Metolius El Cap Haul Bag Review
Cons: Hard to access the bottom, takes some time to get in and out of the top of the bag
Manufacturer: Metolius Climbing
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Metolius El Cap Haul Bag
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|Pros||Durable, comfortable, water-tight closure, lots of volume||Bomber, great size, comfy, one of the most waterproof||Great closure, bomber, great as a crag pack||Great closure, bomber, great as a crag pack||Lightweight, can haul outside of haulbag, no assembly required|
|Cons||Hard to access the bottom, takes some time to get in and out of the top of the bag||Takes some time to get in and out of top||Expensive||Expensive, not the most useful size for most walls||Expensive, not completely air-tight|
|Bottom Line||This big, burly bag is one of our favorites for carrying large loads||Our favorite haul bag for any climbing adventure you can dream up||One of the best haul bags that can be purchased in this volume||This is an exceptional model, though its small size is a bit restrictive on the wall||The best off-the-shelf poop tube we know of|
|Rating Categories||Metolius El Cap Hau...||Metolius Half Dome...||Metolius Quarter Dome||Metolius Sentinel||Metolius Waste Case|
|Closure systems/Ease of Access (20%)|
|Carrying/Suspension System (20%)|
|Specs||Metolius El Cap Hau...||Metolius Half Dome...||Metolius Quarter Dome||Metolius Sentinel||Metolius Waste Case|
|Volume (cu inches)||9600||7600||4200||2800||500|
|Weight||8 lb||7 lb 7 oz||5 lb 1 oz||4 lb 11 oz||10.6 oz|
|Main container material||Durathane||Durathane||Durathane||Durathane||Durathane|
|Closure material||Ballistic nylon||Ballistic nylon||Ballistic nylon||Ballistic nylon||Ballistic nylon|
|Sewn or welded seam||Welded||Welded||Welded||Welded||Welded|
Our Analysis and Test Results
This haul bag is big and burly. With the welded seams on this, seam blowout is nearly impossible (we have blown out a few haul bags that have traditional sewn seems). More importantly, the haul bag material is bomber. While you still have to carefully pack the bag for lower angle terrain (as you do with all bags), you are much less likely to wear a hole in the side of this one. In fact, if packed properly on every wall, there is no reason this bag should not last for 50 plus big walls. One of our few earlier gripes with this bag was the lack of a water-tight closure. Metolius fixed that with their river bag closure that is one of the most waterproof closures made. While it is impossible to keep everything dry if you are in a downpour, the Metolius and Yates closure systems do the best job. For an improvised summit bivy, the extra skirt has you covered.
Lastly, this bag gets all the details right. The bottom of the bag is easy to clip your ledge and extras to and is rated to over 300 pounds. The carrying system now tucks away nicely and is comfortable. The internal pocket is right where you need it. The El Cap Haul Bag has reliable compression straps across the top with the Yates model we tested. Other bags tested did not. When your bag is overstuffed, good straps over the top help a lot.
This bag is deep; maybe too deep. You have to really dive to get to the bottom. At a hanging belay, it is hard to get to the bottom. They should make this bag two inches wider and two inches shorter. You would create about the same volume, but the bag would be much easier to access.
While not cheap, considering how long this bag will last you, it is a great value. We did maybe ten walls with ours and then were able to sell it for a good price because there was not too much wear.
This is ideal on a route like The Nose, where you want to get everything into one bag. It is also a handy size if you are going to spend a week on a steep El Cap route and need to pack the whole junk show. In a perfect world, we would own both this and the Metolius Half Dome Haul Bag. When possible, we would take the smaller Half Dome because it is easier to access stuff in a smaller-sized bag. But if everything would not fit in the Half Dome, we would switch to the El Cap.
— Chris McNamara
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