Gram-counting purists will be elated by Black Diamond’s new ultralight, ultrabreathable, and ultra low profile Vapor helmet. It uses Kevlar and carbon sandwiched between foam and a polycarbonate shell to keep the helmet’s weight low without sacrificing protection.
When you’re carrying it, not wearing it, the suspension tucks inside for compact storage. But most importantly, this helmet has taken a lesson from the cycling world on the relationship between airflow and comfort. Massive ventilation ports keep your head cool without compromising protection. Seven ounces or less depending on size. $140; available spring 2013; blackdiamondequipment.com.
Wear the Black Diamond Vapor when you're placing the company's new Camalot X4. It has 20 percent more range than other three-cam units thanks to a patent-pending stacked axle, while maintaining the narrow head width of a three-cam unit with hidden springs. The result: it's two times stronger and 10 times cooler than webbing or plastic, lighter in your rack, and has a hot forge aluminum body that's more flexible and armored (stronger and safer). Plus, it's sleek. Black Diamond Camalot X4 (.1, .2, .3, .4, .5, .75), $70; available spring 2013; blackdiamondequipment.com.
Mammut’s 10.0 Sensor rope has midpoint and near-the-end markers that you can see and feel. In those areas, Mammut brought the core to the outside with a weaving change that the belayer or climber can feel as the rope runs through the belay device. $279/60m and $299/70m; available spring 2013; mammut.ch.
Mammut's 8.7 Serenity rope is the thinnest single rope on the market. Weighing just 51 grams per meter, it is triple certified as a single, twin, or half rope, and is the most durable in its class. It works with all Mammut belay devices as well as the Petzl Gri Gri 2 and ATC, and is designed for on-sighting and redpointing. $249/60m and $279/70m; available spring 2013; mammut.ch.