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A lightweight, crag-tested collection for new climbers



Petzl Xion 10.1

Metolius Climbing Safe Tech Comp

Rarely is a harness great for both beginners and experts. The former desire comfort and durability, weight be damned, while the latter want to cut as many grams as possible. The Safe Tech Comp appeases the entire spectrum by packing maximum strength into every component of the still-svelte harness. From belt to leg loops to the two gear loops, all are rated to hold weight during a fall (normally just the belay loop earns that degree of engineering). And it comes in a tiny package that even first-time climbers found comfortable. “I never felt restricted raising my leg looking for footholds, and when I took a fall, nothing pinched,” says one tester. $89; 13 oz. (M);

PHOTOS BY COURTESY. Text by shannon davis and julie ellison

The editors at our sister magazine, Climbing, deemed this all-purpose cord their “go-to workhorse rope” after using it for everything from toproping vertical pitches in Boulder Canyon to leading overhanging sport routes on Colorado’s Shelf Road. Why? Despite its stout 10.1mm diameter (which adds strength and durability), it handles easily and is very flexible. Other ropes of this size felt stiffer and a bit more unruly. “This is the perfect rope for a beginning climber who wants to try a little bit of everything and have one rope to do it all,” says Climbing’s gear editor. Nice touch: The rope comes from the shop ready to flake out—no specialized uncoiling or tedious untangling required. $199; 8 lbs. 11 oz. (60m);


Available at:

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The new inReach.™ Reach anyone, anywhere, anytime. Two-way messaging via Iridium® satellites means you can send and receive texts, interact with rescuers, and know your message was received. Without it costing an arm and a leg.

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Rock Climbing Gear Review - Backpacker Spring Gear Guide 2012