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Must-Have Sport Climbing Gear for Summer 2021

Eight pieces of gear to keep you safe and climbing strong this season

Photo by: Brandon Pullan

There are more sport climbs and sport climbers in Canada now than ever before. Just last summer, we counted around 400 new sport routes added to the mountains and crags north of the U.S.A.

Remember to ease back into the season, triple-check your safeties, to wear a helmet and to climb with experienced people. Below is some great gear for getting back out on your long-standing project or for that new crag that just opened up. Be sure to follow Gripped on Instagram for daily photos from around the world.

La Sportiva Genius: The Genius is an absolute machine of a climbing shoe, built with innovating designs like the aggressive rand and secure asymmetrical closure. The responsive no-edge technology that La Sportiva has graced us with makes these one of the top sport climbing shoes for 2021. The rubber sticks to all rock shapes and types, so if you’re looking for a shoe that can smear, then look no further. There are great shoes at a competitive price.

Edelrid Prisima: The Prisima is pushing the limits of how light a sport climbing harness can be coming in at 180 grams for size medium. New for this spring, the Prisima combines a lot of high-tech development using dyneema webbing in the leg loops and waist. The leg loops also feature a flexible bridge that lets you explore your range of motion on those steep climbs. It has breathable padding to keep the comfort up, and only one aluminum buckle.

Petzl Ange Finesse: There are a lot of good multi-pitch sport climbing quickdraws, but few will disagree that the Ange Finesse is one of the best for 2021. It’s made for those climbs where every gram counts, like on those four- to 10-pitch all-bolted routes that you’ll find across Canada. It’s compact and durable, and is easy to grab on those above-your-onsight cruxes. They’re available in two lengths and with two carabiner sizes.

Edelrid Neo 3R 9.8 mm: Edelrid has become the leading rope manufacturer for making new ropes using old ropes. The Neo 3R is a pioneer in sustainable climbing rope production, and features an innovative treatment which protects against abrasion and the elements. It comes from the factory in a time-saving lap coil, so it’s ready to go out of the bag. At 9.8 mm, it’s on the burlier side of sport ropes, but the diameter is nice for projecting or multi-pitch bolted lines.

Petzl Sirocco: The Sirocco is one of the lightest climbing helmets that we’ve ever used. It’s lightweight, uses resilient EPP foam, and is fitted with an impact-resistant EPS plate over the top of the head. It blends protection, weight and comfort in a near-perfect balance, which makes it a must-have for sport climbing during any season. While it’s not the cheapest helmet out there, you get what you pay for, and you won’t regret dropping the extra money on this excellent helmet.

Kong Panic: There’s no shame in cheating your way up a project or route that you’re unsure of. The Panic is a cheater draw with a self-closing carabiner and semi-rigid webbing that allows you to aid to reach the most distant bolts. It allows you to clip in before cruxes or to clip those high first bolts. Worth every penny.

Pongoose Climber Stickclip: This is a two-in-one tool that will help you at the crag and boulderfield. This is the first multi-directional stickclip and brushing stick that can also be an action camera boom. It’s a multi-tool with interchangeable and removable heads. It can also retrieve quickdraws and is compatible with every quickdraw currently on the market. It’s made of aluminum and can be clipped to your harness. It comes in a number of sizes. The Pongoose is a cool new piece of gear for climbers who double as photographers.

Metolius Upshot Belay Glasses: Belay glasses are a must-have if you’re a serious sport climber. They’ll save your neck and shoulders while you belay so that you’re fresh for when you rope up. The Upshots have a field of vision that aims high on the all. They have sport-style temples with low profile nose pads. They come with a durable case that keeps them safe while transporting in your pack or leaving on the ground. It takes a few sessions to get used to them, best to practice in a climbing gym.

Metolius Upshot Belay Glasses


Lead photo: Brandon Pullan