Buying climbing equipment can be a bit of a jungle especially if you're a beginner and just want to figure out what kind of equipment is really needed to get you started. But don't worry. We've made a guide with 5 simple things to get you set up for the wall or the rocks.
The harness is the first protection of any climber. Defined simply, the harness secures the climber to the rope or an anchor point. It is worn around the waist and thighs, and is usually made of sewn nylon; foam and mesh are usually added to provide comfort for the climber. Thicker straps and padding provide better comfort for long climbing sessions.
Before you buy your climbing harness, it is important that you decide for yourself what the climbing harness is to be used for. As a first-time buyer, it is important to get a harness with adequate padding. It ensures that you can sit in your harness for a long time without the harness getting irritating. Hip and thigh measurements are labeled in each product description, so you can be sure you are getting the right size. Take a peek at our collection of different harnesses here.
Guide for choosing a climbing harness
● Climbing harness for institutions: look for a “one-size” climbing harness, simple in construction, and with self-locking buckles. Good padding is less important
● Climbing harness for long climbing routes: look for good padding and 4 equipment loops
● Climbing harness for competitive and indoor climbing: look for a lightweight harness with fewer equipment loops
● Climbing harness for children: choose a full-body harness for children between 100 and 140 cm (max 40 kg). A hip harness can be used for older children and is available in both child and junior sizes
● You can read much more about choosing the right harness here: Worth knowing when buying harness
2. Climbing shoes
A climbing shoe is no ordinary shoe - it is a specialized type of footwear designed for the sport and has three major categories: neutral, moderate, advanced. Choosing the perfect child or shoe is essential, so you must know at least the pros and cons of each one. Even the most experienced climbers may still prefer a neutral shoe over the advanced type. It all depends on usage, purpose, and preferences. Feel free to read our blog post on "Types of Climbing Shoes and HOW to Choose the Right Pair!" to get some more guidance and check out our huge selection of climbing shoes here.
A carabiner is one of the most important pieces of climbing gear. It allows for the rope, belay devices, and everything else to be safely and easily connected. The looks can be deceiving but the strength of a single carabiner is huge. These small metal snap links have a gate that swings shut to close against the nose. There are different types and variants depending on the need. Binders (hose for carabiner) that have straight edges are reserved for clipping to gear. Some have threaded sleeves that can be screwed over the gate to ensure that it is tightly closed. You can check out our different carabiners here.
4. Belay device
A belay device is also one of the most important pieces of climbing gear. It is used for belaying the other person and thus preventing falls to the ground. The purpose of the device is to make it easier to hold the rope tightly Belay device is attached via carabiner to the harness of a belayer (person who belays) and the rope goes through it. Using the belay device properly is an essential knowledge that everyone has to master!
There are many types of belay devices with two main categories: manuals such as ATCs and semi-automatic such as GriGri, Reverso, and many more. Semi-automatic devices are generally safer for beginners as they allow for tiny mistakes to go unpunished. But before using any, read manuals properly, try them and before every climb, make a proper check that belay device is properly attached to the harness, the rope, and that you are holding the rope the correct way. Check out our different belay devices here.
5. Chalk and Chalk Bag
It's the same magic white dust that gymnasts and athletes use to have a better grip on their equipment: magnesium carbonate. Naturally, a drying agent, chalk (in the form of a ball filled with dust chalk or just as loose chalk) is stored in a chalk bag that's slinged to your waist for easy access. Chalk your hands as often as needed to keep your hands dry and to secure that extra grip strength when holding on smaller holds and slopers. Do not underestimate your chalk bag - it does not only store the chalk but if it has another pocket for your keys or brush, that would be really great. Chalk bags can have different sizes so make sure that your whole hand can fit in. Here you'll find everything you need in chalk and chalk bags.
A good investment
All gear is important but investing in a good harness, pair of shoes, chalk, and chalk bag should be your priority. A good harness will stay with you for many years, so spending an extra euro here is a good choice. Once you transition to outdoor crags, more gear is needed. When doing sport climbing on bolted routes outdoors, the additional gear needed is very limited (quickdraws). Take a look at this post to get to know what's needed: Quick setup to get you started on the real rocks.
That’s it for now, climbers. We hope you enjoyed this blog post. Feel free to share it with your friends and on your social media channels. Have any questions on how to choose the right climbing gear? Don't hesitate to reach out! We're always ready to help!
About the author
Climbing Wall Designer and Admin
Vojtěch is a passionate sports climber and boulderer - actually he is one of the best climbers in Denmark with ascents up to 8a+ although he expects harder ascents coming soon. You can find him training or being a climbing instructor in Aarhus Climbing Club or climbing at many sport crags around Europe. Vojtěch is educated as an Architect from Czech Technica University in Prague and as a Building Engineer from Aarhus School of Science and Engineering. At Gubbies He combines his expertise in how climbing works with his architectural background.
If you plan on getting a climbing wall or have any questions about climbing or climbing gear, he will always have some valuable input and great advice to share.
You can contact Vojtěch on