We asked our resident climbing fanatic, and Product Design Engineer, to spell out his most favorite climbing gear. So if you’ve got a climber, or any outdoor adventurer on your shopping list this holiday season, read on.
Living in Seattle, I’m lucky to have a plethora of world class bouldering spots a short drive away. Getting out of the city for a weekend of climbing and camping with friends is generally what you’ll find me doing during the few dry months we get here in the PNW. To make the most of these trips, this is the gear I rely on and the stuff I would recommend as the perfect holiday gift for any weekend warrior.
CamelBak Fourteener™ 24
When packing for a weekend car camping getaway, the CamelBak Fourteener 24 is the first thing I grab. Because bouldering doesn’t require a rope and harness, I’m able to fit all my clothes and climbing gear for a weekend trip along with 3L of water into this little guy. I originally bought this pack for day hikes, but it has proven to be versatile enough to serve as my main climbing pack as well. Gotta love when things are multi-use!
Vasque Grand Traverse
From when I exit my apartment to the time I get back, the only shoes I wear (when I’m not climbing) are the Vasque Grand Traverse. During an approach to the boulders, sometimes you have to scramble up and over some sketchy rock features or some fallen trees. I never worry about traction with these guys on my feet, and when I get to the boulders, I loosen up the laces and they feel like bombproof slippers.
UCO A-120 Comfort Fit Headlamp™
Bouldering can border on an obsession when you get in the zone. You can work for so long perfecting the moves on a problem and then the sun will set on you before you send it. I don’t let that stop me from continuing to climb, I just throw on my UCO A-120 Comfort Fit Headlamp and keep climbing. This headlamp is the most comfortable headlamp I’ve ever worn, and at 120 lumens, it more than lights up the holds I need. I also has a dial that lets me control the brightness so I don’t blind my buddies when we go back to camp.
Hydro Flask 64oz Wide Mouth Growler
After a long day of pulling on granite, beer heals all wounds. Since we car camp during these trips, and I don’t have to worry about the weight of my post-climb beverages, the Hydro Flask 64oz Wide Mouth Growler is perfect for keeping tap beer fresh and cold. I love being able to fill the growler up the night before a trip, leave it in the car while I’m climbing, and then enjoy cold beer without the hassle of a cooler and ice. Now I’m just waiting on them to make a 128oz version…
UCO Candlelier® Candle Lantern
Beers, buds and campfires are the trifecta of awesome on a post-climb summer night. This summer however, we ran into an issue with the campfire part. Wildfires were crazy this year in Washington and that means no campfires whatsoever. Burn bans were the new reality. Respecting these bans, I worked with what I had and I used a UCO Candlelier Candle Lantern as a campfire substitute. This classic UCO product is a perfect gathering spot in place of a real campfire. It might not be a campfire, but it provides the same natural light, a little heat (if you get real close) and it’s super easy to use!
Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 600 3-Season Sleeping Bag and NEMO Astro™ Insulated Lite Sleeping Pad
Sleeping on the ground used to be a literal pain in the ass for me. It was something I would do because I had to if I wanted to go camping or backpacking, but not something I really looked forward to. This past year, I found the solution to that pain. The Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed Sleeping Bag and Nemo Astro Insulated Lite Sleeping Pad and Nemo Astro Insulated Lite Sleeping Pad combine to make a sleeping system that rivals my bed at home. They call it a backcountry bed for a reason. There aren’t any zippers, instead there is a down filled comforter stitched into the bag that lets me snuggle in when I’m cold or sleep uncovered when it’s a hot night. The Astro insulated pad is on the more luxurious and heavier side of the sleeping pad spectrum, but that’s where I prefer to be. I can honestly say I’ve had some of my best nights of sleep of my life (inside or out) using these two products.