In case you missed it, Climbing magazine just released their choices for the year’s best gear. This one’s special to us because we hosted the editors here in Tennessee and showed them all the classic climbing in the Chattanooga area. Here are the highlights, and here’s the full article. We can’t wait to see all the photography in the print edition.
We’re also excited they picked the La Sportiva Genius, a climbing shoe taking the No-Edge technology developed in the popular Futura model to the next level. We’re proud to say that we have the exclusive pre-launch on this awesome shoe, and we’ll have it before anyone else.
Skip to the specific top picks:
If you walked into one of our outdoor stores in Chattanooga this year, you probably noticed the hanging signs and photos with the tagline, “Put it on, leave it on.” That pretty much sums it up for this jacket: you just don’t have to spend so much time fussing with layers, so you can enjoy whatever outdoor activity you choose without stopping quite as frequently as you might otherwise. The company sent ambassadors Colin Haley and Mikey Schaefer out to test the jackets and they came back with some awesome photography.
What makes the Nano-Air different? FullRange breathable insulation from Patagonia gives you the warmth of a nice insulated jacket with the breathability and flexibility of a softshell or fleece jacket.
As Climbing’s tester explains, “It thrives in the alpine where you’re working hard to get a route, then climbing and creating extra heat, followed by being still at belays in cold temps.” Patagonia says it rather elegantly as well, explaining that the Nano-Air “puts an end to layering spats during any stop-start mission in the mountains.” Yes, please.
We have several options in the Patagonia Nano-Air collection:
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These packs were so good that Climbing couldn’t choose just one. In fact, the entire collection performs so well that it comes down to choosing the size that’s right for your next foray into the mountains.
Links directly to each model on RockCreek.com:
[Tweet “”This year we tested every new climbing pack that Black Diamond makes, and we loved them all” @climbingmag via @RockCreek”]
The Petzl Hirundos climbing harness has already been “a top pick for serious sport climbers for the last few years,” Climbing’s editors explain, “and the complete overhaul for 2015 boosted its versatility and comfort.” Petzl have added extra cushioning but stays super light due to the Fuseframe technology, exclusive to Petzl. Webbing on the Fuseframe ingeniously hides away into the foam due to the construction technique. Testers experienced no hot spots even after climbing all day with the Hirundos. They do mention that the sizing runs a bit small so they recommend sizing up.
La Sportiva Genius (Exclusive Pre-Launch at Rock/Creek)
Now for the big news… we’re excited to be the exclusive pre-launch partner with La Sportiva on the Genius climbing shoe, the latest evolution of “No-Edge” tech that debuted with the Futura. The Genius from La Sportiva is “snug but comfortable, an aggressive downturn, and incredible performance on anything from vert to super-steep,” as one tester who tried these out on Chattanooga’s sandstone explains.
No-Edge basically means La Sportiva’s designers have started at the perfect break-in point, so you’re ready to go right out of the shop instead of having to spend your precious climbing time breaking your shoes in and wearing down the sharp edge you generally see on an aggressively downturned climbing shoe. Climbing concludes that the Genius is “definitely one of the best high-performance rock shoes on the market,” and we can’t wait to see them. If you order today we’ll ship the very first batch out of the factory straight to your doorstep the day we get them in stock. Currently, we’re expecting that to be somewhere around May 1st.
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Petzl’s one-piece hingeless design helps the Cirro crash pad‘s foam last longer than most pads, and also helps create some storage space when the pad is closed. The carrying system has chest and waist adjustments with wide shoulder straps.
Climbing had high praise for the Cirro, stating: “It’s not often that a new crashpad comes along and makes our diehard bouldering testers stop obsessing over their skin and say ‘Wow,’ but the Cirro did just that.”
Shop RockCreek.com for all the climbing gear, shoes, crash pads, cams, headlamps and every other thing you need to complete your ultimate climbing kit.
If you have any questions about climbing gear or any outdoor pursuit, most of our staff are climbers and we use the gear we sell; just ask. Did Climbing miss anything? Leave us a note in the comments with your favorite gear picks for 2015.