Vortex Rope Bag | $49.95 | metoliusclimbing.com
[ FEATURES ]
Tarp Dimension: 57 x 57 inches.
Weight: 1 lb. 5 oz.
Volume: 1,800 cubic inches.
Fabric: 600D polyester.
At the time 18 years ago we were ahead of the curve, getting one of the first Metolius rope bags. Our then magazine intern, the French climber Baptiste Briand, had never seen one, and with wide eyes asked if he could qualify for a pro purchase.
Now, years later, that Metolius rope bag is faded a light blue but still perfectly functional. When friends amused themselves suggesting a possible update, I’d ask why. It was fine!
I didn’t realize how much better a new rope bag could be until it was in hand. Folding the old one up always meant kneeling on the ground, pulling in the side flaps, and rolling the tarp burrito tight, dust rubbing into my hands. One of my friends says that part always hurts his back and hoped someone else would tackle the chore.
Now, wow. The Vortex bag sits like a basket or large pocket, its rim a foot off the ground. The tarp is broad enough to fit a 70-meter rope. The best is how easily you can grab the tarp corners and shake the rope into the maw, presto.
If you are only moving the bag a few feet to another route, just pick it up by two handles and carry it like a suitcase. To bring it any distance, cinch the rope into the bag with its compression straps and aluminum buckles, and carry it with a padded messenger-style strap. The bag also has an end handle to help load it into a pack.
Other features include loops at each corner, a front accessory pocket that fits athletic tape, phone, sunscreen, keys.
Cons? The rope can get a little tangled when you pull the corners and fold the rope in on itself.
Sometimes we take a star off a gear review only because we have not yet been able to test for durability. I’ve only been using this rope bag two months, but my last one still frickin’ works.
ABOUT THE RATING: Great, deluxe rope bag. The rope can tangle a bit, a minor note, after being folded in on itself. Considering the construction and my previous history with a Metolius rope bag, this one could last longer than I do.