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Gear Reviews - What do you want?
Submitted By: John McNamee on Nov 9, 2007

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Since Mp.com was started, one of our goals was to have in depth gear reviews coming out on a regular basis throughout the year. So far I think we have met that goal and have published eight in just over a year. Josh has a couple in the works right now and I have one on aiders due out any day now depending on when the weather breaks!

Another goal was to offer reviews that provided technical content for the "gear freak" as well as explaining how things work for those new the game... For example, see my latest review on Metolius Offset TCUs for an explanation of cam face width and cam angles and how they impact cam range and holding power.

Mp.com allows us unlimited space for photos and text, something that magazines seem to struggle with. We aren't limited to a short "sound bite" review. This has allowed us to compare and contrast similar products, hopefully making the buying selection easier.

So, where do we go from here? That's where we need your help. Please let us know what we can do to improve our reviews and make them better. What's missing? Do you want them to continue?

Also what gear do you want to be reviewed over the next 6 months or so. It takes several months before you start to really understand how a piece of gear works. Hanging it off your harness or fondling it on the counter doesn't count. When you're in a tough spot are you going to reach for that new piece or not?

One area that we are missing is ice gear reviews. I don't climb ice any more, so I can't help out. Maybe someone out there would like to do a review of ice pro, tools and crampons, etc. Just shoot me an email if you are interested and I can help. I'll even send you a few stickers!

So, please let us know want you want, since without your feedback we have no direction. Also, if you haven't noticed the gear reviews yet, I've included the links below.

Finally, thanks for taking the time to read this, supporting mp.com and our sponsors.

Metolius Offset TCUs

Mammut Genesis Double Ropes

Fish Snake Charmer

Trango Cinch Belay Device

Beal Joker 9.1mm Rope

Black Diamond C3s

Toucan Belay/Rappel Device

Black Diamond ATC Guide

Comments on Gear Reviews - What do you want? Add Comment
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 23, 2007
By mschlocker
From: San Diego, CA
Nov 9, 2007
A review on adjustable dasies and aiders would be nice. I need somebody to convince me they are worth my hard earned dollar. I have enjoyed the reviews so far.
By John McNamee
Administrator
From: Littleton, CO
Nov 9, 2007
Thanks. I'll touch upon adjustables in my aider review, which weather depending, will be out any day now. I use the Yates adjustables.
By Charlie Perry
Nov 9, 2007
I hear that DMM is coming out with HB offset clones. Wondering how they compare to HB?
By caughtinside
From: Oakland CA
Nov 11, 2007
This site has some of the best and most in depth gear reviews I've ever seen, thanks for the hard work on that.

For me however, the most important thing, is seeing more than one voice. We've all seen how much personal preference plays a role in gear choice, so I always make sure to read the comments of others as well. The reviews I get the most out of have the most comments on them.

So, I'd encourage anyone who has used the gear being reviewed to comment with their own experience!

Thanks again.
By John McNamee
Administrator
From: Littleton, CO
Nov 11, 2007
Thanks to Doug Shepperd for offering to crank out some ice gear reviews!!!
By Jeremy H
Nov 11, 2007
If you are going to review the new harnesses from Arc'teryx you should also check out their new crag pack and rope bag while you are at it.

J
By Adam Stackhouse
Administrator
Nov 12, 2007
John, nice review

Sometimes reviews can get all too technical (don't buy a micrometer), necessitating my college physics book. Keeping it simple and straightforward, comparing like object to other like objects, made this one a nice read. I also like the addition of the chart.

Thanks
By rob rebel
From: Denver, co
Nov 12, 2007
A review on the different solo aid gear out there would be beneficial. Silent partner vs. solo aider, etc. thanks.
By R Squared
Nov 12, 2007
OP Link Cams would make a nice review. I have heard a lot of mixed reviews on them
By SAL
From: broomdigiddy
Nov 12, 2007
Let's hear the debate on Petzl mini traxion versus pro traxion.
By John McNamee
Administrator
From: Littleton, CO
Nov 12, 2007
Thanks for the feedback.

  • Aiders: Coming any day now.

  • Petzl Mini and Pro Traxion: I have both of those units and have logged enough mileage to have my mind pretty much set. I'll see what I can do over the next couple of weeks.

  • Soloing devices: I've used the clove hitch, the Grigri and my favorite, the silent partner. Maybe someone out there with more experience would like to take this one on.

  • DMM offsets: I'll be definitely buying a couple sets of these when they come out next year.

  • OP Link Cams: Any takers out there?

  • Arcteryrx Crag Pack: I still haven't been able to replace my cragging pack so I'll take a look at this one.

Thanks for all your suggestions....
By Joshua Balke
From: Colorado Springs
Nov 12, 2007
I'd be interested in a review and compare/contrast of different ice leash systems ranging from leashes to leashless and variations there of.
By Buff Johnson
Nov 21, 2007
Portaledges - say you need that extended stay on the wall with your s.o. -- which is the best performing ledge for the seasons?
By John McNamee
Administrator
From: Littleton, CO
Nov 21, 2007
Mark,

I recommend the A5/North Face Double ledge if you can find one on Ebay for about 400 dollars. They're a great ledge and very easy to set up. About 12 lbs including the stuff bag. The fly is about 4 pounds if you take it. I see them on Ebay from time to time.

Otherwise buy a Fish Double Whammy Ledge. This will be my next ledge. It will cost about 800 and this includes the fly. Order it now if you want it for the spring. You can't beat it the weight. It weights less that 9.5 pounds and about 14 including fly and very strong and durable.

The new Black Diamond ledges are real heavy but spacious.

If you get stuck and want to borrow a ledge you can use my Double ledge.

Cheers

John
By Michael Schneiter
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Nov 22, 2007
Mark,

While I won't try to refute what John had to say about ledges, I would also consider the Metolius Bomb Shelter. I've never been a fan of the old A5s because they were such a pain in the arse to set up. I've had a Metolius ledge for a number of years now and it's always proven easy to set up, spacious, stable and a great ledge all around. A friend of mine who had an old A5 would borrow my ledge rather than use his own.

Also, I don't know the specifics on weight between ledges but this past weekend I was with some friends on a wall who used their new Black Diamond ledge. It didn't seem too heavy and the design borrows heavily on the old A5 ledge but they've made the necessary improvements/upgrades from the A5. I thought it was a pretty sweet ledge with some super nice features. If anything, I thought it was lighter than my Metolius. If desired, I could go into greater detail on what I've experienced with these ledges but it's Turkey Day and I'm about to go skiing!

Just my two cents.

Mike
By John McNamee
Administrator
From: Littleton, CO
Nov 22, 2007
Michael,

I've never had an issue with my A5 Ledge that a hammer didn't fix!

Happy Thanksgiving Day.

John

Metolius
  • 14lbs and 1oz, fly is 7lbs 5 oz

Blackdiamond
  • 19lbs and 13 oz. Simple Fly is 5lbs

Fish Ledge
  • 10lbs, Fly 6lbs.
By Michael Schneiter
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Nov 22, 2007
I remember the first time I climbed with my friend who had an A5 ledge as I looked on with horror as he beat his ledge against the wall to get the poles together. I guess a hammer would do the same thing.

That's wild that the BD ledge is 19 pounds. It didn't feel that heavy compared to my Metolius and it's surprising considering they use that thin, light fabric (the same stuff they make their packs out of), not that the fabric makes up much of the weight compared to the poles. The fabric seems so thin that you wonder if it can hold much weight. The BD ledge does have some nice features though - easy set-up, a spreader bar for stability, and little touches like pockets.
By John McNamee
Administrator
From: Littleton, CO
Nov 23, 2007
Actually my A5 North face double goes together very easily, but after sleeping in it for a couple of nights I find it hard to pop one of the corners and that's when it needs a couple of light taps...

All the weights above are for doubles.