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Hummingbird Hover Gear Sling/Pack Syste

Perhaps the worst part about trad climbing is tripping over that $1,500 glorified weight belt slung over your shoulder. We tested the Hummingbird Hover gear sling/pack system ($59.95; hummingbirdmountaingear.com) on trad routes throughout Colorado and found it was a superb alternative to a traditional over-the-shoulder gear sling. It offered vertical racking with three large gear loops on each backpack strap, which proved ideal for clipping and organizing a full set of nuts and doubles in cams from finger sizes to No. 3. Our tester cinched the shoulder straps all the way down, which pulled the gear up and toward her midsection—instead of her mid-thighs. “Finally, I wasn’t cursing my short stature and constantly moving the rack out of my way,” she said. With the gear up a bit higher and the weight spread out more evenly, the center of balance was more natural, and our tester could step up even higher than before. This also kept the cams separate from the quickdraws and alpine draws clipped to her harness gear loops, making it easier to grab exactly what she needed. Bonus: The five-liter pack holds a small hydration bladder as well as keys, phone, a headlamp, and a packable wind shirt, so you can keep the essentials on you for a longer multi-pitch.



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