The Best Bouldering Gear of 2021
Better gear for your ups and downs
Outside's long reads email newsletter features our strongest writing, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors. Sign up today.
Mountain Hardwear Men’s Tutka Warm Pants ($125)
Made of stretchy twill and a brushed interior, the Tutkas look like khakis and feel plush, but they offer work-pants durability.
Tenaya Mastia Shoes ($200)
An aggressive shoe isn’t usually this comfy out of the box. And its asymmetrical last performs: toeing, edging, and heel hooks all feel solid.
CamelBak Octane 25 70 Oz Hydration Pack ($145)
This smart 25-liter hauler has a two-liter reservoir and room for food and layers.
Backcountry Double Dyno Women’s Climbing Pants ($110)
Testers liked the Double Dyno’s stretch and deep pockets, and how it fit a variety of hips while leaving room for leggings underneath.
La Sportiva TX Guide Approach Shoes ($159)
Rubber outsoles can make approach shoes stiff and uncomfortable after more than an hour of use. But the TX Guides kept our feet happy because they have virtually no break-in period. Credit the cushy heel padding and four-millimeter OrthoLite insoles.
Arc’teryx Motus AR Hoodie ($99)
At 5.5 ounces, this ultrasoft polyester midweight is lighter than similar models and kept us from overheating on approaches to the crag. The high neck and thumb loops boost coverage.
Black Diamond Circuit Crash Pad ($150)
Style points are what won us over, but there’s far more to love about the Circuit than just its flash. At less than nine pounds, it’s one of the lighter straight-hinge models on the market.
Mountain Hardwear Stretchdown Hybrid Hoodie ($300)
This 700-fill puffy weaves the face, back, and baffles from the same fabric. The upshot: better range of movement and heat retention. Plus, its pockets sit above a harness for sport days.