Going up? Our testers covered all the essentials to find the best climbing gear out there.
Arc’teryx Miura 35 pack
The entire Miura ($199) zips open, so you can stand on it, change your shoes, and flake your rope. Even cooler, you can zip it back together, flip the lid open, and use the sturdy body as a stand-alone rope bucket.
Singing Rock Nara harness
The leg loops are detachable (read: bathroom compatible) and adjustable, making the Nara ($55) flexible enough to wear over bulky layers.
Beal Tiger 10mm Unicore rope
The dry-treated Tiger ($190 and up) is soft and supple for easy handling, but what we loved most was the added safety factor of its Unicore technology, which keeps the core and sheath of the rope glued together if the rope is accidentally severed or ripped.
Marmot Women’s Stride jacket
The water-resistant Stride ($100) won major points for successfully combining wind protection with the right ratio of breathability and warmth.
Petzl Spirit Express quickdraw
Petzl updates this classic with an ergonomic indentation on the gate, so you know where to put your thumb. ($21)
La Sportiva Jeckyl VS shoes
With great breathability and Velcro closures for easy adjustment, the Jeckyls ($120) were our favorite climb-it-all shoes for beginners and intermediates.
Outdoor Research Voodoo pants
The blue-jeans-inspired waist is a nice touch, but it was the articulated knees, loops on the cuff for do-it-yourself gaiters, and durable material that won us over. ($99)
Mammut Rock Rider helmet
We loved how airy (16 vents) and light (just nine ounces) the Rock Rider ($80) is. Plus, the adjustment system tucks inside, so it takes up less space in your pack en route to the crag.
Black Diamond Equipment Camalot X4 cam
A reconfigured shape makes it easier to protect tough seams. ($70)