Whether they’re just getting started on 5.6s or working on that 5.12, here are some gift ideas for the outdoor climber in your life. Also check out our Gift Ideas for Him, for Her, and other gift guides from Active Junky, or gift ideas from our sister site, Tom’s Guide.
Who doesn’t need a new sport climbing harness? No matter what you’re currently wearing, this is sure to be an upgrade. Black Diamond’s Kinetic Core Construction helps distribute weight more evenly throughout the harness for all day crag fests, and only weighs a measly 10.5 oz. The leg loops are non-adjustable; therefore removing two more points of failure at the adjustment points. Ladies; check out the Black Diamond Aura harness for all the same goodness. But be warned, the light weight comes at a cost. You’ll not find a haul or chalk bag loop.
Best For: All day sport climbing
Visiting Potrero Chico this winter? Time to add a few more draws to your sport rack; you’ll need ‘em for the double-digit multi-pitch routes. Not only that, but it’ll be hard to find a pack of six quickdraws any cheaper than these AND you get a free locking biner. Don’t let the lack of sticker shock scare you away. These draws are still connected with a 22kN Dyneema sling and the biners are rated for 25kN on the major axis. Plus, who doesn’t want gear with dirtbag in the title?
Best For: Saving money and sport climbing
Try the new Pivot belay device from DMM. With similar operation to the more common Black Diamond ATC Guide and Petzl Reverso, the Pivot offers controlled, smooth lowering of your partner. That fleeting moment of free fall can be fun under the right conditions, but we wouldn’t include being lowered from several hundred feet off the deck as one of them. Use this belay device with nearly any sized rope from the smallest ones coming in at 7.5mm to the burliest of ropes at a whopping 11mm.
Best For: Multi-pitch climbs; not dropping your partner
Single patterned and unmarked center ropes are the bane of any climber’s existence when routes require multi-pitch rappels or you need to lower off the anchors at the crag. With Maxim’s high visibility, high contrast bi-pattern, never guess (or tape) the centermark again. If you do happen to take a few whippers, it’s rated for 7 UIAA falls and has a dynamic elongation of 26% for comfy landings. The 2x dry treatment and miniscule 9.5mm diameter makes this a dream rope for climbing 12 months out of the year: rock, snow, OR ice.
Best For: Anything! Our first choice for mixed alpinism.
There is absolutely nothing better than getting your first set of cams when you start trad climbing. Want to share that joy with someone else? We thought so; that’s why we’re suggesting the cam set that sets the standard when it comes to active protection. From finger cracks to hand jams, this set gives you the most variety in size for nearly any crack you want to tackle. The four biggest sizes are rated for 14kN, capable of holding your Subaru off a cliff, so you can feel safe pushing your limits on a well placed cam.
Best For: Trad and alpine climbing.
Whether you’re a trad climber, sport, ice or snow—it doesn’t really matter. You always need more carabiners. The Photon Wire carabiner has a full-sized, full-strength frame, but it only weighs 1 oz., or as much as 6 nickels. Despite the almost-non-existent weight, they still protect you up to 21kN of force along the major axis. They’re also color coded for easy racking and use with your new cam set.
Best For: Climbing everything you can imagine
What’s worse than not sending your project? Staring up from the belay station all day as your partner works on theirs. Get rid of “belay neck” and buy a pair of these belay glasses from Belaggles. Using small prisms and a unique design, you can look straight ahead and keep your neck neutral while keeping a close eye on your climber above. Trust us, your neck and shoulders will thank you.
Best For: Neck pain prevention while belaying your partner
We’ve seen this bag in crags all across the U.S., Thailand and beyond. When you’ve run into it all around the world, you can bet it’s one of the best bags you can gift this season. It easily holds all your gear, rope, extra clothes and maybe even a few crag beers. Top and rear access, gear loops and internal mesh pockets keep everything in place so you spend more time climbing and less time setting up.
Best For: Hauling your climbing gear to epic climbing locations
If these shoes are good enough for Chris Sharma (actually, he designed them), they’re probably good enough for you, too. With a downturned, roomy toe box and biodegradable Trax rubber, along with other features like the “love bump,” this shoe is certain to get rid of all the, “Ugh! I think it’s my shoes!” excuses.
Best For: Sport climbing and bouldering
“From the office to the crag” is all the rage these days, and these pants pretty much epitomize that duality. The stretchy, DWR softshell material ensures you stay dry and move effortlessly over rock, snow, and ice while you’re out playing. If you live in a mountain town, they might as well be dress pants. Feel free to get some morning laps in at the local crag, and then head straight for your first business meeting of the day.
Best For: Moving like a Ninja in the backcountry; sending a board meeting
If you climb rocks year round, the winter months get a little bit chilly and these gloves have you covered on all bases: wind and water resistance, nose wiping patch and sewn loops for easy take off and hanging them on your harness when it’s your turn to climb. Goatskin leather palms provide great grip for belaying and amazing dexterity for building an anchor when your lead pitch is over. Deflection softshell provides wind resistance, and the 60 grams of insulation will keep your hands warm as long as you stay active.
Best For: Belaying in chilly weather that might give you the sniffles