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Sneak Peak: Climbing Gear Coming in 2018

By: Seiji Ishii - July 13, 2017


We are just two weeks away from the 2017 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market show, and industry gear hounds are salivating to get their eyes and hands on the fresh goods that are about to be dropped on the eager outdoor consumers. Climbing related gear is often at the spear’s point of development as the potential conditions and consequences dictate smartly designed and quality laden equipment. Here’s a short list of what the discerning climber has to look forward to from a few of the stalwart brands in the climbing industry.

Scarpa Maestro Line of Trad Shoes
Italian brand Scarpa introduces a four-shoe line of trad climbing shoes that promise high performance and all day comfort without being overly stiff. A new IPC-Tension active rand system builds tension in the shoes to support the foot without unnecessary stiffness. The shoes keep comfort at the forefront with Eco Leather, which is made soft, supple and durable without the environmental impact of tanning. Intelligent patterning keeps the seams away from areas that are prone to pressure when foot jamming. The men’s and women’s Maestro Mid offers a higher cut ankle for the protection of those sensitive areas while battling cracks and offers the first women’s specific high cut climbing shoe. The men’s and women’s Maestro is the lower cut version more suitable for face climbing or all around use, using a more powerful IPC-Tension active rand, dubbed the Integrale Plus. All four shoes use 4mm Vibram XS Edge rubber to ensure grip. Maestro Mid, $190.00, Maestro Mid, $180, available Spring 2018.


Outdoor Research Fifth Force Hoody
Outdoor Research combines comfort and durability with their Fifth Force Hoody while keeping with the style that befits the modern boulderer and sport climber. This layer blends spandex, cotton and Cordura nylon to give rock jocks the super stretchy mobility they require, the comfort of cotton they desire and the durability they demand. Drop-in handwarmer pockets, an adjustable hood, flat seam construction, and tonal contrast stitching graces the jacket. Both men’s and women’s specific versions are equally at home at the apres climbing craft beer pub or coffee shop. $89.00, available Spring 2018.


Petzl Ouistiti Kid’s Harness
Kid’s full body harnesses are often a tangled mess requiring quantum physics to unravel. The Petzl Ouistiti Harness overcomes this by being semi-rigid, color-coded (gray on interior surfaces, blue on the exterior), and shaking into alignment when held by the dorsal tie in point. Designed for children under 30kg (66 lbs.), the harness’ adjustment system is difficult for them to reach and it doesn’t require a connector to remain fastened, allowing the harness to stay in place between climbs. Comfort is addressed with quilted closed cell foam on the leg loops, positioning waistbelt and shoulder straps. The front tie in point is reinforced and lower, enhancing comfort, especially when being lowered. The front tie in point is green for climbing, and the dorsal point is orange for adventure parks and the like. Safe, easy to put on and take off, and comfort for the little crushers! $59.95, available Spring 2018.


Five Ten Quantum VCS
Blend Five Ten’s famous Stealth C4 rubber soles, a premium Clarino synthetic upper, and the design input of German legends Alex and Thomas Huber and the result is a high-performance bouldering and sport climbing shoe named the Quantum VCS. The slightly downturned profile and performance last conquer the steepness while remaining comfortable, partly due to the Clarino upper that conforms to the foot without stretching. A highly breathable Ariaprene tongue caps the shoe off, helping keep feet cool when the temperatures rise. $185.00, available in 2018.


Black Diamond Equipment ATC Pilot
Black Diamond’s brand-new ATC Pilot brings braking assisted security to single rope climbing, providing an additional level of safety while still allowing a smooth rope payout. The ergonomic design integrates a non-slip surface on a steel body for comfort, control, and durability. The ATC Pilot accommodates ropes from 8.7mm to 10.5mm, and at 86g in weight, it’s a lightweight contender in the assisted braking belay device category. $44.95, Available Spring 2018.

About the Author

Seiji Ishii

Seiji Ishii

Seiji Ishii works as a trainer to professional supercross/motocross riders, adventure based motorcycle testing contributor at multiple outlets, and as an AMGA certified rock climbing guide/instructor for White Star Mountain Guides/Austin Rock Gym. His personal time is spent rock climbing, any form of dirt biking, cycling, and training for the next mountaineering adventure.


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