Gear Guide: Top Picks for Ultimate Cragging

ultimate cragging gear

Epic adventures are undoubtedly incredible. But hey, who doesn’t love a relaxed and laid-back day of springtime cragging? Here are a few of our favorite cragging gadgets.

 

Black Diamond Magnetron RockLock Carabiner

Black Diamond Magnetron RockLock Carabiner

When you’re in the mood to crag, you want to keep your climbing processes as easy and safe as possible.

And while on the surface it may seem like a gimmicky device to have on your harness, (maybe because its name sounds like a character straight out of “Transformers”?), you’ll be delighted by the huge leaps in both convenience and simplicity that Black Diamond’s Magnetron RockLock Carabiner provides. This innovative device features two magnetic arms and a steel insert on a keylock nose that deliver an ultra-secure, self-clearing, single-hand operable, and redundant locking carabiner—perfect for use with your Personal Anchor System (PAS) or while belaying. The Magnetron RockLock makes securing yourself quick and easy, and its design avoids unecessary snagging on ropes, bolts, and gear.

And hey, depending on how crag-tastic you choose to make your day, you’ll be plenty entertained just sitting in the dirt, playing with this state-of-the-art piece of gear, and watching your friends crush.

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Mammut Smart Belay Device

Mammut Smart Belay Device

For a full day of single-pitch climbing, you really can’t go wrong with Mammut’s Smart Belay Device. It’s the cheapest and most lightweight assisted-breaking belay device out there …

There’s no question that having assisted-breaking makes things easier at the crag—especially when you’re belaying your buddy who’s working his project for the next hour. But it’s the lethal combination of the Smart’s simplicity, light weight, and affordable price that make it a favored choice for single-pitch outings. At only 2.9oz and under $30, it’s about half the weight of the Petzl GriGri 2 and over a 1/3 less in price. The no-nonsense design of the Smart provides dynamic breaking and lends itself to intuitive operation—making it great for beginner climbers adjusting to assisted devices. And with its fluid rope handling enabled by its simple design, feeding out slack is easy, so you don’t have to worry about short-roping your partner or struggling to take.

There’s really no need to overthink it when you’re just trying to crag. Let the Mammut Smart Belay Device do the thinking for you.

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Black Diamond Half Dome Helmet

Black Diamond Half Dome Helmet

The last place you want to end up after a perfect day of cragging is the emergency room because a large rock happened to thrash down onto your head.

We don’t want to be your mom, but we’ll reiterate what you hear all of the time; climbing is inherently dangerous. You never know when chossy rock will hit you! So when you’re packing up for your spring day at the crag, use your head and pack your helmet. And we promise, this one makes it painless to wear. With this newest iteration of Black Diamond’s Half Dome Helmet, you’ll have serious protection at a weight that’s 40 grams lighter than its predecessor—meaning it won’t weigh you down while you’re pulling hard to go up. Its molded EPS foam keeps it incredibly durable, and the improved fit, ventilation, and highly adjustable suspension system make it more comfortable than ever.

So keep your day of cragging safe, comfortable, and incident free. It’s truly a no brainer to keep your brain intact! (Apologizes for the terrible pun—couldn’t resist).

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Patagonia Cragsmith Pack 35L

Patagonia Cragsmith 35 LiterIf its name alone doesn’t get your crag psych a little riled up, then the ultra convenience, functionality, and straight swagger of this pack surely will.

This pack transforms a typical spring day at the crag to one at the base of Planet Luxury. Instead of having to overthink your packing processes to ensure you’ll know how to get to your quickdraws, harness, and most importantly, your snacks—Patagonia’s Cragsmith Pack makes grabbing your gear a thoughtless task, no matter where you’ve crammed it. How, you might ask? Well, this versatile cragging pack allows you to access your stuff through two entry points: its zippered top OR back panel, allowing you get to your gear without having to dump your precious cams, ‘biners, camera, and other belongings into the dirt. The Cragsmith’s interior features a soft foam on the sides and bottom to keep its structure in tact when stowing things away, and the exterior’s Cordura fabric, reinforced base, and haul handles keep your pack protected. This sturdy, versatile vessel also features a top compression strap, an exterior daisy chain, padded waistbelt, load lifers, and Air Flow mesh straps and back panel to keep your approach and exit from the crag cool and comfortable.

Do yourself a favor and think a little less and crag a little more with Patagonia’s Cragsmith Pack.

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ENO SingleNest Hammock

ENO SingleNest HammockWell, let’s be honest—not everyday of cragging means crushing.

So when you’re in the mood to soak up the outdoors in less physical fashion, packing along an “all access pass to relaxation” can make for the perfect day at the crag. Clearly, climbers prefer life elevated—and with the ENO SingleNest Hammock you can still stay lifted. Weighing just a pound and easily storable in a pack, your lucky self can comfortably unwind in this breathable, quick drying nylon hammock. It comes with aluminum wiregate carabiners, for ultra easy setup and a compression stuff sack to carry it on the go. If you want room for two, go with the DoubleNest.

Treat yourself to the beauty of a springtime day at the crag and unwind in the hammock paradise of an ENO SingleNest.

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Belāggles Belay Glasses

Belaggles Belay GlassesThere’s no need to kid ourselves. Belay glasses may not be wholly necessary, but they are incredibly awesome to have on hand.

Anyone who commits to long days of cragging knows how uncomfortable your neck can feel after a full day of off-and-on belaying. Unfortunately, sometimes this pain nuisance can also lead to inattentive belaying. But there’s really no need to sacrifice the safety of your partner for comfort. If you are a regular cragmaster, Belāggles are the perfect addition to your stock of climbing gear. These state-of-the-art belay glasses allow you to look straight ahead, while seeing your climbing partner right above you. Providing an ample peripheral viewing area, you’ll be more aware and more comfortable while belaying than ever before—and you’ll look pretty damn funky (in a good way!) too. The Belāggles patented design of these durable nylon frames provides wide view lenses, crystal clear clarity, rubber nose caps, temple bow eyelets, and curved lens with minimal impact points to keep your eyes safe in the event of unexpected rock or gear dropping from the wall.

Welcome this spring with some some comfort, style, and added security for your climbing partner, and get the climbing accessory that deep down, we all wish we had.

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Outdoor Tech Turtle Shell 2.0

Outdoor Tech Turtle Shell 2.0

We’re focused on craggin’ here … not the day of your epic alpine ascent. So don’t judge yourself for bringing a little excess.

When the setting feels right and a little music is desired, there’s no better speaker to captivate the crag with than Outdoor Tech’s Turtle Shell 2.0. Water resistant, shock-proof, and dust-proof—this wireless boom box is one vocal animal, prepared for all the choss your crag carries. With Bluetooth 4.0 technology, this beast of a boom box connects with your Bluetooth devices to play omnidirectional, hi-fi audio that sounds so good, it might make you think your crag’s got the acoustics of Carnegie Hall. It even features a built-in microphone in case you need to make a quick conference call mid send. And within a 32-foot range, your Turtle Shell will last for up to 16 hours.

Banging out 96 decibels of sound power—this is one talented turtle that’s always ready to get turnt up. Who says you can’t have a quick dance party at the crag?

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Hydro Flask Insulated Wide-Mouth Water Bottle & Growler 64oz

Hydro Flask GrowlerWhat better way to end a day of climbing than by enjoying a couple of cold beers with your best friends under some big beautiful rock?

But hauling glass bottles or finishing the day with warm cans of beer isn’t nearly as satisfying of a scenario. Thankfully, Hydro Flask found a solution for your beer (and other beverage) drinking desires. With a 64oz capacity, the Hydro Flask Wide-Mouth Insulated Water Bottle and Growler has an opening that makes it easy to fill and pour, and can contain almost an entire 6-pack. And in case your day at the crag extends a little bit longer—no worries; the growler can keep cold beverages cold for a whopping 24 hours. And in case you pefer hot beverages, the double wall insulation of the Wide-Mouth Hydro Flask also keeps hot beverages warm for 12 hours! Hydro Flask bottles are made from 100% recycled materials, which are BPA-free and bacteria/odor-resistant.

When you’re setting yourself up for a perfect day of spring cragging, there’s no need to settle. With a full Hydro Flask Growler, you guarantee you and your friends a refreshing reward for a day of almighty crushing.

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Petzl Tikka RXP Headlamp

Petzl Tikka RXP Headlamp

For those whose day at the crag spills into nights, you want a headlamp that doesn’t throw your depth perception straight out the window while you’re still on the rock.

And with the Petzl Tikka RXP Headlamp guiding your sight, you’ll be wearing one of the smartest headlamps in the world while you’re up there conquering the crux. This 215-lumen powerhouse weighs only 115 grams and features innovative reactive lighting that’ll bring an added touch of clarity to your beta. This technology enables the Tikka RXP to adjust its brightness to your environment, change the lighting array to focus on far away objects, and give you a broader beam for up close work—like seeking out that hidden crimp at the final crux. And whether or not you’re sticking around for an added round of night climbing, the RXP will ensure a stumble-free exit when the time comes for your de-proach to the car.

Getting to experience the impressive capabilities of the Petzl Tikka RXP will make having to leave the crag just a little bit more tolerable.

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Interested in exploring more gear guides? See more here.

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  • Mason Roberts

    Please don’t bring speakers to the crag. No one want to hear your tunes, and most come to specifically to listen to *gasp* nature.

    • Natalie Siddique

      Hey Mason; I agree completely. If others are at the crag there is surely no place for music and disrupting someone else’s experience. I too would much prefer the sound of nature. That being said, there are certain scenarios where many climbers find music outside to be really great. But as you express, only when done responsibly and out of the earshot of other climbers!

      • Mason Roberts

        Point taken – recently moving from the RRG to Boulder I take it for granted that you could be the only one at a crag. That being said, I’ve gone with folks who brought a speaker and I felt like a jerk telling them I didn’t want to hear it. So I guess it’s selfish of me, but I don’t want to be in that position and I know other probably feel the same way.