New to Climbing? Here’s a List of What to Buy

August 29, 2017 | by

If you’re getting into climbing, it makes sense to buy some of your own gear. Two big things distinguish climbing from most other outdoor sports. 1) Never buy used equipment. 2) you don’t have to buy everything at once! While a kit including harnesses, biners, rope, a trad rack, draws, etc will run around $2000, you can get started for as little as $80 if you’re climbing with friends! Here is a progression of climbing purchases that will keep you from breaking the bank, keep you from buying gear that will need to be replaced as you progress, and is a logical progression as your skills increase.

Gear is listed in relative order of recommended buying order.

LS Nago


$60 Climbing Shoes (Staff Pick: La Sportiva TC Pro // Best Buy: La Sportiva Nago)

$15 Chalk Bag

$7 Chalk


BD Momentum


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

$60 Climbing Harness (or bouldering pad)  (Staff Pick: Arc’Teryx 395a // Best Buy: Black Diamond Momentum)

$25 Belay device (Staff Pick: BD ATC Guide // Best Buy: BD ATC XP)

$10 HMS locking carabiner (Staff Pick: Petzl Attache // Best Buy: BD Rocklock)

$65 Climbing Helmet (Staff Pick: Petzl Meteor // Best Buy: BD Half Dome)




Top Rope Kit and more PPE

$20 HMS locking carabiner (Staff Pick: Petzl Attache // Best Buy: BD Rocklock)

$20 Lightweight D carabiners x 2 (Staff Pick: Petzl Spirit Locker // Best Buy: BD Positron Screwgate)

$8 48” (120cm) Nylon sewn sling

$15 2-3 wire gate carabiners (Staff Pick: Petzl Ange // Best Buy: Cypher Ceres II)

$7 1 prussic (Staff Pick: Sterling Hollowblock // Best Buy: 5′ 5″ 6mm nylon accessory cord)

$10 15-20ft 7mm accessory cord tied in a loop

$160 60-70 meter 9.8-10.5mm single rope  (Staff Pick: Mammut Infinity Dry 9.5 // Best Buy: Sterling Evolution Velocity)


Petzl Dejin

Sport climbing setup

$110 – 200  12 quick draws (Staff Pick: Petzl Dejin Access // Best Buy: Cypher Ceres II)

(IMO: the Cypher Ceres II and Petzl Dejin Access draws are by FAR the best values. Buy the Ceres if you are wanting to use the draws for trad as well (get 16cm lengths). Buy the Dejin if you want to sport climb. Or get a combo of both. Both these draws are comparable to draws nearly twice the price. )



Starter Trad climbing setup

$300 Single set of cams (BD .5-#2)

$12 48” (120cm) Dyneema sewn sling

$100 color coded wiregate carabiners for your cams. (lightweight is best)

$80 Single set of mid size and large nuts (Staff Pick: DMM Wallnuts // Best Buy: Cypher Huevos)

$70 Hexes (cheap and great to supplement a rack on easier climbs). You can buy these used off eBay for cheap. Just make sure to inspect and get ones with steel cables if you can.

$200 Alpine / Trad draws (6-12 24” Dyneema slings tripled over with 2x wire gate carabiners each) (Staff Pick: Wildcountry Helium , Petzl Ange S, Mammut Contact // Best Buy: BD Hoodwire)



Trad Rack Indian Creek

More Trad Gear

$400 more cams (BD .4-#4) (I prefer BD X4s in sizes .4 and smaller)

$70 DMM offset nuts (whenever you double up on nuts, it’s a good idea to get a different style/brand. DMM Offsets are the bomb)

$200 small cams (C3s, X4s, Metolius ultralights, or Totem Basic)






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