Traditional Climbing Gear: What to Invest In

Traditional Climbing Gear: What to Invest In

Are you a climbing enthusiast looking to take your skills to the next level? Investing in the right traditional climbing gear is essential for a safe and successful climbing experience. From harnesses and ropes to cams and nuts, this article will guide you on what to invest in to enhance your climbing performance and safety. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned climber, having the right gear is crucial for tackling any climbing challenge.

Climbing Shoes

When it comes to traditional climbing, having the right pair of climbing shoes is essential for both performance and safety. Here are some key considerations when investing in climbing shoes:

Choosing the right fit

The fit of your climbing shoes can make a significant difference in your overall climbing experience. It’s important to find a pair that fits snugly without being too tight or uncomfortable. Look for shoes that provide a balance between comfort and performance, as you’ll be wearing them for extended periods while climbing.

Key features to look for

When shopping for climbing shoes, look for key features that can enhance your climbing abilities. Some important features to consider include a sticky rubber sole for better grip on the rock, a downturned toe for better precision on small holds, and a durable construction that can withstand the rigors of traditional climbing.

Top brands to consider

There are several reputable climbing shoe brands that are known for their quality and performance. Some top brands to consider when investing in climbing shoes include La Sportiva, Scarpa, Five Ten, and Evolv. These brands offer a wide range of styles and designs to suit different preferences and climbing styles.


When it comes to traditional climbing gear, a harness is an essential piece of equipment that ensures your safety while climbing. There are different types of harnesses available, each designed for specific types of climbing activities. It is important to choose a harness that fits well and provides the necessary support for your body.

Types of harnesses

There are several types of harnesses to choose from, including:

  • Traditional harness: This type of harness is designed for general climbing purposes and is suitable for beginners and experienced climbers alike.

  • Sport climbing harness: Sport climbing harnesses are lightweight and often have additional padding for comfort during long climbs.

  • Alpine harness: Alpine harnesses are designed for mountaineering and are usually lightweight and have gear loops for carrying equipment.

Proper fitting and sizing

It is crucial to ensure that your harness fits properly to prevent accidents while climbing. To determine the correct size, measure your waist and leg loop sizes according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Make sure the harness is snug but not too tight, as this can restrict movement and cause discomfort.

Additional features to consider

When choosing a harness, consider additional features that may enhance your climbing experience. Some features to look out for include adjustable leg loops, gear loops for carrying equipment, and padding for extra comfort during long climbs. It is also important to check for safety certifications to ensure that the harness meets industry standards.

Investing in a high-quality harness is essential for any climber, as it is a crucial piece of equipment that can make a significant difference in your climbing performance and safety. Be sure to choose a harness that fits well, provides the necessary support, and includes any additional features that will enhance your climbing experience.


When it comes to traditional climbing gear, ropes are an essential investment. Ropes are crucial for safety in climbing, providing protection in case of a fall and allowing climbers to belay and rappel. Here are some key considerations when investing in climbing ropes:

Dynamic vs. static ropes

Dynamic ropes are designed to stretch and absorb the impact of a fall, making them ideal for lead climbing and top roping. On the other hand, static ropes do not stretch and are better suited for rappelling and hauling gear. It’s important to choose the right type of rope based on your climbing style and objectives.

Length and diameter considerations

The length and diameter of a rope are important factors to consider. Longer ropes are necessary for multi-pitch climbing, while shorter ropes are more convenient for single-pitch routes. Thicker ropes offer more durability and abrasion resistance, but are heavier to carry. Thinner ropes are lighter and easier to handle, but may not be as durable.

Popular rope brands

There are several reputable rope brands in the market that offer high-quality climbing ropes. Some popular brands include Petzl, Mammut, Black Diamond, and Sterling. These brands offer a range of ropes with varying lengths, diameters, and features to suit different climbing needs.

Investing in a good quality rope is essential for safe and enjoyable climbing experiences. Consider factors such as rope type, length, diameter, and brand reputation when choosing the right rope for your next climbing adventure.

Protection Gear

When it comes to traditional climbing, having the right protection gear is essential for a safe and successful climb. Protection gear is used to secure the climber to the rock face and protect them in case of a fall. Here are some of the types of protection gear you’ll need to invest in for traditional climbing:

Types of protection gear

  1. Cams: Cams are mechanical devices that can be placed in cracks in the rock to create anchor points. They come in various sizes to fit different crack widths and are essential for protecting a climber in the event of a fall.

  2. Nuts: Nuts, also known as chocks or stoppers, are passive protection devices that can be wedged into cracks to create anchor points. They come in different shapes and sizes to fit a variety of crack widths and are a versatile piece of protection gear.

  3. Hexes: Hexes are hexagonal-shaped passive protection devices that can be placed in cracks to create anchor points. They are particularly useful in larger cracks where cams and nuts may not fit securely.

Anchors and placements

Anchors are critical for traditional climbing as they provide the connection between the climber and the protection gear. Proper anchor placement is essential for ensuring the safety of the climber in the event of a fall. Some common types of anchor placements include:

  • Natural features: Rocks, trees, and other natural features can be used as anchor points in traditional climbing. It’s important to assess the stability of these features before using them as anchors.

  • Bolts: In some climbing areas, permanent bolts may be installed in the rock for climbers to use as anchor points. It’s important to check the condition of these bolts and ensure they are secure before relying on them for protection.

Essential gear for traditional climbing

In addition to protection gear, there are some essential items that every traditional climber should invest in:

  • Harness: A harness is essential for attaching yourself to the protection gear and ensuring your safety in the event of a fall.

  • Helmet: A helmet is crucial for protecting your head from falling rocks and debris while climbing.

  • Ropes: High-quality climbing ropes are essential for traditional climbing to provide a secure connection between the climber and the protection gear.

  • Carabiners: Carabiners are used to connect the climber to the protection gear and are an essential piece of equipment for traditional climbing.

Investing in the right protection gear and essential climbing equipment is key to a safe and successful traditional climbing experience. Make sure to do your research and invest in high-quality gear to ensure your safety on the rock face.

Carabiners and Quickdraws

When it comes to traditional climbing gear, carabiners and quickdraws are essential tools that every climber should invest in. These pieces of equipment play a crucial role in keeping climbers safe and secure on the wall. In this article, we will discuss the different types of carabiners, how to choose the right quickdraws, and maintenance and care tips to ensure their longevity.

Different types of carabiners

Carabiners come in various shapes and sizes, each designed for specific purposes in climbing. Some common types of carabiners include:

  • Locking carabiners: These carabiners feature a locking mechanism that prevents the gate from opening accidentally. They are ideal for securing important connections, such as anchors or belay devices.

  • Non-locking carabiners: These carabiners do not have a locking mechanism and are commonly used for attaching gear to a harness or building quickdraws.

  • Wiregate carabiners: These carabiners have a lightweight design and are less prone to freezing shut in cold conditions. They are often used for lightweight alpine climbing or sport climbing.

Choosing the right quickdraws

Quickdraws are an essential piece of equipment that connects the climber’s rope to bolts or other protection points on the wall. When choosing quickdraws, consider the following factors:

  • Length: Quickdraws come in various lengths, typically ranging from 10cm to 25cm. Longer quickdraws provide more extension and reduce rope drag on wandering routes.

  • Gate type: Quickdraws can have either solid or wiregate carabiners on each end. Wiregate carabiners are lighter and less likely to freeze shut, making them ideal for cold weather climbing.

  • Weight: Lightweight quickdraws are preferred for alpine or multi-pitch climbing, where every ounce counts. However, heavier quickdraws may offer more durability and strength.

Maintenance and care tips

To ensure the longevity and safety of your carabiners and quickdraws, follow these maintenance and care tips:

  • Regularly inspect: Check for signs of wear, such as sharp edges, cracks, or gate deformation. Replace any damaged or worn carabiners immediately.

  • Clean and lubricate: Remove dirt and grime from your carabiners and quickdraws with a mild detergent and water. Lubricate moving parts with a silicone-based lubricant to prevent rust and ensure smooth operation.

  • Store properly: Store your carabiners and quickdraws in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight. Avoid storing them in damp or humid conditions, as this can lead to corrosion.

By investing in high-quality carabiners and quickdraws and following proper maintenance and care practices, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable climbing experience.


Investing in traditional climbing gear is essential for any climbing enthusiast looking to explore the great outdoors. By equipping yourself with high-quality gear such as cams, nuts, harnesses, and helmets, you can ensure your safety and enhance your overall climbing experience. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned climber, having the right gear can make all the difference in your ability to tackle challenging routes and push your limits. So, take the time to research and invest in the gear that best suits your needs, and get ready to conquer new heights in the world of traditional climbing.