As climbing grows in popularity we figured it was time to put together a list of some basic climbing gear for beginners. Working your way up to the top of a mountain can be one of the most memorable accomplishments that you make during your lifetime. However, bear in mind that rock climbing is more than just about panoramic views and the adrenaline rush that you get while nearing the summit. Having the right climbing equipment is paramount, as is going with someone more experienced when first starting out. Find out what climbing gear we recommend to get started with, in our rock climbing gear list below.
Rock Climbing Gear List
One of the first things new climbers should invest in is a harness. Finding one that’s easily adjustable like Black Diamond’s Momentum Harness makes all the difference with entry-level climbers that may be worried about comfort and safety while they get used to the sport. In the past putting your legs through a rock climbing harness took some time to figure out, the new Black Diamond Momentum Harness for Men and Women is the polar opposite. It’s easy to get on, super straight forward to adjust and tighten and is the sort of harness you set it and forget it until you need to take it off at the end of the day. The harness comes with 4 haul loops built into the sides that allow you to lug all your gear up the mountain along with a chalk bag attachment point. The Black Diamond Momentum Harness is an affordable, workhorse of a climbing harness, perhaps one of the best rock climbing harnesses ever made.
We liked this shoe so much it made our list of the best climbing shoes of the year. Why do you ask? The La Sportiva Katana Lace version is one of the most versatile climbing shoes on the market. It’s also one of the only shoes that won’t kill your feet the first time you put them on thanks to all-day trad comfort via the leather material in the uppers. Toss in laces and pressure pain points are soon forgotten. These shoes will last a long time and best of all they can even be re-soled when they start to wear out. Shoes are one of the most important parts of your rock climbing equipment, especially if you’re just starting out bouldering.
Got chalk? Seriously though you won’t get very far rock climbing without a bag full of chalk. Chalk makes gripping onto the rock a whole lot easier especially faceholds and is especially helpful on hot days when your hands start to sweat. What’s cool about the Arc’terx C80 Chalk Bag is it can easily be used with a single hand, comes with a built-in bottle opener (but please wait till your bro’s off the rock to start bozzing) and when filled with chalk the weight of the bag is barely noticeable. When your arms are feeling like Jello, a little old bag of chalk will soon become your best friend. Don’t be shy with the stuff either, put it everywhere you may need.
Lightweight, with ventilation but not too much, tons of protection and a comfortable fit. What more could you ask for in a climbing helmet? The Mammut Wall Rider Helmet checks off all those boxes and some. Rocks fall, and rockfall hurts so Mammut went and reinforced the areas on the top and front of the Wall Rider Helmet. This helmet features a mix of hardshell plastics and EPP core, shaving off considerable weight while still being one of the safest and most popular climbing helmets on the market. Currently available in 2 sizes and colorways.
Black Diamonds Active Forged Denim is just as it sounds, denim for playing outdoors. Once you try this new denim from Black Diamond mixed with Cordura fabric you will demand this off all your other pants too. Maybe you think of rock climbing in shorts? It works but you climb a lot with your legs too, even your knees. So Black Diamond listened to their athletes and designed a pair of kick-ass jeans for rock climbing, riding your bike to work and even office attire friendly. The price is a little higher than some other jeans, but you get technology that’s actually built and designed with climbers in mind. The fit on the BD Forged Denim is a little slimmer than standard jeans, as they’re designed for climbing after all. Kudos to Black Diamond for creating a line of sweet rock climbing clothes.
A jacket that can be worn without severely restricting mobility. That’s the Eddie Bauer Ignite Stretch Jacket in a nutshell. When it’s cold like in the fall and winter and you find yourself wanting to climb in the shade this piece of gear kicks ass. Why? Eddie Bauer made a reversible jacket with 60 grams of down insulation and a temperature rating built for staying warm in conditions down to -15F, -26C. The outer shell’s DWR finish laughs at water and snow as it will literally roll directly off the jacket. What more can we say here, the Eddie Bauer Ignite Stretch Reversible Jacket is apart of the brands tried and true First Ascent line, is super stretchy, breathes well and the bright orange colorway really stands out.
The following items are for intermediate to advanced climbers looking to upgrade their climbing gear it’s also a good starting point for beginners that have been relying on friends ropes, belay devices, and cams.
You need a belay device to stop your friend’s falls on rope, whether they’re lead climbing or top-roping, at the crag or the gym. The belay device is also arguably the most important device for getting down as it’s the simplest and most-used way to descend ropes via rappelling. BD’s ATC Guide is one of the most trusted belay devices in the world thanks to its lock tight teeth and time-tested design strength. But once you get a little more experienced and learn how to belay off an anchor instead of yourself, the loop off the back will be a necessity.
Ropes are an obvious necessity when it comes to climbing routes. Firstly, focus on buying a dynamic rope (it’s designed to take falls along with being stretchy) instead of a semi-static one (as it’s designed for hauling, rigging, and general abseils usage). One option is the 9.5 Infinity rope from Mammut.