Bouldering and Training Gear

Bouldering is a pretty simple sport, but that doesn't mean it doesn't require essential gear. From crash pads to hang boards and other training equipment, Climbing magazine's reviews will guide you to the highest-performance gear and the best values.
  • Gear Guide 2014: Bouldering

    Gear Guide 2014: Bouldering

  • 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.

  • Soto-Windmaster-OD1RX-158

    Soto Windmaster OD-1RX

    Integrated cook systems like the JetBoil or MSR Reactor do a great job of deflecting wind and maintaining quick boil times, but you can’t use multiple pots or frying pans. Meanwhile, many pocket stoves suffer in the face of a stiff breeze.

  • Scarpa-Stix-Shoe

    Scarpa Stix

    Instant-classic alert! Cobbler genius Heinz Mariacher (the man behind some of the sport’s most notable shoes like La Sportiva’s Mythos and Testarossa and the Scarpa Boostic) has struck gold again. The Stix packs top-end performance in a surprisingly easy-to-wear synthetic-leather slipper.

  • Metolius Session Crash Pad

    Winter means one thing to some climbers: prime bouldering season. Whether you’re a dedicated boulderer or a beginner, the Metolius Session Pad is an ideal mat to fit every dirtbag’s car, needs, and budget.

  • How to Buy Approach Shoes

    Building a quality approach shoe is an art—and a science. Manufacturers take wildly different materials and delicately press, weld, glue, or sew them together into a cohesive unit that should get you from your car to your climb as efficiently as possible. To better understand each component, we’ve broken down the layers and examined how they work. Plus, we highlighted our testers’ top five picks.

  • Patagonia-Rover-660

    Get There: Have it all with these 5 approach shoes

    It’s no easy feat to build a shoe that offers support for long hikes, precision and “feel” for technical scrambling, and comfort to keep feet happy. This year, we thought outside the box to see what we were missing in the realm of approach shoes. What we found was a host of light hikers that not only competed with our favorite approach-specific kicks, but a few that also offered more comfort and climber-friendly details at a lower price.

  • 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.

  • Avex Highland Autoseal Stainless Travel Mug

    Climbers are serious about coffee. And this tricked-out travel mug is a seriously cool addition to the scene. With a large and easy-to-push button on the top side, you can effortlessly press the button down.

  • Swiftwick-Aspire-Socks

    Swiftwick Aspire

    Compression socks for climbing? Believe it. After shivering for a few hours on Castleton Tower near Moab, Utah, one tester decided to try the Aspires the next day for Washerwoman Tower, and she was immediately sold.

  • $59; outdoorresearch.com

    Summit or Bust

    Whether you’re stuffing a five-ounce model into a larger pack or you’re leaving the car with one pack on your back, we’ve got a choice to suit your needs.

  • Five-Ten-Team-Shoe-660

    Five Killer Rock Shoes

    Before any epic alpine rock route, redpoint burn, or warm-up boulder, there sits the climber: slipping on, lacing up, or strapping down a pair of rock shoes. We know the bond between a climber and sticky rubber is nothing to make light of, so we called in 12 pairs of brand-new kicks for this fall to find the top models for every kind of adventure.