Dream Rock Climbing Gear List

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Review Editor

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Climbing gear is where OutdoorGearLab got its start. This list is a compilation of years of extensive tests of climbing gear all in one place. Our testers have used this gear from Yosemite to the Gunks, J-Tree to the Red, Indian Creek to the Ruth Gorge. This list reflects the best climbing gear on the market today as well as the best buys for your money so you can climb now and work later.

To complete your climbing road trip kit check out our Dream Camping Gear List or if your objectives are farther from the road see our Dream Backpacking Gear List. For ice climbing and mountaineering gear suggestions see our Dream Ice Climbing and Mountaineering Gear List. And also see the Dream Bouldering Gear List


EC = The Editors' Choice for best overall product regardless of price
BB = The Best Buying offering the most value for the money
TP= Our Top Picks which excel in specific applications


EC: Black Diamond Camalot C4 or Black Diamond Camalot X4
BB: Metolius Master Cam
TP: Metolius Offset Master Cam
See the complete Climbing Cam Review


EC: DMM Offset Nut or DMM Brass Offset
BB: ABC Huevo
TP: Metolius Ultralight Curve Nut or Wild Country Superlight Rocks or DMM Peenut
See the complete Nut and Stopper Review


EC: Mammut Infinity
BB: Sterling Evolution Velocity
TP: Sterling Fusion Nano IX or the workhorse Sterling Marathon Pro
See the complete Climbing Rope Review

Rope Bag

EC: Petzl Kab
BB: Metolius Dirt Bag II
TP: Metolius Speedster which carries like a backpack
See the complete Rope Bag Review


EC: Petzl Spirit Express
BB: Black Diamond FreeWire Quickdraw
TP: Wild Country Helium Quickdraw or Black Diamond Oz Quickdraw or Wild Country Astro Quickdraw or the ultralight CAMP Nano 23 Quickdraw
See the complete Quickdraw Review


EC: Trango Ultratape
BB: Black Diamond Nylon Runner
TP: Black Diamond Dynex Runner
See the complete Sling and Runner Review


EC: Wild Country Helium
BB: Mad Rock UltraLight Bent Gate
TP: Black Diamond Oz
See the complete Carabiner Review

Locking Carabiners

EC: Petzl Attache 3D
BB: Black Diamond Rocklock or Mad Rock Super Tech Keylock Screw
TP: Petzl Attache or Wild Country Neon Keylock Screwgate Carabiner
See the complete Locking Carabiner Review

Men's Harness

EC: Arc'teryx AR-395a
BB: Petzl Corax
TP: Black Diamond Chaos
See The Best Climbing Harness Review

Women's Harness

EC: CAMP Supernova
BB: Black Diamond Primrose
TP: Black Diamond Lotus
See the complete Women's Harness Review

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The gear loops on the Mammut Ophira are coated in rigid plastic, but unlike other harness models, remains flexible at the attachment point. This makes for easy clipping and unclipping, and is still comfortable if you wear a pack over your harness.

Belay Device

EC: Petzl GriGri 2 or
BB: Black Diamond ATC XP
TP: Black Diamond ATC Guide
See the complete Belay Device Review

Belay Glove

EC: Black Diamond Stone Glove
BB: Wells Lamont Leather Work Glove or Homemade Fingerless Climbing Glove
TP: Metolius Climbing Glove or Black Diamond Transition Glove
See the complete Belay & Rappel Glove Review

Men's Climbing Shoes

EC: La Sportiva Genius
BB: Mad Rock Flash 2.0
TP: La Sportiva TC Pro and La Sportiva Katana Lace for high-end sport and bouldering
See the complete Rock Climbing Shoe Review

Women's Climbing Shoes

EC: La Sportiva Miura - Women's
BB: La Sportiva Tarantulace - Women's
TP: Scarpa Techno X - Women's or La Sportiva Solution - Women's
See the complete The Best Climbing Shoe For Women Review

Men's Approach Shoe

EC: Five Ten Guide Tennie
BB: La Sportiva Boulder X
TP: La Sportiva Ganda or the ultralight Evolv Cruzer
See the complete Climbing Approach Shoes for Men Review

Women's Approach Shoe

EC: Five Ten Guide Tennie - Women's
BB: La Sportiva Boulder X - Women's
TP: Evolv Cruzer - Women's
See the complete Women's Approach Shoe Review

Men's Helmet

EC: Petzl Meteor
BB: Black Diamond Half Dome
TP: Petzl Sirocco the lightest option available
See the complete Climbing Helmet Review

Women's Helmet

EC: Black Diamond Vector - Women's
BB: Petzl Elia
See the complete Women's Helmet Review

Gear Sling

EC: Metolius Adjustable Gear Sling

Big Wall Gear Sling

EC: Yates Big Wall Rack
BB: Fish Double Gear Sling
See the complete Big Wall Gear Sling Review

Nut Tool

BB: Wild Country Pro Key
See the complete Nut Tool Review

Climbing Holds

EC: Atomik 60 pack
BB: So iLL Starter Kit Bolt-on 55
See the complete Climbing Holds Review


EC: Coast HL7 or Black Diamond ReVolt
BB: Petzl Tikkina Headlamp
TP: Black Diamond Sprinter, Fenix HP25 or ultralight Petzl e+LITE
See the complete Headlamp Review

Men's Rain Jacket

EC: Marmot Essence
BB: Marmot Precip
TP: Outdoor Research Foray
See our complete Rain Jacket Review

Women's Rain Jacket

EC: Outdoor Research Aspire - Women's
BB: Marmot Precip Jacket - Women's
TP: Outdoor Research Helium II - Women's
See our complete Rain Jacket for Women Review

Small Climbing Pack

EC: Patagonia Linked Pack 16L
BB: REI Flash 18
See the complete Small Climbing Day Pack Review

Luke Lydiard
About the Author
Luke Lydiard was born and raised in the hills of Western Massachusetts where he spent most of his days finding ways to ride a snowboard. He quickly moved west seeking larger mountains and deeper snow. In the Eastern Sierra, Luke fell in love with climbing as much as snowboarding. He currently lives and works in Mammoth Lakes, California where he balances a full time job as a Paramedic Firefighter with traveling the world seeking inspiring lines for both ascending and descending. Luke has climbed rock, snow, and ice in France, Canada, Chile, Argentina, and Alaska.
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