HandBuilt Alliance

The HandBuilt Alliance is a collective of outdoor equipment designers working together on new ideas and hand-crafting products in-house.

Founded in collaboration with John Middendorf, Barry Ward, Luke Malatesta, and Josh Kornish; the Handbuilt Alliance builds on decades of experience and innovation in big wall gear design.  We're here to make equipment that moves the sport forward and we're dedicated to crafting high-caliber gear without compromise.

We're excited to introduce D4 Big Wall Gear and a new paradigm in folding platform design with the release of four new portaledges: the D4 Portaledge, Alpine Double, Trapezium, and MiniMe.  The future of portaledges is more packable, light-weight, and user-friendly.

Major Design Improvements:

  • Curved corners - stronger and lighter frame
  • Hybrid diameter tubing - stronger joints
  • Unitized frame & patent-pending Bullet Joiners™ - compact and easy assembly 
  • Ambidextrous set-up - no "air side" or "wall side"
  • Full zipper, storm-proof rain fly.

D4 Portaledges

D4 Portaledges Scotland


D4 Portaledge Full-size 2 person ledge - built by Barry Ward, Durango Sewing Solutions - Durango, Colorado

d4 Portaledge

The D4 Portaledge is the next generation of expedition ledges.  Major design innovations include curved frame corners, hybrid diameter tubing, and compact folding.  Weighing in at 18.5 lbs with a weather proof fly the D4 Portaledge is the obvious choice for backcountry and Valley big walls.

Dimensions: deployed - 47" x 82", packed - 31.5" x 14.5" x 7.5"

Weight: 18.5 lbs including ledge, fly, and haul bag

Now available @ - d4portaledge.com


D4 Alpine Double 2 person ledge - built by Luke Malatesta, Runout Customs - Fruita, Colorado

D4 Alpine Double Portaledge

The D4 Double Alpine Portaledge is a scaled-down model of the full-size D4 Portaledge. A modern twist on a classic design, the Double Alpine takes tried and true construction methods from Runout Customs and combines with an ultralight, rigid, and self-assembling D4 frame.  The result is an ultralight, weather-proof shelter ideal for backcountry alpine climbing.

Dimensions: deployed - 42.5" x 75", packed - 31" x 10.5" x 5" 

Weight: ledge - 9.12 lbs ,fly - 3.12 lbs

Now available @ runoutcustoms.com


D4 Octapod 1.5 person ledge - built by John Middendorf,  D4 Big Wall Gear - Bohart, Tasmania 

Octapod Dreams

The Octapod is a climbing Ninja's ledge.  It sets up in a minute, and packs into a daypack.  Very light.  Don't expect luxurious bedding accomodations for this single-point suspended, super quick deploy, daypackable, sub-5 kg two-person four-season hanging tent--it is designed for one, or two, people to be able to do two things:

•Rest adequately for a full day of fitness ahead.

•Provide full shelter from severe storms.

It is the cumulation of over 20 years experience designing truly stormproof portaledge systems.  There have been no compromises on security  of the fly cover, and strength of the frame, which, although light, is burly and can withstand any challenging placement on tree or wall.  The new shorter "wheelbase" (the wall side which rests against the tree or wall) makes for a very stable platform.  And there are a number of new design features and details which make the ledge even easier to deploy, even in stormy windy conditions.

Dimensions: deployed - 60" x 48" , packed - 24" x 7" x 3.5" 

Weight: 10 lbs with fly

Special order @ bigwallgear.com


D4 Trapezium 1.5 person ledge - built by John Middendorf,  D4 Big Wall Gear - Bohart, Tasmania 

Trapezium Portaledge

The D4 Trapezium represents a new paradigm in folding ledge technology.  Weighing in at 7.9 lbs and easily fitting into a daypack, the Trapezium is perfect for ultralight walls.  This versatile ledge is stable for BASE jumping, provides decent sleep for two, and protection with a storm proof fly.

Dimensions: deployed - 69" wall length x 47" deep x 34" front length, packed - 25" x 8" x 3.5" 

Weight: 7.9 lbs   

Special order @ bigwallgear.com


D4 MiniMe .5 person ledge, built by Josh Kornish, TUFA Climbing - Whitefish, Montana

MiniMe Portaledge

The D4 MiniMe is an ultralight, self-assembling portaledge, perfect for lounging on long belays and positioning for photoshoots.  Built with an elasticized carbon fibre frame, patent-pending D4 Bullet Joiners™, VX-42 fabric bed, and a herringbone webbing suspension; the MiniMe self-deploys when dropped from its haul bag.  In under a minute a stable and comfortable ledge is at your convenience.

Dimensions: deployed - 31" x 20", packed - 20" x 9" x 3" 

Weight: ledge - 2.8 lbs, Wall Tote - 0.5 lbs

Now available @ tufaclimbing.com

Portaledge Comparison