Belay Jacket Reviews

Whether you're belaying a hard redpoint in the shade on a crisp autumn day or shivering at a stance below a long pitch of ice, the right belay jacket can make the difference between a good time and pure misery. These reviews will help you make the best choice among synthetic and down belay jackets.
  • HPECBassecamp

    Gear Guide 2014: Basecamp

    Whether your digs are a sleeping bag under the stars or a shiny new Sprinter, here are 31 of the best new things to improve any climbing trip.

  • ECSport

    Gear Guide 2014: Sport Climbing

  • HPEC

    Gear Guide 2014: Editors' Choice Awards

    Innovative, smart, lust-worthy, and just plain cool: 10 new must-have products that topped our testers’ lists.

  • Eddie-Bauer-First-Ascent-Backdraft

    Eddie Bauer First Ascent Backdraft

    “The chimneys and offwidths of the Utah desert are some of the toughest proving grounds for apparel, and if anything functions well and emerges unscathed, it’s a winner in my book,” said one tester after rocking the Backdraft for several pitches of wide (and wider) cracks.

  • apparel-guide

    Fall 2013 Apparel Guide

    Every season, the latest gear promises more breathability or warmth or weather protection. But which pieces work so well you can forget they’re there? And which should just be forgotten? From crystal-clear days on cracks at Lumpy Ridge to hail and heart-stopping thunder in the Black Canyon, we reviewed more than 100 articles of clothing to bring you the best of the bunch.

  • North-Face-Verto-Hoody

    The North Face Verto Micro Hoodie

    “Although I was skeptical at first, this piece has revamped my layering system,” said a tester who took it ice climbing for 14 consecutive days in Utah. It was so windproof and breathable, one tester wondered, “How do they do it?” Eight-hundred-fill down on the front and back torso insulated key body parts, and FlashDry Pertex Quantum GL nylon on the sleeves and sides blocked the wind while wicking and drying sweat.

  • La-Sportiva-Cham-Down

    La Sportiva Cham Down

    “Forget every other down puffy you’ve ever worn—this will beat them all,” one tester declared. The 750-fill down kept us warm in single-digit temps throughout the West. “Belay puffy, around town, skiing… I wore this every day this winter,” another tester said. The superior warmth and airy feel of this 23-oz. jacket (men’s M) was the foundation of our testers’ obsessions, but it was the climber-centric features that sealed the deal.

  • Wild-Things-Custom-Insulight

    Wild Things Custom Insulight Jacket

    “That was fun!” said one tester after designing his own jacket from colors to materials to fill. “And the jacket has proven to be a bombproof performer, too.” Wild Things lets you select from a range of features and fabrics at a competitive price, with a 14-day delivery turnaround.

  • Helly-Hansen-H2Flow

    Helly Hansen H2Flow

    A simple polyester shell with elastic cuffs and a drawstring hem houses a brushed interior of 200g Polartec fleece. Sounds uncomplicated until you look at the inside of this jacket: The fleece—lining the chest and back—is pocked with dozens of dime- to quarter-sized holes that trap heat when you need it and ventilate when you don’t.

  • La-Sportiva-Pegasus-Primaloft

    La Sportiva Pegasus PrimaLoft

    “This hooded, midweight jacket quickly became my go-to piece for chilly days at the crag and while navigating alpine terrain,” says one contributing editor. “It’s the climber-oriented fit that won me over: The torso is trim while the waist and arms are long, so the Pegasus stayed tucked under a harness and always covered my wrists when reaching overhead.”

  • La-Sportiva-Galaxy-Hoody

    La Sportiva Galaxy Hoody

    Labeled as a “do-everything hoody for the do-everything athlete,” this full-zip midlayer really does all mountain sports well. Our testers took it (and the women’s version, the Avail Hoody) from boulderfields in northern California to the long multi-pitches of Red Rock to ski slopes in Colorado.

  • Patagonia-Encapsil-Down

    Patagonia Encapsil Down

    Patagonia’s own version of water-resistant down ups the ante by boosting loft to an astonishing 1,000-fill. They zap 800-fill down with radio waves until its molecular structure changes, allowing the plumes to accept a silicone DWR treatment without the use of chemical binders.