The best climbing gear for the 2023 Labour Day weekend
As the Labour Day weekend approaches, most climbers are using the extra day off to schedule one last summer climbing trip. To help you jumpstart that trip, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best climbing products for this upcoming long weekend.
Here are our picks for some of the best climbing gear for the 2023 Labour Day weekend.
A durable and roomy sport-climbing quickdraw.
If you are a sport climber with big paws or just want a larger easy-to-clip quickdraw, look no further than the Petzl Djinn. This rugged draw can withstand all the punishment sport climbing (with its multiple falls) can inflict without batting an eye. Much of this durability stems from Petzl’s savvy biner-body design that places additional material in high-wear areas. In addition, excess material is carefully sculpted away to ensure the biner remains reasonably light. A similar approach is taken with the Axess dogbone, where Petzl uses a triple layer of 19 mm webbing to achieve the appropriate balance of abrasion resistance and low weight. As with all Petzl carabiners, the Djinns feature a snag-resistant keylock gate.
An innovative helmet that combines low weight, excellent protection and ventilation.
The original Vapor helmet set new standards for low weight, ventilation and protection, and now you can get last season’s version for a staggeringly good price. The helmet achieves its unique blend of low weight and protection by combining a sheet of Kevlar with a series of carbon rods. These components are moulded inside the EPS foam, which is covered with a thin polycarbonate shell. The result is a helmet that delivers all-around impact protection without the bulk often found in helmets with more conventional construction. A low-profile ratcheting adjustment system easily accommodates a variety of head shapes, and the replaceable headlamp clips provide a secure headlamp attachment point for early morning starts or if you get benighted.
A lightweight, narrow profile single-stem cam.
The Ultralight Master cams have been on the market for more than a few years and have proven to be an excellent choice for climbers wanting low weight and the versatility of a single-stem cam without compromising durability. Metolius achieves this durability balancing act through various crafty means, including avoiding excessively machining the cam lobes. Sure, the lobes may be a few grams heavier than some brands, but the result is greater deformation resistance when catching big falls. Other savvy details include a beefy, abrasion-resistant sling, and a more conservative cam angle that sacrifices a small amount of expansion range for greater holding power. These excellent USA-made cams should be on every climber’s wish list.
An assisted braking belay tool for lighter climbers.
Catching the falls of heavier climbers can be a scary proposition. Under the best circumstances, the belayer will be yanked up, risking a loss of control. In worst-case scenarios, the lighter belayer may get violently pulled into the wall, resulting in a loss of consciousness (not good), or yanked up against the first draw and have the belay device jam open against the quickdraw (also not good). The Ohm alleviates these issues by introducing additional friction into the system, allowing lighter climbers to safely belay heavier leaders. The Ohm is constructed primarily from steel (for excellent durability) and can be stick-clipped to the first bolt of sport routes. Once installed, the lighter belayer should maintain the correct position under the Ohm to benefit from its weight-balancing effects. If you frequently climb with significantly heavier or lighter climbers, get an Ohm – it’s a game-changer.
A versatile harness for cragging and multi-pitch climbing.
Most climbers spend their time clipping bolts, plugging gear, and occasionally venturing onto some longer multi-pitch climbs. If this sounds like you, then check out the Solution harness. This versatile harness delivers the comfort and support you need on longer climbs while still being sufficiently light and agile for desperate sport-climbing redpoints. The Solution features BD’s Fusion Comfort Technology, which consists of three rows of webbing in the waist and leg loops to better distribute the pressure when you’re hanging. BD also specs four moulded gear loops for plenty of racking space on those longer routes.
An easy-to-clip sport climbing quickdraw at a great price.
Sport climbing can be hard on draws, and most of us have a few that are either gouged out by hangers or worn down by the rope. So, rather than risk a dirt nap, consider updating your current quickdraw rack with the BD’s Hotforge Quickdraw Pack. Consisting of a straight and bent gate Hotforge carabiner and a beefy polyester dogbone, this draw offers excellent performance during desperate clips. The biners feature hot-forged construction, which allows BD to move material where it is most needed, resulting in lower weight and superb durability. The relatively simple-looking dogbone has an integrated rubber Straitjacket insert that prevents the bent gate biner from shifting during clips. Get some of these draws and put your mind at ease when you’re racing to the anchors.
The simplest and arguably most effective stick-clipping attachment.
Stick-clipping the first bolt on a sport route has become standard practice, and few devices allow you to do this as easily as the Metolius Superclip. This simple stick-clipping device threads onto any standard extendable painter’s pole, allowing you to easily install the first draw (and rope) on almost any sport climb. When you’re done with the route, you can also use the Superclip to strip any within-reach draws. This is a simple yet mandatory piece of kit for any sport climber.
A popular assisted braking belay device.
The original GriGri revolutionized belay practices when it was first introduced in 1991. Today’s version is just as practical and versatile. The current GriGri is compatible with 8.5-11 mm dynamic ropes (smoother with thinner ropes) and offers the assisted braking necessary when belaying frequent sport climbing falls. The GriGri is also a surprisingly efficient single-rope rappel device that offers additional safety when compared to traditional slot devices and figure-8s. The reason why the GriGri has remained the de facto choice for most climbers is that it works. Get one.
A lightweight nut tool that will also tighten various loose climbing bolts.
The Torque Nut Tool does a great job of retrieving stuck nuts and cams, but it really distinguishes itself when you come across a loose bolt. Unlike traditional nut tools, this one has four built-in wrenches for tightening all the standard bolt sizes. Sure, it might not be my first choice when installing new bolts on a sport route, but during emergencies, you can sufficiently snug down a bolt to put your mind at ease once you climb above it. The Torque Nut Tool is constructed of hardened 420 stainless steel for durability and features a wire-gate end for easy clipping to your harness.
A unique hangboard design with over 30 grip positions.
Hangboards have been a climbing training-tool staple since the 80s. And while many companies have tried to update the basic hangboard designs of the past, few have offered any real innovation. That statement cannot be said about the Rock Prodigy board. Designed to not only offer graduated increases in hold size, the Rock Prodigy also (thanks to its unique two-piece construction) can be mounted to accommodate climbers with different shoulder widths. And when you consider that Rock Prodigy has over 30 grip positions, a skin-friendly texture and carefully radiused hold edges, it becomes evident that this is one of the best headboards on the market today. Get one and get stronger.
Petzl Djinn Axess Quickdraws - Package of 6
Buy Now - $119.95
Buy Now - $101.95
Black Diamond Vapor Helmet (2022)
Buy Now - $97.33
Metolius Ultralight Master Cam
Buy Now - $94.95
Buy Now - From $69.95
Edelrid Ohm Assisted Braking Device
Buy Now - $189.95
Buy Now - $149.50
Black Diamond Solution Harness
Buy Now - $94.95
Buy Now - From $55.93
Black Diamond Hotforge Quickdraw Pack
Buy Now - $134.95
Buy Now - From $101.96 (15% Off)
Buy Now - $35.95
Buy Now - $24.95
Petzl GriGri Belay Device
Buy Now - $154.95
Buy Now - $109.95
Metolius Torque Nut Tool
Buy Now - $26.95
Buy Now - $17.95
Trango Rock Prodigy Training Center Hangboard 2.0
Buy Now - $119.93
Buy Now - $159.95Petzl Djinn Axess Quickdraws - Package of 6Black Diamond Vapor Helmet (2022)Metolius Ultralight Master CamEdelrid Ohm Assisted Braking DeviceBlack Diamond Solution HarnessBlack Diamond Hotforge Quickdraw PackMetolius SuperclipPetzl GriGri Belay DeviceMetolius Torque Nut ToolTrango Rock Prodigy Training Center Hangboard 2.0