Why You Should Take Your Kids Rock Climbing

Girl indoor climbing

A recent study found that two-thirds of children do not do enough physical activity to sufficiently aid their growth and development.

Rock climbing offers a huge range of benefits to children, ranging from lessons around overcoming challenges and dealing with failure, through to promoting healthy life choices.

Further, climbing can be a great way to spend some quality family time together while keeping children active and entertained.

If you don’t already take your kids climbing, here are five reasons why you should:

1. Climbing promotes healthy life choices

Similar to ‘traditional' team sports like soccer, football, and netball, rock climbing is a great activity to keep kids moving and exercising. These days, promoting healthy life choices among our children is an important way to steer them away from the threat of obesity and all the dangers it poses.

By taking our kids climbing, we encourage them to stay active. As they become more and more excited about the sport, they will usually be encouraged to eat well, do yoga, and stay fit so that they can make progress in their climbing.


2. Climbing teaches problem-solving and decision making skills

Anyone who climbs knows that the sport demands a certain level of problem-solving and decision-making skills to get through a tough section on a route. While many fit, athletic, people can rely on strength alone for easy to moderate climbs, once a route gets to a certain difficulty level, problem-solving, technique, and decision-making skills are key to success.

These skills aren’t unique to climbing, however. Once a child learns to solve an issue on the wall, they’ll be better prepared to handle life’s challenges.

“Physical activity is not only important for a child’s physical development and fitness, it is important for their brain development and mental health, and helps them to develop socially and emotionally.” - UWA lead researcher Associate Professor Hayley Christian


3. Climbing encourages children to overcome fear

​Us climbers have all seen it many times: a new climber, halfway up their first route, terrified of climbing upward but also too scared to come back to the ground. It’s a pretty common sight, and most of us have probably been there before too.

Even if we’re not afraid of heights, at some point in our climbing careers, we’ve all had to overcome fear. For kids, climbing can be a great way to understand fear and how to overcome it in a controlled, fun, safe environment, with the support of their friends and family.


4. Climbing teaches us how to fail

​All climbers know that one thing is certain: what goes up must come down. Whether you’ve been climbing for a day or for a lifetime, chances are that you’ve fallen more than once.

Even if the fall was as innocent as a small slip off a foothold at the gym, falling - and getting back up again - teaches us humility - and how to persevere through it.

Climbing teaches us that failing does not make us a failure, but that with the right amount of effort, dedication, grit, and a small dose of humility, we can overcome challenges and strive to be our best. Kids, too, learn this quite quickly while climbing, especially if they’re used to succeeding at most things they try.


5. Climbing brings us outside

​Even if you and your kids start climbing in the gym, at some point, you’ll probably want to head out onto the real rock and test your skills. Outdoor rock climbing is a fantastic life-long activity that teaches adults and children alike the joys and benefits of spending time outside.

Outdoor climbing trips are also fantastic for families and are a great way to show kids the world in an active, healthy atmosphere. A weekend getaway to a nearby climbing spot or a vacation to an international climbing destination can be a fantastic way to encourage your kids to keep growing and developing - plus, they’re good fun for everyone!

There’s no limit to where climbing can take you and your family!

About THE AUTHOR:

Gaby Pilson


A professional mountain guide and experienced outdoor educator, Gaby enjoys travelling and exploring the world’s most remote locales.


As a writer and editor, Gaby has written for a variety of climbing and travel blogs, news sites, and climbing magazines.


She is currently finishing a master’s degree in outdoor education but in her free time, Gaby loves a strong cup of coffee and searching for the next great adventure.

How to Rock Climb: A Beginners Guide

Rock climbing shoes

For many people, rock climbing is a fringe activity: high up on a cliff, with little more than a rope and harness keeping you off the ground, it’s certainly not for everyone. But, if you’re interested in climbing, figuring out where to start can be pretty overwhelming.

Before you even get out onto the rock, here is some of the basic information you need to know:

1. Types of Climbing

Although the untrained eye might not be able to discern the difference between the different types of climbing, it turns out that there’s much more to climbing than meets the eye. When it comes to rock climbing, there are three main disciplines: bouldering, sport climbing, and traditional (trad) climbing.

Bouldering gyms Melbourne

Bouldering is precisely what it sounds like - it's a type of climbing where one attempts to ascend a bounder (as opposed to a cliff) using one's own strength. Bouldering is done without ropes for protection. Rather, boulderers use foam mats, known as crash pads, to protect themselves if they fall off of the bouldering ‘problem'. Bouldering problems are rarely more than 10 meters (30 feet) high and generally require significant strength and gymnastic abilities, particularly as the routes become more difficult.

Beginners guide to rock climbing-min

Sport climbing tends to require the same strength and gymnastic ability as bouldering but is done on cliffs and rock faces that are bolted and requires the use of a rope. These bolts provide the protection that a sport climber needs as they make their way up a climbing route. Since the climber starts at the bottom of a route, they must clip their rope into pieces of protection - in this case, bolts in the rock - which stop their fall should they slip off the route.

Traditional climbing is the last of the main rock climbing disciplines. In trad climbing, the climber makes their way up the route in the same manner as a sport climber but instead of clipping into bolts, the trad climber must place their own climbing protection into cracks in the rock. Traditional rock climbing routes tend to be longer, more remote, and more committing than sport climbing routes, but can also be as accessible as their bolted counterparts.


2. Equipment

The world of rock climbing equipment is a complex one. Depending on the type of climbing you do, you’ll find that some pieces of gear are better suited to your needs than others. That being said, for the most part, climbers tend to need the following general pieces of gear:

Rock climbing shoes Australia

Climbing shoes - Regardless of the type of climbing you do, you’ll need a pair of climbing shoes. The most important thing, when it comes to climbing shoes, is to get a pair that fits and feels good on your feet. There are a whole lot of different styles and models out there, but when you’re starting out, a comfy pair of climbing shoes is a sure bet.

Rock climbing Melbourne

Chalk bag - Although not mandatory for climbing, many climbers would feel lost without a chalk bag. A chalk bag is exactly what it sounds like - a small pouch for carrying chalk (also known as magnesium carbonate) while you climb. Chalk is great for drying out your hands when they get sweaty so that you maintain a good grip on the rock.

Harness

Harness - Unless you exclusively want to boulder, you’ll need a climbing harness. These come in all shapes and sizes, so finding one that fits, feels comfortable, and is within your price range should be your top priorities as a new climber. As you start to develop your skills, you’ll want a more specialised harness, but at first, a beginner’s harness will suit you just fine.


3. Seek out qualified instruction

While it might seem easier to ‘just wing it', when it comes to something like climbing, which has plenty of inherent risks, it's important to seek out qualified instruction from certified climbing instructors and guides. These people can show you the ropes (literally) while also teaching you to properly manage risk during a climbing day. Guides and instructors that are certified through your national IFMGA/UIAGM governing body are a sure bet.


About THE AUTHOR:

Gaby Pilson


A professional mountain guide and experienced outdoor educator, Gaby enjoys travelling and exploring the world’s most remote locales.


As a writer and editor, Gaby has written for a variety of climbing and travel blogs, news sites, and climbing magazines.


She is currently finishing a master’s degree in outdoor education but in her free time, Gaby loves a strong cup of coffee and searching for the next great adventure.

Budget Action Cameras: The Best GoPro Alternatives for 2021


Author: The Adventure Lab Staff

We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases. Read more here.


Quick Answer: The Best GoPro Alternative

Action camera technology is rapidly improving, with 4K video, GPS location tracking, and live streaming to social media becoming more and more common.

At the same time, prices are becoming more affordable, meaning it’s now easier than ever for you to capture your adventures on film.

GoPro created this market and they are still very much the leaders. However, there are several great alternatives out there giving GoPro a run for their money. Read on as we take a dive into the world of action cameras in search of cheap yet high quality GoPro alternatives.


iMAGE
PRODUCT
Our #1 Rated
YI 4K Action and Sports Camera, 4K/30fps Video 12MP Raw Image with EIS, Live Stream, Voice Control - Black
OUR #1 RATED

YI 4K ACTION CAMERA

  • Compact, lightweight design
  • Great quality video and stills
  • Multiple shooting modes
  • Good battery life


Garmin 010-01529-04 virb Ultra 30, Action Cam

GARMIN VIRB ULTRA 30

  • High quality 4K video
  • Image stabilisation
  • Good high-sensitivity microphone
  • Voice control
  • Waterproof to 40m with housing


YI Lite Action Camera, Sony Sensor 16MP Real 4K Sports Camera, 2 Inch Touchscreen,150° Wide Angle Lens and EIS- Black

YI LITE

  • Great image quality
  • Sony sensor
  • Tripod mount
  • Good touch screen
  • Cheap


GOPRO HERO

  • Good video quality
  • Very easy to use
  • Waterproof without housing
  • Solid build quality
  • Replaceable lens cover
  • Compatible with all GoPro accessories


SONY HD-RAS50

  • Great image stabilisation
  • Waterproof to 60m with housing
  • 4k time lapse

How to choose the Best action camera

Video Quality - Do You Really Need 4K?

4K video, also known as Ultra High Definition, is currently the gold standard in video resolution.

All high end action cameras (as well as some cheaper ones) will come with 4K. The rest will be 1080 HD. The difference in resolution is unlikely to make a difference to most users, especially if you don’t have a 4K monitor. However, as the video below explains, it does expand your options in terms of what you can do with your videos.

Video Quality - Image Stabilisation

In action filming, image stabilisation is crucial. There’s no point having the latest 4K resolution if it the camera shake gives you a headache to watch.

Action camera manufacturers build this technology into their devices, and is a reason why you should try to opt for a more reputable brand.

Some users opt to use a gimbal which is a device used to keep the camera horizontal, removing the impact of camera shake.

Usability

It’s all good and well for your camera to be packed with features, but they’re no good to you if you can’t access them when you need to. The best action cameras come with intuitive touch screens, with clearly labelled menus and settings.

Voice controls can also be handy, especially if you are often wearing gloves.

Battery life and other features

Battery life will depend on the type of use but generally ranges from 1-3 hours. Check the guidance from the manufacturer when comparing products and pay attention to the type of usage the guidelines are based on.

Waterproofing should be another consideration, especially if you intend to use it for water sports. While waterproof housing is often available, some cameras come fully waterproof out of the box.

Many users will also want to opt for an action camera that is drone compatible. GoPros will generally be your best bet if this is important to you.

sam russell

Editor's Note:

"Action cameras like those reviewed in this article are great for sports like skateboarding, skiing and snowboarding, and mountain biking.

If you're looking for a camera to use underwater, check out our underwater camera round-up"


action  camera Reviews

#1 YI 4K review

Best Overall GoPro Alternative

TOP PICK

YI 4K Action and Sports Camera, 4K/30fps Video 12MP Raw Image with EIS, Live Stream, Voice Control - Black

BUY AT amazon

The YI 4K is the flagship device from one of most popular brands in the action camera world.

With a Sony IMX377 sensor, the 4K is renowned for it’s sharp, high-quality video. It also shoots good quality stills with a 12MP lens, and produces impressive 240 frames per second slow-mo video.

The screen display is bright and provides crisp, clear images, while the touch screen is intuitive and responsive.

Other features include electronic image stabilisation, WIFI phone pairing, multiple shooting modes, micro-USB charging, tripod attachment option, timelapse, removable SD memory card, and a replaceable rechargeable battery.

Overall this is a great action camera at an affordable price point, and for us represents the best GoPro alternative currently on the market.

Pros
  • Compact, lightweight design
  • Great quality video and stills
  • Multiple shooting modes
  • Good battery life                                     
cons
  • Low light shooting not the best
  • Sound quality could be better
  • Waterproof housing required for underwater shooting

#2 garmin VIRB Ultra 30 review

Best High-End GoPro Alternative

Garmin 010-01529-04 virb Ultra 30, Action Cam

BUY AT amazon

While certainly not a budget option, the VIRB Ultra 30 does represent one of the best action cameras on the market.

With 4K at 30FPS and digital image stabilisation, slow-mo, voice control, and a host of action settings, this is a genuine contender at its price point.

While not waterproof out of the box, it does come with a fully waterproof case suitable for depths up to 40m. Also, if you are invested in the Garmin Ecosystem with a head unit or watch you can control the camera through these devices.

Pros
  • High quality 4K video
  • Image stabilisation
  • Good high-sensitivity microphone
  • Voice control
  • Waterproof to 40m with housing                                
cons
  • Expensive                                                 

#3 Yi Lite Review

Best Budget Action Camera

YI Lite Action Camera, Sony Sensor 16MP Real 4K Sports Camera, 2 Inch Touchscreen,150° Wide Angle Lens and EIS- Black

BUY AT amazon

Built with a high end Sony sensor, the Yi Lite is a great option for those on a budget.

With 1080p 60FPS video and electronic image stabilisation, this camera is going to get you videos comparable to those from high-end models.

150 degree ultra-wide angle lens means it performs well in low light, while the intuitive touch screen makes the Yi Lite a pleasure to use.

Pros
  • Great image quality
  • Sony sensor
  • Tripod mount
  • Good touch screen                                 
cons
  • No usable 4K video
  • Less shooting modes than Yi 4K           

#4 GoPro Hero review

Best affordable GoPro

BUY AT camera PRO

BUY AT BING LEE

While technically not a GoPro alternative, the Hero should be on the shortlist for anyone looking for a budget action camera.

Released by GoPro in 2018 to take on competition at the more affordable end of the market, the Hero comes with 1080p video, image stabilisation, and is waterproof to 10m.

Pros
  • Good video quality
  • Very easy to use
  • Waterproof without housing
  • Solid build quality
  • Replaceable lens cover
  • Compatible with all GoPro accessories
cons
  • No 4k video
  • More Expensive than other budget options

#5 Sony HD-RAS50 Action Cam review

Best mid-range GoPro Alternative

BUY AT camera house

Offering superior image stabilisation thanks to Sony’s SteadyShot technology, the HD-RAS50 is a very impressive mid-range option.

A new Sony user interface allows for intuitive camera operation, while other features include 4K time-lapse video, adjustable field-of-view/zoom, and smartphone compatibility.

Using the supplied underwater housing this camera can be used at depths of up to 60m.

Pros
  • Great image stabilisation
  • Waterproof to 60m with housing
  • 4k time lapse                                           
cons
  • No 4k for regular shooting                    

verdict

While the best product on this list is probably the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30, we’ve awarded the Yi 4K our top spot due to it’s high quality 4K video and combination of features at such an affordable price point.

The Best Rock Climbing Ropes in Australia for 2021


Author: Gaby Pilson - Professional Mountain Guide & Climbing Instructor

We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases. Read more here.


The climbing rope represents the ultimate bond between climbing partners - a lifeline, both literal and figurative. When you're high up on a climb, the last thing you want to worry about is your climbing rope, so buying the right one before you head to the crag is of the utmost importance.

Climbing ropes can be a tricky thing to purchase, however. The technology and lingo surrounding climbing ropes are enough to make anyone confused. That's why we've created this climbing rope buyer's guide to help you through the rope purchasing process.

After the summary table below we discuss the key things to look out for when choosing a rope, followed by detailed reviews of the best products on the market.


iMAGE
PRODUCT
OUR #1 RATED
Best Rock climbing rope
OUR #1 RATED

BLACK DIAMOND 9.4MM 60M ROPE

  • Lightweight (58g/m)
  • Burly 2x2 sheath
  • 9.4mm is great for performance, versatility, and durability
  • Easy to identify middle market
  • Handles well


indoor rock climbing rope

PETZL CONTACT 9.8MM ROPE

  • Useful mix of weight, durability, and handling
  • Versatile diameter for longevity and ease of use
  • UltraSonic Finish bonding technique avoids frayed ends
  • Easy to see middle mark


Climbing rope

BEAL OPERA 8.5MM ROPE

  • Very light at 48g/m
  • DRY COVER protection for wet and icy climbing
  • Supple feel
  • Inexpensive for dry-treated rope of this size


Best climbing rope

PETZL MAMBO 10.1MM 60M ROPE

  • Thick sheath for abrasion resistance
  • UltraSonic Finish bonding technique avoids frayed ends
  • Easily identifiable middle mark
  • Excellent grip and handling


Blue climbing rope

BEAL ANTIDOTE 10.2MM 60M ROPE

  • Great for beginning belayers
  • ThermoFluid rope construction reduces sheath slippage
  • Durable for long-term use
  • Ecological design with no dyes or chemicals -Bluesign approved

How to Choose the Best Climbing Rope

There are a number of key considerations to take into account before you start shopping for a new climbing rope. Here are a few:

Rope diameter

These days, climbing ropes come in a wide variety of diameters - from thick 11mm workhorses to super skinny 7.6mm strands. The thicker the diameter, the more resilient and durable the rope. However, the thicker the rope, the more difficult it can be to handle and the heavier it will be.

Weight

As mentioned previously, thicker ropes weigh more. But, even between ropes of the same diameter, their weights can be drastically different. Climbing ropes are weight in grams per meter (g/m), which makes it easy to compare ropes of different length.

Length

Do you primarily stick to short single pitch routes? Or do you climb multi-pitch routes with long pitches and lengthy abseils? Climbing ropes come in a variety of lengths - from about 20m to 80m - so picking the right one can be very important. Most people do well with a 60 or 70m rope. If you primarily climb in a specific area, consult your local guidebook to see what length rope they recommend.

Now that you know what to look for in your climbing rope, let’s get to the reviews. Coming up: five of the best ropes money can buy.


ROCK Climbing Rope Reviews

#1 Black Diamond 9.4mm 60m Rope

TOP PICK

Best Rock climbing rope

This 9.4mm rope from Black Diamond is a solid, all-around workhorse. Built to last with Black Diamond’s burly 2x2 sheath construction, it’s abrasion resistant and durable for daily climbing use.

The 9.4mm diameter is the perfect size for most climbers as it is versatile enough for hard sends on your project or for toproping with a group. It’s also impressively lightweight for the diameter at only 58g/m and comes with an easy to identify middle marker, which is great for longer abseils.

Although it is a bit expensive, this rope's impressive handle and feel make it well worth the extra cost. It's a great rope for people who dabble in a variety of different climbing disciplines and that want something reliable for daily use.

Pros
  • Lightweight (58g/m)
  • Burly 2x2 sheath
  • 9.4mm is great for performance, versatility, and durability
  • Easy to identify middle market
  • Handles well
cons
  • More expensive                                         

#2 Petzl Contact 9.8mm Rope

outdoor climbing rope

BUY AT BACKCOUNTRY

The Petzl Contact 9.8 offers a great mix of weight, durability, and handling ease for most climbers. At 9.8mm, it has a fairly versatile diameter for longevity and durability in a variety of contexts.

Petzl uses its proprietary UltraSonic Finish bonding technique to avoid frayed ends on this rope even after months of use. The easy to see middle market makes abseils and longer multi-pitch climbs a breeze, too.

Some sport climbers might find that the 9.8mm diameter is a bit too big and heavy for their use. So, we recommend this rope for trad climbers who prioritize durability and longevity in their ropes.

Pros
  • Useful mix of weight, durability, and handling
  • Versatile diameter for longevity and ease of use
  • UltraSonic Finish bonding technique avoids frayed ends
  • Easy to see middle mark
cons
  • Thicker diameter is heavier
  • Expensive                                                  

#3 Beal Opera 8.5mm Rope

Climbing rope

BUY AT WILD EARTH

The thinnest and lightest rope in this review, the Beal Opera 8.5mm is a great option for weight-conscious climbers. At 48g/m, the Opera is the lightest and thinnest single rope currently available.

If that wasn’t good enough, the Opera is also dry treated so it’s great for wet and icy winter climbing conditions. It has a supple feel, which means it handles well and makes tying knots a breeze.

For a light and skinny dry-treated rope, the Beal Opera is incredibly inexpensive. Our only concern with the Opera is that its thin diameter makes it less durable over time for frequent use.

Pros
  • Very light at 48g/m
  • DRY COVER protection for wet and icy climbing
  • Supple feel
  • Inexpensive for dry-treated rope of this size
cons
  • 8.5mm is less durable than thicker alternatives

#4 Petzl Mambo 10.1mm 60m Rope

Best climbing rope

BUY AT BACKCOUNTRY

The Petzl Mambo 10.1 is made to withstand the wear and tear of daily use. Petzl designed the Mambo with a thick sheath for maximum abrasion resistance and used an UltraSonic Finish to avoid frayed ends.

It also has an easily identifiable middle mark for quick abseil set-up. Plus, the Mambo offers excellent grip and handling, which makes it perfect for newer belayers. At 10.1mm and 65g/m, it is heavier than many other ropes, so it isn't ideal for longer climbs. But, if you mainly toprope or climb single-pitch routes, then the Mambo might be the rope for you.

Pros
  • Thick sheath for abrasion resistance
  • UltraSonic Finish bonding technique avoids frayed ends
  • Easily identifiable middle mark
  • Excellent grip and handling
cons
  • Heavier than other ropes (65g/m)
  • Thick diameter and heavy weight is not great for longer climbs

#5 Beal Antidote 10.2mm 60m Rope

best value

Blue climbing rope

BUY AT WILDFIRE

The thickest rope in this review, the Beal Antidote is a great first rope for newer climbers. While the thicker diameter adds extra weight (66g/m), it makes the Antidote easy to handle for new belayers who might be less confident. Plus, the extra thickness means that the Antidote is durable and resilient even after daily use.

Our favourite part of this rope - it’s made with an environmentally friendly design that is free from dyes and chemicals and is Bluesign approved. We recommend this rope for climbers on a budget and for anyone who just wants the added handling security and durability of a thicker rope

Pros
  • Great for beginning belayers
  • ThermoFluid rope construction reduces sheath slippage
  • Durable for long-term use
  • Ecological design with no dyes or chemicals -Bluesign approved
cons
  • Heavy (66g/m)
  • Thick diameter and heavy weight is not great for longer climbs

verdict

Ultimately, you’ll likely only buy one rope, so it’s important that you choose the right one. Our top pick: the Black Diamond 9.4mm 60m rope, which combines durability, light weight, performance, and versatility into one convenient package. But, whichever rope you choose, be sure to select the one that’s best for your climbing style and needs.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mountain guide

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Gaby Pilson

Professional Mountain Guide


A professional mountain guide and experienced outdoor educator, Gaby enjoys travelling and exploring the world’s most remote locales.

As a writer and editor, Gaby has written for a variety of climbing and travel blogs, news sites, and climbing magazines.

She is currently finishing a master’s degree in outdoor education but in her free time, Gaby loves a strong cup of coffee and searching for the next great adventure.

The Best Rock Climbing Helmets in Australia for 2021


Author: Gaby Pilson - Professional Mountain Guide & Climbing Instructor

We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases. Read more here.


Anything can happen while climbing - rocks can fall and gear can get dropped. Although we hope that these incidents are few and far between, it’s best to be prepared by wearing a climbing helmet. That's why they should be a key part of your climbing kit, along with your shoes and harness.

However, there a number of different climbing helmet styles and designs available, so it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you. To make things easier, we’ve created this detailed climbing helmet buying guide so you can have all the information you need before you make a purchase.

​Our #1 Pick:

Black Diamond Vector

TOP PICK

Black Diamond Vector Helmet, Ultra Blue, Small/Medium
  • EPS foam with polycarbonate shell
  • Large ventilation openings
  • Dial adjustment system
  • Headlamp clips
  • Available in two sizes
  • Lightweight (240g)

How to Choose the Best Climbing Helmet

Climbing helmets come in two basic designs: hardshell or foam. Whether or not you decide on a hardshell or foam helmet will decide on a number of factors, so let’s look at this distinction in more detail:

Hardshell Helmets

Hardshell helmets tend to be the most durable of the bunch because they’re made of a solid piece of ABS plastic. This plastic is specially designed to protect your noggin from falling rocks and gear and is the main structural component of the helmet.

The outer ABS plastic shell is attached to your head using a strap suspension system and an EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam lining which is designed to absorb impact. This thick plastic shell and foam lining combo is incredibly durable and is more resistant to scratches and dings than the full foam alternative.

In addition to this extra durability, the main benefit of the hardshell helmet is that it tends to be much more affordable than a foam helmet. However, this benefit comes with two significant disadvantages - weight and breathability.

Hardshell helmets, although affordable and durable, tend to be heavier (in some cases twice as heavy) as the foam models. Plus, they tend not to breathe as well as a foam helmet, which means your head can get quite sweaty on a hot day

Foam Helmets

Unlike their hardshell cousins, many foam helmets are made mostly of EPS or EPP (expanded polypropylene) foam, with just a thin covering of polycarbonate plastic. However, there are some foam helmets that have only partial shells or eschew the plastic covering altogether. Regardless, the EPS foam is designed to take the brunt of any impact while the polycarbonate shell simply protects the foam from wear and tear.

The main advantage of the foam helmet is that it is lighter and more breathable than the hardshell alternative. Of course, this comes at the cost of decreased durability and increased cost. Thus, when buying a climbing helmet, it is important to first prioritise four key features - weight, breathability, cost, and durability - to determine which model might be right for you.


Climbing Helmet Reviews

#1 ​​​​​​​​Black Diamond Vector

TOP PICK

Black Diamond Vector Helmet, Ultra Blue, Small/Medium

The Vector is an incredibly versatile foam helmet with large ventilation openings for maximum breathability. Available in two sizes and complete with a dial adjustment system, the Vector helps you get the perfect fit for superior protection from falling objects.

The EPS foam with a polycarbonate shell is lightweight but is prone to scratches and dings. While it is more expensive than a hardshell, it is reasonably priced for a foam helmet. We recommend the Vector for frequent climbers who want a versatile helmet for any situation.

Mountain guide
gaby pilson
professional mountain guide

"I’ve used multiple models of this helmet for nearly five years and have always been impressed. Whether rock climbing or mountaineering, it keeps my head protected while staying breathable and comfortable day after day."

gaby pilson
professional mountain guide
Pros
  • EPS foam with polycarbonate shell
  • Large ventilation openings
  • Dial adjustment system
  • Headlamp clips
  • Available in two sizes
  • Lightweight (240g)                                  
cons
  • Prone to scratches and dings
  • More expensive                                       

#2 ​​​​​​Kong Leef

Helmet for rock climbing

BUY AT WILD EARTH

The Leef is Italian manufacturer Kong’s newest and most technologically advanced helmet. Made with a minimalist design that provides excellent shock resistance, this is a helmet that’s made to last.

This helmet is certified for both climbing and mountaineering. Plus, at a mere 210g, you’ll likely forget that you’re even wearing it. This is a great helmet for climbers who prioritise weight savings over anything else.

Pros
  • Very light (210g)
  • Certified for climbing and mountaineering
  • Minimalist design
  • Ratchet adjustment system
  • Headlamp clips
cons
  • Expensive                                                  

#3 ​​​Camp Storm

Rock climbing helmet

BUY AT WILD EARTH

Camp fine-tuned their new Storm helmet for technical climbing and mountaineering with 22 ventilation holes for maximum breathability. Designed for high-output adventures where you’re breathing heavily and working hard, the Storm has removable padding and a dial adjustment system for a precision fit.

This is a great helmet for mountaineers, alpinists, and technical climbers who push the grades. If you value comfort and breathability, the Storm might be the helmet for you.

Pros
  • 22 ventilation holes for maximum breathability
  • Removable padding for precision fit
  • Dial adjustment system
  • Headlamp clips
cons
  • More expensive
  • Heaviest of foam helmets (250g)         

#4 ​Petzl Boreo

Climbing helmet

BUY AT WILD EARTH

The Petzl Boreo is a hardshell that’s so light and breathable that you might think it’s a foam helmet. Built to be compact yet strong with a durable plastic shell, the Boreo protects against lateral, front, and rear impact for maximum head-coverage.

At only 295g, it’s pretty light for a hardshell helmet, though that benefit does come with a higher price tag. We recommend the Boreo for climbers who prioritize durability and protection over anything else.

Pros
  • Very durable
  • Compact yet protective
  • Protection against lateral, front, and rear impact
  • Light for hardshell helmet (295g)
  • Headlamp attachment
cons
  • Expensive for hardshell                           

#5 ​​Black Diamond Half Dome

best value

Cheap climbing helmet

BUY AT WILD EARTH

The Half Dome is Black Diamond's seasoned workhorse helmet. With a classic hardshell design, minimal fuss, and incredible durability, the Half Dome is great for climbers who just need a helmet that can get the job done.

With two sizes and a dial adjustment system, you can get a precision fit at an affordable price. While it is the heaviest helmet in this review, it is built to last daily abuse, so it's great for climbers who are hard on their gear.

Mountain guide
gaby pilson
professional mountain guide

"The Half Dome was one of the first helmets I purchased and it served me well over the years. It is durable and resilient, even if you accidentally squash it in your pack. The main reason I switched to a different helmet was for the added breathability of a foam model. But, if you want something that’s durable day after day, the Half Dome is a sure bet."

gaby pilson
professional mountain guide
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Dial adjustment system
  • Headlamp attachment                          
cons
  • Heaviest of hardshell helmets (340g)       

​The Verdict:

​Buying a climbing helmet can be difficult, but not once you know what to look for. In this review, the Black Diamond Vector was our top pick for its great combination of price and versatility. Whichever helmet you choose, be sure to select one that fits your priorities so you can keep on climbing.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mountain guide

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Gaby Pilson

Professional Mountain Guide


A professional mountain guide and experienced outdoor educator, Gaby enjoys travelling and exploring the world’s most remote locales.

As a writer and editor, Gaby has written for a variety of climbing and travel blogs, news sites, and climbing magazines.

She is currently finishing a master’s degree in outdoor education but in her free time, Gaby loves a strong cup of coffee and searching for the next great adventure.

The Best Rock Climbing Harness in Australia for 2021

Harness

Author: Gaby Pilson

We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases. Read more here.


A good climbing harness can be the difference between a fun day at the crag and a painful session working your new climbing project. While we all want a good, well-fitting harness, it can be difficult to find the right one with all of the options available today.

To show you through the world of climbing harnesses, we’ve compiled this buying guide, complete with information on what to look for in a harness. We’ve even reviewed five of the best models in the market today so you can choose the one that’s best for you.


iMAGE
PRODUCT
OUR #1 RATED
Rock climbing harness
OUR #1 RATED

BLACK DIAMOND TECHNICIAN

  • Quick-drying waistbelt for comfort and range of motion
  • Adjustable leg loops
  • 5 gear loops plus haul loop
  • Four Ice Clipper slots for winter climbing
  • Lightweight (376g)


Climbing Harness

CAMP AIR CR

  • "No Twist" Belay Loop
  • 4 gear loops plus haul loop
  • Lightweight (350g)
  • Adjustable leg loops


Indoor rock climbing harness

PETZL ADJAMA

  • ENDOFRAME Technology for great weight distribution
  • Wide waistbelt for comfort
  • 5 gear loops plus haul loop
  • Adjustable leg loops


Mens harness

PETZL SAMA

  • Great padding on waistbelt and leg loops
  • 4 gear loops plus haul loop
  • Waistbelt is thinner in front for increased range of motion


Harness

BLACK DIAMOND MOMENTUM

  • Comfortable and well-padded waistbelt
  • Four gear loops plus haul loop
  • Quick adjusting TrakFIT leg loops
  • Lightweight (350g)
  • Inexpensive

How to Choose a Climbing Harness

Along with your shoes and helmet, a harness is a key piece of kit in any climbers arsenal. 

There are many different harnesses available today, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. When choosing your next climbing harness, be sure to take these key considerations into account:

Type of climbing

What kind of climbing do you normally do? If you mainly climb in the gym, you might not need many gear loops or additional accessories. Rather, you’d probably want a slim harness that minimises weight so you can send hard.

On the other hand, if you mostly climb traditional rock routes, you’ll want plenty of gear loops for your rack and extra padding around the waist belt and leg loops for those hanging belays.

Ice climbers and alpinists will prefer adjustable leg loops that can fit over winter trousers and a plethora of gear loops for all of their gear. If you’re mainly a boulderer, you might as well skip the harness altogether.

Unisex or gendered harnesses

While most people think that women's specific gear is mainly smaller and pinker, when it comes to harnesses getting a women's specific model over its men's or unisex cousins can make a difference.

Women's specific harnesses often have a more shaped waist belt, to accommodate curvier hips. Plus, women's harnesses have a smaller leg-to-waist ratio, so they often feel tighter in the legs.

That being said, choose the harness that fits best on you, regardless of how it’s marketed.

Now that you know the main differences between the different types of climbing harnesses, let’s move on to the reviews.


Climbing Harness Reviews

#1 Black Diamond Technician Review

TOP PICK

Rock climbing harness

The Technician is Black Diamond’s do-everything harness. From steep sport routes to long alpine adventures, the Technician is designed to help you stay comfortable and efficient regardless of the environment.

The quick dry waistbelt is incredibly comfortable and the adjustable leg loops let you customize the harness’ fit every time you use it. Five gear loops and a haul loop let you carry as much gear as you want while four ice clipper slots make the harness great for winter climbing too.

A lightweight and versatile harness, the Technician is a great year-round climbing companion. It’s best for people who dabble in a variety of different climbing disciplines who can appreciate all of its features.

Pros
  • Quick-drying waistbelt for comfort and range of motion
  • Adjustable leg loops
  • 5 gear loops plus haul loop
  • Four Ice Clipper slots for winter climbing
  • Lightweight (376g)
cons
  • Expensive                                                   

#2 Camp Air CR Review

Climbing Harness

BUY AT EBAY

The Air CR is designed to be a lightweight, robust harness that’s great for quick and light ascents in the mountains. It’s designed to be abrasion resistant, yet lightweight. Four gear loops and a haul loop make the Air CR great for mid-length adventure climbs, too.

One of the Air CR’s most unique features is the ‘No Twist’ belay loop, which helps keep you and your gear organised and efficient. The adjustable leg loops are great even in cold or wet conditions. The one downside to this harness is that it sacrifices comfort for weight savings.

We recommend this harness for traditional and alpine climbers who can appreciate the weight savings and who will be wearing enough layers to keep this harness comfortable. However, its lack of padding is not overly ideal for sport or gym climbers who hang or fall frequently.

Pros
  • "No Twist" Belay Loop
  • 4 gear loops plus haul loop
  • Lightweight (350g)
  • Adjustable leg loops                                 
cons
  • Not very comfortable for gym or sport climbing

#3 Petzl Adjama Review

Indoor rock climbing harness

BUY AT AMAZON

Petzl's Adjama is a simple and comfortable climbing and mountaineering harness that is ideal for single and multi-pitch adventures. The wide padded waistbelt with ENDOFRAME Technology gives the harness great weight distribution and comfort throughout a climbing day.

Adjustable leg loops make it a great harness for both indoor and outdoor use. However, the thicker padding on this harness does mean that it doesn’t breathe as well. Plus, the extra comfort comes at the price of a higher weight and a larger impact on your wallet.

Pros
  • ENDOFRAME Technology for great weight distribution
  • Wide waistbelt for comfort
  • 5 gear loops plus haul loop
  • Adjustable leg loops
cons
  • Thicker padding doesn’t breathe very well
  • Expensive
  • Heavy (485g)

#4 Petzl Sama Review

Mens harness

BUY AT BACKCOUNTRY

Designed with sport climbers in mind, the Petzl Sama is great for people who fall or hang a lot on hard projects. Perfect for indoor or outdoor use, the Sama's elasticized leg loops make putting on the harness a breeze but do limit its functionality for traditional and alpine climbing.

The waist belt is thinner in the front of the harness so it doesn’t impede movement, but it has enough padding to keep you comfortable while projecting difficult routes. Four gear loops and a haul loop give this harness enough racking space for all your gear, too.

This harness is heavy, however, and the comfort of extra padding means that it doesn’t breathe as well as other alternatives. But, if you’re looking for a harness for your sport climbing needs, the Sama might be the harness for you.

Pros
  • Great padding on waistbelt and leg loops
  • 4 gear loops plus haul loop
  • Waistbelt is thinner in front for increased range of motion
cons
  • Non-adjustable leg loops
  • Thicker padding often not as breathable
  • Heavy (415g)

#5 Black Diamond Momentum Review

best value

Harness

BUY AT WILDFIRE

Climbers who prioritize comfort and affordability might really enjoy the Black Diamond Momentum. Build with a well-padded waistbelt and quick adjusting TrakFIT leg loops, the Momentum is easy to customize to help you get that perfect fit.

It’s a lightweight harness with four gear loops and a haul loop to store all your gear. The Momentum is a great gym and sport climbing harness for hard sends and long days of belaying. There are two downsides to this harness - one, that the plastic leg loop buckles can be finicky and prone to breaking; and two, that all that extra padding means the harness doesn’t breathe that well.

Pros
  • Comfortable and well-padded waistbelt
  • Four gear loops plus haul loop
  • Quick adjusting TrakFIT leg loops
  • Lightweight (350g)
  • Inexpensive
cons
  • Plastic leg loop buckle is prone to breaking
  • Does not breathe very well

VERDICT

All five of these harnesses are great choices for your next climbing adventure. But, if we had to choose just one, the Black Diamond Technician would come out on top for its great mix of comfort, versatility, and light weight. Regardless, be sure to choose a harness that best meets your needs so you can climb hard without worry.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mountain guide

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Gaby Pilson

Professional Mountain Guide


A professional mountain guide and experienced outdoor educator, Gaby enjoys travelling and exploring the world’s most remote locales.

As a writer and editor, Gaby has written for a variety of climbing and travel blogs, news sites, and climbing magazines.

She is currently finishing a master’s degree in outdoor education but in her free time, Gaby loves a strong cup of coffee and searching for the next great adventure.

Beginners guide to rock climbing-min