Gear & More to Help You Rock Your Next Climb

Are you tired of renting stinky climbing shoes or borrowing your friend's ill-fitting harness? If rock climbing is an activity you want to pursue, you'll need your own climbing gear.

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Climbing Shoes

You shouldn't wear tennis shoes or hiking boots when you rock climb, even if you're climbing indoors. Climbing shoes are made specifically to protect your feet and maximize friction so you can grip the footholds. If you're looking for an all-around women's climbing shoe, give the Burtora Endeavor a try. This feature-packed rock climbing shoe comes at a bargain price. Comfortable, breathable, stretch-resistant, and rigid for precision edging, the Endeavor climbing shoe is ideal for both experienced climbers and beginners. Pro tip: Climbing shoes aren't meant for walking long distances. Remember to approach with trail runners or other appropriate shoes. ($98; campsaver.com)

reach new heights in these climbing shoes

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Rock Climbing Rope

First, a brief lesson on different types of rock climbing ropes: 1. Always use a dynamic rope. Dynamic ropes are made specifically for rock climbing, as they're designed with elasticity to absorb the energy of a fall. Static ropes are stiff and used for rappelling. 2. Try to buy a climbing rope that's been dry-treated. Dry-treated climbing ropes withstand rain and resist fraying better than ropes that haven't been dry-treated. 3. If you're debating rope length, always go with a longer rope—at least 60 meters. The Sterling Evolution Velocity rope is a favorite among rock climbers. It's incredibly durable, making it easy for beginner climbers to care for and maintain, and veteran climbers love it to tackle their next project. ($229+; amazon.com)

take this rope on your next climb

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Climbing Carabiner

Locking carabiners are a must when rock climbing. Not only are they necessary for belaying and attaching gear to the loops in your harness, but they are also used to connect your rope to climbing protection and for techniques like quickdraws used in lead climbing. The Petzl Attache 3D Screw-Lock Carabiner is lightweight yet durable, and it has a large gate opening. If you're interested in special safety features, this carabiner has a red line to indicate the 'biner isn't locked, which is helpful for a quick visual inspection. ($16; rei.com)

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Belay Device

Belay devices are easy to rent or borrow from your guide, but if rock climbing is becoming a regular pastime for you, you'll want a belay device of your own—whether you climb in the gym or outdoors. We recommend the Petzl GriGri 2 belay device. This brake-assist belay device adds another layer of safety by helping the belayer brake more effectively to catch a fall. It handles climbing rope smoothly and is easy to use, making it a perfect device for a beginner belayer. ($100; moosejaw.com)

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Climbing Helmet

You don't always need a helmet when you're climbing in a gym, but helmets are a necessity if you do any climbing outdoors. Make sure you get a climbing helmet, as a bicycle helmet will not protect your head from falling rock or debris. The Black Diamond Vector is a mid-price rock climbing helmet that is lightweight, easily adjustable for the perfect fit, and ventilated for improved airflow. It also comes with clips so you can attach a headlamp. ($100; campsaver.com)

protect your head with this climbing helmet

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Rock Climbing Harness

The right harness for you will largely depend on what type of climbing you like to do. If you're just getting into rock climbing, the Black Diamond Primrose is a great all-around climbing harness for women, and the budget-friendly price provides an incredible value. This Black Diamond climbing harness isn't tricked out with loads of extra features, but it's comfortable, has rigid, functional gear loops, and comes with an adjustable leg-loop system. Designed for trad and sport climbing, this harness is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. ($55; blackdiamondequipment.com)

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Climbing Backpack

You need a sturdy climbing backpack to haul all your new gear for a day of cragging. Consider taking the Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 30 OutDry pack on your next climb. Equipped with exterior loops, a rope strap, a hydration sleeve, and pockets to carry water bottles or other gear, this backpack is ideal for sport climbing and can even be used for hiking. With a 30-liter capacity, this isn't the largest pack on the market, but if you want to keep your backpack light, it will be enough to comfortably carry your gear. ($130; zappos.com)

haul your gear in this climbing backpack

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Climbing Chalk

Just as you want a sticky sole on your shoes to keep your footing when you climb, you want your fingers to hold their grip on the rocks. The best way to dry your sweaty palms is to use climbing chalk. Climbing chalk is available in loose, block, and liquid varieties, but loose powder is the most popular among climbers. Everyone's preference is different, so we recommend buying a small bag of climbing chalk and testing its performance and longevity at the gym before committing to a brand. Consider starting with Black Diamond's White Gold. The 100 percent magnesium carbonate formula doesn't contain added drying agents, making it better for your skin and for the environment. ($4 - $11; backcountry.com)

chalk up before you climb
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Rock Climbing Chalk Bag

If you're using chalk, you need a rock climbing chalk bag. A chalk bag is that one piece of climbing equipment that you won't even think about if it's doing its job properly, but if you get a poor one, it will be a nonstop nuisance. You don't need to go all out on a chalk bag if you're just starting to collect your own climbing gear. The Two Ogres Essential-Z chalk bag offers a great value for beginner climbers. The drawstring closure and adjustable waist belt are really all you need, but this chalk bag also has a small zippered pocket to store your key, ID, lip balm, or even your wedding ring. ($15; amazon.com)

keep your chalk accessible with a chalk bag
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Rock Climbing Shirt

The nice thing about rock climbing clothes is that there aren't any rules for your wardrobe. A climbing shirt, for example, will come down to style, comfort, and personal preference. The main things to keep in mind when dressing for your climb is that you'll want to wear clothing that is breathable, moisture-wicking, and that won't restrict your movement. The Under Armour Women's Twisted Tech v-neck shirt paired with your favorite sports bra certainly fits all the criteria. We recommend picking a shirt with a vibrant color to help you stand out in any photos that are taken while you crush your climb. ($25; dickssportinggoods.com)

rock your climb in this under armour shirt

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Climbing Pants

For rock climbing pants that are suitable for the gym, sport climbing, or bouldering, you can't go wrong with the Tasc Performance Nola leggings. The breathable stretch fabric is also made with UPF 50 sun protection, making them ideal for climbing outdoors on a hot day. They may be a little heavier than other pairs you own, but these compression leggings regulate temperature with Bamboo Performance Technology, so you can wear them indoors, outdoors, and during all four seasons. ($78; amazon.com)

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Sunglasses

You need to pack some extra gear if you're climbing outdoors. Since you'll be looking up a lot of the time to find your next hold, you'll want to wear sunglasses. The SWG 1130 black sunglasses are a practical and classic accessory to add to your climbing gear, and whether you're climbing or not, you can wear these sunglasses for any of your outdoor adventures. To double up on sun protection, you may want to pair these sunglasses with a baseball hat for your next climb. ($27; shoes.com)

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Sunscreen

Don't forget one of the most important items for your outdoor climb: sunscreen. Your skin will burn quickly when you're climbing, so you want to be protected. We like the Coppertone Sport continuous spray sunscreen for its effective sun protection during activity. Water-resistant and sweat-resistant, this sunscreen's SPF rating is 50. As long as you remember to apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30, you'll be able to enjoy your climb and not have to lather on the aloe vera for days afterward. ($8; walmart.com)

use sunscreen when you climb outdoors

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