by gallo6583fromNOT so good....I bought this bag because I really like the double shoulder strap design. The bag is very comfortable, and the idea behind the design has very good potential; The reason I say this bag has poor construction is not because a lack of quality but because the tarp is very small! After one trip outside I had to wash my rope.
Date published: 2010-12-26
Rated 3out of5
by JkatzfromLooks cool, not the best solutionThis pack builds itself up to be a little more than it is. I have a 60meter, 10.5 mm rope, and it fills the whole thing. One would assume that, because it is a backpack rather than the traditional 1 strap bag, it would be easier to carry your rope. But, as a rope, especially a new one, is somewhat stiff, the pack is uncomfortable. And, unless you are using a small rope, little to no room is left for the shoes, harness, etc. that would make it a "crag pack". Though, it has many loops on the outside for draws and biners and such, but if you hung your shoes off of it it would be pretty annoying to have them waving around.The pack is cool looking, and the material is definitely strong enough to hold up to any abuse. I'll be returning mine to REI in exchange for a metolius ropemaster. For hiking to crags and such, save up the extra money and go buy a legitimate climbing pack (REI has a section totally for climbing packs, they make a [$]40L pack) or a quality crag pack like the Black Diamond Boa. Then you have a small hiking pack as well.
Date published: 2009-05-14
Rated 3out of5
by Pete JacksonfromBetter than a rope bag. Not a crag pack.I really wanted to love this pack. To that end, I used it for a full season before returning it to try a better pack.
This pack is, hands-down, better than any rope bag available. If you're replacing a rope bag, or avoiding buying one, this is a great way to go.
That said, it's a pretty bad pack. I found the straps uncomfortable, the lid hard to close when overstuffed, and the side pockets useless for holding anything when carrying a rope longer than 50M.
Unless you're carrying a super-skinny rope or a 50M sub-10mm rope, you're going to have trouble closing the pack, taking other gear with you, getting anything into those side pockets, and difficulty getting the load to ride correctly.
Also, I find those gear lashing daisy chains overrated. If you clip your shoes, harness, helmet, or water bottle to the outside of this pack, you'll suffer from an unstable load that snags on trail obstacles. Not ideal.
I live in Rumney NH, exactly 3/4 mile from the crags, and I'd avoid taking this pack to the cliffs. Instead, I found myself favoring my hiking pack: so I knew something was wrong.
If you have short approaches, a short rope, not a lot of personal gear, and don't mind the minimal padding on the straps, then this is an excellent pack.
If you are looking for a rope bag and can have your partner carry the rack, food, and water, then this is the pack for you.
Otherwise, it may not be.
Date published: 2011-08-01
Rated 3out of5
by Raymond BorbonfromIt's not great but worksThe only drawback is a considerable one - the tarp is way too small to use when laying on the ground for my 60 meter rope. A rope size which is standard. Metolius should double the tarp size.
Otherwise the bag itself is quite useful. It is narrow and won't get too hung up in a tight chimney (at least any more than another narrow pack), it is durable, and comfortable. it's too bad they didn't make the tarp larger. This would work quite well at stance and hanging belays. I don't believe it would be too useful on a 10mm 70meter rope though. It simply does not have enough capacity for that much rope. Although I don't buy 70 meter ropes I know that some do. It would be a deal breaker for them.
I'm not going to sell this thing off, but I would consider a different bag in the future. Originally I was looking for the old Metolius rope bag which was like a backpack but it doesn't look like they make it any more.
Date published: 2012-03-12
Rated 3out of5
by Raymond BorbonfromLooks are better than functionI have used a lot of climbing equipment since my first experiences in the early 1990s and most purchases came without regret. This bag was a purchase with partial regret.
The materials are fine. The bag will easily sustain a lot of wear and tear. It holds a 60m rope at 10.5mm. I have concern if it could hold a rope any larger than that.
The bag sits narrow on the body and would make a good fit for climbing with it on your back. It also has a clip and would feed good at a hanging belay. The sides have the water bladder pockets. All good ideas. The main zipper is of good quality which is important.
The poor choice was to make a half sized tarp for the rope. I'd rather not have one at all, or otherwise get a full sized tarp for the rope. If they fixed that, the bag would be a little better (4 stars).
I would not return the bag because it is of decent material and would also be a good option for a pack during multiple pitch climbs. E.G. good for carrying water, shoes, camera or an extra rope for rappel.
In my opinion the price should be about ten dollars cheaper until they get a bigger tarp.
Date published: 2012-05-19
Rated 4out of5
by Greyhound DavefromNice for a day outThe good - great little bag for a day of sport climbing, toss in the rope, a handful of draws, shoes, harness, water bottle and lunch. Clip your helmet to the daisy chain on the back, and you are ready to for a day on the rock. It's rugged, much easier to carry than the average rope bag and has a couple of nice pockets like the zip pocket in the lid for keys, wallet etc. and the side pockets for water bottles.
Also makes a nice small size haul-bag for trad climbing, though it is too small to carry much gear.
The downsides - A little small, with a 60M rope, the bag is really pretty full, a 70M would probably fill it to the top. Also, since it doesn't completely seal up, it's not waterproof. The rope tarp is a bit small, but useful enough to provide a little protection from mud and the like.
Construction is typically rugged - simple features, easy to access compartments. It's reasonably comfortable to carry, but since it doesn't have a waist strap, it can be a little unstable for scrambling over rough terrain.
Date published: 2009-11-19
Rated 4out of5
by SpudstudfromGreat bag small tarpThis is my first and maybe my last rope bag. I have to have 2 straps, I don't like single strap rope bags. Single strap might be easier to unload, but I love having a back pack. It makes it easy to hike out to the crag.
Metolius needs to come out with the same model but bigger tarp.
Date published: 2012-03-20
Rated 4out of5
by Kascade KatfromGreat Rope Bag / Summit Pack ComboMy wife and I have been using the Metolius Porta-Cord (PC) rope pack for several seasons and have been very pleased. In fact, we're getting ready to buy a second one for our second rope. We love it, but many other reviewers gave it low marks. Why have reviews been so mixed on this item? Read on.
After scanning through the numerous negative comments about the PC, we can see that our satisfaction comes from the simple fact that we use it for exactly what Metolius designed it for: a combination rope bag and summit pack. My wife wears the PC as we hike up to the crags; the 20-liter capacity conveniently and comfortably carries a 70-meter rope, two water bottles, and a few other small things. Meanwhile, I wear a separate (and much larger) approach pack that carries our rack, runners, shoes, food, and additional water. Notice that we each have a pack. We never expected the PC to hold ALL of our gear, water, and food plus a rope, nor do I recall ever reading any advertising claim to this effect. It's a ROPE pack, not an APPROACH pack. Nobody ever complains about their regular rope bag (Ropemaster, SuperSlacker, etc.) not being able to carry a rope, rack, shoes, clothing, food, water, and more, so why expect this one to do that? If that's your goal, go buy a 30- or 40-liter pack/duffel (such as a Crag Station or Neon) instead.
Once we start to climb, the PC is used as a summit pack to carry our descent shoes, food, windbreakers, and several quarts of water. The 20-liter capacity is perfect for this purpose; a larger pack would just get in the way. The streamlined twin side pockets nicely hold collapsible-style (Platypus or Nalgene) quart bottles; rigid bottles will also fit, but then you'd lose the streamlined benefit. Access to the main compartment and side pockets is quick and easy, which is especially nice during a hanging belay.
At the top of the crag, our shoes and other stuff comes out, then our rope gets flaked onto the tarp and rolled in through the handy front zipper. Our food and clothing gets tucked back in between the rope and top flap. We just wear the rack down, since there's no room left in the PC, but that's never been a problem.
Although you could use the PC as a rope bucket, that should be regarded only as a side benefit of this versatile item. Don't expect the PC to perform as well as a dedicated rope bucket for that purpose.
As with all Metolius softgoods, the materials and construction appear to be top notch. I'm sure you could eat up the fabric if you used this as a haul bag, but that's true of pretty much any pack that isn't intended to be used as a haul bag.
Overall, we've come up with only a few minor gripes. First is the tarp size, which everyone else has already commented upon. Honestly, the 3x3 size is big enough to flake a rope onto, but another foot in each dimension would certainly be welcome. I'm not sure why Metolius didn't use the same tarp size as in their popular Ropemaster. Second, we'd like to have more of a structured top-flap pocket, for things such as sunglasses, tape rolls, and snacks. As is, the flat shape of this pocket limits its use to topo maps, route beta, powerbars, and other flattish items. Third, we're sad to see that Metolius seems to have discontinued the various colors (blue, green, and red); we see only black versions in current (2012) ads.
The bottom line is this: If you use the PC rope pack for what it was designed to do, you'll probably be delighted. However, if you buy this item thinking that you're getting a 40-liter approach pack that holds ALL of your climbing stuff and then magically becomes an inconspicuous 20-liter summit pack, you'll be disappointed.
Date published: 2012-06-18
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