(Inga Hendrickson)
2020 Winter Buyers Guide

The Best Gym Climbing Gear of 2020

Sending indoors can be fun. Here are our favorite tools.


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Patagonia Capilene Cool Lightweight Shirt ($45)

(Courtesy Patagonia)

This was male testers’ go-to climbing top, ideal no matter what the temperature. At sweltering SoCal crags, it felt airy; on chilly alpine routes, it was a solid base layer.

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Outdoor Research Quarry Pants ($89)

(Courtesy Outdoor Research)

We tested the women’s Quarry, which has an adjustable waistband, gusseted crotch, and articulated knees, so it fits the way we like: no butt gap! The cotton-spandex blend is ultrabreathable. 

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Scarpa Vapor V Rock Shoes ($175)

(Courtesy Scarpa)

The updated Vapor V retains the comfort, precision, and flexibility of the original. What’s different? A tighter heel for bouldering and a more durable, form-fitting microsuede interior.

Men's Women's

Trango Gym Cuts 9.9 mm Rope ($90 and up)

(Courtesy Trango)

The Gym Cuts offers Trango’s trademark light weight and durability, but in 30- and 40-meter lengths—perfect for indoor lead walls. No more dragging a full-length rope across the pads.

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Outdoor Voices Steeplechase Bra ($45)

(Courtesy Outdoor Voices)

Great for climbers, the Steeplechase’s narrow racerback accommodates beefy shoulder and upper-back muscles, and the not-too-tight band means you’ll breathe easy on the crux. 

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Petzl Kliff Rope Bag ($60)

(Courtesy Petzl)

We love the Kliff’s cushy straps and zip back panel. At 36 liters, it’s a bit small for cragging, but large enough for the shoes, chalk, harness, rope, and snacks you’ll want to bring with you to the gym.

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Kinetik KiloJoule 3.0 Chalk Bucket ($44)

(Courtesy Kinetik)

Crisscrossed layers of stretchy nylon cover the top of the KiloJoule, so you can chalk up without spilling. It also zips into a taco to keep the white stuff contained—a must-have for travel. 

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Black Diamond ATC-Guide Belay Device ($30)

(Courtesy Black Diamond)

A standby for decades, the ATC-Guide is reliable, easy to use, and cheap. Even better, it’s versatile, performing equally well on plastic holds and real-life multipiches. This year it gets 10 percent lighter. 

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Decathlon Climbing and Mountaineering Adjustable Harness ($55)

(Courtesy Decathlon)

This no-frills job from Decathlon is affordable but still comfortable to hang in, thanks to breathable foam padding.

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From Winter 2020 Buyer’s Guide Lead Photo: Inga Hendrickson

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