Top Brands Talk Climbing Trends in 2018

May 9th, 2018 by | Posted in Gear, Gripped Outdoors, Outdoor, Profiles | Tags: , ,

Mountain sports range from casual day hikes to long distance traverses to alpinism and there’s more people in the mountains now than ever before.

At the ISPO trade show 2018, a number of big brands talked about current trends this year, such as more gyms, bluesign, VR goggles and more.


Arc’teryx was founded in North Vancouver in 1989 and makes climbing, skiing and other outdoor gear.

“As in every sport, there will be progress at the top,” said James Bronson, Product Line Manager Ascent/Harnesses.

“This requires light and durable products. But even the typical mountaineer wants to go higher; for example, in trail running, there are clear goals in terms of time and distance. Due to the increasing number of climbing halls, there are lots more newcomers to mountain sports.

“The new generation of climbers appreciates the community concept of climbing and just wants to have fun. The desire for ‘extreme’ nature, as is typical in mountain sports, isn’t so much the focus of this target group.”

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Edelrid is a manufacturer of climbing gear based in Isny im Allgäu, Germany. Founded in 1863, Edelrid has been part of the Vaude Group since 2006. The company has 160 employees.

“Our focus is always on making practice easier and, above all, safer. The topic of sustainability is also becoming more and more important,” said Sebastian Straub, International Marketing & Media.

“Edelrid was the first rope manufacturer to get bluesign certification for its products. This year, we brought the first rope with PVC-free equipment to the market.

“In the future, too, we will constantly question our processes in order to produce them in an environmentally friendly manner without compromising quality and safety.”


Petzl is a leading manufacturer of climbing gear and is based in Crolles, France.

“As a very ‘alpine’ brand, Petzl still has its focus on regularly serving focus topics like mountain climbing, height touring, alpine climbing, and sport climbing with innovative solutions and products,” said Christoph Driever, Country Manager.

“We’ve also defined strategic objectives to accompany the ‘urban’ development in climbing. Petzl will therefore be presenting new products, specially for climbing gym users as well, as early as 2018.

“Moreover, we are constantly investing in the further development of new ideas meant make climbing a great deal safer.”

Red Chili

Red Chili was co-founded by top climber Stefan Glowacz and are also based in Germany.

“Climbing and bouldering are developing most rapidly in the gyms,” said Uwe Hofstädter, CEO.

“People can decide for themselves whether this is still mountain sports or just fitness training with the joy of exercise in the vertical.

“Due to our product portfolio of climbing and bouldering shoes, as well as our matching clothing line, we’re benefitting from this trend.”

Stubai Sport

Stubai Sport specializes in ice climbing and mountain gear. The tradition-steeped company’s origins go all the way back to the year 1897.

“The development is going in the direction of ‘getting lighter,’ i.e. products that a mountain climber has on them are getting increasingly lower in weight,” said Daniel de Pretis, Product Group Manager Mountain Sports.

“Other future topics include the trend towards customization, and sustainability has become an integral part of mountain sports. We see a lot of potential for ourselves here.

“The same is also true for the topic of digitization. VR goggles are going to play a future role, and tracking for climbers is just around the corner.

“A lot of things are also happening in the field of safety (e.g. fall simulators). In sporting terms, bouldering is still on the upswing. We’re registering this, among other things, in the strong demand for our training equipment.”

Black Diamond

Black Diamond Equipment is one of the world’s top climbing brands and are located in Utah. The company was founded in 1954 and also maintains branches overseas in Innsbruck, Austria, and Zhuhai, China.

“Mountain sports are evolving more and more into popular sports,” said Stephan Hagenbusch, Vice-President of International Sales.

“This development can be observed above all in the increasing urbanization of typical outdoor sports and the emergence of new training platforms.

“Indoor climbing sports are booming, and as a leading climbing equipment supplier it’s our concern to offer the ideal products for the special conditions in the hall.

“At the same time, we at Black Diamond see it as our duty to prepare newcomers to climbing for the ‘transition’ from the climbing hall to the rock face – in order to ensure a compatible interaction with nature.”


Deuter Sport makes high-end backpacks, sleeping bags and accessorieswith a headquarters in Gerthofen, near Augsburg, Germany. The company was founded back in 1898.

“As a mountain sports brand, above all we want to serve the formula 1 – alpine climbing – more professionally in the future,” said Martin Riebel, CEO.

“On the one hand, with well thought-out and innovative products with Deuter quality standards – but also with better support for athletes and mountain guides.

“We created a separate position for this purpose, starting in summer 2018.”