The travel kit list: rock climbing essentials for 2022

Whether you’re into bouldering or belaying, we round up the best gear out there, keeping sustainability in mind.

By Tamsin Wressell
Published 27 Apr 2022, 06:15 BST
Dippy Doo Upcycled Climbing Chalk Bag; Adidas Five Ten NIAD VCS Climbing Shoes; Dirtbags Sit Start Boulder Pad; Arc’teryx Essent High Rise ...

Dippy Doo Upcycled Climbing Chalk Bag; Adidas Five Ten NIAD VCS Climbing Shoes; Dirtbags Sit Start Boulder Pad; Arc’teryx Essent High Rise Leggings.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller (UK)

1. Dippy Doo Upcycled Climbing Chalk Bag 

Dippy Doo is one of the few brands on the market offering a more sustainable approach to chalk bags. This tie-dyed by hand option is made from fabric trims and roll ends, with 95% of the material being upcycled. Zips come from a surplus supply and the cotton is organic. £23. 

2. Adidas Five Ten NIAD VCS Climbing Shoes

Designed to give high performance and adjustability while adapting to different surfaces and obstacles, these shoes have been crafted to be all-rounders. They’re made to withstand an ascent of California’s El Capitan, or 7,573ft-worth of hard climbing, with tension transfer from heel to forefoot giving great edging performance on small holds. £130. 

3. Dirtbags Sit Start Boulder Pad

This crash pad by Dirtbags is made to order in the UK using upcycled and repurposed fabrics. Complete with carry handles, the pad’s slimmer design makes it ideal for sit starts or low traverse problems, providing a cushion for slips and falls. For a higher climb, however, you’ll need something with heavier padding. £56.99.

4. Arc’teryx Essent High Rise Leggings 

Released in March, these leggings’ durable nylon knit means they can withstand extended use and friction against rock, while two small pockets have been cleverly located so they won’t interfere with a harness. The leggings also have a moisture-wicking mesh lining and a high level of elastane and high-rise waistband for comfort. £100. 

Lyon Gripmaster Light Tension; Nature Climbing Raw Chalk; YETI Camino 50 Carryall; Simond Rock Climbing and Mountaineering Harness.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller (UK)

5. Lyon Gripmaster Light Tension

This little gadget helps train and strengthen your hands and fingers, allowing for stronger and more durable grip on the rock. Light and pocket-sized, it’s handy for beginners, but there are also medium and heavy tension options. £11.70.

6. Nature Climbing Raw Chalk

Regular climbing chalk can leave residue on the rock, altering its pH and nutrient conditions, and can also fall on surrounding plants and soil. Nature Climbing’s solution is an entirely natural chalk of 100% pure magnesium carbonate hydroxide, sourced from the EU. Packaged in a biodegradable coffee bag, the chalk has no additives and is kind to the skin. €14 (£11.50) for 125g. 

7. YETI Camino 50 Carryall

Yeti’s outdoor gear has garnered a reputation for quality in the climbing world, and the brand’s new, waterproof 50-litre carryall is no exception. It’s especially good for carrying climbing kit, with in-built dividers to separate essentials such as chalk bags, ropes and shoes. £180. 

8. Simond Rock Climbing and Mountaineering Harness 

Lower in cost than many competing models but offering great quality, this harness has been designed by climbing instructors to give a high level of comfort and convenience. Four gear loops on the sides allow climbers to attach things like nuts, quickdraws and carabiners. £39.99. 

Published in the May 2022 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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