Best New Climbing Gear: Highlights from Summer 2016 Outdoor Retailer Show

Want an inside look at the newest and most noteworthy gear coming to the climbing and outdoor world this year? We’re currently scouring the 2016 Summer Outdoor Retailer Show to bring you the top picks for new gear to come out in 2016/17. As the show continues through the week, you can expect to see products and information added, so be sure to check back for updates.

Last updated August 3, 2016; the show ends August 6 and this guide will be updated throughout.

 

Belay devices

Petzl GriGri +

Available April 2017; MSRP: $149.95

 

GriGri +

Key features

There’s been a lot of hype over this one, so let’s get down to the details. Petzl’s all new GriGri + retains the same structure as the GriGri, but with additional features, primarily intended to improve safety margins for newer belayers.

The most noteworthy addition to this belay device is an anti-panic function in the handle, which causes the device to lock if a belayer pulls too hard on the handle while lowering a climber. A second change is that that GriGri + features 2 modes of operation: lead climbing mode and toprope climbing mode. In lead mode, the spring tension is similar to the current GriGri; smooth with less tension on the rope. Alternatively, tope rope mode, (which can be locked into place) offers a different spring tension that ensures locking on the rope even with minimal slack out.

While this new device likely adds little to those already comfortable with a GriGri, this new version is ideal for climbing wall operation and climbers still learning proper principles of belaying. The GriGri + also offers a wider rope diameter range: now spanning from 8.5-11mm ropes (although it is optimized for 8.9-10.5 ropes). The GriGri + weighs 200g, while the regular GriGri is 170g.

Edelrid OHM

Available November 2016; MSRP: $129

Key features

Intended for climbing parties with large weight differences amongst partners, the Edelrid OHM—an assisted-braking resistor—is meant to be clipped into the first bolt of a climb to provide added friction in rope in the event of a leader’s fall. The OHM enables a climber to belay a leader who weighs up to 100% heavier than them.

How does it work? Essentially, the OHM locks on the rope through a cam in the device, which creates additional friction on the rope to lessen the impact on the belayer—keeping them from being lifted off the ground or thrown into the wall. This device does not impact the climber and only activates in the event of a fall. The OHM includes an attached quickdraw and carabiner.

Wild Country REVO Belay Device

Available early 2017; MSRP: unknown

Wild Country REVO

Key features

Claimed to be the safest belay device on the market, the REVO—the first bi-directional assisted-locking belay device—offers an alternative that eliminates common concerns of other popular devices.

First and foremost, the REVO can be loaded in any orientation, which reduces confusion as to which end of the rope needs to be placed into the device. Secondly, in the event of a fall, the device provides assisted locking on the rope. The device also features a panic-proof locking mechanism, which serves as a safety backup system when lowering. This device is also suitable for both left and right-handed users and weighs approximately 245g (compared to a GriGri 2 at 170g).

Black Diamond ATC Pilot

Available spring 2017; MSRP: unknown

ATC Pilot

Key features

The ATC Pilot is Black Diamond’s version of a “semi-automatic tuber.” While this still demands constant handling on the brake end of the rope, the Pilot provides fluid feeding, assisted locking, and support through added friction while lowering a climber.

 

Harnesses

Edelrid Loopo Light Harness

Available spring 2017; MSRP: $79.95

Key features

Now, the lightest harness on the market (less than 80g / 2.8oz), Edelrid’s Loopo aims to serve as the go-to ski mountaineering, backcountry touring, or via ferrata harness. Designed to make it easy to put on without removing your ski boots or crampons, this Dyneema-constructed super light harness also features 4 minimal gear loops, reflective tie-in loops, and removable and adjustable leg straps.

 

Climbing shoes

La Sportiva Miura XX

Available spring 2017; MSRP: $200

New La Sportiva Miura XX

Key features

In celebration of the Miura’s 20th Anniversary, La Sportiva will release the Miura XX —a limited edition shoe created in collaboration with Adam Ondra.

While the shape will not differ, this shoe will feature Sportiva’s robust P3 Permanent Power Platform, intended to maintain the shoe’s shape integrity even after extensive use. The design also integrates Ondra’s signature on the shoe. These shoes will only be produced once, and availability will depend on the amount of orders placed by large retailers—so stay tuned!

La Sportiva Mythos Eco

Available spring 2017; MSRP: $155

La Sportiva Mythos Eco-min

Key features

This eco-friendly version of the classic and beloved Mythos shoe from La Sportiva offers the same design, only revamped with an all-out array of sustainable, biodegradable, recycled materials. The Mythos Eco comes with a leather upper, processed without the use of any heavy metals, its laces and webbing use recycled fishing nets, and its sole comes from rubber recycled from their factory. This now better-for-the-environment shoe will be available in both a men’s and women’s version.

Five Ten Gambit

Available spring 2017; MSRP: $120

Five Ten Gambit Shoe-min

Key features

Built for comfort and all-day climbing for both beginner and advanced climbers, Five Ten’s Gambit comes designed with a wider last and lower overall volume to create a flatter, less aggressive shoe. This comfort-minded design also features a stiffer, heat-activated thermoplastic midsole, which helps the shoe remain rigidity over time.

A perforated tongue offers breathability and Five Ten’s signature C4 Stealth rubber ensures top-quality friction. The Gambit comes available in both velcro and lace closure options.

Five Ten Anasazi Blanco

Available spring 2017; MSRP: $195

Five Ten Anasazi Blanco-min

Key features

This year, Five Ten is bringing back the beloved Anasazi Blanco—the most aggressive shoe from their Anasazi line. This updated version returns with its powerful edging capabilities and heel tension, with a few updates that make it better designed for hard bouldering and sport climbing.

The shoe’s new thermoplastic midsole will help retain its rigidity, a perforated neoprene tongue provides added breathability, and a welded eyelet stay helps reduce excess material. This shoe also features Five Ten’s signature C4 Stealth rubber on the outsole.

Tenaya Mundaka

Available fall 2016; MSRP: unknown

Tenaya Mundaka

Key features

The Mundaka shoe by Tenaya—made with both leather and synthetic material—is structurally similar to their Oasi model, only featuring a softer midsole and more sensitivity in the toes. Nevertheless, this shoe maintains stiffness in the front so you can count on it for edging on small features. The heel rubber is also reinforced under the rand to ensure it stays with you when you’re cranking on heel hooks.

 

Other climbing gear

Black Diamond Ropes

Release details and pricing information coming soon.

New Black Diamond Rock Climbing Ropes

Key features

Notably, Black Diamond has chosen to enter the climbing rope game, coming out with a line of ropes a variety of ranges: 7.8mm twin ropes, 9.2mm, 9.6mm, and a 9.9mm. All ropes feature a midpoint marker and are available in a full-dry or non-dry treatment.

BD manufactured their rope offerings with two different sheath constructions; their high-end nylon “endurance” shealth, which is more abrasion-resistant, and another less tightly woven sheath design that is less durable and intended to be an easier price-point rope. Length sizes vary according to diameter and intended use, but offerings range from 35-80 meters.

New DMM Dragon Cam

Available now; MSRP: $69.95-$84.95

Key features

The much-loved DMM Dragon cams come revamped with a few notable updates in this version, including a wider cam designed to catch more surface area on the rock, and the replacement of the anodized coating with a raw aluminum finish, which provides better grip in slick rocks like limestone and reduces the likelihood of cams walking. They’ve also integrated radial machining grooves to ensure that the cam can get better and deeper contact with the rock.

The new Dragon Cams still come with the single-stem, ergonomic trigger, and convenient extendable slings that minimize the amount of draws needed when trad climbing.

Mammut Magic Sling

Available summer 2017; MSRP: TBD

Mammut Magic Sling

Key features

Mammut’s new Magic Sling features a Dyneema core with a nylon exterior—essentially a hybrid sling that can withstand the elements better than a purely Dyneema one. The concept is that the Dyneema core provides superior strength within the center of the sling, while the nylon offers added durability. Unlike a regular sling, which loses 40% of its strength when tied off into a knot, the Magic Sling only loses about 20%. For frequent multi-pitch climbers, this is a worthwhile piece of gear to consider, especially if you often find yourself climbing on coarser rock or in harsher weather conditions. These slings will be available in 60cm and 120cm lengths.

 

Other noteworthy outdoor gear

Petzl Noctilight

Available January 2017; MSRP: $19.95

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 11.42.04 AM
Images: Petzl
Images: Petzl

Key features

Petzl’s Noctilight serves as a protective carrying case for your headlamp, as well as a light diffuser—essentially allowing your headlamp to serve as a lantern that you can place on surfaces or hang in your car or tent.

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