Best climbing gear to buy
In this article, we’ll look at what are the best climbing gear to buy in 2023. Every year manufacturers develop and launch new climbing gear. New designs and materials have enabled breakthrough development in climbing gear. Thinner and stronger materials and ultralight weight gear are being introduced to the market. We’ll look at what innovative climbing gear are currently out on the market.
Ultralight weight harness
Competition climbing has become mainstream. Gone were the days when climbers climb everything with a do-it-all harness as climbers are spending more time climbing in a gym than outdoors. The need for having big gear loops or thick comfortable padding is no longer relevant. New harnesses are now specifically designed to maximize climbers’ performance in competition settings.
Infinity belay loop
The belay loop on a harness had not seen any innovation for god knows when. Every climber knows the hard bulky stitch tack on our belay loop is an irritating thing to live with. Climbers always need to ensure that the belaying carabiner is not loaded on the stitch tack so as to prevent the belaying shift. Now imagine a belay loop that is soft and seamless without the bulky stitch tack. Finally an innovation on the good old fashion belay loop.
Black Diamond had developed a belay loop that is seamless, low profile and does not have a bulk stitch tack. The Black Diamond patented infinity loop can be found on the Black Diamond Air-Net and Zone harness.
No edge technology
The La Sportiva No-Edge Technology climbing shoe is designed to trace the contour of the foot and eliminate any edges which are commonly found at the front tip of the shoe. The No-Edge design allows the climber to have a better feel of the rock on contact. Thus climbers can have better precision in their footwork.
Carabiners and quickdraws
Carabiners that don’t wear out
Carabiners are strong and are built to last. However, the most common reason for replacing a carabiner is due to wear and tear on the part that constantly comes in contact with the rope. To eliminate this problem, Edelrid developed the Bulletproof carabiner.
Edelrid Bulletproof carabiner is designed to prevent wear on the rope contact part of the carabiner. The Bulletproof carabiner has a steel insert incorporated onto the rope contact part of the carabiner. Having a small steel insert prevents wear from the rope and also helps to keep the carabiner weight low compared to a steel carabiner.
Bulletproof HMS Carabiner
Panic proof mechanism
Lowering a climber using an Assisted-braking Belay Device (ABD) has its risk. Especially if you are new to climbing or not familiar with the device mechanism. One of the most popular ABD in the market is the GriGri. The GriGri works by a camming mechanism which bits onto the rope during a fall. The cam opens up when the lever is pulled thus releasing the rope. If the lever is pulled all the way back the rope will run free unless the belayer releases the lever to bite onto the rope.
The risk of climber decking while being lowered is when an inexperienced belayer lowers the climber way too fast. And in a panic, instead of releasing the lever, the belayer pulls back further on the lever. To prevent such accidents from occurring Petzl developed the GriGri+ with an anti-panic feature on the lever. In an event when the lever is pulled way back the anti-panic feature will be engaged and the cam will close and bites onto the rope.
Another ABD with a panic-proof feature that is great for inexperienced belay is the Wild Country REVO. This ABD is easy to set up due to its bi-directional locking function which works regardless of which direction the rope is loaded. The REVO locks up when there is a forceful pull (>4m/s) on the lead rope. Thus the belayer can have both hands firmly on the rope to lower the climber just like a basic ATC.
All in one belay device
A belay device that does everything. So what do I mean by everything? Having a belay device that allows you to belay like it is a conventional tubular and yet also function as an ABD. When climbing multipitch, you can use it in guide mode for direct belaying. If you are trad climbing using 2 ropes this device has 2 slots for belaying 2 ropes. On the descent, you can use this belay device for rappelling. As this device has 2 slots you can have the option of abseiling on both 1 or 2 ropes. Because of the device’s ABD feature, you can rappel without setting up an autoblock.
This device is the Ederid Mega Jul and Giga Jul. The Giga Jul is the improved version of the tried and tested Mega Jul. A true all-in-one belay device for any type of climbing.
Versatile ropes for any type of climbing
Climbing rope is a piece of equipment that climbers pay the least attention to. However, the climbing rope had seen its fair share of innovation. The Petzl Volta 9.2mm Dry Rope can be used as a single rope and is also light enough to be used as a twin or half rope. Apart from the versatility of these ropes’ function there are also dry treated to resist water, dirt and abrasion. Design to be used in cold and wet conditions. This rope has an UltraSonic finish to bond the core and sheathe together to eliminate fray and improves durability.
Black Diamond 8.9 Dry is an ultra-thin rope at only 8.9mm in diameter. This is a triple-rated rope with a full dry treatment. Ideal for sport climbers, trad climbers, and mountaineers seeking durability and versatility. The Black Diamond 8.9 Dry Climbing Rope offers high-end performance to sport climbers and durability to alpinists, mountaineers, and trad climbers seeking a versatile option.