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Metolius Big Wall Gear Sling Review

   

Big Wall Gear Sling

  • Currently 2.6/5
Overall avg rating 2.6 of 5 based on 5 reviews. Most recent review: March 7, 2013
Street Price:   Varies from $36 - $45 | Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Light and comfy, hydration pack option, adjustable.
Cons:  Only two gear loops.
Best Uses:  Grade V clean aid big walls.
User Rating:     
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 (2.3 of 5) based on 4 reviews
Recommendations:  50% of reviewers (2/4) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Metolius Climbing
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ February 3, 2010  
Overview
This is one of the few gear slings to have an insulated pouch for a hydration system. This is handy if you don't mind using a very small hydration bladder (you have to provide your own). Otherwise, it is a handy pouch and does not add much weight. The gear sling is solid and comfy. It is burlier than the Black Diamond Zodiac but not as burly as the Fish Double Gear Sling or Yates Big Wall Rack.

Also, it has only one gear loop on each side so it is better for Grade V clean aid routes and not ideal for Grade VI nail-ups. The clip on the front is easy to get on and off and both the sternum strap and the length of the gear loops are fully adjustable. There is also a multi loop version of this gear sling but we would never take the multi-loop version on a big wall or any climb.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Likes
This has a lot of innovative features not found on other gear slings. There is a generous insulated pouch on the back that can hold a very small hydration pack (you have to provide your own). The gear loops themselves are adjustable; something no other gear sling has. There are a ton of places to clip things on the front (a pro and a con). The front buckle is very quick to get on and off.

Dislikes
The main dislike is there is only one gear loop on each side. That is okay for Grade V walls but not ideal for Grade V nail-ups. We also wish there was a bigger tab on the top to clip the gear sling to the anchor. The current tab is small and tricky to clip when you are holding the entire loaded-up rack in one hand and don't want to drop it.

Value
This is a good value if you like the hydration pocket feature and extra durability over the Black Diamond Zodiac. Otherwise, if you are looking to save pennies the Zodiac is not as highly rated but is light and 50 percent cheaper.

Best Application
This is ideal for Grade V clean aid walls. Once you get a heavy pin rack involved, this is not the best gear sling.

Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: March 7, 2013
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (2.3)

50% of 4 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
5 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 60%  (3)
2 star: 20%  (1)
1 star: 20%  (1)
Sort 4 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Mar 7, 2013 - 05:13pm
pisces · Climber · Australia
A problem I had with this sling is that when loaded with water (even though it only holds less than a litre) the weight pulls the pouch down and the sling rotates backwards, with the result that the chest strap jams up against my throat. Also, the racked gear tends to slide back behind my body. With a single gear sling when this happens I just swing the whole mess to the front to select the piece I am looking for, but because the metolius has the sling attached to the pouch at the back, this movement is to some degree inhibited so it is harder to see the racked gear for piece selection.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Mar 10, 2010 - 01:41am
le_bruce · Climber · Oakland, CA
Only wish the pocket on the back were a little larger to hold a 2L hydration sack. Too bulky for me on free climbs, but has worked great with clean aid racks.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Feb 25, 2010 - 08:27pm
Mike. · Climber
A good piece of gear. Have used as a free climbing sling and as a light big wall gear sling. Also used for cleaning aid pitches and route maintenance. This rack often keeps me from using a pack, as it's very comfortable loaded up on the approach. I'm not wild about the poly tubing covering the slings, as it tends to slip a little and expose the inside nylon right at the front juncture where the clipping action happens.

I admit that I paid <$20 for mine; an extra good value.

elcap-pics's description of the buckle failure and subsequent rack dropping sounds like a worst-case scenario. Still, I would use and reco this unit. Having Fastex there is a really handy feature for quick changeover and removal. I would like to see something more bomber yet easily releasable--something I haven't seen from Met or any mfr for that matter.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Feb 22, 2010 - 06:45pm
elcap-pics · Climber · Crestline CA
Ok here is THE PROBLEM with this unit. The cheezy plastic buckle that holds the front together is not strong enough for the job. Recently on the Nose of ElCap a climber took about a 30 foot fall and fell upside down. When the impact came on his waist the stress on the wall sling harness was enough to break the plastic buckle and the entire rack slid off his arms and fell 2300 ft to the ground!!! It is not designed to be a chest harness and WAS NOT BEING USED AS ONE. Just the momentum of the rack itself was enough to break the buckle and with that the rack slid right off the climbers arms. I inspected the buckle in question and it just split in two. Until they do a better job on the buckle design, AND GET RID OF THE CHEAP PLASTIC, I would steer very clear of this item. Fortunately there was a team just below them and the rackless team was able to be salvaged off the route as a huge storm approached. Otherwise it is a good design.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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Metolius Big Wall Gear Sling
Metolius Big Wall Gear Sling
Credit: Metoliusclimbing.com
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