Categories
Camp & Hike Climbing Reviews

Review: Top 5 Climbing Rain Jackets of 2020

 

Here we present you four relatively inexpensive, waterproof jackets, which are also light and small packable.

For most climbers, boulderers, and also alpinists, the rain jacket will hopefully spend most of the time as a backup in the backpack. Then you have done everything right when planning your mountain tour or trip, at least as far as the weather is concerned.

But if a surprising thunderstorm hits or the tour is not finished before the rain front, the jacket has to protect reliably against rain and wind. But in order to only occasionally survive a shower or a sudden fall in the weather, you don’t need a high-end jacket suitable for expeditions. One size smaller is enough. Here we present four relatively inexpensive, waterproof jackets, which are also light and small to pack.

Different approaches, same goal

Tight and at the same time as breathable as possible: this is what is required of a functional jacket. The four manufacturers achieve this with four different membrane technologies. Black Diamond relies on Gore-Tex Paclite, Marmot, and Patagonia on the in-house developments EVODry and H2No, Salewa has always relied on Powertex. All four work well with small differences. None of the jackets showed any weaknesses in terms of tightness.

When it comes to climate control, Salewa’s Agner Jacket is slightly in the back because of the missing pit-zips (= ventilation openings with zips under the arms). The jacket scores in terms of abrasion resistance. The latter is somewhat reduced in Patagonia, but the Stretch Rainshadow Jacket is extremely light, soft and very comfortable to wear. With the Eclipse Jacket, Marmot shows that functional jackets can also be produced in an ecologically compatible way.

Black Diamond and Salewa are convincing in terms of climbing performance – which is what they have to be good for when in use. Both jackets follow every move. The fully helmet-compatible hoods of the Liquid Point Shell and the Agner Cordura 2 PTX can be adjusted quickly and easily with or without a helmet.

Review of 4 Rain Jackets

We put together a list of 4 rain jackets that were produced with climbers in mind.

Review: Top 5 Climbing Rain Jackets of 2020

Black Diamond Liquid Point Shell

With the Liquid Point Shell, the company from Salt Lake City is launching a classic hardshell with a Gore-Tex membrane. The Gore-Tex-Paclite used dispenses with a protective layer on the inside of the jacket, which saves weight. All seams are taped, and the zippers are water-repellent. The cut of the jacket is designed for climbing: If you put your arms up, there is no draught anywhere, and the jacket slides up only minimally – even without a harness. The hood fits loosely over the helmet. The front pockets are accessible with a strap over the jacket but are not fully usable. The jacket is quite big.

Conclusion: Light, tight, and breathable – with the blue one, everything is in the green range.

We like that:
Relatively light jacket; good cut for great mobility; very vapor permeable and waterproof; helmet-compatible hood; main fabric “bluesign approved

We like that less:
Depending on your physique, a slightly protruding wrinkle forms in front of the stomach.

Specs:
Material: 75D Gore-Tex Paclite
Features: 2 large front pockets with zip, 1 front zip, adjustable hood, cuffs with Velcro closure, pit-zips
Weight/pack size: 405 g (size L)

Review: Top 5 Climbing Rain Jackets of 2020

Marmot Eclipse Jacket

Marmots EVODry technology is based on a PFC-free membrane laminated to a recycled nylon outer fabric. Marmot also dispenses with PFCs in the impregnation and water-repellent zippers. With 20.000 mm
water column and high vapor permeability (20,000 MVTR), the jacket cuts a fine figure even in really bad weather. The pockets are also accessible with a belt (although not completely usable), the cut should be a tuck further down the sleeves. A helmet fits only just under the hood.

Conclusion: A lot of eco and the really good breathability are pleasing. For climbers, the cut is a little tight in places.

We like that:
Pleasantly soft jacket; without helmet good hood; very vapor-permeable; waterproof even in heavy rain.

We like that less:
Sleeve cut a bit tight (can pull at elbows); hood with helmet tight; after longer use, the impregnation seems to decrease a bit

Specs:
Material: 100% recycled nylon
Features: 2 large front pockets with zipping, 1 front zip, adjustable hood, cuffs with Velcro closure, pit-zips
Weight: 410 g (size XL)

Review: Top 5 Climbing Rain Jackets of 2020

Patagonia Stretch Rainshadow Jacket

Tailored from our own material, Patagonia produces a very soft, comfortable jacket. The relatively wide cut allows full freedom of movement when climbing. The climate comfort convinces with a very vapor permeable material and pit-zips. The hood fits easily even over bulky helmets. It can also be easily adjusted without a helmet. The shield of the hood could be a little larger, however. Jacket and pockets are tight. But the front pockets are too deep for a climbing harness. The low weight is also somewhat at the expense of the robustness of the material.

Conclusion: Very light wind and weather protection for less extreme use.

We like that:
Very light, a waterproof jacket made of pleasantly soft material, good freedom of movement due to stretch and wide cut, very good climate, helmet-compatible hood

We like that less:
Less robust material, front pockets are covered by the climbing harness

Specs:
Material: 2.5-layer H2No Performance
Features: 1 chest pocket, 2 front pockets with zipping, front zip waterproof, adjustable hood, Velcro cuffs, Pit-Zips
Weight: 300 g (size L)

Review: Top 5 Climbing Rain Jackets of 2020

Salewa Agner Cordura 2 PTX

Salewa has been using Powertex as a breathable, waterproof material for years. The Agner Jacket has Cordura fibers incorporated, which makes the jacket very abrasion-resistant in relation to its low weight. In terms of climatic comfort, one has to make slight concessions, also because of the lack of pit-zips. The fit with a body-hugging cut and pre-shaped sleeves is excellent. Even with a climbing harness, the full freedom of movement is maintained. The very well adjustable hood with its stiff shield is fully helmet-compatible. A gusset with zipper in the neck allows for additional volume adjustment.

Conclusion: light, robust, tight – the jacket from Salewa can cope with even harder demands.

We like that:
Very light, waterproof jacket, very good body-hugging cut and best freedom of movement, robust material, excellently adjustable, helmet-compatible hood with a stiff shield.

We like that less:
worn directly on the skin slightly uncomfortable feeling.

Specs:
Material: 2,5-L Powertex Extreme Cordura
Features: Breast pocket with waterproof zipper, front zip with cover strip, adjustable hood, elasticated front pocket, adjustable hood. cuffs, packing bag
Weight: 325 g (size L)

Conclusion

These 4  rain jackets all do a good job keeping you dry and warm when it’s raining, and you still want to send some routes. But they do differ in sizing and some other aspects. Pick the one that suits your needs best. You cannot really go wrong with any of them. For us, the Black Diamond model is the winner.

For more reviews:

Best Crashpad in 2020 for Bouldering

Best Climbing Pants 2020

Best Climbing Helmets 2020

Categories
Bouldering Climbing

How to Learn From Stronger and Better Climbers and Boulderers

Not everyone knows a climbing or bouldering mentor. Therefore we have collected the most important tips from good climbers.
When I started climbing, I didn’t slip into a clique of strong climbers, some of whom had been climbing for years and were very ambitious, but i was more or less alone. So I wasn’t able to enjoy an informal “climbing coaching”. Instead I booked a coach, and got tips on technique, tactics and training for climbing – and got direct feedback when I messed up. Of course, it’s not enough to just follow tips – a lot of climbing, a lot of trying, a lot of willpower and above all fun are also part of improving yourself. You can do the same if you have friends who are strong climbers or climb in a group of good climbers. This guide applies to bouldering as much as to climbing.

What did I learn and how?

There are no “magic secrets” that you only need to know and then it flops. No, it is perhaps rather the mental support and the trust placed in you that you can climb this or that, which helps a lot. Most of the time I looked at one of my strong climbing coaches with disbelief when he told me: “Why don’t you just try it? You can climb this!” That wasn’t always true, of course. But more often than I would have thought it was. And if it didn’t work out, I still learned important things: for example, where my weaknesses were and that I can work on them.

In the meantime I know that not every piece of advice applies equally well to every type of person. That’s why the climbing tips below are not equally important for everyone: it’s about analysing yourself as if you wanted to coach yourself. If you observe yourself critically, you can probably already give yourself good tips: Then it is only a matter of motivating yourself and putting them into practice.

1) Find a good climbing partner

It makes a big difference whether your rope partner (or rope partner, of course) motivates you, has similar time and goals as you do or not. A good partner motivates you, is reliable, is on the same wavelength as you, has complementary strengths and weaknesses (to learn from each other) – and you have a lot of fun together.

2) Warming up and warming down

It’s nothing new, but it really helps: Warming up and warming down does the trick. Firstly, you avoid injuries, secondly, warming up prepares the muscles better for performance – warm muscles work better. It’s similar with warming up: light movements at the end promote regeneration and help to avoid sore muscles.

3) Use sensible equipment and know how to use it

Special equipment does not make a specialist – but without the right equipment climbing does not work either. Above all, you should make sure that the safety-relevant equipment fits and is not already twenty years old. In other words: climbing harness, climbing rope, belay device and express slings should be up-to-date and well maintained. In addition, you should be able to use them all safely.

4) Setting and pursuing realistic goals

Many climbers dream of climbing really hard once. But in order to master the next level, you should set yourself realistic goals, for example to climb more routes, to try more onsight, or to try more difficult routes at all. Because if you want to climb harder, then you have to try harder routes regularly and have a fighting spirit.

5) Be informed

It is worth asking or researching, especially if you are climbing in unknown areas or if you have new climbing partners: Is a helmet advisable? Who brings the rope? Do I need wedges for routes up to 6b? Are there routes up to 6b? How do I get down from the mountain again? It is often helpful to read the Topo Guide thoroughly before setting off.

6) Concentration

Especially on days off you might not feel like pulling yourself together and concentrating. But if you have ever messed up a climb because your shoes weren’t closed or your chalk bag wasn’t open – you know what I’m talking about. Often full concentration helps to control the body.

7) Attention to detail

Do I have to clip first or later before the bad side grip? Is the right foot first on the higher step or the left? Do I have to stand frontally or turned in? Did I aim at the target grip or squint at the hook? Details are important when climbing. Well, at least good climbers pay attention to small details and can get a lot out of it with targeted “fine tuning”.

8) Breathing and shaking

You have to run through some routes. But in 90 percent of all cases it is worth shaking at obvious resting points . in such a position you can rest without having to hold on with one or both hands. Breathing should actually be automatic, but during physical activity, breathing can sometimes accelerate automatically. If you intervene and slow down your breathing, you can also soothe the general physical agitation. Breathing and shaking sounds like rather esoteric tips, but if you follow them more often, you will appreciate their benefits.

9) Don’t forget to eat and drink

Whether you absolutely must have had an egg for breakfast is questionable – but it certainly doesn’t hurt! If you don’t eat enough or too much at once, you shouldn’t be surprised if your muscles don’t perform and your concentration drops. Also enough liquid in the body helps when climbing. Recommended: A mixture of dietary fibres (vegetables or fruit), carbohydrates (for example bread) and protein (legumes, dairy products). Regular drinking is important, preferably mineral water or juice spritzers.

10) Have fun!

Having fun is part of it. Alex Lowe said it: “The best climber in the world is the one who’s having the most fun.” If you’re stressed or under pressure, I guarantee you won’t climb any better. Besides: We climb because it’s fun! There you go.

Conclusion

If you liked this article, have a look at some of my other articles. Maybe you’re about to start climbing and need some good and cheap climbing or bouldering shoes, well I tested them, and these are the top climbing shoes for 2020. Or you need some advice on how to prepare for bouldering and climbing, read more here.

Feel free to leave me a comment; I’m always happy to get some feedback!

Categories
Climbing Mountaineering Reviews

Review of The Best Climbing Harness of 2020

Choosing the right climbing gear is all about safety, comfort, and functionality. This is especially true with climbing harnesses, which are the main equipment that will keep you from getting into serious trouble during one of your climbs, regardless of what discipline you’re into. This list will give you an idea of what climbing harnesses to consider, depending on your inclination. Remember that these harnesses all passed safety regulations and are all safe to use. It is also good to know that the price of these brands varies from one store to another, so it’s best to leave it out and focus instead on their respective features and purposes. Here are fifteen of the best climbing harnesses in 2020m we reviewed them for you in this article! We also give you some quick specifications and cool features, as well as a recommendation which area of rock sports the harness is most suitable for.

The Best Climbing Harness of 2020

Arc’teryx FL-365

Specs:
Weight: 12.9 oz
Leg loops: Fixed, elastic
Gear loops: 4 with 1 extra loop (extra gear loop or haul loop)
Ice clipper slots: 4
Safe locking buckle: Yes
Waste Belt/Leg Loops Construction: Warp Strength Technology

Features:
• All-rounder
• Very comfortable
• Good storage
• Compact, lightweight and durable

Best for:
• Overall use
• Trad, alpine or sport climbing

More than just being fast and light, the Arc’teryx FL-365 has unparalleled versatility. Thanks to its unique webbing called Warp Strength Technology, which simultaneously disperses body weight throughout the waist and leg loops and gives a high degree of support, sans the bulky padding. Moves with the body while walking.

It comes with a waist auto-locking buckle, a rear hook to allow drop-seat functionality, and stretchable legs loops to fit any body type. Four gear loops and another four ice clipper slots are making sure that this harness could take on any type of route, whether you’re into trad, alpine, or sport climbing. This compact and lightweight harness is one of the more expensive brands in the market, but its durability and all-around high performance are worth your money. When it comes to overall usability, Arc’teryx FL-365 leads the pack.

The Best Climbing Harness of 2020

Petzl Sitta

Specs:
Weight: 9.5 oz
Leg loops: Fixed, elastic
Gear loops: 4
Haul loops: Yes
Ice clipper slots: 2
Safe locking buckle: Yes
Waste Belt/Leg Loops Construction: WireFrame Technology

Features:
• Versatile
• Very lightweight and very compact
• High strength and durability despite its weight

Best for:
• Intensive lightweight climbs
• Sport, alpine

Originally designed for very light climbing and mountaineering, Petzl Sitta is not that versatile compared to Arc’teryx FL-365, but there is no doubt, this harness sits at the top of its class. What makes a Petzl Sitta special is its WireFrame Technology that uses strong flat-lying Spectra strands instead of foam padding to make it a near-weightless harness but still, highly durable and comfortable. Surprisingly, the Petzl Sitta it gives a good deal of hanging comfort. No restriction on movement whatsoever, regardless of how much a climber is wearing.

It has separated gear loops, leg loop height adjuster, and a rear haul loop to make it perfect for alpine and sport climbing. The Sitta has two ice clipper slots on both sides. Despite its low profile, this harness has a lot of space to accommodate all the gear you need to rack, and the gear loops are big and come with a space giving the device to help sort and organize your gear.

The Sitta is extremely lightweight and compact, and if every ounce is accounted for in your climbing adventures, this harness is one of the best there is that gives you those qualities if you’re willing to spend a little bit more.

The Best Climbing Harness of 2020

Black Diamond Big Gun

Specs:
Weight: 23 oz
Leg loops: Adjustable and removable
Gear loops: 7
Haul loops: Yes, 2 rated

Features:
• Comfortable with excellent padding
• Very Durable
• Extra gear loops for tools

Best for:
• Big wall climbing

When it comes to big wall action, the Black Diamond Big Gun is a comfortable climbing harness for climbers to own and use. It has a wide waistbelt and leg loops to help you spread weight comfortably, especially during long periods of hanging. A material called thermoformed foam shapes the waistbelt and added comfort to the user. Its trad buckles make movements easier and a lot faster.

The Black Diamond Big Gun provides seven color-coded gear loops to give you plenty of room for gear racks and tools and is very durable. Its padding system is designed for hours or days of comfortable sitting during your big wall climbing adventures. Even with its bulk, the Big Gun offers freedom of movement and is a great climbing harness for those projecting on big walls, but not if you’re planning to go fast and light.

The Best Climbing Harness of 2020

Black Diamond Solution

Specs:
Weight: 12.3 oz
Leg loops: Fixed, elastic
Gear loops: 4
Haul loops: Yes
Safe locking buckle: Yes
Waste Belt/Leg Loops Construction: Fusion Comfort Construction

Features:
• Excellent comfort with breathable and quick-drying mesh
• Lightweight and slender
• Budget-friendly

Best for:
• Sport climbing and basic gym and needs

One of the more comfortable and affordable climbing harnesses around, the Black Diamond Solution gives a comfortable climbing experience, due to its use of Fusion Comfort Technology that avoids excessive padding and employs the use of unique webbing instead. As a result, its waist belt and leg loops efficiently spread the pressure during belaying or hanging in the harness.

The Solution’s has four gear loops that are somewhat small to accommodate gear for long free routes but are ideal for basic gym and sport climbing needs. If you’re wearing this harness while standing around, you’ll notice how comfortable and snugly it fits. If you’re looking for simple set-up and an all-around harness or  gym climbing equipment, the Solution is perfect for you.

The Best Climbing Harness of 2020

Camp USA Air CR EVO

Specs:
Weight: 12.3 oz
Leg loops: Adjustable
Gear loops: 4
Ice clipper slots: Yes
Safe locking buckle: Yes

Features:
• Ultralight
• Very compact
• Upgraded padding
• Breathable mesh

Best for:
• Lightweight rock or snow mountaineering

The Camp USA Air CR EVO is ideal for traveling light in the mountains, is one of the lightest and most compact specialty harnesses available on the market. Although simple and minimalistic, the Camp Air boasts of upgraded padding for comfort and durability.

Important features like four gear loops, self-locking buckle, haul loop, attachment for ice clipper slots, adjustable leg loops were not left out. This harness may not be suited for every day climbing, but if you’re planning to make long mountaineering adventures without the bulky gear, the Camp Air could present itself a good option.

The Best Climbing Harness of 2020

Black Diamond Technician

Specs:
Weight: 13.8 oz
Leg loops: Adjustable
Gear loops: 5
Haul loops: Yes
Ice clipper slots: 4
Safe locking buckle: Yes
Waste Belt/Leg Loops Construction: Fusion Comfort Construction

Features:
• Versatile
• Plenty of gear storage
• Affordable

Best for:
• Winter or summer climbing

The Black Diamond Technician is a versatile harness that performs admirably well at all climbing styles. Although, Black Diamond’s use of its Fusion Comfort Construction didn’t exactly hit the spot with the Technician due to some rigidness issues with its waist belt and leg loops. Hanging comfort in the Technician seems a bit less compared to the Black Diamond Solution, as well as when walking around with it.
With a large fifth gear loop on the back along with four rigid gear loops on its side, the Technician could carry more load considering its reasonable price, and this is its saving grace. Overall, this harness can be considered a bargain if you look at other versatile all-season harnesses’ steep price.

The Best Climbing Harness of 2020

Beal Rebel Soft

Specs:
Weight: 12.1 oz
Leg loops: Adjustable
Gear loops: 4
Safe locking buckle: Yes
Waste Belt/Leg Loops Construction: Web Core Technology

Features:
• Lightweight
• Compact
• Affordable

Best for:
• Sport climbing

The Beal Rebel Soft was designed to be lightweight and compact. It uses Web Core technology to distribute the weight along the arms and legs; that result is a relaxed fit to make moving the hands and feet easy. This harness has limited versatility since it can’t hold a lot of gear.

This harness features two waist belt buckles that have the purpose of adjusting the fit and centering the waist belt on the wearer’s back. The Rebel Soft has no haul loop, rear gear loops, large gear loops, or ice clipper attachment points that are essential if you’re going to do trad climbing. However, these gear loops are contoured and are effective to carry only so much load. This reasonably affordable harness is worthwhile to consider when you’re going to do some sport climbing. The other worthwhile feature of this harness is its weight and compactness.

The Best Climbing Harness of 2020

Edeldrid Orion

Specs:
Weight: 14.6 oz
Leg loops: Adjustable
Gear loops: 4
Haul loop: Yes
Ice clipper slots: Yes
Waste Belt/Leg Loops Construction: 3D-Vent Technology

Features:
• Very comfortable
• Breathable
• Lightweight and durable
• Wide gear loops

Best for:
• Warm weather climbing

With 3D-Vent Technology, the Edeldrid Orion leveled up in terms of comfort and breathability, and together with this harness’ lightness and durability, the Orion is ideal for long climbing sessions. However, the exposed webbing is prone to abrasion and could compromise this harness’ durability over time.

The Orion’s features include adjustable buckles on the waist belt and the leg loops. Its four gear loops are asymmetric in design and protruding and are easy to use. This harness also has attachment points for ice clippers and a small haul loop. Considering all these factors, the Orion is one of the more expensive harnesses around. You have to weigh the benefits against its price before investing in this harness.

The Best Climbing Harness of 2020

Mammut Ophir 3 Slide

Specs:
Weight: 13 oz
Leg loops: Adjustable
Gear loops: 4
Haul loop: Yes
Waste Belt/Leg Loops Construction: Two-Part Webbing Technology

Features:
• Breathable Mesh
• Comfortable Padding
• Affordable

Best for:
• Light and fast climbs

The Mammut Ophir 3 Slide is affordable with decent features that could be ideal for a trad and sport climbing harness. It uses semi-breathable double webbing technology and makes this harness comfortable and less sticky; this gives a relative comfort while hanging. Climbers could move freely using this harness.

This harness is a great option if you’re buying a harness for your first few climbs, as it works great at the gym or for a single pitch cragging. The Ophir is a good all-around harness with a drop-seat buckle, haul loop, and adjustable leg-loops. However, the Ophir lacks ice clipper slots, thus limiting its use and versatility. It also includes abrasion indicators to let you know when it’s time to buy a new one, which is a great feature since Mammut used thin foam in making this harness. Overall, the Ophir performs on a high level for a budget harness.

The Best Climbing Harness of 2020

Black Diamond Solution Guide

Specs:
Weight: 14.1 oz
Leg loops: Unadjustable, elastic
Gear loops: 5
Haul loop: Yes
Safe locking buckle: Yes
Waste Belt/Leg Loops Construction: Super Fabric

Features:
• Versatile
• Very comfortable
• Durable

Best for:
• Multi-pitch rock climbs

The Solution Guide is regarded as the top harness for trad and multi-pitch climbing because it excels in gear carrying capacity, hanging comfort and durability and is versatile enough for sport or gym climbing. Black Diamond used ultra-durable super fabric and made this harness capable of taking a lot of wear and tear. The Solution Guide employs Fusion Comfort Technology in its waist belt and leg loops and has almost no thick padding. The comfort is almost unmatched by any harness in the market. Weight is evenly dispersed, and a climber remains comfortable even when hanging in this harness.
Its very low-profile design includes five easy to use gear loops. Two are found on its side, while the fifth gear loop is located at the back of the Solution Guide. There are a couple of things that prevent this harness from being perfect. First is its adjustable leg loops, which somewhat hinder belaying comfort. Secondly is its unrated haul loop. It lessens overall confidence in the Solution Guide to hold a fall. Other than these, the Solution Guide works beautifully.

The Best Climbing Harness of 2020

Metolius Safe Tech Deluxe

Specs:
Weight: 20 oz
Leg loops: Adjustable
Gear loops: 4
Haul loop: Yes
Safe locking buckle: Yes
Waste Belt/Leg Loops Construction: Foam

Features:
• Very comfortable
• Very safe
• Very durable
• Fully strength-rated

Best for:
• Trad and all-day, multi-pitch climbs

The Metolius Safe Tech Deluxe has been available to trad climbers for years, and they know what this harness stands for – safety. Even the most experienced and careful climbers can make a mistake, that is why the big and heavy Metolius Safe Tech Deluxe focused on its safety features, which includes dual belay loops for double security and reinforced long-wearing tie-in point. This harness is part of Metolius’ Safe Tech line, making the materials fully strength-rated and provides superior comfort even when worn all-day, its shaped foam offers maximum support to the lower back. The Safe Tech Deluxe provides a level of safety. No other harness could match. If there ever is a bombproof harness, this is it.

With all these being said, the Safe Tech Deluxe has limited use, despite its makers claim that it is an all-around harness. In reality, the Safe Tech Deluxe is best used in long multi-pitch climbs, where climbers do a lot of hanging in their harnesses.

The Best Climbing Harness of 2020

Black Diamond Momentum

Specs:
Weight: 11.9 oz
Leg loops: Adjustable
Gear loops: 4
Haul loop: Yes
Safe locking buckle: Yes
Waste Belt/Leg Loops Construction: Dual Core

Features:
• Very affordable
• Easily adjustable leg loops
• Good level of comfort despite its price

Best for:
• Gym and all-day routes

Despite being affordable, the Momentum competes with more expensive climbing harness in terms of comfort and durability. Black Diamond employs Dual Core Construction in making its waist belt, which essentially, two strips of webbing that were placed to distribute weight and padded with heavy foam.

The Momentum’s best feature would be its Trak Fit adjustable leg loops, which are the fastest and easiest ones to adjust in the market. This harness uses sliding plastic adjusters instead of buckles that only take a second per leg to adjust. The Momentum has a haul loop and laminated plastic gear loops that are rigid and are relatively small, which makes the Momentum not that versatile. However, due to its affordability, the Momentum is well-liked by new climbers cragging at local cliffs or training in gyms.

The Best Climbing Harness of 2020

Petzl Sama

Specs:
Weight: 13.7 oz
Leg loops: Unadjustable, elastic
Gear loops: 4
Haul loop: Yes
Safe locking buckle: Yes
Waste Belt/Leg Loops Construction: EndoFrame Technology

Features:
• Very comfortable
• High-quality construction
• Affordable

Best for:
• Rock climbing

Many regards the Petzl Sama, as the best all-around climbing harness that a climber could own, and it seems, that they are not wrong. Petzl utilized a mix of split webbing and foam that resulted in a well-padded and durable harness. Despite being heavier than some of its competitors, the Sama is, at the same time, more durable and comfortable.

Its features include large gear loops, and a rated haul loop is ideal for long free routes and trad climbing. You could do some gym climbing as well, thanks to its fixed leg loop harness, that is elasticized but with a larger and looser fit. Both the Sama and the Petzl Adjama used Endoframe Technology in the waist belt and leg loops, to provide comfort.

The Sama has a great carrying capacity for added versatility. Hanging on a Sama is comparable to the best harnesses around, due to its restructured leg loops, weight is well distributed across the legs. The waist belt provides reasonable support to the lower back. This harness is one of the most versatile harnesses for rock climbing and is definitely worth its price.

The Best Climbing Harness of 2020

Misty Mountain Cadillac

Specs:
Weight: 18.7 oz
Leg loops: Adjustable
Gear loops: 6
Haul loop: Yes
Safe locking buckle: Yes
Waste Belt/Leg Loops Construction: Foam

Features:
• Comfortable
• Hand-made
• Very durable

Best for:
• Big wall climbing

Make no mistake about it. The Misty Mountain Cadillac is a specialty climbing harness. If you’re into trad, multi-pitch, and aid climbing, then this harness is worthy of your consideration. Made by a small company with a long history of handcrafting harnesses and sewing climbing gear, the Cadillac is extremely well built.

Featuring a total of six gear loops, this harness has all the space you need for multi-pitch climbing, still with extra space to spare. Its full-strength haul loop is an essential security measure, just in case you need it two ropes for descending. The Cadillac’s padding gives its user a significant amount of comfort and allows great freedom of movement. If you’re getting the urge to own a fantastic multi-functional harness, the Cadillac is the harness you’re looking for.

The Best Climbing Harness of 2020

Petzl Adjama

Specs:
Weight: 15.8 oz
Leg loops: Adjustable
Gear loops: 5
Haul loop: Yes
Safe locking buckle: Yes
Waste Belt/Leg Loops Construction: EndoFrame Technology

Features:
• Comfortable
• Affordable
• Functional features allowing versatility

Best for:
• Multi-pitch climbing

You will find the Petzl Adjama, as one of the more comfortable harnesses to use for hanging, thanks to its EndoFrame Technology used by Petzl harnesses, which is basically the use of thin breathable foam paddings. This harness combines comfort and gear carrying capacity, the two most essential parts of any harness intended for trad or multi-pitch climbing.

It is featuring adjustable leg loops that buckle into place and a waist belt that doesn’t loosen, five gear loops, and an additional haul loop for a tag line. Petzl also released its specialized ice clippers to be used with the Adjama without the need for ice clipper slots. With these features, Adjama fills a lot of needs when you’re doing a variety of climbing. This harness offers great value for its price.

Conclusion

Climbing as an outdoor or indoor activity has real risks. That is why looking at some of these harnesses could help experienced and future climbers, make the right choice. It is a very challenging task, and everyone should evaluate their strengths, as well as their weaknesses. It helps to do some research to check and re-check information about climbing harnesses to make sure you are getting the facts straight. Safety is the key to enjoy climbing and mountaineering, and a good harness helps a lot!

For more reviews:

Best Crashpad in 2020 for Bouldering

Best Climbing Pants 2020

Best Climbing Helmets 2020

Categories
Climbing Reviews

Review Of The Best Full Body Climbing Harness for Kids of 2020

Some sports promote motor and mental development in children, and climbing is one of them. Outdoor sports such as climbing, bouldering, or via Ferrata walking are currently not only trending among adults. Children are often introduced to climbing at kindergarten or primary school age. In clubs or even in school sports, bouldering and climbing are increasingly included in the schedule, mainly at artificial climbing facilities like gyms. We did a review to find the best climbing harnesses for kids in 2020.

The harnesses we reviewed were: Skylotec Buddy Pads, Edelrid Fraggle, Salewa Bunny Climb, Mammut Elephir, Petzl Ouistiti, Petzl Simba, Wild Country Vision Kidz.

How Climbing Harnesses for Kids are Different from Adult Harnesses

Climbing with children is a little different from going vertical with an adult group in a hall. Besides the proper training of the supervisors or trainers in safety and security, the equipment used plays an important role. The use of safe, child-friendly equipment is not only essential for the children but also makes the work of the coaches during a course much more manageable and thus generally increases safety. Full Body climbing harnesses for children are usually used in classes, which offer several advantages over a regular hip harnesses.

Any climbing harness should transfer braking forces that occur during a fall as gently as possible to the body. As a rule, the climbing harness is loaded with static forces when resting and trying out individual moves in a route, when abseiling and when releasing. In the event of a fall, i.e., when dynamic forces occur, the potential energy of the person falling is distributed to the safety chain, within which the climbing harness is an enormously important part. The following test deals with Full Body harnesses, which are usually exposed to more static forces due to the Toprope securing system.

Small Children Should Use a Full Body Harness

For children between the ages of five and ten, the use of a Full Body harness is considered sensible. A Full Body harness is often used by clubs, groups, and courses, as the safety reserves are enormous, especially for newcomers. A Full Body harness offers better protection and additional stability compared to (child-friendly) hip belts. Due to the construction of the crossed chest straps in combination with the downward leg loops, Full Body harnesses prevent the climber from tipping backward in the event of a fall and automatically stabilize the sitting or hanging position. The construction, in particular the sternal catching eyelet (attachment point at the height of the sternum) on the full-body harnesses, prevents the harness from tipping over, especially for children whose head is heavier in relation to their body. Due to the high roping or tethering point above the center of gravity of the body, the climber has difficulty in reaching a critical position. In addition to beginner courses, children’s climbing groups, and the area of occupational safety, the Full Body harness is also often used in the rental of leisure facilities such as high ropes courses.

Make sure a Climbing Harness For Kids Fits Correct

As with any climbing harness, full comfort, and – even more importantly – complete safety can only be achieved if the harness has the correct fit: this influences the hanging position. The hip belt should, therefore, be neither too high nor too low. The leg loops must be relatively tight against the top of the thigh. The harness must fit snugly around the chest, i.e., it must neither force the climber into a particular position nor leave too much space. A full body harness, like other climbing harnesses, should not be too heavy, have buckles without back threads for adjustment, have markings for easier tightening (e.g., color separation) on the inside and outside of the leg loops and of course the CE/TÜV test seal. Children’s harnesses are available in various sizes and weight ranges. Here too, you must be careful before buying and obtain information in advance.

Most Climbing Harnesses for Kids are Tested Positively

What a good children’s Full Body climbing harness has to offer and which features are especially popular with children was tested. We put seven different models from different manufacturers through their paces. Important aspects here were how safe the children feel in the climbing harness and how it handles for parents, children, and carers.

When tested, most children’s climbing harnesses only came out positively. The testers have had their fun.
At first glance, all seven children’s climbing harnesses made a good impression in the test. More or less colorful with partly child-friendly patterns, the harnesses are designed quite differently. They are packed either in a handy net or a bag. Especially for schools, courses, and clubs, but also for families, the packing in a bag is quite practical, because this way several harnesses cannot get entangled.

All harnesses are cleanly processed and, of course, have the necessary CE, EN, and UIAA test marks. Every children’s climbing harness has a GAL (abbreviation for instruction manual), which explains how to put on the harness or how it works and safety instructions. Most of the descriptions are in English, but there is also always a German version, only in Wild Country this is almost impossible to read because the writing is too small. The enclosed instructions for use vary greatly in quality. Salewa, Edelrid, and Skylotec use universal instructions in which different harness models are described at the same time.

At Wild Country and Petzl, the harnesses are accompanied by instructions for use, which refer exclusively to the model purchased and cannot cause any errors. This can be very practical, especially for safety-relevant topics such as children’s climbing harnesses or similar. If you are not able to handle your new harness on your own or if you have open questions, you can always contact your trusted sports and climbing expert.

Different Kids need Different Climbing Harness Sizes

Which children’s climbing harness is suitable for which body size?
All harnesses in the test are – depending on size and adjustment – suitable for children of kindergarten and primary school age. For a better overview, we have prepared a corresponding table which should serve as an aid before buying a child harness. Unfortunately, this information is not always found on the belt or in the respective instructions. On the whole, however, the belts are very similar in their construction and function.

Weight and size limits of the harnesses

Skylotec Buddy Pads one size fits all 135 cm max. weight 40 kg
Edelrid Fraggle XXS / XS Chest size 30 – 40 cm / 40 – 55 cm max. weight 40 kg

Salewa Bunny Climb One size fits all 140 cm max. weight 40 kg
Petzl Ouistiti One size fits all door sizes 45 – 60 cm max. weight 30 kg

Petzl Simba one size fits all door sizes 35 – 60 cm
max. weight 40 kg

Wild Country Vision Kids one size fits all Torso size 50 – 70 cm max. weight 40 kg

Mammut Elephir One size fits all door sizes 50 – 68 cm max. weight 40 kg

Harnesses handle very differently, so make sure to try on with your child

Especially when tightening the harness, you will quickly notice where the differences in handling are.
As much as the climbing harnesses for children may look similar at first glance, there are significant differences in the handling of the test harnesses, even though they are almost identical in construction.

Questions such as  “How should the harness be tightened?” and  “Where does one tie in the rope?” in particular revealed dangerous uncertainties for children and untrained persons.

Some manufacturers, therefore, work with clear instructions or markings at the most important and critical points on the belt to provide support when putting on the harness. We noticed the harnesses from Skylotec, Edelrid, Petzl, and Mammut positively: Helpful when putting on the harness are the color differences between the inner and outer sides of the loops as well as the integrated padding. This makes it easier and more comprehensible to put on the harness without twisting the straps and errors. It was these four straps that could even be put on by the children themselves after a short instruction. Two straps stood out with special features: The padded construction of the Edelrid Fraggle always keeps the belt in its original shape and makes it much easier to put on and take off. The Wild Country Vision Kids Body Harness has clear colored markings on the right and left of the tie-in loops to prevent incorrect tie-in.

The Wild Country Vision Kids’ body harness requires a trained eye on how to put on and adjust the harness. For less experienced persons, however, questions remain unanswered. The Salewa Bunny Climb requires a lot more practice, both in putting on and tying in the harness. This one remarkably often raised the same questions among children and caregivers. With these two straps, it is important to practice adjusting and putting on and taking off regularly.

Buckles and adjustment mechanisms of kids climbing harnesses

What all harnesses have in common is the possibility of individual size adjustment. The fit is adjusted via belt buckles, which are usually found on the leg loops and chest loops. There are significant differences: With the exception of Salewa, all manufacturers use buckles on the children’s climbing harnesses, whose adjustment mechanism works without back loops. Basically, buckles of this type are always closed. On the market, they are called “DoubleBack-,” “Slide Bloc-,” “Easy Glider-” or “ZipLock-” buckles, depending on the manufacturer. They are only used to adjust the size of the harness and can only be opened with great resistance. This means that the ends of these buckles are sewn.

Two are safe from slipping

In addition to the standard buckles used to adjust the leg and upper body loops, the harnesses from Edelrid and Skylotec have an interesting feature in the form of an additional buckle on the belly. This means that the harness is always closed and does not slip off the body, even when you are romping around. With the Edelrid Fraggle, this closure is only a small clip that only contributes to the wearing comfort, with Skylotec the closure is part of the safety chain.

One of the seven tested harnesses falls out of the frame due to the construction of its buckles: The Salewa Bunny Climb, where the buckles have to be looped back after adjustment. This system is rarely found on climbing harnesses today and, according to the experience we have gained in our climbing group, has a high potential for error, especially during courses. Especially the readjustment and the necessary looping back is quite complex depending on the number of climbing children with different body dimensions. Nevertheless, the Salewa Bunny Climb has its advantages because once adjusted. It is a light and reliable harness with the possibility to carry equipment at the gear loops. On via Ferrata or when belaying exposed areas during mountaineering, the harness is certainly a good choice due to its lightweight, provided the harness is only used by one child.

The central point at which the child is tied into the rope with an eight knot is the rope loops at chest height. The ropes of the test harnesses are very similar in their design. With all harnesses, it was immediately clear to our caregivers how the child must be tied in correctly. Only one model, the Wild Country Vision Kids, was slightly confused due to the horizontally attached rope loops. On the positive side, however, the explicit marking with the inscription “ATTACH HERE” with a small sketch must be emphasized on this harness. The harnesses Mammut Elephir, Salewa Bunny Climb, and Petzl Simba are good in this respect due to the contrasting color of the attachment loops. Easy to understand, also for children, are the harnesses Skylotec Buddy Pads, Edelrid Fraggle as well as Petzl Ouistiti.

With the harnesses from Skylotec and Salewa, the children are not tied to a textile rope loop as usual but to metal rings. With Salewa, it is two rings through which the knot is looped, with Skylotec it is the reinforced tie-in point that makes tying up easier and reduces the risk of misuse. However, the requirements for the tying in remain the same for both harnesses. Generally, a figure-of-eight knot is tied directly, whereby at least ten centimeters of rope loop should remain behind the knot.

When adjusting the children’s climbing harnesses, the buckles and adjustment mechanisms were tested thoroughly.
Caution is advised with the Bunny Climb harness from Salewa. This Full Body harness is the only one in the test that has material loops. On the one hand, these are a good feature, for example, to fix the branches of the via Ferrata set on via Ferrata routes with easy unsecured passages, and on the other hand, they increase the risk of confusion. Particularly with very slim children, it can happen that the material loops are located in front of the child’s body and thus become a source of error when roping up.

Style and comfort – It’s good if kids like to wear their harness

The designs of the climbing harnesses vary from a rather simple grey to colorful patterns, especially appealing to children, to a strong neon green in the corporate colors of Edelrid. The Skylotec Buddy Pads, Petzl Ouisiti, and Wild Country Vision Kids harnesses are very popular with children because of their comfort. With the Petzl Simba, some felt a pinch on their legs in the leg loops when hanging in the harness. Surprisingly, we had to find out that the look and style of the individual harnesses hardly mattered to the kids.

The Petzl children’s belt comes up with a very colorful pattern. However, the children did not care much about design.
The Fraggle from Edelrid is not only an eye-catcher but also very versatile in use due to its strong color and unusual shape. The thick padding in the shoulder and crotch area provides optimal seating and carrying comfort. This innovative design is reflected in the high wearing comfort. For very small children, the belt is available in size XXS. It is the only harness with a carabiner eyelet at the back and can, therefore, be used in many different ways – for example, for additional protection in steep terrain or for guidance when skiing.

The children’s climbing harness ranking

Our climbing harness ranking is based on several aspects and presents a more or less subjective result. Important to our test team were, above all, the usability of the harnesses and their comfort. Colored design of the leg loops for intuitive use or wide straps and padding made the children – or rather our testers – feel the comfort, and accordingly, the harness became more popular. We, as trainers and carers, have taken a closer look at the sources of error and have also considered the putting on and taking off of the harness to be important for the children.

The Best Full Body Climbing Harness for Kids of 2020

1st place: Skylotec Buddy Pads

The Buddy Pads offers many advantages: it can be adjusted quickly, easily, and safely and the children feel comfortable and safe in this harness. Once properly fastened, the belt sits firmly on the body and cannot be lost even when romping around.

The most important attribute: correctly applied, the harness is always closed. Mistakes when tying in the harness are thus minimized when re-tied-in. The Buddy Pads also scored well in terms of comfort. According to our experience, this is the safest bet in the test.

The Best Full Body Climbing Harness for Kids of 2020

2nd place: Edelrid Fraggle

The Fraggle is not only well received by children because of its looks, but it also offers a high level of comfort. Practical is the plastic buckle, which keeps the belt closed and thus fixed to the body. Nevertheless, one has to pay attention to the correct roping up with the Fraggle. As the only harness in the test, the Edelrid Full Body harness is not available in one size only. Therefore it can only be adapted to the growth of the child in a limited range.

Unfortunately, the Edelrid climbing harness already has one small flaw: You can find it in the price. The Fraggle is more expensive than all the other models we have tested. If you believe what the children say, this is the most comfortable climbing harness in the test, which definitely justifies the higher price.

The Best Full Body Climbing Harness for Kids of 2020

3rd place: Petzl Simba

The Petzl Simba is not exactly convincing in terms of comfort, but the belt scores points in terms of handling and safety. The color-coded attachment loops are easy to understand, and therefore the harness can be put on and off quickly and safely. An additional buckle in the abdominal area is missing. Therefore the belt slips when not tied.

The Best Full Body Climbing Harness for Kids of 2020

4th place: Mammoth Elephir

The Mammoth Elephir is similar to the Petzl Simba. Here, too, comfort is a little neglected, but this is a very manageable model with loops in different colors on the left and right, which allow quick, safe, and intuitive dressing. Unfortunately, this harness cannot be closed in front of the chest or stomach either, so that the belt is open at first. When you frolic around, the belt slips down quickly and then has to be tightened again.

The Best Full Body Climbing Harness for Kids of 2020

5th place: Wild Country Vision Kids

The Wild Country Vision Kids receives a decent average rating from us. Not bad at any point, but also not outstanding, this is a rock-solid Full Body climbing harness for children. However, it would be desirable to make the instructions to use more legible and to change the way the rope loops are attached. The horizontal alignment of the loops causes confusion, especially when tying in – a very important point in terms of safety, too often.

The Best Full Body Climbing Harness for Kids of 2020

6th place: Petzl Ouistiti

While the safety standards are mostly good and comfortable for the children in terms of fit, the Petzl children’s belt with the hard to remember name still doesn’t really come across well. This is mainly due to handling. Too many straps, flaps, and bands make the Petzl Ouistiti a little confusing and quickly give rise to a feeling of insecurity. The fit is very good, but you don’t have the possibility to tighten the somewhat loose straps in the back area, even though they neither limit safety nor comfort. Furthermore, it is the only belt in the test that is only approved for a weight of up to 30 kilos.

The Best Full Body Climbing Harness for Kids of 2020

7th place: Salewa Bunny Climb

The Salewa Bunny Climb could not score points due to its sometimes awkward handling and the comparatively complicated and error-prone design of the belt buckles. If the harness is only used for one child and is only occasionally adjusted to the child’s growth, the laborious adjustment of the buckles does not play a significant role. However, if you plan to use this harness for two or more children and also change it back and forth during a climbing day, adjusting the harness is simply too complicated and time-consuming. The fact that buckles can be fully opened also holds a certain potential for error and requires careful and constant control. In addition, when roping up the harness, care must be taken to ensure that the material loops are not inadvertently tied in when the child is very narrow.

Conclusion – There is no perfect harness and make sure to try the harness on before buying it

There is no such thing as a perfect belt. Depending on the preferences of the children and the area of application, different models show their strengths. But the most important thing is that the children feel comfortable and safe in the climbing harness. Which harness is most suitable in each individual case also depends heavily on the child itself. It is best to try several harnesses together with the little ones and find out which one fits best. Try out the harness and see whether it is comfortable enough.

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Climbing

When Should you Retire your Climbing Rope? Whats the Maximum Lifespan of Climbing Rope?

When do I have to change my climbing rope?  Manufacturer information versus durability tests of climbing ropes. When Should you Retire your Climbing Rope? What’s the Maximum lifespan of Climbing Rope? This post will answer these questions!

Together with the harness, the rope is the central piece of equipment in mountaineering and climbing. Both are called “Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)” in technical jargon, and we rely on them 100%. Climbing ropes are, therefore, subject to strict standards during production and are also tested accordingly.

History of Climbing Rope: Hemp becomes polyamide

Until the 1950s (and occasionally even still in the 60s), people still climbed with hemp ropes. Rope tears were not uncommon and led to numerous fatal accidents. Then the core of the rope made of polyamide came on the market, which caused a revolution in safety and durability.

However, polyamide (plastic or synthetic) also has some serious disadvantages. Especially critical is the production from crude oil, and it can also have a negative effect on our health. On the other hand, no Bluesign certificate or “German quality made in Vietnam” will help. If we reject climbing parts, we simply create plastic waste – a problem that concerns us all. That is why it is particularly important today to take a closer look at the lifespan of these items of equipment.

How long can climbing rope be used safely, aka what’s the lifespan of Climbing Rope?

On the instruction leaflets and rope brooches produced by the industry, there is talk of maximum service life without use and with optimum storage of 10 to 12 years. This is reduced to three to six years with occasional use and good storage. With weekly use, you will often find a maximum lifespan of climbing rope of only up to one year on the web. Is this true and how long does a rope really last?

Age alone is not a criterion for the retirement of a climbing rope. Experts have tested more than 100 externally undamaged ropes of various ages for their strength and could not find any relation between age and strength. Even 50-year-old ropes have held just as much as three-month-old hall ropes!

Climbing rope must be discarded (rejected) if

  • it comes into contact with battery acid
  • shows a sheath damage up to the core
  • palpable damage to the core occurs
  • has a fusion damage by heat of more than 100 degrees or a fusion trace down to the core if the sheath is damaged up to the core or the core without sheath damage

Age is not a discard criterion; the only thing that counts is the damage to the rope caused by external influences. There is, however, one limitation with permanently installed top ropes, which we find mainly in climbing gyms. They should only be used for top-roping, and the core should be checked for damage.

What is the problem with toprope ropes?

If you walk a rope over a karabiner many thousands of times, the core will be damaged. The weakening is not visible from the outside and can be so severe that under certain conditions, the rope can fail. explains Walter Siebert. “To return to your question: Before a rope for top-roping becomes too dangerous, it is no longer useful for our belay devices. So don’t be afraid of Toprope. However, once toprope ropes have been discarded by a climbing gym, they should not be used for extreme purposes.

Does the frequency of use influence the service lifespan of climbing ropes?

According to current opinion, a rope that is used weekly (i.e. once a week) should be replaced after only one year. But so far, experts found no real evidence for this as long as the rope is externally intact and has not come into contact with acid. First and foremost, storage is important: it must not come into contact with chemicals, especially sulphuric acid. It is important to consciously observe the rope while climbing and abseiling. Any irregularities should then be checked. If you let the rope slip through your hand, you can feel if the core is seriously damaged. How often? In any case, after heavy falls, complex rope maneuvers, heavy loads, i.e., when you have great difficulty opening the knot.

In case of which damages must the rope be replaced?

  • Contact with battery acid
  • When the core emerges from the mantle.
  • If the mantle is damaged so that the core is visible.
  • When the core is broken, when the core is palpably damaged (even without jacket damage).

Unfortunately, it is not possible to see externally that a rope has been in contact with battery acid. The other damage types are easy to check.

Do I have to discard a rope after a serious fall?

As long as the sheath is intact and the core … Both can be checked by sight and touch.

What influence do UV radiation and weathering have on ropes?

If you use a rope normally outside for climbing, the above applies. Even ropes that have been hanging outside for months have held up well in my tests, as experts have analyzed. Because the sheath protects the core – unlike with webbing slings, you should really be careful of tape loops on stands and on rock formations, as you can often find on sport climbing pitches where the bolts are distanced far away from each other.

Are there known accidents in which externally intact ropes have torn?

There are only documented accidents with cracks on sharp edges or by falling rocks, cracks caused by damage from battery acid and cracks caused by melting, e.g., when the rope runs over the rope.

 

Conclusion

For undamaged ropes, the maximum lifespan of climbing rope is probably much longer than currently assumed if used carefully. The service life specifications given by the rope manufacturers do not correspond with the tests carried out by some experts like Walter Siebert. Particularly at a time when sustainability and waste avoidance are gaining in importance, the too rapid replacement of climbing ropes should be critically questioned.

Here is the link to the scientific study of discard criteria, where all the claims in this article are based on:

http://www.siebert.at/de/publikationen/66/Masterarbeit-zur-Ablegereife-von-PSA

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Bouldering Climbing

Don’t underestimate the Role of Mobility for Boulderers and Climbers

If the hook is too high, you’re too immobile! In this post, we have some Knowhow & exercises about the role of mobility for boulderers and climbers. Let’s go over some typical questions and try to explain how much mobility for boulderers and climbers is best. By the way, here you can find some good discussions and tips for training.

How important is flexibility when climbing?

In competition climbing, it is obvious that flexibility is becoming more and more important. Especially bouldering requires unusual movements – mobility is necessary to make the moves. But mobility is also important to stay healthy during these challenging moves.

Does this only apply to competitors or also to “normal” climbers?

What happens on the big stage is, of course, more extreme, but the trends continue in leisure sports. Meanwhile, there are acrobatic boulders in many boulder halls, and you don’t have to be a top athlete to injure your shoulder.

How does mobility for boulderers and climbers help to prevent injuries?

Climbing and bouldering sometimes require extreme movements. If you don’t have the mobility, you can overstrain the structures. Furthermore, too firm muscles can impair the functioning of the functions. For example, shoulders falling forward and a too stiff thoracic spine can impair the supply to the arms and thus promote finger, elbow, and shoulder injuries. Here, many climbers have deficits that increase overloading and the likelihood of injury. One can check the shoulder with a test (see below) and should keep the thoracic spine mobile so that the shoulder girdle remains resilient. Whereby especially the shoulder can be complicated. Actually, one can speak of seven joints, all of which must function. If one is weak, the body can compensate, but then some structures have to work more than others. This usually does not work for long. That is why balanced mobility is so important.

How do I find out if I need more mobility?

There are tests in the form of a demanding movement. These tests show whether the movement is performed correctly or whether it is compensated or evasive. And then you have to look, is it the lack of mobility in the thoracic spine or a poorly sliding shoulder blade or whatever. Also important when climbing is, of course, hip mobility, if only to achieve high kicks and to put weight on them. These are often final movements where the muscle has to work at the edge of its normal range of motion. If you increase this radius through mobility training, the muscles can work better, and you have more possibilities to reach even unfavorable grips and kicks and, more importantly, to put weight on them. Active mobility ultimately expands the technique because you can simply do more.

What is the relationship between passive and active mobility for boulderers and climbers?

A distinction is made between passive mobility, i.e., using pressure or gravity to adopt a certain posture and active mobility, i.e., using muscle power alone to place the foot precisely on a hip-high kick. Active mobility requires passive mobility and is elementary for climbing. That speaks for not only stretching passively but actively and with muscle power.

How can I best train my mobility?

A mixture of static stretching and dynamic stretching makes sense. Static, relaxing stretching is suitable with some waiting after climbing. Dynamic stretching can be integrated into the warm-up. If you are serious about it, you should plan mobility training as a separate unit. The strategy of so-called Loaded Progressive Stretching, i.e., stretching exercises under load, makes sense. This allows the muscles to build up the necessary strength at an unusual joint angle. An example would be squats: the process of squatting strengthens the leg muscles in the final joint angles.

Is there also too much mobility for boulderers and climbers?

Yes, those who already have good mobility should rather pay attention to good control, i.e., sufficient strength. Hypermobility is nothing bad if there is enough strength to perform movements in a stable manner throughout the entire range of motion. For mobile people, including many who like to do yoga, building up strength would make more sense than further mobility training. Ideally, both should work together so that I can use my mobility. Actually, the body has a protective mechanism built-in: If the musculature is not able to stabilize the strong bending of a joint, it will not allow the affected range of motion. In this case, you feel immobile, even though there is actually no strength.

They say stretching before training is not so favorable. What’s that all about?

It mainly refers to long static stretching. This can slightly decrease the explosive power because it gives the muscle a relaxation signal. But this is only for a short time. The effect should be gone after half an hour. In the long term, stretching, whether static or dynamic, improves performance. It even promotes muscle building.

What else do I have to pay attention to?

When stretching, you should always start carefully and increase only gradually, both in terms of intensity and joint angle. The so-called stretching pain should be easily bearable. Relaxed breathing is also important. For goal-oriented mobility training, the body should be well warmed up.

How often do I have to stretch to become more flexible?
At least three times a week, preferably daily. If the stimulus comes less often, the body does not learn.

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Bouldering Climbing

How to Avoid these 7 Typical Climbing and Bouldering Training Mistakes

Sure, you learn from your mistakes. But sometimes that takes too long, and it’s too late! You don’t have to make every mistake yourself. I will explain some of the most serious climbing and bouldering training mistakes

In bouldering and climbing training, there is no one recipe for success that works equally well for everyone. Depending on experience level, climbing level, strengths, and weaknesses as well as individual factors, a certain approach can be very helpful or rather harmful. However, there are some things that are wrong for all climbers – or at least can be so unfavorable that we categorize them as mistakes here in general. These seven climbing and bouldering training mistakes can be avoided, and I will tell you how.

Climbing and Bouldering Training Mistake No. 1: Too much too early

Instead of doing the beginner’s training program directly, the advanced one. And instead of pull-ups with support directly to the campus board and try out what works. Instead of starting with the simplest exercise, do the more challenging version directly.

What is the problem?

Training must be tailored to the individual. What is good for Alex Megos does not necessarily fit you. On the contrary, those who work with advanced training approaches too early (i.e., before it is necessary to improve further) rob themselves of the chance to achieve something with them later. Do we have to mention that overstraining is not a training stimulus per se and multiplies the risk of injury?

How to avoid this climbing training mistake:

Start from where you are. If you are a year old climber or have little training experience, an advanced campus board workout from Youtube will not be appropriate for you. You might get a little stronger when trying to copy it. Or maybe not. You will risk hurting yourself, and at best, you will be frustrated because it is too hard.

Even if it seems boring, try to find the option that is appropriate for you, and that challenges you but does not overwhelm you. Then you will make fast progress, and soon the advanced training approaches will be suitable for you. As long as you are still improving, there is no need for revolutionary training, on the contrary, then simply climbing and bouldering is beneficial. Only when you are no longer improving and stagnating, you have to think about how to sensibly set a new training stimulus. There are some good tips here, and in my other article.

Climbing and Bouldering Training Mistake no. 2: Making meters useless

A lot of climbing in boulders or routes that you can do easily and for which you don’t have to exert yourself. Spend the whole climbing session in difficulty levels where there is zero risk of falling. Mainly climbing in grades that are not challenging.

What is the problem?

The moves may not be particularly difficult, but for joints and tendons, the climbing distance covered still means stress. Because of the lack of intensity, there is hardly any training stimulus for the muscles, so you don’t get stronger from it. Climbing is a skill-oriented sport, which means that the technical component is just as important as the strength component. But both are hardly demanded when climbing in well-controlled terrain, so there is no reason for the body to get better. This makes these meters more or less “useless” from a training point of view, even for endurance training they are too light.

How to avoid this climbing training mistake:

Warm-up thoroughly and use this phase to stay relaxed within your comfort zone. Then look for specific challenges where you have to make an effort and where you have trouble mastering the difficulties. Only then is further development possible. As soon as your strength and aggressiveness diminish, or when a regenerative session is due, make sure that the intensity is low enough so that the stress on the musculoskeletal system remains manageable.

Units that aim to improve blood circulation in the forearms at light to medium intensity should be so light that little or no pumping occurs. Conversation should be possible.

Climbing and Bouldering Training Mistake no. 3: Maximum load at the end of the unit

Three hours of hard bouldering, and then go to the hangboard. After the climbing session, try some hard moves on the boulder wall. Generally, maximum strength training of any kind (campus board, fingerboard) at the end of a session if you are already tired.

What is the problem?

At the end of the session, the body is exhausted; the maximum strength is already “used up.” Accordingly, it is hardly possible to set a meaningful training stimulus anymore. On the other hand, the risk of injury increases. The same applies to coordinatively demanding movements: At the end of the session, the body is too tired to perform motor challenging moves cleanly. Learning new movements is hardly possible when the body is tired.

How to avoid this climbing training mistake:

Intensive and maximum loads, as they occur on the fingerboard, campus board, or during hard bouldering moves, belong at the beginning of the training session. After a thorough warm-up, when you are fresh and aggressive, you perform at your best. First of all, the chances of success are better. Secondly, you set a sensible training stimulus and thirdly the body is still fit and can better withstand the high loads. This also applies to coordinatively demanding movements and learning new moves.

Climbing and Bouldering Training Mistake no. 4: Too little rest

During the session without interruption and only with a few seconds of breaks, try out difficult moves again and again. During the week, full-throttle on more than three days or train for weeks without intermission, always hard and until exhausted.

What is the problem?

It is not during training that the body becomes strong, but during the recovery phase after training. After a training stimulus, the body needs time to adapt and regenerate in such a way that sufficient capacity is available for the next intensive exercise. Therefore, it is important to provide the training stimuli with sufficient rest afterward.

How to avoid this climbing training mistake:

During a bouldering session, you should take a few minutes’ break between attempts at intensive loads, and a few more for routes. Otherwise, it is difficult to mobilize your reserves; it is not possible to work with optimal power input. Every few weeks, ideally one training day per week and one week per month, a phase of less scope and intensity should allow the body to take a break so that it can recover for the next intensive cycle. If the training was appropriate before, you will become even stronger in this ‘light’ phase.

Climbing and Bouldering Training Mistake no. 5: Climbing in a similar style

Avoid overhangs consistently, only climb in straight terrain. Or mainly head for strongly overhanging climbs with large holds, but avoid slabs. Exclude certain requirements or wall inclinations as a matter of principle.

What is the problem?

It is quite natural that we have a preferred type of climbing in which we are particularly good and which we enjoy most. Who would not want to be successful? Often we also choose the wall slope rather unconsciously, and preferences creep in unnoticed, which we hardly notice. The danger: If I only climb overhangs, my competence in slabbing naturally does not increase – and vice versa.

How to avoid this problem:

If you want to improve yourself, you have to make sure that you are basically able to climb in all wall inclinations and climbing styles. The good thing is: As soon as you become aware of your preferences, you can approach the less loved inclinations or styles with much more humor – and will be rewarded with significant performance improvements if you try regularly.

Climbing and Bouldering Training Mistake no. 6: Exclusively training strength

Put most energy into working on the different boards and into strength training, spend little time on the wall, rarely or not at all climb routes, rarely go to the rock.

What is the problem?

Climbing is a skill-based sport, which means it consists of different skills. These include physical strength, of course, but also technique and mental skills. The latter is not so easy to train in repetitions and sets, but that doesn’t mean that they are not as crucial as strength. After all, what good is power if the fear of falling prevents us from making a move? Or we simply do not know how to move in a difficult climbing spot? Or we simply cannot get our foot over the edge of the roof?

How to avoid this climbing training mistake:

Strength training should only be done by those who also lack strength. If technique, flexibility, or mental skills are lacking, they should be trained. As with strength training, we have to provide stimuli and enable adaptation. Depending on the requirements, the training of climbing relevant soft skills looks different from blocking strength training, of course, but that doesn’t mean that they are less important.

Climbing and Bouldering Training Mistake no. 7: Always going full throttle

Always wanting to climb hard, demanding consistently high performance from yourself. Be disappointed when the performance curve drops.

What is the problem?

Even if we train strategically and sustainably, it is not realistic that the performance curve is constantly pointing upwards. In other sports, it is common differentiate between different phases such as build-up, maximum strength, and endurance training, the training plan then provides for a peak in the competition phase. This so-called linear periodization is based on the fact that it is not possible for the body to achieve peak performance around the clock all year round, and that it is generally effective to build different training phases on top of each other. Non-linear periodization can also be used in climbing training, but the body still needs recovery phases. Occasional basic and advanced training is also useful for athletes with training experience. However, these are usually accompanied by a short-term drop in performance.

How to avoid this climbing training mistake:

After stress-intensive phases, the body should be given the opportunity to regenerate. At the beginning of the next training cycle, basic and endurance training can be quite useful.

Categories
Bouldering Climbing Reviews

La Sportiva Testarossa 2019 / 2020: A Quick and complete Review

La Sportiva brings some proven features and some new features on the Testarossa: Modified heel, synthetic fiber instead of leather, and proven quality. La Sportiva has refreshed this well-known classic for 2019 / 2020: The La Sportiva Testarossa was launched a good 15 years ago and was revolutionary with its extremely curved shape. By the way, did you know that Tommy Caldwell wore La Sportiva shoes when climbing the Dawnwall? New in the Testarossa 2019 is above all the heel, which is supposed to offer better hooking characteristics. Most testers find it fits very well; the tension on the heel rubber is not exaggerated. But the red rubber seems to have a little less friction than the rest of the sole. Otherwise, the Testarossa is still very sensitive, brings the pressure cleanly to the tip, and climbs from vertical to extremely steep just great.

This is what we like about the new La Sportiva Testarossa:

  • Surprisingly comfortable in shape, easily adjustable to the shape of the foot via lacing in the front a lot of feeling and precise start
  • pulls very well in the overhang

This is what we don’t like about the new La Sportiva Testarossa:

  • Lacing a bit fiddly
  • Friction is not optimal due to the extreme shape

Climbing Shoe La Sportiva Testarossa – Technical data

La Sportiva Testarossa technical data

  • Construction: Slipper, asymmetrical, with downturn
  • Upper material: microfibre, without lining
  • Sole: Zenith Ultra, 4 – 4.5 mm
  • Sizes: UK 4 – 12
  • Price: 110-120$

Our rating: 4.5/5 – Mission accomplished La Sportiva!

La Sportiva did a great job conserving the good features of this timeless shoe and improving weaknesses.

For more reviews, check out our other articles:

La Sportiva Tarantulace In-Depth Review

Best Climbing Shoes 2020

Best Climbing Helmets 2020

Categories
Bouldering Climbing Reviews

Best Cheap Rock Climbing Shoes & Bouldering Shoes under $100 for 2020

Rock climbing shoes are one of the items in rock climbing that you cannot substitute for, and when you are beginning with rock climbing, a pair of cheap rock climbing shoes can be a good investment. Running shoes, for example, are not good for climbing, and if you ever tried to do rock climbing with hiking shoes, you probably felt that it’s simply not possible.  As with most new hobbies, it’s usually a good idea to take it slow with the money spending, as there are many parts of climbing where you can spend hefty sums on. There are many reviews that claim to have cheap climbing shoes reviewed, but honestly, a pair of $150 costing climbing shoes are not cheap if you ask us.  If you want a pair of cheap climbing shoes, they better cost less than $100! Time to search for some really good climbing shoes under $100!

What are the best cheap rock climbing & bouldering shoes under $100 for 2020? Read our review; we put together the best deals to help you find a cheap pair of rock climbing shoes that will still serve you well. The quick answer: La Sportivas “Finale” is the best cheap rock climbing & bouldering shoe under $100 shoes we reviewed so far.

Why Good Rock Climbing Shoes Are More Important Than You Think

When you start out, you might not even know it, but footwork is super important for climbing. Yes, your arms are doing a lot of work, too, but having a strong core and knowing how to use your feet properly is one of the most underestimated skills in climbing. If you want to know more about this, read my article about footwork in climbing, you can find it here.

No matter where you climb: Gym with plastic holds, rock slabs or overhangs, and even boulders, you will always need your feet to get a good hold of the features of the wall. We also put together a little guide that makes it easier to pick the right climbing shoes for you to get you started.

Review – The Best Cheap Climbing & Bouldering Shoes for 2020

Best Cheap Climbing Shoes for under $100

La Sportiva Finale – Price: $95 – Rating: 4.8/5

Quick Facts

Closure: Laces
Liner: No
Upper Material: Leather/Microfiber
Weight: 1 lb (450gr)
Outer Sole: 5 mm Vibram XS Edge Rubber
Notable Features:

  • Slip-lasted feels more sensitive and less stiff
  • Can Be Resoled
  • Tensioned Heel Edge: Thicker heel for more support

Best for: Allround Climbing & Bouldering

The Finale is on the beginner end of La Sportiva’s shoe selection. It is still a super solid shoe, not only for beginner climbers. The sole is nice and sticky, made from Vibram XS rubber, and performs well on edges. This makes the shoe a real comfort builder for beginners, giving them confidence in their footwork. The fit of the Finale is surprisingly good for a cheap climbing shoe, thanks to its tensioned heel. The back of the shoes does stretch a bit.

As the upper material is completely unlined, the shoe feels really comfortable. You can still easily adjust the shoe thanks to the laces, and while the shoe is more expensive than some other cheap climbing and bouldering shoes, you can still find it for less than $100. Versatility and durability of this shoe are more than worth the added cost.

Best Cheap Climbing Shoes for under $100

Mad Rock Drifter – Price $95 – Rating: 4.4/5

Quick Facts

Closure: Velcro Strap
Liner: Polyester
Upper Material: Leather
Weight: 7.9 oz (ca 250gr)
Outer Sole: Science Friction 3.0 Rubber

Notable Features:

  • Slip-lasted feels more sensitive and less stiff
  • Asymmetrical Curvature for moderate edging
  • Lined Toe Box means more comfort

Best for: Best Value for the Money

This shoe is a gym shoe, no way around that, with it, ‘s simplistic flat profile it performs super well on hard gym problems. But even if you like to tackle hard boulder problems outside, it works well. Sure it won’t keep your feet warm when it’s cold outside, but the double velcro closure fits tight and makes it very easy to remove the shoes between climbs. The upper section is leather and provides a high level of comfort while the lined toe box helps to prevent overstretching of your toes.

Mad Rock uses their own rubber mixture that they call Science Friction, and it’s really good. Beginners can rely on high traction, which gives them confidence. Advanced climbers will love the material too, but take note that it wears down faster than some competitive shoes, especially if you wear the drifters on rough outside climbing routes. Then again – at their price point, you cannot really go wrong!

Best Cheap Climbing Shoes for under $100

Scarpa Helix – Price $99 – Rating: 4.3/5

Quick Facts

Closure: Laces
Liner: None
Upper Material: Leather
Weight: 15.2 oz (ca 500gr)
Outer Sole: Scarpa 3.5 mm XS Edge Rubber

Notable Features:

  • Stiff, board-lasted sole means this shoe is not that sensitive
  • Resoling possible
  • Light heel cup: It has some padding but still feels flexible

Best for: Climbing in comfort

If you want shoes that feel almost like socks, the Scarpa Helix might be for you. The Italian company provides this shoe with a nice cushioned heel cup, which makes it super comfortable to wear for long periods of time. You can even keep them on between climbs. The lacing goes to the very end of the shoe, giving you a very good fit for any type of feet.

This shoe is just below the $100 mark – which means they barely made it on our list of cheap climbing shoes for less than $100. But the 3.5mm XS Edge Rubber sole is very durable and works for anything outdoor climbing related. You can send edge and crack climbing as well as granite multi-pitch climbs, which makes this shoe a good choice for both beginners and advanced climbers.

Best Cheap Climbing Shoes for under $100

Evolv Nighthawk/Skyhawk – Price $75- Rating: 4.2/5

Quick Facts

Closure: Laces
Liner: None
Upper Material: Leather
Weight: 1 lb. 2.8 oz (slightly above 500gr)
Outer Sole: 1.4mm full-length MX-P midsole, and 4.2mm Trax SAS sole

Notable Features:

  • flat-lasted sole means this shoe is not that sensitive
  • Resoling possible
  • Toe not super asymmetric – this shoe is not the most precise one out there

If you need a good pair of shoes for climbing gym and outdoor for less than $80, the Nighthawk and its low-volume companion Skyhawk are the best choices. Both feature a laced closure, making them tight-fitting shoes, and an unlined leather upper side. The tongue is made from a synthetic antimicrobial material, preventing smells. Testers found them comfortable to wear for a long time. No matter if you climb smearing routes, pockets, or trad. routes, they work very well.

The toe is not super aggressive and asymmetrically shaped like some other more high-performance tiered shoes, so this shoe is not the most precise, but it still works well for day to day climbing. If the holds become smaller, you just need a little more force to squeeze your toes on them. For hardcore overhung climbing, these shoes are not really suited either, understandable given the flat last. Evolv offers a pair of super comfortable, good climbing shoes with great durability and a lack of performance for hardcore technical routes.

Things to keep in mind when buying cheap climbing shoes or bouldering shoes

Costs of climbing shoes

This list consists of shoes costing less than $100, and some of them are great for indoor climbing, bouldering and some of them work outdoors and indoors. You can wear these shoes for bouldering as well, but some will not work that good on bouldering problems, as bouldering problems are often very overhung.

While there are models that work super good for advanced climbers, you should keep in mind that most of the reviewed shoes are not geared towards super difficult routes. More expensive climbing shoes offer far better performance when it comes to overhanging routes, aggressive small footholds, or hardcore slab routes. But if you just start out, and want to keep investment to a minimum, these shoes will serve you well for the first 2-3 years, until you become more advanced. They are perfectly well suited for daily training in the gym, and for extended days at the crags. Just remember, there will be a time when you outgrow these shoes, and then you should upgrade to a more expensive pair of climbing or bouldering shoes.

Profile and shape of bouldering and climbing shoes

The profile is one of the most important aspects of the shoe. The profile is defined by the shape of the shoe, and a neutral profile tends to work very well for beginners or for advanced climbers that want comfortable shoes.

More aggressively shaped shoes are usually more downturned and fit tighter. They work better on hard boulder problems, overhung routes, and they are a good choice if you want to climb hard routes and boulder problems. But these shoes are not comfortable – you pay for the extra bit of performance with a lack of comfort. Beginners sometimes even describe these shoes as painful, although your feet will get used to the squeezing. It’s normal to ditch these shoes between climbs, so if you go climbing in colder weather, make sure to keep a comfortable set of hiking or approach shoes with you, to quickly change shoes between climbs.

It’s easy to identify aggressively shaped performance shoes, as they usually have an asymmetric shape and curvature

The fit of the climbing or bouldering shoe

Climbing shoes are not so different from normal shoes when it comes to fit: Your heel shouldn’t slip or rise up when you move towards the wall. Fit them on in the shop by starting with your street shoe size, and gradually increase this size until the model you like fits. Climbing and bouldering shoes should fit snug but not painfully tight. Your toes will curl down, especially in aggressively asymmetric performance shoes, but this is only to maximize grip on rocks and pockets.

Traditional climbing shoes

These shoes are often more comfortable, as trad climbers often climb long multi-pitch routes where they keep the shoes on between pitches.

Bouldering/Difficult climbing

Boulderers usually wear really asymmetric aggressive shoes, as they tackle hard overhung problems, often with minimal holds. These are not shoes you can keep on your feet for long times, so be prepared to feel uncomfortable when you get a pair of bouldering shoes!

By the way, climbing and bouldering shoes come in half sizes, and a half size can make a huge difference. As many climbing shoe companies like Scarpa, La Sportiva, and MadRock come from Europe, they are sized in UK or European sizes, so better be careful and do some conversion before you buy them. The size of your street shoes should only be the starting point – you won’t get around trying climbing shoes on to find the perfect pair. Evolv and FiveTen work best with street shoe sizes, while others like Scarpa and La Sportiva might need some trying and error to find the right size.

Stiffness and Stretch

If you buy new climbing or bouldering shoes, also cheap ones, they will need some time to break in. Especially leather made shoes like the Mad Rock Drifter or the Scarpa Helix, and Evolv Blackhawk and Nighthawk will stretch for a considerable amount. Synthetic shoes tend not to stretch so much, so you can fit them a bit more snug than leather shoes. As most leather climbing and bouldering shoes are also unlined, they stretch even more compared to synthetically lined shoes

The sole – rubber for traction

The rubber is the secret sauce of a climbing shoe. It’s what makes climbing shoes climbing shoes. Usually, sticky rubber is soft and wears down faster than stiffer rubber that is not as sticky. If you need high levels of friction for smearing, you need soft rubber. Edging works better with stiffer shoes. If you are new to climbing or doing multi-pitch climbing, its a good idea to get a stiffer shoe with more durable rubber and less traction. Keep in mind, you can usually resole climbing and bouldering shoes, and it saves you a lot of time and money as you won’t need to buy new shoes and break them in again. If you want to know more about climbing shoe soles, read this article here!

Types of closure: Velcro or laces work on both bouldering and climbing shoes, slippers are usually not so good of an idea

You can buy climbing or bouldering shoes with 3 basic types of closure mechanisms: Velcro, Laces, and Slippers.

Laces are great for adjusting the fit, and they will give you the most amount of control over the fit. But they take on longer to put them on and off, which makes them a better choice for all-day climbing and multi-pitch traditional climbing routes.

Velcro can be tightened a lot, almost as good as laces, and provides you with a mechanism for faster putting the shoes on and off. This makes them perfect for crag climbing or bouldering, and when used on aggressive asymmetric performance shoes – as you will want to get them off your feet once you are done with climbing. But keep in mind, velcro gets dirty easily, and if you climb in muddy areas, or have a lot of dust around your belaying base point, then you are in for some cleaning. Velcro closure can also be used to open up the shoes on longer climbs to get some air on your feet without taking them off – nice for multi-pitch routes!

Slippers are the easiest to remove, and most comfortable. But they also often won’t fit very well, and most slipper shoes are basic and unlined. They tend to be used in specialized climbing methods like crack climbing.

Weight

Weight is an important aspect to consider when you want to climb hard and fast, so keep it in mind. A robust thick sole and thick materials on the upper and liner will increase the weight. The Mad Rock Drifter is a good choice if you want a lightweight shoe.

Features of the reviewed climbing and bouldering shoes explained

Outer sole

The part of the shoe touching the wall. This is your main contact point with the climbing route or bouldering problem. Made from rubber

Inner sole

This is the part of the climbing or bouldering shoe where your foot rests. Some shoes include an antimicrobial lining inside the shoe.

Edge of the shoe / Rand

The part of the shoe that wraps your toes and the sides of the shoe.

Toe Box

The front portion of the shoe, where your toes rest. Toe boxes can be asymmetrically shaped, making it easier to find grip on small pockets of rock.

Heel Cup

The section of the shoe where your heels are resting. It’s a part of the shoe that becomes super important when you like techniques like heel hooks.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this review works well for you, feel free to comment and post and tell us if you want us to review another pair of cheap climbing shoes!

For more reviews:

La Sportiva Tarantulace

Best Winter Climbing Pants 2020

Best Climbing Helmets 2020

Categories
Climbing Mountaineering Reviews

The Best Climbing Backpacks of 2020

Looking for the best and most reliable backpack for climbing is not a simple task. It doesn’t matter if you are out with colleagues for a few days of cragging or settling in for a bouldering session, you will require the best backpack to efficiently and snugly carry your important accessories or gear. However, how will you know if the backpack in front of you is the best option?

Gone are the days of climbing consisted of swami pants, a hobnailed boot, and weeks spent nailing pitons in granite swaths. Today’s preferences in climbing gear have changed to durability, simplicity as well as careful style, and bags have followed suit.

Juts the most excellent climbing bags, like the ones listed below, can provide that combination of simplicity, lightweight, as well as comfort needed while climbing. A climbing backpack like the harness is an extension of your body and provides the freedom of movement needed while holding precious tools closer to you. Please join us as we review the best backpacks for climbing available on the market. This gives you an assurance that you are buying only the best and most reliable one.

Best Climbing Backpack 2020
Best Climbing Backpack 2020

1. PETZL – Bug Climbing Pack, 18L / 1098 Cubic Inches, Gray: Best Follower Backpack

Key Features

  • Lots of essential features
  • Durable
  • Climbing oriented

If you are searching for a superbly well-featured, well-made climbing backpack, look no further than PETZL bag. It does exceptionally well on the approach as well as the climb and will hold all your gears easily for a long day on the ice or rock. This is the most reliable follow backpack and shines once it used along with another minimalist, light pack.

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

2. Black Diamond Unisex Creek 20-Pack: Ideal for Cragging

Key Features:

  • The front flap is zippered with internal organizer pockets 
  • Top loading style with drawcord closure 
  • Tuck-away rope belt and stowable rain hood which serves as a storage of rope and a helmet 
  • 1200d polyester coated with TPU
  • The flat base keeps this bag standing for fast loading 

If you are into cragging and looking for a backpack to maximize the experience, Black Diamond Unisex Creek 20-Pack is the best option. This is a straightforward crag backpack with the hardiness or haul bags, as well as the versatility of groundbreaking packs to secure the requirements of on-route essentials. This crag bag is made of lightweight and durable nylon. It has a standing shape as well as a top drawstring with comfortable dual purposes shoulder belts as well as waist belt, which include a thermoformed back panel for additional comfort on long climbing. 

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

3. Mammut Trion Pro 50+7: Easy Access Backpack 

Key Features 

  • Detachable 7 L lid to lessen and ease the backpack or just bring a small daypack
  • The external water bottle container 
  • Belt under the lid to keep the rope secure and safe 

This climbing backpack is made by a Swiss Company, so you assured of durability and toughness. This is a perfect backpack for people who enjoy climbing on ice with easy access pockets in many points. It has a zipper on the base of the bag that enables you fast access to bigger gears packed away first, without the need of taking the whole thing out. It is also integrated with side zipper pockets that can accommodate smaller items such as snacks. Thermos and water bottles can be accessed fast once they are kept in the exterior bottle pockets. The Mammut bag comes with a tiny pocket located on the waist belt to store small stuff like keys and cellphones to avoid misplacing. 

It also comes with a zipper pocket at the front, which opens wide enough to hold crampons. For carrying tools, this bag has ice pick tool panels located at the lower portion of the bag, which picks easily to suit into with tabs on its side to keep the handles secure and safe. To lighten or reduce the volume and the load, this climbing bag comes with a detachable lid. And underneath the cover, you will find a cinch belt that can be utilized to secure a cord on top, so you don’t need to store it in the backpack. This is considered the lightest backpack. However, it will keep things organized. 

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

4. Black Diamond Mission 55: Ideal for Ice Climbing 

Key Features 

  • Ice tool attachment 
  • Detachable hip belt 
  • Front crampon pouch 

Black Diamond is a leading provider of tools for climbing, and their latest offering is the Black Diamond Mission 55. This climbing backpack offers climber with the state of the art features needed for a successful and memorable ice climbing. This backpack is made for holding ice tools with the tabs located on the front intended to secure handles. It also equipped with ice pick tip panels located at the bottom to avoid falling off. 

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

5. Arc’teryx Alpha FL 30 Backpack: Best Alpine Backpack

Key Features

  • The tough made back panel offers support and structure at the same time keeping comfortable against your back.
  • Seam-sealed for water resistance
  • The collar is extendable with drawcord for extra capacity
  • Removable, adjustable sternum belt
  • Thermoformed shoulder belt

If you are looking for an alpine backpack, look no further than Arc teryx Alpha FL 30 Backpack. This is fast and ultralight, weather-resistant, alpine strong as well as a sterling example of sophisticated, use specific design. This is made for climbers. There is an intense focus on the realities of moving quickly in alpine settings led to this streamlined, versatile backpack that combines leading edge.

This backpack is made of weather impermeable, extremely tough N400-AC fabric, RollTop closure, and taped seamed combine to keep out elements as well as secure the contents inside. Without extraneous aspects or materials, this bag sheds gram, however, doesn’t sacrifice vital features. It has external bungee attachment secures tools, belay parka, sleeping pad, helmet as well as crampons. A simple belt located at the top ensures a wire, and the exceptional laminated shoulder belt construction provides a comfortable carry without needless weight. There is an external safety pocket where you can store some of your small essentials like keys and hand sanitizers.

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

6. Black Diamond Stone 42: Best Bag for Long Approaches

Key Features

  • Super lightweight framesheet that has back panel for extra comfort
  • Tuck away cushioned shoulder belts as well as a webbing waist belt
  • Full-length zipper access
  • It has a detachable rope tarp with a dimension of 1.2 by 1.5m
  • Dual internal zippered organizer pockets

If you are searching for a backpack ideal for long days climbing or long approaches, look no further than Black Diamond Stone 42 Duffer Backpack. This amazing climbing pack blends all of the conveniences in a climbing backpack with easy access as well as durability of the duffel bag. As a result, Black Diamond Stone 22 is an ideal backpack for long days climbing and long approach many single pitches.

This type of climbing backpack was made keeping in mind the comfort and lightweight. This is integrated with a back cushion panel as well as a super lightweight framesheet to fit your comfortably and snugly. It is also combined with tuck-away cushioned shoulder belts as well as a basic webbing waist belt for better flexibility if you are on the crag.

It has full-length zip and carrying handles that provide stress-free and simple carrying options, and the fastest access to your gears while sorting out is ideal and easy with the integrated dual internal zip pockets. What makes this backpack for climbing exceptionally is the detachable 1.2m by 1.5m rope tarp for extra versatility.

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

7. Black Diamond Bullet 16 Backpack: Offers Lots of Storage Space

Key Features

  • Couture fit for excellent comfort
  • Hydration nose port
  • Durable and tough due to the superior ballistic nylon build.

Aside from being thin and sleek, this backpack for climbing offers lots of storage space as well as toughness. This is a superb all-rounder, which will surely please professional and first-timers’ climbers. Sporting a respectable sixteen-liter capacity, this backpack has external zippered pocket what is more to the main, cushioned one and detachable foam back panel.

It also comes with a 20mm webbing waist belt that can be detached with ease if required. It has a hydration hose port that allows you to drink water regardless of your position, without getting rid of the bag on your shoulders. The integrated straps are made to fit in your without affecting the movement comfortably. The shell is made of high-quality ballistic nylon materials offering sufficient toughness.

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

8. Patagonia Linked 18L: Reliable Backpack for Climbing

Key Features

  • Comfortable
  • Fast access
  • Durable

From climbing to hiking, the company is synonymous with reliability as well as toughness. This backpack for climbing is sturdy, well-made, a climbing-specific backpack that does just as well on your shoulder and back as linked to the end of a haul line. It comes with a tapered build that sits high and close to your contour and is secured with soft but comfortable shoulder belts, while the tough nylon fabric, as well as reinforced haul, handles, make it sufficiently strong to drag up the coarse rock. This pack hangs with ease from the anchor by two loops, which allows it to open extensively and offer fast access without dropping the gears inside. This backpack weighs 3.7 ounces, which is more substantial compared to other models of the same capacities.

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

9. Metolius Crag Station: Cheap Crag Backpack

Key Features

  • 41L capacity
  • Weight 10oz
  • Very durable
  • Cheap

Combining the convenience of duffel bags and carrying comfort of backpacks, this backpack for climbing from Metolius boasts exceptional styles and designs. It zips open wide, so you can easily access the gear inside. It also comes with a reinforced side with Duathane, a similar component utilized on haul bags- to improve durability. However, it just comes with one size suspension system, meaning it will not fit people with small or large builds. What is more, the style does not give access to a u-shaped zipper. There is no padding to give a wall between the sharp gear and your back.

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

10. G4Free 50L Climbing Backpack: Toughest Backpack for Climbing 

Key Features 

  • Los of storage space
  • Waterproof material
  • A rain cover is included.
  • Numerous available small pockets for small gears

If you are one of the many climbers out there searching for a backpack with lots of storage spaces, then G4Free might be the best option. This pack is made of hard and water-resistant nylon materials. This stays its shape no matter what gear you place inside and has lots of additional wallets to store small belongings. Inside the bag is a shoe compartment and sufficient space to keep garments as well as tools for many days. 

There is also a hydration bladder, a rain cover, in order to complement the superb water-resisting features. You will also find waist belt pockets for keys and phones, dual side pockets for tissues and umbrellas, as well as a big zipper pocket for fast access to gears. 

How to Find the Right Climbing Backpack – Your Buying Guide

If you don’t know how to pick the right climbing backpack, or if it is the first time you purchase a backpack, there are many factors you must think of. Picking the right backpack is essential. You carry your backpack during the whole duration of hikes, bet it many days or few hours; it holds all your needs; hence you want to be of the right size, not too small or not excessively big.

Finding a good climbing backpack for your needs requires thorough research, spend some time and spot deals. Here are the essential factors to consider when buying a backpack.

Fit/Comfort

Comfort and fit may be the most vital features to consider when buying a backpack. A lot of backpacks available are integrated with chest straps, waist belts as well as adjustable straps, and this allows you to modify the feel and deal out the weight as best as you can. When choosing a backpack for climbing, make sure to move it around in a loaded backpack prior to heading anywhere near a rock wall, and bring the backpack bag when anything does not feel good.

Stability

This goes along with comfort. How you put the accessories inside your bag will affect the feel of the backpack. However, having bands or belts to loosen or tighten is a feature which expert suggests having if you have a plan of going on a long trip. Your objective will be to have a backpack that not just fits comfortably on your back but does not sway around while you are moving. Therefore, you need to check for the design and well-placed belts when making a choice.

Size and Storage

Different backpacks have different capacities. A crag pack is likely to be bigger as it needs to accommodate more things, while a follower pack is smaller. Pick cautiously prior to setting out, since a bag which is just half-full is annoying and risky to carry on the rock walls. It is advisable to stuff a smaller backpack to its limit, instead of leaving it empty. The dimension has to be balanced to your body, enabling you to move without stress and hindrances and without causing distort.

Durability

A lot of backpacks for climbing are made of nylon materials; however, you have to pay attention to the number next to it to get an idea of its durability. A durable backpack is required for climbing as it often comes in contact with unforgiving thorns as well as sharp rocks. What you must do is to look for ballistic nylon, as it offers superb toughness while keeping the weight low.

Weight

Ounce matter when climbing, and this is the reason why alpine backpacks look simple and plain from the exterior, without outside pockets. As they are made for a particular task, this is made to suit the needs of such a task. However, a crag pack comes with many pockets as well as storage compartments given that it is able to afford to be heavier.

Material

Nylon is an extensively utilized material in backpacks for climbing. It keeps the weight low at the same time offering a good toughness and durability, features which are absolutely required in a piece of climbing accessory. When the nylon is thick, the backpack will be stronger and tougher, so this is what you need to aware of if you need reliability and strength. However, if you opt to agility and speed, you can give to shave off some nylon layers, keeping in mind that extra care is needed.

Support

It is highly advised to pick a bag for climbing, which has sternum belts as well as waist belts. These additional belts initially might seem to get in the way; however, once you know how important in distributing the weight, you will not want to be without these traps. Your back and joints will be saved from pressure, thanks to these sternum belts and waist straps. 

Closing Systems

When purchasing a crag backpack, then you will take pleasure in a bit more freedom in your option of closure systems. The fact that it does not endure alpine bags you can bring one shaped and get pleasure from your time. However, when climbing, you have to stick to backpacks, which have one top opening as it will keep away your gear from falling out when you opt to open your bag while you are hanging.

Exterior Gear

Fastening your accessory to the exterior of your bag can prove dangerous since an excess of tools will begin swinging around and perhaps change your balance. Once you take with a backpack, you must find lots of space, but ensure to fasten only items that you’ll be wearing.

Organization and Pockets

A crag pack features the most choices for organization and sorting out. This bag also comes with an array of side pockets as well as internal pockets that allow you to sort out your belongings neatly. A follower backpack does typically away with lots of pockets since their objective is to be user-friendly and fast to access. You have to keep this difference in your mind so you will not be astounded when perusing in climbing bag reviews.

Hydration Compatibility

A hydration bladder is a matter of choice. Some climbers do not want to hinder with surplus weight or fear that the bladder may get broke. Some take pleasure in having water close all the time, so many backpacks for climbing will have space to accommodate one, and anyone you pick perhaps you will get one.

FAQ

What exactly is a crag backpack?

This is a kind of backpack intended to carry all the required accessories to the base of the wall. Then the pack stays next to one who is holding the belay and normally will be tougher and bigger than other forms of bags or packs.

What is the importance of a backpack for climbing?

A backpack for climbing is an essential fear for those who love going to the mountain to carry the accessories required when climbing, such as water, food, and clothing. If you are a serious climber, you must have this one.

How many types of backpacks for climbing are there?

There are many types of backpacks for climbing available on the market today. You can choose from a follower, alpine as well as crag backpacks. A crag backpack keeps all the needed accessories for your hiking, serves as your portable home for the tools, and is more prominent as well as more cushioned. A follower backpack, on the other hand, is made to be utilized on multi-pitch routes and can accommodate many supplies. An alpine pack withstand both climbing as well as hiking and is a bit bigger compared to the two mentioned and ideal to use when climbing for a few days.

Conclusion

An ideal and reliable backpack for climbing is one of the best and essential pieces of equipment that climbers both skilled and newbie must-have. In this review, we have shown the top ten best choices, the ones which combine lightweight with durability as well as user-friendliness. Follow this guide to make an informed choice and find one that meets your needs and, of course, your budget. Good luck in your search!

Follow our guide to make the best decision and find yourself an excellent ally for those but rewarding days on the rocks.

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