BEST ROCK-CLIMBING GEAR

Edited by:

Issabella Emily

Updated by:

Issabella Emily

Have you ever wondered if you could see the world from new heights? Or experience a new set of thrilling adventures without the fear of death? If yes, then rock climbing should be on the top five in your bucket list. Similar to any sport, where equipment plays an important role in the fulfillment of goals and aims, rock climbing requires durable and safety-ensured equipment to reach the summit of a formation, hill, or a mountain. Agility, endurance, dexterity, co-ordination, trust, balance, and focus are the obligatory skills for a rock climber. If you are willing to reach new heights then you have to condition yourself physically and mentally. But along with proper technique and skills, you need to have the best equipment to avoid any injuries.

History of Rock Climbing

In the quest for exploiting and exploring mountains and alps, early Europeans performed rock climbing and mastered its techniques. It was not until the last quarter of the nineteenth century that rock climbing evolved from a basicnecessity to a renowned athletic activity. The Alps and Yosemite Valley remained undisputed and unconquered until the era of 1920-1960, where the impossible became the possible due to aid climbing, climbing with the aid of equipment. Today free climbing has been the most evolved form of rock climbing, where the use of gear is only considered as a means of safety and precaution for the climbers. It is not long that rock climbing will be considered as a sport in the Olympics.

Types of Rock Climbing

Wide range of rock-climbing disciplines with various levels of difficulties tend to converge experiences for both amateurs and pros.

This is where spring-loaded camming devices, nuts and bolts become a necessity. This technique requires a lead climber to ascend rocks and mountains, while the intermittent anchors are placed below him/her rather than on top of him/her. Protection equipment and safety devices may prevent fatal injuries by limiting the length of potential falls.

Top roping

Unlike lead climbing, an anchor is created on the top of the climb in top rope climbing technique. As the climber ascends, the rope is “taken in” to minimalize the length of a potential fall.

Aid Climbing

Aid climbing is an ancient climbing technique, where equipment and gear such as artificial handholds and footholds are used actively for aiding ascends and assisting climbs. This technique was formulated to ascend on the Alps and Yosemite Valley, which was considered impossible before 1920. However, if observed, each and every technique requires the use of gears and equipment, be it for safety reasons or for assisting ascents and climbs. The quality and durability of gears and equipment is essential for a traditional, sport, amateur or a pro climber.

Indoor gyms have increased the popularity of the rock-climbing sport. Amateurs who aren’t ready for the traditional climbing, pros who want to hone their skills and train themselves, and families who are just opting for fun and entertainment can perform indoor rock climbing.

Equipment and Gear

If you have decided that you want to give climbing a try, then you have to get ready physically and mentally. You have to get the best equipment suited to your style and technique.

13

Researched Sources

12K

Reviewed Considered

11

Hours Researching

12

Products Evaluated

Last updated: August 10, 2019
Last updated: August 10, 2019

After 11 hours of research in 13 different research sources and consider 12k reviewed  we found the top 3 of Climbing Ropes, Climbing Carabiners, Quickdraws and Climbing Harnesses.

In depth Reviews of top 3

Climbing Ropes

1. Top Pick: Mammut Infinity
2. Best Value: Sterling 9.8mm Evolution Velocity
3. Best for Beginners: BlueWater 10.2mm Eliminator

Climbing Carabiners

1. Best Locking’ Biner: Petzl Attache
2. Best Non-Locking Biner: Wild Country Helium
3. Best Value: Black Diamond RockLock Screwgate

Quickdraws

1. Best All-Round Quickdraw: Petzl Ange Finesse
2. Best Sport Quickdraw: Petzl Spirit Express
3. Best Alpine / Traditional Quickdraw: Edelrid Nineteen G

Climbing Harnesses

1. Top Pick: Petzl Sama
2. Best Beginner Climbing Harness: Edelrid Jay II
3. Premium Climbing Harness: Arc’teryx FL-365

Table of content

1. Criteria Used for Evaluation
2. Frequently Asked Questions

Climbing Ropes

Rope, Cord and Webbing

Kernmantle climbing ropes (ropes constructed with its interior core and protected by an exterior woven sheath) are the best form of ropes used in climbing. The core provides 80% durability and tensile strength, while the exterior sheath maintains the core’s durability and resistant nature.

Dynamic ropes

These ropes are made with flexible fibers and are designed to minimalize the impact of a fall by absorbing the fall energy. Dynamic ropes are usually used in the belay system which is designed as a protective measure for a climber.

Static ropes

Also known as low-elongation ropes, these ropes are comparatively less flexible and are usually used in anchoring systems. Rappelers and ascenders use these ropes for abseiling and anchoring.

What to expect?

  • First-class all-rounder
  • Lightweight
  • durable

Imagine a one-stop solution to all of your requirements! Be it indoor climbing or outdoor rock climbing! Imagine some of the most desired and distinctive features combined in one rope! What would it be like?

Well, it would be like the all in one Mammut Infinity which is lightweight, durable, flexible, and easy to use. It is versatile and it will fit any belay device. Its thin diameter of 9.5mm makes it easy to use for gym, trad, sport, free, and multi-pitch climbing.

But don’t get deluded by its thin diameter, as its sheath is a Teflon coating which is accountable for its hardcore durability.

It is versatile and has multiple customizable preferences in terms of length (50m, 60m, 70m, and 80m) and features (bi-pattern, Mammut Protect, Dry). The only downside of Mammut Infinity is that the center mark can fade over time.

What to expect?

  • Value for money
  • Versatile
  • For amateurs and veterans
If you are looking forward towards value for money, then the Sterling Evolution Velocity maybe a best fit for you. According to Chris Sharma (considered as one of the world’s best rock climbers), this 9.8mm rope is the best choice. It entertains both amateur and veteran rock climbers. Holding all the qualities of a top graded rope, the Evolution Velocity is durable, lightweight, and versatile. It is available in multiple lengths (35m, 50m, 60m, 70m, and 80m) and has various optional features.

What to expect?

  • For Beginners
  • Thick rope with added durability
  • Flexible

Are you confused while selecting your first rope? Well, then don’t think twice before picking up the Eliminator!

The 10.2mm rope provides extra security with its added durability. With a fall rating of 8, the Eliminator is the top on the list.

The first fall for a beginner instills shock and trauma. With the Eliminator, there is no need to worry! your fall will be extra smooth and you will experience minimal to low shock.

The only drawback it has is that it doesn’t have a middle mark.

Climbing Carabiners

Carabiners

Carabiners are connectors made from lightweight aluminum alloy with spring- loaded gates. These are used to quickly connect different components.

Locking Carabiners

These are similar to Non-Locking Carabiners but have an added security mechanism in them. The self-locking system in a carabiner prevents unintentional opening when in use. When anchoring, belaying, or rigging crucial systems, lockers are obligatory. But other than that, they can relieve you of any tension or worries.

Non-Locking Carabiners

Commonly referred to as components of quickdraws, non-locking carabiners are quicker to use as they have a spring gate that quickly lets a rope, webbing sling or other hardware to enter.

Distinctive Features

  • Locking’ Biner
  • Multiple belaying uses
  • Lightweight
The Petzl Attache is a locking’ biner with a wide variety of features. Ranging from its versatile use to its craftsmanship and lightweight to its durability, this karb defeats every other locking’ biner. The ATTACHE carabiner's compact shape is designed for multiple belaying uses. Along with the axis strength of an outstanding 22kN, this biner is extremely lightweight (54g).

Distinctive Features

  • Snag-Free
  • Defined wire gate
  • Keylock noise
If you want to have a ‘snag-free’ climbing experience then you are looking at the right equipment! A durable and a lightweight easy to use biner with the largest and the most defined wire gate and an added keylock noise. Although it is the most expensive biner, but it contains all the premium features and gold standards.

Distinctive Features

  • Easy to use
  • Cheap
  • Reliable
Its reliable, easy to use, spacious, and cheap at the same time! You might get two in the same price! But on the contrary, it has its cons! This carabiner weighs almost 85g and is twice as heavy as the lightest carabiner. If you are comfortable with its weight then you have no reason for not buying the RockLock Screwgate.

Quickdraws

Quickdraws

Quickdraws are used by climbers to connect ropes to bolt anchors, or to other traditional protection, allowing the rope to move through the anchoring system with minimal friction. A quickdraw is a specific type of runner. Runners are used by rock and ice climbers to extend the distance between an anchoring device and the rope. The quality and durability of quickdraws is essential in preventing quickdraw failures which however, lead to fatal injuries. You have to select the quickdraw which is best suited to your needs. Different types of quickdraws have different uses.

All-Round Quickdraws

As the name suggests, these fall under the mid-weight and mid-length categories and are suitable for every type.

Alpine / Traditional

These quickdraws are light weighted and have wire gates which are less likely to get stuck due to ice.

Sport

Larger and spacious but are quicker and easier to use.

Distinctive Features

  • All-rounder
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
In situations where quality counts, the Petzl Ange Finesse is your best option. This quickdraw is designed for multiple uses including alpine climbing, sport climbs, and traditional climbing. The deflector works parallel to the shape of the carabiner to aid with clipping and ensure correct carabiner positioning. Its lightweight webbing keeps weight off your harness as you climb and its wider areas can prevent rope wear. You’ll be climbing with no hesitation when you are using the Petzl Ange Finesse.

Distinctive Features

  • Ergonomic
  • Uneven straight gate
  • Lightweight
This ergonomic quickdraw is ideal for sport climbs. The uneven straight gate with keylock easy gripping and for quicker clipping. The Petzl Spirit Express is designed with wide contact surfaces to prevent abrasion and wear on the biner and enhance rope glide. The lightweight of 93 to 100g has made Petzl Spirit Express the best choice for sport climbers.

Distinctive Features

  • Ultra-strong
  • Reduced chances of whiplash injury
  • Lightweight
The Edelrid Nineteen G is the best candidate for alpinists and traditional climbers. Although made of an ultra-strong aluminum alloy with a tensile strength of 22kN, it only weighs around 45g. The light weight and flexible wire gate reduces the chances of a whiplash injury.

Climbing Carabiners

Climbing Harnesses

A climbing harness is the most essential of climbing equipment. A harness holds the body of the climber and connects the rope with him/her. Activities like abseiling and rappelling require the use of harnesses to ensure the climbers safety. The quality of harness is vital for ensuring comfort and preventing injuries. Low quality harnesses can cause serious abdominal or diaphragm injury.

Distinctive Features

  • All-rounder
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Cheap
If you are opting for an all-rounder harness than nothing gets better than the Petzl Sama. Now you don’t have to worry about falling, rather, make your fall an adventure by using Petzl Sama! The extreme comfort compensates for its weight. The gear loops are spacious and there’s plenty of space for a full rack. The Sama retails for an affordable price. Being one of the cheapest climbing harnesses, it provides excellent value to its users.

Distinctive Features

  • Top beginner climbing harness
  • Spacious gear loops
  • Adjustable leg loops
The Edelrid Jay II is a top beginner climbing harness. It combines good comfort at a reasonable price. It has well-placed and spacious gear loops, which equally divide the body load for an added comfort. The Jay has adjustable leg loops and it also uses a sliding belt design, which means that the main webbing belt can slide through the frame of the padding. This allows you to keep the gear and belay loops centered no matter how tightly the buckle is cinched. The lower tie-in point bolstered by a rigid plastic semicircle, adds up to its durability. Overall, if you’re a beginner then the Elderid Jay II is your best option.

Distinctive Features

  • Superior quality
  • Self-locking buckle
  • Warp Strength Technology
Acknowledged for its superior quality and premium prices, the Arc’teryx FL-365 is one and only. The thin but comfortable padding with highly shock-absorbent leg loops makes the FL-365 only second to the Petzl Sama. With four ice clipper slots and wide and spacious gear loops, the FL-365 is the easiest harness to climb up with. The best part of this harness is its stainless-steel quick hook on the rear leg elastic, which allows you to use the bathroom without taking off your harness. The only setback is the price — the FL-365 is pricey. But if you are a pro rock-climber, then you might have a try.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Strength

The strength of climbing gear is vital for the climber’s safety and protection. Malfunctioning climbing ropes, carabiners, quickdraws, and harnesses can be held accountable for serious injuries. So even if you are a beginner, you should never sacrifice the aspect of strength. The above listed gears and equipment are used in every form of climbing, be it aid climbing or free climbing. Because it ensures the safety and protection of the climber. To ignoring its strength and durability is the same as increasing the rate of injury. The above evaluated products are all accountable for their strength and durability. Whether the product is a top pick, best value, or a best for beginner product, it guarantees maximum durability and strength.

Lightweight

The weight of gears and equipment matters to the most while fighting with gravity. A lightweight gear with high durability will be costly but worth. Because veteran sport climbers are in search for products with the least resistance and weight. So, they can reach new heights in the lowest time. But beginners and amateurs who are up for their first experience can sacrifice gear-weight for added protection.

Optional Features

The availability of multiple sizes and colors may attract some climbers. Products with a wide variety of customizable preferences tend to be sold at a higher rate. Adjustable leg loops, keylock noises, self-loading buckles, and snag-free experiences make the gear and equipment convenient for users. These optional features highlight and showcase the unique properties of every product. Most of the selected products in this article carry its USP (unique selling proposition).

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which is the best suited equipment for my first rock climbing experience?
A:The first impression is always the last impression. If you are new to the rock-climbing area, then you need to ensure that whatever gear you select ensures your safety and protection. Any injury, minor or serious, may lead to a shock or trauma and mentally restrict you to experience rock-climbing for the rest of your life. In that case, we have highlighted products that are best for beginners, you can select those products without any hesitation.
Q: Why should I do rock-climbing?
A:Rock-climbing is sport, and along with other sports it also carries the risk of serious injuries or maybe fatality. Skydiving, parachuting, bungee jumping, and even soccer, all contain risks of serious injuries. But that doesn’t stop people from practicing those sports. Similarly, rock-climbing is a sport, an activity, and a previously basic necessity which allowed people to explore new heights and observe the world form a new perspective. The exotic feel of reaching the summit and fighting against gravity, the curiosity of aerial exploration urges people to forget its risks. If you are willing to take the risk and have a completely new set of experiences, then don’t think twice and dive into it.
Q: How do I know if a harness fits me?
A:A harness must fit securely around the waist, with the belay loop dead center and with adequate tape left to extend through the loops on the waist belt, even if you are wearing a thick jumper. The middle loop at the back of the harness should sit in the middle of your back. Leg loops should fit comfortably around the top of the thighs, which if they are adjustable should have enough tape to extend through the loops.
Q: What are the differences between locking and non- locking carabiners?
A:Locking carabiners have an added security mechanism in them. The self-locking system in a carabiner prevents unintentional opening when in use. When anchoring, belaying, or rigging crucial systems, lockers are obligatory. But Non-locking carabiners have their own benefits, as they are highly easy and quicker to use. Non-locking carabiners are mostly used as components of quickdraws, where locking isn’t required.

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