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Yates Big Wall Rack Review

   
Editors' Choice Award

Big Wall Gear Sling

  • Currently 5.0/5
Overall avg rating 5.0 of 5 based on 3 reviews. Most recent review: February 12, 2010
Street Price:   $92
Pros:  Comfortable, many gear loops.
Cons:  Heavy, expensive.
Best Uses:  Big wall climbing, aid climbing.
User Rating:     
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 (5.0 of 5) based on 2 reviews
Recommendations:  100% of reviewers (2/2) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Yates
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ February 12, 2010  
Overview
This is currently our favorite big wall gear sling. It has gear loops in all the right places and and can comfortably handle big loads. It is also the most adjustable of any gear sling and comes in many sizes.

If you do a ton of big walls this is the gear sling to get. It is the most comfortable, durable, and functional sling there is. If you are on a budget, a great gear sling that is light and functional is the Fish Double Gear Sling ($46). If you are only going to do a few clean walls, you can get by with the Black Diamond Zodiac Gear Sling (only $30). However, by the lack of multiple gear loops on each side, the Zodiac is not designed for nailing routes or big wall routes that require a big rack. Overall, the Yates big wall rack is the most beefy, comfy, and durable gear sling out there. It's no surprise it's what you see most Yosemite big wall addicts purchasing these days.

This product is not available at any major retailers, it is only available from Yatesgear.com. Check out all of our other big wall slings in our reviews for The Best Big Wall Gear Sling.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Likes
This is the most comfortable gear sling because of its generous shoulder padding and ease of adjustment. I am not sure how important the padding is on the sides, but it seems to add to the comfort. What sets this gear sling apart are the multiple gear loops. There is a big one low for the bulk of the gear you use often: carabiners, cams, etc. There are also higher sub gear loops that help organize miscellaneous stuff such as rivet hangers and tie offs. This gives a lot of options for racking your big wall gear.

This gear sling comes with a full strength chest harness. While some will appreciate this, I have never found a chest harness to be necessary (except for The Porch Swing). I would not mind if the chest harness part had fewer buckles so there was less bulk and it was faster to get on and off.

Dislikes
Other than lowering the price, my only wish is that they had a slightly lighter, more streamlined version. My dream version would be to lose a few adjustment buckles in the front and have just two gear loops on each side for racking gear instead of the current three. But that is just personal preference and I am admittedly a little picky and weight obsessed.

Value
At $92 this is by far the most expensive big wall gear sling but it has a lot of features that come with the price. If you do a lot of serious big walls this is worth every penny.

Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: February 12, 2010
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (5.0)

100% of 2 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 100%  (3)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 2 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Feb 4, 2010 - 02:46pm
David · Climber · San Rafael, CA
I've used this sling/harness on about a dozen long aid routes and have zero complaints. It's bomber construction and mine still shows few signs of major wear. It would be overkill for a route that is primarily free climbing but if you're carrying a big heavy aid rack it's awesome! It effectively distributes the weight of a heavy rack to your shoulders with out shifting dramatically as you move. It allows you to keep your gear organized and out of the way of your daisys. It might seem pricey but if it can help minimize energy drain and keep you fresh over the course of a multi-day climb it's worth every penny.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Feb 3, 2010 - 10:09am
xtrmecat · Climber · Kalispell, Montanagonia
This is the unit I replaced my Metolious with, and have not been sorry either. It is plenty big, and so is the rack it carries. It does this comfortably, too. I solo a lot, and tagging a subrack is sometimes problematic, so most of the time I just tool up and take the kitchen sink, and this baby is comfortable, all day long, in overloaded mode.
The other item I like about it is the full strength chest strap. It is a great place to stash a "quick grab" piece that seems to get repeatedly backcleaned on a pitch, and again I solo a lot, so the chest harness is great for holding my belay device in the correct orientation. It also has ample shoulder mounting loops, or tiny loops on the shoulder that I use to mount problematic or fragile gear to. Like my point and shoot camera rides on the left shoulder, and a couple frequently used hooks that are too grabby down lower, so they ride up high here too. These also make it nice when bivy time, the rack hangs nicely by them and spreads out without fouling poeces by always keeping things oriented upright.
I can only compare to the Met unit, as it is the only other one I have used/owned, and the Yates is in a league of it's own. These two do not have anything in common. If faced with a repeat purchase, Yates or the Fish unit for sure.

Bob

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Yates Big Wall Rack Double Gear sling
Credit: www.yatesgear.com
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