Gear Buying Guide: 23 Best Gifts for Rock Climbers

Looking for a gift that will bring a mountain-sized smile to the rock climber in your life? Then this list of 23 guaranteed-to-please gifts for climbers will help you find the perfect present—whether it’s for a birthday, Christmas, or just because.

This guide was last updated on July 7, 2017

Related: View all climbing and outdoors buying guides


Magazine subscription: Climbing, Rock and Ice, or Alpinist

Print media for all levels of climbers

Climbing Magazine Cover Gift for Climber

Climbing is likely the most widespread magazine within our sport. It has content for just about everyone—new and advanced climbers alike. This magazine offers a nice starting spot to print climbing media but beware of the many ads and sometimes less-than-superior articles.

Buy Subscription

Rock and Ice Magazine Gift for Climbers

Rock and Ice offers fantastic content and a steady dose of beautiful climbing imagery. Generally speaking, you’ll find articles in Rock and Ice to be more in-depth than the easily consumed Climbing pieces. While a subscription costs more to this publication than Climbing, the quality is superior.

Buy Subscription

Alpinist 51 Magazine Cover Gift for Climbers

Alpinist is the pinnacle of print climbing content. Released quarterly, each issue is a collector’s edition to be treasured and reread for years. You won’t find listicles or repeating columns that quickly get old. Instead, you’ll be immersed in professionally-crafted long-form stories of adventure into the unknown.

Buy Subscription

 

Joshua Tree Climbing Salve

A pleasant concoction of natural ingredients to heal wounds and damaged skin

joshua tree salve

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Organic, unscented and made specifically for climbers, the Joshua Tree Climbing Salve is a great gift for climbers. It offers a blend of Tea Tree, Lavender and Jojoba Oils, as well as Beeswax, Calendula, Comfrey, Echinacea, Wildcrafted Chaparral, Myrrh Gum, and Benzoin Gum. In essence, this salve is a bunch of healthy stuff that helps heal wounds and lock in moisture, without softening climbing calluses that the body produces for protection.

 

Drawn: The Art of Ascent

An artfully-told story about the balance of an adventurous life

Drawn Art of Ascent-min

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Drawn is Jeremy Collins’ artful story of feeling pulled to climb in every direction, while also being a committed father and husband. After losing a dear friend in a climbing accident, Jeremy and his friends decide to go on a journey to put up first ascents in the US, China, Venezuela, and Canada. Drawn also features beautiful artwork from the sketchbooks that he kept during his travels. This recently won the 2015 Banff Mountain Book Award in Adventure Travel, and for good reason. Climbers and non-climbers alike will find this book relatable and enriching.

Topo Designs packs and accessories

To store stuff … and to look good while doing it

Topo Designs Packs-min

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Topo Designs is a mountain company—run by climbers, bikers, travelers, and the like. Their commitment to the outdoors has inspired a collection of items that not only look awesome but can also handle the rugged abuse that climbers have come to expect. Simple design ensures that these products are functional across a variety of applications, whether that be for weekend trips, to take to the gym, or any other purpose you can conceive. All bags are made in Colorado.

 

Tommy Caldwell’s Book: The Push

A memoir that explores the mind of one of climbing’s greatest

buy now

In the enrapturing words of his new memoir, The Push: A Climber’s Journey of Endurance, Risk, and Going Beyond Limits, Tommy Caldwell shares a raw and honest recounting of the many monumental moments in his life as a climber, son, husband, and father—including his escape from Kyrgyzstani militants and his eight-year battle with the Dawn Wall. In this vantage point as a listener to his detailed and vivid narrative, readers gradually formulate the enormity of his achievements—most of which he actualizes out of an almost superhuman motivation and dedication to surmount the impossible. Any climber presented with this book will relish in hearing his historic and compelling tales, and feel inspired to tackle their own life’s Dawn Wall.

 

Hand and forearm strength trainers

The best low-cost hand strengtheners for climbers

GripPro Trainer Hand Grip Forearm Strength Gripper

GripPro Hand Strength Trainer

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Gripmaster Hand Exerciser

buy now

Climbers will find any excuse to recreate some semblance of climbing sensations when they can’t get on rocks. So, for your friend or family member stuck at the office when they’d rather be in Yosemite, help them channel their frustrations with the gift of the GripPro or Gripmaster.

 

Black Diamond Harness Starter Kit

The essentials, in one convenient package

Black Diamond Momentum Package

Men’s Momentum Harness Kit

buy now

Men’s Momentum Harness sizing chart

Black Diamond Primrose Starter Kit

Women’s Primrose Harness Kit

buy now

Women’s Primrose Harness sizing chart

If the climber on your list is new to the sport, you might consider getting an introductory harness kit from Black Diamond, America’s leading climbing equipment manufacturer. These kits include the essentials for getting started in a gym and the products can be used for years—perfect for transitioning outside, as well.

Black Diamond’s Momentum and Primrose harnesses are the gold standard all-around entry-level climbers, providing considerable cushioning, adjustable leg and waist loops, and bomb-proof security. Supplementing the harness is the ATC-XP belay device, a RockLock locking carabiner, a chalk bag, and climbing chalk.

 

Related: View all climbing and outdoors buying guides

 

Luci Outdoor Inflatable Solar Lantern

Portable illumination without the need for batteries

MPOWERD Outdoor Solar Light

buy now

One of the coolest and convenient accessories to own, the Luci Outdoor is an inflatable solar-powered lamp. Perfect for all outdoor escapades, the Luci charges in 7 hours and offers up to 12 hours of illumination. It’s also waterproof to 1 meter, so you can even use it for late night dips in the river. Take our word that this gift’s ingenuity and functionality will please any climber.

 

Alex Honnold’s Book: Alone on the Wall

A gripping, inspiring read for climbers and non-climbers alike

Alone on the Wall

buy now

In this co-authored book, modern climbing legend, Alex Honnold, recounts his 7 most memorable ascents and offers insight into what he’s known for most: pushing the limits of free soloing far beyond anything ever tried before. In Alone on the Wall, co-writer, veteran climber, and award-winning author David Roberts provides the reader with an external perspective and assessment of what it is that makes Alex Honnold tick in the face of serious risk, epic reward, and grave danger. His story is gripping and will inspire the climber in your life, whether he/she is brand new to the sport or a climbing veteran.

Dream Chaser tee (unisex)

An artist collaboration exclusive

dreamchaser tee

This design by climber and artist, Tal Swicegood, presents a captivating image that illustrates the core spirit and beauty of climbing. Unisex and printed on a Next Level 3600 fitted cotton tee, any climber will feel comfortable and stoked to send in the Dream Chaser tee.

 

Yeti Tundra

The world’s toughest, best cooler

 

buy now

Over the past couple years, Yeti has been steadily reinventing the cooler industry with their ultra-durable bear-proof coolers that feature a burly three inches of insulation. One reviewer comments, “… during our summer overnights it is the only cooler that keeps our food and beverages nice and cold for up to 72 hours and beyond. We have left this cooler sitting in the sun on our back patio and found cold beer and ice cubes 5 days later.”

 

Acupressure Massage Rings

Perfect for finger massages, gifting, and inappropriate jokes

acupressure rings

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Yes, they look funny, but these extremely affordable and easy-to-travel-with massage rings are the ultimate finger recovery tool. When stroked along your fingers, the spikes on these rings apply consistent (and slightly ticklish) pressure that promotes blood flow and breaks down scar tissue.


FrictionLabs Climbing Chalk

The world’s best climbing chalk? Likely

fl_bambam_0884-min

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Does climbing chalk really matter? We sure think so. Especially after we had the chance to test out FrictionLabs chalk for ourselves. The idea behind FrictionLabs started when two long-term climbers discovered that many popular chalk brands contain high amounts of “fillers” such as Calcium Carbonate. On the other hand, Magnesium Carbonate, which is known for its exceptional drying effects, was found in low quantities. To remedy this, Keah and Kevin decided to create a chalk that is high in Magnesium Carbonate and low in Calcium Carbonate. The results? Way better chalk.

FrictionLabs chalk is available in various textures, ranging from a very fine powder to pretty chunky. A safe middle ground for gifting is the Gorilla Grip variation.

 

Moja Gear Multi-Geo Chalk Bag

Handmade by climbers, for climbers

Moja Gear Chalk Bag

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Handcrafted by climbers in California, our Multi-Geo Chalk Bag offers salvation for a climber’s sweaty hands. It’s vibrantly colored with a pull-string closure and soft interior fleece lining. Get it on our site, or check out the reviews on Amazon to confirm its pleasing traits.

 

Yosemite in the Fifties: The Iron Age

Incredible photography, quotes, and tales of rock climbing’s pioneers

419Mb3DnePL._SX344_BO1,204,203,200_

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This gorgeous hardcover book recounts the legendary tales of climbing’s intrepid pioneers from the 50s, who first explored the massive granite walls of Yosemite—the world’s epicenter for rock climbing. The courageous and at times ridiculous adventures of these early explorers paved the way to rock climbing as we know it today and serve as heroic reminders of the human ability to push the limits of what is possible.

With pages of incredible archived photography, narratives, and artfully told accounts of the most historic ascents, any climber will gawk and grin at this in-depth look at a classic and momentous era in the sport’s history. If purchasing this book, it’s also worth taking a look at its companion: Yosemite in the Sixties.

 

Thera Cane Massager

Squashing hard-to-reach knots with addictive ferocity

buy now

This versatile recovery tool helps to target specific knots and tight muscle areas that arise throughout the entire body—be that shoulders, back, neck, legs, etc. The greatest benefit of the Thera Cane Massager is its ability to provide additional pressure on muscles in hard-to-reach parts of your body. It’s also not too pricey and easy to travel with.

 

Metolius Rock Rings training device

Help your climber get stronger—a true demonstration of love

Metolius Rock Rings

Not a pull-up bar, not gymnastic rings, and not a hangboard either—the Metolius Rock Rings 3D (read our review) are a versatile, convenient, and portable hybrid of all three. The two separate rock units of this set feature a vareity of hold types, with the additional benefit of flexible movement and rotation. So if you’re shopping for a climber whose regularly on the road, moving frequently, or just wants to create the ultimate training arsenal, then they will love the versatility and unique training options that the Metolius Rock Rings offer.

 

Outdoor Tech Buckshot Pro Portable Bluetooth Speaker

All-in-one speaker + power bank + flashlight

Outdoor Tech Buckshot Pro Gift for Climber-min

buy now

This wireless speaker not only straps readily to a bike—enabling groovin’ while cruisin’—but also serves as a flashlight, strobe light, camp light, and power bank. It can play music for up to 10 hours, spans a Bluetooth range of 32 feet, and has a built-in microphone and speakerphone. And for those of us who tend to get down and dirty, the Buckshot Pro is ready for action, thanks to its water and shock resistant design.

 

Western Mountaineering down sleeping bags and jackets

The best down gear that money can buy

Western Mountaineering Down-min

buy now

There’s no denying: Western Mountaineering equipment is expensive. This is the gift for the climber that you really, really love. But in an industry with a lot of difficult-to-decipher claims and confusion as to what’s actually the best, you get what you pay for and this gear is top quality—made in the USA and designed to last a lifetime (lifetime warranty included on each item).

 

Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Pullover

Cozy comfort for climbing, camping, and lounging around

The Synchilla Snap-T from Patagonia is the pullover that made fleece famous. This everyday essential layer delivers a relaxed, warm, super soft, and classic look—making it the clutch go-to layer for both the adventurous or ultra laid back occasions in life. Trapping body heat and rejecting light winds—while also featuring badass and funky designs—this is a layer guaranteed to deliver coziness and comfort for years to come.

 

The Stick Muscle Massage Body Stick

A climber’s favorite companion for relieving muscle tension

The Stick Body Massage Stick

buy now

One of the most important and often overlooked aspects of training for climbing is recovery. Not only does proper recovery allow our bodies to receive the full benefits of our training sessions, but it also prevents injuries and overuse. Also called “the toothbrush for muscles,” The Stick—one of our favorite recovery tools— can help you massage out just about any area of the body and is lightweight and easy to travel with. Any climber lucky enough to get one of these for his or her birthday or a holiday will be stoked.

One Amazon reviewer explains, “This simple device is amazingly effective. Twenty seconds massaging sore muscles relieves knots and trigger spots and reduces lactic acid buildup, helping you to exercise more aggressively the next day.”

 

Patagonia Ascensionist Pack 45L

A performance pack for weekend trips and optimal gear storage

Patagonia Ascentionist Pack
Patagonia Ascentionist Pack

Built and inspired by the mountain-romping athletes of Patagonia, the Ascensionist Pack 45L was designed to give climbers the features needed most when taking on committing and arduous alpine ascents.

Made from a tough nylon ripstop fabric and treated with both a polyurethane coating and DWR finish, the design of this versatile and functional pack allows for ultimate efficiency in accessing gear. An extra collar on the pack and exterior daisy chains provide ample space and lash points for extra gear and tools, while compression straps present even more options for stashing belongings. As for comfort on-the-go, the lightweight, removable frame sheet of the pack supports the back in coping with heavy loads. Its contoured shoulder straps and padded hipbelt provide added cushioning and comfort for long days of wear in the backcountry.

This pack is tough, convenient, reliable, and versatile—all paramount features for those who regularly take on long approaches to get to the base of their dream climbs.


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