For Those About to Rock

A version of this story appeared in the fall 2019 issue of Uncommon Path. This article was updated April 20, 2021.

Just starting out rock climbing at the gym or the crag? Scoop up this beginner-friendly gear and you’ll be ready to train all your focus on your next move.


STATIC Traveler Chalk Bag

Static Traveler Chalk Bag

Improve your grip and fight off sweaty palms with Metolius Super chalk and the stylish blanket-weave STATIC Traveler bag. It’s handmade in San Diego, California, and—get this—infused with local, USDA organic lavender to keep it fresh. Bag: $25; 4.5 oz. chalk: $4.95.

Another chalk bag we love: Metolius Chalk Bag


Patagonia Capilene Cool Daily Graphic T-Shirt (Women’s and Men’s)

Patagonia Capilene Cool Daily Graphic T-Shirt

This quick-drying tee feels soft like your favorite shirt, plus it boasts anti-stink fabric that will wick your sweat away. It is made with recycled polyester and comes in several colors and graphics. $45.


Petzl Borea Climbing Helmet

Petzl Borea Helmet

Petzl designed this helmet to offer protection on the top, sides and back of your head. The low-profile lid is great for all types of climbing and comes in several colors. $59.95


Black Diamond Big Air XP Belay Device Package

Black Diamond Big Air XP Belay Device Package

The Black Diamond Big Air XP Belay Device Package includes the ATC-XP assisted-braking belay device with three grooves that offer increased hold and stopping power. Plus, this package deal hooks you up with a Mini Pearabiner screwgate carabiner. $32.95

Another belay device and carabiner we love: Petzl GRIGRI Belay Device, Petzl Sm’D Screw-Lock Carabiner


Petzl Corax LT Harness (Women’s) and (Men’s)

Petzl Corax LT Harness

This harness is sturdy, comfortable and straightforward to adjust for the proper fit. Soft fabric lining the harness adds comfort and elasticized leg loop straps provide mobility for all types of climbing. $59.95

Other harnesses we love: Edelrid Jayne III (women’s) and Jay III (men’s), Petzl Luna (women’s) and Adjama (men’s)


La Sportiva Tarantulace Climbing Shoes (Women’s) and (Men’s)

La Sportiva Tarantulace Climbing Shoe

There’s good reason the La Sportive Tarantulace is REI’s best-selling climbing shoe. It combines comfort and performance and are ideal for anything from afternoons spent bouldering to daylong multi-pitch sessions. You can use them for all-day wear right out of the box. The laces provide a precise fit, and the 5mm-thick FriXion RS rubber offers long-lasting stickiness. $85.

Other shoes we love: Scarpa Helix (women’s) and (men’s)


Black Diamond Notion Pants (Women’s) and (Men’s)

Black Diamond Notion Pants

Made of 98 percent organically grown cotton with a hint of stretch, these pants are tough but comfy. Elastic around the ankles keeps the pant legs out of your way during delicate moves, and a drawstring waist fits smoothly under a harness. Several pockets keep your keys, phone and other items handy. $79


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