The Metolius Porta-Cord shows that rope bags aren't just for laying in the dirt anymore.
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Share your thoughts
Can't do both
Porta-Cord hauling the gear well the rope is in use like a champ, but sure couldn't do both at once.
Great multi-pitch pack
My climbing partner and I have been using this pack for the last 2 years and have been extremely satisfied with it. We spend the vast majority of our time trad climbing and it suites our multi-pitch needs quite well.
It's true that the pack is not huge, and for a trad climber that's fantastic! For the approach, it has just enough space to hold two 1 liter sigg water bottles in the side compartments, most of our food for the day in the zippered top and two 8.4mm double ropes inside! The loops on the outside are perfect for our alpine draws and allow the creative climber to strap on shoes and other layers to the outside.
For the climb we naturally replace the rope with our shoes and any extra layers or water that we may have. The smaller (yet adequate) size of the pack means that it stays out of our way while climbing. The water bottle compartments on the outside of the pack are simply genius. They allow you easy access to your water while at a hanging belay without digging around in your pack, reducing the risk of dropping gear.
After a couple hundred pitches of climbing our bag was in good shape. The only thing that it didn't stand up against are the teeth of a squirrel which was the fault of myself, not the bag.
vv What they said vv
Decided it was time to upgrade my rope bag, and I stumbled across this while checking some out. When I unfolded the tarp I was really surprised. 3'x 3' seems even smaller in person than online. Overall, the construction of the pack looks ok, I guess you could load a ton of gear onto the daisy chains and it might work out, but definitely look for something bigger.
If this was a bit bigger it'd be my go-to bag. But it barely fits for a 60m 9.8 rope. Doesn't meet the real world test.
Love the concept
I absolutely fell in love when I saw this pack online. ...Then I started looking at the stats, this bag is TINY and so are the lame excuse for pockets and the postage stamp for a tarp. I passed it up and stayed with my trusty Rope Ranger.
Well my friend bought one last week and I had a chance to use it... It was just as god awful as I had feared. This pack is a super cool idea, but it needs to be much bigger, like double...
6/8/11 Ok so I used it again after like a year and actually packed it in a good mile or so approach, and it was wonderful to carry. Put my Rope Ranger to shame in that way, but was still god awful at the crag!
Saw this in the Outside Mag buyer's guide and took a chance with my poor river guide tip money. It's been billed as having the ability to 'hold everything you need for a day of sport climbing at the crag.' This would be true if all you needed for a day of sport climbing at the crag was a pair of dice, a few broken toothpicks, some yak hair and a half a bar of soap. No room for a rope, draws, shoes, you know... Real climbing stuff. There is little intuition in the design, the side pockets are way too deep and narrow for any conventional water bottle (or anything useful that needs to be accessed quickly), and the rope tarp is big enough to comfortably cushion several bacteria, and THEIR rope. Bottom line: Don't Do It!
Just Doesn't Cut It
I live an hour away from the Red River Gorge, so when I read the description for this bag I thought it sounded perfect for a day trip crag bag. I was wrong. The bag is really only designed to hold a rope, so you'll be wearing your harness on the approach and attaching all the rest of your gear to the outside of the thing which is obnoxious because if you bend over, your draws, shoes and whatever else swings around and smacks you in the head.
The tarp is a total pain in the butt because its the exact size as your flaked rope with no room for error, so I have to meticulously feed the rope onto it or I get to spend time cleaning my rope again.
Lastly the bag isn't very durable. The snap button below the hood tore off after a couple months of use and the rest of the bag seems pretty flimsy.
So in my opinion, if this bag is big hassle for my 5-20 minute long approaches, I couldn't imagine dealing with it on something more substantial which is what the majority of climbers face. Buy the Metolius Rope Master and toss it in a real backpack, and you'll be way happier.
Is that a fold out tarp?
Is that a fold out tarp?
Yes it is. It keeps your rope from getting dirty from the ground.
Great multi use pack
For the last year this has been the pack that i have used the most. With a little effort I can fit a 60m 10.5mm rope, harness and shoes in it. The side compartments are plenty big enough to hold one 1litler of water each.
I've used this pack on 3 different walls now (the nose, moonlight and Washington column). It doubles fairly nicely as a rope bucket. Great as a day pack to put water, food, extra shoes and a jacket in. And it fit our entire rack for the nose in it for the decent. I wouldn't haul with it though. I wore right through the brain of the pack after dragging it up one pitch.
The tarp is plenty big enough to put a rope on it. granted bigger ones are nicer for craggin but it was nice to have a tarp to use on a multi pitch climb and be able to stow it away in my pack and not have to leave anything at the bottom.
Not What You're Expecting
I bought this rope bag, and a 70m 10mm rope to take climbing when while on an extended sports climbing trip. I was thoroughly disappointed when the bag came in. I would like to take a second to bring to light a few oversights that were made while the description for this bag was being written.
"A 3 x 3ft tarp keeps your cord out of the dirt, and it stashes in the Porta-Cord Rope Bag's hydration pouch to act as padding when you're using this Metolius bag for a peak-bagging trip."
-3x3 ft is not nearly enough to flake any rope on. I was literally laughed at by one of my friends when he saw the napkin i was trying to get my rope on. Because this tarp is too small i now find myself cleaning my rope FAR more often than i should.
"Two large side pockets hold descent shoes or extra layers on a multi-pitch trad climb. "
-The only time i was able to make use of the side pockets was when my rope was flaked from the factory. Regardless of how i put my rope into this bag it takes up too much space to allow me to use the side pockets. Additionally the side pockets are too small, even when empty, to fit a pair of sneakers. So unless you're descending in flip flops, you better clip them to your harness.
"This bag even includes tough top handles that double as haul loops and let you rig up a rope bucket to reduce belay clusters on an aid climb."
-Maybe this is true, i don't aid climb. But when you look at the bag there is no structure built into the bag to help it hold its form when hung by the loops. Also the loops are not stitched in a manner that i would trust them to support weight.
Over all this bag is not worth the money or the hype. I would really be interested in reading the review that got it the "Outside Gear of the Year Award". For me it has been nothing but a disappointment. The tarp is too small, the bag is too small, and it really isn't that well designed.