Its most endearing feature revolves around safety: it is not possible to lock out the catch cam mechanism, like on the GriGri. 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. 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. The device is light, simple, and easy to set up, and double-rope capabilities increase its versatility. 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 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. Designed for situation-dependent belaying and abseiling, particularly in alpine conditions. Catching a falling climber is only half the duty of a belay device; getting that climber safely back to the ground is the other. Of course, like all assisted belay devices, a new technique must be learned and mastered to be an effective belayer, especially for leading. The Mega Jul weighs just 65 grams and can be used for double or single ropes from 7.8mm to 10.5mm. Seven of the devices we tested began with an automatic advantage in this category — the ability to rappel two strands. Weight: 65 g Our most versatile belay and abseil device made of solid stainless steel for durability. 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. Tube devices require the simplest motion to take or feed slack and receive the best scores in this category because of it. 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 (DE): https://goo.gl/PFndG6 Das Mega Jul ist eines der vielseitigsten Sicherungsgeräte auf dem Markt. 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. It's only a little bit lighter but a lot more compact. 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 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. We spend lots of time staying up to date on the newest product releases, so we can purchase them and get to work testing. 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. For easy multi-pitching, many climbers may not need braking assist. Best of all, this device now accommodates ropes down to 8.5mm, which is currently the skinniest single rope on the market. About Us. SPORTS. The only real downside to the ATC Guide is that it doesn't include any form of braking assistance. 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. We often find them jerky when compared to tube devices. 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. The Matik and Eddy locked up more than the GriGri+, but all require a deft hand that does improve with practice. This is due to the wheel that the rope runs over, which greatly minimizes friction. 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. 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. 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. These tweaks are minor, but positive changes that only make this device function better. SPORTS. The Edelrid Mega Jul Sport provides assisted-braking belays for both single and double/twin ropes (7.9 to 11 mm). A simple toggle switch allows you to reverse the device to switch modes. 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. In the past 10 years, we've tested over 26 different individual models, with 17 choices highlighted in our 2020 review. 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. The thinnest single ropes on the market today are only 8.5mm (! The Vergo is only good to go with ropes 8.9mm and thicker, so beware if you commonly use an ultra-thin cord. 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. 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. 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 assisted braking function which supports the braking force can be activated or disabled by an intelligent mechanism. 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. 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. VIDEO. 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]. It also easily accommodates two strands of rope, making it ideal and versatile for rappelling — a huge bonus. 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. WORK SAFETY. All trademarks property of their respective owners That's where lowering and rappelling come in. 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. Material on GearLab is copyrighted. We would not use it to belay a second off the anchor from above. 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. If you want the most versatile option at a fantastic price, this is the one we recommend. 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 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. Bringing up two seconds on a direct 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. Compared to most devices, it is heavy and on the larger side, but not prohibitively so. 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. 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. We expect to see this device become significantly more popular in the near future, especially for gym climbing and single-pitch cragging. 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. Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. Once mastered, this method proves far easier, and safer, than lead belaying with a GriGri. The most important thing to consider is how easily and safely can I feed slack without the device locking up? The difference in lowering/rappelling scores comes down to the smoothness of the action and the range it is good for. The Mega Jul is perfect for half ropes though. 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. 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. Edelrid Mega Jul Sport Belay Kit has been discontinued by Edelrid and is no longer available. If you're looking for the best value out there, we've picked out a few that we consider exceptional. This category measures and rates how easy it is to catch a fall with a belay device. 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. TECHNICAL INFORMATION. We hope the information provided has been helpful in your search. In top-rope mode, the cam grips far more tightly, while in lead mode, it allows for an easier time paying out slack. 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. 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. 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. 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. The assisted braking function which supports the braking force can be activated or disabled by an intelligent mechanism. 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. 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. Rappelling and lowering accidents are two of the most common types and are often easily preventable. The Mega Jul Sport is the sport climbing version of the award-winning Mega Jul. 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 most versatile ever 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. 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. WORK SAFETY. The Edelrid Eddy and Mad Rock Lifeguard have more friction, which makes it challenging to pay rope out quickly. 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. Searching for the best climbing belay device? 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. 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. ), so having a belay device that can handle these thin ropes certainly adds value. Belaying with the ClickUp+ on a peaceful afternoon in the sun at Smith Rock. The "passive" Mammut Smart 2.0 - this device creates a pinch on the rope by rotating when the climber falls. 717840006630. Non-Assisted-Braking Mode: We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. It has one of our favorite catches, and it engages fully even with lighter climbers. 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. 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. 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. 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. The Giga Jul is a standard and assisted braking tuber in one. 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. 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. Secondly, we assess for versatility, scoring models that can accommodate two ropes a bit higher. Be sure to pick up a tube-style device if you plan to rappel or multi-pitch climb. The function for the Mega Jul Sport is the same as the Mega Jul. The technique felt natural after a few pitches. SPORTS. Being incredibly lightweight, no moving parts, and very easy to use, the Mega Jul is my new assisted braking belay device of choice. 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. First released in 2017, the GriGri+ has several safety features not found on the standard GriGri, hopefully reducing the risk of belayer error accidents. 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. 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. 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. Both of the GriGris performed especially well in this regard, as did the Camp Matik. 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. 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. He has climbed large alpine routes and big walls all around the world, from Peru to Alaska to Mexico to the Alps. These devices were the; Edelrid Mega Jul, Black Diamond ATC Pilot, Mammut Smart and we also tried the auto-locking Beal Birdie. 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 Mega Jul is designed for ropes between 7.8 and 10.5 mm in diameter. The GriGri+, Camp Matik, and Edelrid Eddy all have anti-panic levers. Lowering was not intuitive, however, as testers had to reorient their hands and tilt the device back. 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. INSPECTION INSTRUCTION / SUMMARIES. Edelrid Mega Jul Sport: $36. 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. The Mega Jul being used for sport climbing, the Cornice, Cheedale. 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 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. Lowering a climber safely and smoothly to the ground with the anti-panic handle of the GriGri+. --The History of EDELRID-- EDELRID was founded by Julius EDELmann and Carl RIDder in 1863. 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. 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. Order-No. Some of the devices require being set up in a way that is not at all intuitive. Its smaller cousin is the Edelrid Micro Jul for skinny twin and half ropes from 6.9 to 8.0 mm. How can we improve GearLab? 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 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. 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. Those models are the ATC XP, ATC Guide, Verso, Reverso, Smart Alpine, and Giga and Mega Juls. The keeper cable is aided by a thumb hook that juts out from the brake side of the device. 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. 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! The final consideration for this metric is the range of rope diameters that a belay device is capable of gripping. 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. 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. The brake end must always be in control and lower than the climber end for the mechanism to engage. Next, consider what techniques you already know, or what techniques or resources you have for learning a new belay style. Got feedback? 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. For the passive devices, we like the Edelrid Mega Jul and the Mammut Smart 2.0 the best. They are also the easiest to learn how to use and are most climber's introduction into belaying. No matter which device you choose, it's important to tie a knot in the ends of the rope. 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. Firstly it handles the fat, fuzzy, semi-static TR ropes that Earth Treks uses better than the Mega Jul does. 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. 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 cam on the GriGri+ engages quickly and completely, rotating up to pinch the rope. 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. 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. It also comes with a price tag that you would expect from a complicated piece of engineering. I only tested ropes in the 9.1 to 9.8 mm range. If you pull back too far on the lever, the unit locks up. Rappelling is a pain. 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. 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. Let us know! Of course, we pretty much always belay up the second in auto-block mode. 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. MANUAL. 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+. 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. 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. 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. 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). The passive assisted devices have some of the poorest lowering action. The Mega Jul Sport takes double ropes, making it more versatile for rappelling and belaying with half or twin ropes. A new belay device can cost anywhere from the price of a case of beer up to the price of a new rope! With the GriGri+, the handle automatically disengages beyond a certain point, releasing the tension on the cam, and stopping the lower. 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. This model is also heavier and more expensive than the standard model. We saw the most consistently good performance from the tube devices, as well as the Wild Country Revo. 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. Consider these models only for single-pitch routes or multi-pitches in combination with a two-strand device. Which brings up another downside of the GriGri — proper and safe belay techniques can be challenging to learn and perfect. 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? So where does the Giga Jul fit into the range? 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. The primary difference is the support of a thicker rope. It lowers smoothly and jerk free, largely due to the absence of an anti-panic mechanism. BRAKINGASSIST TUBERS. 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. 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. It works, but to push up the end of the Mega Jul gets really exhausting really fast. Andy is a lifelong climber, with over 24 years of experience in all disciplines. For climbers on a budget, and especially those that like to do it all, our recommendation is the Black Diamond ATC Guide. GearLab is reader-supported. Like all climbing gear these days, belay devices are getting lighter and smaller. If you pull back too far or too quickly the device will stop lowering. Feeding slack is a category we include to measure each device's usefulness for belaying a lead climber. The first is that the handle has an anti-panic feature. Product Discontinued by Manufacturer. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. PRODUCT INFORMATION. Pull upwards, in the direction that a climber would, and the cam uses friction to automatically lock up. When lowering a climber, the belayer uses a lever-arm handle to release the grip on the rope. 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. This review is led by Andy Wellman, a Senior Reviewer at OutdoorGearLab since 2014. 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." 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. Super lightweight, assisted braking, guide mode belay option, Stainless Steel vs Aluminum construction, and very affordable pricing make this thing a winner.
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