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Climbing Mountaineering Reviews

The Best Climbing Backpacks of 2020

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

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

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

Best Climbing Backpack 2020
Best Climbing Backpack 2020

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

Key Features

  • Lots of essential features
  • Durable
  • Climbing oriented

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

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

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

Key Features:

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

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

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

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

Key Features 

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

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

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

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

4. Black Diamond Mission 55: Ideal for Ice Climbing 

Key Features 

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

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

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

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

Key Features

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

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

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

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

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

Key Features

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

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

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

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

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

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

Key Features

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

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

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

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

8. Patagonia Linked 18L: Reliable Backpack for Climbing

Key Features

  • Comfortable
  • Fast access
  • Durable

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

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

9. Metolius Crag Station: Cheap Crag Backpack

Key Features

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

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

Best Climbing Backpack 2020

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

Key Features 

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

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

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

How to Find the Right Climbing Backpack – Your Buying Guide

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

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

Fit/Comfort

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

Stability

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

Size and Storage

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

Durability

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

Weight

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

Material

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

Support

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

Closing Systems

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

Exterior Gear

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

Organization and Pockets

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

Hydration Compatibility

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

FAQ

What exactly is a crag backpack?

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

What is the importance of a backpack for climbing?

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

How many types of backpacks for climbing are there?

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

Conclusion

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

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

For more reviews:

Best Crashpad in 2020 for Bouldering

Best Climbing Pants 2020

Best Climbing Helmets 2020

Categories
Camp & Hike Reviews

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020? The Comprehensive List & Review

Camping is great, and for most of my friends and me, it’s a great way to see different places and wake up in the morning, nose full of fresh nature. But even when you go camping and enjoy the outdoors a lot, after a few days you want to take a shower. If you have a campervan, you’re all set, but in case you like backpacking or traveling light with only a tent, you need a portable shower. That’s why we reviewed and tested the best camping shower for 2020.

So what is the best camping shower in 2020? The best overall camping shower with electrical power is the ECEEN Portable Shower. The best powerless camping shower is the Sea to Summit Pocket Shower.

We found that some models work better for backpacking than others, and we give a recommendation for different budgets. Some of the camping showers in our big review use electrical or battery power, some with gas, and some are heated by the sun. Depending on your camping trip, you might not have electrical power; that’s why we also included powerless camping showers in our test.

All of these showers are more or less portable, lightweight, and compact. But some are more suited to be used on a campsite with electrical power, while some are ultra-compact and heated by the sun, which makes them perfect for backpacking adventures off the grid. You can use most of them to wash, dishes, gear, or anything else.

Why You Might Want a Camping Shower

We all love camping, my family and I love it to relax and unwind. But as soon as you go camping in a remote area for more than

 

2 days, you might want to have a camping shower to clean up after a day of hiking or fishing. If you go camping on a campsite, the chances are high that there are some good facilities with hot showers and water toilets, but if you are somewhere in the backcountry, especially on some campsites in the USA and Canada, there might not be a shower available.

That’s when a camping shower can be really convenient. Most of the tested camping showers either come with a large bag or tank that gets heated by the sun or allow you to heat your own water in a bucket and then dunk a battery-powered pump into it. Super nice, and a hot shower to clean off some of the fireplace smell and dirt is a great way to make your life a bit easier when you camp. And with the exception of a few models, most of the camping showers in our test are not expensive, with prices way below $100.

The Best Electrically or Gas Powered Camping Showers

What's the Best Camping Shower in 2020?

ECEEN Portable Shower: Rating: 4.5 / 5

The ECEEN Portable Shower is powered by electrical power, aka a battery. That means it’s not suitable if you plan to wander off the grid, without bringing a solar charger or something similar. But it’s powerful, and you can use it to take a shower or even wash a car. Downside: It doesn’t heat the water, which means you either have to find a source of heat for your water and preheat the tub or bucket or enjoy the benefits of a cold shower. If that’s ok for you, then this shower is a good fit.

The battery that powers it gives it a full one-hour runtime, and you can charge it with a USB charger. So technically, you could charge it with a solar charger, although it would take a while to charge fully. The pump is waterproof, so you won’t have to worry about damaging the circuitry, and this camping shower comes with a filter system. That’s a nice bonus for impurities in your water source. It only costs around $40, is fairly compact, and if you can live with cold water or heat it yourself, it’s a decent camping shower.

Facts about this camping shower

  • 2200 mAh battery,  5V, USB charger included
  • Waterproof
  • Filter included
  • NO heater!

What's the Best Camping Shower in 2020?

Camplux 5l Propane Gas Shower: Only Propane Gas Powered Shower in the Test – Rating: 3.5 / 5

The Camplux is about the closest you will come to a normal household shower. As it uses a propane gas bottle, it’s not as portable as some other models, so backpacking is out of the question for this model. But it’s very comfortable: You need a battery and a propane gas tank, and then it’s almost ready for setup.

You can store it in a caravan or car, it’s fairly compact, and has a 5 liter per minute output. You can control temperature and flow, but you need to bring batteries and propane gas. We think this shower is great for caravan or campsite use, but as it is not really portable, we cannot give it more than 3.5/5 as a camping shower.

Facts about this camping shower

  • Full function: Heating, Pump and flow control
  • Variable temperatures
  • 5L per minute
  • Battery-powered pump

best camping shower

iVation Portable Power Shower: Good Value Camping Shower with a Submersible Pump – Rating: 3.5 / 5

A great camping shower for rinsing water off after a day at the beach, this portable camping shower doesn’t come with a heater. It comes with a good battery and is waterproof. You can charge the battery with the included USB charger anywhere, and it powers your shower for an hour of use. As this model comes with a submersible pump, you need a water source like a lake, tub, or river to use it.

It costs $30, which is okay for the quality it delivers. And since it comes with a filter, you won’t need to be super worried about impurities in your water source.

Facts about this camping shower

  • powered pump by battery
  • no heating, cold water only
  • comes with a 2-year warranty

best camping shower

Laserbreak Portable Electric Shower: Submersible Pump For Lake and River Usage Rating: 4 / 5

If you’re next to a lake or river (or any other water reservoir for this matter), the Laserbreak Portable Electric Shower could be a good fit. It comes with a submersible pump instead of a water tank, and the pump also uses a filter. No refilling needed; as long as you have the battery, you have running water, given that your lake doesn’t run empty, which is unlikely. The battery on this model is very strong, and with one charge, you can take s shower for over an hour. It also has variable flow rates, making it adjustable to your tase.

The hose is long, so you can reach anybody part easily, but the big downside, as with most pump-driven models: There is no heating included. That means you either find a source with hot water or live with a cold shower. But thanks to the battery-powered pump; you can use it to water your garden or wash the car. It costs just less than $40, so it’s a fairly expensive model, but you get a strong battery and different flow settings.

Facts about this camping shower

  • Long hose on this camping shower
  • Submersible pump works well in any lake or river
  • Variable speeds, nice extra
  • Strong battery: 4800 mAh, 5V USB charger

best camping showr

Ivation Battery Powered Portable Shower: Comes with Suction Cup – Rating: 3 / 5

This is another battery-powered shower. You dunk the pump into the water source and enjoy a shower. The handheld nozzle is okay but needs to attached to a flat surface via a suction cup, making it not the greatest shower to use outdoors in the woods, but you can also use the included S hook to hang it.

Facts about this camping shower

  • Needs external heating source
  • USB Charger
  • One hour of use

best camping shower

RinseKit Portable Outdoor Shower – Rating: 3.7 / 5

This 2 gallon 12V electrical camping shower comes with a hot rod water heater. As such, it is the only electric camping shower that actually heats the water itself. The capacity is fairly small but enough for a quick shower, and you can shower up to six minutes with the built-in the pressure of the shower. The reservoir can be refilled easily, and heat and pump work both at the same time. It can be charged from a 12V vehicle charger.

Facts about this camping shower

  • Built-in heating
  • 12V Vehicle Port Charger
  • 2 gallons of water or six minutes of showering with one tank

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Stansport Battery Powered Portable Shower: Long hose and Carrying Bag Included – Rating: 3.3 / 5

This battery-powered camping shower comes with over 2 meters or 7 feet of hose and a carrying bag, which is nice. It works like the other drop-in pump camping showers work, simply submerge it into a bucket of water. You need to supply the heat externally and by yourself, but the shower has an adjustable water flow. Don’t forget to bring enough batteries, as this shower doesn’t charge via USB, but needs 4 D-batteries!

Facts about this camping shower

  • Long hose on this camping shower
  • Carrying bag included
  • Battery-powered with 4 D-batteries
  • No heating unit included

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

LUOOV/AngLink Portable Camping Shower: Battery Powered Show with an Extremely Good Pricetag – Rating: 3.5/ 5

The AngLink Portable, also sold as LUOOV on Amazon, and probably a few other brand names, is a nice, cheap battery powered shower with a fairly large shower head. The water flow is just right, although not controllable. It has one of the widest shower heads of all the showers we tested, so if that’s something you like, there is almost no way around this camping shower. You can hang the shower almost anywhere with the included suction cup attachment, making this shower essentially hands free.

Like many other battery-powered showers, this camping shower needs to be dunked in a tank or water reservoir with its pump, but compared to some other models, the battery life is pretty good, and you can find replacement parts for it if you really have a breakdown. We didn’t like the fact that the battery is not waterproof, as this seems kind of counter-intuitive for a shower, but all around, this shower is a cheap and versatile shower.

Facts about this camping shower

  • Large and comfortable shower head
  • Long-lasting and rechargeable battery
  • Versatile
  • Low price
  • Battery not 100% waterproof, which is a downer
  • Not super robust

The Best Powerless Camping Showers

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Zodi Extreme S/C Shower:  Best Overall Camping Shower – Rating: 4.8/5

Zodi Extreme S/C took home the victory in this review. We loved the unconventional design of this easy to use camping shower, and it even has adjustable pressure and flows control. It’s one of the few camping showers with a manual hand pump as well as a controllable rate of flow and a comfortable on-off lever. The hose is super long, making this shower perfect for anyone who is tall.

The coolest(or hottest :D) feature: The Zodi Extreme can be heated by simply putting it on a stove. With the built-in outside thermometer, you can easily see when it’s hot enough, then remove it from the stove, and enjoy a hot shower. All this is bought, of course, with the rigid design: The Zodi camping shower doesn’t compact, and its made from metal, which means it’s fairly heavy. So, it won’t be the number one choice for a backpacking trip when you have limited storage.

Facts about this camping shower

  • Very durable thanks to metal construction
  • Adjustable pressure
  • Fastest shower to heat above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (42 degrees Celsius), just put on the stove
  • Simple to use but heavy
  • Not very compact

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Sea to Summit Pocket Shower: Best Shower if You Go Backpacking – Rating: 4.7 / 5

Wow, this shower is tiny, and if you fold it, less than 6 inches. For that, it packs a surprising 2.6-gallon bag that lets you take a shower in the middle of nowhere. Just fill it up, roll it an clip it, hang into the sun for 2 hours, and your good to go.

The exterior is made from black colors, like most solar heated camping showers, and does a good job of storing heat. It is gravity fed, but the pressure is not very great. Hanging this shower needs you to learn how to tie a knot, as it comes with paracord. That makes it versatile, but you need a bit more effort to hang it from a tree.

A downside is that the top of the roll leaks a bit, so you should position it upright while it lays in the sun and heats up. It’s not a big problem, but keep it in mind. This shower is super good for real backpacking as it is the most compact and lightweight shower in the test, making it the deserved winner for backpacking camping showers.

Facts about this camping shower

  • Super lightweight
  • Compact
  • Simple to use
  • Solar-powered
  • Easy filling
  • Comes with everything
  • Low pressure
  • Hanging difficult
  • Some leakage in top roll

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Risepro Solar Shower Bag: Cheap, solar heated and two flow settings – Rating: 4.5 / 5

Bag-type camping showers are pretty popular these days, and being able to take a shower off the grid is great. This camping showers lets you store water in a bag that is then heated by the sun. Made from environmentally friendly materials, you can hang this bag anywhere in the sun, wait for two or three hours and enjoy a hot shower on the go. This model even comes with a temperature displayed on the front side of the bag.

It has a 20-liter capacity, and you can hang it from a tree, pole, or your best friend or spouse. The hose is long enough to allow comfortable showering, and it offers two different flow settings. This is something to notice, as many pump-driven camping showers don’t offer this. As it is a solar heated camping shower, this shower will not heat water if you hike where the sun is not shining, making it best for spring or summertime camping trips. It only costs $15, a great fit for any budget!

Facts about this camping shower

  • Solar heating
  • 20L capacity
  • Eco-friendly
  • Two water flow rates

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Yellowstone Camping Shower: Cheap, solar-heated – Rating: 4 / 5

Another bag-type camping shower we tested is the Yellowstone Camping Shower. You can hang it from any taller pole or tree, and it works by using good old gravity to supply you with a flow of clean showering water. With a 20 liter capacity, this shower is pretty compact when empty, and it heats up water by using the sun. Within 3 hours you can get your water up to 40 degrees Celsius (100+ Fahrenheit), and enjoy a nice hot shower that lasts long enough thanks to the big water tank.

The flexible shower hose works super well, and although there is no visible shower head, we find it easy to use and powerful enough. You need to bring clean water, as this shower comes without a filter. And since you have no control over the flow rate of the showerhead, one setting must suffice. But overall it’s a great shower, and it costs less than $15.

Facts about this camping shower

  • Solar heating
  • 20L capacity
  • Eco-friendly
  • No flow adjustment

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

iTovin Portable Pressure Shower: Interesting design, 15-liter tank – Rating: 4 / 5

iTovin makes a pressure drive model, which works differently than the gravity-powered designs in the test. You can pump it up with a foot pump, and it has a good capacity of 15 liters. Since it stands on the ground, you won’t need a tree or something like that, and it comes with a safety valve to avoid over pressurizing the whole system – neat!

The 2-meter hose works well, at least for taking a good shower, and you can also use it to wash your dog or car. The valve to fill this camping shower is large, and the shower only weights 770 grams, so you can even stuff it in your backpack. With a full tank and maximized pressure, you will have an 8-minute shower with one filling, but you might need to pump every once in a while to keep it up. It costs less than $40, and if you want a manual pump shower, this one is a good fit!

Facts about this camping shower

  • Pressure driven design
  • Manually pumped with a foot pump
  • No tree or pole needed
  • 15-liter capacity

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

NEMO Helio Pressure Shower: Versatile Shower with a Narrow Head – Rating: 3.6 / 5

NEMOs Helio camping shower is interesting, as it comes with a foot pump. You just push the pump a couple of times, and the shower builds up pressure. This method of operation works really well, and it keeps your hands free for cleaning. Unfortunately, the nozzle is very small, but this at least results in a long showering time, as the capacity of this shower is only around 3 gallons or 12 liters. You can use this shower for cleaning dishes too. The Helio is very portable, thanks to the design and small capacity.

A downside: The filling opening is pretty tight, so it’s kind of hard to fill it, and it’s annoying that you have to hold the shower in the ON position for taking a shower.

Facts about this camping shower:

  • Pretty packable
  • Good water pressure
  • Durable and robust
  • Big capacity
  • Small shower head
  • Small filling opening
  • Must be held in ON position, so not the most comfortable

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Sportneer Solar Camping Shower: Another Solar Powered Bag-Type Shower – Rating: 4 / 5

WE didn’t find anything particularly bad or good about this model. It’s a camping shower powered by solar heat, and it works. It folds to a compact size when empty, the 20 liters of capacity, that you find on many of these bag-type models, work good and are plenty of water in reality in a camping situation, and it heats your water to 40 degrees Celsius or above 100 Fahrenheit in ca 3 hours.

You need to find a good water source for this shower, as it has no filter, and this model come without any kind of flow adjustment – that means you have to hold it higher or lower to regulate the water flow. With just less than $25, it’s reasonably priced!

Facts about this camping shower

  • 20 liters
  • solar heated

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Road Shower 4S: Top Pick if You’re Camping With Your Car – Rating: 3.7 / 4

We have to give the makers of the Road Shower 4S credit for this unusual design. Instead of making just another bag-type solar-powered rubber shower, they thought of something different. This camping shower is unique, as it needs a car or something with a sturdy frame to be mounted. The tank is a powder-coated aluminum tube that you mount on your roof rack of a car. Any VW Vanagon, Westfalia Van, Sportsmobile Van, Camper, or even a sailboat works. But you can use a cabin, Kayak rack, Bike rack, Luggage Rack, Yakima, and Thule Racks as well. The tube is then heated by solar power, heating up around 12-20 degrees per hour on an average day with some sun. When you’re finished, you have around 4.5 gallons of hot water that you can then spray with the included hose and nozzle.

To increase pressure, you can attach any pump or compressure and re-pressurize the shower and have even more spraying power. The nice thing about this shower is that it works super well without any further setup once you mounted it. Just unhook the hose, and you have enough water flow for a normal shower, and if you need more, fill it with a couple of pumps from a bike pump. Filling it is easy too: You can either use a hose or just open the large valve on top and fill the tube.

While we loved this ingenuity, the standard nozzle is not a great shower per se, as it is more or less a standard hose head like you find in your default garden hose setup. While that works great for cleaning a surfboard or your dog, it’s not super comfortable for taking a shower. There is an additional showerhead, but you need to buy it separately. Not cool! Also, if you have no bike pump, you will notice that the water pressure drops significantly when you are using the shower with an almost empty tank. Good thing: You can re-pressurize, and you can also find this camping shower with a 7 gallon and a 10-gallon tank!

The shower comes with a hefty price tag of over $300, making it the most expensive shower in our review.

Facts about this shower

  • Very easy to use
  • Manual pump or gravity
  • No hose needed
  • Durable construction mounts to your car
  • Limited to usage on your car
  • The included nozzle isn’t a GREAT shower
  • Pressure decreases while showering
  • Can’t completely empty the tank
  • Very expensive

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Advanced Elements Summer Shower: Rating: 3 / 5

If you decide that you want a powerless bag-type camping shower, then this is another model to consider. Advanced Elements makes a shower that is pretty similar to other models on the market. Like most other camping showers with solar-heated bags, you can hang it from anywhere higher than your head, and it uses gravity and solar power to drive and heat the water. The hose is long, which makes this shower pretty powerful – the higher you hang it, the more power the water flow has.

We liked the quality of materials used in this camping shower with a four-layer bag, and a good temperature gauge, so you know if you’re about to take a cold shower or spray yourself with scaling water. But the shower has a limited capacity of only 9 liters. Since other models have 20 liters, this one is a little behind in that area, and not the best model to take long showers. With a price of around $30, it’s also twice as expensive as our top contending bag-type camping showers, which is kind of a downer.

Decide for yourself: If you want really good materials and a good gauge, but won’t take very long showers, this one might still be a good fit!

Facts about this camping shower

  • 9-litres
  • Premium quality
  • One speed
  • Long hose

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Reliance Outdoors Flow Pro Portable Shower: Heavy shower with small capacity – Rating: 3 / 5

While this might not be the lightest shower, it only holds 2 gallons of water. We didn’t like this, but at least it comes with a good carrying strap and a neoprene sleeve. The showerhead works good; with an action trigger, you can make the most use of the 2 gallons. The hose is 6 feet or almost 2 meters long, and of very good quality!

Facts about this camping shower

  • Good resistant hose
  • Trigger action showerhead
  • Only 2 gallons of water

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Hozelock PortaShower: Rating: 2.5 / 5

We had a hard time with the Hozelock PortaShower. On the one hand, we loved the design with a manual pump, allowing you to use this shower anywhere without a battery. But with a tank of a measly 7 liters (not even 2 gallons), this shower won’t last for more than a quick rinse off after the beach. And the water is cold, so it’s probably better suited to spray plants in the garden then real showering.

On the other hand, it is very portable, and the air pump is small and compact. That means you can throw it in the back of your car, and the long hose works pretty well too. But it costs $30, which is quite expensive, especially when you compare it to solar-powered bag-type camping showers that offer how water and more than double the water reservoir.

Taking these facts into account, we cannot give this shower a better rating than 2.5, making it the last on our list.

Facts about this camping shower

  • 7 Liters capacity
  • Manual pump, no power needed
  • No heating, no solar heating, cold water only

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Coleman Camp Shower – Rating: 3.5 / 5

Coleman builds an old school bag-type camping shower. It comes with a 5-gallon reservoir and a flexible hose. It is solar heated, and you can use the robust handles to both transports it if filled and also hang it from a branch of a tree. Thanks to the good on/off valve, you can get multiple showers out of one filling!

Facts about this camping shower

  • Sturdy handle
  • On/Off Valve
  • 5-gallon reservoir

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

On Track Portable Shower – Rating: 3.7 / 5

This shower only has a 0.75-gallon tank, making it the smallest shower in the test. But it uses a pump-action to pressure it, so you can shower really efficiently with it. As it comes with a good shoulder strap you can also sling it around your shoulders and use the shower as a cleaning tool for your gear.

Being smaller than a jug of orange juice, this shower can be stowed anywhere and is perfect for quick trips!

Facts about this camping shower

  • Compact and portable
  • Pump action easy to use
  • Quick refills

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Green Elephant Solar Shower – Rating: 3.6 / 5

Green Elephant makes a solar-powered camping shower from non-toxic TPU material. You can roll it up easily, but also use it as storage for other items. Thanks to the waterproof seal, it effectively serves as a dry bag when not being used as a shower.

Hang it on a tree, and let mother sun heat it up.

Facts about this camping shower

  • Non-toxic TPU material
  • Doubles as dry storage
  • 5-gallon tank
  • Solar-powered heating

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Geyser System Portable Hot Shower: Really Water Efficient Small Camping Shower – Rating: 3.4 / 5

This small shower only has a 1-gallon tank, which might seem too small. But thanks to the water control and unique design, you can get up to 7 minutes of showering out of it. It has a sponge attached to the nose, and this allows for both scrubbing and rinsing at the same time while saving water.

As this camping shower only weights 6 pounds when full, it is the water-saving alternative to other showers in this review!

Facts about this camping shower

  • 7 minutes of showering
  • 1 gallon of water
  • Weighs only 6 pounds when filled

How We Tested These Camping Showers

I’ve spent a lot of time camping or backpacking in my life, and I love to explore new places and roam nature. Whether in a kayak, a campervan, or just backpacking, I’ve been outside some way or the other for the last 25 years.

That’s why I appreciate getting clean every once in a while, even when staying outside. I did have my fair share of weeks without a real shower, don’t get me wrong, but a hot shower is a comfort not to underestimate. And I have been using everything from solar heated bag-type showers to washing with a cloth in the rain to taking a dip in a hot geothermal pool.

Before we tested these showers, we tried to figure out which aspects are most important for an outdoor camping shower. Then we selected the models we wanted to review, measuring or collection information about technical details of these camping showers, like showerhead width, length of hose, water pressure, and tank capacity if the camping shower came with a tank. When we couldn’t get our hands on a model, we collect information from other verified review sources, to give you a complete picture.

Some Buying Advice for Camping Showers

Most of these showers had something good or bad about them, and while you can spend weeks calculating scores about them, like some other websites, love to do, we think a short and concise conclusion and a single metric rating serves best. No one wants to spend hours of their time to understand artificial metrics test scores for a shower, while in reality, they just want the best advice to buy a good shower.

In the end, it comes down to subjective preference, and while for some, the price might be the most important point, others need a very robust and reliable camping shower. That’s why we put together a little buying guide for camping showers, where we talk about some of the aspects. For all these aspects, we give a recommendation, which shower might serve you best if this particular aspect is most important to you.

Value – Price Is Not Everything

Camping showers show a huge spread in terms of price. While you can find a decent model for $10, the most expensive camping shower in our test, the Road Shower 4S, cost more than $300. That’s a 3000% difference! If the price premium is worth it, it all comes down to your preference. We try not to overvalue the price point of a product, but in some cases, we need to factor it in, as we think that value for money is an argument that speaks for itself. The best value for money, if you need a battery Powered Shower.

Camping showers can be attached to a wide variety of prices, from less than $10 to well over $300! While reviewing this range, we found that price doesn’t necessarily correspond with performance. And though we never include price into any of our calculations of product performance scores, we recognize that price can make a big difference as to what model you ultimately decide to purchase. The shower with the best value is the AngLink, as it has a very good value for the money you spent.

Comfort Level – A Good Camping Shower is Easy to Use and Versatile

Taking a shower is a matter of comfort, as well as getting clean. Sure, a shower in the woods will never be as comfortable as a jungle rain shower at home, but nonetheless, there are different levels of comfort we experienced in the tested showers. It’s one of the aspects we value high when making our overall score. In terms of comfort, you cannot get any better than the Zodi Extreme, as this shower is very easy to heat up, works super well with controllable water flow, and has an outstanding build quality. The Road Shower 4S is another great comfortable camping shower if you have a car or boat to mount it.

Other questions that were important for our review score: How good is the showerhead, does it do a good job cleaning your hair and body? Can the shower be operated by one person alone? Does it have a valve or lever to control the water flow rate? Maybe it includes a fixture to mount it overhead? How long does a water take to heat up? Can the shower be heated up with a stove?

Functionality and Versatility

But a shower doesn’t only need to be comfortable; it also needs to clean. That’s why we tried to find or test these showers with some other uses like cleaning a dog or bike too. Most of the showers can also be used to clean up dishes or tools, and if a shower performed really well at these tasks, we give it a high versatility rating, indicating that the shower is not only functional but also practical for other uses besides plain showering.

In terms of versatility, the Zodi Extreme is another hot shower to look out for, offering plenty of uses besides just washing hair and body. We also tested the nozzle diameter of the different models, and how well the pressure was balanced to clean off dirt.

The narrow nozzle of the Road Shower isn’t ideal for spraying in your face but is great for directing that high pressure at a muddy mountain bike.

Ease of Use

At home it’s super easy: Go to the bathroom and turn on the shower. Camping showers don’t work that easy – yet. You need to find a proper water source, a tree to hang in case of gravity-fed bag-type showers, and possibly a source of heat if you need to warm up the water in a separate reservoir. That’s why we reviewed each shower in terms of how complicated it is to get it going.

If you need a super easy to use the shower, the Sea to Summit Pocket Shower is great, as well as the Road Shower 4S and the Zodi Extreme.

We also tested how long it takes to heat up the water, as some of the showers need you to heat up the water yourself. A solar shower is nice in that aspect, as you can simply hang it up and leave it there for 3 hours, come back and enjoy a hot shower. But there is a downside: If you are camping and the weather is less than sunny, chances are high your shower will take longer to heat up or not even heat up at all – bummer, as rainy and cold days, are the days where a hot shower is best!

Durability

We also looked at how durable the materials of the showers were. Some of the designs are prone to break, as it’s the case with cheap plastic connectors etc. The Zodi Extreme is a really durable shower, made from all metal, so if durability is your main concern, consider this shower. The Road Shower 4S is pretty durable too! If you are worried about caps, hose, etc., and their integrity, you should stick with some of the more expensive models, as they used more durable materials. The Zodi, for example, is made from stainless steel, making it pretty much unbreakable for normal showering use. The Road Shower 4S, made from aluminum, is super strong too.

Portability

Going directly against the durability in most cases is the portability. The top two most durable showers were also the least portable camping showers. Metal tanks and high quality fixed tank design go hand in hand with bulk and weight. The camping showers that are most portable are the Sea to Summit and the bag-type showers, but they are also the least durable as they are made from rubber and not that strong in terms of durability.

If you can’t take your camping shower with you camping, what’s the point? Not much, we think, which is why we included Portability tests as part of our overall score calculations. The results of these tests are summarized below.

Important Features on a Camping Shower

Some of the cool features you should look at are these:

Design Style

There are 4 basic types of camping showers:

  • Bag type showers that are solar heated and gravity fed.
  • Submersible pump-fed, which only have hot water if your water source is preheated.
  • Air pressure drive camping showers.
  • Propane gas and battery-powered – we only had one of these types in our test.

Only the solar-powered showers are self-heating, with the exception of two other models. The other models need you to warm up the water yourself in a bucket and then dunk the pump into it – that or take a cold shower.

When it comes to capacity, most camping showers have around 10 to 20 liters capacity or 2.5 to 5 gallons. That’s a good average value, and while some showers had a smaller capacity, below 7 liters you really will have a hard time taking a good and cleaning shower without rushing through the motions, unless there is some kind of smart design involved like on the On Track or Geyser System camping showers, where you have combined sponge and nozzles for example.

How Camping Showers Work

Basically, a camping shower is some kind of bag that holds water heated by the sun or a pump that you dip into a water tank. In terms of their working principle, these types of portable showers are pretty similar to any water garden hose or plant spraying device. They work as a fish pond pump works. Some of the camping showers also have an included heating unit, like the propane gas-powered one, and that might involve a little more work to set up.

A gravity-fed version of a camping shower is basically just a bag of water that you hang up high, so gravity pulls the water through the hose. Pretty simple, and for most of these showers, sunlight is used to heat up the water. The concept is simple, but they work really well and have been in use for over 30 years – so it is a proven design!

Conclusion

If you found this review helpful, have a look at some of our other hot gear reviews for 2020:

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Reviews

Climbing Grip Trainers Best of 2020: Complete List!

You know how the story goes, if you want to become a better climber or boulderer you should go climbing or bouldering more. But what if you have a busy office job and spend more time at the desk than you actually like? Is there a way to use grip training tools to at least traing SOME grip strength? Or are these devices just decoy and won’t help? I investigated a bit, and tried to find out as much as possible. I also reviewed the popular grip trainers for this post, so read on if you want to find out!

Are Climbing Grip Trainers actually any good for climbers and boulderers? Yes grip trainers can improve your grip strength even when working a desk based job. Keep in mind, they won’t replace a real climbing training, but they are certainly better than not working on grip strength at all.

 

Why Some Muscle Groups might Actually Benefit From Additional Grip Training

When you climb or boulder you use flexor tendons and forearm and hand muscles. In the picture you can see the muscles in green and the extensors in red. The extensors are red, because when you climb they are usually not used a lot and become neglected. That neglection can lead to imbalances and limit how much strength you have when climbing. Grip extensor traners like the PowerFingers tool work these under used extensors. while other training devices like  the Black Diamond Grip trainer help with base conditioning and injury recovery.

If possible, you should try to climb more or use a hangboard to work on your grip strength. Portable hangboards work really good when you are abroad or travelling. But if you cannot do this, a grip trainer might be the only option you have. It’s safe to state that most grip trainers that exist are more or less useless, they’re just too monotonous to have a real effect, and they offer no overload or progression. But there are some devices that were made especially for climbers. These can be good substitute if you have no opportunity to get some real climbing in.

How most Grip Trainers work

Grip trainers mostly work by letting the person training squeeze somehting with their forearms. This way they put emphasis on the positive motion of the forearm, while real climbing involves more isometric exertion, as the forearms typically contract to hold your body weight.

Squeezers

Most  grip trainers involve high resistance training, they are usually better for forearm conditioning or regaining strength when you had an injury. But there are other grip trainers too, which work the forearm extensors.

Extensor Trainers

As climbing underuses arm extensor muscles, devices that train these muscles are a nice support for any climbing training. It might be a smart move to work on muscle groups that are typically underdeveloped when training climbing when you have no option to go climbing for real. Attacking a weakness is always a smart move! Most climbers have weak extensors, which results in elbow injuries and pain as well as biceps tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrom and some hand and tendon puleyi njuries. If you train your extensors with high resistance training, you will also become better at isometric holds!

Grip Trainer versus Hangboard Training

If you train on a hangboard, your training is very climbing specific. You actually engage all the tiny muscles in your forearm and fingers that you would engage when you were climbing for real. A grip trainer, both squeezing and extending works in a different way. It doesn’t mimic climbing or bouldering, and it can be used for any activity that profits from grip strength.

A Cheap Alternative to Climbing Grip Trainers If You Want to  Train Pinch Grip Strength

If you want to grain your grip strength for pinch holds, you can just buy a 2×4 wooden board and get some static rope. Than connect a small carabiner with rope and a heavy backpack of 40 to 50 lbs to it. Now try holding and walking around with a pinch grip on the board – it will be really hard to hold the board above ground and it’s a super simple training method for pinching grips.

A Simple Martial Arts Alternative to Grip Trainers: Rice-Bucket Training

Rice bucket training is an awesome technique that you might know from some cheesy 80s martial arts movie: Dip your hands in a bucket of rice or grain and start squeezing. It’ a super intensive support training, and i’ve seen many people recommending it.

While rice bucket training is no silver bullet, it’s a good tool to build some base strength in your forearms for climbing and bouldering and recover from injuries. If you keep at it, rice bucket training will let you develop relatively well connected forearm muscles with no strong imbalances, as it leads to weaker muscles becoming stronger. While your muscles will respond fast to this form of training, it’s smart to start at a slow pace and not overdoing it in the beginning. Two or three sessions a week, 50 seconds per exercise, increasing to a minute or longer gradually. Once your forearms get used to it, the training won’t be painful anymore and that’s when you have a solid base!

6 Rice Bucket Training Exercises for Rock Climbers and Boulderers

The names for the exercises are kind of funny, but they work!

Exercise 1:  Iron Fist

Stab your fingers into the rice bucket, and then make a fist. Hold the fist for 50 seconds, then take a break for 2 minutes. Repeat 3-4 Times.

Exercise 2:  Screaming Talon

Stab fingers into the rice bucket, then open them wide. Close Again, Open Again, hold for 1-2 seconds. Repeat 8-10 times. Do 3 sets of 8-10.

Exercise 3:  Fists of Fury

Rotate your fingers into one direction continuously for 30 seconds, then change direction for another 30 seconds. Pause for 2 minutes. Repeat 3-4 Times.

Exercise 4:  Screaming Talon

Stab fingers into the rice bucket, then open them wide. Close Again, Open Again, hold for 1-2 seconds. Repeat 8-10 times. Do 3 sets of 8-10.

Exercise 5: Wax On, Wax Off

Move your hands from side to side, left to right, right to left. Repeat this motion for up to a minute. Pause 2 minutes. Repeat 3-4 times.

Exercise 6:  Gouge the eye

Try digging your thumbs as deep as possible into the bucket. Repeat for 1 minute, pause 2 minutes. Repeat 3-4 times.

Exercise 7:  Crush the pebble

Grab handfuls of rice with your fingers and make a motions as if you we’re squeezing the rice to dust. Repeat motion for 45 seconds, make a pause for 1-2 minutes. Repeat 3-4 times.

Grip Trainers We Reviewed

The Marcy Wedge $30: Basic conditioning. Score: 3/5

Climbing Grip Trainers: Are they any good

If you need a grip training device that works flexor and extensor muscles, this one is right for you. By rocking your wrist for and back your muscles are being worked. You can easily adjust the grip and resistance. But it doesn’t really allow you to build grip strength needed fr climbimg, so best use it if you need basic conditioning after an injury or need to build up a foundation.

Gripmaster $9-$14: Cheap but can mess up your hands. Score: 2/5

Climbing Grip Trainers: Are they any good

Oldschool spring loaded grip exercises. You can target individual fingers, and there are three different models with different levels of resistance. There exist some routines that are specific training for climbers, which is nice, but overall this device is more a rehab and conditioning device. It’s good if you need to work isolated fingers.

Word of caution: Be careful with training intensity, as there have been reports of people injuring themselves using the Gripmaster!

Captains of Crush Grippers, aka “CoC” $70 for a set of three, $110 for a set of five: Expensive and not great for climbers. Score: 4/5

Climbing Grip Trainers: Are they any good

These torson spring grip trainers are for serious strengthening. They are very popular in the weight lifting community, and they come in ridicolously strong levels if you want. There is a book published by the company that has a lot of details about exercises, and it will tell you many different styles of exercises. Unfortunately none of the exercises are specific for climbers. If you want, use them in combintaion with bouldering and campus board training to involve some squeezing training. But don#t expect them to work wonders for your climbing grip strength!

The PowerFingers $30: Good tool to train antagonist muscles. Score: 4.5/5

Climbing Grip Trainers: Are they any good

Powerfingers are a device to train forearm extensors. They work by training individual finger loops, and offer five different levels of resistance. That makes them perfect if you need fine control about the level of resistance for your workout.

Like most other grip trainers, you can use them to work out muscular imbalances, do base conditioning and work on injury rehabilitation or prevention. But in contrast to some others, these actually work very well for strengthening. While other grip trainers usually don’t let you address individual fingers, these allow to train individual fingers. And they also let you train fingers with high levels of resistance, making them perfect for strength building!

It’s important to keep in mind, that you need to work on opposition strength of muscles. Antagonist muscles need to be developed to let you access your muscles full potential. And Powerfingers let you train these antagonist muscles. Do three sessions per week, and include training on rest days, where you don’t climb anyway. Then hold contractions of the exercises for 3-4 seconds, doing sets of 10 to 15 repetitions, with 4-6 sets of each exercise. Many climbers reported to have good increase of finger strength after using Powerfingers for a while, while also reporting less frequent injuries. That’s why I think these are a great addition to any climbing training regime. If you need more tips about climbing training, read my other article about training systems. You can find it here.

Black Diamond Forearm Trainer $5-10: A good cheap basic trainer 4.5/5

Climbing Grip Trainers: Are they any good

These are a simple device: You squeeze a rubber ring. While they are a simple design, they actually work surprisingly well. And they are cheap. You can use them on long drives or at work, basically anywhere if you’re not climbing. And these will give you forearm pump, like climbing does.

You can also use them to work on sore finger tendons and warming up hands and forearms. Plus they’re a great tool to work off stress at work.

Metolious Climbing Grip Saver plus  $15-30: Expect no wonders of this grip trainer. Score: 4/5

Climbing Grip Trainers: Are they any good

Metolious Grip Saver was developed by a Doctor. While they don’t do any wonders for strength building, they are a good tool for prevention and rehabilitation. They come in 3 levels of resistance, and start at $15.

You can also use them to train antagoist muscles and working off pump and residual soreness in your forearm.

The Gripster  $55: Expensive but good. Score: 5/5

Climbing Grip Trainers: Are they any good

The Gripster is expensive, but it’s a great tool to train No Hangs. No Hangs are a great exercise where you lift a weight up from the ground. It’s awesome to isolate fingers and works just as good as hangboard training, but without the overhead arm stress of hangboards. It’s way better for your shoulders that way.

The Gripsters is a device made especially for this kind of training. You can use it to work on injury prevention and it allows to rotate your shoulders too.

Conclusion

Climbing grip trainers can be a good extension to your normal climbing training. Whenever you have some time, squeeze in (pun intended) some finger strength exercises. But keep in mind, that climbing grip trainers won’t replace a real climbing trainer!

More reviews:

Best Climbing Helmets 2020

Best Climbing Shoes 2020

Best Approach Shoes 2020

Best Climbing Pants 2020

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Reviews

Best Winter Climbing & Bouldering Pants 2020

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

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

Mountain Hardwear Yumalino Pant: The Warmest Pant for Winter Climbing

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

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

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

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

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

They are also very reasonably priced!

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

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

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

best climbing pants 2020

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

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

Materials for the Perfect Winter Climbing Pants

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

1. Flexibility of Winter Climbing Pants

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

2. Breathability of Winter Climbing Pants

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

3. Durability of Winter Climbing Pants

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

4. Insulation & Water Resistance

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

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

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

Best Climbing Helmets 2020

Best Climbing Shoes 2020

Best Approach Shoes 2020

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Reviews

Best Bear Sprays: The Top 5 of 2020

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

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

Best Bear Sprays 2020 Review

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

Best Bear Sprays

Counter Assault Bear Deterrent Quick Facts

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

Counter Assault Bear Deterrent Review for 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Verdict

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

 

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

Best Bear Sprays

Frontiersman Bear Spray Quick Facts

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

Frontiersman Bear Spray Review for 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Verdict

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

 

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

Best Bear Sprays

Ruger Tornado Bear Spray Quick Facts

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

Ruger Tornado Bear Spray Review for 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Verdict

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

 

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

Best Bear Sprays

Udap Bear Spray Quick Facts

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

Udap Bear Spray Review for 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Verdict

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

 

#5 – Alaska Bear Spray: The Cheapest Bear Spray

Best Bear Sprays

Alaska Bear Spray Quick Facts

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

Alaska Bear Spray Review for 2020

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

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

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

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

Verdict

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

Bear Spray Information Before You Buy

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

Holsters and Positioning

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

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

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

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

A good holster for bear spray should have these features:

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

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

Active Ingredients

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The distance of the Spray

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

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

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

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

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

Safety Features

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

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

A Safety Note

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

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

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

Related Questions

How high are the chances to encounter a bear?

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

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

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

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

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

Can I attach my bear spray to my backpack?

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

Is it good to test a bear spray?

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

 

More Gear Reviews

Best Climbing Helmets for 2020

Best Climbing Shoes for 2020

Best Climbing Pants for 2020

Best Approach Shoes for 2020

 

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Camp & Hike Mountaineering Reviews

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

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

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

A different approach to lightweight canister stoves for 2020

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

The Primus Firestick comes in two options: Steel and Titanium

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

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

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

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

Who is the Primus Firestick made for?

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

Facts

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

Detailed Specifications of the Primus Firestick

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

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

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Reviews

The Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020 – The Complete List

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

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

 

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

The Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $100

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

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

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

Pros

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

Cons

  • A bit heavy

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

The Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $120

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

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

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

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

Pros

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

Cons

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

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

The Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $125

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

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

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

Pros

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

Cons

  • Quite heavy
  • Design needs improvements

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

Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $130

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

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

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

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

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

Pros

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

Cons

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

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

Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $140

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

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

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

Pros

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

Cons

  • Not lightweight
  • A bit bulky

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

Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $170

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

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

Pros

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

Cons

  • Not good for heavy loads
  • Support could be better

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

Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $150

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

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

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

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

Pros

  • Light
  • Nice to carry
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Only good for easy climbing
  • Support is not great

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

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

Pros

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

Cons

  • Not very comfortable

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

Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $170

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

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

Pros

  • Very comfortable
  • Breathable

Cons

  • Not very supportive
  • Climb below average

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

Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $170

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

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

Pros

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

Cons

  • Climbing not so great
  • Expensive

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

Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $200

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

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

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

Pros

  • Super sturdy
  • Water-resistant
  • Great for scrambling

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Not great for technical climbing
  • VERY expensive

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

Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $130

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

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

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

Pros

  • Good support
  • Hiking is good

Cons

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

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

Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $200

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

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

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

Pros

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

Cons

  • Not lightweight
  • VERY expensive

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

Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $115

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

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

Pros

  • Comfortable and good looking

Cons

  • Only climb average
  • No good support

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

Best Climbing Approach Shoes in 2020

Price: $120

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

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

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

Pros

  • Comfortable

Cons

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

Upper Materials of Climbing Approach Shoes

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

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

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

Which Rubber Soles are Used in Climbing  Approach Shoes?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Features Do Climbing Approach Shoes have?

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

Comfort & Support

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

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

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

Climbing Ability

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ankle Support

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

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

Weight and Packability

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

Read our other great reviews of 2020:

Categories
Reviews

The Best Climbing Helmets of 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

REVIEW AT A GLANCE-  TABLE  BEST CLIMBING HELMET OF 2020

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

Our 2020 Review of The Best Climbing Helmets

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

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

The Helmets – Best Climbing Helmets of 2020

The Best Climbing Helmets of 2020

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

Short Facts

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

Our Verdict

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

Activity that it’s best at

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

Pros

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

Cons

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

The Best Climbing Helmets of 2020

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

Short Facts

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

Our Verdict

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

Activity that it’s best at

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

Pros

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

Cons

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

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

Short Facts

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

Our Verdict

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

Activity that it’s best at

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

Pros

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

Cons

  • Heavier than top models
The Best Climbing Helmets of 2020

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

Short Facts

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

Our Verdict

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

Activity that it’s best at

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

Pros

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

Cons

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

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

Short Facts

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

Our Verdict

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

Activity that it’s best at

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

Pros

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

Cons

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

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

Short Facts

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

Our Verdict

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

Activity that it’s best at

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

Pros

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

Cons

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

best climbing helmets of 2020

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

Short Facts

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

Our Verdict

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

Activity that it’s best at

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

Pros

  • Adjustable
  • Light
  • Comfortable
  • Plastic top very robust

Cons

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

best climbing helmets 2020

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

Short Facts

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

Our Verdict

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

Activity that it’s best at

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

Pros

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

Cons

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

best climbing helmets 2020

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

Short Facts

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

Our Verdict

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

Activity that it’s best at

The Penta can be used for any type of climbing.

Pros

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

Cons

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

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

Short Facts

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

Our Verdict

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

Activity that it’s best at

The Elia will suit any climbing or mountaineering style.

Pros

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

Cons

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

best climbing helmets 2020

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

Short Facts

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

Our Verdict

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

Activity that it’s best at

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

Pros

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

Cons

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

best climbing helmets 2020

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

Short Facts

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

Our Verdict

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

Activity that it’s best at

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

Pros

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

Cons

  • Heavy helmet
  • Not too adjustable
best climbing helmets 2020

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

Short Facts

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

Our Verdict

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

Activity that it’s best at

The Skywalker 2 can be used for any type of climbing

Pros

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

Cons

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

This Article is Updated and New for 2020

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

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

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

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

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

In-mold helmets

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

Hardshell helmets

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

Hybrid helmets

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

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

 

How do I select the right climbing helmet for me?

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

Safety First, but Then Comfort and Breathability

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

Get the Right Size

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

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

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

Ventilation Is Also Important

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

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

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

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

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

How We Test Climbing Helmets

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

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

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

Comfort & Weight

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

Robustness and Adjustability

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

Bonus features, versatility, and practicability

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

Some Really Good Climbing Helmet Brands

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

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

Related Questions 

Do I need a helmet for rock climbing?

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

How much does a reasonable climbing helmet cost?

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

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

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

Can I use my climbing helmet for skiing?

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

Can I Wear a Climbing Helmet for Biking?

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

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Reviews

Black Diamond Positron Quickdraw Review: Durable, High Performance Quickdraw for Small Budgets

Around for over ten years, the Black Diamond Positron quickdraw has been updated with new colors and a better and thicker dogbone. They now last even longer. In our Black Diamond Positron quickdraw review, we tested this inexpensive and durable entry-level quickdraw. Bonus: It comes with dual keylocking carabiners.

The Black Diamond Positron Quickdraw was originally released over ten years ago but was continually improved and updated. The newest version offers cool new colors and a better and thicker dogbone, but also comes at 18$ list price. The Positron is a great beginner and intermediate quickdraw with flawless clipping, perfect handling, and great durability plus it’s inexpensive. Only downside: It’s a bit heavy. 

It is a fairly heavy draw with 3.9oz (110 gram, 16cm sling), but as it is reasonably priced, it’s a perfect match for many beginner sport climbing racks. And it’s still a lot lighter than a steel quickdraw. For this test, I tested the Black Diamond Positron quickdraw with the 16cm sling during my 2018 and 2019 Winter and Summer season. I used it during both training and personal sport climbing sessions. While the Black Diamond  FreeWire Quickdraw offers a better price, it it doesn’t come with dual keylocking design, so that’s a point to consider.

Our Verdict In short

The Black Diamond Positron Quickdraw is a high-quality quickdraw, that is made from aluminum. It comes with anodized colors, has a high-quality finish, and has solid gates on both carabiners with key locking noses. In the test, rope abrasion was fairly low, given that there are no defensive mechanisms like steel inserts. While there are lighter quickdraws on the market, this one is still OK for its durability and has a very good price. If you need a long-lived quickdraw for a very good price with two keylocking carabiners they are perfect. The Black Diamond Positron is a great all-round quickdraw for sport and crag climbing. Especially if you are not optimizing your rack to the last ounce of weight.

2016 Product Recall
Some years ago these quickdraws had a product recall. If you have one of the current black and yellow style color configurations shown in my review you are on the safe side. But read more here if you’re unsure: Safety recall from Black Diamond.

Specs

  • Weight of the complete quickdraw: 1
    12 cm version: 107 g (3.8 oz)
    16 cm version: 110 g (3.9 oz)
  • Strength when Gate is closed:  25 kN 
  • Strength when Gate is open:  8 kN
  • Cross load / Minor Axis Strength :  8 kN
  • Gate Opening :
    [Top] 22 mm (0.86 in)
    [Bottom] 26 mm (1.01 in)
  • Dogbone Width: 18 mm
  • Dual Keylocks
  • Straitjacket on lower carabiner to keep in position for rope clipping
  • Straight gate carabiner on top and bent gate carabiner on the bottom
  • Available in 12 cm and 16 cm length sling

 

Black Diamond Positron Quickdraw Review of Components

The carabiners of this CE- and EN-certified Black Diamond Positron Quickdraw have a 3-dimensional H shape, which results in high material efficiency. Both carabiners have a keylock, which is nice to have a snag-free clipping experience. One carabiner is painted with a glossy finish, one comes with an anodized finish.

Black Diamond Positron Quickdraw Review

 

Both carabiners on the Positron Quickdraw are Positron carabiners. The top carabiner is a Positron painted black with a straight gate and 22mm (0.86 in) opening. The lower carabiner, facing the rope, is a Positron with yellow anodized finish, and a bent gate and 26mm (1.01 in) opening.

They’re both  rated to 25 kN (5,620 lbf) closed gate, 8 kN (1,798 lbf) open gate, and 8 kN (1,798 lbf) cross-loaded. The straight gate is a bit rough in performance. Bent gate offers the same kind of gate tensions and springiness like any other high-end carabiner I possess.

It comes in two versions, a 16cm and a 12cm sling version, with the weight of the 12 cm version being 107 g (3.8 oz) and the weight of the 16 cm version 110 g (3.9 oz)

The lower Positron carabiner has no steel inserts at the rope bearing side, but wear and tear was still good during the test with no visible aluminum deposits on my rope.

Black Diamond Positron Quickdraw Review
Lower carabiner with bent

On the bottom Positron carabiner, there is a straitjacket insert that keeps the bottom carabiner in the optimal clipping position, which is a nice feature, although fairly common nowadays.

Black Diamond Positron Quickdraw Review
Upper carabiner without bent

Positron Quickdraws Performance at the Crag and Gym

Black Diamond Positron Quickdraw Review
Both carabiners come with key lock

 

Let’s have a bit more detailed look at performance now. During our Black Diamond Positron Quickdraw review we did both gym and outdoor climbing on sports climbing crags in Germany.

Ease of Clipping: Flawless

This quickdraw clips surprisingly good given the small price— it was never hard to clip no matter what situation. Plus the carabiners have a good size, the sling is nice and thick and stiff. It is a lot stiffer than it was in the past, which makes it easier to clip in hard-to-reach climbing situations. I never found myself fumbling with the gates of the carabiner on the bottom. When clipping the rope, this is a definite plus point.

Ease of Unclipping: Even better

The Positron really performs well in unclipping, thanks to its great keylock solid gate. As there is no notch or nose to catch on bolt or rope, it slides of sooo easy and fast. A breeze when you’re in a steep route. I know there are other models like some Petzl quickdraws, which are even easier. But that’s just because they have wider openings for the rope to go out. If you need easy unclipping, the Positron quickdraw is perfect thanks to its keylock design.

Portability: The Positron are Heavy Quickdraws

Portability is probably the main area where the Positron has some upward potential. As they weight a healthy 3.8 oz in their shortest sling version, they are among the heavier models made from only aluminum. Keep in mind, that Black Diamond actually improved this issue! The older models weighed around 4.2 oz – even heavier!

Other quickdraws like  17cm Petzl Spirit Express only weights 102 and the shorter 12cm Edelrid Bulletproof Quickdraw comes in at 118 g WITH steel inserts.

Why are the Positrons so heavy you might ask. Well, they are both equipped with solid cold-forged gates and they carry a lot of material. The advantage of cold-forging and lots of material is that these won’t wear down fast, making them more durable. So, if you need ultra light-weight onsight carabiners or a trad rack for multi-pitch routes, the Positron is not your first option. But for a typical sports climbing rack for crag days it’s still good enough.

Ease of Handling

Me and all the other testers, aka my buddies, that I exposed to this quickdraw had zero concerns about the handling. Neither did the quickdraws cross-clip on our gear, like some wire gated carabiners have a tendency. They never felt weird to big-handed climbers.

The wide and stiff sling facilitates reaching of a clip, especially with the 16cm version, and the profile is still slim enough to fit your gear loops easily if you carry 10 of them.

Ease of Grabbing

The Positron sports an 18mm dogbone in the current version, up from 16mm in the last version and a meager 14mm in the original version. That’s a third more width, which makes for a huge difference if you need to grab the quickdraw. With the 18mm dogbone, they are still slimmer than the modern 25mm dogbones, but we felt they were easy enough to grab.

Black Diamond Positron Quickdraw Review
Dogbone on the Positron is now a cool 18mm thick and stiffer than in the older versions

Our Performance Verdict

The Black Diamond Positron Quickdraw worked fairly good and like you would and should expect any high quality quickdraw. Most of the time we forgot about their duty, and I personally think this is how a good quickdraw should perform. Clipping and unclipping where good, material quality was nice. And the thick dogbone makes reaching the quickdraw easier than ever before on this model.

Final Thoughts: Our Black Diamond Positron Quickdraw Review Conclusion

As my two seasons of sport climbing season ends, the rope-end carabiners on the Black Diamond Positron Quickdraws show slight wear. The bolt-side of the quickdraw collected some scratches and gouges from bolt hangers. But this is to expect on full aluminum quickdraws.

In the end, the Positron quickdraws work like a high-end quickdraw should work. I can forget about it until I fall, then it catches my fall and I’m happy. Yes, they do weigh a bit more than other expensive carabiners, but they are really durable, have a good quality of construction and easy to grad. And clipping and unclipping were flawless. I can give them a clear recommendation for any sport or crag and gym climbing rack. Trad and multi-pitch climbers should think of some lighter options.

For more interesting articles like our 2020 climbing pants roundup, and our 2020 climbing and bouldering shoes review, keep on reading.

 

Categories
Climbing Reviews

Skylotec ClipZ Basic Quickdraws In-Depth Review: A simple, cheap beginner quickdraw

No matter if you sport climb or trad climb, quickdraws are one of the essentials. Finding good quickdraws can be quite hard, and especially when you are a beginner it’s hard to find quickdraws with good value for the money. Our Skylotec ClipZ Basic Quickdraws review shows if they are a bargain, and see why they’re a great fit for beginners and advanced climbers in our in-depth review.

Our Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – 5/5

Price: $14.00
ManufacturerSkylotec
Pros:  Durable, fairly lightweight, cheap and easy to clip
Cons:  The gate closure could be a bit smoother, but for the money spent we can live with it

Quick Facts

Skylotec Clipz Basic Quickdraw
Carabiner Material: Aluminum
Bolt Carabiner:Aaluminum, key lock, solid
Rope Carabiner: Aluminum, nose lock, wire
Weight: 102 g
Closed Major Axis Strength: 25 kN
Open Major Axis Strength: 9 kN
Minor Crossload Strength: 9 kN
Gate Type: Upper carabiner solid, lower wire
Bolt Carabiner: straight
Rope Carabiner: wire
Sling Material: nylon
Available Sling Lengths: 12 cm
Test Locations: Frankenjura, Germany and various gyms
Days Tested: 30

Our Verdict

Skylotec Clipz Basic Quickdraw are ideal for beginners and advanced. They come in 12 cm length, and while we tested them we loved how the combined solid carabiner for the bolt and wire carabiner for the rope side saved weight. The wire carabiner is also great in reducing the whiplash effect that happens on solid closed carabiners when you take a fall. Both carabiners have big enough openings, making clipping easy as pie, and the nylon sling is durable and wide enough to grab for it if you need an emergency anchor or hold. If you’re looking for a good, all-round set of quickdraws that won’t break your bank account, the Skylotec Clipz Basic are a great fit!

Excurse: Gate slap or Whiplash
If you don’t know about the whiplash effect, also known as gate slap, it happens when you take a fall and the weight of the carabiner gate opens from the bouncing force. When open, this means the carabiner of the rope side of the quickdraw is open and under load, reducing the possible maximum load to roughly a third of the original major axis strength. A wire closure on the rope side minimizes this risk because the weight is reduced

Analysis and Results from Our Review

What we liked

Let’s dive into the details of the Skylotec Clipz Basic, we put them through a thorough test in and around our local home mountains in beautiful Frankenjura Germany.

Design

We live at a point in time, where carabiners and quickdraws are pretty advanced in terms of technology. If you look at the differences, you will most likely find only small differences like color, weight and so on. Like many other carabiners on quickdraw sets on the market, the Skylotec come with one solid-gate and one wire-gate. The solid gate carabiner has a keylock and the wire carabiner has a traditional nose lock. They come in only one size, the standard 12 cm you find on many port climbing dogbone slings. The sling, also referred to as dogbone, can be replaced when it wears down.

Skylotec ClipZ Basic Quickdraws In-Depth Review

Carabiner Shape

The shape of the carabiner on quickdraws decides how their action goes. Different shapes of carabiners have a different action, and the shape also influences if a carabiner feels very smooth or snappy. The Skylotec Carabiners are pretty normal in terms of length, neither longer nor shorter than standard Edelrid or Petzl carabiners. And while they won’t come in fancy colors or anodized surfaces, but rather standard aluminum they do look nice.

Both the rope and bolt side are snappy and close tight, yet easy enough to clip without effort. The wire gate of the rope carabiner is great if you’re a beginner and looking for easy and reliable quickdraws. And it’s easy to always grab the right side for the rope if you’re still learning – there is only one wire gate and it goes to the rope.

Weight

The Skylotec Clipz Basic quickdraw is a little heavier than some of the other more expensive quickdraws, but still lighter than steel quickdraws.
Find some references down there to compare.

107 g Petzl Djinn Axess, 12 cm
103 g Black Diamond Freewire, 12 cm
102 g Skylotec Clipz Basic, 12 cm
98 g Petzl Spirit Express, 12 cm
63 g Black Diamond Oz, 12 cm

Durability

Durability is something that is not obviously an issue with quickdraws, as carabiners are made from aluminum. But the snapping mechanism and the nylon slings are nonetheless prone to wear and tear. For us, we couldn’t notice any real wear and tear during our tests. Snappyness of the gates remained good during our test, and the slings remained crisp and clean.  Keep in mind that we climbed in the Frankenjura in Germany, where the rock is not as sharp and unforgiving like in other places where granite and volcanic rock destroy textile materials faster.

For the money spent, Skylotecs Clipz Basic quickdraws were durable enough for all our sport and trad climbing needs. After two seasons of climbing on these draws, we can’t discern any wear to the wire rope bearing carabiners surface. And we have seen aluminum carabiners to develop edges and dents after only some days of heavy use. Especially in areas where the rock is more abrasive like granite or volcanic areas.

Skylotec ClipZ Basic Quickdraws In-Depth Review
No visible wear on the plastic insert of the rope side of the sling after 30 days of testing

What we didn’t like so much

The action of the bolt side carabiner could be smoother. We had a set of 10 quickdraws and noticed some of the gates were not as smooth as carabiners of brands like Edelrid or Salewa. That said, we never had trouble clipping in, so the action was not perfectly smooth, but didn’t interfere with climbing performance. It’s just that if you are used to very smooth high-quality carabiners it might feel a bit rough.

Also, the aluminum color without any anodizing or color looks a bit bland – but can we really complain given the pricepoint? We think no!

Who are these quickdraws perfect for?

While we cannot say anything about big wall climbing or long alpine multi-pitches, we think the Skylotec quickdraws are excellent for normal sport climbing at the crag and moderate multi-pitch climbing as well as light traditional climbing. The carabiners are sturdy, and the weight is average.

If your goal is to climb long pitches on traditional routes, or you plan to do heavy and long multi-pitch alpine climbing routes, it might be better to opt for a set of lighter quickdraws.

Bottom Line

The Skylotec Clipz Basic are terrific quickdraws for a very competitive price. If you start out climbing and look for an affordable set of quickdraws that will serve you well for your first seasons of sport climbing or just need a good cheap allround set then they are perfect. They don’t wear down fast and while there are lighter options out there if you are willing to spend more money, the weight is still good. We can absolutely recommend them.

If you liked this review, check out our climbing pants and climbing shoes reviews!