ContentsQUICK ANSWER – THE BEST CLIMBING CHALKSCLIMBING CHALKS REVIEWSFRICTION LABSFRANK ENDOTRANGO GUNPOWDERPUR CHALKFLASHED CHALKASANA WHITE DIRTBLACK DIAMOND WHITE GOLDMETOLIUS SUPER CHALKPETZL POWER CRUNCHMAMMUT CHALK POWDERCOMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST CLIMBING CHALKSHOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST CLIMBING CHALKSTYPES OF CHALKLOOSE CHALKCHALK BALLSLIQUID CHALKCOMPOSITIONFRICTION AND ABSORPTIONHOW LONG IT LASTS Every climber uses chalk. Some use it to tame sweaty palms and tips. Others claim it enhances friction on their hands. Some openly admit that chalking up is a necessary mental crutch. Whatever the reason, if you’re a climber, you understand the need to feed the addiction. The chalk that climbers depend on for sending their next sweet project is Magnesium Carbonate (MgCo3). Most climbing brands sell it, and there are even a couple companies that specialize in making the best climbing chalk they can. Is there a difference though? It’s hard to say. Chalk is a substance that truly comes down to personal preference. One of our goals here at The Adventure Junkies is to help you gear up for climbing. In this article, we’ll walk you through what to look for when shopping for chalk and show you our list of the ten most popular climbing chalks for you dip your hands into. For more of out top climbing gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: Ropes | Harnesses | Helmets | Backpacks Climbing Shoes | Approach Shoes | Pants | Shorts | Shirts Carabiners | Cams | Nuts | Quickdraws | Pulleys | Belay Devices Bouldering Shoes | Bouldering Pants | Crash Pads cloud-downloadCLICK HERE to Download our FREE Quick Starter Guide to Climbing. Photo by istockphoto.com/portfolio/AlexBrylovPhoto by istockphoto.com/portfolio/nensuria QUICK ANSWER – THE BEST CLIMBING CHALKS FrictionLabs Frank Endo Trango Gunpowder PurChalk Flashed Chalk Asana White Dirt Black Diamond White Gold Metolius Super Chalk Petzl Power Crunch Mammut Chalk Powder CLIMBING CHALKS REVIEWS FRICTION LABS Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI LOOSE: Three versions, BamBam (chunky), Gorilla (medium), Unicorn Dust (fine powder) LIQUID: Yes SOCK: Yes PROS: Enhanced friction, high purity, made in the USA, lasts well on hands CONS: Very expensive FRANK ENDO Check out the latest price on: Amazon LOOSE: Chalk blocks only LIQUID: No SOCK: No PROS: Classic and effective gymnastic chalk, can be bought in bulk as a box of 8 two-ounce blocks CONS: May not last as long on hands TRANGO GUNPOWDER Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Backcountry LOOSE: Fine grained in plastic screw top container LIQUID: No SOCK: No PROS: Smooth, fine-grained, and long-lasting CONS: Smaller company, harder to obtain PUR CHALK Check out the latest price on: Amazon LOOSE: Available in white or three different rock-coloured pigments LIQUID: Yes SOCK: Yes PROS: 100% natural, ash, red rock, and sandstone colors are designed to blend in to rock CONS: Expensive FLASHED CHALK Check out the latest price on: flashed LOOSE: Chunky powder or blocks LIQUID: Yes SOCK: Yes PROS: Great absorption, coats well, and each bag comes with a climbing fortune CONS: Harder to get in USA without the help of a great Canadian friend ASANA WHITE DIRT Check out the latest price on: Amazon LOOSE: Mix of chunks and fine powder LIQUID: No SOCK: Yes PROS: Mix of chunks and powder reduce dust, absorbs sweat effectively and stays on hands CONS: May not last as long on hands BLACK DIAMOND WHITE GOLD Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Backcountry LOOSE: Powder with some chunks LIQUID: No SOCK: Yes PROS: Excellent friction, stays on long, hands stay dry CONS: Some users with very sweaty hands find it doesn’t dry enough METOLIUS SUPER CHALK Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Backcountry LOOSE: Powder has drying agent, block has no drying agent LIQUID: Yes SOCK: Yes PROS: Coats hands well, least expensive and most widespread “climbing specific” chalk. CONS: May not last as long on hands, lower reported friction PETZL POWER CRUNCH Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Backcountry LOOSE: Mix of chunks and fine powder LIQUID: Yes SOCK: Yes PROS: Mix of chunks and powder reduce dust CONS: Chunks can be a bit difficult to break up MAMMUT CHALK POWDER Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Backcountry LOOSE: Fine powder LIQUID: Yes SOCK: Yes PROS: Liquid chalk is the best on the market CONS: Loose chalk is less silky than some other brands COMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST CLIMBING CHALKS PICTURECHALKLOOSE?LIQUID?BALL?PRICERATING PICTURECHALKLOOSE?LIQUID?BALL?PRICERATING FrictionLabsYesYesYes$$$4.8 Frank Endo YesNoNo$4.8 Trango GunpowderYesNoNo$4.8 PurChalkYesYesYes$$$4.7 Flashed ChalkYesYesYes$4.6 Asana White DirtYesNoYes$4.5 Black Diamond White GoldYesNoYes$4.4 Metolius Super ChalkYesYesYes$4.3 Petzl Power CrunchYesYesYes$$4.2 Mammut Chalk PowderYesYesYes$$4.0 Gear up for climbing, without breaking the bankGet the Latest Deals on Climbing GearSent right to your inbox...GEAR UP FOR CLIMBING HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST CLIMBING CHALKS TYPES OF CHALK You can buy chalk in multiple forms. Loose chalk is the most common, but there are times when chalk balls (also called chalk socks) or liquid chalk might be more appropriate. LOOSE CHALK Loose chalk is the most common and the least expensive form of your magic sending dust. Most companies sell loose chalk in bags or hard containers, but you can also buy it in blocks and break it up yourself. You can fill your chalk bag or chalk bucket liberally and coat your hands at will. While loose chalk is the most versatile, it is also by far the messiest. Expect it to get on everything. CHALK BALLS Many climbing gyms ban loose chalk to help maintain good air quality. If this is the case, your best bet is to use a chalk ball. Some chalk balls are filled with chalk and sealed, but others are refillable. Chalk balls tend to release chalk at a slower pace, making your chalk last longer. LIQUID CHALK Liquid chalk is a special product sold as a mixture of highly purified MgCO3 and alcohol. To use it, place a small dollop in the palm of your hand and then rub it thoroughly into your fingers and tips. After the alcohol evaporates an even and thin layer remains that can last significantly longer than loose chalk. Some climbers use liquid chalk before a tough redpoint burn if there are few places to chalk up on route. Others use it in gyms that have loose-chalk-bans. Climbers often choose to apply liquid chalk as a “base layer” before dipping their hands in loose chalk or grabbing their chalk ball. COMPOSITION Climbers use chalk made of Magnesium Carbonate (MgCO3), but other molecules such as Calcium Carbonate and Calcium Sulfate are also found in chalk. MgCO3 traps water inside its crystalline structure, whereas Calcium Carbonate binds water to the outside. MgCO3 is thus better at absorbing sweat, and Calcium Carbonate tends to feel slippery or slimy on the hands. When chalk companies brag about having “pure chalk” they are referring to the purity of their MgCO3. FRICTION AND ABSORPTION Chalk needs to absorb sweat from your palms or your fingertips without adding a slippery or greasy feel. Just as you want sticky rubber on your climbing shoes, you want sticky, grippy chalk for your fingers. All climbing chalk is meant to absorb water and enhance friction, but some may perform better than others. Some chalk companies even add a drying agent to their mixture! The only way to know what works best with your skin is to test a few. HOW LONG IT LASTS You want chalk on your hands for as long as possible, but you want to chalk up as infrequently as possible. Chalk that lasts longer on your hands can help substantially with this issue. Boulder problems tend to consist of condensed, powerful movement. It is very uncommon come to come across a place to chalk up mid boulder problem – you need the chalk to stay on your hands from the bottom to the top. This is one of the reasons why boulderers often don’t even bother carrying chalk bags, but opt for chalk buckets instead. Climbing routes tend to have hard sections and easy sections, and often you can find a resting location mid-route. Rests are the best places to chalk up when climbing. If there are no rests, climbers attempt to chalk up in easier terrain. Basically, you want to avoid having to chalk up during any cruxy climbing while still maintaining chalk on your hands as long as possible. ROCK CLIMBING RESOURCESTABLE OF CONTENTSROCK CLIMBINGTABLE OF CONTENTS 1. BASICS 5. CLIMBING CLOTHES 2. KNOTS & ANCHORS 6. TRAINING 3. CLIMBING SKILLS 7. SAFETY 4. CLIMBING GEAR 8. PSYCHOLOGY 1. BASICS 2. KNOTS & ANCHORS 3. CLIMBING SKILLS 4. CLIMBING GEAR 5. CLIMBING CLOTHES 6. TRAINING 7. SAFETY 8. PSYCHOLOGY Disclosure: The Adventure Junkies is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. We also use other affiliate programs like REI, LeisurePro, Diviac and Liveaboard.com.