Home > Climbing

Metolius Roll Up Stick Clip Review: A High-Tech, Ingenious, but Expensive Solution to Sketchy First Bolts

Stick clips started out as an actual tree branch, pebble or twig, and climbing tape. I was shown this clever technique sometime in the early '90s and it surely saved me from plenty of ground falls.
Metolius Roll Up Stick Clip(Photo/Seiji Ishii)
Support us! GearJunkie may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

The stick clip has evolved over the decades. It started with an actual tree branch, and then jumped to painter poles with hardware store spring clamps. Today, we enjoy climbing-specific, telescopic versions. But Metolius put the progression in overdrive with its Roll Up Stick Clip.

As the name suggests, Metolius Climbing thought outside the box and created an almost 10-foot-long stick clip that rolls up to the size of a large coffee cup. This makes it infinitely easier to put in a pack, as even telescopic versions can be too long to fit inside. It also makes flying with one equally friction-free.

An example of the original stick clip
An example of the original stick clip crafted from climbing tape, a stick, and a twig; (photo/Seiji Ishii)

I have used the Metolius Roll Up Stick Clip since it was released in January at my local limestone sport crag. At this short cliff, the first (and even second) bolts often require remote clipping to ensure safety.

In short: The Metolius Roll Up Stick Clip reliably got the first draw and rope onto every first and second bolt I wanted pre-clipped without fuss. With the included Metolius Superclip attachment, other stick clip functions were not as easy. But the magic was in the pole; with no telescopic segments, it was more stable than others. And the incredibly compact storage form allowed it to live in my pack, so I never forgot it at home. Also, Metolius includes adaptors that drastically expand the pole’s utility.

Metolius Roll Up Stick Clip


  • Pole material Carbon composite
  • Length 9.8'
  • Head material Stainless steel


  • Most compact stick clip in stored format
  • Longitudinally stiff
  • Comes with paint pole and camera mount adapters for more usability


  • Expensive for a stick clip
  • Not torsionally rigid

Carbon Composite Pole From the Military

Stored Metolius Roll Up Stick Clip pole next to water bottle
Hard to believe this roll deploys to a nearly 10-foot pole; (photo/Seiji Ishii)

As stated, the 9.8-foot pole is the attention-grabber. It is, by far, the most compact stick clip available in the rolled-up format (roughly 3.75′ x 4.5″). Not only did this make storing it in my crag pack or airline luggage much easier, but it also made forgetting it impossible. I’ve lost count of how often I’ve left a stick clip at home or in the car. I’ve either risked it on the way to the first bolt or reverted to using a tree branch. No more!

Deploying the pole from its duct-tape-roll-like form always drew the attention of rock jocks in the area. It was like I was a magician, transforming the tiny, sub-2-pound package into a bonafide, nearly 10-foot-long stick clip. The carbon composite material Metolius sources is made for this purpose, although in an entirely different way. The military uses it as an antenna mast for field communications.

The unrolled material “snaps” into a cylinder, just like a toy snap bracelet. One end of the formed pole accepts a cap that locks on with a twist. A painter’s pole threaded adapter screws into the cap, which threads to the Metolius Superclip. Metolius also includes a 1/4″-20 camera mount adapter, making the Roll Up Stick Clip the “world’s longest selfie stick.”

Interestingly, the carbon composite material doesn’t form a complete cylinder to form the pole. When fully deployed and assembled, a small open gap runs the pole’s length.

Remote Clipping the First Bolt (or Two) With the Metolius Roll Up Stick Clip

Seiji Ishii clipping a first bolt with the Metolius Roll Up Stick Clip
The carbon composite pole was plenty sturdy, and the Superclip head reliably hung the first quickdraw; (photo/Ash Duban)

The Metolius Roll Up Stick Clip reliably placed a quickdraw with a rope into the first bolts on every route I used it on. The pole was stiffer than almost all my commercial telescopic stick clips at full extension. I could easily clip the second bolt on every route at my local crag.

And on shorter routes, adding my almost 6-foot-tall frame and standing on boulders, I could hilariously clip every bolt. How’s that for sport climbing? However, there were a few caveats.

First, since it’s not a telescoping pole, I had to partially roll it back up to create a shorter pole on low first bolts to avoid finagling the pole. This was more involved than partially collapsing a telescoping pole.

Secondly, the arms of the Superclip head attachment were tighter than I remember in older versions. Although the Superclip has existed for decades, Metolius acquired it last February. The wire on the Metolius version seemed much stiffer, making getting larger carabiners between the loops difficult. I also had to be careful not to pinch my skin. However, once the quickdraw was in the Superclip, clipping bolt hangers was reliable and straightforward.

Finally, assembling the Metolius Roll Up Stick Clip or packing up to move to a different area or leave for the day was more involved than with a telescopic pole.

Removing Quickdraws and Other Stick Clip Functions

Seiji Ishii loading a quickdraw into the Metolius Roll Up Stick Clip Superclip head
The prongs on the Metolius Superclip were very tight. It was difficult to load larger carabiners or to remove quickdraws with it; (photo/Ash Duban)

The limiting factor in removing a quickdraw, clipping the rope, or pulling the rope down above the first bolt was the Superclip, not the pole. The tight prongs made it challenging to grab the top carabiner of a quickdraw, as it would wiggle out of its grasp.

With careful and patient positioning, I could wedge the top carabiner against the top of the bolt hanger hole. But the process was much more frustrating and time-consuming than with other stick clips or stick clip heads.

Pulling the rope down from above the first bolt wasn’t super complicated, but it was more difficult than with other stick clip heads. This was because the Superclip doesn’t have a hook or any other external feature that could readily grasp the hanging rope.

Detail of the Metolius Roll Up Stick Clip head and Superclip
Detail of the Metolius Roll Up Stick Clip head and Superclip. Notice the gap that runs down the length of the pole; (photo/Seiji Ishii)

Clipping a loop of rope into the lower carabiner on a hanging quickdraw wasn’t as problematic as the above two actions. But doing it was easier with other stick clip heads.

Finally, if any of the above actions required twisting the pole, it wasn’t as stable against rotation as on the other axis. I didn’t know if this was inherent to Metolius’s carbon composite material or because it doesn’t form a complete, enclosed tube when deployed. It was plenty stiff in any other axis.

Other Functions of the Metolius Roll Up Stick Clip

Metolius Roll Up Stick Clip Head with GoPro mounted
Metolius includes a standard threaded camera mount adapter, making for an incredibly long selfie stick; (photo/Seiji Ishii)

The standard paint pole and camera mount threading allowed the Metolius Roll-Up Stick Clip to be used for other purposes at the crags. The most obvious would be as a stick brush using brushes with threaded inserts in the handle. As such, the pole was stiff enough for getting chalk off holds but not stiff enough to clean lichen and debris, as is often the case when establishing new routes or problems. But that’s been my experience with most commercial stick clips.

The standard camera mount on the nearly 10-foot pole was incredible for getting the top-down shots that most climbing media junkies prefer. The carbon composite pole was plenty sturdy for my GoPro and cellphone.

Conclusions on the Metolius Roll Up Stick Clip

Female climber using Metolius Roll Up Stick Clip
Everyone who saw me unroll the Metolius Roll Up Stick Clip had to try it to appease their curiosity; (photo/Seiji Ishii)

The Metolius Roll Up Stick Clip functioned well in getting the first draw and rope to the first and, if required and possible, the second bolt. The Superclip prongs were tight, but once I got the quickdraw in, it reliably clipped it to the bolt hanger. I wondered if the Superclip would “wear in” and become looser, but this has yet to happen after months of use.

The carbon composite pole was the absolute star of the show. There isn’t a stick clip that is nearly as compact and easy to pack. Since January, it has lived in my pack, preventing frustrations due to forgetting it at home or in the car.

Yes, assembling and breaking down required more time than other stick clips, but it was well worth the portability. And it proved stiff for everything outside of rotation, which was rarely an issue; if so, it wasn’t difficult to overcome.

Although I have been a fan of the Superclip for decades, newer stick clip heads made actions other than hanging quickdraws easier. Since Metolius uses standard threading and supplies a camera mount adapter, it is the platform for my version of the “ultimate stick clip.”

I carry the Pongoose stick clip head with the Metolius Roll-Up Stick clip pole — perfection for me! And since the Superclip is so tiny and nearly weightless, I keep it on board as a backup.

Finally, I cannot imagine a better selfie stick for those keen on creating visual climbing content. Epic top-down shots are possible, especially for bouldering, without significant weight or space in your pack.

I sincerely applaud Metolius’s creativity and willingness to think and execute outside the box. I don’t think the brand believed that the Roll Up Stick Clip would sell in huge quantities, especially given the MSRP of $225. It feels like a labor of love and stoke. I hope Metolius and other climbing brands continue to take chances to advance our gear. Bravo, Metolius.

flaking out a climbing rope

Sport Climbing Gear List: 12 Essentials for Beginners

Sport climbing is one of those hobbies that’s mostly free and extremely accessible once you own the gear. But, figuring out what gear to initially purchase can be challenging. Read more…

Subscribe Now

Get adventure news and gear reviews in your inbox!

Join Our GearJunkie Newsletter

Get adventure news and gear reviews in your inbox!