Reviews You Can Rely On

Metolius Half Dome Haul Bag Review

Our favorite haul bag for any climbing adventure you can dream up
Metolius Half Dome Haul Bag
Photo: Metolius
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $230 List | $229.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Bomber, great size, comfy, one of the most waterproof
Cons:  Takes some time to get in and out of top
Manufacturer:   Metolius Climbing
By Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief  ⋅  Jan 17, 2010
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94
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 8
  • Durability/Material - 40% 10
  • Capacity - 10% 8
  • Waterproofness - 10% 10
  • Closure systems/Ease of Access - 20% 9
  • Carrying/Suspension System - 20% 9

Our Verdict

This haul bag is our favorite. For starters, it's a great size — it's big enough but not so big that you have to go spelunking to find the Snickers bar that fell to the bottom. It is also among the most bomber bags, thanks to welded seams and thick material. The bright color will make you a friend for life of Tom Evans of the El Cap Report and other photographers shooting wall climbers from El Cap Meadow. We used this haul bag when doing the first Girdle Traverse of El Capitan and on many other walls.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award  Top Pick Award 
Price $229.95 at AmazonCheck Price at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$249.95 at Amazon$159.95 at Amazon$60 List
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Pros Bomber, great size, comfy, one of the most waterproofGreat closure, bomber, great as a crag packDurable, comfortable, water-tight closure, lots of volumeGreat closure, bomber, great as a crag packLightweight, can haul outside of haulbag, no assembly required
Cons Takes some time to get in and out of topExpensiveHard to access the bottom, takes some time to get in and out of the top of the bagExpensive, not the most useful size for most wallsExpensive, not completely air-tight
Bottom Line Our favorite haul bag for any climbing adventure you can dream upOne of the best haul bags that can be purchased in this volumeThis big, burly bag is one of our favorites for carrying large loadsThis is an exceptional model, though its small size is a bit restrictive on the wallThe best off-the-shelf poop tube we know of
Rating Categories Metolius Half Dome... Metolius Quarter Dome Metolius El Cap Hau... Metolius Sentinel Metolius Waste Case
Durability Material (40%)
10.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
Capacity (10%)
8.0
6.0
10.0
4.0
1
Waterproofness (10%)
10.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
Closure Systems Ease Of Access (20%)
9.0
9.0
7.0
9.0
9.0
Carrying Suspension System (20%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
0
Specs Metolius Half Dome... Metolius Quarter Dome Metolius El Cap Hau... Metolius Sentinel Metolius Waste Case
Volume (cu inches) 7600 4200 9600 2800 500
Weight 7 lb 7 oz 5 lb 1 oz 8 lb 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

Likes


The construction on the Metolius Half Dome haul bag is super bomber, from the material to the seams to the buckles. We have put a lot of big ascents on this without ever doing too much damage. You still need to line the bag with a foam pad if you are hauling on slabs, but it's not as crucial as it is with a bag made of thinner material. The river bag closure system is one of the most water-proof made. No haul bag keeps everything dry if you're in heavy rain or a mini-waterfall. However, this model does pretty well. The extra skirt also makes this a great improvised bivy sack if you need to bivy on the summit. It's simple to clip to the bottom of the bag. The carry system is about as comfortable as a haul bag can be. The inside pocket is conveniently placed. This and the Yates are the only bags with good compression straps across the top. These are key to managing the bag when it is a bit over-stuffed.

Dislikes


If we had to make this bag a little better, we would make it a bit wider. That would make accessing the bottom just a little easier and add enough extra volume that the El Cap size would almost be unnecessary for any climb. Also, while we love the river bag closure, it does add extra time to open and close. We think the tradeoff is worth it, but it may annoy some people.

Other Versions


The bigger version of this is the El Cap great if you only want to take one bag, but hard to get to its bottom. The smaller version is the Quarter Dome which is too small for most walls but a great sidecar to your bigger haul bag or a great haul pack.

Value


This is not one of the cheaper bags, but it probably will last longer than any bag for its price. The burly material and welded seams mean that a seam blowout is unlikely.

Conclusion


It is a great size for a route like Half Dome. However, it is hard to fit in everything for a Nose ascent unless you pack real light and spend two nights or less on the wall. Bring two of these on a route like Zodiac or Mescalito, and you are loving life. There are many other great haul bag options, but this one has better sizes, better features, and is incredibly bomber. For most two-day walls, this is a perfect size. If you are doing a longer wall, go with the larger Metolius El Cap Haul Bag.

Chris McNamara