The Best Climbing Gear Sling

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Chris McNamara on the King Swing pitch of the Nose.
Credit: Lincoln Else
We picked up some of the top climbing gear slings and tested them head-to-head. We evaluated them on comfort, adjustability, organizing, ease of use, and bomberness.

Read the full review below >

Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab April 6, 2011

Top Ranked Gear Slings Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 << Previous | View All | Next >>
Our Ranking #1 #2 #3
Product Name
Metolius Adjustable Gear Sling
Metolius Adjustable Gear Sling
Read the Review
Video video review
Metolius Multi Loop Gear Sling
Metolius Multi Loop Gear Sling
Read the Review
Video video review
Black Diamond Padded Gear Sling
Black Diamond Padded Gear Sling
Read the Review
Editors' Awards  Editors' Choice Award     
Street Price Varies $24 - $26
Compare at 5 sellers
$24
Compare at 6 sellers
$20
Compare at 4 sellers
Overall Score 
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77
Editors' Rating
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1 rating
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78% recommend it (7/9)
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1 rating
Pros Comfortable, easy to get gear on and off.Comfortable, easy to get gear on and off.Burly, comfortable, convenient.
Cons Can't use as full strength runner.Can't use as full strength runner.Not widest padding.
Best Uses Trad climbing, multi-pitch climbing.Trad climbing, multi-pitch climbing.All around tradition climbing.
Date Reviewed Feb 09, 2010Mar 09, 2010Jan 19, 2010
Weighted Scores Metolius Adjustable Gear Sling Metolius Multi Loop Gear Sling Black Diamond Padded Gear Sling
Comfort - 30%
10
0
10
10
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10
10
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8
Adjustability - 20%
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8
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7
Organizing - 30%
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7
Ease Of Use - 10%
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6
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8
Bomberness - 10%
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10
Product Specs Metolius Adjustable Gear Sling Metolius Multi Loop Gear Sling Black Diamond Padded Gear Sling
Gear loops 1 4 1
Weight (grams) 119 125 108
Full strength? no no yes
Warranty 1 year 1 year 1 year

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review


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Comfort
Both the Metolius harnesses were the most comfortable. They have a nice fuzzy liner, just the right amount of padding, and an articulated fit. At the same time, they are streamlined – no big mushy padding here, just wide and dense foam that distributes the weight over a wide area. The Black Diamond is also comfortable, just not quite as much so.

Adjustability
Both slings are very adjustable. When the webbing is new they each can be adjusted in under a minute. As the slings get older and the webbing gets a little more fiesty, they can be a little harder to adjust. The Metolius has the advantage of having the webbing travel freely through the whole shoulder pad. This means no matter how big or small you adjust it, the zone you clip gear can stay right where you want it. The BD is a fixed piece of webbing. This is not a big deal if you are small or medium. But if you really extend it out to its max size, the clipping area no longer is centered.

Organizing
The Metolius Multi-loop gives you four options on where to clip gear. This always keeps the gear spread out – it won't clump up. That said, it requires a whole new style of racking that most people either love or hate. The Metolius Adjustable has just one loop but manages to keep the gear from clumping too much because of the wide plastic coating on the sling. It has more structure, which keeps the biners from mushing up.

Easy of Use
The Metolius Adjustable is the easiest to clip. It has a big plastic coated sling that is both easy to clip and unclip. The Multi Loop requires you to learn a whole new style or racking and is not that easy to use in. But if you love that new style of racking, you may find this is the way to go. The BD is a solid performer and easy to clip. That said, the webbing does not have much "structure" like the plastic-coated Metolius does. This means the gear clumps up more

Bomberness
The BD is the most bomber gear sling we have seen. It has giant beefy buckles and a design that should never wear out. It is also the only gear sling of the three that can be used as a full-strength runner. This is something most people won't use much, but when you run out of slings this feature often makes life very easy. For example, if there is just one last runnout slab section to the anchor and you are out of slings, you use you gear sling as your runner and climb light an unencumbered.

The Bottom Line
Our Editors' Choice goes to the Metolius Adjustable Gear Sling. It is comfy and easy to use, which is all you really need from a gear sling. If you are someone who loves the multi-loop racking system, then check out the Metolius Multi-Loop Gear Sling. The Black Diamond is a solid performer and if you already have it don't feel THAT compelled to upgrade to the Metolius. But if you are searching for a new gear sling, it is hard to beat the Metolius Adjustable.

Chris McNamara
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