Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

Climbing

The North Face Cragaconda

89

2017

The North Face Cragaconda

The North Face Cragaconda is a suitcase style crag pack with a good suspension system and excellent organizational features.

Patagonia Crag Daddy 45L

87

2017

Patagonia Crag Daddy 45L

The Patagonia Crag Daddy 45L is a duffel style crag pack that carries loads well on the approach and is convenient to use at the cliff. The internal frame effectively harnesses loads while hiking up and the duffle style opening makes accessing and stashing gear a snap.

Trango Crag Pack

85

2017

Trango Crag Pack

Like its name, the Trango Crag Pack is simple in design but the features it does have are functional and practical. This haul bag style pack easily swallows all necessary gear for both sport and trad climbing and has no problem carrying heavy loads.

DMM Flight 45L

85

2017

DMM Flight 45L

The DMM Flight is a well-organized, suitcase style crag pack with a clean design. It transports all your sport climbing essentials to the cliff in a compact package.

Metolius Crag Station

84

2017

Metolius Crag Station

The Metolius Crag Station is the original duffle style crag pack. The simple design and bomber materials make this crag pack a workhorse that can take abuse without complaint.

Black Diamond Equipment Pipe Dream 45 Crash Pad Pack

84

2017

Black Diamond Equipment Pipe Dream 45 Crash Pad Pack

The Black Diamond Equipment Pipe Dream 45 Crash Pad Pack carries sport climbing necessities to the cliff, then deploys into a clean, flat and padded area for both gear and climber.

Petzl Sitta

86

2016

Petzl Sitta

The Petzl Sitta is a lightweight harness for sport, ice and alpine climbing.

Arc’teryx AR-395a

84

2016

Arc’teryx AR-395a

The Arc’teryx AR-395a is a lightweight, compact harness filled with features for all around climbing use.

Singing Rock Onyx

80

2016

Singing Rock Onyx

The Singing Rock Onyx is a lightweight harness for sport and trad climbing.

Mammut Zephir Alpine

80

2016

Mammut Zephir Alpine

The Mammut Zephir Alpine is a lightweight harness for alpine and ice climbing and moderate rock climbing.

C.A.M.P. Air

80

2016

C.A.M.P. Air

The C.A.M.P. Air CR is a lightweight, fully adjustable harness for rock and alpine climbing.

Beal Rebel

79

2016

Beal Rebel

The Beal Rebel is a lightweight harness for sport climbing.

Metolius All-Around

75

2016

Metolius All-Around

The Metolius All-Around is a comfortable harness for rock climbers with SafeTech high strength components throughout. 

Boreal Satori

80

2016

Boreal Satori

The Boreal Satori has a lowered toe box, putting the foot in a very aggressive stance, but some issues with the fit sacrifice performance and comfort.

Mad Rock Redline

82

2016

Mad Rock Redline

The Mad Rock Redline is designed specifically for overhanging rock, but a severe downturn makes smearing ineffective and painful.

Five Ten Team VXi

87

2016

Five Ten Team VXi

The Five Ten Team VXi has amazingly sticky rubber with a narrow to box and is more of a specific climbing tool rather than a go-to shoe.  

Butora Acro

88

2016

Butora Acro

The Butora Acro is a comfortable and aggressive slipper but a centered powerpoint can make some moves feel awkward.

Tenaya IATI

90

2016

Tenaya IATI

The Tenaya IATI’s climbing shoe has a blend of comfort and performance that is incredible. 

Mammut Wall Rider

88

2016

Mammut Wall Rider

The Mammut Wall Rider is a lightweight, well-ventilated molded foam helmet with a partial plastic shell.

Petzl Sirocco

87

2016

Petzl Sirocco

The Petzl Sirocco is a lightweight molded foam helmet with no plastic outer shell.

Camp Speed 2.0

82

2016

Camp Speed 2.0

The C.A.M.P. Speed 2.0 is a well-ventilated and versatile molded foam helmet for rock and ice climbing and ski mountaineering. 

Black Diamond Vapor

86

2016

Black Diamond Vapor

The Black Diamond Vapor is a lightweight, molded foam climbing and mountaineering helmet. 

Singing Rock Penta

89

2016

Singing Rock Penta

The Singing Rock Penta is a lightweight, well-ventilated molded foam helmet.

Beal Atlantis

82

2016

Beal Atlantis

The Beal Atlantis is a lightweight, molded foam helmet for ice and rock climbing and mountaineering.

Patagonia M10

87

2016

Patagonia M10

Light, packable and durable, the Patagonia M10 is designed for climbing in inclement weather, but was just as usable in a variety of situations. 

Mammut Segnas

85

2016

Mammut Segnas

The Mammut Segnas is fully featured and bomber Gore Active 3-layer shell. A tough shell that brags awesome breathability for its weight.

Marmot Red Star Jacket

76

2016

Marmot Red Star Jacket

The Marmot Red Star jacket 3-layer jacket is best used as an emergency shell rather than a dependable defender. 

REI Rhyolite

84

2016

REI Rhyolite

The REI Rhyolite is a great deal for a well thought out and dependable 3-layer shell.

Under Armour Moonraker GTX

86

2016

Under Armour Moonraker GTX

The Under Armour Moonraker GTX is a bomber and versatile 3-layer jacket. We were impressed with its performance; a runner up for Best in Class.  

Scarpa Furia

94

2015

Scarpa Furia

The Scarpa Furia is a precision weapon for high-end sport climbing and bouldering. As one of the softest shoes on the market, the Furia is not for beginners: strong toes and advanced footwork are a prerequisite to taking advantage of all the Furia has to offer.

La Sportiva Genius

90

2015

La Sportiva Genius

The La Sportiva Genius takes a few days to break in and has a narrow last, with some dead space in the heel. The No Edge design of the Genius takes some getting used to, but once you’re comfortable with the egg-shaped toe, smearing, edging and using tiny pockets becomes really secure.

Tenaya Oasi

85

2015

Tenaya Oasi

The Tenaya Oasi is mid-performance edging shoe for super narrow feet. With 3.5mm of Vibram XS rubber under toe, the Oasi is soft enough to feel the tiniest edges and dishes of rock, but there’s just enough support to let you climb all day.

Evolv Luchador SC

82

2015

Evolv Luchador SC

The Luchador is great entry level shoe for climbers looking to get into the world of down-turned, asymmetrical, high-performance climbing shoes.  A gentle down-turn and a relatively neutral shape make the Luchador SC a great all-rounder.

Boreal Dharma

76

2015

Boreal Dharma

With a nice symmetrical last and a down-turned toe, the Boreal Dharma ought to be a really comfortable high-performance shoe. Unfortunately, there is a major design flaw that makes this shoe uncomfortable to climb in.

LOWA Expedition 6000 EVO RD

91

2015

LOWA Expedition 6000 EVO RD

Lowa’s Expedition 6000 EVO RD is well suited for climbing moderate to technical routes in cold weather like Alaska, Himalayas and Peru. But with an inner bootie that is slow to dry, this is not the boot to have on wet routes when ample drying time is not available.

Trango Catalyst

91

2015

Trango Catalyst

The Trango Catalyst is a 9.0mm dynamic climbing rope with Unicore technology bonding the sheath and core and a DuoDry treatment of the sheath and core. 

Edelrid Eagle Light

89

2015

Edelrid Eagle Light

The Edelrid Eagle Light is a 9.5mm dynamic single climbing rope.

Metolius Monster 10.2

88

2015

Metolius Monster 10.2

The Metolius Monster is a 10.2mm dynamic single climbing rope.

Trango Lotus

86

2015

Trango Lotus

The Trango Lotus is a 9.9mm dynamic single climbing rope with a dry treated sheath.

Petzl Aquila

90

2015

Petzl Aquila

The Petzl Aquila is a lightweight, fully adjustable harness with attractive features for sport climbers and mountaineers.

Mammut Zephir

81

2015

Mammut Zephir

The Mammut Zephir is a lightweight harness designed for weight conscious sport climbers. 

Black Diamond Momentum

86

2015

Black Diamond Momentum

The Black Diamond Momentum is a lightweight all-around harness with elastic leg loops and plush padding that should please sport and trad climbers alike.

Scarpa Vapor V 2015

81

2015

Scarpa Vapor V 2015

The Vapor V 2015 is an all-around, high-end shoe for indoors and out. The slight downturn and asymmetry of the last makes it aggressive yet comfortable, whether on slabs or 45-degree overhangs.

Scarpa Instinct S

90

2015

Scarpa Instinct S

The Instinct S is the only true all-around slipper we’ve tested. Whether edging and toeing-in on pockets, cruising thin splitters and liebacks at Indian Creek, or wearing large (with or without socks) on long routes, the Instinct S does it all—exceptionally.

Lowa Red Eagle VCR

79

2015

Lowa Red Eagle VCR

The wide, asymmetric and slightly downturned last of the Lowa Red Eagle fits fatty feet better than most shoes on the market.Finally there’s a shoe that allows testers with high-volume feet to fully cinch down the Velcro. 

La Sportiva Testarossa

85

2015

La Sportiva Testarossa

The Testarossa is arguably the best aggressive lace-up on the market. Designed for toe power and hooking ability, they excel at steep bouldering, gym training and sport climbing.

La Sportiva Katana

84

2015

La Sportiva Katana

A go-to shoe for everything but severe overhangs and roofs, the Katana is a comfortable performer on a variety of terrain.

Five Ten Blackwing

84

2015

Five Ten Blackwing

The Blackwings start where the Anasazi VCS leaves off in terms of the terrain they master. The Blackwings are perfect for everything steeper than vertical, they basically turn climbers’ toes into fingers. 

Five Ten Anasazi VCS

84

2015

Five Ten Anasazi VCS

The Anasazi Velcro and its pink, lace-up version have been go-to shoes for 5.14 climbers at crags notorious for micro footholds, like Smith Rock, OR and the Virgin River Gorge, AZ since the late 1990s.

Edelrid Wing

86

2015

Edelrid Wing

The Edelrid Wing is a lightweight, fully adjustable harness that is designed for alpine climbing.

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