I’ve been using the @metoliusclimbing Metolius Freerider backpack as my main climbing backpack since February, and I have to say, I’m very impressed. Metolius gear always seems to have the very best durability, and I have really put this pack through the ringer, yet it looks practically new. The haul bag material is super burly and the stitching is the same as they use on their haul bags, so it’s not going to fail. With a lot of gear, I can tell right away what will eventually fail on it, but with this pack I really have no clue what will eventually kill it. Maybe being chewed up by a rodent? Maybe eventually the straps will compress and not be padded anymore? This thing should last a very very long time.
Its surprisingly large. Comparable in size to the BD Creek 50. I can easily fit a 70m rope, a full desert trad rack, and all my personal gear, plus food and water and there’s still room to squeeze more on top if needed. I’m 6’1″ with a moderately long torso, and it fits very well. They only make one size, so take that into account if you’re very tall or short.
My only complaints are 1) that the brain/lid is a bit small and fits a little funny, especially when you have the pack pretty full of gear. And 2) the compression straps could be a little bit better positioned and longer to be more useful for strapping stuff on the outside.
Overall I really like this pack a lot. It’s awesome and at $129 it’s a total steal.
I’ve looked at the BD Creek 50 as well, which look like a nice pack, although not quite as durable (zippers, less burly stitching), and is $60 more expensive. The Trango Crag Pack is supposed to be similar, but it is much much less durable (a friend punched a hole in it first time out using it), and it’s design isn’t as good (funny shape, zipper top lid, side pockets that will snag and rip, etc). Note: Metolius did not ask me to review their bag, and definitely did not pay me to review it (I wish!). That said I do have a lot of very good friends who work at Metolius. ?: @ladylockoff