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Edelrid Mega Jul - yay or nay?

Original Post
Paul Deger · · Colorado · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 35

In the past, I overlooked the Mega Jul as just some skinny funky tuber, until reading about it in another thread (The Deadly ATC). I am a long-time ATC user, now curious about switching over to the Mega Jul that appears to merge the benefits of ATC and auto-locking devices. I am curious to hear pros/cons from out on the rock.

Zacks · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 15

I really like my mega jul, some people love em some hate em, way cheaper than a grigri, has a guide mode, can rap with.

rapping in locking mode sucks, try it once realize it sucks and rap in regular tube mode.

some people can get confused trying to set up guide mode, its a little funky

not as solid/reliable of a lock as a grigri (but way cheaper and lighter ect) that being said mines done and awesome job locking up on surprise falls ect, i often catch a fall and then look down and of course have my brake hand on, but there is still a few inches of slack between my brake hand and the locked device. Sometimes it can slip and slowly lower your climber if you don't brake a little. To me this is not a safety issue as a slow lower will not cause an injury.

there are a couple threads arguing about the megajul if you look around.

If you are fortunate enough to have a friend with one, borrow it and try it out, form your own opinion.

Benjamin Chapman · · Small Town, USA · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 13,342 the Edelrid Mega Jul. Such an awesome, light, fun, assisted braking belay device.

LLubchenco · · Lander, wy · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 25

I'm in the yay category as well. My advice to people is to use it consistently for 3 weeks. I was turned off at first, but now I use my gri-gri for sport, and the megajul as a backup/multipitch/trad device and short roping is largely a thing of the past. If your atc is getting worn, give the mega a try.

BigB · · Red Rock, NV · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 340

Luv mine! So light you can carry a spare and still be lighter than a single atc, let alone a gri/atc combo...
As far as the auto lock rap feature goes, I believe you have to use it a few times to get the hang of it...I use mine in that mode all the time in red rock when untangling ropes.
The one caveat is... make sure and get a compatible biner for it!

Joseph Aja · · Flower Mound, Texas · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 155

I love my Mega Jul! It is super intuitive and while it is not technically an auto-locking device, I fully trust that it would brake were I to lose control of the rope for some extreme reason. The two things that take some getting used to would have to be rappelling and using the Mega Jul in guide mode. As far as rappelling goes, it is great to use as it will catch you if totally necessary but it can be quite exhausting since you have to lift the thumb catch to descend (it can always be flipped to act as a normal ATC). I find the Mega Jul to be slightly more difficult to pull in rope than say with a grigri when belaying from above. Other than these two things, I have nothing but great things to say about the Mega Jul.

Ronald Beimel · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0

I have been using one for a couple months now, and so here are my pros and cons:

  • Pros*
-Made of steel so doesn't contribute to the black aluminum dust on your ropes
-Assisted braking works good enough for me
-Similar to use compared to ATC guide

  • Cons*
-Hard to lower smoothly with it
-On certain ropes when rappelling I have to really feed it the rope (I have only rappelled with it flipped so that it doesn't lock)

Overall I like it, but I wish it lowered more smoothly. Also, it doesn't lock quite as automatically as a grigri in my experience, but still the fact that it locks at all is an improvement over an ATC.
Colonel Mustard · · Sacramento, CA · Joined Sep 2005 · Points: 1,180

I'll sell you mine for $20, lol!

But seriously, I will.

Used once to rap. Did not like. I found the device a little counter intuitive, per belay instructions from Edelrid and decided I'd rather double down on ATC style devices and the grigri instead of ingraining new habits. The rap was not fun.

But people who love them seem to really love them and they sound great on paper, I'm probably the problem.

So, yeah, $20, used once, I'll pay the shipping if it's domestic.

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456

Get the alpine smart. It's slightly bigger and heavier than the mega jul but it works significantly better when paying out slack and rapping in assisted braking mode. Also, with either device, a smooth round stock HMS biner will feed better.

Firestone · · California · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 449

Great little device. It works great for everything once you find it's sweet spot. People say it is bad when rappeling and belaying in guide mode. In both cases I have found it works great. Rapping in autolock mode takes just the right touch and guide mode needs to be set high enough with the right rope and then it's butter.

I use my grigri for almost everything now but the megajul is still great.

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348

The Mega Jul is the worst belay device I've ever used, and I've at least tried most of them. The thing works okay for belaying on thin skinny single ropes, but for everything else it sucks beyond belief. I remember once using it to do a double rope rap on a 9.8mm. It had two modes--free fall and dead stop. Rappelling with it was basically an operation of taking 70 mini falls until I reached the next set of anchors. It was a total shitshow, and at the end my thumb was pumped from trying to get the thing to stay unlocked so I could move down. When it came time to simulrap with my 9.4mm rope, it hardly locked at all. I would stop on the rope, loosen my grip and the thing turned into an ATC as I just slid down the rope with the device supposedly locked. Also worth noting is that it ripped a nice chunk of the sheath fibers from my rope, bundling them up nicely at the end of the device when I reached the bottom of every rap. Even though I got my Mega Jul for free, I still feel like I got ripped off. A much better option is the Mammut Smart which costs about the same but works far better.

djh860 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 110

Yay but you really have to learn to lead belay with these. Lift firmly the front handle/loop before you pay out rope. Rapel with the device backwards .

Gabe Schwartz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 0

I have one and hate it. I might not tried using it long enough for it to impress me, but everything about it seemed difficult. I had trouble feeding rope. I had trouble lowering someone smoothly. The motions didn't feel natural/intuitive to me, so I threw it back in the bag. I climb with a bunch of people who love it though, so I appear to be in the minority.

~ Gabe

Climbinghorst · · Pergine · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 70

djh860 is absolutely right.
I love mine for belaying, but you have to get used to the handling. Especially using it together with my half ropes (Edelrid Apus 7.9mm) it works just fantastic, a bit less with my elderly Mammut Vertex 10mm.
For abseil I avoid using it in blocking mode, it's not working properly, but that doesen't matter, you can turn it around and use it as a normal tube.
In any case, it's not been destroying any rope so far in no position.
But I like and use it be it sports, trad or alpine routes, it's half as heavy as the Smart Alpine, and using it from the central point, not from the body it's not gonna rip out any anchors, as it is not keeping the automatic blocking above a certain amount of force.

Pavel Burov · · Russia · Joined May 2013 · Points: 50
djh860 wrote:Rapel with the device backwards .
A big no-no on long rappels. If you miss the next rappel station in this mode you are in trouble. It will lock up as you try to progress up.

For smooth rappel with Mega Jul use two HMS binners (note! This is not recommended by Edelrid, use at your own risk), it will act like any "ordinary" tube style device.
Pavel Burov · · Russia · Joined May 2013 · Points: 50
Climbinghorst wrote:For abseil I avoid using it in blocking mode, it's not working properly, but that doesen't matter, you can turn it around and use it as a normal tube.
Nope. It is not "as a normal tube" because it will lock up when trying to progress up (e.g., missing the next rappel station or need to reach that flake has eaten yer rope).

For smooth rappels with Mega Jul use two HMS (not recommended by Edelrid, use at your own risk) + autoblock or use Edelrid Pure or Petzl Spirit binner as a handle (recommended by Edelrid, although the learning curve to get into it is kinda steep).
Climbinghorst · · Pergine · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 70

I've never been progressing with the abseil-device in place, so never had the problem.
Edelrid's handle idea has been nice, but in reality it doesn't work so well (for me), abseil in blocking mode remains kind of jerky.

patto · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 25
Pavel Burov wrote: A big no-no on long rappels. If you miss the next rappel station in this mode you are in trouble. It will lock up as you try to progress up.
That is a deal breaker for me. If I can't ascend my rappel easily then that isn't a device for me. Full control of a rappel is important.
BigB · · Red Rock, NV · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 340

If you use it in lock mode on rappel... you can ascend the rope safely and easily

patto · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 25
BigB wrote:If you use it in lock mode on rappel... you can ascend the rope safely and easily
But then I need two hands to descend.... Something I don't on an ATC.
RobG814 · · Wilmington, NC · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 335

What biners are most people using with their Mega Jul?

I've been using a BD Rocklock and it works great. It takes a little to get used to but once you find the sweet spot it's nice and smooth. I have tried other biners and it was really jerky so I'm willing to bet people that didn't like it didn't try many options. The Rocklock has rounded edges which seems to work better than harder edges such as a Petzl Attache. I have been using it on ropes from 9.8 to 10.2 and have no complaints. It's not as smooth as an ATC but it's cheap, simple and locks up nice.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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