Categories
Reviews

Best Winter Climbing & Bouldering Pants 2020

Days are short, the air becomes colder, as winter is nearing. Many people in norther Europe and America want to keep climbing outside. But if you want to keep climbing outdoors, you need some warm pants. We recently reviewed the best climbing and bouldering pants for 2020, look here for more info, and now we will extract the best winter pants from that list. Winter climbing pants need to be water proof, resilient and offer some insulation. This is different from normal climbing pants, and we’ve found that mostly alpine climbing pants are suitable to use in winter climbing and bouldering conditions.

Keep reading to find out how these pants work exceptionally well for winter climbing and bouldering, we included only insulated and water resistant pants for this list! And as water resistance is so important in winter, we recommend to stay away from mainly cotton pants. Cotton is just transferring too much heat when wet, and in snow and rain cotton is a bad choice!

Mountain Hardwear Yumalino Pant: The Warmest Pant for Winter Climbing

Best Climbing Pants 2020
Best winter pants: Mountain Hardwear Yumalino pants

This is the perfect pant for any winter climbing or bouldering. Among the tested pants, these were the warmest. They even have a comfortable fleece lining inside, and they are water repellent. Thanks to the gusseted crotch they don’t sacrifice mobility, and they have extra protection on the knee to make them more durabe.

They are our Nr.1 cold weather winter climbing and bouldering pant!

Outdoor Research Men’s Ferrosi Pant / Outdoor Research Women’s Ferrosi Pant – A Good Allround Winter Climbing & Bouldering Pant

These pants are already reviewed in our big review, but here are some reasons why they work so good in winter conditions. They are super comfortable to wear, are made of thin and light fabric but do offer a lot of insulation. Since they are also very breathable, you won’t need to worry about sweating when you wear them. And the fabric is water repellent, making them perfect for shitty weather and climbing in rain or snowy conditions.

They are also very reasonably priced!

Arcteryx Gamma Rock Pant: Heavy and Expensive But Worth The Money!

Best Climbing Pants 2020
If you don’t mind a heavy and expensive pant, the Arcteryx is a good choice. It has a lot of features, good insulation and is weatherproof. And it also comes with a nice chalk bag loop and integrated belt!

Almost number one: Mountain Hardwear Men’s AP Pant / Mountain Hardwear Women’s AP Skinny Pant

best climbing pants 2020

Mountain Hardwear makes the AP pant, and it is a good choice for winter climbing. They are very warm and water resistant. They even look good too, so you can wear them for Christmas presents shopping if you like!

They do have some nice extras like reflective stripes and velcro pockets. The mobility is a little limited, as they are pretty stiff!

Materials for the Perfect Winter Climbing Pants

If you want to climb or boulder in winter conditions, your pants need to be synthetic. As of today, most cotton based pants are just not cutting it for wet and cold conditions. Cotton becomes a huge heat transferrer when wet, and if you combine this with cold temperatures you have the best recipe for hypothermia. That’s why Nylon and Polyester blends work best in winter.

1. Flexibility of Winter Climbing Pants

Since winter climbing pants carry more material, it’s very important to check for flexibility when buying a winter climbing pant. Many models are very stiff. A perfect winter climbing pant will work even when you wear under garmins like leggings.

2. Breathability of Winter Climbing Pants

Sweating in winter is very bad. But when you exercise and climb, you will sweat. It’s super vital to buy pants that transport heat away while also insulating.

3. Durability of Winter Climbing Pants

Especially in cold conditions you will need pants that are easy to withstand abrasion and abuse. Ice and snow are harsh on your pants too!

4. Insulation & Water Resistance

Having a good amount of insulation is the most important difference from a winter to  a non winter climbing pants. They also need to keep you dry. Staying warm and dry is more important than flexibility in winter, at least if you goal is to stay outside and climb the whole day.

If you go crag climbing and bouldering, it’s ok to opt for thinner pants, but for alpine climbers, we recommend fleece-lined pants, unless you climb somewhere really hot. Mountain weather can change quickly!

If you need more Reviews, check out our other reviews:

Best Climbing Helmets 2020

Best Climbing Shoes 2020

Best Approach Shoes 2020

Categories
Bouldering Climbing Where to go

Germany Bavaria Climbing & Bouldering Gyms: The Complete List

Visiting Bavaria, Germany and wondering where in Bavaria you can find climbing and bouldering gyms?  This is probably the most comprehensive list of climbing and bouldering gyms in Germany for the Area around Munich and Bavaria. It’s broken down by City. And we included a map to show you where it is exactly, as well as all the info like phone number and websites. 

We recently updated the list, but if you know of any new gyms and existing gyms that closed or moved write us a comment or send us an email!

This list still being expanded actively so make sure to check back every once in a while!

München

Boulderwelt München Ost
Friedenstraße 22a
81671 München
089 41859970

Boulderwelt München West
Bertha-Kipfmüller-Straße 19
81249 München
089 82073499

DAV Kletter- und Boulderzentrum München-Süd
Thalkirchner Str. 207
81371 München
089 189416311

einstein Boulderhalle München
Landsberger Str. 185, 80687 München
089 30701750

DAV Kletter- und Boulderzentrum München-Nord
Werner-Heisenberg-Allee 5, 80939 München
089 215470540

SVN Sportpark, Kletter- und Boulderzentrum
Fritz-Erler-Straße 3, 81737 München
089 46098582

Eddy Crashpaddy
Grafinger Str. 6, 81671 München
089 200030715

Near München

High-east Kletterhalle
Sonnenallee 2, 85551 Kirchheim bei München
089 92794796

Kletterzentrum Freising
Seilerbrücklstraße 3, 85354 Freising
08161 548656

Climbing & Boulder Center Munich West (Gilching)
Frühlingstraße 18
82205 Gilching
08105 370770

Rosenheim

Kletterhalle Rosenheim
Finsterwalderstraße 4, 83071 Stephanskirchen
08031 8094850

Near Polling

Climbing World GmbH climbing hall “Under the ROOF” Weilheim
Trifthofstraße 58, 82362 Weilheim in Oberbayern
0881 41122

Near Kaufbeuren

Kraftwerk – the boulder hall in the Allgaeu
Kreener Str. 14, 87640 Biessenhofen
08342 9159561

Near Landsberg am Lech

Die Kletterei
Viktor-Frankl-Straße 5a, 86916 Kaufering
08191 6404740

Near Holzkirchen

Climbing and bouldering center Weyarn / Leifheit Hall
Am Weiglfeld 30, 83629 Weyarn
08020 9087233

Grafing bei München

Boulderhalle Leben bewegt e.V.
Thomas-Mayr-Straße 4, 85567 Grafing bei München
08092 2309188

Kletterhalle Grafing
Lagerhausstraße 17, 85567 Grafing bei München
08092 6878

Near Bayrischzell / Chiemsee

DAV climbing gym Bernau
Buchenstraße 17, 83233 Bernau am Chiemsee
08051 9614920

Near Wasserburg am Inn

Kletterturm Gschwendt
Am Sonnenpoint 8, 83533 Edling
08071 1047245

Bad Tölz

DAV Kletterzentrum Oberbayern Süd e.V.
Am Sportpark 5, 83646 Bad Tölz
08041 7952030

Garmisch-Partenkirchen

DAV Boulderhalle Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Klammstraße 47, 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen
08821 9436446

Saulgrub near Oberammergau

Boulderhalle Ammerrock
Alte Römerstraße 10, 82442 Saulgrub
08845 758942

Allgäu

Kletterzentrum Allgäu
Dietringer Str. 50, 87669 Rieden am Forggensee
08362 940187

Pfaffenhofen

PAFROCK Kletterzentrum Pfaffenhofen
Ingolstädter Str. 68, 85276 Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm
08441 4007484

 

Ingolstadt

Schwerkraft Boulderhalle Ingolstadt
Marie-Curie-Straße 10, 85055 Ingolstadt, Germany
+49 841 13802322

DAV-Kletterzentrum Ingolstadt
Baggerweg 2, 85051 Ingolstadt, Germany
+49 841 88555010

Eichstätt

DAV Kletterhalle Eichstätt – jurabloc
Jurastraße 6, 85132 Schernfeld, Germany
+49 8421 9358220

Regensburg

MEGA Sports Regensburg
Gebäude B, Sport- und Freizeitcenter, Ernst-Frenzel-Straße 14, 93083 Obertraubling, Germany
+49 9401 6767

Boulderwelt Regensburg
Im Gewerbepark A46, 93059 Regensburg, Germany
+49 941 89963606

DAV Climbing Center Regensburg
Am Silbergarten 6, 93138 Lappersdorf, Germany
+49 941 28005085

Landshut

DAV Climbing Center Landshut
Ritter-von-Schoch-Straße 6, 84036 Landshut, Germany
+49 871 47730614

Straubing

alte Ziegelei Boulderhalle Straubing
alte Ziegelei 16, 94315 Straubing, Germany
+49 9421 5102145

DAV-Kletteranlage Straubing
Niederalteicher Str. 13, 94315 Straubing, Germany
+49 9421 80965

Deggendorf

ES-Vertikal DAV Kletterzentrum Deggendorf
Sandnerhofweg 5, 94469 Deggendorf, Germany
+49 991 98294202

Gangkofen

DAV Gangkofen Kletterhalle
84140 Gangkofen, Germany
No Phone Number!

Cham

Kletterzentrum Bayerwald
Kleemannstraße 27, 93413 Cham, Germany
+49 9971 996980

 

Categories
Reviews

Best Bear Sprays: The Top 5 of 2020

When you hike and go outdoors in Northern America, there is a decent chance to have wildlife encounters.  Chances to have a bear encounter are actually quite low, despite what the media and YouTube “Experts” will tell you. But, bears are probably not the biggest concern when you go backcountry hiking. Nonetheless, if you encounter a bear, it can be a very real and dangerous threat depending on the situation. With proper knowledge and equipment, you can minimize the chances of such a situation, but it’s good to have some backup in case things turn ugly. Bear sprays are shown to be the most effective solution to bear threats, even more, effective than firearms for most people; look here if you want to know more. I’ve spent many nights camping and hiking both in Canada and the U.S., backpacking, and sleeping in bear country, and I have both carried guns and bear sprays with me during that time. Time for a review of the best bear sprays for 2020!

So, what are the best bear sprays of 2020? COUNTER ASSAULT BEAR DETERRENT is our choice of the best bear spray for 2020, thanks to the longest spray time and range. Following up are FRONTIERSMAN BEAR SPRAY and RUGER PEPPER BEAR SPRAY.

Best Bear Sprays 2020 Review

#1 – Counter Assault Bear Deterrent: Longest Range and Spraying Time – Overall Winner!

Best Bear Sprays

Counter Assault Bear Deterrent Quick Facts

  • PRO: 12 – 32 feet range, among the longest
  • PRO: 9.2 seconds of spraying time
  • PRO: Comes with a good holster

Counter Assault Bear Deterrent Review for 2020

This comes in a size of 9.2 ounces, making it the largest in our test. With this size, it carries enough power to be really prepared in the worst situation. From what we’ve seen so far, this is one of the more popular brands, which is just a good sign that this brand does something right, at least at marketing…

But the facts speak for themselves: Distance with this spray is between 12 and 32 feet, which is enough distance to be safe. Many factors influence how good the distance works out in reality, but an average distance of 22 feet is a very good value!

Duration of spray with this particular spray is very good: You get over 9 seconds of non-stop spray, which means you can put out quite some material when a bear comes to close. Spraying duration is important, as you are most likely in a stressful situation when a bear charges, and you might not be able to get the spray on his face within the first second or two, which makes long spraying duration a definite win!

With this spray, you’ll cover the bear (or other attacking animals…) with lots of active ingredients, even if you completely miss for the first 3 seconds.

The holster is not tactical, but it works and keeps the can in reach without being annoying.

Verdict

Best Spray we reviewed for 2020, with plenty of spraying duration and an enormous range this capsaicin lancet will work well in any situation!

 

#2 – Frontiersman Bear Spray: Insane Range and Backed By Studies

Best Bear Sprays

Frontiersman Bear Spray Quick Facts

  • PRO: Up to 35 feet of range
  • PRO: Long spraying time
  • CON: No included holster

Frontiersman Bear Spray Review for 2020

Frontiersman has been a staple in any outdoor store in the bear country anywhere in North America. They’re still producing the same formula they have been producing for the last 10 years, and the spray is a super reliable product.

Among the available sprays, this one has a very high content of capsaicin, the active ingredient in bear and animal deterrents. It comes with 2%, making it one of the strongest available spray – but keep in mind all of our top listed sprays contain 2%!. This product actually has university studies backing up its effectiveness and has been field tests in Alaska and Montana.

The best feature of this spray is the enormous range: Some sprays cannot even reach 20 feet, but this spray has reported distances of more than 30 feet – WOW!

The biggest downside and reason why this spray doesn’t hold the top position is the fact that the holster has to be bought extra. Other manufacturers ship their spray with a holster for the same price. That being said, there is an optional chest and belt holster version, which is more expensive, but the holsters work and are of good quality!

Frontiersman comes in two sizes: 7.9 ounces and 9.2 ounces, as the 7.9 ounces version only reaches 30 feet distance, we recommend: Stick with the 9.2 ounces can!

Verdict

Frontiersman Bear Spray in 2020 is still a field-tested and proven product. It will deter bears from a safe distance, and if you buy the more expensive holstered version, it is also very practical. A well deserved Nr. 2 on our list!

 

#3 – Ruger Tornado Bear Spray: Long Spray Time, Small Bottle, No Holster

Best Bear Sprays

Ruger Tornado Bear Spray Quick Facts

  • PRO: Up to 9 seconds of spraying time
  • PRO: Fog cloud spraying pattern is easy to use
  • CON: No included holster
  • CON: Short distance of ~ 20 feet

Ruger Tornado Bear Spray Review for 2020

In 2020 we have Ruger with a bear spray they manufacture. Ruger is a producer of firearms and ammunition, and this bear spray works super well on mammals and bears.

Since this spray only delivers 20 feet of distance, you will get less range than our Nr.1 and Nr.2 picks, but the spray delivers its material in the same easy to use cloudy fog pattern, so you don’t have to worry about aiming.

What this spray excels in is spraying time: Out of the 9-ounce canister, you get a full 10 seconds of spraying. This means you deliver less fluid per second than from the Frontiersman or Counter Assault model, but have more time to aim. And the canister is very light!

But the Ruger spray has no included holster, so that’s kind of a bummer, but the many available aftermarket holsters work all great!

Best For: Long spray time in a smaller bottle – just don’t forget to pick up a good holster!

Verdict

Rugers Bear Spray delivers an easy to handle pattern and comes in a smaller can. If you can live with the short-range and want to buy your own holster anyway, this spray is a good fit!

 

#4 – Udap Bear Spray Safety Orange: Customizable but Short Distance

Best Bear Sprays

Udap Bear Spray Quick Facts

  • PRO: 4 Different holster colors
  • PRO: Developed by bear attack survivor
  • CON: No included holster
  • CON: Short distance of ~ 20 feet

Udap Bear Spray Review for 2020

From all the products we have tested, it’s kind of a surprise to find customizable bear spray.

Udap makes a customizable bear spray as the holster is unique and can be modified with different colors available!

While the colors are fancy, we had a hard time verifying some of the bolder statements of the brand like the “most trusted bear spray brand.”

From what we know and could also verify with other reports, the range is pretty decent, with 30 feet as being reported and seen.

The overall feel of the canister is good; the holsters are sturdy and well though-of. They do feel a little bit more expensive than the other holsters of our test candidates. A drawback of the semi-open holster design could be the tendency of the canister to fall out if you go upside down or tumble. Keep that in mind!

Verdict

If you like fancy colors and can live with the semi-open holster, Udap is a good choice with decent range and high capsaicin content.

 

#5 – Alaska Bear Spray: The Cheapest Bear Spray

Best Bear Sprays

Alaska Bear Spray Quick Facts

  • PRO: Cheap
  • PRO: Same size as more expensive sprays
  • CON: No information about spray length

Alaska Bear Spray Review for 2020

Alaska Bear Spray is a very affordable spray that comes with a holster, and we liked that.

There is nothing special about this spray except for the fact that it’s cheaper than most of the other brands in this test.

Since it’s cheaper, it’s not a big surprise that the velcro and holster feel a little cheaper and less robust too. On the other hand, in the test, they didn’t give us any trouble, so I guess they might feel subjectively less quality, but they objectively did a good job.

We couldn’t find any reports of spray duration, nor does the company release this information. We are very confident to assume, though, that this spray is going to last for around 3-10 seconds, depending on the fog thickness – it’s a 9 ounce can, and that’s what we tested in the past for cans this size.

Verdict

Alaska produces a good bear spray with an even better price point, that does not excel in any aspect but is our best value bear spray for 2020

Bear Spray Information Before You Buy

We collected some interesting knowledge and information about bear sprays. This is what you must know, and it will help you to make an informed decision when you buy. Combine it with our test, and you will get the right bear spray for your situation and needs.

Holsters and Positioning

Besides not bringing a bear spray in the first place, the next big mistake most newbie hikers make is to stuff the bear spray into their backpack. You probably guessed it: If you pack your bear spray into the backpack, you can as well leave it at home. Rarely will you be in an emergency situation where you have time to open your backpack and search for your bear spray among sandwiches and other items.

It’s vital to have the bear spray with you at all times. And unless you have the bear spray in a holster on your belt or chest, this is not the case.

If you have another option to carry it, fine, but make sure you have it within hands reach anytime. The easiest way is to carry it in a holster, like with any self-defense item.

And that’s why it’s crucial that the holster is at least well designed enough for you to use it – otherwise, you will just stuff it inside your backpack again.

A good holster for bear spray should have these features:

  • Accessible located where you can reach for it easily
  • Room for attachment
  • Tough material, durable
  • Allow you to open it in a stress situation, i.e., with clumsy fingers

A good holster makes the user carry it at the hip, chest, or other open locations. It also needs to enclose the bear spray in a way that it cannot easily fall out while you hike. And you need to be able to open when you’re under pressure, so practice this beforehand!

Active Ingredients

All bear sprays I know of have only one main ingredient, Capsaicin. It is extracted from chili peppers, and it works by heavily attacking a bears’ eyesight and smelling sense.

While it is not damaging the bear, permanently, it basically robs them of their vision, smell, and taste senses for a while.

The bear reacts to this with mucus and tears running from their eyes, and it’s very painful. Watering, sneezing, and growling will follow, and then the bear will try to escape. Escape is the natural reaction to this unknown pain and sensation, as the bear relies on vision and sense of smell to attack and defend itself, and robbed of this sense, it will go into flight mode.

By the way, the bear spray works on most mammals, including humans, so make sure to not accidentally spray yourself or friends and family if you use it! The higher the concentration, the worse the effect on the target.

Don’t aim into the wind, or you will suffer yourself! The highest allowed content of capsaicin in animal deterrent sprays is 2%, and there is no real benefit from going higher than this. IF you deploy the spray into the bear’s face, it will be more than enough to scare him away and disable him for a while. But you should then try to get away and alert someone, as the bear might come back later.

If you want to see how effective bear spray is check out this video:

Most people who use bear spray reported it to be more effective than firearms, and if you like to know more about bear attack ins general, check out this article!

The distance of the Spray

The distance you can effectively use a spray is one of the features that’s most important. Not all sprays are made equal, and distance is one of the governing factors.

How far the spray will spray in reality is also influenced by wind and your aiming accuracy. Believe us when we say: It’s very easy to miss a target if you are chased by it.

If you want to stop a bear, every foot of distance counts! In terms of distance, this is how the tested spray ranked:

  • Frontiersman Bear Spray: 35+ feet
  • Counter Assault Bear Spray: 32+ feet
  • Guard Alaska Bear Spray: 20 feet
  • Udap Bear Spray: 20 feet
  • Ruger Tornado Bear Spray: 20 feet

If you only care about raw distance, Frontiersman Bear Spray is still the number one brand to buy!

Safety Features

Spraying yourself with bear spray is bad, and if it happens to you while you are in an encounter with a bear, this could be fatal. So be careful when you use bear spray, and never spray against the wind or on other hikers!

The bear spray brands we reviewed here come with safety caps and rings to avoid discharging it accidentally. And Frontiersman and Counter Assault ships their sprays with a glow-in-the-dark plastic safety cap that enables you to use it even without a flashlight at night!

A Safety Note

Bear spray is your last resort to deter a bear attack. It’s not a replacement for correct education about bears and the right practices when hiking backcountry.

And the fact that you carry bear spray does not make you and a bear equal opponents. Bear spray will deter a bear for a while, but after that, it might come back. And bear spray runs out at some point, so I recommend to do the best to avoid bear encounters.

Keep food packaged in bear canisters, and follow guidelines to avoid bear encounters. Wilderness courses like Wilderness  First Aid or Wilderness First Responder teach you the basics needed!

Related Questions

How high are the chances to encounter a bear?

According to this study, the following chances exist to encounter a bear

  • Remain in developed areas, roadsides, and boardwalks: 1 in 59.5 million visits
  • Camp in roadside campgrounds: 1 in 26.6 million overnight stays
  • Camp in the backcountry: 1 in 1.7 million overnight stays
  • Hike in the backcountry: 1 in 232,613 person travel days
  • All park activities combined: 1 in 2.7 million visits

Can I defend myself in a bear attack with a gun?

Yes, you can try. However, unless you have a VERY large caliber gun(Cal. 50 and above) and are trained to shoot and kill under high pressure, you are better off with a bear spray.

There are many records of bears surviving multiple rounds of large caliber handgun rounds to the head, so don’t count on headshots stopping a bear. If you want to know more, read this article.

Can I attach my bear spray to my backpack?

Sure, as long as it’s accessible! If you have to fumble while grabbing for it, that’s not a good way to carry it.

Is it good to test a bear spray?

I wouldn’t do it unless it’s old. And in that case, I would probably buy a new one. If you test it, be super careful to wash your hands afterward, or you will be in for a bad surprise!

 

More Gear Reviews

Best Climbing Helmets for 2020

Best Climbing Shoes for 2020

Best Climbing Pants for 2020

Best Approach Shoes for 2020

 

Categories
Bouldering Climbing

Is Bouldering Dangerous?

Activity Risk of light or medium injuries (0 low, 10 high) Risk of severe injuries (0 low, 10 high)
Indoor Bouldering 4 2
Outdoor Bouldering 8 6
Indoor Rock Climbing 3 3
Outdoor Rock Climbing 5 6
American Football 5 3
Mountain Biking 7 7
Motorcycle Riding 5 8
Soccer 4 2

Important: Indoor Bouldering is a lot less dangerous than Outdoor Bouldering

When we talk about how dangerous bouldering is, it’s important to see the difference between indoor and outdoor bouldering. While technically the same sport, with the same goals and techniques involved, outdoor bouldering is A LOT more dangerous.

Ina modern bouldering gym, indoor bouldering is not more dangerous than some other sports activities, with most injuries typical involving sprained or broken ankles or knee injuries. This is because the shock-absorbing mats in most modern gyms are incredibly effective. A fall of 6 to 9 feet on a mat inside a gym is not a big deal in most cases. Even if you land in an awkward position there is a high chance that you won’t injure yourself, they are that good. Take note: This obviously depends on the gym, and how good their gear is, but regulatory standards in most of western Europe and North America are pretty high.

But outdoor bouldering is a different beast: The falls are still low-height, but the impact energies are high because you have no thick shock-absorbing mats outdoors. When you boulder outdoors you usually land on either dirt, rock or grass, and even though boulderers have crash pads, these pads are not even close to the effectiveness of the mats inside a gym. And outdoors, you usually bring one or two of these mats, so depending on the boulder problem there is a high chance that when you fall you are actually missing the pad. And without a pad, every fall outdoors is basically a 6 to 10 feet fall to the ground. If you don’t know how to tuck and roll and fall correctly, there is a  VERY high chance of spraining or breaking an ankle or knee injuries. And some boulder problems leave you falling head or torso first, which is even worse. Outdoors you should ALWAYS boulder with someone to spot you.

Is Indoor Bouldering more Dangerous than Outdoor Rock Climbing?

Not at all. From all the climbing related activities, indoor bouldering is the safest and least dangerous. Falling heights are low, and shock absorbant mats are always taking in the main portion of the fall energy. Outdoor rock climbing is more dangerous than indoor bouldering, both in terms of the risk of medium or light injuries and also in terms of the risk of severe injuries.

Is Indoor Bouldering more Dangerous than Indoor Rock Climbing?

The chances to injure yourself lightly are higher when indoor bouldering, as you take falls on a regular base. And while the shock absorbing mats are working great, there is still a chance to sprain an ankle or break something if you fall very unfortunate. At the same time, the risk of light or medium injury in a rock climbing gym, where you are climbing with a rope, are smaller. But given that there are multiple fatal or severe accidents due to belaying errors and broken safety rules in rock climbing gym per year, the chances of severe injuries are higher.

This is because IF you fall in a rock climbing gym, and this fall happens to be combined with an error in the belaying, you typically fall higher than in a bouldering gym, and in contrast to a bouldering gym, there are usually no shock-absorbing mats on the ground. Thankfully, the risks in rock climbing gym are extremely low, as this german study showed (observing half a million visits to indoor rock climbing gyms), and you can mitigate and minimize the risk if you follow the proper belaying techniques.

Most of the logged accidents in the study where a combination of negligence on the belayers behalf and or failure to do partner checks and keeping an eye on each other all the time.

In terms of numbers: On every 1000 hours of climbing in a gym, there were.02 injuries. Which made indoor rock climbing safer than skiing, badminton or surfing – all these had higher rates of injuries. And in the study, most injuries where either minor or moderately severe, with no fatal accidents registered.

Categories
Camp & Hike Mountaineering Reviews

Primus Firestick 2020: Wind-blocking, Ultra Light Stove That Fits Your in Your Pocket

Primus introduced the Firestick canister stove for 2020. While we haven’t had a chance to do a full review yet, we did our best to get our hands on samples and collect all kinds of valuable information for this hot new gadget for 2020.

Read on for our detailed 2020 pre review of the Primus Firestick – it comes with a cylindrical design, and that blocks both winds and serves as a handle for large pots.

A different approach to lightweight canister stoves for 2020

Primus went with a cylindrical design for 2020. This design enables the Primus Firestick stove to block wind easily when expanded, and also handle large pots. When you close the Firestick, it clicks together in the center, hiding the nozzle and avoiding snags and bulk when storing it. The valve is regulated, so you can achieve high fuel efficiency and control your consumption of fuel.

The Primus Firestick comes in two options: Steel and Titanium

You can buy the Firestick in two material options: Either steel or titanium. The steel options weights 3.7 ounces and costs around $90. If you want to be ultra weight saving, go with the titanium option: It costs $120 and only weighs 3.1 ounces!

Preview: It packs away easily, fits your hands like a package of mints and has enough power

From what we’ve seen and heard, the Primus Firestick is very portable. Thanks to the clicking design, you can store it away as easy as a package of mints or gum, and it fits your hands too. And it’s still powerful enough to handle cooking and making hot water for tea when backpacking. As it comes with a regulation valve, precise adjusting of the flame is possible, and you can simmer your broil if you need to.

It comes by default with a beautiful wool pouch and a piezo trigger.

Who is the Primus Firestick made for?

The Firestick is clearly aimed towards the ultra-portable market of hardcore hikers and mountaineers. If you need to save the weight and storage room, the Firestick is for you. It’s powerful enough to handle cooking and water heating, but if you need a full-on camping kitchen, you need a bigger stove.

Facts

Its 4 inches long and weighs around 3-4 ounces. It’s the slimmest canister stove we have seen so far. It looks like a flashlight when retracted, and has air intake holes for fuel-efficiency. And it supports wide pots and gives good wind protection. It can heat with 8530 BTUs, which is quite a lot; an average home stove has only around 7000 BTU per burner!

Detailed Specifications of the Primus Firestick

  • Streamlined cylinder-shape that slides into the pockets
  • Windscreen with an integrated burner with 8530 BTUs
  • Fast and easy setup
  • Safe for outdoor use
  • Wind protection supposed to work great
  • Holds wide pots
  • The flame is recessed in the shelter to give even more wind protection when cooking in stormy conditions
  • Holds small pots too
  • Narrow, strong flame
  • Regulation valve for precise control of power
  • Wool storage pouch doubles as a potholder – NICE!
  • Piezo igniter included too
  • Weight: 3.7 oy (steel) or 3.1 oy (titanium)
  • Dimensions: 1.4 inches x 4.1 inches
  • BTUs: 8350 (Average home stove burner only has 7000 BTUs!)

Read more about some of our camping and hiking topics like how to pack your backpack right and if cargo pants are good for hiking.

Categories
Camp & Hike Mountaineering

Are cargo pants good for hiking?

When I started hiking, I usually just wore jeans or old army cargo pants. But after I went on my first multi-day hike and experienced a bad case of thigh rash, I decided to investigate and find out more. It turned out, cargo pants are not necessarily your first option when you go hiking. Are cargo pants good for hiking? Yes, they are. A cargo pant is good for hiking, as it has a lot of pockets, where you store maps, compass, and gear. But the pant shouldn’t be made from cotton, as this causes problems when hiking. Cotton stores water, and this means cotton clothes stay wet and cold longer and can cause rashes as wet cotton is abrasive. 

Cotton is a mediocre material for hiking pants!

In general, you can use cotton for shorter hikes perfectly well. If you go on a 3-hour summertime hike in your local area, there is no way a cotton pant will not work well. Later down here, I recommend BDU pants for hiking these short trips, and they also use mainly cotton. But if you are serious about hiking, cotton can be a problem.

Cotton retains water

The main problem: Cotton is a hydrophilic material, which means it stores water. Water is retained, and this means your cotton pants will stay wet for a long time when you hike with it. No problem in summer, but in spring or autumn, anytime you sweat, this sweat will keep your pants wet for a long time. And if you hike in the rain, the paints will never really dry once they get initially wet. Wet cotton is also very abrasive, which can lead to rashes and chafing. Chafing sucks, if you have had it, you know what I’m talking about. And the worst-case scenario, chafing can also cause infections. This is especially a problem if you go hiking during the rainy season in tropical climates.

Cotton makes your body lose heat when wet

The worst problem with wet cotton is the loss of heat. Heat loss from the body is a serious problem when you hike in colder climates. The wet fabric next to your skin will transport heat away really fast, it’s the same principle as swimming in the water. This will lead to hypothermia, and that will slow you down and eventually kill you. Hypothermia is one of the things that will likely not be a problem on your typical 2-hour afternoon hike where everything goes well, and you can warm up in your car afterward. But add time, like a 3 to 5 days hike, constant rain, and a cold and wet tent, and exhaustion, and you have a recipe for disaster! In contrast, most hiking paints are made from synthetic wicking materials, which repel water and dry faster. Wicking materials are thus a good choice if you need fast drying pants that repel water – like when you go hiking in wet conditions or sweat a lot.

Wicking fabrics guard against preventable problems in a way that is more reliable than luck. They are a reusable insurance policy that helps protect the safety and enjoyment of your treks.

What type of pants is best for hiking?

So, if we’re talking about it already, mabye you are now wondering how your perfect hiking pant should look like. What type of pants is best for hiking? The best pair of hiking pants should have these features: Lightweight, quick-drying, enough storage pockets with zip closing if possible, and not bulky. In hot climates, you want zip-off legs too. By the way, climbing and hiking pants are not the same, climbing pants have their very benefits, if you need some good climbing pants, check out our review of the 2020 best climbing pants here!

Lightweight

This is a no-brainer. Heavy pants mean you carry around dead weight with you. You already most likely have a heavy backpack, so adding heavy pants doesn’t make sense at all

Quick-drying

In order to avoid the aforementioned problems with hypothermia, good hiking pants should dry fairly quick. This can usually be achieved by using a blend of nylon or other synthetic materials.

Plenty of Pockets

Pockets are great for hikers. Storing often used items like compass, map, GPS, or smartphone in your pants can save you time and hassle. Closable pockets are a must if you have steep climbing sections or down and uphill sections in your hike.

Zip-off legs

The ability to zip off the pant’s legs is great in summer and hot conditions. If you have the option, definitely buy pants with zip-offs if you want an allround hiking pant for the whole year!

Are BDU pants good for hiking?

BDU pants are good for short hikes and walks. They are fairly heavy and made from mostly cotton, which is not ideal for hiking. On the other hand, they have a comfortable cut and a plethora of pockets, so that’s nice. But if you go on longer hikes or in wet conditions, they are not a good choice thanks to the cotton fabric. So keep them in your drawer if you need nice working pants, or pants for a quick afternoon hike. But for serious hiking, get a decent pair of hiking pants.

Can you wear jeans to a hike?

Jeans are nice to wear for work and relaxed walks. But if you go hiking, jeans have none of the options and features you want to see: They are heave, have not a lot of pockets, and the fabric is 100% cotton, which soaks wet and sucks in cold and wet conditions. They are also not very comfortable, nor do they have a lot of legroom or flexibility. If you want to go hiking, generally avoid jeans.

What are some good options for hiking pants?

So, hiking pants are important and should be selected well. You want something that breathes and has quick-drying material, but also a good amount of pockets. They should be warm when temperatures go down and have some zip-off legs at best. Some of the better hiking pants also have built-in sun protection or even keep insects away! The list below is a good overview of high-quality hiking pants.

Brand / Model Legs Style Gender Availability ListPrice
Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Hiking Pants Convertible M | F $60
prAna Stretch Zion Pants Roll-up M $85
REI Sahara Convertible Hiking Pants Convertible M | F $70
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible Pants Convertible M | F $90
Kuhl Renegade Cargo Convertible Pants Convertible M $99
REI Screeline Hiking Pants Full Length M | F $80
Mountain Hardware AP Pants Roll-up M | F $90
Arc’teryx Palisade Pants Full-length M | F $159
Marmot Arch Rock Pants Full Length M $75
Fjallraven Vidda Pro Pants Full Length M | F $150

Related Questions

What are hiking pants made of?

Hiking pants and shorts are made of durable and quick-drying synthetic fabrics like spandex and nylon. The material is usually lightweight without a lot of bulk. They also give a good amount of insulation.

Are military boots good for hiking?

Most military boots are suitable for hiking. They might not be the most comfortable hiking boots, but they give good support for your ankle and are durable and water-resistant while not too expensive. Keep in mind: Some military boots that are made for desert combat might not work well in cold and wet conditions!

Can I wear leggings for hiking?

Hiking leggings and tights are the most comfortable pants to wear when hiking. But if you go hiking in cold or mixed weather, leggings are not good options to wear as an outer layer, as insulation is usually not good nor do they repel water very effectively. They are perfect to wear as base layers, though!

Categories
Climbing Mountaineering

Can climbing rope be recycled?

Old ropes are cool. Remember the neon-bright colored ones from the 90s? Some of that old rope served me very good as a top rope, coiled away in a drawer, ready to be picked up whenever I needed a backup. But after the 3rd new rope, you will end up with LOTS of leftovers. Time to find other ways to get rid of it and recycling is the eco-friendly way I would prefer.

Can climbing rope be recycled? Yes, it can be recycled, but not in a normal recycling facility. To recycle old climbing rope, there are multiple rope manufacturers that offer to recycle for free: Sterling, Millet, and PMI. Some even pay you for your old rope if you buy a new one!

Everyone loves getting new climbing ropes. A new rope is a wonderful thing, and especially if your old rope is worn out, it’s probably safer to replace it. There are tons of good climbing rope manufacturers, but what I was wondering the other day as if it’s possible to recycle their ropes. Not everyone wants to keep old rope, and after cutting parts of it for some obligatory uses, I was still left with 100 feet of leftovers. I am by no means an expert in climbing rope manufacturing or recycling, so I did some research, and this is what I found out.

Can climbing rope be recycled in your normal garbage bin?

But what if you don’t want to send the rope into a manufacturer. I was wondering if you could maybe just use the normal recycling methods to recycle it? For most states in the US, the answer is NO; curbside programs will likely not accept nylon rope. But if you live in Europe, Germany, for example, chances are high there are some local recycling plants or programs you can give your old climbing rope to.

Climbing rope is nothing but old nylon fabric. So you can donate your worn-out rope to an organization that uses old fabric to supplies it to artists and schools. Examples are organizations like Materials for the Arts in New York and the Scrap Exchange in Durham, NC. These organizations are always happy to accept old nylon fabric, and the chances are high that you have a local organization close by if you live in a metropolitan area.

What else can I do with my old climbing rope?

If you cannot find an organization that accepts old nylon rope, you can just think about some other ways to use it. Recycling is great, but the general idea is to find good use of old materials. Recycling is one way to find a good use for old climbing rope, but you could also just re-use or upcycle it.

Make your climbing rope last longer

If you want to avoid having to recycle your new climbing rope, then the easiest way is not to buy a new rope. This means you need to find a way to keep your old climbing rope in good working condition longer. An easy way is always to store your rope inside a rope bag, and if you go climbing, but the climbing rope bag beneath it. Nothing destroys a rope faster than a full day at the crag with the rope lying in the dirt, rubbing sand and stones all over it, and stepping on it with your shoes.

You should also be gentle with it when you wash it, preferably washing it with lukewarm water only, and letting it dry in the air. NEVER throw your rope in the dryer – that’s the fast lane to killing the durability of the rope, as nylon does not take the heat of a dryer well. Keep your light outside of the sunlight, too, as this damages it! And read my other article about things to keep away from climbing rope, you can find it here.

Upcycle your old climbing rope instead of recycling

What is upcycling, you might ask. This definition is spot on, and it basically states that you find a new use for something old in a creative way. Upcycling is basically the opposite of cycling down. Cycling down means to convert material and products into raw materials of lesser quality. This is usually done when you recycle something, as you break the nylon apart into small particles and reuse these particles. But upcycling means you create a new product from the old materials that are of higher quality.

Upcycle your old climbing rope: Make a rope rug

What are some good ideas to upcycle old climbing rope? You can weave a rope rug. This video here is a great tutorial:

Can you use an old climbing rope as a tow rope?

It turns out you can. There are multiple reports of people using an old climbing rope as a towing rope. It’s another great idea, you can just take multiple strains, and it will be very strong, strong enough to tow a car. Just run it backward and forwards 4 to 6 times, which will reduce the load on individual strains and minimize stretch. Minimizing stretch is important if you use your old climbing rope as a towing rope, as you don’t want the towed car dangling behind your tow car on 50 feet of elastic cord!

Use the old climbing rope as a super strong dog leash

This might be overkill, but I found that using the old rope like a dog leash works super good. Thanks to the material of the climbing rope, the dog leash has some nice stretch if needed, but is still strong enough even if you have a big and powerful dog. And it’s a great money-saver if you need a long leash for dog training!

Related Questions

What to do with old climbing ropes?

    Old climbing rope DIY projects

  • Rope rug
  • Dog leash.
  • Furniture
  • Beer koozies
  • Ladder from rope
  • Chalk Bag
  • Scratch post for your cat

IF you need some more ideas about what to build with your old climbing rope, check out this other post about 24 great ideas for DIY projects with old climbing rope. Find it here.

How long are climbing ropes good for?

Polyamide (Nylon) fibers, which ropes are made from, break down over time. Replace old climbing rope after 10 years, no matter how rarely you used it. Replace it after 5 years if you used it often!

Can you rappel with a dynamic climbing rope?

Yes, you can. A static rope is easier for rappeling, as it gives you more control, but a dynamic rope works fine too. They have more stretch, and it might take some time to get used too, but they are safe to rappel with. Never try climbing with static rope though, a static rope is not made for situations with high-impact forces like a fall!

Categories
Bouldering Climbing

What is The Best Rock Climbing Child Age to Begin?

Most children have a natural urge to move. They usually climb early: they sit up at chairs or coffee tables before they learn to walk. Later, it continues on trees and climbing frames with zeal and courage. Most children enjoy climbing!

At what age can a child begin with rock climbing or bouldering? For climbing and bouldering, children must be coordinatively able to move hands and feet in a controlled and independent manner. In principle, children can already climb in preschool age. At the age of seven, most children can try climbing. The age is only a guideline. If you go climbing with kids, and bouldering, follow these tips to have more fun and keep your kids active.

Climbing promotes natural development

Climbing is fun for most children. Climbing obstacles motivates children, they like to try out. Courage and the ability to assess risks are promoted. Effort is rewarded with success and one can sometimes also  fail, without the world ending.

The skills required for climbing are manifold: strength and coordination are trained, and the perception of space and body becomes better through climbing. The children learn to concentrate and take responsibility. Climbing extends movement repertoire and mobility. In addition, children experience climbing and self-determined action and its consequences directly and immediately.

When climbing, difficult areas can often be resolved with agility and sensitivity, which is less disadvantageous to girls, who usually have less strength than their male counterparts, than other sports. Climbing is inclusive and opens up the freedom to try one another within the framework set by safety rules.

Other requirements include a relatively high degree of self-control, a sufficient attention span and the ability to concentrate, not to be distracted easily. The children must be able to safely follow even more complex instructions. These skills should be brought to children if they want to start with bouldering or climbing.

Climbing with a rope

When climbing on higher walls, a top rope and a safety harness is added. Prerequisite for this form of rock climbing is the ability to concentrate and a sense of responsibility. The children must be able to keep a cool head even in stressful situations and concentrate on their rope partner. Younger children do not have these skills yet. It depends on the level of development of each child when these skills are trained. Belaying should ALWAYS be done by an adult!!

Climbing equipment for children

Kids climbing and bouldering tips

For climbing in the gym children need sportswear, the rest of the equipment can usually be borrowed in the gym.

Children secure each other in climbing courses right from the start, but they work long with back-up. This means that an adult person with some distance still controls the safety rope. Only if the safety competence is sufficiently developed in the estimation of the trainer, the child will climb without supervision, but still supervised. Experience shows that children from primary school age usually have the necessary conditions. According to the recommendation of the Alpine Club (DAV) can begin with securing under control for about eight years, self-securing without supervision is only possible from 14 years.

When children with a lot of climbing experience take their first steps in the lead and are backed up by much heavier adults, it is important that the belayer master the “soft belay” to avoid hard impacts and a dangerously hard impact on the wall.

Bouldering for beginners, then rock climbing

Children want to play and playfully explore. Playing and enjoying doing things should be the most important thing when climbing and bouldering with small children. As a mother or father, you quickly realize if a toddler is having fun. It may also be that a child has a great desire to boulder on one day, not on another. That’s okay and child-friendly.

For the entry is the bouldering, so climbing up to four meters wall height on soft floor mats. Bouldering lessons for children without parents can be useful from the age of five if the bouldering hall is equipped with child bouldering facilities. From this age, children are usually able to concentrate and follow instructions and rules.

Competitions and performance-oriented climbing for children

Depending on their motivation and abilities, children climb ambitiously or compete in competitions. Already for six- to twelve-year-olds, the national associations of the DAV offer Kids Cups, where children can compete with each other in a playful competitive situation. Others soon pull out with their parents or leisure groups on the rock. Even if children participate in competitions or like to try out how hard they can climb, the playful nature of climbing should always be in the foreground.

Although children rarely overburden themselves and, unlike athletic ambitious adolescents, usually do nothing that causes them pain, it can sometimes be necessary to slow down their urge to move a bit. Children from the age of twelve can certainly do physical strength exercises. However, they should not go to the campus board or fingerboard, and the repeated retention of very small handles should be avoided. Particularly sensitive in children and adolescents are the growth joints of the fingers, the tendon attachments on the bone and the still relatively soft articular cartilage.

Bouldering: Safety Basics

Boulder gyms are not playgrounds, but sports facilities. Races and toys are prohibited in the boulder area as this can lead to serious injuries.
Important: Do not stay under a bouldering person, the jump or fall area must always remain free!
Caution: Many children (and many adults) can not estimate how extensive this area is. As far away as possible from the wall or in the middle between two walls. This rule should be re-discussed with the child each time before entering the boulder mats. Parents must ensure that this rule is adhered to – a breach of duty is a criminally relevant act!

The Boulder is not secured, here is “ridiculed”. The spotter always keeps an eye on the bouldering person and, with his arms raised, stands behind them so that the spotter can stabilize or steer the boulder in a fall so that he lands safely on the mat. The spotter should make sure that there are no objects or persons in the lintel area. You have to explain to children that spotters are the only people allowed to stand behind a boulderer. Who has never “spotted”, it should be shown.

Are there good Bouldering games for children to keep them motivated?

There are various bouldering games that even parents with very little experience in bouldering can play with their children. It makes sense to motivate small children through tasks that they can master well because they are inspired by small success experiences and the excitement and the fun of bouldering remain. It is important that the children know and understand the rules of the boulder. No other bouldering people should be bothered or even endangered by the bouldering games.

Save the animal

This game is perfect for a stuffed animal. Depending on the age and ability of the child, it is placed on an easily accessible grip and the child is allowed to boulder to him and get it. It is important not to overstrain the child and to place the stuffed animal in three meters height. It is sufficient if the child has to make two or three climbing moves to catch it.

Mum or dad should be able to get on well with their hands to their own child if it gets scared and you have to help with climbing. It is not unusual for children to be motivated and carelessly bouldering up to a certain height and then realize that they are more anxious and do not dare to boulder down again. Therefore, the first boulder trains should take place within the easy reach of the parents. It does not always have to go up. You can also let the children traverse left or right.

The cuddly toy can be put upwards, depending on motivation and courage. The child should let the stuffed animal down after reaching down and not climb in the arm because it is so limited and can slip off the handles. A variation is to give the cuddly toy to the child so that it can put the animal itself on a handle. Mum or dad must then boulder to cuddly toy and get it. For this purpose, the stuffed animal should be placed eg in the waistband of the child so that the child has his hands free to boulder.

Hide small toys

If the little ones are braver and want bigger incentives, it’s best to bring small toys that stay well on the handles. These include, for example, Playmobil figures, large puzzle pieces or small toy cars. These are placed on top of the handles. The child can either watch or it has to shut his eyes. This makes the game a little harder because the child first has to search for the items. Then the toys can be taken out of the handles.

Either one object after another is brought or they are all taken out of the handles one after the other, without coming back to the mat. It should be noted that the child does not boulder above or below other children. Here, as already described above, the toys should be carefully dropped down and not thrown, and the children should not climb with an object in their hands. Parents remember best where the cars or figures are because they can often no longer see from below. All toys must be found again and taken!

Bouldering blindfolded

A game that demands a lot of attention from the parents but fun for the kids is bouldering blindfolded. Because seeing is an important part of climbing and bouldering, connected eyes pose a special challenge. Touch and confidence are put to the test.

This game should only be played with children who are familiar with the boulder wall and also feel confident in bouldering with blindfolds. For this, the child’s eyes are hidden. Sleeping goggles or a scarf are good. The parents say the direction and the position of the handles. At the beginning, the children stay close to the ground and traverse. The parents basically scoff at the child in this game. If it’s braver it can boulder uphill too. The child should always remove the blindfold if it feels unwell. It should also be removed to boulder down.

General information about bouldering with children

Ensure safety

Children and parents need to understand that bouldering gyms are not playgrounds but sports facilities. Even Boulder games must take place in a disciplined manner. Running, screaming, flying objects or toys on the mats can cause injury. The items that are used in Boulder games, must always be removed from the mats and handles.

Respect gym rules

Each gym has its own rules. However, always keep in mind to not stand below someone bouldering or climbing. The jump or lintel area must always remain free! Since children can not yet estimate how extensive this area is, they must always be sufficiently far away from the boulder wall. Even in a children’s gym. This important rule should be re-discussed with the child each time before entering the boulder mats. In addition, parents must ensure that their children adhere to this important rule.

Have an alternative program Children usually boulder very much. However, this is not true for all children and not always. Coloring books, puzzles or a small card game in a backpack provide variety and can save the bouldering session. Sometimes even a small meal break helps. If games can not motivate and the mood is bad, it’s best to take a break or stay open for a spontaneous alternative program.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this post, read more here, why climbing and bouldering are great for your kids!

 

Categories
Reviews

The Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020 – The Complete List

Are you excited about your next climbing adventures? If yes, you might need another essential piece of climbing gear aside from your backpack and harness – approach shoes. We tested the best climbing approach shoes 2020. Some hiking routes are only accessible via steep, technical terrain, where normal hiking shoes are not enough. This is where approach shoes come into play. Approach shoes are a mix of hiking and climbing shoes, find out more here. Nothing beats a good hike to the crag with comfortable shoes, as it’s the perfect warm-up routine and sometimes there is no road access to routes and crags anyway.

But here’s the big question: Which pair to buy? There are many options, and we decided to put the best shoes of known brands like Salewa, Scarpa and La Sportiva for our big 2020 review of approach shoes. Some of these shoes are updated for 2020 while some are the same as in 2019. What are the best climbing approach shoes in 2020? The best overall climbing approach shoe we tested for 2020 was the Five Ten Tennie Guide, followed by the La Sportiva Boulder X. These shoes combing perfect climbing capability, with support and ruggedness so you can hike for long hours and still tackle difficult terrain. So, let’s get started with the top picks I have for you. With this selection, I hope you decide which approach shoe best fits your preference. As always it’s a matter of choice and preference! Let’s start.

 

Five Ten Guide Tennie: The Best All-Round Approach Shoe In our Review – Score: 9/10

The Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $100

Climbers who are looking for the best shoes will not be disappointed with the Five Ten Guide Tennie. Why? The approach shoes are sensitive for smearing, stiff enough for edges, and can handle hand cracks. You can wear the Five Ten Guide Tennie even if the terrain warrants an easy sport climb.

This approach shoe stands out from the list, as it has been in use by professional climbing guides for years. They have been using this shoe for a while, as it has super good climbing abilities. The sticky C4 rubber works very well, and Five Ten updated this shoe in 2017 to make it better looking and with firmer midsole.

It became a little heavier in the last update, so it’s probably not your choice model if you want to go trail running, but other than that it’s durable and water-resistant. Thanks to the tongue you can also lace it up nice and tight to support your ankles, and it’s very flexible. And the best part: It only costs $100!

Pros

  • Supportive and stiff even if you’re climbing long hours
  • Good for carrying a heavy load
  • Great at scrambling and climbing
  • Water-resistant
  • Unlike some other approach shoes, it even works for cracks
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • A bit heavy

La Sportiva Boulder X: Best Value for the Money, Good for Rough Trails and Heavy Loads – Score 8/10

The Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $120

The leather material of the La Sportiva Boulder X isn’t a joke and climbers know it. If you want a reliable but affordable approach shoe, La Sportiva is always a very good choice. And the Boulder X proofs this: Perfect for hard and long approaches, it can climb really well too. This shoe is like a mix between the TX4 and TX2: It comes with the best support of all three models, is rugged like the TX4 and does hike really good, but gives climbing ability like the TX2.

The La Sportiva Boulder X provides excellent support for scrambling and hiking too. The leather is breathable and allows climbers to wear them for a long time.

But it doesn’t stop there. The Boulder X has a superb lacing system that extends on the ankle collar. Hence it assures a slip-free advantage if you’re hiking for a longer time.

But despite the good sides, there are some drawbacks. One of these is the shoe is bulky and heavy. Clipping it to the harness is not a good idea. But still, for the money, the Boulder X is probably the best value shoe you can find.

Pros

  • Durable shoes
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Good for long approaches
  • Climbs well, good for scrambles
  • Rugged
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Bulky for most climbers
  • Too heavy for you to clip on the back of harnesses

Scarpa Crux: Good All-Around Approach Shoe, Best for Climbers with Narrow Feet – Score 8/10

The Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $125

Rough and tough – two words to describe the Scarpa Crux, Well, the description fits for this approach shoe because of its durability. If you aim to climb cracks, this shoe suits your standards. The Scarpa Crux can even withstand big walls.

Like the Boulder X, Scarpa Crux doesn’t create a hole in your wallet. The durable leather is capable and ready to face the abuse and torture of hiking. Also, Scarpa Crux doesn’t let you down when it comes to ankle support, making it good for carrying heavier loads.

Why? With the medium-stiff midsole, the shoe offers hikers reliable support. The high-level support you get allows you to be successful in aid climbing and schlepping heavy loads. But here’s a little drawback – the shoe isn’t waterproof, so better not wear it during rainy hiking trips.

Pros

  • Durable for long jogging or hiking adventure
  • Excellent support
  • Sticky rubber for good climbing endeavor

Cons

  • Quite heavy
  • Design needs improvements

La Sportiva TX2: Well-Rounded Approach Shoe – Score 8/10

Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $130

As the light version of the La Sportiva TX4 – the TX2 satisfies most climbers(and me) when it comes to performance, etc. The TX2 only weighs 20 ounces for each pair. So, it isn’t bad for a long hour of hiking and climbing.

The TX2 has an elastic cord system that secures the shoes together. (Don’t worry if you clipped the shoes to a harness.)

Our testers felt comfortable wearing the TX2 due to its breathable net uppers If it is really cold, these shoes offer not the best insulation, keep that in mind. The support is not as good as on the TX4.

But man, these shoes climb so well. They are the lightest and most breathable shoes we tested, and they felt like trail running shoes that also hike really well.

Fit is nice and snug, which is good if you need a lot of feel for technical terrain, and the toe box with the Vibram mix gives this shoe a great ability to climb.

Pros

  • A perfect shoe for climbing approaches
  • Breathable mesh uppers offer comfort
  • Reliable lacing system
  • Lightweight, easy to carry

Cons

  • Not durable as leather shoes
  • Not quite supportive as other shoes

La Sportiva TX4: Best Approach shoe for Big Walls, Long Approaches and Heavy Loads – Score 7/10

Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $140

La Sportiva has a very climbing orientated shoe, the TX2 and a robust hiking oriented shoe the TX5 GTX. The TX4 is a good compromise. It’s durable and still a good climber, making it perfect for long approaches. The leather is abrasion-resistant and water-resistant.

The upper leather is nice and warm in cool weather, and the shoe gives plenty of support without sacrificing comfort. The TX4 offers the right balance for both hiking and climbing activities. This shoe allows you to climb and enables you to carry loads easily. The leather uppers don’t let you down when it comes to long hours of walking or hiking, as this shoe is comfortable.

The only downside: It’s a tad on the heavy and bulky side.

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • Good support
  • Comfortable
  • Great climber

Cons

  • Not lightweight
  • A bit bulky

Arc’Teryx Acrux SL: Very Light Approach Shoe for Long Descents and Approaches – Score 7/10

Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $170

Arc’Teryx Acrux SL is a minimalistic shoe, that’s both water-resistant and durable. As the Vibram soles give this shoe a lot of traction on snow, dirt, and rock, these light shoes are great to carry along as a backup option.

The design is interesting: The heel shape is very good for braking while descending, which makes it a great shoe to hike back down on long multi-pitch climbs. It’s not exactly super supportive, so chose another shoe if you want to carry heavy loads. Climbing performance is good, and the shoe performs well on scrambles.

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • Good for descents
  • Sole very sticky
  • Good for scrambling and climbing
  • Light-weight, perfect for carrying on your harness

Cons

  • Not good for heavy loads
  • Support could be better

Arc’Teryx Arakys: Good Approach Shoe for Mellow Approaches with Some Climbing – Score 7/10

Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $150

Lightweight, very packable Floppy, not very supportive These shoes are most suited to short, mellow approaches.

The Arakys is a lightweight shoe, which makes it perfect as a carry on for your harness. It keeps a low-profile, which makes it easy to carry it too.

But the shoe is not great for hiking with heavy loads, as it lacks support for the ankles.

Climbing is ok, but there are better options for technical climbing, which means they work best for short, easy approaches.

Pros

  • Light
  • Nice to carry
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Only good for easy climbing
  • Support is not great

Evolv Cruzer Psyche: Not a Comfortable Approach Shoe, but Climbs Well – Score 6/10

Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020
Price: $100
The Evolv Cruzer Psyche is an upgrade from the classic Cruzer. The brand added a liner and padding that provide more support when carrying heavy loads. The new model is stiffer, yet sensitive enough to climb rough terrain, and the wider toe box helps you maintain balance on uneven ground.
The fold-down heel is ideal for easy dressing and undressing when bouldering. The washed cotton fabric is breathable and keeps your feet cool on warm days. If you’re looking for a shoe to wear to the rock and then into town, the stylish Evolv Psyche is for you.

Pros

  • Climbs well
  • Good support for trail runs and heavy loads
  • Good looking

Cons

  • Not very comfortable

Vasque Grand Traverse: Very Comfortable Hiking and Approach Shoe That Doesn’t Climb Too Well – Score: 6/10

Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $170

Vasques Grand Traverse shoes are super comfortable. And since the material breathes so good, these hiking shoes are very comfortable for long approaches.

But the support is not great in these shoes, so get another option if you need to carry heavy loads. It has some extra sticky rubber on the toe box, but that doesn’t help it with its mediocre climbing abilities.

Pros

  • Very comfortable
  • Breathable

Cons

  • Not very supportive
  • Climb below average

Scarpa Gecko: Expensive But Supportive Approach Shoe That Fits Narrow Feet – Score: 6/10

Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $170

If you have narrow feet, the Gecko is one of the best options. They are quick to adjust, the laces work really well, and they have a soft and comfortable upper layer.

But the Geckos don#t edge well, so technical climbing is not great with these shoes. But they have good comfort and support, which makes them good at hiking. They are kind of pricey.

Pros

  • Good choice for narrow feet
  • Comfortable
  • Good support for hiking

Cons

  • Climbing not so great
  • Expensive

Salewa Mountain Trainer GTX: All-Weather Hiking and Approach Shoe, Doesn’t Excel at Technical Climbing – Score: 6/10

Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $200

If you plan to include snowfields and slippery boulders in your approach or do a lot of scrambling, the Mountain Trainer GTX is perfect for you.

Thanks to the Goretex material, they are warm and waterproof, and they are rugged enough to let you enjoy alpine hiking to your favorite climbing spot.

But as these shoes are really rugged, they are not a great fit for edging and technical climbing, and are a little heavy.

Pros

  • Super sturdy
  • Water-resistant
  • Great for scrambling

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Not great for technical climbing
  • VERY expensive

Salewa Wildfire: Good for Long Hikes, Not so Great for Scrambling – Score: 6/10

Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $130

The Salewa Wildfire is a shoe that comes with good ankle support. It excels at hiking, as it is comfortable and walks really well.

But the climbing abilities of this shoe are only  average, and thanks to the bulky design and heavyweight they are not your best option as a carry on on the harness,

Consider them if you’re planning to do longer approaches with lots of hiking and not much climbing, and avoid scrambling with these shoes.

Pros

  • Good support
  • Hiking is good

Cons

  • Climbing only average
  • Scrambling only average
  • Heavy and Bulky

Scarpa Vortex XCR GTX: All-Weather Hiking Shoe, That Is Too Heavy for Real Climbing 5/10

Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $200

Scarpas Vortex is a heavy shoe. Build to resist wet conditions, this shoe is for rugged backcountry approaches. The shoes breathe good and keep your feet warm even in autumn and winter conditions.

They have a good grip even on slippery terrain thanks to the Vibram sole. The shoes are also robust and sturdy for rock and scrambling, and they do fairly well with a heavy load. But as they are not light, they are not great to carry on your harness and some might feel they are a bit bulky.

If you need to do real climbing, and technical approaches these shoes might be too heavy.

Pros

  • Leather uppers offer a satisfaction
  • Handless large loads
  • Allows you to climb walls successfully

Cons

  • Not lightweight
  • VERY expensive

Evolv Rebel: Casual Shoe Without a Lot of Support, for City and Easy Hikes – Score: 5/10

Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $115

The Evolv Rebel is a good looking shoe. We would argue that you can wear these shoes to the pub and as casual shoes for work, as they keep a really low profile.

But they don’t offer a lot of support, and they don’t climb better than average. If you need a pair of shoes that you can wear to work and go on an easy hike to the crag, these shoes are a good fit. But forget about them if you carry heavier loads or plan longer approaches.

Pros

  • Comfortable and good looking

Cons

  • Only climb average
  • No good support

Five Ten Access: Only Good for Casual Hikes – Score: 5/10

Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $120

The Five Ten Access left us with very mixed feelings. On the one hand, these shoes are really comfortable and make for a good hike. They have good support. The rubber is not too sticky, which makes casual hiking very pleasant.

But they don’t climb well. And that#s a problem. Approach shoes should climb reasonably well, that’S their main point, because otherwise you could get some hiking shoes. And these shoes don’t climb well.

They might be good for a casual hike, but for serious approaches and long descents they are not a good choice, and that’s why they are the weakest shoe in the review.

Pros

  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Not lightweight
  • Don’t climb well
Now that you have a review of the top approach shoes in 2020, have you decided which of these shows to buy? If not, let’s talk about the essential points climbers and hikers need to consider in purchasing and deciding which approach shoes to use.

Upper Materials of Climbing Approach Shoes

Pro hikers and climbers always consider durable upper materials before using a shoe. (Of course, top materials are essential in approach shoes.) Why? The stick rubber toe (that you see on the front of the shoe) protects the shoes while you smear or edge.

If the shoes’ upper materials need improvement, climbers use a shoe goo or seam seal. (Climbers often do this if the upper parts of the shoes aren’t leather.)

Remember: Make sure to choose a leather-made approach shoe if you don’t want to use a seam seal or shoe goo to improve the upper parts.

Which Rubber Soles are Used in Climbing  Approach Shoes?

Don’t worry about rubber soles because most approach shoes (including the shoes on this review) have sticky rubber soles.

So, why do think these rubber soles are essential in approach shoes?

The answer is simple – rubber soles allow the shoes to stick to rocks. Hiking and mountain climbing are fun activities, but they can be dangerous (if your shoes don’t have rubber soles). The rubber compounds in approach shoes are softer than those on normal shoes and hiking boots. Hence, approach shoes generate extra friction when you step on a rock.

So, rubber soles play an essential role in keeping you safe. (that’s good to know.) Don’t be happy yet because here’s the tradeoff:

Since rubber soles are softer than the rubber in boots, these wear down faster. Hence, don’t expect to use approach shoes for eternity.

(Take note: all shoes mentioned in the review have rubber soles.)

How Much Money Do Budget Do Good Climbing Approach Shoes Cost?

You often hear the saying – “buyers get what they paid for.” Well, the motto also applies in buying approach shoes. Let’s admit it that most buyers would choose the cheap products than the expensive ones.

The idea is fine. Budget-friendly shoes don’t always mean low-quality products. It depends on the consumers which shoes they like to buy.

For example, you choose an approach shoe that excels in hiking ability than comfort. Expect that two shoes don’t have comparable prices. So, accept trade-offs in the product’s features. (You can’t have them all, right?).

If you chose a more affordable shoe, don’t expect that you automatically get excellent comfortable shoes But you can still select a well-rounded shoe that’s budget-friendly.

The La Sportiva Boulder X is the Top Consumer’s Choice when it comes to value. No doubt. Boulder X has incredible features. Boulder X doesn’t disappoint climbers when it comes to durability and versatility.

What Features Do Climbing Approach Shoes have?

Approach shoes come with a number of nice features, that all support you hiking up and down to your climbing spot. Some of them are light and easy to carry on your harness, some are weather-resistant, and some do climb very well.

Comfort & Support

Most climbers prioritize comfort in crossing a rock or gravel field or staying on the right trail. Your satisfaction in wearing climbing approach shoes depends on your choice. I recommend you try different models so that you decide which shoes to wear.

But don’t end there. Don’t only think of comfort in choosing the best climbing approach shoe. Support is also an essential factor so that you stay on the trail safely. Focus on how each approach shoe handles trail miles. Climbers also determine comfort when they’re carrying heavy or minimal loads.

But here’s a problem (and some climbers would agree with me): Hikers compromise their choice for comfort when they’re choosing the shoe size. Experience an excellent climbing performance if you size down the full or half size of your shoe. But you’ll feel uncomfortable when you’re making long approaches.

Climbing Ability

A hiking adventure isn’t only about enjoyment but also safety. With this in mind, we’ll talk about the essential sub-metrics that are necessary attributes for exposed scrambling.

  • Edging – pertains to the ability to stand on rock edges from a matchbook’s width to an inch.
  • Smearing – the climber’s ability to stick to a steep rock devoid of features.
  • Crack climbing – your ability to stick your toe into a rock’s vertical features and to twist your feet to lock it in place.

These attributes are essential for climbers, but it still depends on you, which among these you need to focus on. Don’t forget that safety always comes first when it comes to hiking and climbing. So, always consider your safety in choosing and wearing a climbing approach shoe.

Buyers would be satisfied in buying the Five Ten Guide Tennie due to its excellence in climbing ability. The shoe earns an excellent reputation in smearing and edging. The La Sportiva TX2 ranks second place because these aren’t so stiff, unlike the Guide Tennie.

Both the Boulder X and Evolv Cruzer Psyche (another model) give the same result in climbing ability. The Scarpa Crux has the Vibram Mega-Grip rubber like the TX2, so the two have the same climbing ability. But you the Scarpa Crux is reliable when it comes to slabby approaches and gives a moderate performance in slab climbing

Other models, such as the Five Ten Access and the Vasque Grand Traverse, are also comfortable shoes.

I have to commend the Vasque Grand Traverse and Salewa Wildfire as excellent hiking shoes, but these aren’t as good as the guide Tennie or the TX series in terms of climbing.

Ankle Support

Ankel support is super important when trying to find the best approach shoes. Hiking with a traditional rack to a multi pitch climb will mean carrying a heavy load. And if you even tried a descent in sneakers with 10k+ on your back you know what lack of ankle support means. 

If you’re serious about alpine climbing or traditional climbing, ankle support for longer hikes should be a definitive concern when searching for the right approch shoe.

Weight and Packability

Many climbers like to carry their approach shoe on the harness, which makes it easier to use a small backpack .That way the shoes are always accessible. But that only works if the shoe is lightweight and keeps a low profile.

Some of the models we tested are heavy and bulky, so if that concerns you, then you must stick with one of the lighter options.

Which do you prefer considering a shoe performance quality – the heavy or the lighter one? Of course, the light shoe is most handy in your journey.

One of the light shoes out there is the La Sportiva TX2. Compared to other shoes, the TX2 is excellent when it comes to supporting as well.

But you can also select heavy products such as the Boulder X and the Five Ten Guide Tennie because these are comfortable in climbing or hiking. Also, the TX2 is a must-have if you want balanced support and weight.

Conclusion

The best climbing approach shoes have distinct advantages and drawbacks, so it’s up to you to decide which shoe to choose. Remember that besides the metrics, you also need to consider personal preferences and how comfortable a shoe feels. So get out there and try some one!

Read our other great reviews of 2020:

Categories
Reviews

The Best Climbing Helmets of 2020

The fact that all or most professional climbers nowadays wear helmets to protect them from rocks and banging their head speaks for itself. One accident can be enough to leave you severely injured, and your head is especially sensitive to injuries. If you’re still not convinced, read more here. But which climbing helmet to pick in 2020? There are so many models – well, we tested  14 of the most promising models!

The best climbing helmets of 2020? Our winner for overall best value and performance climbing helmet of 2020 is Petzl Meteor, but if you look for the best helmet money can buy the Mammut Wall Rider MIPS. The cheapest helmet is the Mammut Skywalker 2, but you will need to live with disadvantages that it is poorly fitting, heavy, and not very well ventilated. 

By the way, all our reviewed helmets are safe and protect well, this is actually tested with independent standards like the UIAA, read more here.

In a perfect world, you wouldn’t need a helmet: If there is a chance of falling rocks, you shouldn’t climb, and you can be extra careful to avoid it too. But that’s not the reality, and you will fall and bang your head. Finding a very comfortable helmet is super important because a heavy and clunky helmet will be left at home.

No matter what kind of helmet you look for, the list and review of these top climbing helmets for 2020 will suit you. If you’re just looking for a certain design, need as much protection as possible, or just want a good helmet for cold weather, there is one to suit your needs!

For this review, we collected the 13 most promising helmets for 2020 that are available both in the US and Europe. Some of these are updated for 2020, and some are the same as the 2019 models. We tested many different helmets from a variety of known brands like Petzl, Salewa, and Black Diamond. But we also included low-price options to have something in our test for every budget.

A climbing helmet needs to have some unique features; you won’t find in cycling helmets, for example. Climbing helmets need to be able to resist multiple impacts without cracking, and there are some more differences. I actually wrote an article about there differences between bike and climbing helmets here.

 

REVIEW AT A GLANCE-  TABLE  BEST CLIMBING HELMET OF 2020

Score Product Price Our Verdict
4.8/5
Petzl Sirocco
$140 An ultra-comfortable helmet that makes you forget you wear one at all.
4.7/5
Black Diamond Vapor
$140 This helmet is super lightweight but easy to dent. Even a slight touch to the rock will dent it.
4.7/5
Petzl Meteor
$100 Made from EPS foam, highly adjustable, can be used for ski and climbing.
4.6/5
Mammut Wall Rider MIPS
$180 MIPS provides extra security against brain injuries.
4.5/5
CAMP USA Storm
$100 Great to adjust, but it’s a heavy helmet.
4.5/5
Black Diamond Vector
$100 Good price doesn’t weigh a lot, pretty adjustable.
4.2/5
Mammut Wall Rider
$120 Not light like the Sirocco, but cheaper and very adjustable.
4.1/5
Edelrid Shield II
$100 Heavy EPS helmet that is very durable.
4/5
Petzl Elia – Women’s
$65 A women’s helmet – it will fit a ponytail! Otherwise durable and adjustable.
3.7/5
Black Diamond Half Dome
$60 Inexpensive all-round helmet, but it is heavy.
3.6/5
Petzl Boreo
$70 Good if you don’t want to spend a lot of money
3.6/5
Singing Rock Penta
$60 Good if you don’t want to spend a lot of money
3.5/5
Mammut Skywalker 2
$40 Heavy, not too good to adjust. Inner foam easily damaged.

Our 2020 Review of The Best Climbing Helmets

For our 2020 review of the best climbing helmets, there are several contenders. Many of these models are known from 2019 and 2018, but some models had updates in 2019 or for 2020.

That said, all of the tested helmets will protect you well are certified with US and European safety standards. If you pick just any from the helmets on our list, you will always be safe and well protected. They just come in different forms and colors, and of course, the comfort level and weight differ.

The Helmets – Best Climbing Helmets of 2020

The Best Climbing Helmets of 2020

Petzl Sirocco – Rating: 4.8/5 Price: $140

Short Facts

  • MATERIALEPP Foam inside, top piece EPP foam, one-piece crown no ABS or plastic top
  • WEIGHT: 5.9 oz
  • Price:  $140 

Our Verdict

Petzl’s Sirocco helmet is our overall winner. For the money, this is the best helmet you can buy. It’s lightweight and comfortable, and the inside is shaped like a head. The head plate is made from EPS, and the inside is resilient EPP foam. Thanks to the head plate, this helmet can resist falling rocks and ice. Overall this helmet combines comfort and protection with very lightweight.

Activity that it’s best at

Petzl’s Sirocco is great at any type of climbing: Sport, traditional and alpine multi-pitches, it gets the job done.

Pros

  • Super lightweight
  • Sits and feels ultra-comfortable
  • Great air ventilation
  • Can be used for skiing and mountaineering
  • Supreme protection for all sides of the head

Cons

  • ABS helmets are more durable
  • Very expensive
  • Not so good to adjust
  • Magnetic buckle can feel weird

The Best Climbing Helmets of 2020

Black Diamond Vapor – Rating: 4.7/5 Price: 140$

Short Facts

  • MATERIALEPS Foam and a  Polycarbonate Shell
  • WEIGHT: 7 oz
  • Price:  $140

Our Verdict

We think the Black Diamond Vapor is a good helmet. It is very lightweight, and we think it’s almost a bit too light. Here is the thing: It almost feels as if Black Diamond was giving up on robustness and durability and even adjustability because they wanted to save weight. It’s also expensive and doesn’t really offer any benefit over some cheaper helmets. That said, it’s still a great ventilated helmet that will serve you well.

Activity that it’s best at

Black Diamonds Vaper is really good for hot weather climbing as it’s light and comfortable. Other than that, any type of climbing where there is not a lot of rocks and small debris raining from the top.

Pros

  • Super ventilation
  • Very light-weight
  • Almost feels like not wearing a helmet, i.e., is perfect for hot weather

Cons

  • Top feels almost fragile
  • Can’t adjust chin strap forwards
  • Headlamp clips are removable and easy to lose
  • Not very abrasion resistant
The Best Climbing Helmets of 2020

Petzl Meteor – Rating: 4.7/5 Price: $100

Short Facts

  • MATERIAL: molded  EPS Foam and a  Polycarbonate Shell
  • WEIGHT: 8.5 oz
  • Price:  $100

Our Verdict

The Meteor was redesigned for 2019, and if you need a lightweight helmet, this helmet delivers a lot of bang for the money. It’s not as cheap as the Black Diamond Half Dome, which only costs $60, but the Meteor is a lot lighter and more comfortable. If you compare it to the overall winner the Sirocco, this helmet is a little heavier and overall scores lower, but also costs less. It’s like the middle ground between entry-level cheaper helmets and really expensive helmets: A good choice if you need a light new helmet that is good for any type of climbing.

Activity that it’s best at

You can use the Meteor for any type of rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, or ski mountaineering.

Pros

  • Super ventilation
  • Very light-weight
  • Magnetic buckle collects dirt too

Cons

  • Heavier than top models
The Best Climbing Helmets of 2020

Mammut Wall Rider MIPS – Rating: 4.6/5 Price: $180

Short Facts

  • MATERIAL: molded  EPP Foam and hard plastic top
  • WEIGHT: 9.5 oz
  • Price:  $180

Our Verdict

The Wall Rider is the first climbing helmet we know of that has MIPS. MIPS is a technology that basically acts as a thin free-floating plastic piece that allows the helmet to move a tiny little bit when you take a blow, which helps to deflect impact forces on your brain. MIPS is very common among bike helmets today, but it’s new for climbing helmets. If you need the helmet with possibly the best protection, there is no way around the Wall Rider with MIPS technology. There will probably be more companies to develop helmets with MIPS in the next years. And this technology, which costs a little bit more, has the potential to avoid life-changing injuries, so it’s worth the money!

Activity that it’s best at

You can use the Wall Rider for any type of rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, or ski mountaineering.

Pros

  • MIPS technology to protect your brain
  • lightweight
  • good ventilation
  • feels nice and comfortable
  • technology, lightweight, well-ventilated, comfortable

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Not great to adjust
The Best Climbing Helmets of 2020

CAMP USA Storm – Rating: 4.5/5 Price: $100

Short Facts

  • MATERIAL: EPS Foam and polycarbonate top
  • WEIGHT: 8.7 oz
  • Price:  $100

Our Verdict

The Storm helmet combines some of the aspects of other CAMP USA helmets like the Speed 2.0, which is a climbing and ski mountaineering helmet and puts them into a helmet for climbing. It can be used for any type of climbing and is a good all-round helmet. It’s similar in construction to the Petzl Meteor, but with a different shape, and besides for the chin buckle tendency to overtighten, this helmet is a very good choice!

Activity that it’s best at

You can use the CAMPUS USA Storm for any type of rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, or ski mountaineering.

Pros

  • Easy to adjust
  • good headlamp clips that can be used easily
  • holes for ventilation work super well

Cons

  • Chinstrap buckle can be annoying as it buckles under the chin
  • Easily over tightened
Best climbing helmets of 2020

Black Diamond Vector – Rating: 4.5/5 Price: $100

Short Facts

  • MATERIAL: EPS Foam and thin polycarbonate top
  • WEIGHT: 8.6 oz
  • Price:  $100

Our Verdict

The Black Diamond Vector helmet is a pretty good package. It is lightweight and has a very adjustable inner harness. The headlamp clips work well, and the helmet is durable. Compared to the Vapor, it’s not as well ventilated but also feels a lot less fragile. If you’re not only climbing in very hot temperatures, this helmet is probably a cheaper and better fit than the Vapor, just because of the subjective feel.

Activity that it’s best at

You can use the Vector for any type of climbing, but long climbs in searing hot sun could be less comfortable than with some of the better ventilated other helmets

Pros

  • Adjustable harness can be adjusted fully
  • Rear adjustment made from rigid, robust plastic
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent working headlamp clips.

Cons

  • For a lightweight helmet, the ventilation is only so-so

best climbing helmets of 2020

Mammut Wall Rider without MIPS – Rating: 4.2/5 Price: $120

Short Facts

  • MATERIALEPP Foam and a plastic top
  • WEIGHT: 9 oz
  • Price:  $120 

Our Verdict

This is the same helmet like the one with MIPS only that it comes without MIPS. Other than that, they are pretty much the same: A comfortable, lightweight helmet with good ventilation. If you don’t like the Petzl fit, this helmet is a great alternative. It is only 0.5 oz lighter than the MIPS variant, making it one of the heavier helmets in the price range of over $100. If you don’t mind the $60 raise, get the version with MIPS! The headlamp clips are not so great to handle, but they’re ok once you get used to them.

Activity that it’s best at

The Wall Rider can be used in any type of climbing, ski mountaineering, or mountaineering!

Pros

  • Adjustable
  • Light
  • Comfortable
  • Plastic top very robust

Cons

  • Not as light as some other helmets in this price range
  • Expensive
  • Headlamp clips are difficult to use

best climbing helmets 2020

Edelrid Shield 2 – Rating: 4.1/5 Price: $120

Short Facts

  • MATERIALEPS Foam and a polycarbonate top
  • WEIGHT: 9.7 oz
  • Price:  $100 

Our Verdict

The Edelrid Shield 2 is a fairly light helmet, given that it’s so robust. The shell feels solid, and the helmet is well ventilated. The design looks pretty cool if you like the graphical look, and the helmet is comfortable, although the adjustment knob on the back is quite large. It’s not a heavy helmet, but if you compare it to the Sirocco, you will feel a difference! The adjustments of the helmet are a little time-consuming.

Activity that it’s best at

The Shield 2 will fit any style of climbing just well.

Pros

  • Large adjustment range possible
  • Graphics look nice and well done

Cons

  • Adjustment is time-consuming
  • Headlamp clips are poor quality and pop out easily

best climbing helmets 2020

Singing Rock Penta – Rating: 4/5 Price: $70

Short Facts

  • MATERIALEPS foam with hard plastic cover
  • WEIGHT: 7.2 oz
  • Price:  $70

Our Verdict

The Singing Rock Penta looks good and is light and cheap. The fit is a little bit questionable, so make sure to try it on if you have a large head. Although the strapping and webbing have no hard plastic pieces, it still sits well on the head but might feel weird to some people. It comes only in one size, but if it fits you, this helmet is a great cheap option for people who want a lightweight helmet, ventilation is good too. If you don’t know the brand: It’s from the Czech Republic, and they even have an official distributor in the US now, Liberty Mountain.

Activity that it’s best at

The Penta can be used for any type of climbing.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Low profile
  • Comfortable and good ventilation
  • Cheap

Cons

  • All web harness, not super user-friendly
  • Only one size: Hit or miss if you have a too large or small head
best climbing helmets 2020

Petzl Elia Women – Rating: 4/5 Price: $100

Short Facts

  • MATERIALEPS liner and ABS shell
  • WEIGHT: 10.1 oz
  • Price:  $65

Our Verdict

Petzl’s Elia is one of the few women helmets, with a design to accommodate for long hair. The only other helmet we have in this test that has a women’s version to our knowledge is the Black Diamond Half Dome. This helmet here is actually a revamp of the discontinued Elios model that got redesigned to fit a ponytail. As it’s an ABS style helmet, it’s a bit heavier and not as well ventilated as the newer EPS or EPP foam helmets. Especially in summer, this can be uncomfortable. But it comes at a great price and fits long hair, which makes it unique in that regard!

Activity that it’s best at

The Elia will suit any climbing or mountaineering style.

Pros

  • Good for ponytails
  • Chinstrap easily adjustable
  • Removable foam padding
  • Durable

Cons

  • Adjustment needs to be done every time you wear it
  • Only one size
  • Heavy

best climbing helmets 2020

Black Diamond Half Dome – Rating: 3.7/5 Price: $100

Short Facts

  • MATERIALEPS foam and polycarbonate shell
  • WEIGHT: 12.7 oz
  • Price:  $65

Our Verdict

This helmet was updated in 2019 with a minor update, giving it a lower profile. The main problem,  the weight, remained the same, though. That being said, there is a women’s version now of this helmet, which fits ponytails too! The update also gave this helmet a much-needed increase in ventilation. It’s not super comfortable nor lightweight, but for $65, you cannot complain about this. It’s probably among the most widespread helmets, as it looks good, is cheap to afford for beginners, does a good job, and is durable.

Activity that it’s best at

The Half Dome is perfect for sport climbing and traditional climbing and all sorts of mountaineering if you’re a beginner building a rack.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Hard plastic shell is pretty durable
  • Can be adjusted in a wide range
  • Easy to adjust too

Cons

  • Heavy helmet
  • Could be more comfortable,
  • Ventilation not on par with more expensive helmets
  • V-yoke not easily adjusted around the ear area

best climbing helmets 2020

Petzl Boreo – Rating: 3.6/5 Price: $70

Short Facts

  • MATERIALABS shell, EPS foam on top, sides are EPP foam
  • WEIGHT: 11 oz
  • Price:  $70

Our Verdict

This helmet was released in 2018 and is replacing the Petzl Elios. Thanks to the heavy-duty range of materials, these helmets offer really good protection but also are not light. The ABS shell is durable but also heavy. Adjustability is not very good, and ventilation is OKAYi, but not great. In our review, this helmet is probably the most rugged helmet. If you just want good protection and don’t mind the weight, this helmet is perfect!

Activity that it’s best at

The Boreo can be used in any type of mountain or climbing activity

Pros

  • Durable and robust
  • Very protective with good side protection
  • Versatile for many different types of climbing
  • Pretty affordable

Cons

  • Heavy helmet
  • Not too adjustable
best climbing helmets 2020

Mammut Skywalker 2 – Rating: 3/5 Price: $60

Short Facts

  • MATERIAL: Hardshell polycarbonate outside, EPS foam inside
  • WEIGHT: 13.7 oz
  • Price:  $60

Our Verdict

The Mammut Skywalker 2 is a clunky, heavy helmet that is fairly cheap. It was the heaviest and poorest fitting helmet we tested. As it sits very high in your head and is top-heavy, it often shifts to the side. This can be very irritating, and it gives you the “I’m a beginner and have rented ill-fitting gear” look we all love :D. Seriously, this helmet does not fit very well, and even though this is the heaviest helmet, the inside foam is not super durable. In our eyes, this helmet is the weakest option of the test!

Activity that it’s best at

The Skywalker 2 can be used for any type of climbing

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Outer shell durable
  • The adjustable knob is strong

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Flanges on foam easy to break
  • Sits very high on the head
  • Shifts to the side a lot
  • Bad ventilation

This Article is Updated and New for 2020

This article is kept updated and will expand over time. This is because the manufacturers are still releasing new models. By updating this list and review, we will always make sure that you have a good and current list of reviewed climbing helmets for 2020.

Choosing the right climbing helmet for your needs also comes down to your personal preference and what style of climbing you like best. Depending on the climate and if you are climbing multi-pitch routes in exposed alpine conditions in the Rockies, your choice can be very different from someone who loves sport climbing in Greece.

That’s why we included a little guide to find the right climbing helmet. Read more for details!

There Are Two Kinds of Climbing Helmets: Foam Cap and Rigid Cap

Most climbing helmets today come with a rigid shell and foam inside to keep the helmet in place. But there are some models where the outer shell is made from foam as well. Both are safe and can resist debris and rocks, but the helmets with a rigid outer shell tend to be more durable in terms of scratches and nicks.

In-mold helmets

These helmets come with an outer shell made from polycarbonate, but it is welded to the inner shell using EPS. Outer and inner shell are actually one piece. This technique is good to keep the outer shell thin and lightweight. Generous ventilation openings help to keep the head cool when outside in hot temperatures. In-mold helmets are very common for bike, ski, and mountaineering helmets as well as climbing helmets.

Hardshell helmets

The outer shell is made from hard plastic or even carbon fiber that is attached to the inner shell of the helmet. The inner shell is made from EPS, just like in-mold helmets. By using this technique, the helmet becomes a little heavier, but also more robust. Thanks to the thick construction, these helmets are also insulating. This means they are better for wintertime climbing and mountaineering but tend to overheat in summer a little easier.

Hybrid helmets

Hybrid helmets combine both techniques. There is an upper hard shell part, where the outer shell is injected carbon or plastic and an inner shell from EPS), and the lower part of the helmet is using the in-mold method. This method gives a nice, well-ventilated helmet with lightweight and enough strength. As the outer part of the helmet facing up, which usually takes hits and rock impacts, is made from a hard material, it can resist blows and impacts good. The inner layer is made from foam, and the lower outer layer is made from lightweight EPS as well

Hard-shell helmets are usually a bit less expensive compared to in-mold helmets, but they are heavier and less lateral protection (sideways).

 

How do I select the right climbing helmet for me?

Among all the things you buy for climbing, a climbing helmet is one of the best pieces of protection you can get, except for your harness maybe.

Safety First, but Then Comfort and Breathability

Safety should, of course, be your main concern when picking a helmet. But directly after that, I would focus on comfort and breathability. You want your helmet to protect your head from falling stone and impacts, but for that, you need actually to wear your helmet. And the best way to ensure that you wear your helmet is to buy a comfortable and lightweight helmet that doesn’t feel damp and cumbersome.

Get the Right Size

A bad helmet with a good fit is better than a good helmet with a bad fit. So make sure to adjust the size and try the helmet for fit BEFORE you buy it. Usually, the manufacturers have sizing charts using head circumference to give you a rough idea, but you always need to try on a helmet personally. I cannot use many helmets because of the way my backhead is shaped.

When you adjusted the inner helmet, open the straps and shake your head in all directions. If the helmets stay on your head snug, it might be a good fit. Then close the straps, and check if the straps are on the side and not directly beneath your chin. Move the helmet back and forth; if it doesn’t slip, this is a good sign.

Some helmets have an additional adjustment option for a customized fit. Shake your head and check that the helmet does not move. Adjust the strap on the chin and close. The closure should be on the side and not directly under the chin. Move the helmet manually forwards and backward. Should it move or slip off the head, this means it is too big.

Ventilation Is Also Important

Ventilation is another important factor that you need to consider when buying a helmet. Most helmets with in-mold technology have fairly good ventilation, as the in-mold design leaves plenty of room for designers to carve large ventilation holes. Ventilation is ultra important in summer, but even in winter, it is nice to transport moisture away when you’re on a demanding climb where you sweat a lot.

Climbing helmets are made for multiple smaller impacts, so you don’t need to change and replace the helmet when you get hit by smaller rocks. But if you fall or a big rock hits you, there might be little cracks in the EPS foam layers. These cracks might not even be visible, but they still damage the structural integrity of the helmet and the ability to protect your head when you fall. It’s best to replace the helmet in this case.

Most climbing helmets are made from high-density polystyrene (EPS). EPS is an element that absorbs energy but doesn’t weigh heavy. When EPS cells are hit with an object, the cells which are normally open-close, and they absorb the energy this way.

If the blow is very hard, these cells can close completely – the helmet still works and absorbs the energy as it should. But when the cells are completely closed, they usually break at some point, and then the helmet needs to be replaced.

If you want to know more about the CE and UIAA norms that control how helmets for climbing and mountaineering are tested, read more here in my other article about this topic.

How We Test Climbing Helmets

When we test helmets, we usually wear them doing multiple routes and pitches both in the gym and outside. We also expose them to the outdoors and elements, climbing in sub-optimal cold and hot conditions etc.

After the gym test, we wear them climbing outside and doing some sport climbing and/or trad climbing. This is our test where we also test how good ventilation of the helmet is.

We also wear them for other mountain activities sometimes, such as hiking, walking, mountaineering or ski mountaineering.

Comfort & Weight

Is the helmet well balanced? Does it feel nice to wear even when wearing for hours? Is it heavy?

Robustness and Adjustability

Does the helmet feel solid or fragile? How long does it take to adjust it? Does it need readjustement?

Bonus features, versatility, and practicability

Maybe the helmet has some nice extra features like headlamp clips etc.

Some Really Good Climbing Helmet Brands

You can choose from a large variety of different brands today to find a good climbing helmet. Known and trusted brands include Salewa, Black Diamond, Petzl, Fusion Climb, and Tontron.

But there are lesser-known brands like Decathlons own brand Quechua. Their helmets are cheap and might not be super comfortable – but they are safe and fit well. So if you’re on a tight budget or just need a backup helmet for friends, they are perfect.

Related Questions 

Do I need a helmet for rock climbing?

Yes, a helmet is great to protect your head against rocks and debris and impacts. Take even more care when you belay someone – the worst thing that can happen is that a belayer becomes unconscious while belaying someone else.

How much does a reasonable climbing helmet cost?

Depending on the offer, you can find an entry-level climbing helmet for less than 50$, but it’s also easy to pay 200$.

What is the best climbing helmet for large heads in 2020?

Not much changed in this regard. Most brands offer multiple sizes, and a helmet is also adjustable with straps. In-mold mountaineering and climbing helmets are usually using a polycarbonate outer shell and EPS foam inside, and most actually offer a large knob on the backside to adjust the helmet to your head size.

Can I use my climbing helmet for skiing?

Climbing helmets are not certified for sports like skiing. This is because of the potential impact energy when skiing is much higher than when your head is hit by a little rock, and the helmets for skiing work by deforming and absorbing the energy. As climbing helmets are not certified and built for skiing, don’t wear them if you have a choice. That being said, any helmet is probably better than no helmet.

Can I Wear a Climbing Helmet for Biking?

No, you shouldn’t wear a climbing helmet for biking, due to the same reasons as explained above for skiing helmets. I wrote about this in another article. You can find it here.