In design, Occam’s Razor encourages us to eliminate unnecessary elements that would decrease a design’s efficiency and the Metolius Freerider crag pack adheres to this philosophy in concept and application.
The Metolius Freerider crag pack is made of a lighter weight version of the Durathane used in their haul bags, resulting in a pack that is tough but still pliable and not unnecessarily heavy, weighing in at a svelte 3 pounds. The bright yellow interior reflects light, making it easy to see inside the bag.
The single strap and buckle lid closure is simple and quick to use and the top lid pocket is accessible from both inside and out, which is very handy.
Being somewhat stiff the pack stands tall and open, making it very easy to get gear in and out, a very nice feature after years of dealing with packs that collapse on themselves when mostly empty. Furthermore, the width of the pack permits a rack of cams to lay perfectly flat horizontally when they are laid in bag on a gear sling. If you’re a cam-lover and take good care of your gear, you’ll appreciate this.
At 41 L this is a great day-pack for the crag: it will hold a rack, a rope, food, water, harness and shoes, with just enough room to throw a jacket on top. If you do fill it up there is a top strap and side suspension straps to tack on extras.
While this is a “haul bag style” backpack, with haul loops and burly material, the suspension straps do not pack away so it wouldn’t be advisable to use this for heavy duty hauling. On the flip side, the suspension system is rather plush making carrying loads very comfortable for a pack of this type.
Overall we love this “Trad is Rad” pack, everything you need and nothing you don’t in a durable streamlined package: Occam would be proud.
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