Climbing Gear


Carabiner: A gated aluminum fastener used with rope and other equipment to arrest rock climbers’ falls.

Portaledge: A collapsible sleeping platform for climbers.

All you need to tackle unbolted routes.

How to assemble your first kit.

How to build a high-quality quiver on a budget

Tips from legend Lee Sheftel, who sent his first 5.14 after his 59th birthday

A portable sound system built for the demands of the outdoors

Patagonia's Jenna Johnson is on a mission to get women into high-tech gear that can take on real adventures.

The outdoor adventure company doesn't do girly. Their new women's gear is designed for adventurers, explorers, and athletes who play in the mountains for a living. Not surprisingly, the apparel works pretty well for the rest of us, too.

It’s rumored Game Of Thrones star Jason Momoa plans to open a brewery and rock gym in Detroit.

A smart probe that crowdsources snowpack data to tell you where it's safe to ski.

Would you buy a $400 tie—if it's been to the top of Everest?

The best part of waking up? The savory smell of bacon coming from your, uh, iPhone.

Grab your bell-bottoms and get ready for a party in the backcountry.

Whether you're an elite rock climber or just plain hard on your hands, these are the tips you need to keep your skin strong and healthy.

High-tech cooler tops $4 million on Kickstarter

Landing easy money to pay for adventure is a thing of the past. Now athletes must perfect the art of low-cost, high-risk expeditions to access the world’s remotest corners, and young mountaineer Ed Farrelly is leading the charge.

Seven men want to share a few thousand pieces of gear with the world. And they need your help.

Three entrepreneurs envision a future of shared outdoor equipment. And while the project is barely off the ground, their idea could change how we buy and sell gear.

The chemistry-led quest to create the world’s best super chalk blends for climbers and weight lifters

First, you should start by thinking about this question in a different way. It’s not about breaking in the boot to fit your foot, but breaking in your foot to fit the boot. If that sounds painful and a bit mystical, don’t worry. There are some easy steps you can…

Because you don't need expensive gear to enjoy the backcountry

Summer Buyer’s Guide tester Billy Brown currently has an office, a closet, and a garage overflowing with next year’s light hikers. The founder of Trek Tech blog and his testers have run about 120 boots through the ringer over the past year. In other words, he…

Camping at the start of spring is pure magic: the rivers are opening up, the days are getting longer, and most of the country gets deluged with life-giving rain. Okay, so while the rain might not be your favorite part of camping, if you come at it with the right…

I can’t think of a better alpinist to answer this question than Steve House—guide, author, Patagonia ambassador, and founder of the Alpine Mentors Program. House has climbed some of the highest peaks in the world with his remarkably clean, fast, and light style. The…

Earlier this week, The North Face launched a clothing line that includes free web training. It’s shaping up to be a pretty great fitness ally.

Finally, a great way to organize your ice climbing gear.

The Black Diamond pack that promises to set a new standard for avalanche survival gear

Every good athlete has at least one soft spot. Want to be great? Strengthen your weakest link.

Stay comfortable and illuminated with LuminAid's TPU pillow lantern

Outside reviews the best gear in the Summer 2013 Buyer’s Guide, including the Rab Maverick.

I need a pair of good-quality ski goggles to protect my eyes, but I don’t know where to start. Help me out!

Ali Carr Troxell spoke to Climbing's Julie Ellison and Jes Nelson, a manager at Bent Gate gear store, after they climbed the 5.7 route about the experience and what pieces of gear were pivotal

Scaling rock and ice in the winter is serious business. Bring the right stuff.

It makes no difference to Mother Nature whether you’re a few hundred feet outside the resort boundary or deep in the backcountry. At a minimum, if you plan to ski any uncontrolled slope, you need four things: a buddy, a beacon (worn over your midlayer, not stuffed in your pack), a shovel, and a probe.

The latest addition to Metolius's SafeTech line, the Patriot is a lightweight, minimalist harness that weighs in at just 14 oz.

There's been a lot of coverage of the this year's climbing season on Everest, and I'm curious as to what day-to-day life is like at the roof of the world. What are the basic necessities?

Five Ten’s Guide Tennie Canvas is a few ounces lighter than the original but every bit as capable on talus and techy trails.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Summer Buyer's Guide, including the 5.10 Coyote Canvas climbing shoes.

We crack the evolution of the safety helmet

Ice climbing season is coming up and I need to decide whether to buy a hardshell or a softshell. Which do you prefer for climbing?

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Cassin X-All -Mountain ice ax

We also like Black Diamond HotWire Quickdraws. The key-lock gate on the top ‘biner won’t catch on bolt hangers, while the wire gate saves weight.…

Mammut’s Smart belay device provides autolocking belay action at a fraction of the price and weight of other devices.…

Pick up a couple of Petzl Attache 3D lockers, which are great utility ‘biners for anchors and slings and can also be used for attaching your belay device to your harness.…

BEAL‘s 8.1mm, 60-meter ICE LINE makes life a lot easier.

Get bang for your buck. The Big Air XP package comes with a beginner-friendly belay device (for catching your partner while she lead-climbs) and a locking carabiner (so you can secure your harness’s belay loop to the device, not shown).…

Necessary addition to your starter kit: a chalk bag. Keeping your hands dry is essential for better grip. This bag offers easy access—and is available in feminine prints.…

This moisture-wicking, skin-tight nylon-Lycra racerback tank has four-way stretch so it moves with you. Plus, because it’s extra-long, it never crept above testers’ hips. No built-in support means you can strip down to your sports bra on warmer days.…

When you start gearing up to cling to walls of ice in the dead of winter, it’s no time to skimp, and PETZL‘s versatile and redesigned QUARK ICE TOOLS are a good place to start.

If you aren’t flailing on 5.10’s anymore, you’re probably ready to start lead-climbing. It’s time to invest in quickdraws (like Black Diamond FireWires, $17.50), a daisy chain, and a high-quality rope. BlueWater’s 10.2-millimeter, 60-meter Eliminator is long enough for some multipitch climbs. Bonus: A percentage of the proceeds…

MAMMUT‘s super-comfortable TOGIR SLIDE HARNESS has loops designed specifically for ice screws and tools. A lightweight dry rope (i.e., one that’s treated and won’t suck up water)…

While you can continue to use your daypack, eventually you’ll want to upgrade to something climbing-specific, like this 2,250-cubic-inch hauler, built roomy enough for a rope, a sling full of quickdraws, and extra layers. Why else do we love it? Ski loops mean it can double as a winter…

In a sport where rock can fall like hail, every gear list should start with a helmet. The comfy Wild Country Rock Lite helmet is available with an optional polycarbonate covering ($15) that can be affixed for extra rockfall and weather protection.…

Short shorts are never a good thing when you’re above your belayer. These knee-length capris will give you the right coverage without hindering your ability to move. Plus, the stretchy nylon fabric can stand up to scraping the wall.…

Eventually, you’ll probably own multiple pairs of shoes for different types of rock, but at first you want something with a flat last and ample support that’s agile in a variety of conditions, like SCARPA’s Thunder shoes.…

For your first shoe, go with a simple yet versatile style and stick to easy on/off Velcro. The Hybrid handled both slab and crack climbs, thanks to its sticky rubber, which is also engineered for longer wear.…

Black Diamond’s Aspect harness has intelligently designed seams that don’t dig or chafe, while the three speed buckles provide maximum safety and flexibility in a light, affordable package.…

A harness is more than just something to hang by. You’ll want it to be durable with plenty of gear loops for carabiners, like the featherweight (only 11.2-ounce) R-280. Sure, it might look paper-thin, but its strength-dispersing technology uniformly distributes your body weight for maximum comfort.

Sterling’s 70-meter, 10.1-millimeter Marathon Pro rope strikes a good balance between lightness and durability.…

Protect your noggin with this first-ever women-specific (read: ponytail-compatible) ten-ounce helmet. Ten vents release steam on hot days and the removable foam is washable when it starts to stink.…

WHERE TO USE IT: One glimpse of Longs Peak’s 1,500-foot vertical east face and you’ll know why you came: This 14,259-foot Colorado mountain is no mellow slag heap. The 15-mile round-trip hike gains 5,000 feet and demands an alpine start; afternoon lightning storms are a given. You can also tackle…

1. MT. BORAH CUSTOM With seven-week turnarounds and minimum orders of just six pieces, Mt. Borah makes customcycling gear easier than ever. Jerseys from $83; 2. VITTORIA OPEN CORSA EVO CX The handmade CX can handle pressures up to 200 psi and is…

What's the best approach shoe for a woman? I'm considering climbing the Grand Teton. Chickie Mason Lakehills, Texas

The key to staying warm and stuck to the ice? The right stuff.

You want: the best gear for summer cragging. You need: this setup.

Are there climbing pants out there that are rugged and stretchy, and that actually make wearing the harness more comfortable? I’d appreciate any suggestions to make a long day of climbing more enjoyable. Tony Montreal, Quebec

I’m new to climbing and have been to several stores both local and online looking for gear. I concerned with safety and see all different brands (SMC, Petzl, Omega), shapes, materials, and sizes of carabiners. Which one is best? Don Bellingh, Washington

I’d like to start doing some mountaineering and need to buy crampons. I have a great, broken-in pair of REI Spirit II GTX boots. How can I tell if my boots are crampon compatible? And if they are, which ones should I get? David Dallas, Texas

Do you have any recommendations about footwear (boots, covers, etc.)? I've seen these nes used a lot for climbs: Koflach Arctis Expe, OneSport Everest, or Scarpa Inverno. Any "new" kids on the block? I'm looking to summit McKinley. Greg Allentown, PA

I'm getting back into mountaineering and I want to know whether I should be using steel or aluminum crampons? I've used steel in the past, but looking at the newer ultralight crampons, I'm wondering if they're actually tough enough to take all the abuse I deal out. So, which is it: steel or aluminum? Bob Salisbury, North Carolina

I'm headed out to do some big-wall climbs in Yosemite this summer. I was wondering if you could recommend a sturdy shoe that will suffice on my trad routes out here in the Northeast, but hold its own on a big-wall climb out West? I'd rather sink my loot into protection than different shoes for all occasions. Con Boston, Massachusetts

Would there be any advantage in having a small two-way radio system attached to your rock-climbing helmet? Basically so you and your partner can talk to each other easily while climbing. Tim Dunedin, New Zealand

I'm looking to purchase a digital camera for a road trip that my girlfriend and I will be taking this summer. Apart from being able to take nice photos (five megapixels, three-power zoom), I'd like something durable as I an avid hiker and climber. Can you recommend something for no more than $300? William Rancho Cuconga, California

THIS SUMMER, CLIMBERS Jared Ogden, 33, and Ryan Nelson, 25, hope to complete a new route up the 3,000-foot east face of Alaska’s Mount Barrille. Although the Durango, Colorado, residents are expecting only dry rock, they’re packing ice axes to “dry-tool” over any mirror-smooth granite pitches. Translation: They’ll use the…