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Hands-on Gear Review
Metolius Sentinel Review
Cons: Expensive, not the most useful size for most walls.
The Sentinel is my favorite small haul pack. It is super bomber, has a great closure, and is relatively comfortable to carry. Its main competitor is the Black Diamond Stubby that costs $49 less. I prefer the Metolius because it is a little more burly, more waterproof, and makes a better travel pack/duffle bag alternative. That said, it is a lot of money. Another $25 gets you the much more versatile Quarter Dome and another $50 gets you a real haul bag like the Metolius Half Dome Haul Bag. That said, this is a great bag to have whether you are a big wall climber or just want a super bomber crag pack. If you can afford it, get it. If you are on a budget, there is more bang for your buck elsewhere.
Check out our article Haul Bag Buying Advice to read what is important to consider when buying a haul bag. See how this bag compared to others at our Haul Bag Review - The Best Bags for Big Wall Climbing
RELATED: Our complete review of haul bags
Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings
This bag stands out for is bomber qualities. It uses a welded seam that will not blow out until the rest of the bag falls apart (most haul bags use a sewn seam that is less durable). The material is the most bomber material we have seen on a bag. Not only does this material keep the bag from getting holes, it keeps it upright if you want to use it as a crag pack. It is this feature that makes small haul bags like this even better than many standard backpacks, which won't sit upright on their own.
It has nice compression straps across the top. They help you fit more in and also make the bag much better to travel with; you can compress it down and be sure it won't burst open mid-journey.
We like the short clip-in points. They stay out of the way when this bag is used as a backpack. While it does not have a river bag closure, it is still much more waterproof than similar-sized haul bags like the Black Diamond Stubby. We actually prefer this type of closure for this size of bag. It is really easy to access, both when on a wall or at the crag.
Like all haul packs, this does not breathe very well. Not a big deal if you are a wall climber. But it is something to consider if you are buying this mainly as a cragging pack. It is also not nearly as waterproof as a bag like the Metolius Half Dome that uses a river bag style closure.
This bag is both the most versatile size and the most unnecessary. It works great as a mini-haul bag, travel bag/duffel alternative, and cragging pack. At same time, it is a size too small to be used as a single haul bag on any wall you are going to bivy on.
This bag is expensive. For only another $50 you can get a full-size haul bag like the Metolius Half Dome Haul Bag. This bag is for people who plan to use it a ton as a haul pack or backpack. If that is what you are using it for, it is a great value considering that you can probably use it for decades.
— Chris McNamara
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: March 25, 2011
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