Climbing

Seven reasons your climbing this year will be better than last

    Photo: Photograph by Jens Mortensen

1. Black Diamond Demon Pack // Consider this a sleek reincarnation of the classic, durable klettersack. It easily fits a rope, a rack, and all sundries. $120; bdel.com

2. Edelrid Eddy // This auto-locking belay device feeds rope smoothly, accepts cords down to 9 mm, and features an emergency lockout so your belayer can't drop you. The drawback: It's heavier than a Petzl GriGri—and twice as expensive. $140; edelrid.de

3. Black Diamond VaporLock // Weighing just 1.8 ounces, this locking 'biner offers the same smooth action and high strength ratings as the company's standard models, but with about a third less heft. $14

4. Five Ten Dragon // This soft, radically downturned lace-up fits much better than its previous iteration with Velco and is perfect on steep rock, thanks to the generous slathering of sticky Stealth HF rubber. $130; fiveten.com

5. Flashed Ronin // Get over the sticker shock. This pad's revolutionary innards—it employs 432 extremely durable independent cells of air—justify the price. It packs down small enough to avoid airlines' oversize-baggage fees. $410; flashed.com

6. Petzl Fuse 9.4 // No need to worry about kinking up your new rope first time out. The Fuse (and the company's entire new line of ropes) is unspooled in the factory and shipped in a mountaineer's coil. Brilliant! $210 for 60 meters; petzl.com

7. Scarpa Spectro // Designed by climbing-shoe ace Heinz Mariacher, the Spectro is a semi-stiff high-performance edging shoe that's as precise as any shoe out there, without the pain caused by foot cramping. $125; scarpa.com

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