The Best Ice Climbing Gear of 2013

(Camp)

Camp Geko Lite Gloves

With a microfleece-lined goatskin palm and synthetic insulation on the back, the Geko Lite struck an admirable balance between warmth and sensitivity for tool gripping and rope handling.

Black Diamond Equipment Vector Climbing Helmet

(Black Diamond)

Testers loved the little things about the ultralight (8.5 ounces) Vector: there’s a built-in headlamp clip, and when you stuff it in your pack, the helmet’s straps fold up neatly out of the way.

Black Diamond Equipment Aspect Harness

(Black Diamond)

With four gear loops for easy clipping, a forged steel buckle that never slipped, and an ergonomic waist belt, the Aspect is comfortable and versatile enough to wear year-round. 

Deuter Guide Lite 32 Pack

(Deuter)

At just 2.6 pounds, the Guide Lite skimps on weight without forgoing important stuff like a sturdy frame, gear and ax loops, and a removable foam back pad that can double as a seat cushion.

Petzl Nomic Ice Tool

(Petzl)

Beginner or pro, ice wall or alpine glacier: this is the best all-around tool we’ve ever seen. Outfit it with hammer or adze, then micro-adjust the pommel for a more precise fit.

The North Face Verto S6K Glacier GTX Boots

(The North Face)

The North Face’s first foray into full-on ice-climbing-and-mountaineering boots impressed our primary tester, a guide on Mount Rainier, who praised their “great feel and balance on slim ledges.” Mudguards kept out snow and debris.

Petzl Lynx Crampons

(Petzl)

The Lynx is compatible with any ice boot with a welted heel and converts quickly from mono to dual front points. It’s one of the most versatile crampons we’ve tested, as capable on vertical ice as on alpine routes.

Mountain Equipment Changabang Pants

(Mountain Equipment)

Hypalon patches at the hips and Cordura at the ankles prevent ice screws and crampons from slicing the Changabang’s top-shelf Gore-Tex fabric, while side zips let off some steam.

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