The break-assist Edelrid Jul 2 is a single tubular belay device designed for beginners, gym climbers and single-pitch climbers. Made with a stainless steel core that will last years and won’t heat up like other belay devices.
The German Alpine Club did a number of studies over a few seasons and concluded that brake-assist devices are safer than standard tube-style ATC devices. We took it out single-pitch sport climbing and to the climbing gym to see how it handled. We immediately noticed the Jul 2 works great with thicker gym-style ropes with its wider rope slots. It is built to handle ropes from 8.4mm to 11mm and weighs 87 grams, which makes it lighter than mechanical belay devices.
Instead of locking up like a GriGri, the Jul 2 acts as a brake boost. The climber must still apply force with their brake hand, but far less than with other tubular devices. The gradual braking allows for a more dynamic catch and therefore softer fall. Unlike auto-locking devices, the Jul 2 teaches climbers to never let go of the rope. A great skill for beginners to learn. Watch this short clip that demonstrates how to use the Jul 2:
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The built-in thumb loop can be used to feed slack. Belayers can also feed slack with the Jul 2 like other belay devices. To lower a climber, you simply lift the thumb loop to release tension. Like other single slot devices, the Jul 2 is meant for single-pitch climbing (climbers want devices that can be used for rappelling on multi-pitch routes). For multi-pitch routes, check out the Edelrid Mega Jul.
With winter closing in, it’s time to start thinking about your gym climbing equipment. At only $35, the Jul 2 is a top choice for anyone climbing indoors this season. Find it at MEC here.