweight, assisted braking, guide mode belay option, Stainless Steel vs Aluminum construction, and very affordable pricing make this thing a winner. Negatives aside, the emergency backup performed perfectly in all of our testing, and every climber who tested it was amazed at its ease and simplicity to learn. Edelrid is also making a sister device, the Micro Jul (not tested), that weighs 60 grams and is meant for half ropes in the 6.9mm to 8.9mm range. It is also designed in a way that it cannot be loaded backwards, so no need to continually check for little hand and climber icons. This device works in the same way as the GriGri, but also includes a couple of clever over-rides for the most common errors amongst GriGri users. 2019 saw the long-awaited release of the Edelrid Giga Jul, an updated version of the Mega Jul.The engineers at Edelrid worked hard to solve many of the problems with the older device, and the result has quickly become our favorite belay device for multi-pitch climbing. The only real downside to the ATC Guide is that it doesn't include any form of braking assistance. It doesn't include any breaking assist that might accidentally lock but does have an emergency lock up feature that we were never able to trigger while simply feeding out slack. We have been climbing for about 2 years so we are relative newbies – we are mainly focused on outdoor sport climbing. He has also spent countless days perfecting his rock craft at classic sport and traditional areas such as Eldorado Canyon, Rifle, Smith Rock, and Yosemite, while authoring and publishing numerous guidebooks along the way. The Edelrid Mega Jul Sport provides assisted-braking belays for both single and double/twin ropes (7.9 to 11 mm). We often find them jerky when compared to tube devices. Most multi-pitch devices do not have braking assist, but so many climbers love the braking assist found on their GriGris that they will carry two devices up a multi-pitch climb, rather than do without the added assistance. The Revo does not in any way assist with braking, but simply provides an emergency backup, the first device that we are aware of that works in this manner. We currently use a Black Diamond ATC Guide, so we are comfortable with tubular devices. These twelve climbing harnesses have been designed... We pick the best rock climbing shoes for bouldering... We've weeded through dozens of climbing shoes to select to... After analyzing over 50 harnesses, we bought the best 12... Best GriGri Alternative that Feeds Slack Easier, Auto Block (Resistance Belaying a Second), the world's most carefully tested and objective gear reviews. The Mega Jul Sport is a tube-style device that relies on its shape to catch the rope in the event of a fall, so it has no moving parts. The low end of the price range is populated by tube-style devices, whereas the more expensive models are the active assisted braking devices. The lower arm now has a bit more play, making it slightly harder to simply open full. Be sure to pick up a tube-style device if you plan to rappel or multi-pitch climb. SPORTS. The Mega Jul is rated up to 10.5mm, while the Jul 2 is rated up to 11mm, so this isn't a big surprise, even though ET claims these ropes are 10.1mm. It is possible to open this handle way too far, without a hand on the brake rope, and suddenly drop the climber to the ground. It lowers smoothly and jerk free, largely due to the absence of an anti-panic mechanism. Enter the new Wild Country Revo, which solves this issue by adding an automatic locking mechanism that stops the rope if it moves through the device faster than 4m/s. These devices require substantial strength on the brake hand when catching a fall and continued lock-off when top rope belaying or belay your second. How can we improve GearLab? With the GriGri+, the handle automatically disengages beyond a certain point, releasing the tension on the cam, and stopping the lower. Privacy | Cookies | Terms, The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of gear. The passive assisted braking devices require a solid brake hand on the rope at all times (as do all devices really). The Mega Jul weighs just 65 grams and can be used for double or single ropes from 7.8mm to 10.5mm. Designed for situation-dependent belaying and abseiling, particularly in alpine conditions. By pushing up and out with the thumb, the device has enough room to allow slack to pass through, which is fed to the climber by being yanked out the top. As more and more climbers transition to thinner ropes, this is becoming slightly less of an issue, but once again, added versatility in regard to rope sizes only increases the value of a belay device. We saw the most consistently good performance from the tube devices, as well as the Wild Country Revo. For those who are new to climbing or inexperienced with a GriGri, or who simply like having even more safety features, we recommend the GriGri+ instead. Because of this great design, its advantages include the smoothest paying out of slack of any device we have ever tried. This device offers the same ideal characteristics as the simpler ATC XP for standard belays, while also providing auto-block capability for bringing up followers directly on an anchor. For easy multi-pitching, many climbers may not need braking assist. The Smart 2.0 needs only a little upward pressure to prevent it from locking, whereas the Black Diamond ATC Pilot requires substantial and continuous pressure. It also easily accommodates two strands of rope, making it ideal and versatile for rappelling — a huge bonus. OASIS. As long as there have been GriGris, there have been imitation devices made by competing companies attempting to capture a bit of the market share, while also solving some of its inherent problems. The sun setting on central Oregon and our belay device review. The Petzl Reverso was one of our favorite devices to rappel with, though in blind tests we found it a hair jerkier than the Black Diamond ATC Guide. The keeper cable is aided by a thumb hook that juts out from the brake side of the device. Consider these models only for single-pitch routes or multi-pitches in combination with a two-strand device. The Matik and Eddy locked up more than the GriGri+, but all require a deft hand that does improve with practice. TECHNICAL INFORMATION. Being incredibly lightweight, no moving parts, and very easy to use, the Mega Jul is my new assisted braking belay device of choice. Belay devices come in three different categories –active assisted braking, passive assisted braking, and traditional tube chock — and our expert climbing testers have put in hundreds of hours belaying and testing all three kinds. They are also the easiest to learn how to use and are most climber's introduction into belaying. Feeding slack quickly requires locking out the assisted brake, Anti-panic handle prevents dropping while lowering, Customize the amount of cam spring tension with lead and top-rope modes, Stainless steel wear plate insert for added durability, Switching modes is difficult and an easy step to forget, Unit locks up easily on lowers if not used slowly, Simplest and easiest to learn belaying techniques, Ideal for belaying your second on multi-pitch climbs, Pays out slack easily without needing to lock out safety catch, Ergonomic design is easy to hold brake strand and pay out rope at same time, Active assist, manual, and auto-block modes all in one device, Less inherent friction and easier to use than Mega Jul, Stainless steel inserts for greater durability, Slightly heavier than other auto-block devices, Active assist lead belaying more tiring than standard tube style, Same belay technique as with tube-style devices, Emergency backup locks device if rope slips too fast. Weights range from 2.0 to 13.0 ounces. The Camp Matik uses a unique "pistol" grip design, which does take some getting used to if you've belayed differently for years. And the biggest hurdle to usage of the GriGri+ is that it can be challenging to learn to use properly and safely, an argument many die-hard ATC users cite as the reason they avoid the GriGri, to begin with. Like all climbing gear these days, belay devices are getting lighter and smaller. The ATC Guide and Petzl Reverso have quite a bit more friction than the GriGris, but even worse is the Edelrid Mega and Giga Jul, and worse still is the Mammut Smart 2.0. It’s safe to say that this device is not a beginner belay device. As the quality of rope manufacturing has increased, climbers are far more frequently using thinner ropes, with 8.9mm-9.2mm being much more common, and 9.5mm now being considered a reasonably fat "workhorse." The thinnest single ropes on the market today are only 8.5mm (! The standout performance from assisted braking devices comes from the GriGri. Pull upwards, in the direction that a climber would, and the cam uses friction to automatically lock up. Bringing up two seconds on a direct belay. (DE): https://goo.gl/PFndG6 Das Mega Jul ist eines der vielseitigsten Sicherungsgeräte auf dem Markt. To begin, the Black Diamond ATC XP can't be beat on price and is a solid and reliable option, although we recommend the Black Diamond ATC Guide as another great budget buy because it is far more versatile with auto-block function at only a tiny increase in cost. Further Reading:Review: Our Top New Belay Devices for 2017, © 2020 Pocket Outdoor Media Inc. All Rights Reserved, Review: Our Top New Belay Devices for 2017. With this model, it is easier than ever to "push" rope through the device, in the same way slack is fed with a tube style device, although the cam must still be overridden to feed out an armload or two in a hurry. Shoppers should recognize that none of the active assisted locking devices can rappel a doubled rope, nor can the passive ClickUp+, Black Diamond ATC Pilot, or Mammut Smart 2.0. MANUAL. We spend lots of time staying up to date on the newest product releases, so we can purchase them and get to work testing. Be sure to read the Camp Matik manual carefully to learn how to properly belay with it.
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