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Mammut Liquid Chalk Review

This liquid chalk lets you apply a solid base layer of chalk on your hands without creating a cloud of dust
Mammut Liquid Chalk
Photo: Backcountry
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $15 List | $12.95 at Backcountry
Pros:  Excellent value, good friction and coverage
Cons:  Unusable if you have cuts and abrasions on your hands
Manufacturer:   Mammut
By Matt Bento ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 29, 2019
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78
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 8
  • Friction & Overall Feel - 25% 8
  • Coverage - 25% 9
  • Mess - 25% 9
  • Value - 25% 5

Our Verdict

Mammut Liquid Chalk lets you maximize your chalk coverage, allowing you to rub the chalk deep into your hands in its liquid form, leaving a uniform layer of chalk stuck to your hands once the alcohol solution has evaporated. Magic! Plenty of experienced climbers swear by a base layer of liquid chalk to compliment the loose chalk in their chalk bags. Chalk tends to stick to chalk; a thin layer of liquid chalk helps loose chalk stay on better throughout your climbing session.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Mammut Liquid Chalk
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  
Price $12.95 at BackcountryCheck Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$6.50 at Amazon$3.95 at Backcountry
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Pros Excellent value, good friction and coverageWidely available, good texture and friction, nice priceCoats hands well, least expensive "climbing specific" chalkVery porous cloth, decent coverage for a chalk ballRefillable, nearly mess-free, inexpensive
Cons Unusable if you have cuts and abrasions on your handsEasy to spill, creates a lot of dustLow friction, doesn't last as long as other chalksStill allows a lot of chalk dust into the airPoor coverage
Bottom Line This liquid chalk lets you apply a solid base layer of chalk on your hands without creating a cloud of dustThis magnesium carbonite keeps your hands dry without costing an arm and a legThis chalk is the most cost effective way to keep your hands dryThis is the chalk ball for people who don't like using chalk balls, but have to because their gym makes themA great way to keep chalk in your chalk bag out of the air of your busy climbing gym
Rating Categories Mammut Liquid Chalk Black Diamond White... Metolius Super Chalk Refillable Chalk Shot Metolius Super Chal...
Friction & Overall Feel (25%)
8.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
5.0
Coverage (25%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
Mess (25%)
9.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
9.0
Value (25%)
5.0
9.0
10.0
7.0
7.0
Specs Mammut Liquid Chalk Black Diamond White... Metolius Super Chalk Refillable Chalk Shot Metolius Super Chal...
Resealable Packaging? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Price Per oz $1.94/oz $1.03/oz $0.80/oz $4.95 per ball $4.50 per ball
Type Liquid Loose Loose Refillable Ball Refillable Ball
Drying Additive No No Yes No Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

There are some textural differences between Mammut Liquid Chalk and Friction Labs Secret Stuff, but whether or not one performs better than the other continues to be debated among our testers. One thing is for sure, Mammut liquid Chalk is a much better value at about 9 cents per milliliter, versus 25 cents/ml for the Secret Stuff.

Performance Comparison


Just a big ol' bottle of friction, but not if you have cuts or...
Just a big ol' bottle of friction, but not if you have cuts or abrasions on your hands, since the alcohol will sting.
Photo: Matt Bento

Friction & Overall Feel


After squeezing a teaspoon of this stuff on your hands, the strong scent of rubbing alcohol will have you smelling like the doctor's office. Don't be alarmed, it dries in under a minute, and your hands will turn completely white with chalk coating every nook and cranny of your hands. Compared to Friction Labs Secret Stuff, Mammut Liquid Chalk has a slightly more granular feel.


With our blind testing, our testers did not observe a difference in performance. One of our testers applied some liquid chalk after several days of bouldering, and she reported stinging pain on the thin tips of her fingers and a cut on her palm. Never use liquid chalk if you have cracks or cuts on your hands, as per the warning label on the bottle.

This liquid chalk has a grainier texture than Friction Labs Secret...
This liquid chalk has a grainier texture than Friction Labs Secret Stuff. This didn't affect the overall performance.
Photo: Matt Bento

Coverage


A hefty dollop of liquid chalk will provide more comprehensive coverage than any other chalk delivery method aside from dipping your hands in a bag of very fine loose chalk, without any dust or mess. It's best to use as a base layer at the beginning of your climbing session since you're not going to want to wait for it to dry over and over again.


The base layer of liquid chalk helps whatever loose chalk you're using adhere to your hands better, and so potentially, you won't have to chalk up as much. Certainly advantageous for folks climbing at their absolute limit.

Liquid Chalk provides a thin, even layer of coverage after about a...
Liquid Chalk provides a thin, even layer of coverage after about a minute of drying.
Photo: Matt Bento

Mess


In both our experiences and in a study we read, using liquid chalk is the best method for reducing particulates in the air of your climbing gym. A combo of a liquid chalk base layer with a Metolius Super Chalk Sock is a good compromise for keeping your hands dry and sticky without leaving behind a cloud of dust. Liquid chalk avoids the pitfalls of loose chalk since you won't accidentally dump it out of your chalk bag.


This product is mess free and comes out looking and feeling like...
This product is mess free and comes out looking and feeling like frosting. Don't eat it.
Photo: Matt Bento

Value


Mammut Liquid Chalk is a far better value than the Friction Labs Secret Stuff and our testers experienced little difference in performance. Friction Labs suggests you'll get about 100 uses out of a 75ml tube, so a 200ml tube of Mammut Liquid Chalk should give you 266+ uses. If you are super particular about your chalk, you can try the Friction Labs out on the cheap, since they sell Secret Stuff in $1 single-serve packets.


75ml for $19 or 200ml for $12? Hmmmm...
75ml for $19 or 200ml for $12? Hmmmm...
Photo: Matt Bento

Conclusion


Liquid chalk is a great tool for keeping your hands extra dry in humid conditions or the gym when you don't want to create a lot of dust. Are all the pros using liquid chalk? Nope. Will 9-year olds at the gym still climb harder than you if your hands are covered in a thin layer of dazzling white? Definitely. Can a little extra friction give you the confidence to try your hardest, get deep in the zone, and send your project? Our testers say "Yes!"

This Chalk earns a place in our climbing kit. It's a great value and...
This Chalk earns a place in our climbing kit. It's a great value and gives that extra edge we need to try our hardest.
Photo: Matt Bento

Matt Bento