Next time a hiker asks you about all those jingly things hanging from your harness, say that they're weighted charms.
Earlier this season, we saw Silent Partner prices skyrocket after the solo self-belay device went out of production. Now another piece of climbing gear is seeing an insane markup for a different reason: fashion. The trad pro in the above photo will cost you $219. Italian brand Off-White produces the "Medium Industrial Keychain," which is sold on endclothing.com. According to the product description, "Continuing to champion industrial pieces, Off-White deliver contemporary style with this metal keychain. Crafted in Italy with a secure clasp fastening, the decorative accessory has been built with wire hangings, accented with small weighted charms, and branded with the Off-White logo. Realized in a multitude of different colors, this keychain is set to house your keys in style." The page lists the product's features:
- Metal Construction
- Carabiner Clasp
- Wire Hangings
- Weighted Charms
- Made in Italy
Astute readers will notice that the "charms" are, in fact, Chocks produced by the Italian climbing brand Kong. So they are made in Italy. The $219 keychain includes #1, 4, and 6 Kong Chocks, some swaged wire, a shackle, and a not-for-climbing carabiner. Oddly, a smaller, more-useful model (below) includes four Kong Chocks without the extraneous wire for $199.
For reference, Backcountry.com lists a full set of Kong Chocks (#1-11) for $134, but as of press time they are on sale for $87.
Off-White is an Italian brand that calls themselves, "a fashion label rooted in current culture at a taste-level particular to now." I don't know what that means, but I'll sell you my DMM Wallnuts for half of what they charging. They've been used to give them that authentic, gouged-aluminum look. Actually, I take it back. Mine cost double: $100 per nut.