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  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Sport Climbing Essentials

    Little things make the difference between sending your project and going home frustrated.

    —Matt Skenazy

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Black Diamond LiveWire Quickdraw

    Because its beefy dog bone—the sewn webbing that connects the carabiners—is so tough, the LiveWire ($24) has long been a staple of our rack. The latest version has a single metal wire over the nose of the bottom 'biner, which prevents rope snags while you're clipping and cleaning.

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Outdoor Research Astroman Shirt

    Like most outdoorsy guy shirts, the nylon-spandex Astroman ($85) is light, stretchy, and breathable. What sets it apart? You can fold up the collar and snap it in place to protect your neck from the sun on long, exposed climbs.

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Mountain Hardwear Hyaction Jacket

    Ultralight waterproof shells often sacrifice durability for weight. Not the Hyaction ($350), which has reinforcement in the shoulders, arms, and hood and weighs in at only nine ounces. The high, harness-friendly pockets are key.

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Scarpa Techno X Shoes

    Thanks to a microsuede synthetic-leather upper and a U-shaped band of rubber underfoot (designed to relieve tension on your toes), the Techno X ($145) is the most comfortable lace-up we tested. It performed equally well on techy overhanging boulder problems and long, slabby sport routes.

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Edelrid Eagle Light 9.5 Rope

    Not only is the Light 9.5 ($240) thinner and lighter than previous iterations of the Eagle rope series, it's also stronger than ever before, thanks to microscopic particles of Teflon bonded to the yarn. The treatment also increases the rope's resistance to dirt and water.

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Patagonia Stretch Houdini Boardshorts

    When you get right down to it, there isn't much difference between pared-down climbing shorts and simple boardshorts. Both are cut from stretchy, quick-drying fabric and, like the Houdini ($129), have welded flat seams that don't chafe, whether you're riding waves or scaling rock.

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Wild Country Boost Harness

    Most harnesses are built with a single piece of webbing. Wild Country splits the Boost ($55) into two pieces of two-inch webbing, which more evenly disperses your weight during big falls and hanging belays. The result: the most comfortable sport-climbing harness we've tried in years.

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Petzl Bolsa Rope Bag

    We loved the simplicity of the Bolsa ($40). Throw in your rope, sling it over your shoulder bandolier style, and head for the crag. Once there, it unfolds into a large square tarp to keep your rope clean.

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Next Up:2014 Day Hike Essentials

    Metolius Ultralight Cylinder Chalk Bag

    Thanks to paper-thin silnylon fabric and a barely-there buckle, the Ultralight Cylinder ($23) is 70 percent lighter than most chalk bags. It isn't super durable, but it's an easy way to knock 80 grams off your rack.

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