There is a lot to think about when you’re planning for a day out sport climbing. You need to remember all your climbing and safety gear, AND you want to be comfortable, well-nourished, and prepared. This is why we’ve created the ultimate sport climbing gear list.

Your packing is sure to be a breeze with the help of the following checklist. Many of the items on the list are essential for a day at the crag, but others are situation or crag specific. Use the list as a guide to help you plan for the perfect day and save you from running back to the car after your first pitch.

 

 

FREE BONUS! Click here to download the AJ Quick Starter Guide To Climbing

 

HOW TO USE THIS PACKING LIST

To help you narrow in on what will make it in your pack each day, we’ve added some helpful information next to each item. Each of the following categories will assist you in selecting the gear that makes the final cut. The categories will give you an idea of how essential an item is, lead you to extra information, and offer our top picks.

PURPOSE: What the item is used for, and a quick insight as to why you might need it.

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: We have written YES next to every piece of gear that you should definitely bring for a day out sport climbing. For items that are helpful but not essential, we’ve explained their use to help you decide if they’re appropriate for your trip or not.

PRICE RANGE: It’s good to get an idea of how much each item will cost so you can budget accordingly.

LOOK FOR: Tips on key things to look for when selecting your gear.

OUR PICK: Our choice based on the value and quality of the product.

LEARN MORE: A full article on how to choose that particular piece of gear, or a link to other relevant information about the product.

BEST MODELS: An article about the top gear of the year.

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

THE COMPLETE SPORT CLIMBING GEAR LIST

 

1. BACKPACKS AND BAGS

BACKPACK

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Amazon

PURPOSE: Carry All The Gear You Need For A Day At The Crag

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $90 – $220

LOOK FOR: Good Durability, Capacity To Carry Your Gear, Comfort

OUR PICK: Black Diamond Stone 42 Duffel

BEST MODELS: The 10 Best Climbing Backpacks

 

 

 

ROPE BAG

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Protect Your Climbing Rope From Dirt And Debris

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Highly Recommended

PRICE RANGE: $20 – $40

LOOK FOR: Tarp Within Bag, Easy Closure And Durable Buckles

OUR PICK: Metolius Ropemaster HC Bag

 

 

 

2. CLIMBING GEAR

ROPE

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Protection When Lead Or Top-Rope Climbing

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $130 – $380

LOOK FOR: Appropriate Length And Diameter, Dry-Treatment If Desired

OUR PICK: BlueWater Lightning Pro 9.7

LEARN MORE: When To Replace Your Climbing Rope

BEST MODELS: The 10 Best Climbing Ropes

 

 

 

CLIMBING SHOES

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Sticking To Tiny Footholds And Generating Power Through Your Feet

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $85 – $200

LOOK FOR: The Best Fit For Your Foot, The Right Downturn For Your Style

OUR PICK: La Sportiva Solutions

BEST MODELS: Best Beginner Climbing Shoes and Best Bouldering Shoes

 

 

 

HARNESS

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Safety For Climbing And Belaying, Attachment Points For Rope And Belay Device, Loops To Carry Your Gear

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $45 – $170

LOOK FOR: The Best Fit For Your Body, Padding, Good Gear Loops

OUR PICK: Black Diamond Chaos

BEST MODELS: The 10 Best Climbing Harnesses

 

 

 

BELAY DEVICE

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Belaying And Lowering A Climber

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $20 – $150

LOOK FOR: Ease Of Use, Brake Assist, Function As A Rappel Device

OUR PICK: Petzl GriGri 2

LEARN MORE: How To Belay

BEST MODELS: The 8 Best Belay Devices For Rock Climbing

 

 

 

QUICKDRAWS

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Connect Your Climbing Rope To Bolts On The Wall To Protect The Climber In A Fall

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $12 – $40 Each

LOOK FOR: Sturdy Dogbone, Solid Gate Carabiners

OUR PICK: Petzl Spirit Express

BEST MODELS: The 10 Best Quickdraws For Rock Climbing

 

 

 

HELMET

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Protecting Your Head When Falling And From Rock Fall

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Highly Recommended

PRICE RANGE: $45 – $130

LOOK FOR: Comfort, Adjustability And Ventilation

OUR PICK: Black Diamond Half Dome Helmet

BEST MODELS: The 9 Best Climbing Helmets

 

 

 

 

CHALK BAG

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Containing The Chalk You Need While Climbing

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $10 – $40

LOOK FOR: Opening That Fits Your Hand, Smooth Drawstring, Personal Style

OUR PICK: PrAna Chalk Bag

 

 

 

CHALK

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Keeping Your Hands Dry On The Rock And Improving Friction

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $10 – $30

LOOK FOR: Pure Magnesium Carbonate, Low Impurities

OUR PICK: Black Diamond White Gold

BEST MODELS: The 10 Best Climbing Chalks

 

 

 

RAPPEL DEVICE

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Returning To The Ground If There Are No Chains Or Drop In Anchors

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Depends On Anchors At The Crag

PRICE RANGE: $20 – $35

LOOK FOR: Lightweight, Easy To Use, Ability To Be In Guide-Mode

OUR PICK: Black Diamond ATC-Guide

LEARN MORE: How To Rappel

BEST MODELS: The 10 Best Belay Devices

 

 

 

PERSONAL ANCHOR SYSTEM

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Used To Secure Yourself To An Anchor Before Cleaning To Lower Or Rappel

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $25 – $40

LOOK FOR: kN Strength Rating, Adjustability

OUR PICK: Metolius Personal Anchor System

LEARN MORE: Understanding The Limits Of Your PAS


 

 

 

3. CLIMBING ACCESSORIES

BELAY GLOVES

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Amazon

PURPOSE: Protecting Your Hands When Handling Your Climbing Rope

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Personal Preference

PRICE RANGE: $10 – $50

LOOK FOR: Finger Length, Fit, Durable Material

OUR PICK: Outdoor Research Men’s Hand Break Gloves

BEST MODELS: The 10 Best Belay Gloves For Climbing

 

 

 

BELAY GLASSES

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Protect Your Neck While Belaying By Minimizing Strain

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Personal Preference

PRICE RANGE: $30 – $90

LOOK FOR: Prism Quality, Prism Size, Comfort

OUR PICK: Y&Y Plasfun Belay Glasses

 

 

 

PRUSIK CORD

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Back-Up For Rappelling, Self-Rescue

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Personal Preference

PRICE RANGE: $1 – $10

LOOK FOR: Cordelette 60-80% Of The Standing Line Diameter, About 2 m Long

OUR PICK: Sterling Rope Cordelette

LEARN MORE: How To Create Your Prusik

 

 

 

SKIN KIT

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Amazon

PURPOSE: To Care For Splits, Shreds, Flappers And More In Your Skin

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Personal Preference

PRICE RANGE: $1 – $50

LOOK FOR: Build Your Own To Include Tape, Hand Balm, Files, Clippers, Etc

 

 

 

FINGER TAPE

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Support Injured Fingers, Tape Wounds, Fix Things

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Personal Preference

PRICE RANGE: $2 – $10

LOOK FOR: Sticky, Inexpensive

OUR PICK: Metolius Climbing Tape

LEARN MORE: How To Tape Your Fingers

 

 

 

BAIL BINER

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Enables You To Get Off A Route If You Can’t Do The Move And Need To Bail

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Personal Preference

PRICE RANGE: $0 – $10

LOOK FOR: Inexpensive, Old But Not Sharp

OUR PICK: Black Diamond Oval Carabiner

LEARN MORE: How NOT To Bail

 

 

 

GUIDEBOOK

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Amazon

PURPOSE: Provides Area Information And Important Route Details Such As Grade, Quality, Length, Bolts And Description

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Recommended

PRICE RANGE: $25 – $100

LOOK FOR: Current Edition, Good Reviews

OUR PICK: Depends On Where You Want to Climb

 

 

 

EXTENDABLE DRAWS

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Reduce Rope Drag on Wandering Routes

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Only For “Wandery” Routes

PRICE RANGE: $20 – $30 Each

LOOK FOR: Long Sling That Can Be Extended And Two Carabiners; Or Build Your Own

OUR PICK: Edelrid Mission Extendable Quickdraw

LEARN MORE: The Alpine Quickdraw

 

 

 

HAND BALM

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Amazon

PURPOSE: Healing Cuts, Splits, Thin Skin And Other Wounds On Hands And Fingers

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Personal Preference

PRICE RANGE: $7 – $25

LOOK FOR: Natural Ingredients, Not Too Oily

OUR PICK: Climb On! Lotion Bar


 

 

 

4. THE CRAG APPROACH

APPROACH SHOES

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: To Get You To The Crag With Great Support And Rubber Friction

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $55 – $150

LOOK FOR: Sticky Rubber, Wrapping Toe Rand, Breathability, Support

OUR PICK: Scarpa Crux

BEST MODELS: The 10 Best Approach Shoes

 

 

 

TREKKING POLES

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Improve Stability And Lessen Impact To Joints While Carrying Weight

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Personal Preference

PRICE RANGE: $20 – $120

LOOK FOR: Adjustability, Grip And Shock Absorption

OUR PICK: Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock

LEARN MORE: How To Use Trekking Poles

BEST MODELS: The 10 Best Hiking Poles

 

 

 

SANDALS

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Amazon

PURPOSE: To Air Feet Out Between Wearing Climbing Shoes

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Personal Preference

PRICE RANGE: $15 – $120

LOOK FOR: Breathability, Lightweight, Easy To Put On And Off

OUR PICK: Classic Crocs

BEST MODELS: The 8 Best Hiking Sandals


 

 

 

5. FOOD AND WATER

WATER BOTTLE

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Carry Water To Keep You Hydrated

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $10 – $50

LOOK FOR: Reusable, BPA-Free, Suitable Volume

OUR PICK: Nalgene Tritan 32oz Wide Mouth

 

 

 

WATER BLADDER

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Amazon

PURPOSE: Additional Water Storage, Hydration During Approach

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Depends

PRICE RANGE: $30 – $50

LOOK FOR: Easy To Drink From, Sufficient Volume

OUR PICK: Camelbak Antidote Reservoir

 

 

 

MEALS

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Provide Energy To Fuel Your Day

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $1 – $10

LOOK FOR: Sufficient Calories To Recover From Hiking And Climbing

 

 

 

SNACKS

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Quick Energy To Help You Last The Day

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $1 – $5

LOOK FOR: Energy Bars, Fruits And Vegetables, Nuts, Sweet Treats

OUR PICK: Clif Bar Energy Bars

 

 

 

6. CLOTHING FOR WARM WEATHER

LIGHTWEIGHT PANTS

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Personal Comfort And Protection From Rock Abrasion

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Personal Preference

PRICE RANGE: $50 – $150

LOOK FOR: Flexibility And Durable Fabric

OUR PICK: La Sportiva Arco

BEST MODELS: The 9 Best Climbing Pants

 

 

 

LIGHTWEIGHT SHORTS

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Personal Comfort And Protection From Rock Abrasion

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Personal Preference

PRICE RANGE: $20 – $90

LOOK FOR: Flexibility And Durable Fabric

OUR PICK: PrAna Mojo

BEST MODELS: The 10 Best Climbing Shorts

 

 

 

CLIMBING SHIRT

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Amazon

PURPOSE: Protection From Sun And Rock Abrasion

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Yes

PRICE RANGE: $15 – $30

LOOK FOR: Comfort, Style, Breathability and Flexibility

OUR PICK: La Sportiva Climbing T-Shirt

BEST MODELS: The 10 Best Climbing Shirt Brands


 

 

 

7. CLOTHING FOR COLD WEATHER

PUFFY JACKET

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: To Keep You Warm In Between Climbs And While Belaying

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Depends On Season

PRICE RANGE: $150 – $400

LOOK FOR: Suitable Warmth And Weight

OUR PICK: Patagonia Down Sweater Hoodie

BEST MODELS: The 10 Best Down Jackets

 

 

 

LONG UNDERWEAR

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: To Keep Your Lower Body Warm

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Depends On Season

PRICE RANGE: $20 – $100

LOOK FOR: Comfort, Midweight, And Merino Wool Or Synthetic Blend

OUR PICK: Patagonia Capilene Mid-Weight Bottoms

BEST MODELS: The 10 Best Long Johns

 

 

 

WOOL LONG SLEEVE

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: To Keep Your Upper Body Warm

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Depends On Season

PRICE RANGE: $40 – $150

LOOK FOR: Comfort, Merino Wool With Medium Weight

OUR PICK: Smartwool NTS Mid 250 Crew

BEST MODELS: The 10 Best Base Layers

 

 

 

MIDWEIGHT SWEATER

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Keep Warm While Climbing On Colder Days

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Depends On Season

PRICE RANGE: $40 – $200

LOOK FOR: Comfort, Warmth, Fit

OUR PICK: Arc’teryx Fortrez Hoody

BEST MODELS: The 10 Best Fleece Jackets

 

 

 

KNITTED HAT

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Keep Head Warm While Resting Or Climbing

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Depends On Season

PRICE RANGE: $20 – $40

LOOK FOR: Comfort, Warmth, Fit

OUR PICK: Arc’teryx Bird Head Toque

 

 

 

 

GLOVES OR MITTENS

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AmazonBackcountry

PURPOSE: Keep Hands And Fingers Warm While Resting

ESSENTIAL ITEM?: Depends On Season

PRICE RANGE: $15 – $50

LOOK FOR: Comfort, Warmth, Fit

OUR PICK: Outdoor Research Pl 400 Sensor Mitts

BEST MODELS: The 10 Best Hiking Gloves

 

 

 

8. PERSONAL ITEMS AND ACCESSORIES

 

 

 

9. SAFETY GEAR

Sport Climbing Gear List - Best Rock Climbing Gear Articles – Climbing Products For Men and Women
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