This is our new favorite portaledge for most big wall applications. The main reasons: it's light, easy to set up, and based on the design of the most popular and time-tested ledge of all time: the A5 double. Most other portaledges weigh 15+ pounds and the Runout Customs (in the two-pole model we recommend) is under 10.
The exact same ledge comes with two frame designs:
- For $695 you get a frame with three pieces on the long side and two on the short side.
- For $650 you get a frame with two pieces on the long side and one piece on the short side.
We strongly recommend the frame with two pieces on the long side and one on the short. It is lighter, much faster to set up (especially at a hanging bivy) and you get to save $50.
This version with two pieces on the long side weighs 9.12 pounds (without the bag). This is much much lighter than the Metolius Bomb Shelter or the Black Diamond Cliff Cabana. It's actually even lighter than the old A5 Double. It is the ideal balance of being light weight but still plenty bomber for most conditions you will encounter in Yosemite and Zion.
Weight is key, especially on a 2-3 day wall. It is not a bad idea to take a portaledge like this on a route like The Nose because it gives you more bivy options and storm protection. It is harder to recommend the larger and heavier double portaledges because (with the flys), they add an extra 5-10+ pounds, which is just too much on long and lower angle route where you need to move fast.
Ease of Setup
No spreader bar! This ledge is easy to set up with one person at a hanging bivy once you practice ten times. Most other larger portaledges require two people or lots and lots of training (and no wind). Setting up a Cliff Cabana by ourselves was an ordeal… and then we got to deal with the pesky spreader bar. This is a big deal because when we climb walls, if our partner is going to take more than an hour to lead a pitch, then it's nice to set up the ledge and save the weight of bringing a less comfy belay seat. This is easy to do with the Runout Customs design.
That said, we have seen Tommy Caldwell set up the Cliff Cabana really fast by himself. So it can be done. But Tommy has also probably set up and broken down that thing more than anyone on the planet.
It is just a hair longer than the old A5 double ledge. For two guys who are 5-10 and 170, it is snug but not too cramped. If you are over 6 feet, it will probably feel small. For a 2-3 day wall, it is a fine size. If for some reason you want to spend 5+ days on a wall, then you might want a larger ledge since at that point you will have such massive loads the weight savings is negligible.
Runout Customs is still working on a rainfly. For now you will need to use and old A5 rainfly or contact them to see what other rainflys from other manufacturers might be compatible. You must bring a rainfly on a big wall, even Yosemite in the summer.
All ledges are made to order. So that is one downside; no last minute purchases for that wall you are getting on next week. You can see a link to the ordering page here