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17 Practical Gifts for Rock Climbers They’ll Love and Use 2024

If you have friends who are as obsessed with climbing as we are, check out our list of best practical gifts for rock climbers.

We started climbing in 2015, and ever since, we knew it would be a big part of our lives. When we’re not working on the blog, you will most likely find us climbing in our free time. When we moved to a new city each year, we picked an apartment within walking distance of a climbing gym or a close drive to a local crag. In 2019, we moved to Vegas to be close to Red Rock, and I even started route setting at our local climbing gym.

15 Best Gifts for ClimbersPin

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Last Updated: February 19, 2024

17 Practical Gifts for Rock Climbers

Our gift guide includes a mix of gear we already own, gear that our OG climbing friends recommend, and we also asked our friends what’s on their wish lists.

Many of these newer products were gifted to us in exchange for an honest review (view our full list of partners). We either previously owned an older version or tried a friend’s before getting one of our own. We send back any products we don’t love or don’t think are a good fit for you. 

Learn more about how we select gifts for our gift guides and our methodology here.

1. Climbing Shoes →

Can you have too many climbing shoes? If you’re like us, we climb at least three times a week and quickly put holes in our shoes.

This is one of the most practical gifts for rock climbers, especially the minimalist rock climber. At the bare minimum, shoes are all you need if you only boulder (or free solo).

The best climbing shoes are the ones that fit your feet. Sadly, just because a friend highly recommends their shoes with the stickiest rubber doesn’t necessarily mean that shoe will work for you. The safest bet is to buy them a pair of shoes they already wear and love or pay for a resole if you don’t care about the surprise element.

These are our current faves:

  • Scarpa Instinct VS – Esther Fave – I wear the men’s because I have wider feet. These are what I’ve worn for the past six years.
  • Five Ten Anasazi – Jacob’s Fave for all-day wear for gym climbing or warming up. He also has the Instinct VS as his outdoor send shoes.
  • Scarpa Instinct S – Scarpa recently sent us these, and we’ve been excited to try their newest shoes. We love that they are slip-on! They fit way tighter than the Instinct VS, so we ended up sizing up, but we will let you know how they perform long term. From my initial thoughts, I still love the Instinct VS more and worry that the heel will pop off, but we’ll see.

We highly recommend you try them all on to see which ones are a great match for your feet. Don’t forget to include a gift receipt so they can exchange them if they don’t fit. I know I’ve had an incredibly hard time finding shoes that fit my foot shape.

Sustainability Tip: You can always offer to pay for a resole, but that takes a lot more coordinating with your friends’ climbing schedules. Also, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise.

See More: 15 Clever Hacks and Tips for Climbing

2. Chalk Bags →

Chalk bags are a fun way to accessorize and personalize your look. Some are more practical, while others are more fun and decorative. We’ve even seen companies that make custom ones out of your own stuffed animals.

Chalk Buckets (for bouldering):

  • Kinetik KiloJoule Spill Proof Chalk Bucket – We’ve been eyeing our friend Joe’s chalk bucket for a while, and now that we finally have one, this is the main one we use. It’s the only chalk bucket we’ve owned with an innovative design that doesn’t spill chalk. We also love that it zips up to secure your miscellaneous items like brushes, making this especially great for travel.
  • Topo Design Chalk Bucket – We love their collab with So Ill. It’s super cute but functions like a typical chalk bucket.
  • 8BPlus Chalk Buckets – We used to have the Louie pictured below but ended up gifting it to a friend. This one is more for form than function. The top straps can be annoying.

Chalk Bags (more for rope climbing but can be used for bouldering):

We’ve also had the Arc’teryx Aperture chalk bag, which was great in theory. We loved their twist closure, but the wind was constantly dumping the chalk out because of how light the rest of the material is when open.

3. Rope →

If the climber in your life is into Sport or Trad climbing, they will appreciate new rope. There are multiple types of rope used for different situations, but you can definitely find one that is a bit more all-purpose like the one that we just got.

Many climbers will tell you this is the most important investment. Everything else (shoes, hardware, etc) is comparable, but the rope is where you want to spend the most money for safety.

We’re still new to sport climbing, so we tried to get something that we can use for a long time. So far, we’ve loved this 9.9 70m Climbing Rope from Black Diamond with the Black Diamond Super Chute Rope Bag to keep it packed and clean at the crag.

Pro Tip: Check out REI’s rope guide if you want to learn more.

Rock Climbing Rope + Gifts for Rock ClimbersPin

4. Hardware →

This is a general term for the additional gear you need to Sport or Trad climb. For trad climbers, it’s all about the rack.

They all can only be used for a certain number of climbs, so it’s nice to have backups.

Pro Tip: If you’re not a climber and want to find out what they need, just show some interest in climbing and talk about wanting to build your own kit.

5. Home Climbing Wall →

When all the gyms closed during the pandemic, we figured it was finally time to install our home wall. Our long-term plan is to have a larger space but to get a taste of it in our apartment, we got some Megalith panels.

We absolutely love how they look! They were easy to install and almost look like an art piece on our walls.

For a few years, we were looking for a house with space for an indoor climbing wall, and we finally found one. Originally, wanted to have a custom wall to set on, but those were upwards of 80k. That’s when we settled on this adjustable training board (you can see us putting it up here). Then, you can add random holds for a spray wall or use the kilter, tension, or moonboard system. Check out our home wall account.

Megalith Coupon Code: Use coupon code “localadventurer” to get 5% off your order.

6. Skincare / Hand Care Kit →

Climbing is rough on your hands! We use a few different creams and balms, and we love the Rhino Skin Solutions line. We use the Repair Cream after every session and the Massage Cream when we’re sore. Plus, I love using their Dry Solution since my hands get so sweaty!

If you’re looking for a whole Crag Kit, this one comes in a semi-rigid case with a removable mesh interior. It comes with:

  • 1x Rhino Skin Dry Spray (1oz)
  • 1x Rhino Skin Split Stick (1oz)
  • 1x Tension Shoe Spray (1oz)
  • 1x roll of Tension Tape
  • 2x roll packs of our Circuit Tape
  • 1x Skin File (80 grit)
  • 1x nail clipper
  • 1x detail skin clipper
  • 1x phone stand
power company climbing hand care kitPin

7. Rocky Talkies →

Communication is always important, no matter what kind of climbing you’re into. But don’t get just any walkie-talkie, get yourself a Rocky Talkie. They’re made by climbers for climbers. These rugged radios are built to be durable, convenient, have great battery life (3+ days on a single charge), and have solid range.

We have friends who use these for sport and multi-pitch climbs, and they have been game-changers. They no longer have to worry about miscommunication while on the wall. We also use them to find each other when bouldering where there is no cell service. Since plans can always change, we can plan to be on the same channel to find each other.

If you already have one, just buy your friend a single one so you can communicate with each other. We have a small group of friends who use them and it makes it so convenient.

8. Bag or Backpack →

There are different types of climbing bags out there. Some are good for bringing your gear to the gym. Others are specifically made to bring outdoors.

  • Power Company Boulder Bag – The bag we take bouldering. It can wear like a messenger bag but also flatten to pack inside our crashpad. Has plenty of organization for easy access to everything.
  • Nomatic 30L (not climbing-specific, but it’s our current crag bag for sport)
  • Cragsmith 32L Pack
  • REI Flash 22 Pack – Sometimes a simple bag is all you need. This is what we use when we go bouldering to carry our shoes, water and snacks.

See More: 15 Best Travel Backpacks to Check Out

Crag Bag + 15 Useful Gifts for Rock ClimbersPin

9. Climbing Apparel →

Our friends launched an apparel brand called monopkt, and they have the cutest shirts. We’re so excited to see more of their well-designed climbing apparel. You’ll find us wearing these a lot! They also just created a really cute climbing journal.

We’ve collected quite a few climbing pants over the last couple of years. Some we use strictly for the gym and others are great because they are durable and can be worn anywhere.

  • Boulder Denim – Our favorite jeans for traveling, climbing, and everyday life. Their version 2 is so comfortable that I could sleep in them and so far very durable. Use Boulder Denim Coupon Code: LOCALADVENTURER for 15% off your order.
  • Topo Designs Boulder Pants (His + Hers) – Our newest pair is pictured below in Clay. I have other pants with better stretch, but I have to admit that these are on here because they look the best. The men’s version is way softer and stretchier for some reason. 
  • Kailas 9A Onsight (His + Hers) – We love how many colors they come in. I wear the Goldfish Yellow and Jacob wears the Date Red. Pictured below is when Sherilyn and I were twinning. Short girl setters ftw.
  • 686 Everywhere Pant – Jacob recently got these and loves them! They’re great for in the gym and looking stylish when we’re out and about. Plus with it being so hot, they’ve been great for summer in Vegas. 

Pro Tip: If you plan on taking photos in them, bright colors always look better against the rock.

See More: 15 Best Travel Pants

10. Approach Shoes →

For the non-climbers out there, approach shoes are shoes you wear to get to the climbing spots. They look more like everyday shoes but have rubber on the toes so that you can do easy climbs with them.

We finally found our go-to approach shoes. The Black Diamond Session Shoes (Men’s + Women’s) which also come in suede, is comfortable, lightweight, and have great rubber. Our favorite part is the step-down heel. It makes it easy to put on and take off when we’re at the crag.

When the weather is cooler, Jacob uses his Danner Jagger Lofts. They are super comfy to wear around the crag, keep his feet warm around the crag, and it also has a step-down heel!

Here are some other Men’s & Women’s approach shoes.

Pro Tip: Since these fit more like regular shoes, they are much easier to shop for as a gift over climbing shoes.

11. Crashpad →

Crashpads are great gifts for boulderers, especially if there are local outdoor spots to climb. We recently just switched over to the LINK Crash Pad Set by ZIGZAG Climbing and absolutely love it. They’ve taken a product that hasn’t had any major innovation in years, and completely rethought it. Our favorite part is that you can connect all the pads to avoid gaps between each pad. The way the pads link together also helps you cover awkward falls or sketchy rocks that you might land on.

Check out the different crashpads available here.

12. Hangboard or Rock Rings →

Climbers love hanging off things and a hangboard helps train your fingers to get stronger. We have this Metolius Wood Grips that we mounted on a stand-alone pull-up bar.

We also have Wood Rock Rings that have been vital for us to warm up when we’re climbing outside. At home, we use a Light Rail to warm up our fingers.

See More: Easy Portable Hangboard DIY

13. Guidebooks →

Mountain Project is a great start for first time visitors who want to check out all the classics, but guidebooks are so helpful especially if you’re planning on delving deeper in an area.

You can buy one for the local climbing spot or one for a future climbing trip they’ve been talking about. Check out all the ones REI has.

Pro Tip: Some climbing spots only have one guidebook printed by a small publisher. They usually have limited runs so books can be scarce!

Red Rocks Climbing Guide Book + Best Gifts for ClimbersPin

14. Harness →

We love our Arc’teryx harnesses (HIS + HERS). They are pricey in comparison to other harnesses, so we know a ton of people who would love to receive them as gifts. After wearing these, it’s hard to go back to the other ones, since they are so comfy. You sometimes forget you’re wearing a harness.

See More: 10 Climbing Tips for Beginners

15. Lightweight Tripod →

Did you really send if you don’t have footage of it? We love taking video when we’re climbing. It’s awesome when we have send footage we can share, but it also helps us analyze our climbing. Sometimes it helps us see what micro beta we need to change, and other times it’s just good reference for our beta if it’s been a while since we’ve tried the climb.

We use a JOBY PodZilla since the terrain is often uneven. It helps us ensure that our phone is secure. We also bring this tripod out with us in case the ground is level and we need a higher vantage point.

Presents for Climbers Joby PodZilla TripodPin

16. Toploader & Ascender for CLimbing Photographers →

These gifts are specific to climbing photographers. It’s something we’ve been getting more into, and these are the first two pieces of gear we’ve purchased specifically for this. 

When we attended the Arc’teryx Climbing Academy in Squamish, we jumped at the opportunity to take a climbing photography workshop.

The first thing we learned is that it’s a lot to juggle compared to other types of photography. The second thing we learned is that there is some helpful gear to get you to a good position. A Petzl Ascender helps you move around much easier and the Lowepro Toploader was a good solution to keeping your camera safe and accessible while on the wall.

Climbing Photography Gear - Lowepro ToploaderPin

17. Recovery Tools →

Warm up and recovery is important in climbing. We recently got a set of Chirp Wheels to us with muscle relief and recovery. Unlike standard foam rollers, these have the advantage of width and pressure. We got a set of four different diameters to give us different options.

We also have the R8 Plus from Roll Recovery to help giving us a deep tissue massage. There is an adjustment dial to help you adjust the force of the wheel and it’s great to target IT-bands, quads, hamstrings, calves, shines, gluteus, arms, and more.

See More: 15 Games & Exercises to Improve Your Rock Climbing


BONUS: Gym Membership

Whether your friend is thinking about getting into climbing or has been climbing for years, a gym membership is a great gift. You can buy a punch pass, month’s membership, or an annual depending on how much you want to spend.

We’re all about gifting experiences over things. If your friend has been climbing for a while, chances are they have a lot of the above.

Pro Tip: If they are members at one gym already, a punch pass to another local gym will be appreciated especially if they climb regularly. That way they can try fresh, new routes.

See More: Best Climbing Gyms Near Me

Stone Summit AtlantaPin

More Great Gifts for CLimbers

  • Belay Gloves 
  • Elizabeth Arden Miracle Balm – One of our friends swears by this. If you’re losing a lot of skin, this helps your skin grow back faster. We recently got a tube and haven’t tested it enough to see how well it works, but we also don’t climb double digits or lose as much skin as he does.
  • FlexBar – resistance bar for tendinitis and improving grip strength. You can also get the set of 3, which has a light, medium, and heavy.
  • Hand Exerciser
  • Knee Strap – the older we get, the more often we get injured
  • PIVO Tripod – can track your movement and follow you

Great Stocking Stuffer Gifts for Climbers

  • Acupressure Rings
  • Brush
  • Chalk
  • Liquid Bandaid / Super Glue
  • Rehab Bands – been borrowing these from a friend for rehabbing my fingers. There are tons of different band designs for finger strengthening, but I like that I can always wear these around my wrist and do the exercises whenever I find free time.
  • Tape 
  • Torque Nut Tool
  • Wrist Widget – I use these to help stabilize my wrists. I don’t know if I have a TFCC tear, but I have wrist pain when climbing.

Are there any other great gifts for rock climbers that we missed? Which of these are on your wish list?

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Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.

Follow on Instagram (E + J), YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest.

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