New Climbing Gear That You Should Own
While the big climbing brands get most of the attention when it comes to introducing new products, many smaller companies are just as busy producing innovative gear that occasionally flies below the radar. Here are some great examples of climbing equipment from smaller manufacturers that offer exceptional innovation, value and performance.
Trango Agility 9.1
The Agility 9.1 is part of a growing crop of versatile, skinny triple-rated climbing ropes that can be used in single, double, or twin rope systems. It’s also available with a dry treatment (necessary for alpine adventures) and features Trango’s Spider Wear construction for increased durability. So-far-so-good, but not radically different from many similar ropes on the market. Where the Agility 9.1 really stands out is with its unique coloured sheath. Unlike traditional cords, the Agility 9.1 has a highly visible contrasting red sheath for 5m at each end of the rope. These sections are easily identifiable and ensure added safety when lowering a climber or rappelling. From a safety perspective, this benefit cannot be understated. While many climbers are concerned with ropes being cut, the real cause of most climbing fatalities is rapping off the ends of your rope or dropping a climber when lowering. In this regard, the Agility 9.1, with its bright red ends, is a huge step forward in safety. And when you consider the rope’s smooth handling, highly visible middle-mark and low impact forces, it’s obvious that the Agility 9.1 delivers exceptional performance and next-level safety. The Trango Agility 9.1 is available here.
Ucraft Climbing Knee Pad
Kneebars have become de rigueur for many modern routes and boulder problems. Unfortunately, busting out a kneebar without a proper knee pad is often painful and insecure; it’s hard to milk that critical rest when all you can think about is the stabbing pain in your leg as you slowly ooze out of the stance. Thankfully, Ucraft’s knee pad solves these problems. The Ucraft pad is constructed with a sticky climbing-rubber pad that’s attached to a form-fitting neoprene base allowing you to exploit even the most marginal kneebars with comfort and security. And to make sure the pad stays on during multi-kneebar routes and problems, Ucraft adds a secure and easy-to-adjust Velcro and metal buckle closure. This is a great knee pad at a very reasonable price. Get one and eliminate the excuses for not sending your project. The Ucraft Climbing Knee Pad is available here.
Kailas Clip-Up III
With travel restrictions now being lifted. Many climbers are planning road trips to warmer and sunnier destinations. Unfortunately, depending on how you’re travelling, bringing a traditional stick clip, which is mandatory kit for most modern climbing areas, may not be in the cards. The solution, thanks to Kailas, is simple – bring the Clip-Up III. This compact stick clip (collapsed length of 58 cm/22.8 inches) can easily fit inside a carry-on bag or small pack for travel and extends to just over 8-feet (248 cm/97.6 inches) for clipping many out of reach first bolts. Like all modern stick clips, it can install and remove draws as well as clip the rope to the quickdraw. This is a well-made and industry-award-winning piece of gear and cheap insurance against a trip-ruining broken ankle (or worse). The Kailas Clip-Up III is available here.
Verti Call Method Chalk
For most climbers, chalk is a consumable, and the holy grail would be to find a reasonably priced product that offers premium-chalk performance. Say hello to Verti Call’s new Method Chalk. Consisting of an extra fine powder chalk that’s blended with small chalk nuggets, Method Chalk hits that sweet spot of good hand-feel and friction without the talcum powder slipperiness encountered with super-fine chalks. Method Chalk also eschews any extra drying additives that could irritate your skin. Finally, Verti Call specs packaging that’s not only resealable but also recyclable – both good things. The Verti Call Method Chalk is available here.
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