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2018 Climbing Gear Guide: Editors' Choice Awards

Our top climbing gear picks for 2018

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After a year of testing gear from Slovenia to Yosemite, we’ve narrowed down our 14 top picks for 2018.

Review: Scarpa Chimera

The Scarpa Chimera rock climbing shoe

“For digging, scooping, hooking, scumming, divot standing, pockets, smearing, and all manner of steep jessery, this is one of the best, and best-crafted, shoes I’ve worn.” Read full review.

Review: Butora Mantra

The Butora Mantra rock climbing shoe

With the monstrous edging performance of this mid-height trad shoe, our tested said, “One might not want to do any technical heel hooking, but instead stand on the credit-card-edge alternative.” Read the full review.

Review: Evolv Oracle

The Evolv Oracle rock climbing shoe

A new offering in the Evolv ultra performance series, the Oracle is a high-performance downturned lace-up built for steep sport routes, bouldering, and gym climbing. Read full review.

Review: Black Diamond Offset Stoppers

Black Diamond Offset Stoppers (size #7-11)

Weighing only 8.8 oz, the full set of Black Diamond’s new Offset Stoppers (#7–11) has mad bang for the buck, with each piece offering four tapered, vari-sized, trapezoidal facets. Read full review.

Review: The North Face Summit L3 Ventrix Hybrid Hoodie

The North Face Summit L3 Ventrix Hybrid Hoodie

The Ventrix Hybrid Hoodie, designed for varying temps, helped our tester regulate during winter days in Rocky Mountain National Park thanks to its 80 grams of Ventrix synthetic insulation and venting perforations through the center, back, and underarms. Read full review.

Review: Kalias Stick Clip

The Kalias Stick Clip

With a folded length of 20.5” and extending to 85”, this collapsible stick clip is a key piece of artillery for the traveling sport climber. Read full review.

Review: Mountain Hardwear Splitter Station 40

The Mountain Hardwear Splitter Station 40 backpack

The Splitter Station carries like a boss thanks to the metal back-panel stay, beefy padded hip belt, and padded shoulder straps, but the main event was the dual diagonal top zippers on the main compartment: Unzip in a V-shape from either or both sides and, voila, total access to your gear—no hassle, no fuss. Read full review.

Review: Metolius Wood Grips Compact Hangboard

The Metolius Wood Grips Compact Hangboard

The Compact is made with smooth, skin-friendly wood and has everything you need: jugs and power-building slopers on top, full-pad edges and pockets in the middle, and a matching set of half-pad tinies on the bottom. Read full review.

Review: Edelrid Bulletproof Quickdraw

The Edelrid Bulletproof Quickdraw

Raise your hand if you’re tired of either a) Clipping sketchy, grooved “fixed” draws or B) having to retire a beloved draw because of rope-side-biner grooving. Edelrid has come up with an ingenious solution with their new Bulletproof Quickdraw. Read full review.

Review: Arc’teryx Rolling Duffel

The Arc’teryx Rolling Duffel

For big trips, Arc’teryx’s new duffel is a game-changer. The external-frame duffel weighs little (7.5 lbs for the 80L) but holds a lot, allowing you to take more cams you might or might not need before hitting that airline-imposed 55-pound weight limit. Read full review.

Review: Five Ten Guide Tennie

The Five Ten Guide Tennie approach shoe

Five Ten has relaunched their classic Guide Tennie. For a soft, minimalist approach/guiding shoe, you can’t do much better. Read full review.

Review: Adidas Terrex Scope GTX 

The Adidas Terrex Scope GTX approach shoe

The Adidas Terrex Scope GTX hits the sweet spot. It wears like a boot (stable, good ankle protection, beefy sole) but rides light and fleet like a shoe. Read full review.

Review: FrictionLabs Gorilla Grip Chalk

FrictionLabs Gorilla Grip Chalk

“I found myself chalking way less, and the chunk-laden blend offered remarkable—but not overly dry—friction on the tiny-crimp and sloper-knob crux of my granite project.” Read full review.

Review: Mountain Hardwear Quasar Lite II Pant

The Mountain Hardwear Quasar Lite II Pant

“Well-crafted but not over-designed, they’ve got everything I’m looking for in a shell pant, and no unneccessary bells and whistles,” said our tester. Read full review.

Film: How Matt Cornell Free Soloed One of America’s Classic Hard Mixed Routes

"The Nutcracker" explores the mental challenges of solo climbing and the tactics Cornell used to help him send the route.