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Metolius Rope Ranger Review

   

Rope Bags

  • Currently 5.0/5
Overall avg rating 5.0 of 5 based on 3 reviews. Most recent review: November 22, 2010
Street Price:   $45
Pros:  Biggest tarp in the review, compressible, can fit a lot of things
Cons:  Doesn't roll up quite as well as other models
Best Uses:  Sport Climbing, Cragging
User Rating:     
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 (5.0 of 5) based on 2 reviews
Recommendations:  100% of reviewers (2/2) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Metolius
Review by: Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ October 25, 2010  
Overview
Discontinued Product
Metolius has replaced the Rope Ranger with the Metolius Vortex which looses one of the backpack straps but gains two trap handles, a rope ID window and a larger tarp. Metolius also recently updated the Ropemaster rope bag with the bigger Ropemaster HC which now has the largest capacity in their rope bag line. The Vortex retails for $50 which is $5 more than the Rope Ranger. The HC retails for $40 which is the same as the original version. Also check out our Top Pick award winner the Metolius Porta Cord and our complete Rope Bag Review to see how the Ranger compares to all of the other products that we've tested.

The Metolius Rope Ranger is the big brother to the Metolius Ropemaster. They are nearly the same size with the Rope Ranger being 100 cubic inches bigger, a difference we hardly noticed. They both have a super spacious 4x5-foot tarp that are the largest in the review. Both are among the more compressible bags we tested, ideal for climbers who often carry their rope bag in their pack. The difference between them is the Rope Ranger features two shoulder straps and a side pocket and as a result is $ more. The second shoulder strap can make the Rope Ranger a great half-day sport climbing pack as long as the approach isn't too far nor do you need to bring too much.

The Metolius Rope Ranger was our OutdoorGearLab Editors' Choice because it had the largest tarp in the review, was one of the easier rope bags to pack, we could carry it over our shoulder or in backpack mode and it even had a little pocket for smaller items. Plus it had a bunch of sweet little features like a window to see what rope you packed, four places to tie the end of your rope to and unbreakable metal buckles. All and all a great rope bag that will last most people the rest of their lives. The Rope Ranger excels for climbers looking for a more compressible rope bag to fit into their larger climbing pack for longer approaches. If you love to dump everything in your rope bag, then the Super Slacker or the Black Diamond Super Chute might be better options.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Likes
We really liked the big tarp of the Metolius Rope Ranger, a 4x5-foot tarp which ties for the largest size in the review. It is super nice for capturing pulled lines and is comfortable to flake our rope out onto. The Metolius Rope Ranger is the third easiest to roll up the Black Diamond Super Chute and the BD Super Slacker each requiring a bit less effort. The Rope Ranger is a little less demanding than the Metolius Porta-Cord or Arc'teryx Pali when it came to moving our rope to the next route. While the Arc'teryx Pali is a smaller unit, the Rope Ranger is the most compressible rope bag in the review. Making it a sweet choice for climbers who often end up putting their rope bag in their backpack. Also, the Rope Ranger is one of the better rope bags to be carried on its own. Sporting two shoulder straps it can be be worn like a backpack or carried with one strap over the shoulder. It scored second best, behind only the even more backpack-like design of the Metolius Porta-Cord. We still don't think its comfortable enough for approaches greater than 30-plus minutes in backpack mode or 20 minutes in over-the-shoulder mode. For most hikes longer than that we'd throw it in a backpack. When using a single shoulder strap it did as well as any other rope bag we reviewed. We also like how much we could fit in the Rope Ranger. It easily fits a 70m rope and 15 quick draws plus a few smaller items like a guide book (Yosemite Valley Free Climbs easily fits in with a rope) or a pair of rock shoes. The only rope bags that could carry more stuff is the Black Diamond Super Chute and the BD Super Slacker. The Rope Ranger features a small pocket on the side that is great for keys, cell phones, headlamp or a small wallet. The clear window on the top of the bag enables you to see which rope is inside. We also like the lifetime guaranteed "unbreakable" buckles. They are easy to clip and un-clip while never seeming to come undone unexpectedly. Another nice feature is having four small color-coded loops to tie the ends of your rope to.

Dislikes
There isn't a whole lot we didn't like. It wasn't quite as easy to roll up as the Super Chute or Super Slacker but it made up by being more packable. We also never used the tarp pocket and didn't see why it needed to be there.

Value
The Rope Ranger is third most expensive rope bag in the review. It has a few extra features compared with most of the other $40 "Burrito style" rope bags we tested, like two shoulder straps and a small pocket.

Ian Nicholson

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: November 22, 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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   Nov 22, 2010 - 10:46am
JasonB · Climber · Seattle, WA
I bought this bag a year ago and love it. It compresses my rope down small enough to throw in my backpack for longer approaches or ones where i might need to use my hands and don't want to carry it around my shoulders but also has the two shoulder straps giving it the possibitlity to carry it as a backpack. There is enough room even after my 60 meter rope for a layer, water bottle, and some snacks for a day at the crags so you can get away walking to the crags with nothing else.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Nov 21, 2010 - 01:02pm
Redstone · Climber · Seattle
While this wasn't the cheapest bag out there the size and double straps where what sold me on this bag over some of the others here. for some longer days in areas like Smith Rock single straps suck. I am quite happy with it. Thanks for the comparisons guys, its nice to get some validation for my $45!

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Metolius Rope Master
Credit: Metolius Website
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