Light Fantastic


Jun 1, 2006
Outside Magazine
summer climbing gear

Photograph by Jens Mortensen

1. The Helmet BLACK DIAMOND's TRACER is the Kate Moss of helmets: not a gram of fat on it. But there are no questionable trade-offs; the 8.3-ounce lid offers complete protection, an adjustable fit, and wire mesh over the top vents to deflect rockfall. $90; 2. The Rope One could argue that this is an ill-advised place to cut corners. MAMMUT's smart answer is the 8.9mm SERENITY ROPE, which weighs just 6.8 pounds for 200 feet. The trick is coating individual filaments with Teflon, thereby reducing internal chafing and distributing strength uniformly through the rope's core. $230; 3. The Harness PETZL's ADJAMA perfectly combines low weight, high comfort, and ease of use. Light padding lets you hang without crying uncle, adjustable leg loops allow layering, and the double-back buckle is practically idiot-proof. $75; 4. The Shoes Lighter is not always better. Trad climbing inevitably entails crack climbing, which means your ankles will be hamburger if you're wearing low-tops. Save your skin with FIVE TEN's ALTIA, which has a thick leather collar that rises just above the ankle. It's not rigid enough for nickel edging, but it's the best all-day all-arounder we've found. $129; 5. The Hardware METOLIUS POWER CAMS are about 25 percent lighter than the competition, and have a clean, simple pull (26 oz for a full set of eight; $464; DMM WALLNUTS (5A) are svelte and secure (12 oz for ten; $85; At just under an ounce, DMM's BUGETTE (5B) is the lightest belay device around ($19). TRANGO's gossamer SUPERFLY QUICKDRAWS (not pictured) feel like they could clip to a cloud (12 oz for five; $90;