If you have been reading our 5c Climbers blogs, you would have noticed that we talked a fair bit about belaying devices. We had talked about gyms implementing verification tests and the compulsory use of ABDs. There had been a number of articles on ABDs. None of the ABDs featured had tickled my fancy. With newer and fancier devices appearing in the market I should talk about my favourite ABD. Just to re-emphasize. This article is not sponsored by any equipment manufacturers or retail stores.
Edelrid Mega Jul
The ABD that I personally use and happily paid for without any complaint is the Ederid Mega Jul. It had been on the market for….. I don’t know how long. I’m not bothering myself to find out when it was launched. If you have a habit of reading belay device reviews for some weird reason Gri Gri is always ranked first or top 3. Mega Jul is hardly considered the best belay device. However, if you are sold on GriGri or other overprice ABDs I would like to change your mind.
If we are strictly talking about belaying. Then Mega Jul is not the smoothest belaying device out there. It may take you some time to get used to it. When you do get a hang of it, it is a device that is easy to use, and most importantly it can do everything. And I mean everything.
Check out the online prices of the Edelrid Mega Jul Belay Device from our affiliate partners on our 5C store.
Pros of Mega Jul
Ederid Mega Jul can be:
- Used as a normal tubular belay device
- Abseil with 1 or 2 ropes
- Abseil as a normal tubular or an ABD
- Guide mode available (belay top down on muli-pitch)
- One of the smallest and lightest ABD in the market
- Durable as it is made of stainless steel
Why buy an ABD that you can only use for belaying or abseil on a single rope. Yes, there are many ABDs that are foolproof with fancy features that prevent accidents from happening if an inexperienced belayer is using them. Even if you just started climbing, how long are you going to be an idiotic belayer that will drop your climber? Not long I hope. What you want is a device that you can use throughout your climbing “career”. One that you can use in the gym and as an ABD or even a regular tubular belay device if you are old school. As you progress to outdoor climbing, you will need to belay from the top if you are climbing multi-pitch and abseil on 2 ropes which you can’t do with most mechanical ABDs. Being one of the smallest and lightest ABD, it is a great device to carry on a long multi-pitch climb.
Cons of Mega Jul
I had used and test quite a number of ABDs and there are definitely better devices that can do specific things very well. However, none can do everything. Just to be unbiased, there are a few things that I don’t like about the device.
Some negative feedbacks regarding Mega Jul are:
- Rope jam occasionally when paying out slack (easily rectified with a little practice)
- Lowering of a climbing can be jerky (but the same can be said about all ABDs when you just started using them)
- Mega Jul will cause scratch marks on your allow carabiner because Mega July is made of steel which is harder than allow
- Hard to insert rope into the device especially if you are using a rope with a diameter of more than 10mm
The belay device that does it all
Mega Jul is definitely not the best device for belaying. If you are new to climbing. Instead of buying a device that is solely good for belaying think of what else you might like to do and buy a belay device that can meet your every climbing needs.