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, 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.

In 2018, we're excited to introduce D4 Big Wall Gear and a new paradigm in folding platform design with the release of three new portaledges: the D4 Portaledge, 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 Portaledge Full-size 2 person ledge - built by Barry Ward, Durango Sewing Solutions - Durango, Colorado

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.

Barry Ward, founder of Durango Sewing Solutions, is proud to be fabricating and distributing the D4 Portaledge designed by legendary big wall climber and innovator, John Middendorf. Early in 2017, John launched a successful D4 Kickstarter Project to support a whole new design concept based on his original A5 portaledge. Barry was John's lead production guy back in the early A5 Adventure days in Flagstaff, Arizona, so getting Barry back on board to make the new D4 Portaledges was a no-brainer.

Now Available @ durangosewingsolutions.com


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

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.

Now Available @ bigwallgear.com


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

D4 MiniMe Portaledge

The D4 MiniMe is an ultralight, self-assembling portaledge perfect for lounging on long belays and positioning for photoshoots.  Built with a carbon fiber frame, patent-pending D4 Bullet Joiners and a 420d Robic suspension, the MiniMe packs into a deployable haul sack and weighs in under 3 lbs.  

Pre-sale available soon @ tufaclimbing.com