Ropes and cords
Ropes are your main way to track and keep your progress in check. Along with other devices that will be listed, the rope keeps you in place whether you are high or low up on a rock wall and makes descending the climbed surface much easier. Rock climbing can be described as a great array of ropes and cords, since it is the rope that keeps us in place when resting at an altitude and it prevents the climber from falling straight to the ground. Make sure to choose a high quality rope. This is definitely not an item you want to go cheap with. A low quality rope can literally be the difference between life or death. You can get 60 meters of rope for about $200. If you click here you’ll get a fantastic deal on 30m Sterling Rope for only $70!
Carabiners are an essential part of your overall gear since these are used to hook onto the anchor point or your belay device. This tool has two main forms: a locking-type carabiner and a non-locking type. You use the locking-type for the anchor points and belay device since they provide of greater sense of protection since they can not be incidentally unlocked. Non-locking carabiners are most commonly found in quickdraws, since they are easier to attack to an anchor point while climbing. One of the more popular brands are Petzl and Black Diamond. Expect to pay anywhere between $5 and $20 for one piece. Get this awesome Petzl carabiner.
The quickdraw is a simple mechanism. A quickdraw, basically speaking are two non-locking carabiners connected by a semi-rigid material. It’s main purpose is to lock onto bolt anchors or similar protective hold points, usually used during sport climbing. One carabiner connects to an anchoring device and the other carabiner connects to your rope. This allows the rope to pass through the device, adding a new layer of security to the climber as they continue upwards. The two locking mechanisms are either made of aluminum alloy or, for a more heavy-duty usage, they are made of steel. It is safest for a climber to attach his rope in the quickdraw when the device is at waist-level. Most people I speak with, talk very highly about quickdraws made by CAMP or Black Diamond. Prices vary between $10 for a single piece and $79 for a pack of six. Most sport routes can be led with 12 quickdraws, so this is a good start. On sale here we have a 6 pack for only $59!
The harness keeps the climber connected to the rope at all times. There are many types of harnesses that lock on your body but the most common one used is strapped around your pelvic area with two loops on the front of the harness. . A figure-eight type knot is then used to close the connection between the rope and the harness. Depending on the features and material used to craft the harness, prices can vary from $50 to $300. The gap might be big, but there is no price on your safety. Popular manufacturers are Black Diamond and DMM which can be found on our store. Find one here
The belay device is used as a brake pad on the rope. When a person is belaying a rock climber this device will be attached to their own harness. The rope “threads” through the belay device which allows the belayer to easily apply tension to stop the rope, or loosen tension to allow the rope to slide through the device. With this tension loosened or tightened on the rope, the belay device controls the climbers descent safely back to the ground. There are various models with a more simplistic design that can be used as descenders as well. To prevent it slip from the rope, the belay device is attached to a locked carabiner which locks on to the climber. Petlz and Black Diamond are best known for their quality belay devices. The prices start at $20 and all the way up to $120, depending on the complexity of the mechanism. Get one that comes with it’s own carabiner right here
The name itself gives away the basic function of this climbing accessory. For the more experienced rock climber, descenders can come as an optional device locked onto their harness since they are capable of using their belay devices for descending purposes as well. They do come in handy when the climber partially looses control while trying to descend the rope. Most descenders are designed to stop the rope from feeding through the device in the occurrence of hard movement. Petzl is one of the most populars brands out there, with prices starting at $150 for a more complex descender. Click to find a descender.
Again, the name says it all for this rock climbing device. An ascender benefits as a one-way system. This means that you need to feed the device rope and it will move freely in one direction but it will immediately lock if the direction is changed. It makes climbing back up the rope less of a struggle. There are ascenders that allow the rope to go both ways but only in a slow and steady movement. Just like a seat-belt, the ascender will lock on to the rope if it is pulled quickly. Here are some good quality ascenders you can put your trust in.
The sling, also known as the runner, is an essential part of climbing equipment, despite it’s simplicity. It consists of a sewn loop of webbing that can come in handy in many climbing situations. One can wrap the sling onto the rope using the common prusik knot in order to get an extra rope climbing point for example. Slings are a cheap thing to buy and for that reason it is never bad to carry some around. Prices start at $5 and up, main difference being length and material used to create the sling.
Protection devices in the rock climbing world are those that provide temporary anchor points in the climbed rock. That’s exactly what hexes are here for. They are also the oldest form of protection known in rock climbing. In the event of falling, the hex will shift in it’s place, exerting force on the sides of the rock it is placed in. Your fall will stop and the hex will be firmly in place because of the force used to wedge it into place. No rock climber should go on his adventure without a couple of these.
Nuts have the same role as the hex, only it does not provide that extra leverage created by hard pulls. They are set up by wedging them into narrower places in the rock, followed by a good tug to complete the set up. This gives you an extra anchor point so you can carry on upward. They come in different widths, depending on your need and space availability. This is another item that should not be left behind, with prices ranging between $5 to $60 depending on the complexity of the design. Get a full set here.
Tricams are one of the most versatile protection devices. It’s great simplicity can easily fool the beginning rock climber. It has a shaped aluminum block joined with a piece of webbing. The shape of the block makes it possible for the grip to tighten on the rock when the tricam is pulled. In certain situations, the tricam can double as a nut and it is sometimes the only fitting form of protection inside the rock’s structure. Usually, $20 will get you a good quality single tricam from well-known manufacturers such as CAMP. Click here for an entire set!!
The spring-loaded cam is a great device when extra protection is needed in certain areas of the rock surface. It is made by four cams attached to an axle that forces the cam to expand. A trigger is present on the device that, when pulled, brings the cams closer together. After the spring-loaded cam has been inserted into the rock, the trigger is released, the spring pushing the cams to form a secure bond with the rock. Because of the device’s nature, it is well advised to insert it into solid rock that won’t easily crumble upon shock with the cams. Black Diamond and Metolius are two respectable brands that make good quality devices. Expect to pay around $80 for a good spring-loaded cam device.
Helmets are primarily used by enthusiasts that are not in a controlled environment. Due to possible falling rocks from the top of the rock surface, a helmet is needed to prevent any unwanted injuries during the climbing sessions. A helmet is also useful in the instance of a fall, a good part of the shock being absorbed by the helmet and not the skull. It can be a game changer and a life-saver in some situations, which is why most people recommend using one. CAMP and Petzl make some of my favorite helmets that give the all-round head protection needed. The average price is around $70. This Petzl helmet is on sale for $64!
Rock climbing has come a long way. Back in the day, there was a fashion of climbing without any shoes. Nowadays though, the climbing shoe is a must-have weapon you should add into your rock climbing arsenal. A good rock climbing shoe can be the difference between success and failure on the rock wall. The shoe is specially designed to keep a tight fit around the wearer’s foot, while providing grip and support around the soles and toes of the climber. There are different styles of shoes, some more aggressive (curved) than others. For less technical or longer climbs, a flatter shoe is preferable. Take your time shopping around for exactly what your style calls for. It is also not uncommon for climbers to have multiple pairs of shoes to cater to the type of climbing they are doing that day. Around $100 for a good pair of shoes is a common price, while the most recommended brands are Five Ten and La Sportiva. To find some amazing and affordable La Sportiva shoes, check this out!
The most practical use for the glove is protection against rope burn while belaying. These are gloves made usually out of leather and help the wearer belay a lot easier. In the event of a getting a rope burn, the climber might involuntarily take his/her hands off the rope, a terrible mistake on many levels. Using special gloves prevents a chain of accidents happening. One can opt for fingerless gloves as well, good for protection of the palm while leaving the fingers free for better grip. Liberty Mountain, Black Diamond and Metolius offer good gloves. Price come between $20 and $100 for the more premium builds.
There are different type of bags that serve a specific purpose, such as chalk bags, rope bags and haul bags. For getting your supplies and mechanisms with you while climbing, the haul bag is used. The style of a haul bag makes it possible to store many supplies. If climbing is something you are doing frequently, you will build up your equipment very quickly. A good haul bag will hold most of your cargo without any signs of it ripping while still being able to be hold on the back when climbing. Brand such as Petzl and Metolius are known for manufacturing good quality bags which are made to prove the test of time. You can spend as much as $250 on a premium bag, but there are a lot of great products at lower prices.
Chalk is used by climbers to absorb moisture from the hands that occurs while climbing. Due to it’s intense nature, rock climbing can give you a good sweat session, a problematic issue if you are trying to hold onto the wall! The moisture can decrease your grip and your overall performance will drop, especially on longer climbs. Chalk is carried in a chalk bag, which is then held tight by a carabiner on the climber’s harness. Some prefer to use loose, powdered chalk and pour it into their bag. Chalk balls might be of interest of those that tend to add to much chalk to their hands (this can affect gripping as well). With a chalk ball you are able to control the amount of material released which prevents over-spill. Chalk is relatively cheap and can be bought from any manufacturer. Test out different types and decide what you prefer!
Also known as “climber’s tape,” it is often used to prevent any potential injuries while climbing or to cover up any existing injuries. Medical tape is also very popular among climbers. Most of the time, the tape is wrapped along one’s hand or fingers to prevent scratches from the hard rock surfaces. Also, in case of getting scratched, one can easily patch things up with some medical tape. Most climbers always have a roll of tape in their haul bags, making them prepared for any incidents during the climbing session. You can find medical tape just about anywhere and it is advised always to have some in your bag. Who knows what might happen out there.
Rock-climbing specific clothing
As the sport advanced in competitiveness and popularity, the gear range became wider and wider. There are rock-climbing specific clothing designed to give you an edge while on the high mountains. If in the past spandex was all the rage, now rock climbers prefer to use baggier clothes. There are pants with a certain pattern around the crotch area that allows extensive ranges of motion while keeping warm in the high altitudes. For competitive climbing, lightweight clothing made out of active cotton is more commonly used since the sweat is absorbed fast and the skin can breathe more easily. Starting clothing prices start at about $30 for a pair of pants and $15 for a shirt.
Going rock climbing is all about having a good time and enjoying yourself! The truth is, that most items on this list such as the ropes, the belays or the harness, all have a direct impact on your safety. The quality of manufacturer directly relates to this.
If you are rock-climbing in a controlled environment, like an adventure park or training facility for example, risks might be kept to a minimum even with the lower quality gear. However, if you want to venture onto the great climbs many people in your group have stories about, or even want to start climbing outdoors, make sure you spend that extra dollar for great higher quality gear. Since your own safety is on the line, knowing what and where to buy are essential skills to own, as important as the rock-climbing skills themselves.
Buying from respectable, recommended brands would be a great place to start your shopping. You will have a greater piece of mind when knowing that your harness will not fail you or that the belay mechanism will not become faulty while you are belaying down the structure. It’s better to be safe than sorry, is definitely recommended.
Check out our shop! It’s a great place to start and it offers good prices for the best rock-climbing gear on the market. Plus, getting all you need from one store makes it a huge time-saver so you can spend more time outdoors!