Edelrid Mega Jul
Current Retail: $29.96-$51.71
Historic Range: $24.96-$68.95
Reviewers Paid: $25.00
This device does everything. I have not encountered a single situation in climbing that the Mega Jul could not handle smoothly and easily. It can and will replace basically anything else you currently use as a belay/rappel device.
- Needs a second carabiner to rappel smoothly
- Works badly with stiff/old ropes
EASE OF USE:
Everything that this device claims to do, it does. It is perfect for belaying a leader, feeding out rope effortlessly. When used for toproping, the tuber-mode is still smooth and just as simple as your ATC. Belaying a second is also very easy, and the diagrams on the side of the device allows for anyone to use it, even your partner who is new to the device.
That said, I would not recommend going out and relying entirely on this device without receiving some instruction online first. Though it is in no way complicated, it is different enough from a standard device to require some background instruction.
The Mega Jul has everything it needs to maximize its features, and nothing else. The tube openings are big enough for any standard rope and are very smooth; the large loop on top of the device is for belaying a second, and if you follow the simple instructions, this is effortless; the small loop on the nose of the device perfectly fits a keynose biner, and will make rappelling an easy task for you, as the auto-lock can be tricky otherwise; the large green thumb loop is comfortable and intuitive, at no point have I felt I needed belay gloves (though I never used them in the first place). I really can't think of any situation you may encounter in any type of climbing where this device would fall short.
CONSTRUCTION & DURABILITY:
Every component aside from the plastic thumb loop is steel, which will certainly last longer than the standard aluminum devices that are most common. So far mine has survived consistent use (3-4 times a week), and even the stickers on the side have lasted through a rough trip to Joshua Tree, with lots of scraping and scratching that hardly marred the surface.
I've used my Mega Jul for sport, trad, toproping, and multipitch climbs many times since I got it about three months ago. I've rappelled a good amount with it as well, and have seen no change in the quality and sturdiness of the device.
This is the best and most valuable piece of climbing gear I have purchased since my rope. I would definitely consider it an ideal addition to any gear rack.
I just encountered the first situation this device did not handle in spades. My friend has a stiff, well-used rope that we were using to get up a multipitch in Joshua Tree (Right On, for those curious), and I found the Mega Jul very difficult to use with the rope. So much so, I eventually just used my backup ATC instead.
The only issue was that the rope was not feeding smoothly through it, so it was just somewhat inefficient, not in any way dangerous. I still rapped with the Mega Jul, because it's just so darn nice.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $25
+ : Blocking device, comfortable in one-pitch routes and indoor
- : One more operation to do when belaying a second
- Blocking, really confident
- Blocking not perfect on thin new ropes
- One more operation to change the position of the rope when belaying a second
After a few days to get used to the blocking system, it is really great (the very first times, the lowering is a bit difficult and irregular). It is still possible to lower fast, and when rappelling, no more need of a Prussik.
Nice design and lightweight.
Seems quite solid even though lightweight. I am using it almost every day for three months and nothing to regret.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 30€