Climbing isn’t for everyone, but much like surfing or snowboarding, it enthralls some. If you have a climber in your life, finding gifts that will be both helpful and cool is always a priority. There are quite literally thousands of items and texts that your climbing friend or loved one could add to their collection. How do you differentiate between the good stuff they need and what they already have? Sifting through the sheer mass of material available can be daunting, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best gifts for climbers in 2018.
1. Fitness Master Adjustable Hand Strengthener
The human hand is an intricate structure of numerous muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones. Every climber knows that keeping it strong and flexible is the first step to staying safe because a firm grip can prevent a fall. This grip strengthener is ideal for climbers of all experience levels, and offers adjustable levels from 20 to 90 pounds of resistance, with a ridged foam comfort grip to provide easy handling. Chrome springs and a hard plastic construction also make it durable enough to take anywhere for hand workouts during commutes, at the office or as a part of a gym routine.
2. Climbing Panda Chalk Bag from AMC
For those who aren’t familiar with climbing themselves, chalk is essential. It’s part of a climber’s safety routine and helps them securely grip variable surfaces as they ascend. It also prevents friction burns that can be caused by handling ropes during belay, caving, and extended sport climbing exercises. True, this bag is adorable and highly visible, but it’s also designed with function in mind. Both lightweight and efficiently designed, the slim waist belt provides a comfortable, secure fit while the generous opening gives the climber access to their chalk. The waterproof exterior and improved drawstring closure keep chalk dry and contained when it’s not in use.
3. Girl Climber T-Shirt
The popular conception of the denizens of the climbing world is often as single-sexed as it is monochromatic. Nothing could be further from the truth, and women perform some of the most challenging climbs. No fuss, no griping, no excuses—climb like a girl in this t-shirt. It was made for Type 2 Fun, whether it involves a new alpine climb, a more challenging wall, or adventure into the unknown with friends.
4. Epitomie Fitness Finger Master
Basic grip training is excellent and useful for pursuits beyond rock climbing, but the strength of individual fingers is essential too. The pistons can be individually locked, permitting a wide variety of different exercises at home, the gym, the office or in the wilderness. While it’s excellent for climbers to use in their daily strength routines, it’s also excellent for those recuperating from a hand or wrist injury. Plus, it can strengthen muscles to prevent injuries to bones and joints in the future.
5. Freedom of the Hills, 9th Edition
If your climber is ready to leave the safety and comfort of the gym for the rugged freedom of alpine vistas, they need this book. While the illustrations and text are routinely updated to stay abreast of current safety measures and new techniques, the core values, essential checklists, and discipline that protects mountaineers remain consistent. Mentors are fantastic, but having a text new climbers can read and revisit as needed is a vital addition to the safety arsenal.
6. Triple-Strand Twisted Cotton Cordage from Ravenox
If there’s one thing a climber will never have enough of, it’s durable rope. This ancient concept of twisting plant fibers together into longer and longer strands is often the last thing that stands between a climber and a nasty end following a fall. Ravenox offers variable choices of length and width for their classic, strong cotton cordage, ranging from ¼-inch to 1-inch thicknesses and 10 to 100 feet in length.
7. Outmate 6-Piece Locking D-Ring Carabiner
The carabiner is an essential piece of equipment in any climber’s toolkit. While these are made of rust- and abrasion-resistant aluminum alloy, they should be reserved for tasks that do not exceed 150 pounds of force, such as setting up camp, suspending food packs for safe keeping, securing backpacks for river and stream crossings, and light backpacking activities.
8. Slackline Training Kit from Flybold
While it’s often treated as a game, this fun pastime is also a rigorous training routine for balance, control, and strength. This kit comes with everything needed to enjoy backyard fun with family or friends. It includes a main line and a training line, rachets and tree protectors all of which fit in a compact carrying bag for simple storage or transport. The main line can comfortably support 300 pounds, which means taking turns isn’t a problem. Climbers can up the ante and train with a friend for superior balance and response time.
9. Rotational Hanging Swivel with Carabiners from Auskit
For descents, sport climbing, or spelunking, this swivel kit is ideal. While it can be used to support swings and aid in suspended dance practices, it has an active working load of 2000 pounds with frictionless 360-degree rotation. That means it will support climbers of all shapes and sizes, pack loads, and perform reliably in a moment of stress such as a fall or slip. The central unit and both locking carabiners are crafted from high-quality aluminum-magnesium alloy, which means they’re light, strong, and rust-proof.
10. Adjustable Thrasher Cycling Helmet by Zacro
Helmets are just as crucial during even the most moderate bouldering activity as they are when on a bicycle. A 10-foot drop can kill or paralyze an adult human without adequate protection, which is why sport cycling helmets are often popular with the alpine crew. This one is well ventilated and lightweight, crafted with an adjustable head strap for the perfect fit. It also has a detachable visor, which can come in handy for finding the right handhold on vertical escarpments.