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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

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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.

For more reviews:

La Sportiva Tarantulace

Best Winter Climbing Pants 2020

Best Climbing Helmets 2020

Categories
Bouldering Reviews

Crashpad Guide 2020 – What You Need To Know To Find The Perfect Bouldering Crashpad

When bouldering on rock, they are the most important piece of equipment: crashpads. In Ticino, with its often sloping or blocked terrain, you often need several pads in Fontainebleau with its mostly flat landing areas one is usually enough. Here we give an overview of everything worth knowing about crashpads, so you can find the perfect bouldering crashpad in 2020. We also have the top 5 bouldering crashpads of 2020 reviewed!

What constitutes a good bouldering crash pad

The purpose of a crashpad is to minimize the impact energy on the falling body when falling from a boulder. In other words: to cushion falls as well as possible. With a 1.20-meter-jump onto a soft, level meadow – no problem. On the other hand, if you want to survive a three-meter fall over rocky ground with sharp edges without damage, you need some engineering skills and high-tech.

After all, the mat has to be brought to the blocks, which means it should not be too heavy. Crash pads are folded or kinked for transport, and the carrying system may well resemble that of a good trekking rucksack.

Also, under the block, the mats have to be moved quickly to adjust their position to the potential impact point of the boulderer. After all, the shell of the crash pad should be able to withstand rough rock contact for a long time, and its interior should be able to withstand as many falls as possible without being impressed.

Crashpad Guide 2020 - What You Need To Find The Perfect Bouldering Crashpad

The foam of a crash pad makes the difference

1) Two or three, thin or thick: the number of foam layers and their matching depend on the intended use. 2) The outer skin suffers, particularly at the corners. Rounded and reinforced, it lasts longer. 3) All corners should look like the Black Diamond Mondo: equipped with positioning loops. 4) Almost like a rucksack: With the Petzl Alto, the carrying system provides a lot of comfort on the approach.
In 99 percent of all crash pads, this interior consists of several layers of foam. On top is a hard, closed-cell layer that distributes the crash energy, then a softer, mostly open-cell layer that provides cushioning. Often there is another closed-cell foam underneath, which is supposed to prevent the crash pad from hitting the ground. However, whether there are two or five layers is not decisive, it depends on the quality and coordination of the foams. Ultimately, it is just as important to cushion small falls with a back landing as it is to cushion foot landings after three-meter departures. Of course, the weight of the boulderer also plays a role. Compromises have to be made.

High-quality foams do have not only their price but also bring some weight. A 1.80m by 1.20m (2ft x 3ft) giant mat can weigh more than six kilograms (12 pounds) with high-quality, durable foams. But even the best foams cannot eliminate the construction-related weak points of a crash pad: at the edges and in the fold, whether folded or creased.

For the approach, the luggage (rucksack or bag) is usually stuffed into the crash pad, a belt strap on the underside prevents the loss of the load. Some mats have a flap that holds even small pieces of luggage on board. Burritos are generally easier to load than tacos. With mat and luggage, you can quickly reach 15 kilograms.

The format of the closed crash pad plays a role, especially in dense forests or on steep steps. Otherwise, the carrying comfort depends primarily on the weight of the load and the carrying system of the crash pad. Ideally, the latter is equipped with height-adjustable, padded shoulder straps, and a hip fin. For positioning the crash pads – especially with thick mats – there should be loops on all sides or at all corners. Even the best crash pad is of little help if you hit the ground next to it.

How long does a bouldering crash pad last?

The quality of a crash pad only becomes apparent over time – for example, when the mat still absorbs enough impact energy after 100 days of bouldering. At the same time, the cover and carrying system should also be able to withstand the strain. An abrasion- and tear-resistant nylon, as well as solidly fixed shoulder straps, are mandatory!

Crashpad Guide 2020 - What You Need To Find The Perfect Bouldering Crashpad

Burrito or Taco – The two basic designs of bouldering crash pads

Burrito or taco? Which construction principle you prefer depends on your personal opinion. We explain the advantages and disadvantages.
Burritos consist of two (three in the case of three-part pads) separate chambers, which are connected by the outer casing on the side where they spring open. Accordingly, they can be folded together at this fold and carried in it like a suitcase during short transports between the blocks with climbing shoes, chalk, etc. But the fold is also the weak point when you land on it with your feet.

Tacos only consist of one chamber and continuous foams. The fold is omitted. The problem is that the foam is bent when folding for transport. In order to prevent the particularly sensitive closed-cell layer from being bent sharply, the carrying system of tacos is often fixed on the side where it is attached. This means that when bouldering, it must be removed or covered.

Noteworthy Bouldering Crash Pads: Innovative cushioning, features & solutions

1) In the almost 15-centimeter thick Ocùn Paddy Dominator, the patented “FTS Absorption Block” with vertical foam tubes in an open-cell foam block provides the best possible protection against penetration, right up to the edge – unlike crash pads with conventional foam layers. Above this, as usual, a closed-cell layer ensures the distribution of impact energy.
2) An innovative damping system is hidden between two closed-cell layers in the Snap Wrap. It consists of 20 cubes connected by Velcros, which in turn consist of many foam/air cells with tiny holes in their shells through which air escapes on impact. The ingenious thing about it is that small bumps on the back are gently cushioned, while hard foot landings from great heights make the cells almost impermeable, thus ensuring high puncture protection.
3) In the 2017 remake of the Mad Rock Duo, the flap and straps are dimensioned so that a second pad can be easily attached. A high-quality carrying system rounds off the potential double pack.
4) On the underside of a normal taco crash pad, there is a bag filled with EPS beads to compensate for uneven landing surfaces. The Edelrid Balance is designed to provide extra safety on the blocked ground and on sloping landing surfaces.
5) It can be used twice, lengthwise, crosswise, or as a handbag. The Ocun Paddy Sitcase is a seat-launch pad that can be used to store shoes, chalk & co. When getting on.

 

Bouldering Crashpad Placement

Once the boulderer has been selected, the question of how to climb it arises: At which pull could you fall in which direction? Accordingly, the crash pad or pads are placed. If there are dangerous obstacles like blocks or tree stumps in the impact zone, they should be covered (or a landing there by a spotter should be excluded). To secure larger blocks, place one half of a burrito crashpad upside down on the block, with the other half hanging down to secure the front. Caution: The person falling should not be able to thread his feet into any straps.

An always-present danger zone is the edges of the crashpads, where thousands of sidebands have already torn at ankle joints. The only way to avoid this is to place the mats carefully or to use an attentive spotter to guide the falling person towards the middle of the mat. If several crash pads are lined up next to each other, the gap between the pads is also at risk of ligament and elbow injuries. Some crashpads can be joined together with Velcro strips, small, thin seat start pads that are placed over the gap do the same job. With two of these little helpers, you can cover the first low moves of a boulder, plus a small block or even a gap between two mats.

If there are not enough crashpads available to cover the landing zone of a boulder completely, the ground crew must always move the available crashpads in time. Be careful not to move the mat too early! If a sideways, dynamic pull does not fold, the boulderer usually swings back. During the moves, the eyes and hands of the spotter should be pointed upwards anyway.

Carrying system and transport logistics

If you think when you buy a crashpad, oh, the two lobed shoulder straps fixed with Velcro strips are enough for this light little girl, you are wrong. Because only with a pad nobody will get on the bike. One or two pairs of climbing shoes, chalk, brushes, vesper, enough to drink, plus weather protection, and the inevitable down jacket are always with you. Even with a five-kilo pad, you are quickly at double the weight, rather more. Stuff two or three ropes into the mat and run a few meters before you buy. If the shoulder strap is already tightening, you should think carefully about whether you want to arrive at the block with lame arms after half an hour of climbing. Unfortunately, especially with many normal-sized crash pads, the carrying systems are still treated somewhat neglected.

Something else about buying a crashpad: If you want a big pad, but mainly want to go bouldering in dense woods, you should not buy the widest pad, but think about a three-piece or double-bent mat.

With most models, the equipment can be transported in the crashpad. A slim backpack is ideal. Then you can shoulder your equipment when changing blocks and take the pad by the handles. Otherwise, backpack, seat start pad, and telescopic brush come between the two flaps. A shoulder bag is less recommendable, especially in rough terrain, as often the view to the feet is blocked. If someone wants to carry several mats, two long straps help to strap the pads together.

Top 5 Crashpads for Bouldering

Mammoth Crashiano Pad

At 156 x 110 x 12 cm, the Mammut Burrito has a size of 156 x 110 x 12 cm, the foams (the upper one continuous) are suitable for Highball. With the flap, you can cover the good carrying system when bouldering. So it stays clean, but above all, it does not get stuck when slipping.

What we like: Very good damping and dielectric strength; high-quality foams; solid workmanship; footrest; fits in most combos
We like less: Only two positioning loops
Price: 350$

Prices: Mammoth Crashiano Pad

Snap Wrap Original

Quasi the intelligent crashpad. For small falls with a lot of contact surface, the 150 x 100 x 15 cm taco cushions as soft as butter, for really high falls, it offers perfect dielectric strength, as only a little air can escape from the cells.

What we like: Sensational cushioning for small and large falls, robust shell and good workmanship
We like it less: Carrying system must be taken off for bouldering (fixed on the upper side by Velcro); no material transport in the pad possible
Price: 320$

Prices: Snap Wrap Original

Ocun Paddy Dominator

Thanks to the FTS construction, even heavyweights can venture into greater heights with this 132 x 100 x 14.5 cm burrito. For lightweights, the damping is a little hard. The pad can also be connected lengthwise with a zipper (200 x 66 cm).

We like: Excellent dielectric strength; many good details: four positioning loops, fixing strap for the fold; carpet; very durable construction
We like it less: shoulder straps not too comfortable; slips easily on snow
Price: 270$

Prices: Ocun Paddy Dominator

Black Diamond Drop Zone

The classic taco. The 122 x 104 x 9 cm mat is a great everyday pad: good size, relatively light at 4.75 kilograms, neat carrying system, good payload thanks to flap, and fairly high-quality foam.

We like: continuous landing area; practical, elastic flap for transporting material
We like less: Should be stored open; for high boulders only conditionally suitable
Price: 250$
Prices: Black Diamond Drop Zone

Edelrid Sit Start II

With its size of 90 x 55 x 5 cm this starter pad is perfect for the first moves away from the ground, or to cover stones or the gap between two pads.
We like: Amazingly much cushioning; logo serves as a foot scraper; robust material
Price: 50$

Prices: Edelrid Sit Start II

Related Questions

What does the UIAA standard for crash pads contain, and how widespread is it?

Crash pads are not classified as PPE (personal protective equipment), which is why there is no EN standard yet. In recent years, however, more and more manufacturers have brought crash pads onto the market – with considerable differences in price and quality. For the boulderer, it has become extremely difficult to estimate the differences between the products.

Therefore the UIAA- SafeCom participants (manufacturers, alpine federations, etc.) have already started to work on a crashpad test in 2013. The UIAA 161 then became valid in 2016. As far as I know, only Camp/Cassin has currently certified its two crashpads with this standard. That costs money. But I’m pretty sure that more manufacturers will follow in the next years.

Categories
Mountaineering Reviews

Best Light Mountaineering Boots – The Top Models of 2020

Suitable for climbing and conditionally crampon proof, comfortable, robust, and as light as possible: The expectations of all-round light mountaineering boots are high. We have tested 5 light mountaineering boots.

Qualities of a good  light mountaineering boot

When it comes to combining comfort with climbing performance in high alpine terrain, on snow, ice, and in combined climbing with crampons, the demands on mountaineering boots are high. Especially since the ascent to these regions of rock and ice also needs to be done with pleasure and without blisters.

A completely stiff sole designed for fully automatic crampons greatly impairs walking comfort on meadows and paths, which is why we have only tested “conditionally crampon-resistant” boots with a stiff but not rigid sole for crampon fastening with basket and rocker. This is not the right choice for a WI6 icefall, for glacier tours, classic ice walls, pimple-hard, steep snowfields – and with rigid crampons also for moderate combined climbing, all the more so.

This is how we have tested: Criteria and terrain

Weight and freedom of movement were taken into account, both when climbing and walking. We tested the walking comfort on paths, meadows, rugged terrain, and scree, on steep ascents and descents as well as crossings. Then we also took a close look at the details, whether it was a practical tightening loop on the shaft or a functional fixing eyelet to be able to lace up the boot in a measured way. And we have tested the climbing suitability on high alpine climbs in rock, ice and snow: on the Monviso East Ridge, in the Maritime Alps, in the Basodino Group and on other high alpine peaks – from spring until the editorial deadline at the end of September.

The five mountaineering boot models in detail (with technical data & individual evaluation)

 

Best Light Mountaineering Boots - The Top Models of 2020

Asolo Freney Mid GV light mountaineering boots

The Freney Mid GV offers the best forefoot fixation in the test field. A slim, flat toe box and the effective cross lacing on the simple but fine fixation hook make it possible. The climbing performance on rock gets very precise, and thanks to the relatively soft sole in the front, also sensitive. The support for the calves is still good, as is the use of crampons. Thanks to the sensible loop, it is easy to get in.

Rating Asolo Freney Mid GV:

Climbing: 5/5

Comfort: 4/5

Details: 5/5

Construction: Schoeller K-Tech & Microfibre, Gore-Tex Performance Comfort Footwear, Sole: Vibram Mulaz

Fit: flat, slim forefoot, strong contouring; turns out very small

Sizes/Colours: Men: UK 6.5-12.5, black/red/silver; no women’s model

Weight: 1255 grams (pair, UK 8.5)

Price: 280$

Conclusion

The climbing professional: robust, precise, with plenty of room to move in the joint and, on top of that, decent walking comfort.

Best Light Mountaineering Boots - The Top Models of 2020

La Sportiva Trango Tech GTX light mountaineering boots

A soft, well rolling sole provides a lot of walking comfort on any surface, cushioning and padding are excellent. Unfortunately, the advantages of the flat toe box do not come into their own when climbing, because the forefoot cannot be firmly fixed in place due to the poorly metered lacing. In combination with the rather soft sole, the start is, therefore, relatively power-intensive and spongy.

Rating La Sportiva Trango Tech GTX mountaineering boots
Climbing: 3/5

Comfort: 5/5

Details: 3/5

Construction: ThermoTech Injection fabric, Gore-Tex Performance Comfort, Sole: La Sportiva Cube by Vibram

Fit: very flat forefoot, little contouring; falls out normally

Sizes/Colours: Men: 38-48, pumpkin, black/yellow; Women: 36-43, aqua/opal

Weight: 1224 grams (pair, men 42)

Price: 270$

Conclusion

Solid, comfortable hiking and light mountaineering boots, but more for meadows, scree, and glaciers than for climbing.

Best Light Mountaineering Boots - The Top Models of 2020

Lowa Alpine SL GTX light mountaineering boots

The lightest model in the test field has the highest toe box. In addition, there is a lacing with fixation function. The laces may rub against the deep draw hook above. The sole is the second stiffest. The calf support is good when climbing. However, you have to fight against foot rotation. In general, the fit is a bit spongy, also because of the slight contouring of the shaft. Climbing with crampons is great for this.

Lowa Alpine SL GTX Rating
Climbing: 4/5

Comfort: 3/5

Details: 4/5

Construction: Synthetic with injected PU scree protection, Gore-Tex lining, Sole: Vibram Alp Trac SL

Fit: relatively high toe box and relatively wide, hardly any contouring; turns out big

Sizes/Colours: Men: UK 6-13, orange/black; not for women

Weight: 1198 grams (pair, UK 8)

Price: 400$

Conclusion

Quite expensive lightweight, which must fit the foot. Then it is a solid companion for rough, rock, and ice.

Best Light Mountaineering Boots - The Top Models of 2020

Mammoth Kento High GTXlight mountaineering boots

Once inside (no loop on the shaft), the Kento High GTX receives the forefoot with a slim, flat toe box. Even without a fixation eyelet, the lacing can be dosed properly, but it can rub the ankle. The stiffest sole in the field and the good grip provide the best support when climbing and the best crampon performance compared to the five models, but also the lowest sensitivity.

Mammoth Kento High GTX Rating:
Climbing: 4/5

Comfort: 3/5

Details: 4/5

Construction: Nubuck leather & softshell, Gore-Tex Performance Comfort, Sole: Michelin Alpine Lite 3970

Fit: slim, flat forefoot, little contouring; turns out small

Sizes/Colours: Men: 40 – 48 2/3, 3 colours; Women: 36 2/3 – 42 2/3, 2 colours

Weight: 1364 grams (pair, men 42)

Price: 230$

Conclusion

A stiff boot that can save weak calves from bursting. But it is not the most sensitive and comfortable.

Best Light Mountaineering Boots - The Top Models of 2020

Scarpa Ribelle Lite OD light mountaineering boots

Thanks to the well-positioned loop, the entry is smooth and supple, and a pleasantly padded and contoured lining awaits you inside. The walking comfort is accordingly praiseworthy. The shoe can also be laced to suit requirements without a fixing eyelet, but despite good fixation, slight foot rotation cannot be completely avoided. The transmission of force to small steps is still neat but good with crampons.

Scarpa Ribelle Lite OD Rating:
Climbing: 4/5

Comfort: 5/5

Details: 4/5

Construction: Scarpa Sock-Fit-XT with Tech Fabric, Microtech and Outdry membrane, Sole: Vibram Mont

Fit: normal, medium toe box, clear contouring; turns out normal

Sizes/Colours: Men: 40-48, tonic/black; Women: 37-42, ceramic/black

Weight: 1279 grams (pair, men 42)

Price: 320$

Conclusion

Robust mountaineering boot that offers a successful compromise between climbing and comfort.

Review conclusion

None of the light boots disappointed us. None of them has been able to gain its low weight by significantly reducing its robustness, and despite isolated points of criticism, all of them combine comfort and climbing at a decent level.

Nevertheless, two models have convinced us in particular: the Ribelle Lite OD by Scarpa and the Asolo Freney Mid GV.

For more reviews, check out these posts:

La Sportiva Tarantulace

Best Winter Climbing Pants 2020

Best Climbing Helmets 2020

 

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
Camp & Hike Reviews

Best 10 Bear Canisters in 2020 for Hikers – The Complete List and Review

Do you love hiking, backpacking, and other outdoor activities where you stay outside for a couple of days? If yes, you came to the right place.  If you plan to go backpacking or camping in northern America, you definitely might need to care about bears, at least if you plan to go to the western United States or Canada. Chances are you won’t even see a bear, so don’t panic, but a grizzly bear or black bear can be a dangerous animal if you encounter it. A bear canister is obligatory to store food, to minimize the chance of a bear encounter. Bears are popular for having one of the strongest senses of smell on the globe. It is said that grizzly bears can track animal carcasses even from 20 miles away. Therefore, you must be responsible enough to protect your food from these hungry bears. The best thing to do is to get the best bear canister for your adventure. Meanwhile, there are several brands available in the market, and you’re not sure which one is the right for you. Worry no more because we are here to help you find the right bear canister for you. The following is a comprehensive list of the best  10 bear canisters in 2020 for hikers that you can select from for your individual needs, we reviewed them and give you detailed pros and cons of each model. Some of them have been upgraded for 2020. Some are still what they always used to be: A big plastic jug for your belongings.

Why should I bring a bear canister?

No, I am not saying that bears are the biggest threat when you go hiking. In fact, you are way more likely to suffer from hypothermia or a sprained ankle or just get lost when you go hike. But a bear threat is something that also keeps you tense psychologically, so it’s a smart idea to prepare. Besides: You can use bear canisters perfectly for storing food away from other animals who might like your leftovers – like raccoons, mice, etc.

The bear canister is a thick container that is used for the protection of your scented items and food from bears and other animals during your outdoor trip. It is also called a bear barrel or bear bin. The bear has the strongest smell sense on the planet. So, it can smell your food even you are miles away from them.

If you don’t want the bear to eat your packed food on your outdoor adventure, the bear canister is the perfect solution. Even more important, the bear canister is also beneficial for the bear’s safety. If the bear eats human food, they can grow dependent.
With the bear canister, you can store your food, toiletries, trash, dishes, and other items during your outdoor getaway. The canister can prevent the bear from eating your food. You don’t have to worry because the container can airtight seal avoiding the strong smell which can attract the bear.

Review of 10 Of The Best Bear Canisters in 2020

We put 10 of the hottest bear canisters on the market through our review procedure, so you can decide which one you want to buy.

Best 10 Bear Canisters in 2020 for Hikers – The Complete List and Review

Backpackers Cache Bear Resistant Container

The Backpackers Cache Bear Resistant Container is among the top bear canisters you can avail in the market. It features an opaque exterior that can avoid the bear and other animals to see the contents of the canister. It is an effective and huge bear canister for intelligent camping. You don’t have to fear because it meets the National Park Service’ regulation requirements. It makes a good seat too. Meanwhile, it can be a little bit heavy for some hikers. It weighs about 2 Ibs. 12 oz. If you are camping in areas where smart bears are present, it can be a good option. You can buy a carrying case separately to attach the canister on the exterior of your pack. The money and time you invest in this product can give you a satisfying return.

Pros
• It features an opaque exterior that avoids animals to view the contents of the canister
• This bear canister makes a good seat, too. If you want a functional bear canister, it is the best choice
• It adheres to the National Park Service’ regulation requirements, so you can expect the best quality you need
• This comes with a strong build so that you can expect greater efficiency from this bear canister
• Smooth exterior that makes it almost impossible to open by bears, this can make your food and valuable items secured and safe for your peace of mind

Cons
• The bear canister can be a little bit heavy for some hikers.
• It can be a pain to fit in your pack because of its size and dimensions
• Some complain that it is not waterproof, so you must be careful and don’t place it near the water

Best 10 Bear Canisters in 2020 for Hikers – The Complete List and Review

Bear Vault BV500 Bear Resistant Food Canister

The Bear Vault BV500 Bear Resistant Food Canister can be your great companion for fishing, hiking, hunting, backpacking, canoe, and kayak trips. It can be purchase in different sizes, so you can get the best for your needs. It comes with a huge capacity that is perfect for an extended trip. So, you can store your food and other items in the best possible way.
It is very easy to handle because of its exterior ridges. It has a lightweight design, which makes it a top choice for adventurers. It only weighs about 2 Ibs, 9 oz. However, it has a transparent exterior that enables other hikers and bears to see its content. It is designed from transparent, robust polycarbonate material. If you want to unload, load, and locate items faster, this is the best bear canister for you.

Pros
• This bear canister is ideal for hunting, backpacking, fishing, and other outdoor adventure
• It has a lightweight design, so you can carry it with more convenience
• It is easy to handle because of its exterior ridges, so you can have hassle-free experience upon its usage
• Big capacity for extended outdoor activity, it can store enough food for your outdoor adventure
• Different sizes you can choose from for more customized experience
• It was designed from sturdy, transparent polycarbonate material
• Perfect for locating, unloading and loading items faster, so you can have a hassle-free experience in using it
• It is approved to be used in State and National Parks, so you have nothing to doubt with its efficiency
• Available with built-in straps, so you don’t need for additional carry case, you can easily handle it during your hiking or camping trip

Cons
• It is quite challenging to open during cold weather, so you can make sure that your food is secured from bears and other wild animals
• One drawback of this product is its transparent exterior that allows others and bears to see the content inside -this applies to most transparent containers

Best 10 Bear Canisters in 2020 for Hikers – The Complete List and Review

Lighter1 Lil’ Sami Bear Canister

If you want a unique bear canister, the Lighter1 Lil’ Sami Bear Canister is for you. The canister cap can be used for cooking like a pan. Meanwhile, you must remember that this frying pan can heat up faster and doesn’t have a non-stick coating. This canister is designed from strong polycarbonate. It comes with lightness and high strength.
Lighter1 bear canister comes with great durability and can be used as a seat. It can accommodate a person about 200 pounds safely. You can lock using a special stop valve. If you want a canister with a huge capacity, this can be a good choice. It has a capacity that is enough for 4 days. If you need family use, this product can be the perfect one. It can store your food safely during your hiking and other adventures.

Pros
• The canister cap serves as a cooking pan, making it perfect for those who love cooking while on a trip
• It is lightweight and durable for more convenient use
• You can use it as a chair when you need to rest during your hiking
• Its capacity can be enough for about 4 days, so you don’t have to worry when it comes to your food and other items storage needs

Cons
• It is a little bit pricey. If you are conscious to budget, this may not be the perfect bear canister for you
• The canister cap is very light, so the handle can tip the pot

Best 10 Bear Canisters in 2020 for Hikers – The Complete List and Review

Counter Assault Bear Keg

The Counter Assault Bear Keg is made from sturdy polymer plastic in garish yellow. You must not doubt in this bear canister since it is approved to use in US National Parks. It comes with a big capacity that can contain about 4 days of food. With its opaque plastic, you can prevent other hikers and animals from seeing your food. It has 700 cubic inches capacity. However, it doesn’t come with a free carrying case, so you can buy it separately.

Pros
• It features opaque plastic that avoids others and animals to view your food
• Big capacity which can contain food for 4 days, so you can make the best of your outdoor getaway without being worried about your food
• It is approved to use in most US National Parks, so you can expect great quality from this product
• This bear canister is made from tough polymer plastic in garish yellow. It can be your powerful tool to keep your food and toiletries safe against bear and other wild animals during your camp or hiking
• It is robust and durable that can secure your food from a bear and other animals

Cons
• It doesn’t have a free carrying case, so you need to buy it separately
• The canister weighs 3.5 Ibs which is a little bit heavy. It can be a pain if you have extended trips
• It has a lid that is a bit fiddly

Best 10 Bear Canisters in 2020 for Hikers – The Complete List and Review

UDAP No-Fed Bear Canister

The UDAP No-Fed Bear Canister is among the best bear canisters you can buy in the market. It comes with great quality that can satisfy your camping and hiking needs. If you’re a camper and outdoor enthusiast, this bear canister can be your great companion.
The bear canister is safely tested, even for extreme environments. It is a durable and reliable food container for your outdoor activities. It is made from durable plastic. The bear can leave scratches on the canister, but they can’t open it. With its rugged body, you can use it as a camp seat. It weighs 2 Ibs 4 oz, which comes with great strength and reliability.
It was approved by the Yosemite National Park. In addition, it also meets the standards of federal and CA state camping. You can lock the canister using 2 screws. You need a knife or coin to close and open the canister. However, the bear can’t open the canister, but they can push it into water. This can make the content wet. Therefore, you must not place it near water. With its features and functions, you can have the assurance that it is a good value for your money and time.

Pros
• It has a high level of reliability and strength to withstand even tough conditions
• The canister meets the requirements for federal and CA state camping, so it has a reliable quality you can trust
• The item has a volume of 500 cubic inches which can contain food that is enough for 4 days
• It can be locked with 2 screws, so your food is secured from bear and other animals
• The bear canister is ideal for motorcycle adventure trips
• The product works well even on tough environments

Cons
• It can be a bit heavy for some outdoor enthusiasts, so you must find a great alternative
• Some complain that it doesn’t work well on temperature below 50 degrees

Best 10 Bear Canisters in 2020 for Hikers – The Complete List and Review

Lighter1 Big Daddy Bear Canister

The Lighter1 Big Daddy Bear Canister can be your efficient tool for your outdoor activities. It is beneficial if you want to store more food for your adventure. It weighs 2 Ibs 4 oz. It has a maximum volume capacity of 650 cubic inches. It can be enough for 7 days. However, it can be a little bit heavy. One drawback of this bear canister is that it has a transparent exterior, so other campers and animals can see the foods and items inside the canister.

Pros
• Excellent quality and reliability for your outdoor activities
• It has a huge capacity of 650 cubic inches, so you can take your foods with you which can be enough for 7 days

Cons
• The bear canister is quite heavier for some hikers and outdoor enthusiasts

Best 10 Bear Canisters in 2020 for Hikers – The Complete List and Review

Bear Vault BV450 Canister

The Bear Vault BV450 Canister can be your best equipment for camping, backpacking, hiking, and other outdoor adventures. It weighs 2.1 Ibs and has 440 cubic inches volume. This can be perfect for short backpacking trips that can last from 2 to 4 days.
You don’t have to doubt because the Bear Vault BV450 Canister is approved as a certified bear-resistant by IGBC (Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee). It is lightweight so you can easily take it with you in your outdoor activities. It is easy to use and comes with great durability. However, it has a transparent exterior that allows other hikers and other animals to view the inside content.

Pros
• Durable and simple to use
• You can also use it as a seat
• It comes with a tool-free lid
• The canister is a black bear, and grizzly tested
• The product is also approved by Sierra Interagency Black Bear Group and Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee
• It is also approved by National Parks and National Forests
• The bear canister is also available with a lifetime warranty

Cons
• One negative thing we can say about this bear canister is that it has a transparent exterior that enables other hikers and animals to see the inside of the canister

Best 10 Bear Canisters in 2020 for Hikers – The Complete List and Review

Ursack Major

Ursack Major can be your essential tool for your food protection when backpacking. It comes with 10.65 L capacity, which can hold your food that is enough for 5 days. It is lightweight and weighs only 7.8 oz. This product is ultralight and spacious. Ursack Major is designed from woven Spectra fibers that are used for bulletproof fabric. It is made from a tough material.
The Ursack Major is durable and bear-resistant. It is certified by IGBC, so you can use it in your different outdoor activities. Unlike other products in the market, it can compress and can be fit inside your pack while you’re eating your food. It can be easily packed for more convenience in your outdoor adventure.
The downside of this bear-resistant container is that bears can crush the food on the inside. Furthermore, it is also not allowed in some areas, so you must first check the regulation of your destination before purchasing the product.

Pros
• Lightweight and spacious which is ideal for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities
• Big capacity which can hold food that is enough for 5 days trip
• IGBC certified and bear-resistant
• Can be easily compressed and fit inside your pack while you’re eating
• It is made from a bulletproof UHMWP fabric material that avoids bears from getting your food
• It was flexible equipment for a hassle-free outdoor experience
• Water and torn-resistant and provides critter protection
• It comes with aluminum liner for more comfortable use

Cons
• Some complain that water gets in with this bear-resistant container

Best 10 Bear Canisters in 2020 for Hikers – The Complete List and Review

Frontiersman Insider

The Frontiersman Insider weighs 48 ounces (3 pounds). It is available in tapered shape for equal weight distribution and easy storage. If you are a budget-conscious outdoor enthusiast, this bear canister, this can be a good investment for you. It has an airtight lid that can be easily closed and open using a screwdriver or coin. It can hold about 11 liters of toiletries and food.
If you want a quality bear canister, the Frontiersman Insider bear canister will not fail you. It can preserve the freshness of your food and avoid foul odors. It is an airtight seal, so it can avoid attracting bears. It is a no-break and malleable polypropylene container that comes with a tight lid using 3 solid screws. You don’t have to doubt because it is field certified and tested. It passed the testing of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee’s bear-resistant products testing program.

Pros
• It can preserve the freshness of your food and avoid odors which can prevent attracting bears
• It has no-break, malleable polypropylene container which has a lid that can tightly secure with 3 solid screws
• The bear canister is field certified and tested
• The product passed the requirements of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee for bear-resistant products testing program
• It can withstand up to 60 minutes of bear’s attempt to open and break the canister
• This product is lightweight, slim and easy to carry with you everywhere you go
• It has a huge capacity which is perfect for family use
• The product is designed for comfortable and easy use

Cons
• Some find its lid hard to secure and remove
• One drawback of the bear canister is that it is not waterproof

Best 10 Bear Canisters in 2020 for Hikers – The Complete List and Review

Garcia Bear-Resistant Container

The Garcia Bear-Resistant Container weighs 33 ounces. If you want a functional bear canister, this product can be your top option. It is lightweight, durable and odor, and water-resistant. It can be your reliable canister for your hiking, camping, and other outdoor activity needs.
It can hold up to 10 liters of toiletries and food. It has a food-grade plastic bag wrapping for an additional layer of protection. The Garcia Bear -Resistant Container is designed from sturdy ABS polymer that comes with rounded edges and smooth sides, so the bears can’t grip on it. It features stainless-steel locks that are easy for humans to open using a screwdriver or coin. On the other hand, it is difficult for bears to open the canister. It was made in the USA and offered you great quality for your storage needs. However, it can also be a bit heavier for some backpackers and hikers.

Pros 
• It comes with a huge capacity of 10 liters that can secure your food and toiletries during your trip
• The bear canister also comes with food-grade plastic bag wrapping for an additional layer of protection
• It has a smooth side and rounded-edged which make it difficult for bears to grip on
• It was made in the USA and can offer you a high level of quality for your storage needs
• The product comes with stainless-steel locks that you can easily open, but difficult for the bear
• This item is very durable and lightweight for your convenience

Cons
• The downside of the Garcia Bear-Resistant Container is that it is a little bit heavy for some hikers and outdoor enthusiasts

Here we go, now that you have learned about the best 10 bear canisters in 2020 for hikers, you can pick the best one that suits your individual needs. With each bear canister’s features, advantages and disadvantages, you can make a wise decision on which one works well for your hiking, camping, and other outdoor activity needs.
Meanwhile, let us talk about why bear canister is important for your hiking and outdoor trips.

Quick Buying Guide for Bear Canister for Hikers

There are different bear canister brands available in the market, so you must be careful in choosing the best one for your specific needs. Worry no more because, in this section, we will provide you the list of factors you must consider in buying your bear canister.

Opening procedure

Before you buy your bear canister, you must know how to open it. Make sure that you can easily open it, but difficult for bear and wild animals to open. There are bear canisters that can be open using additional key or coin or screws.

Weight

Another important factor to consider is the weight of the bear canister. Make sure you can’t find it heavier as you go on your hiking or camping habit. It is advisable to purchase a bear canister that is not more than 3 Ibs. It can be heavy and bulky, which can provide you with pain and inconvenience. You must choose the weight that you can manage to avoid regrets in the end.

Approval

You must take note that not all bear canisters available in the market are sturdy enough to resist the bear’s break-in. Therefore, you must check its approval. Does it pass the National Park Service list? Can it make your food safe and fresh? You can check the IGBC’s certified list. With that, you have the assurance that the time, effort, and hard-earned money you invest for the bear canister are all worth it.

Mouth opening

It is necessary to choose a wide and big mouth to avoid the black hole effect. You can also opt for a transparent bear canister, so you can easily view the food on the container. However, it can allow other hikers, bears, and other animals to see what is inside of it.

Volume

You must check the volume capacity of the bear canister before you buy it. You can decide based on your trip’s number of days. For example, you can get 600 cubic inches bear canister for 6 days hiking trip. If you need family use, you must choose a bigger capacity to bear canisters.

Quality

You must choose a quality bear canister, so it can bring you the highest level of satisfaction you need. More importantly, you can make sure that you’re not wasting your budget and time for an ineffective bear canister. If you want to secure your food and other items from bear and other animals during your outdoor trip, get a bear canister with superior quality. You can check the materials used in the bear canister and if it comes with great durability.

Price

Different bear canisters come in different pricing. So, you must pick the bear canister that perfectly matches your budget. If you are a budget-conscious outdoor enthusiast, there are many affordable but quality bear canisters you can choose from for your needs.

Conclusion

By simply considering these essential factors, you can buy the best bear canister that will offer you with convenient storage for your outdoor activities. It is quite disappointing if a bear has eaten your food and you get hungry. Don’t let this problem happen. What are you waiting for? Choose the best bear canister today!

For more reviews, check out these posts:

Best Camping Lantern with Gas or Fuel

Best Bear Sprays in 2020

Best Camping and Hiking Shower 2020

 

Categories
Camp & Hike Reviews

Best Gas Camping Lantern and Liquid Fuel Camping Lantern in 2020

Camping and hiking is a lot of fun, but without light and a good camping chair, a night in the wood becomes pretty boring. For years,  a gas camping lantern or a  fuel camping lantern was the defacto standard in camping lighting, but the advent of powerful LED lights replaced them.

Nowadays, most people consider gas camping lanterns as bulky, heavy, and outdated, especially with the recent improvements to LED tech and battery technology. But there are still really good options to chose from if you need a flame driven camping lantern. In this article, we review the best gas lanterns for camping in 2020. Read on for more details, but the COLEMAN Dual-Fuel 2-Mantle Lanternis our overall winner if you want the quick answer! For a more compact lantern, stick with the PRIMUS  MicronLantern; it’s a powerful and compact gas camping lantern that’s super bright!

The reviewed lanterns are best for campground stays and hanging out with friends and family around the campsite!

Anyone who likes to go hut-to-hut hiking trips enjoys hunting or kayak excursions, and even snow sled expeditions in the winter will know the benefits of having a fuel-powered camping lantern.

I am looking for a portable, bright lantern that would do admirable service for hut-to-hut ski trips or sea-kayaking excursions. Is there one available that runs on liquid fuel?

What types of Gas Powered Camping Lantern are there?

If you want to buy a gas or fuel-powered camping lantern, there are two basic types: Either you stick with a liquid fuel camping lantern or a gas-powered camping lantern. Gas, in this case, means some mix of propane or butane, and liquid fuel means either white gas or unleaded fuel. Both methods have pros and cons; we will discuss them below.

What is a dual fuel camping lantern?

Some liquid fuel-driven lanterns can be driven with liquid lantern fuel and even unleaded fuel from the gas pump. Note: Dual fuel does not mean that you can drive these lanterns with Propane type fuel or liquid fuel. It just means you have a wider selection of liquid fuel to choose from.

What is a duo valve camping gas lantern?

Some of the camping lanterns come with a dual valve, which means you cannot just use the manufacturer’s gas cartridges, but any duo valve equipped gas cartridge. It’s a nice feature, and if you have the money, I would always prefer a duo valve equipped lantern over the single valve version.

Pros and Cons of liquid fuel camping lanterns

  • PRO: Fuel-efficient
  • PRO: Most can be used with automobile gasoline or white-gas
  • PRO: Tanks hold a large capacity
  • PRO: Heat can be generated can be nice in winter
  • PRO: Super warm light
  • PRO: Large lighting radius
  • CON: Noisy and bulky
  • CON: Generates heat and need ventilation
  • CON: Careful with children, the lantern is hot
  • CON: Refueling can be messy, especially with automobile gasoline

Pros and Cons of gas camping lanterns

  • PRO: Fuel-efficient
  • PRO: Most can be used with automobile gasoline or white-gas
  • PRO: Available with propane and butane
  • PRO: Some tanks refillable, some disposable
  • PRO: Very high light intensity
  • PRO: Heat can be generated can be nice in winter
  • PRO: Warm light
  • PRO: Compact
  • PRO: Large lighting radius
  • CON: Generates heat and need ventilation
  • CON: Careful with children, the lantern is hot

Pros and Cons of  LED camping lanterns

  • PRO: Long battery lifetime
  • PRO: Put out a lot of light
  • PRO: Rugged and can handle abuse
  • PRO: Quiet and clean
  • PRO: Safe for kids (LEDs stay cool when used)
  • CON: Battery use
  • CON: Can be problematic in wet conditions
  • CON: Disposal of batteries
  • CON: Light is cold, not great for large areas

What Types of Gas and Fuel Powered Lanterns Did We Review for This Article?

We focused on Campingaz and propane-powered lanterns as well as gasoline-driven lanterns. All these types of lanterns are what we consider as gas or fuel camping lanterns. For this review, we didn’t include candle lanterns as they are very different from fuel-driven camping lanterns both in terms of light output and fuel method.

Best Gas Camping Lanterns – Our Complete Review

COLEMAN Dual-Fuel 2-Mantle Lantern: A very bright liquid fuel camping lantern – Rating 4.8/5

Colemans Dual Fuel 2-Mantle Lantern is somewhat of a classic. You can use Coleman liquid fuel or unleaded gasoline straight from the pump. This lantern has really good fuel efficiency, a gallon of fuel (around 4 liters) will last as long as around 5 cylinders of propane or butane gas will last on an ordinary gas lantern. That means you can bring more fuel with you or save packing space compared to gas lanterns. The lantern is really bright too, a steady glow of 700 lumens is enough to lighten up even large campsites.

You need to bring your own matches, as this model has no piezoelectric ignition switch. Light reaches up to 16m (around 50 feet), and you can finely adjust the light intensity with a control knob. The fuel tank provides a steady base for the lantern as well, and you can hang the lamp with the handle as well. No assembly needed, making it quick to stove away too. When you set it to low, you can get 14 hours of light with one tank of fuel.

COLEMAN Northstar Propane Lantern: A giant super bright lantern –  Rating 4.7/5

Wow, Coleman makes a huge lantern with the Northstar. This lantern is no joke, it is pretty large and is very bright. Due to the size, this lantern is more suited for car camping than for backpacking and hiking. In terms of lighting, it’s the brightest lantern in the test, reaching 1500 lumen. If you want a lantern to light up your whole campsite, the Northstar really gets the job done. The name is not just a pun, but this lamp really shines. It comes with a plastic base set and a single mantle.

Coleman makes this model with a metal guard to protect the lamp globe, and it works well in wind and rain. The wire metal cage also protects the glass dome, and you can remove the glass easily with a metal lid when you need to replace the mantle!

One canister of gas, in this case, propane, is 16oz (480gr) and will last you for five hours on high intensity and eight hours on low intensity.

PRIMUS  MicronLantern: Most versatile, powerful little gas lantern – Rating: 4.7/5

The Micron Lantern provides very atmospheric lighting – and s is the perfect outdoor lighting for everyone for whom the light from LEDs is too cold. Brightness can be infinitely adjusted via the gas valve and achieves a luminosity of up to 360 lumens. Thanks to its minimal packing size and low weight, the lamp can be easily transported in a backpack – the plastic box supplied protects it from damage. The EasyTrigger system with piezo ignition allows uncomplicated ignition; the burner is optimized for low-noise operation and low gas consumption. Whether cooking, pitching a tent, or playing cards – the MicroLantern provides light in all situations. The mantle is relatively sensitive, something we didn’t like so much, but its a super compact and light lantern, and that gives extra points for versatility!

PRIMUS Mimer Duo / Mimer Lantern: Good allrounder gas camping lantern – Rating: 4.5/5

Primus Mimer comes in two versions: A duo version, for use with primus gas cartridges and other gas cartridges, and a single valve version. Go with the duo version if you can!

Mimer without Duo Valve

If you have always been looking for a simple and inexpensive gas lamp for your next camping holiday, the Mimer Lantern from Primus is the right choice for you. The lamp is adjustable up to 330 lumens via the gas supply, burns almost silently, and leaves no residue. A rugged stainless steel housing protects against incoming wind. For unrestricted compatibility, Primus recommends the use of the in-house valve gas cartridges (with screw valve) in the sizes 100 g, 230 g, or 450 g. This makes the Mimer Lantern not only a handy light source but also a heat source on boats or in larger tents in case of doubt. Our only concern is that it is not 100% waterproof.

Mimer Duo

Primus Mimer Lantern with duo valve is really an all-rounder among the camping lights. The gas-powered lamp burns soot-free and almost noiselessly. It works exactly like the non-duo version of this lantern, but Primus gas cartridges with screw valve are suitable for operation as well as most other commercially available screw gas cartridges, here with Duo valve. Whether as a heat source in cool rooms or as a light dispenser when playing cards on the campground in the evening – the Mimer Lantern definitely brings light into the darkness.

CAMPINGAZ Lantern Camping 206 L – Rating 4.5/5

The Camping 206 L lantern from Campingaz is used with a cartridge that disappears completely under a protective bell. The cartridge must not be removed until it has been completely emptied. This lantern can be used with Campingaz C206GLS cartridges. The glass protection grille of the lantern and the integrated handle complete the lantern. It is simple to use, and one canister gives 5 hours of light with. That’s not super long, but the small form factor and low price make up for it, which is why this classic can still be recommended!

Replacing a mantle can be fiddly, but canister change and replacement are easy enough even inside a dark tent.

PRIMUS Easy Light Duo / Easy Light: Not robust enough for backpacking – Rating: 4.4/5

The EasyLight from Primus provides a pleasant light when camping – ideal for all those who find the light from LEDs too cold. The brightness is infinitely variable and reaches a luminosity of up to 490 lumens. The valve of the EasyLight is specially designed for use with Primus gas cartridges. Thanks to piezo ignition, matches, and lighters can be safely left at home; the electric ignition works under all conditions. The burner works noiselessly and economically. The EasyLight is supplied in a sturdy plastic box so that the lamp is not damaged during transport. While the lamp is sturdy enough for daily use, it’s not super robust, and we wouldn’t recommend stuffing it in a backpack. The glass is not breakproof! It’s bright enough thanks to 490 lumens. Wind proofing of the lanterns is not super great, which means there are better lanterns for sitting out a storm!

CAMPINGAZ Stellia CV Gas Lantern – Rating 4.3/5

The Stellia CV gas lantern from Campingaz is a practical and sturdy lamp that you will love to have with you when camping or hiking. It is compatible with Campingaz valve cartridges of the CV Plus line and is therefore particularly practical to handle, as the device can be removed from the cartridge even if it is not yet empty. The lamp is equipped with two glow plugs so that a strong light output can be provided. The PerfectFlow system with an integrated pressure regulator ensures constant output in all weather conditions, regardless of the amount of gas in the cartridge. The stand ensures that the lamp stands securely and stable even on uneven ground.

We think the Campingaz Stellia is more than bright enough, even for larger campsites, and when you use it in smaller areas, you will likely even have to dim the light, like with other powerful gas camping lanterns. Things we didn’t like about it are the on/off knob, which doesn’t click in the off position, meaning its easier to turn it on accidentally.

CAMPINGAZ Lantern Lumostar Plus – Rating: 4.2/5

The Lumostar Plus lantern from Campingaz can be used in conjunction with Campingaz CV Plus valve cartridges. It is particularly practical as you can remove the lantern without having to empty the cartridge completely. The Easy-Clic system allows the lantern to be mounted quickly and easily on the cartridge. Simply press the device onto the valve and then turn it 45°. Then the lantern is ready for use. A practical detail is the attached chain with which the lamp can be hung everywhere.

We feel that the Campingaz Lumostar Plus is bright enough to lighten up a 30 square feet campsite, but not for larger areas. One canister of gas gets you between 6 and 12 hours of light, and that’s not a great performance. Be aware, there have been many people complaining about this lamp in the past for malfunctions, but it seems Campingaz addressed many of the problems in the newer versions. It’s cheap enough to give it a try!

Things to Consider when Buying a Gas or Fuel Driven Camping Lantern

When you want to buy a gas or fuel camping lantern, it’s good to keep some of the following thoughts in mind. In some regards, gas camping lanterns are a bit different from your standard LED camping lanterns. Mainly this involves the fuel or handling gas cartridges, but also other things like how to properly position and handle a gas camping lanterns can be interesting. Let’s have a look at some of these points now.

Advantages of gas camping lanterns

Gas camping lanterns are super bright. And they have a very wide range, which makes them ideal to light up large campsite areas, cooking tables or group tables where you want to plan routes with a map or play cards. Moder gas and liquid fuel camping lanterns also can reach burn times of up to 20 hours, making them really fuel-efficient.

 

Gas camping lanterns are ideal if you need large areas lightened

LED headlamps and camping lanterns are replacing gas camping lanterns. But sometimes, you just need more light. If you need very intense bright light, you will quickly reach the limits of LED lanterns. The luminosity of gas and liquid fuel camping lanterns, on the other hand, can be finely adjusted. The light itself is often perceived as a warmer and pleasant light compared to the light emitted by LED lanterns. This is not just perceived, camping lanterns powered by gas or liquid fuel actually emit heat as well, and can be used as a small source of heat when used inside a tent or small cabin. Gas and liquid fuel cabins burn fuel, and like with any burning; this immediately creates a warm and cozy camping atmosphere.

How to set up a gas camping lantern

You can place a gas camping lantern on a table, chair, or hang it up in the air with a chain. The higher the position of the lamp, the wider is the area it illuminates. A nice thing about gas and liquid fuel camping lanterns: They deflect mosquitoes quite well!

What and how much fuel should I Bring for a gas camping lantern?

You should always bring 3-5 canisters of gas if you have a propane or butane powered camping lantern. If you have a liquid fuel-powered camping lantern, bring an extra tank of gas with you or make sure that you have a gas station near your campsite to refill the lamp.

Always bring a replacement mantle with you

Most of the modern camping lanterns, no matter if gas-powered or liquid fuel-powered, can be easily stowed in your luggage. But there will be the time when you need to replace the mantle of the lantern. That’s why you should always bring a spare mantle or two with you!

Camping gas lanterns have a piezoelectric ignition, so you never have to worry about lighting them with a lighter

Most modern camping lanterns with gas or liquid fuel are using a piezo ignition. It makes switching it on and off really easy. If the lantern doesn’t have a piezo switch, you will need to use a match or a lighter, and it makes damaging the glow plug and mantle easier if you are careless.

Gas camping lanterns spread a nice and warm light, making them ideal for a classic cozy campsite feeling

When the LED came, the standard old school light bulbs slowly disappeared. While LEDs are all great and save a lot of energy, the light they emit is usually colder than standard light bulbs. Gas and liquid fuel camping lanterns have a wonderful warm light, and if you cannot start a fire for some reason, having a source of warm light and a bit of heat is cozy and creates a great romantic campfire atmosphere.

Don’t underestimate this – I know many people who were surprised by how much influence the temperature of the light has on the atmosphere, and that’s where a nostalgic light system like a gas or liquid fuel camping lantern can really shine!

Gas and fuel camping lantern mantles will age and break eventually

Lanterns that burn gas or liquid fuel all use a mantle, which serves as the torch. The mantle is brought to a glow by burning fuel around it, and it what makes the lantern function. If a mantle is used for a long time, it becomes fragile and brittle, and eventually, it needs to be replaced. If you go on a trip with a gas or liquid fuel camping lantern, it’s a good idea to bring replacement mantles.

Size and weight of a gas or fuel camping lantern

Weight and size might not matter a lot when you go car camping or on a roadtrip. But when you have a backpack and need to pack everything inside it, weight and size matter. If you want to lighten up a complete campsite with light, you most likely need a large gas camping lantern like the bigger Coleman models. But that means you need to reserve some space inside your backpack, and in this case, it’s best to split the parts of the lamp up to several backpacks if possible. Sometimes, a small compactable LED lantern might be a smarter idea, especially if you go on 1 or 2 person hiking trips with limited storage capacity inside your backpack. Maybe you don’t even need a lantern, in this case, stick with a high quality high powered LED headlamp!

Conclusion

No matter which of the reviewed lanterns you choose, these are all good choices. Some are heavier and better for car camping, like the giant Coleman Northstar, and some work better on a backpacking trip like the Primus MicronLantern. But you cannot really go wrong with any of these models, and a gas camping lantern is a great backup and addition of an LED camping lantern.

If you liked this review, check out some of our other camping gear reviews:

Best Bear Sprays – Review

Best Camping Showers – Review

Primus Firestick Portable Stove Review

 

 

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
Reviews

DMM Flight 45L Review: Good Allround Sport Climbing Backpack (2020 Update)

A good sport climbing backpack is one of the things that just make your life easier. Sure, they’re not super crucial for climbing per-se, but if you ask me, life is just more comfortable when you have a decent backpack. Not only to hold your rope, but also carry a jacket, some food and water supply for a session at the local crag or gym.

My verdict for the DMM 45L long term review? It’s a very good all-round sport climbing backpack. I’d give it a 5.0 rating if it weren’t for some little flaws like the zippers. They are getting stuck a little too easy. The upper liner material is not super durable, either. But all the really important features are spot-on. And that’s why the DMM 45L backpack achieves a whopping 4.8 out of 5.0 in our review!

Quick Pros and Cons of the DMM Flight 45L Backpack

PROS:

  • Very easy to unload and load
  • Clean and minimalist design
  • Belt pocket
  • Storage for guide book and glasses
  • Rope straps for helmets and mesh outer pockets for quick storage
  • Big volume for carrying rope and water bottle
  • Rope tarp included high quality and detachable
  • Zipped compartment for jackets

CONS:

  • Zipper somethings hangs and needs regular cleaning, sometimes the cord around it shifts and makes zipping hard
  • The outer liner of the front side of the backpack gets ripped a little to easy on rocks
  • Volume is limited: Sport climbing only
  • Not super great stability or suspension (but I don’t need it for sport climbing)

Review Verdict

DMM made a sport climbing crag pack with the 45L that is a little unique: It has enough storage to carry more than just the essentials, while still being surprisingly comfortable. It’s clean and compact, and with a little effort, I can carry two sets of climbing harnesses and helmets, quickdraws, rope and safety devices with it! I haven’t had a sport climbing backpack with this capacity before! Thanks to the suitcase design, it’s easy to load and unload and move to different routes, and you can also use it in an airplane as it is clean and minimalist with almost no loose ends.

Things I loved about it (subjective):

  • I love how easy to pack and unpack it is
  • The suitcase design makes it super easy to carry it from route to route while at the crag – no closing of the zips needed, I just throw my shoes into the backpack, fold it and carry it
  • I can find my gear easily, as it lays open and organized – no need to stuff and rummage through the bottoms of the backpack
  • The top pocket is super large; i can fit my belay glasses, knife, sunglasses, and guide book
  • Extra rope can be carried or two sets of harness

Detailed Review: The DMM Flight 45L Is Really Spacious yet Compact

Time for our detailed review.

Comfort and Fit: 4/5

The DMM Flight 45L comes in one size that fits well on average-sized climbers (6ft give or take), but if you are smaller or for some female climbers, I can see it being a little bulky. My wife, who is only around 110 lbs, has trouble carrying the Flight 45L when packed to capacity. The back of the backpack is supported with an HDPE frame with padding of foam and mesh. It’s not the best suspension, and for a longer hike, I would prefer something more stable, but for sport climbing, this is perfect.

It’s also fairly well ventilated, making the DMM Flight 45L backpack a good choice in summer or hot days.

Stability and Suspension: 4/5

The backpack is pretty stable for a sport climbing backpack. That being said, I think the waist belt combined with the non-existing compressing straps are not ideal if you have very heavy loads or scramble through steep and difficult terrain. But it’s not what the Flight 45L was designed for anyway, so I’m not blaming DMM. For a sport climbing day pack, it has plenty of support and stability, even when you carry a full climbing set and a rope!

Storage: 5/5

DMM really outshined themselves in this regard. The DMM Flight 45L doesn’t look or feel large when empty, but you can stuff so much into it that it’s almost frightening. There are dedicated rope storage, a zipped mesh panel on the other side with a gear loop, and outside pockets. You have external stretching pockets, a top loader pocket with a zipper, and even slings for your helmet as well as a flap to cover the helmet. You can use this flap to store an extra coiled rope too. And within all this, there is always enough space to squeeze an extra soft-shell jacket for the colder days of spring and another water bottle for backup.

Durability: 4/5

The exterior panels of the DMM are foam-lined, which provides shape to the whole backpack. The foam also protects the outer fabric from scratches from the hardware that you store inside. If you use the mesh pocket, where the gear loop is placed, cams can damage the outside shell of the backpack. Better pay attention when packing them!

The front side panel is also fairly thin, so make sure not to throw the backpack on rocks, as they might damage it. It’s kind of a bummer, but I think you should treat your gear good anyway.

Pro tip: Wrap your sharp hardware into a linen cloth and store them in the mesh pocket. That way, they won’t pierce through anything and cannot damage slings.

The main zipper, which is YKK #10, works well, but I noticed that after some months of use, it tends to hang from time to time. I identifier the cord loop connected to the zipper as the reason for this problem, as it moves under continuous use, ending up in an awkward angle that makes it hard to pull the zipper. It’s easy to readjust, and then the zipper works well again. Overall, the DMM Flight 45L is well designed and has good durability.

Extras: 5/5

DMM comes with lots of extra features. There is a generous rope tarp that you can detach from the backpack, and it works quite well. Its yellow color can even serve as an emergency flag when you climb in exposed conditions. The inside of the backpack offers two internal straps that you can use to secure rope and tarp, and on the top side of the backpack, you can find a security pocket for your wallet or key. The straps on the outside of the backpack secure your helmet, and you can hide them away if you don’t use them.

Thanks to the rectangular shape of the backpack, you can stow it everywhere, even when it is fully loaded, and it leaves a convenient opening for a clip stick to store. Handles on the sides complete the picture, and when moving the backpack into the trunk of your car, you can easily haul it around with the handles – super easy and nice!

Others love the DMM Flight 45L too apparently 😀

Personal Long Term Remarks and Conclusion about the DMM Flight 45L

I had the DMM Flight 45L given to me as a present. And to this day, it’s the best climbing backpack I ever had. Not only can it carry all my gear, but I routinely pack my wife’s harness, helmet, and shoes into it as well. I can access all the gear without problems and quick. Simply opening the two-way zippers and flapping it open is convenient!

I even fit my via Ferrata and traditional set into it. Show me another day pack with THAT amount of storage!

The only downsides I noticed are the moving loops on the zippers. And the fact that the outside liner of the backpack could be more durable. Ah, and the gear loop is not super large. I think it could be a little wider and would work even better to store large sets of quickdraws and carabiners.

The DMM is perfect for any sport climber. I would probably get a more durable backpack with more stability for mountaineering or long multi-pitch routes. But that’s not what DMM designed it for!

If you need a super large, convenient backpack for everyday sport climbing, and need to carry your partners or kids gear, the DMM Flight 45L is more then perfect!

My Rating: 4.8 / 5

Thanks for reading and check out my reviews of other climbing gear too:

La Sportiva Tarantulace

Best Winter Climbing Pants 2020

Best Climbing Helmets 2020