Editors' Choice 2019: D4 Full Portaledge Review

Our top climbing gear picks of 2019

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The D4 Full Portaledge.

In late December, I took the new D4 Full-Size up Yosemite’s Washington Column. After designing the iconic A5 ledge 30 years ago, John Middendorf has crafted a welcome upgrade. Made of 6061-T6 aircraft aluminum, the D4 packs into a 31.5” x 15” x 8” oval that fits nicely in a haulbag and weighs only 18.8lbs—the lightest double ledge on the market. The newly designed bullet connectors make setup and breakdown a breeze, while the unique curved corners add rigidity, eliminating the need for a spreader bar, reducing weight and eliminating tangles. At 6’6”, I fit comfortably in the 82” x 47.5” platform, enjoying solid back support. The seamless fly is made from diamond ripstop polyester—the ledge fits snuggly into abrasion-resistant Cordura pockets in the fly, and six tensioning straps secure the fly to the ledge; meanwhile, a tentpole tightens the fly to create a stormproof bivy. 


See more of our top climbing gear picks in the Gear Guide 2019: Editors’ Choice Awards, and listen to our latest podcast for an interview with Black Diamond’s climbing category director Kolin Powick.