First Look Gear Review

Metolius Bomb Shelter Double Ledge Review

   

Portaledge

  • Currently 4.4/5
Overall avg rating 4.4 of 5 based on 9 reviews. Most recent review: February 13, 2012
Street Price:   $750 | Compare prices at 2 resellers
User Rating:     
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 (4.8 of 5) based on 8 reviews
Recommendations:  100% of reviewers (5/5) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Metolius
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ February 6, 2010  
Overview
Metolius has designed the Bomb Shelter to offer a unique combination of strength and size. Coming in at just under 14 pounds for the double ledge, it is 30 percent lighter than the storm-tested Black Diamond Cliff Cabana Double Portaledge and about 30 percent heaver than the Fish Double Whammy Ledge. I love the Black Diamond ledge for burlyness, but its weight is a significant minus for many less-than-vertical big walls. While the Metolius offers a little lighter weight, does it offer a robust enough design to live up to its name? And is 14 pounds really all that light? I am curious to find out. So far I have only put this together a few times and while the ledge is burly, it is definitely a pain to attach the spreader bar. I even have a friend who got a minor shoulder injury trying to deal with the spreader bar. Hopefully it will get easier once I spend more time with the ledge.

We haven't tested it hands-on ourselves, so we are looking for OutdoorGearLab users to provide some review commentary from actual big wall experience. Post up!

If I was buying a ledge today, I would go with the Runout Customs Double Portaledge because it is just over 9 pounds and really fast to set up.
Chris McNamara


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Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: February 13, 2012
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (4.8)

100% of 5 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
5 Total Ratings
5 star: 60%  (3)
4 star: 40%  (2)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
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   Feb 13, 2012 - 11:07am
Mark Hudon · Climber · Hood River, OR
You'll use the middle fin only when you're sleeping.
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Feb 13, 2012 - 08:42am
 
Given the small living space when up on the wall, I was wondering if anyone felt that the large fin in the middle of the bomb shelter cramped your already cramped space. I think it would make lounging perpendicular to the wall with your partner (during meals, "bs"ing, ect) more difficult. Any thoughts?
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   Mar 15, 2011 - 01:12am
YetAnotherDave · Climber · Vancouver, BC
I've never had any trouble setting the ledge up solo, but I'm 6' and 195 lbs so I've got lots of leverage. You do need to make sure to cinch the ends tight, otherwise standing in the middle of the ledge might pop the spreader bar, but I've never felt it while sleeping. The ledge bag is a bit flimsy tho, I lined mine with plastic.

And the fin makes a good backrest when relaxing with a beer!

Edit: I second Mark's recommendation for a mark on the ledge straps - a sharpie on the grey set is enough. I also marked the wall-side of the fly's top clip-in point.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Mar 13, 2011 - 02:05pm
Mark Hudon · Climber · Hood River, OR
When John and I had to deploy the fly this fall on the Shield, we originally had the ledge hanging quite low. We had to raise it almost a foot to get it into the reinforced part of the fly. Later, we dropped the ledge a bit to get it to tighten up the fly and stop it from flapping. Where we were was a bit overhanging so the fin wasn't leaning too far to the inside, I can see a problem if the rock had been lower angle though.
There ought to be marks on the inside straps to indicate how high the ledge should be so that it fits correctly under the fly. That would be trick.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Mar 13, 2011 - 12:41pm
Hoots · Climber · Toyota Tacoma
As mentioned above, this ledge is bomber, easy to set-up once you have figured out a trick like Mark did, and really comfortable. I like it much more than the newer BD double that I recently borrowed, which is WAY heavier and has tons of unneeded bells and whistles.

A word about the fly though- it seems that to properly secure the corners of the fly underneath the ledge for a good, weatherproof seal, you must raise up the ledge towards the anchor really far. Far enough that whoever is on the wall side berth has the center fin right over their face, and the lege being that high become a bit more unstable. The BD fly was cut much more generously, which is the only preference I have to that one.

Or am I just a moron doing something wrong?!

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jun 29, 2010 - 02:17pm
Mark Hudon · Climber · Hood River, OR
I recently used my technique described below on my 11 night Grape Race/Tribal Rite solo and it worked like a dream!

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Apr 13, 2010 - 02:50pm
Mark Hudon · Climber · Hood River, OR
A Nifty Trick to setting the Spreader Bar.

I haven't actually done this on a rock wall yet, I've done it three times on an indoor climbing wall.

Take a hero loop type sling and girth hitch it to the middle of the outside edge of the ledge. Fit the inside legs together and then fit the outside legs together. Move up a few feet and clip the girth hitched sling to somewhere on the anchor so that the inside pole hangs free. The unassembled ledge should now be hanging flat against the wall. Grab the spreader bar and fit it onto the wall (now the lower) pole. Put some weight on the pole with your foot, give it a little bounce and pop the top of the spreader bar into the outside pole. Voila! It's in there! I weigh only 125 pounds and it takes me no effort at all to set the spreader bar this way.

With the ledge still flat against the wall, swing over left, set the left end pole, swing over right, set the right end pole. Unclip the girth hitched sling, flop the ledge down, tighten the end straps, adjust the hanging straps, hop in and pop yourself a beer!

To Dis-assemble the ledge, flip the ledge up and hang it from the sling again, take the end poles out, pop some weight on the lower pole and pop out the spreader and Ta Da! Fold it up and you're done.

Easy Peasy.
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   Feb 8, 2010 - 10:34pm
piglicker · Climber · Guido's Pizza
Used this on 3 walls: Lunar Ecstasy (my wife's first wall), Zodiac and the Nose. The open corners makes putting this ledge together a snap. It is as easy to set up as any of the 6 point suspension ledges on the market. My 15 years old A5 single, with its 4 point suspension, is easier to ensure that it doesn't end up with weird twists in the suspension. A discipline of pulling the end suspension straps all the way tight when bagging it has all but eliminated the risk of a tangle (which I did have to thrash through one evening on the Zodiac, but the cause was clearly pilot error, not a flaw in the ledge design).

The middle spreader crossbar is really excellent at maintaining the width of the ledge when it is loaded. This ledge won't hourglass at all like other ledges do, which is a serious source of lost ledge area.

I struggle to think of any negative feedback on this ledge.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Metolius Bomb Shelter Double Ledge
Credit: Chris McNamara
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