Cool stuff for climbers

Insanely Cool Stuff for Climbers

People get into extreme sports for so many different reasons. Some for the thrill, the challenge or the sense of achievement, some for the social, or the physical and mental benefits, and some because they’re addicted and just can’t help it! Each sport attracts and appeals to different types of people and there are some sports where it is absolutely all about the gear. But when it comes to climbing, I think it’s fair to say that although there is so much cool stuff for climbers that is kind of essential, it just doesn’t attract the sort of person who has a ‘need’ for cool stuff. All they want is to climb. You only need to take a look at the people hanging out at your local wall to realise that most climbers climb because they just love it.

That said, if the opportunity arose, and say you had an unlimited budget for climbing gear, I’m pretty sure ALL the climbers in their chalk stained ripped pants and gaffer-taped jackets would LEAP at the chance to upgrade their climbing gear. I know that I sure would! So if the time has come to finally replace that fraying rope that you shouldn’t really have been using for the last month, or you’ve had one close call too many because of the stupidly high first clip on your project route, then there might just be some super cool stuff out there waiting for you to get your chalky hands on.

Petzl Bolsa rope bag

Petzl Bolsal rope bag

This simple and streamline Petzl rope bag is the zero-faff solution to dealing with tangled climbing ropes after a tough session on the rock or at the climbing gym. Open up the bag to fold out an integrated 140cm x 140cm protective tarp for the rope to spill onto as it gets used. Usefully, there are colour-coded loops attached to the tarp corners that allow you to keep track of the climbing end of the rope, when not being used to climb on. And to wrap up your day at the cragg, simply gather the tarp corners together and funnel the rope back into the bag, no coiling required. The bag easily carries an 80m rope, with room to spare for your shoes and harness, and a few quickdraws too.

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Superclip

Superclip

The Superclip is a must for sport climbers aiming to avoid ground falls before they’ve even got into the meat of their climb. When attached to an extendable pole, the Superclip allows climbers to secure their rope and quickdraw to the first bolt of the climb before they even set foot off the ground. Once connected with the quickdraw, it will hold its gate open until it is hooked onto the bolt. Pull down and the Superclip will release its hold, leaving the quickdraw securely clipped to the bolt. A potential lifesaver and most certainly an injury prevention tactic that is invaluable to sport climbers pushing the grades on run-out routes with tricky starts.

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Petzl liquid chalk

Petzl liquid chalk

Heart racing, muscles pumping, tension building, palms sweating. Just your average climbing session then. You won’t always have control over how your mind and body deals with the stresses and challenges of the vertical world, so take control of some of it by chalking up before you climb. Petzl have developed this super quick-drying liquid chalk that will keep even the sweatiest of palms dry for much of their climb. No more inhaling chalk dust as you gasp for air as you enter the crux of your ascent. The driest liquid you’ll ever feel – probably!

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Prana climbing pants

Prana Zion climbing pants

The ever-popular Prana Zions are the type of pants you’ll buy for climbing and then end up never taking off after their first wear. The stretch fabric is not only super comfortable through a full range of movement, but it is also ultra resilient, repelling water and abrasion in equal measure. They feature a ventilated gusset to keep the air flowing, and the roll-up leg snaps are perfect for intense climbing sessions or just some summer adventuring. These Prana pants are ideal for the unassuming climber, traveller and adventurer who wants for little more than practical wear with a touch of simple style.

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Black diamond grigri 2

Petzl GriGri 2 belay device

At only 170g, the GriGri 2 is not only lighter and smaller than its original version, but it is also compatible with a wider range of rope thicknesses. The GriGri 2 will happily deal with dynamic single ropes as thin as 8.9mm and up to 11mm. And as one of the best belay devices in the world, the GriGri has earned its place in the gear bags of novice climbers and instructors for that extra bit of belaying confidence. But GriGris really come into their own on multi-pitch trad routes, sports crags and big wall ascents. The GriGri 2’s design allows for excellent descent control and assisted braking when catching a fall, and has secured high levels of confidence in climbers and belayers worldwide.

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Boot bananas

Boot bananas

Although these fruity deodorisers would be well at home in any shoe or boot, none needs more assistance in the stench department than climbing shoes. What other type of closed footwear that is skin tight do you consistently wear in a very active way without socks for hours at a time? No, I thought not. When your feet aren’t sweating in them, your climbing shoes NEED boot bananas inside them. And your loved ones would probably be delighted about them too! The cotton banana skins are filled with naturally absorbent salts and other sweet smelling and deodorising gems of nature, that thankfully don’t smell of bananas, or feet.


Elderid Loopo light climbing harness

Loopo Light Elderid harness

This may be something of a specialist climbing item, but as one of the lightest harnesses around it’s just too darn cool not to include in a cool stuff for climbers article – it fits in your pocket for goodness’ sake! But when might one use such a featherweight climbing harness that severely lacks in padding and comfort? Well the Loopo is most at home securing the safety of glacier hikers and ski tourers who can’t afford to carry the extra weight of a regular harness. Another great feature of the Loopo is the ability to shave off even more weight by completely removing the patented adjustable gear loops. Minimalism at its peak.


Climb on! Adventure Bar

Climb On! Adventure Bar

This all natural 100% organic intensive skincare treatment is cleverly disguised as an ‘Adventure Bar’. Not a hint of the soothing, gentle, silky properties that skin creams are usually associated with. Oh no, this is no ordinary skin treatment. This is to be applied only when in need of repair and protection. This is to be applied only by adventurers. This is Climb On! Made up of essential oils and beeswax, this multipurpose salve is high in Vitamin A (for cell development), and must only be used when earned. But it does feel rather luxurious after a hard day of chopping wood or hauling ropes, or climbing. Go on, indulge yourself and give those callus-ridden hands a good old pampering.

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Metolius training board

Metolius Wood Grips compact training board

Metolius’ Wood Grip range of training boards ooze class and quality. To the untrained eye it would be easy to mistake a well hung board for modern art that lures its onlookers in to touch its smooth curves and molded contours. But to the rest of us, the attraction is tainted with masochistic tendencies that keep us coming back for more hanging around on gruelling slopers and pulling up on crimped edges. At around 25 inches (63cm) long, this compact training board and its appealing volume of jugs, is ideal for your first ‘at home’ training board. And at least its handsome finish won’t make you shudder each time you pass under it.

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Arc'tyrx approach shoes

Arc’teryx Acrux approach shoes

If your climbing capers are as much about the journey to the crag as the climbing itself, then a great pair of approach shoes are a must. You’ll need something lightweight to keep you nimble on your feet as you scamper along to reach your ascent. Something super grippy to give you confidence on the steep and rocky scrambles. And of course something comfortable and supportive to help you negotiate your way back out of the wilderness after a tiring day on the rock. Arc’teryx delivers all of this and more in the effortlessly stylish and robustly durable Acrux approach shoe. The Adaptive Fit technology stretches to the form of your feet, providing customised support and fit that will put a confident spring in your step. Step into the most fun you’ll have on your climbing adventures without even putting hand to rock.

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Moja chalk bag

Moja Gear chalk bag

If you manage to not get yourself and all your clothing covered in chalk every time you climb, then well done, I need some tips! But I bet you’ve yet to master keeping the inside of your climbing bag and all its contents chalk free? Well, if you had one of these super colourful and gorgeous looking Moja Gear chalk bag then perhaps things might be different. It has an excellent drawstring opening that actually tightens properly when not in use, and the luxurious fleece lined interior will see you reaching for chalk a little more frequently than your sweaty palms might need. Handmade by members of the Californian climbing community, the Moja Gear chalk bag is one well made climbing accessory that will turn heads every time you use it.

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Evolv climbing shoes

Evolv climbing shoes

Part of the Chris Sharma Signature Series, the Evolv Shaman lives up to the aggressive climbing style with which the man himself attacks sport routes. The down-turned toe is a classic feature of high performance shoes, but somehow the Shaman still manages to provide unrivalled levels of comfort for a shoe of this style. The triple hook and loop straps help with this by drawing in the arches of the shoe to your feet. This system ensures an immensely secure fit, whilst the roomy toe box provides just enough space for optimal control on thin holds. With TRAX XT-5 high friction rubber soles, these great looking climbing shoes are best suited to vertical and crimpy ascents and aggressive steep sport climbs.

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Hydro flask

Hydro Flask with wide mouth

Whilst there are most certainly optimal times of the year for outdoor climbing, when the odd winter’s day presents sunny and dry conditions it really is hard to resist a quick visit to the local crag. A steamy soup or hot coffee will do wonders for the enthusiasm levels as the reality of winter climbing kicks in. So make sure you go prepared with this wide mouth Hydro Flask that actually does keep its contents piping hot for over 6 hours. What’s even better about the fun coloured highly durable flask is that it does an equally great job at keeping your cold drinks super chilled in the summer months too.

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Mad Rock bouldering mat

Mad Rock R3 bouldering mat

In the world of bouldering crash mats, the R3 is one innovative and super cool mat that performs like no other on the market. By tightly packing the baffled panels with shredded recycled foam, Mad Rock have created a highly versatile mat. Unlike the standard flat foam mat designs, the R3 conforms excellently to uneven surfaces and is very well suited to boulders that favour low and steep problems. And to top it off, Mad Rock have also put a lot of thought into adding good suspension to the integrated backpack straps that make for a very comfortable carry in and out of the field.

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Belay glasses

Y & Y belay glasses

You only need to belay once for your buddy who is working a project to understand just how essential belay glasses are. Spending hours on end craning your neck to stay attentive to your climber is not only bad for the long-term health of your spine, but the short-term strain will inevitably cause blips in concentration – not an option for high pressure sends. Sure, they may not look fabulous, so you may as well just embrace the uncool and go for one of the fun and bright shades on offer. The high transparency BK7 prisms provide a clear and non reversed image of your climber, allowing you to look straight ahead without taking your eyes off their progress. Y & Y belay glasses also fit over most spectacles and sunglasses.

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Black diamond half dome helmet

Black Diamond Half Dome Helmet

As Black Diamond’s most durable climbing helmet, you will struggle to find hard shell head protection that performs better than the Half Dome. It really is ahead of the game with its super lightweight design that is 40g lighter than its original version. It features some of the most secure headlamp clips on the market, an easily adjustable suspension system for a fine-tuned fit, and has an easy to use chin strap. The sensible bright colours nicely round off the Half Dome as the go to choice for alpine climbers looking for robustness without compromising weight.

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Slackline

Slackline

Taking your first steps on a slackline can be a frustrating affair. But once you’ve nailed the basics, slacklining offers the perfect ‘rest-day’ distraction for climbers. It helps to improve balance and core strength, as well as challenging reactions and mental focus. And it’s also just a whole heap of fun! But it’s not just climbers who can enjoy the benefits of monkeying around in the trees. Slacklining is also ideal for kids and those looking to try something new in their spare time. So this 50 foot long, 2 inch wide webbing, complete with an extra training line and secure ratchet system, is ideal for beginner slackers and climbers alike to step up to the challenge of rest day shenanigans.

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Sterling evolution velocity sharma rope

Sterling Rope Evolution Velocity Sharma Rope

This time Sharma has teamed up with Sterling to produce the ever-popular Evolution Velocity Sharma rope. The 9.8mm cord has a silky smooth sheath to minimise rope drag. And although it may be the go-to choice for Sharma to take on his toughest routes, it is also a great all-rounder suited to most climbing types and styles at any level. Its lightweight design doesn’t compromise one bit on strength and durability, making it an excellent and good value choice of rope that ties in all you could wish for in a highly versatile climbing rope.

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Black diamond gridlock

Black Diamond Magnetron GridLock Carabiner

Why settle for anything but the best when it comes to safety and security when climbing? Choosing the Gridlock over a regular carabiner is a no-brainer when it comes to belaying. As with the Magnetron RockLock carabiner, the innovative and unusual setup of the Magnetron auto-locking system is quicker and easier to use than more traditional designs, and its magnetic gate with a steel insert provides unprecedented security. But what’s special about the Gridlock, and specific to belaying, is the unique shape of the carabiner. As the gate closes, it traps the belay loop in the bottom section of the carabiner to eliminate the potential for the weakness of cross loading. A super safe and super slick bit of cool climbing gear.

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La Sportiva Stickit kids climbing shoes

La Sportiva Stickit kids climbing shoe

For young kids who just can’t help but clamber and monkey their way over absolutely everything, these Stickit shoes need to be jumped into. They are ideal for little ones turning their hand to more structured climbing and boulders, helping them use and trust their feet more with the help of the sticky FriXion RS rubber soles. But what really sets these apart from other kids climbing shoes is the adjustable rip and stick closing system. This is not only easy for the wee ones to use themselves, but also allows for the rapid growth of their tiny feet. And with a fun froggy finish, you’d be hopping mad not to treat your little monkey to a pair.

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