When it comes to big walls, light is right.
Petzl Arial 9.5 mm Rope
The Arial is a flowy rope that stretches just enough to provide a nice soft catch. It’s pricier than its closest competitors, but it’ll last seasons, courtesy of a Duratec Dry treatment that resists water, dirt, and abrasions.
Price $230 and up
Black Diamond Vapor Helmet
With 23 vents, the Vapor is the most breathable lid we tested. The foam is surrounded by a polycarbonate shell, keeping it light enough (just 6.6 ounces) for all-day use.
Black Diamond Camalot Ultralight Cam
Black Diamond took its standard cam, slimmed down the sling and lobes, and swapped the steel cable for one made from Dyneema. Result: the new Camalot Ultralight weighs 25 percent less than its predecessor.
Price $90 and up
Scarpa Vapor Shoes
These are the climbing-world equivalent of a well-loved baseball glove. The Vapor is supremely comfortable, owing to a synthetic upper that breaks in after just a few climbs. But it’s no weak sneaker. The aggressive last allows for sharp, meticulous edging.
Patagonia Linked 16L Pack
The 16-liter Linked has everything we want and nothing we don’t. It’ll hold a few liters of water plus snacks, approach shoes, and an extra layer. It can also take a beating.
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants
A squeeze chimney will rip most pants to shreds. That’s why Outdoor Research gave the Ferrosi bomber Cordura panels in key spots. Despite their toughness, these pants are still plenty articulated for crux moves.
Mammut Wall So Hoodie
A good top prevents sun- and windburn, vents body heat, and accommodates an extra layer if temperatures drop. The Wall So does all three, with soft shell on the body and back, stretchy underarm panels, and a relaxed fit.
Petzl Sitta Harness
There’s no foam padding in the Sitta, which explains its feathery weight—9.5 ounces. What’s shocking is how comfortable it is. We credit the Spectra strands in the well-designed waist belt and leg loops.
Metolius Ultralight Chalk Bag
You shouldn’t have to think about your chalk bag on a multipitch climb. We didn’t with the super-svelte Ultralight, which is plenty big enough but weighs just over an ounce.