ContentsQUICK ANSWER – THE BEST ROCK CLIMBING SHIRTSROCK CLIMBING SHIRTS REVIEWSSMARTWOOLOUTDOOR RESEARCHPRANAARC’TERYXMOUNTAIN HARDWEARLA SPORTIVABLACK DIAMONDREIDYNAMITE STARFISHPATAGONIAACCESS FUNDCOMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST ROCK CLIMBING SHIRTSHOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST ROCK CLIMBING SHIRTSCLIMBING STYLEFLEXIBILITYMATERIALCOTTONMERINO WOOLSYNTHETIC FABRICSCOLORMEN’S VERSUS WOMEN’S Are you looking to get into climbing but wondering where to start with your wardrobe? Fortunately, there are almost no rules when it comes to dressing for climbing. Picking your outfit comes down to style and personal preference. If you’re seeking to embrace the “climber look,” however, you’ve come to the right place. We at The Adventure Junkies have assembled a list of top clothing brands making the best rock climbing shirts on the market. Climbing-specific tees and tanks are designed with the movement of a climber in mind. In other words, buying from a climbing specific brand will ensure you get a flexible fit that doesn’t inhibit your range of motion. This concern is definitely important because of all the bending, reaching and twisting that climbers do with their upper bodies. 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/alexbrylov QUICK ANSWER – THE BEST ROCK CLIMBING SHIRTS Patagonia La Sportiva Smart Wool Outdoor Research Prana Arc’Teryx Mountain Hardwear Black Diamond REI Dynamite Starfish Access Fund ROCK CLIMBING SHIRTS REVIEWS SMARTWOOL Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Backcountry WOMEN’S VERSION: Smartwool BEST FOR: Climbing, hiking, cold weather outings CLIMBING SPECIFIC: No MATERIAL: Merino Wool, occasionally blended with Nylon AVAILABLE STYLES: T-shirts, longsleeves PROS: Great for layering with other tees, warm, natural, helps to minimize body odor CONS: Expensive, wool can break down more quickly than other fibers OUTDOOR RESEARCH Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Backcountry WOMEN’S VERSION: Outdoor Research BEST FOR: Climbing, hiking, casual wear CLIMBING SPECIFIC: No MATERIAL: Featured shirt is 100% heathered polyester; others 100% cotton AVAILABLE STYLES: Tank tops, t-shirts PROS: Anti-bacterial treatment on polyester prevents odor, multiple shirt styles available, including button-ups and zips CONS: Not climbing specific PRANA Check out the latest price on: Amazon WOMEN’S VERSION: Prana BEST FOR: Climbing, yoga CLIMBING SPECIFIC: No MATERIAL: 100% Organic Cotton AVAILABLE STYLES: Tank tops, t-shirts, longsleeves PROS: Fair trade certified, premium organic cotton resists shrinking, great for multiple lifestyle activities CONS: Some styles may run a little small ARC’TERYX Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Backcountry WOMEN’S VERSION: Arc’teryx BEST FOR: Climbing, hiking, layering CLIMBING SPECIFIC: No MATERIAL: Organic Cotton AVAILABLE STYLES: Tank tops, t-shirts, longsleeves PROS: Biowashed fabric for softness and longevity CONS: Expensive, several Amazon users report unknowingly purchasing knock-off tees MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Backcountry WOMEN’S VERSION: Mountain Hardwear BEST FOR: Climbing, hiking, casual wear CLIMBING SPECIFIC: No MATERIAL: 50% cotton, 50% polyester AVAILABLE STYLES: Tank tops, t-shirts, longsleeves PROS: Moisture-wicking fabric keeps you cool and dry, wrinkle-resistant, lightweight CONS: Some users reported material snagging relatively easily LA SPORTIVA Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Backcountry WOMEN’S VERSION: La Sportiva BEST FOR: Climbing, bright colors CLIMBING SPECIFIC: Yes MATERIAL: Organic Cotton AVAILABLE STYLES: Tank tops, t-shirts PROS: Lightweight, breathable, designed specifically for climbers, cut for movement and includes a diagonal side insert for added range of motion and flexibility, stylish CONS: Bold logos and colors are great for some tastes but not all BLACK DIAMOND Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Backcountry WOMEN’S VERSION: Black Diamond BEST FOR: Climbing, hiking, bright colors CLIMBING SPECIFIC: Yes MATERIAL: Organic Cotton, elastane AVAILABLE STYLES: Tank tops, t-shirts, longsleeves PROS: Some of the women’s tops have built in bra for support, company guarantee their products and promises to repair, replace or refund if customers are unsatisfied, 1% of April sales are donated to the Nature Conservancy CONS: Several fun designs available in men’s tees are not available for women, no tank tops for men REI Check out the latest price on: REI WOMEN’S VERSION: Available BEST FOR: Climbing, hiking, casual wear CLIMBING SPECIFIC: No MATERIAL: 50% cotton, 50% polyester AVAILABLE STYLES: Tank tops, t-shirts, longsleeves PROS: Comfortable casual t-shirts produced by number one consumer co-op in the USA. REI offers satisfaction guarantee, gear and outdoor advice, and 10% dividend return for members CONS: Many users find that the fit and quality of shirts changes with updated versions, no tank tops for men DYNAMITE STARFISH Check out the latest price on: Dynamite Starfish WOMEN’S VERSION: Available BEST FOR: Climbing CLIMBING SPECIFIC: Yes MATERIAL: 60/40 combed ringspun cotton/polyester AVAILABLE STYLES: Tank tops, t-shirts PROS: Tees designed to fit the climbing lifestyle, fun designs that reflect the climber’s experience, “happy mistakes” are discounted mis-printed tees, portion of the profits from every item goes towards climbing advocacy CONS: Small scale production, harder to come by PATAGONIA Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Backcountry WOMEN’S VERSION: Patagonia BEST FOR: Climbing, hiking, casual wear CLIMBING SPECIFIC: No MATERIAL: Cotton, polyester, polyester-cotton blends AVAILABLE STYLES: Tank tops, t-shirts, longsleeves PROS: Fair-trade certified production, soft and durable, taped shoulder seams for comfort, phthalate-free ink CONS: Several Amazon users report unknowingly purchasing knock-off tees ACCESS FUND Check out the latest price on: Access Fund WOMEN’S VERSION: Available BEST FOR: Climbing CLIMBING SPECIFIC: Yes MATERIAL: 50% cotton, 50% polyester AVAILABLE STYLES: T-shirts PROS: Supporting the Access Fund with the purchase of a t-shirt is a direct way to support, protect, and raise awareness about America’s crags; the design on the shirt changes to something new and exciting annually CONS: Only one t-shirt per year, fits a little small COMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST ROCK CLIMBING SHIRTS PICTUREBRANDBEST USEMATERIALSSTYLEPRICERATING PICTUREBRANDBEST USEMATERIALSSTYLEPRICERATING SMART WOOLOverallMerino WoolT-shirts, longsleeves$$$5.0 OUTDOOR RESEARCHOverallPolyester, CottonTank tops, t-shirts$$4.6 PRANAOverallCotton Tank tops, t-shirts, longsleeves$4.4 ARC'TERYXOverallCotton Tank tops, t-shirts, longsleeves$$4.3 MOUNTAIN HARDWEAROverallCotton-Polyester BlendsTank tops, t-shirts, longsleeves$$4.0 LA SPORTIVABudgetCotton Tank tops, t-shirts$4.5 BLACK DIAMONDBudgetCotton Tank tops, t-shirts, longsleeves$4.0 REIBudgetCotton-Polyester BlendsTank tops, t-shirts, longsleeves$4.0 DYNAMITE STARFISHMaking a DifferenceCotton-Polyester BlendsTank tops, t-shirts$5.0 PATAGONIAMaking a DifferenceCotton-Polyester BlendsTank tops, t-shirts, longsleeves$4.9 ACCESS FUNDMaking a DifferenceCotton-Polyester BlendsT-shirts$$5.0 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 ROCK CLIMBING SHIRTS CLIMBING STYLE Choosing the right shirt (or shirts!) for your day on the rock comes down to the type of climbing you plan to do. If you’re heading out sports climbing or bouldering, your biggest clothing concern might be showing off your personal style. If you’re going trad climbing and will be hitting a bunch of chimneys, you may want to consider a long sleeve shirt to protect your skin from rock abrasion. Are you headed up a big wall? Consider packing a couple of layers and a light jacket into your day pack in case the weather changes. Weather conditions are the biggest considerations when it comes to choosing your shirt for a day of climbing. Always check the weather in advance if possible. Be prepared for rapid changes to conditions, which can happen unexpectedly especially in the desert and the mountains. A lot of climbers consider perfect conditions to be t-shirt friendly. But, you still need to wear your puffy jacket while hanging out or belaying. On days like these, you will likely need several layers between your tee and your puffy for the time spent just hanging out. FLEXIBILITY Ease of movement is super important for climbing. On a warm day in the boulder fields, you’ll often find men with their shirts off and women in sports bras as they enjoy that unrestricted feeling while they embark on their latest project. Climbing movement is three-dimensional and full of crazy pulls, twists and bends, so the ability to move freely is paramount. Many women opt for tank tops when climbing to allow for complete mobility in the shoulders whereas men often prefer loose fitting t-shirts and tanks. When you’re picking a shirt for climbing, look for something that is either loose enough that it won’t inhibit any motion or stretchy enough to move with your body. MATERIAL It may surprise you to hear that the material your shirt is made from is less important in climbing than in other sports. Climbing tends to be slower and more methodical than endurance-type aerobic sports, so building a sweat is less common. If you have a long approach to get to your crag, however, consider a breathable, sweat-wicking shirt for the hike in. Then, you can just switch to your climbing tee upon arrival. COTTON Cotton shirts are quite popular for climbing due to their durability against an abrasive rock. Fortunately, climbers typically need not worry about the sweat-drenched-cotton risks that hikers have to keep in mind. Many climbing apparel brands also offer cotton-polyester or cotton-spandex blends for increased stretchiness. MERINO WOOL One thing you may need to keep in mind, especially if you’re on one of those seven-days-between-each-shower road trips, is the smell. Merino wool can be a great choice to help keep body odors in check. It is also great at wicking moisture and keeping your temperature regulated. SYNTHETIC FABRICS Synthetic fabrics are an obvious choice due to moisture-wicking properties and enhanced flexibility. You’re likely to find climbers decked out in a variety of synthetic shirts especially when it comes to tank tops. Poly-spandex blends are common as these are cotton blended with polyester or nylon. COLOR The popularity of bright, colorful tops in the climbing industry is growing. Bright colors and patterns are fun. Of course, there’s also the added side benefit of color popping in photos. If you’re hoping to capture a shot of yourself pulling the wicked hard moves on your crux, remember that wearing a vibrant colored tee will let you stand out way more against the rock. That being said, color and style are subjective. Fortunately, you should be able to find the perfect match for you considering the many choices available on the market today. MEN’S VERSUS WOMEN’S Most companies offer completely different options in apparel for men and women to accommodate body types and styles. For example, many women prefer to wear tank tops as opposed to t-shirts when climbing. Amidst all the brands we covered here, there are other styles and designs to meet whatever look you’re going for when heading out to hit the rock. 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.