“Rock Climbing” covers a pretty large area. From bouldering and top-roping to sport and trad routes, the sport of rock climbing requires all sorts of different skills and gear, depending on which type of climbing you’re doing. One of the more challenging and rewarding types of climbing is big wall climbing. This style of climbing requires a combination of several styles, including sport and trad (where you’ll need to place your own protection as you move up a wall). As the name implies, the routes are usually done on big walls, requiring climbers to complete several sections before reaching the summit.
Some of those routes, like El Capitan in Yosemite National park, even require some climbers to spend two or more days climbing. That means spending the night, and on a big wall climb, you’ll use a portaledge for shelter.
A portaledge is a lightweight platform that you haul up the rock with you. When assembled, the platform acts as a kind of sturdy hammock with a tent pitched on top of it. They’ll comfortably sleep a couple of climbers.
If you’re in the market for a great portaledge, the Bomb Shelter from Metolius is one of the best on the market.
What makes this portaledge so impressive is that it’s both lighter and stronger than similar models. The shelter is built from 6061-T6 tubing. It’s aircraft-grade and you simply won’t find material any lighter than that with the kind of strength the Bomb Shelter boasts. This shelter only comes in at 11 lbs — 7 oz., which is a good bit lighter than its closest competitors.
The platform you’ll be doing your lounging on is equally as robust, made from a high denier polyester that’s abrasion-resistant. Plus, it provides a good amount of real estate. At 7 feet by 2.5 feet, even the tallest climbers should not have a problem sleeping comfortably.
You’ll be fully protected from the sun and elements thanks to the abrasion-resistant rain fly. The seams are sealed and it’s totally leak-proof, so you don’t have to worry if you find yourself stuck at 600 feet in a downpour.