Gear Reviews

Gear [belay-devices]

Petzl Grigri+ Belay Device

My surly buddy, future inlaw, and renowned podcasting juggernaut Chris Kalous, who wears around his old-school trad-climbing pedigree like a prize badge, used my new... Read More
Gear [harnesses]

Black Diamond Zone Harness

Climbing in Rifle is apparently not at all like riding a bike. Last month I visited my former home crag after three years away. I... Read More
Gear [accesories]

Beta Stick

Say what you want about stick clipping, but sometimes it’s just plain smart. For years, sport climbers have been carrying heavy around 10-foot extendable painter’s... Read More
Gear [clothing]

Patagonia Nano Air Light

In their endless quest to tinker with, rethink, and perfect the ultimate alpine layering systems, Patagonia has arrived at some real winners over the years.... Read More
Gear [shoes]

La Sportiva Women’s Otaki

The first pitches I climbed in the La Sportiva Women’s Otaki, touted by the company as a high-performance all-around shoe, were at a gently overhanging... Read More
Gear [packs, trad-climbing]

Black Diamond Creek 35

Haul bags were designed to be hauled up big walls, not carried around as packs. The fact that they offer no support and no breathability... Read More
Gear [accesories]

Rolflex

Ironing out all that knotted, bound soft tissue in your forearms is key to preventing the development of tendonitis in your elbows … Which, thusly,... Read More
Gear [shoes, sport-climbing]

Scarpa Drago

Last year I raved about the Scarpa Furia, at the time, the softest, highest-performing shoe I’ve ever tested. Now it’s time to rave about the... Read More
Gear [belay-devices]

Trango Vergo

The race is on to unseat the Petzl GRIGRI 2 from its throne as the reigning champ of assisted-breaking belay devices, and the Trango Vergo... Read More
Gear [cams-nuts, trad-climbing]

Black Diamond X4

Small cams scare some people, but not me. It’s the big cams that scare me—the really, really big ones, I mean, because it suggests that I’m... Read More
Gear [ropes, sport-climbing, trad-climbing]

Mammut Eternity Dry Duodess 9.8mm

For 2015 Mammut has introduced a new line of ropes with some pretty standard-setting dry technology. After six months of testing the Eternity Dry Duodess... Read More
Gear [bouldering, shoes, sport-climbing]

Scarpa Furia

There aren’t many encouraging trends in the climbing world these days, especially when it comes to gear, which has generally gotten much lighter, but also... Read More
Gear [biners-draws]

DMM Revolver

I think the DMM Revolver is one of the more underrated climbing inventions of recent times. Though this specialty carabiner has been on the market... Read More
Gear [accesories]

Friction Labs Chalk

Forget all that strength training, campusing and hangboarding you’re doing. If your climbing shoes aren’t sticky, or your palms and fingers are greasier than a Kentucky hippie’s... Read More
Gear [clothing]

Arc’Teryx Aristo Pant

I will no doubt get me in trouble for saying this, but Carhartt’s go well with lumbersexuals and La Sportiva Mythos. But for any type... Read More
Gear [harnesses, sport-climbing, trad-climbing]

Arc’teryx FL-365

  Ever since Arc’teryx first released their “Warp Strength Technology” line of harnesses several years back, I’ve been a fan. Light, sleek, super packable, and... Read More
Gear [belay-devices]

Edelrid Mega Jul

The Edelrid Mega Jul comes as close to being a do-it-all, one-stop-shop no-drop belay/rappel device as any I’ve ever seen. This multifunctional tube-style device is... Read More
Gear [packs, sport-climbing]

Black Diamond Stone Duffel 42

The Black Diamond Stone Duffel is one of the least expensive ($90) yet most well-made and functional sport-climbing packs on the market. The feature set on... Read More
Gear [shoes]

Arc’teryx Arakys

When I hear about the hyped-up technology behind any piece of new gear,my eyes always glaze over. In my mind, the inherent worth of any... Read More
Gear [packs, sport-climbing, trad-climbing]

Patagonia Cragsmith 35L

The Patagonia Cragsmith is a back-loading “clamshell” pack that splits open and spews out all your gear at the base of the route you’re about to climb... Read More
Gear [packs]

Trango Crag Pack

Trango’s cragging pack, just called the Crag Pack, surprised me when it became one of my favorite choices for my home crag at Rifle. The Crag Pack... Read More
Gear [accesories, camping]

AeroPress Coffee Maker

The Aerobie AeroPress looks like a penis pump, but the only hard-on you’re going to get is when you taste the quality of coffee this... Read More
Gear [ropes]

Edelrid Topaz 9.2mm

The updated Edelrid Topaz 9.2mm is a bi-pattern dry rope that is $20 bucks cheaper than its 2014 predecessor, thanks to some new factory technology... Read More
Gear [ice-climbing, packs]

Patagonia Ascensionist 35L

A lot of thought, engineering and design went into creating the new Patagonia Ascensionist 35L backpack. This sleek, minimalist climbing pack has a lot going... Read More
Gear [shoes]

Scarpa Rapid LT

The Scarpa Rapid LT is minimalist approach shoe that flies up and down trails like a running shoe and ascends technical terrain like a climbing... Read More
Gear [accesories]

Skyline Flex Fit Hat

I love the idea of supporting all the artists and craftspeople out there in the climbing world, and so I’m always looking to meet new... Read More
Gear [ropes, sport-climbing]

Trango Catalyst 9.0mm

Although I shy away from buying skinny ropes, I’m always happy to climb on someone else’s. For me and most other dirtbag climbers I know... Read More
Gear [harnesses, trad-climbing]

Petzl Aquila

Whether you’re multi-pitching or just banging out routes all day, the Petzl Aquila boasts Cadillac comfort without being clunky or cumbersome. Though thicker and heavier... Read More
Gear [shoes, sport-climbing]

Scarpa Booster S

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Scarpa climbing shoes, and every year I find myself raving about how Heinz Mariacher’s latest offering... Read More
Gear [accesories]

Review: 3rd Rock Clothing

Climbing clothing lifestyle brands seem to be enjoying a bit of a resurgence lately, which is great for those of us who don’t want to... Read More
Gear [ice-climbing, ropes]

Petzl Volta 9.2mm

The Petzl Volta 9.2mm rope is certified for use as a single, half or twin rope, which makes it useful for alpine or multi-pitch climbing.... Read More
Gear [accesories]

DMM Traction Chalk Bag

If you need a new chalk bag, the DMM Traction chalk bag is a bomber choice. The highlight of the Traction is its super stiff... Read More
Gear [harnesses, sport-climbing]

ArcTeryx S220 LT Harness

The new lighter, sleeker and sexier Arc’Teryx S220 LT harness is a an improvement on its predecessor, the S240, a favorite among sport and ice climbers and... Read More
Gear [camping]

Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed

I’d give up 5.14 for the ability to sleep well anywhere, any time. I’m a horrible sleeper. I’m often hot, uncomfortable and mildly in pain... Read More
Gear [clothing, ice-climbing]

Patagonia Nano Air

This season, Patagonia has rocked the category of breathable synthetic insulations with their own proprietary FullRange insulation. This past spring I had the opportunity to test... Read More
Gear [accesories]

Mammut Liquid Chalk

I liken Mammut’s Liquid Chalk to the introduction of sticky rubber shoes—it works so well you think you can’t climb without it. That’s how I... Read More
Gear [ropes, sport-climbing, trad-climbing]

Mammut Finesse 9.3mm

The Mammut Finesse 9.3mm is one of the more unique climbing ropes on the market. Look closely at your current rope’s sheath: almost certainly you’ll... Read More
Gear [shoes]

La Sportiva Solution

I reviewed the Solutions a few years ago and thought they were great: I loved them for their comfortable fit and downturned, aggressive last and crazy... Read More
Gear [biners-draws, sport-climbing]

Petzl Spirit Express Quickdraw

Petzl ushered in the era of “notchless” keylock carabiners, and this design has really set one of the most important performance standards for carabiners. Keylock... Read More
Gear [clothing, harnesses, sport-climbing]

Mammut Realization Pants

“How ya doing today, Danny?” I asked my friend at the warm-up area of our mutually favorite sport crag, Rifle. “Well, if you judge my... Read More
Gear [packs]

ArcTeryx Miura 35

Don’t you hate it when you’re hiking out to a crag, or you’re back at the car, and you want to get something like your... Read More
Gear [shoes]

Scarpa Boostic

The Scarpa Boostic is a serious contender for my most favorite rock-climbing shoe. Comfortable yet high-performing, the Boostic is an edging titan on everything from low-angle... Read More
Gear [clothing]

Black Diamond Deployment Hoody

When I’m traveling for climbing, whether on the road or abroad, I basically live in one outfit. The basic criteria for this outfit is that it must... Read More
Gear [shoes]

La Sportiva TC Pro

The La Sportiva TC Pro (MSRP $180) sets the standard for high-end trad free-climbing. With a mid-stiff sole, high-top protection for your ankles and a... Read More
Gear [shoes]

Five Ten Rogue VCS

The Five Ten Rogue VCS (MSRP $99) is a budget-priced super-soft Velcro slipper for all-around comfort. What I like about this slipper is that it’s... Read More
Gear [shoes]

La Sportiva Miura

The La Sportiva Miura (MSRP $160) needs no introduction. This an awesomely technical, high-performance, do-it-all, “quiver-of-one” climbing shoe. What I love about the Miura is... Read More
Gear [shoes]

Five Ten Moccasym

The Five Ten Anasazi Moccasym (MSRP $115) is a soft, flat-lasted slipper that is great for gym climbing, sport climbing and bouldering—but really shines as... Read More
Gear [shoes]

Scarpa Feroce

The Scarpa Feroce (MSRP $165) is an all-around workhorse with a triple Velcro closure that excels on steep routes requiring toe power, and technical slabs... Read More
Gear [shoes]

La Sportiva Katana Lace-Up

The La Sportiva Katana Lace (MSRP $165) is a slightly asymmetrical, low-volume, slightly downturned, all-purpose climbing shoe. This sleek, sharp weapon for your foot excels... Read More
Gear [accesories, clothing]

Patagonia Interstate Hat

Because it’s summer. Because you know that it’s time for a road trip. Because there are crags in the high mountains hours that are only good... Read More
Gear [shoes]

Five Ten Dragon Lace-up

The Five Ten Dragon (MSRP $165) is an aggressive, down-turned shoe for high-performance sport climbing. What I like about the shoe is that it’s aggressive,... Read More
Gear [shoes]

La Sportiva Jeckyl VS

The La Sportiva Jeckyl VS (MSRP $120) is comfortable, high-quality Velcro slipper that excels at crack climbing. What I love about this shoe is that... Read More
Gear [shoes]

Five Ten Anasazi Lace-up

The Five Ten Pink Anasazi Lace-up (MSRP $150) is a comfortable, flat-lasted shoe for all types of face climbing. The original classic pink Anasazi from... Read More
Gear [shoes]

Evolv Addict

The Evolv Addict (MSRP $99) is a soft, flat-lasted slipper that does great for gym climbing, sport climbing and bouldering, but really shines as a... Read More
Gear [shoes]

Five Ten Anasazi Guide

The Five Ten Anasazi Guide is a super-stiff, supportive flat-lasted lace-up for all-day moderate routes, particularly trad climbing in the mountains. This is a great... Read More
Gear [shoes]

Scarpa Techno X

The Scarpa Techno X is a flat-lasted and comfortable edging shoe that packs in a lot of performance features for all-day high-end routes. Sporting a medium-... Read More
Gear [shoes]

Evolv Nexxo

The Evolv Nexxo is the newest addition to Evolv’s Chris Sharma Signature Series, designed by the maestro himself, is the Nexxo: a semi-stiff downturned slipper... Read More
Gear [bouldering, shoes]

Five Ten Team VXi

The Five Ten Team VXi is the softest slipper with the stickiest rubber ever made. This a super high-performing shoe for comps, bouldering and gym,... Read More
Gear [shoes]

Scarpa Stix

The Scarpa Stix is a high-end, high-performance slipper for steep sport climbing and bouldering. It’s got an asymmetrical last and a precision fit for toe... Read More
Gear [shoes]

Scarpa Mago

The Scarpa Mago is one of the best shoes I’ve ever worn for sport climbing, and after years of using them to make brilliant ascents of... Read More
Gear [shoes]

La Sportiva Pythons

The La Sportiva Pythons are indoor bouldering and route-climbing slippers that also have a place outdoors on steep pockets and edging climbs. They are one of the... Read More
Gear [shoes]

Scarpa Instinct

The Scarpa Instinct is a gently downturned, precision edging shoe for vertical to overhanging sport and trad climbs. This lace-up climbing shoe that finds a... Read More
Gear [shoes]

Evolv Shaman

The Evolv Shaman is a high-performance climbing shoe, designed by Chris Sharma, for vertical to overhanging sport climbs and bouldering. The shape and design of... Read More
Gear [accesories]

CAMP Speed Climbing Helmet

Every day there are fewer and fewer excuses why you wouldn’t wear a helmet. But the CAMP Speed helmet is one of them. At roughly half... Read More
Gear [clothing, ice-climbing]

Outdoor Research Lodestar Gloves

When it comes to winter-climbing gloves, it’s always a balance between dexterity and warmth, keeping water and snow out versus soaking the glove on the... Read More