Setting with these holds was challenging on our 40 degree overhanging test wall. We set a good jug warm-up and two intermediate problems around V5 or V6, but the rest of the holds did not work well on such a steep angle. While setting, we also had some issues determining which holds take which bolts. This was the only set tested that used a mix of bolts, including what we call "Martini Bolts." These bolts are normally used for footholds and small, thin handholds, but it can be difficult to determine if the hold is meant to use a martini bolt or a regular one and requires some trial and error. Overall, these outdated shapes piqued our interest the least, and we had more fun trying out our Editors' Choice winner, the Atomik 60 pack, than this set.
Metolius Mega 50 pack Review
Cons: Outdated shapes, material and colors, spinning holds, no set screw holes, too much hardware to keep track of.
Our Analysis and Test Results
- 10 jugs
- 16 handholds
- 24 footholds
- Assorted hardware
When we went to put up this set on our test wall, we realized we were eight bolts short, just like the Metolius Wood 25 pack. These may have been isolated occurrences, but it is disheartening that both packs from this company were short on bolts. Perhaps they think that you will not put all the holds on your wall at the same time. There were four different sizes of screws to use for all the screw-on holds provided, as well as a wrench with two different sizes for each of the two different bolts used.
Variety of Holds
Variety of holds within a home wall package can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on what is included. In the case of the Metolius Mega 50 Pack, our testers felt this was a bad thing. There are ten different types of holds supplied in this package that used three different mechanisms of application to the wall. With all this variety, a lot of the holds were not usable on our testing angle. True, some of the holds could have been used for footholds, but we used the footholds provided for this purpose. In comparison, the So iLL Starter Kit Bolt-on 55 has less variety but really impressed our testers and won our Best Buy award.
Comfort / Texture
If holds are too grippy or tweaky on the tendons, then a training session doesn't last long. A lot of the holds in this set are just that, unfortunately. And the holds that were comfortable on the tendons tended to have texture that was a bit too rough. Some of the holds also seemed to have some sort of coating over the texture, which made them a bit more slippery. Slippery texture is not a good thing for skin preservation. A few of the bolt-on crimp holds were great though and reminded us of the So iLL Starter Kit crimps.
This set of holds seems to be put together for a multiple angled wall. There is actually one hold that is supposed to be screwed into an arete to imitate a tufa style pinch pocket. The other screw-ons provided in the package work much better on a multiple angled surface or a surface of 10 degrees or less. This package of holds did not do well on our 40 degree training wall. Both of our award winners (the Atomik 60 pack and So iLL Starter Kit) performed better on a steep wall than this set.
This set had the lowest score for durability of all the sets that we tested. No one wants to spend a bunch of money on climbing holds only to snap them while tightening them to the wall. Due to a lot of spinning holds, we felt the need to tighten them down even more, only to have them crack and break. Another durability issue we had with this set was the edge of the holds chipping. Sure, if you treat them like fine china the holds will always look like new, but let's be realistic and understand that this is not going to happen. Tossing the holds into buckets or onto each other while stripping the wall inevitably results in some chipped holds. Sometimes this is even beneficial for some holds, as it creates little thumb catches that make it easier to pinch the holds.
This set is best used for a home wall with multiple angles. Due to the outdoor coloration of the holds, this pack is also good for a low-angled kids wall to make them feel like they are climbing real rock.
Buying a large package of climbing holds helps save you the daunting task of searching out individual, smaller sets of holds, and it can potentially save you some money. This pack retails for around $200, which means you're paying almost $4 a hold. This figure goes up if we factor in the holds that broke on us or are unusable due to spinning. Our Best Buy award winner, the So iLL Starter Kit, retails for roughly $160 and averages $3 a hold. That set is more durable and a much better value than this one.
Metolius has been making holds for longer than anyone can remember and they helped pioneer the path of indoor rock climbing holds. It was a treat to climb on some of the "ancient" and now classic holds in this set. These holds helped pave the way for newer options like our Editors' Choice Winner, Atomik 60 pack.
— Kenny Barker