Staff Picks: Top 10 Gifts for the Beginning Climber

by Aidan Multhauf

So your friend or family member just got excited about climbing. How about getting them a useful gift for the holidays that will propel their journey into the vertical world? Since climbing gear can be intimidating to research as novice, we have created a list of the 10 best pieces of climbing equipment for someone learning to climb.

Momentum Climbing Shoes

The Black Diamond Momentum climbing shoe is perfect for beginner climbers and comes in men’s, women’s, and children’s sizes. This low-cut shoe is designed for vertical climbing with a comfortable fit, and because it's velcro, you won't have to waste time with laces between each climb. Available for $89.95.

Primrose/Momentum Harness

The men's Momentum harness and women's Primrose harness from Black Diamond are great options for any single pitch rock climber. These harnesses have a simple design with a focus on comfort because of their thick padding and adjustable leg loops. You can pick one up for just $54.94.

Half Dome Helmet

Black Diamond’s Half Dome helmet is an affordable helmet that all climbers and belayers should be wearing. This helmet offers a foam cap that is protected by a hard plastic shell that will protect your loved one from a falling rock or chunk of ice. The Half Dome Helmet can be purchased for $59.95

Velocity 9.8 Rope

The Sterling Velocity 9.8 is a great intro rope. Since the diameter is 9.8mm, the rope is optimized by durability while also being lightweight enough so it doesn’t ruin your approaches. I’d recommend getting a 60 meter coil, which goes for $208.05, because you will be able to set up any top rope at X-Rock with this length.

Petzl Grigri+ 

The Grigri+ from Petzl is likely to be the most beginner friendly belay device because of its multiple options. Unlike the Grigri 2, the Grigri+ has an option for top roping as well as lead climbing. This is nice because when you are belaying a climber on top rope, the device will be quicker to lock, keeping the climber safe. The lead climbing option makes it harder for the device to lock the rope, allowing for the belayer to feed out slack easier and preventing ‘short roping.’ The Grigri+ is sold for $149.95.

Rocklock Twistlock

Black Diamond’s Rocklock Twistlock is a locking carabiner that requires no effort to lock. When the gate is closed, the lock automatically twists with the help of springs, ensuring that you will never forget to lock your carabiners again. The Rocklock Twistlock can support up to 24kn and runs for $18.95.

Petzl Djinn Axess Quickdraws

Petzl’s Djinn Axess Quickdraw is an excellent first quickdraw for those hoping to lead climb. The basket of the carabiners are deep, making clipping easy. The unit as a whole can support up to 23kn and each quickdraw only weighs 107g. A 6-pack of 12 cm long Djinn’s go for $91.95.

Organic Simple Pad

The Organic Simple Pad is all the padding you’ll need when you’re learning to boulder. Organic’s foam stays firmer longer than many of their competitors and the each pad is designed with unique color patterns. The Simple Pad can be purchased for $210.

Trango Crag Backpack

The Trango Crag Pack is an affordable way to get your gear to the base of the climb. Trango’s simple design consists of a single top loading pocket, a brain pocket, two side pockets for water bottles, a side mesh pocket to hold your shoes or guide book, and a front access zipper to get to your gear that may not be accessible from the top. You should never have to carry your rope separately again because this backpack can hold up to 48 liters. The Crag Pack runs for $99.00.

Durango Sandstone

Tim Kuss’ Durango Sandstone guidebook is currently the only print literature about Durango’s climbing. The book highlights both sport and trad routes ranging from X-rock to Lemon and Cascade. Durango Sandstone can be purchased for $19.99.