Bouldering is difficulty distilled—you need to bring your A game. These 8 items have you covered, from fingertips to landing zone.
Friction Labs Alcohol Free Secret Stuff
"A quarter-sized dollop of Friction Labs’ new alcohol-free gel spread easily, allowing full-hand coverage, perfect for the 20-move crimp traverse of Orange Top Blue Sky (V8)." Read full review.
Metolius Finger Tape
"Metolius’s wide tape was perfect for wrapping my split tip. Its one-sided stickiness translated to minimal rolling." Read full review.
Patagonia Women’s Hampi Rock Pants
"Our tester wore the Women's Hampi Rock Pants climbing in the MegaRoof zone of Roy, New Mexico, kneebarring out the ceiling of Batman." Read full review.
"To prevent injury and alleviate swelling, I used the latex-free, nontoxic (filled with polypropylene glycol) Penguin Fingers compresses." Read full review.
Butora Icarus Approach Shoes
"Our tester talus-hopped in Eldorado, kicked snow steps in the high peaks, and bouldered along a crag base." Read full review.
Makita Jobsite Fan
"Getting perfect conditions is tough. Fortunately, there are fans to cool the body, dry the holds, and make it easier to breathe in a stagnant bouldering zone." Read full review.
Organic Dual Zip Backpack
"I tossed my new Organic pack into my truck and watched it roll down a hill (whoops) out bouldering, all without a ding." Read full review.
Edelrid Herkules Boulder Bag
"Winning features were the paired drag/carry handles, zippered stash pocket, and five vari-sized brush holders." Read full review.
See more 2020 Gear Guide reviews:
- Editors' Choice Awards
- Sport Climbing Kit
- Alpine Climbing Kit
- Gym and Training Kit
- Multi-pitch and Trad Climbing Kit
- Basecamp Kit
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Formerly a thick-legged trad dad, senior associate editor James Lucas suffered a midlife crisis and has transformed into a boulderer. These days, the crux of his projects is keeping his knees off the ground.