If you have friends who are as obsessed with climbing as we are, check out our list of best practical gifts for rock climbers.
When we’re not working on the blog, you will most likely find us climbing with our free time. For the past year, I even started route setting at our local climbing gym.
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Last Updated: October 18, 2022
17 Practical Gifts for Rock Climbers
Our list includes a mix of gear we already own, gear that our OG climbing friends have recommended to us, 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. We either previously owned them or loved them enough to recommend them. For products we don’t love, we send them back along with feedback if they want it (you can DM me about them).
Can you have too many climbing shoes? Maybe, but we haven’t hit our limit yet. If you’re like us, we’re climbing at least 3 times a week, and we put holes in our shoes quickly.
This is one of the most practical gifts for rock climbers and for the minimalist rock climber. At the bare minimum, if you only boulder (or free solo), shoes are all you need.
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)
- Scarpa Instinct S – We recently got these and love that they are slip on!
- Five Ten Anasazi Lace (Jacob’s Fave for all day wear – I also have Instinct VS as my outdoor send shoes)
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.
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.
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.
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 Bags (for rope climbing and bouldering):
- 8BPlus Chalk Bags – These are super cute. We have the Kelly.
- Topo Design Chalk Bag – Simple and colorful.
Chalk Buckets (for bouldering):
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.
If you really want to go in for a splurge, this is our 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.
Needless to say, climbing is rough on your hands! We have a few different items we use, but we love the Rhino Skin Solutions line. We use the Repair Cream after every session and Massage Cream when we’re sore. Plus, I love using their Dry Solution since my hands get soooo sweaty!
If you’re looking for a whole kit, we recently added the Crag Kit to our collection. The kit comes in a semi-rigid case with a removable mesh interior. It comes with 1 Rhino Skin Dry Spray (1oz), 1 Rhino Skin Split Stick (1oz), 1 Tension Shoe Spray (1oz), 1 roll of Tension Tape, 2 roll packs of our Circuit Tape, 1 Skin File (80 grit), 1 nail clipper, 1 detail skin clipper, and 1 phone stand.
No matter what kind of climbing you’re into, communication is always important. But don’t get just any walkie-talkie, get yourself a Rocky Talkie. They’re made my climbers for climbers. These rugged radios are built to be durable, convenient, have great battery life (3+ days on a single charge), and 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.
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.
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 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 mens 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.
Climbers love hanging off things and a hangboard helps train your fingers to get stronger. We have this Metolius Wood Grips one and did a home DIY project to mount it onto a pull up bar. It creaks every time we use it on the pull up bar, which can be a little freaky, but so far it hasn’t broken off.
[UPDATE] We recently mounted it on the wall. It was starting to slope downward the more we used them, and since my hands are small crimps > slopers.
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!
Pro Tip: Since these fit more like regular shoes, they are much easier to shop for as a gift over climbing shoes.
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.
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.
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.
Great Stocking Stuffer Gifts for Climbers
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, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both 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.