Hands-on Gear Review

Metolius Eco Ball Review

Metolius Eco Ball
Top Pick Award
Price:  $4 List | $2.96 at Backcountry
Pros:  Non-marking, Good Absorption, Good Friction
Cons:  Ball is giant, Not refillable, Expensive
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Metolius

Our Verdict

We appreciate that with the Metolius Eco Ball there is a non-marking substitute for climbing chalk, allowing us to dampen our impact on the beautiful places we love to climb. We really appreciate that Metolius did such a good job with it too. The Eco Ball was a top performer in all our tests, outperforming even the Metolius Super Chalk and the Metolius Chalk Sock. The Eco-ball is very effective in absorbing excess moisture, and provides great friction. The only drawbacks are that the ball isnt refillable, and that it costs a fair amount. If youre looking to save some coin, want a top performing chalk, and arent climbing in a chalk mark sensitive area, go for the Black Diamond White Gold. If you really just want to save money, go with the Gym Chalk which scored about as well but is a quarter the cost.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Climbing Chalk Review

Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Robert Beno

Last Updated:
Friday
September 24, 2010

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Likes


Metolius created the Eco Ball as a non-marking substitute to traditional climbing chalk for climbing in areas where white chalk marks on the rock will mar the natural look of the rock. The Eco Ball looks and feels like a standard chalk sock (except its blue) but the powder inside goes on virtually clear and leaves no visible marks on the rock.

When tested, we found that the Eco Ball performed very well. The chalk substitute is very effective at drying your hands, and it stays on your hands for good amount of time, limiting the number of times you have to reach into the ol chalk bag. The powder in the ball feels like traditional chalk and provided ample friction for our sweaty palms.

Dislikes


The biggest drawback to the Eco Ball is that the ball itself is massive! You have to have a pretty good sized chalk bag to make this big boy effective to use. We would also like it more if the ball was refillable and the powder was available in bulk. At $4 a piece, buying new Eco-balls each time you run out could quickly accumulate a pretty hefty cost.

Best Applications


The Ecoball is intended for use in areas where white chalk marks on the rock will detract from the natural beauty of the area, but it is equally effective in any and all rock climbing applications, and wont leave a mark anywhere.
Robert Beno


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Most recent review: May 30, 2013
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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 (1.0)

0% of 1 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 50%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 50%  (1)
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   May 30, 2013 - 03:56pm
Danny
After months using the neroli us ecoball at my local gym, I've grown tired of their ridiculous no real chalk policy. The Eco ball is sub par at best. It defeats the purpose of chalk, encouraging your palms and fingers to swear and merely mixing with the sweat and pulling up, creating an almost more slippery fluid than sweat. It's a pain to get off of holds, and makes them slippery quick. If anyone ever recommends this over real chalk, they couldn't have ever used it for any kind of serious climbing. It works fine when you're climbing several grades below your ability level, but it still leaves your hands feeling disgusting, and your skin cracking. I'd give this stuff 0 stars if I could.
I may sound a bit too harsh, but I promise to you, I'm not exaggerating.
DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT. metolius's super chalk is a much better investment.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.


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