2014 Sport Climbing Essentials

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

—Matt Skenazy

(Inga Hendrickson)

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

—Matt Skenazy

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.

Buyer's Guide Summer Outside Magazine Outside Online Hike Travel Float Run Bike Women Tech
(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.

Buyer's Guide Summer Outside Magazine Outside Online Hike Travel Float Run Bike Women Tech
(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.

Buyer's Guide Summer Outside Magazine Outside Online Hike Travel Float Run Bike Women Tech
(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.

Buyer's Guide Summer Outside Magazine Outside Online Hike Travel Float Run Bike Women Tech
(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.

Buyer's Guide Summer Outside Magazine Outside Online Hike Travel Float Run Bike Women Tech
(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.

Buyer's Guide Summer Outside Magazine Outside Online Hike Travel Float Run Bike Women Tech
(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.

Buyer's Guide Summer Outside Magazine Outside Online Hike Travel Float Run Bike Women Tech
(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.

Buyer's Guide Summer Outside Magazine Outside Online Hike Travel Float Run Bike Women Tech
(Inga Hendrickson)


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.

Buyer's Guide Summer Outside Magazine Outside Online Hike Travel Float Run Bike Women Tech
(Inga Hendrickson)

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