TESTED

Six pieces of the lat­est and great­est climb­ing gear from our dili­gent testers.

Climbing - - CONTENTS - By the Edi­tors

FLEET FEET LOWA ALPINE PRO GTX

Our tester pun­ished the light, min­i­mal­ist (3 lbs, 10 oz per pair) Alpine Pro GTX on Mt. Rainier and the Tor­ment–For­bid­den Tra­verse. “The GTX of­fers thin-soled, close-to-the-ground per­for­mance,” he said, with “im­pres­sive toe-to-rock con­tact.” He lauded the am­ple toe­box and re­mark­able dura­bil­ity. The Gore­tex lin­ing kept mois­ture out, and the lugged Vi­bram Alp-Trac sole was a “rugged mutha.” $425, lowa­boots.com

SEED POWER HEALTH WAR­RIOR PUMP­KIN SEED SUPERFOOD BAR

These dense, de­li­cious honey- and- seed bars hit the sweet spot for our tester, who, with a treenut in­tol­er­ance and no- sugar diet, has strug­gled to find bars. “Fi­nally, some­thing that isn’t full of hid­den sugar and sneaky al­monds that send me into a GI tail­spin,” he said. “Plus, they were de­li­cious.” The bars are sim­ple and whole­some, with a short list of in­gre­di­ents and eight grams of pro­tein. At sub- 200 calo­ries, they make for a great, easy- pack­ing light snack, per­fect for long days crag­ging or multi- pitch climbs. There are three tasty fla­vors: Cin­na­mon Spice, Dark Choco­late, and Cracked Pep­per with Turmeric. $15 for a box of 12, shop.health­war­rior.com

FLASHIN’ IN FASH­ION KAILAS MEN’S DIRTBAG SHORT

It’s tough to find shorts that move well un­der a har­ness, flex for heel hooks, and stay cool on routes, but Kailas nails it with the Dirtbag Short. Us­ing three-way stretch ma­te­rial and a di­a­mond-cut crotch, Kailas cre­ated a short that al­lows for wide stances and never bunches. A side zip­per pocket of­fers se­cure stor­age. “The best climb­ing shorts I’ve owned,” said our tester. A laser-lam­i­nated waist­band adds to a stream­lined fit, mak­ing them fash­ion­able for gym or crag. $79, kailas­gears.com

RETRO BOMBERNESS PATAG­O­NIA ASCENSIONIST PACK 40L

Patag­o­nia has re­designed the Ascensionist, an alpine and crag­ging car­ryall with a min­i­mal­ist retro look. Our tester, who guided on North­west vol­ca­noes, praised its bombproof-ness: “The 210-de­nier Cor­dura fab­ric will hold up to years of abuse,” he said. The ex­te­rior is trim—per­fect for grind­ing against rough ter­rain. You get a spin­drift col­lar, re­mov­able back panel, padded hip belt (pad­ding re­mov­able), ice-axe carry sys­tem, daisy chain, and com­pres­sion straps. Also comes in 30L ($149). $179, patag­o­nia.com

KNIT TO FIT BLACK DI­A­MOND MO­MEN­TUM

Long­time gear man­u­fac­turer Black Di­a­mond is en­ter­ing the shoe mar­ket this year ( and next) with four new rock shoes. Their first, the Mo­men­tum, is a well- re­al­ized, com­fort­able, sta­ble en­try- level shoe that comes in men’s, women’s, and ( soon) chil­dren’s ver­sions. Our testers praised the en­gi­neered- knit up­per, a wel­come light, breath­able re­lief on hot days and for sweaty gym ses­sions. “Very com­fort­able and easy to ad­just,” said one tester about the dou­ble-Vel­cro clo­sure. “And the shoes broke in within just one ses­sion.” With its flat last and rounded toe, the Mo­men­tum won’t be your go- to 5.14 red­point shoe, though testers were still climb­ing up to V6/ 5.12 in it and dug the grippy 4.3mm NeoFric­tion sole, es­pe­cially on slabby gran­ite. For gym ses­sions, warm­ing up, multi- pitch, and all- around use, the Mo­men­tum is hard to beat. $90, black­di­a­mond equip­ment.com

STEEL PULSE GSI OUT­DOORS GLACIER STAINLESS MICROLITE 500

“This has be­come my go- to half- liter bot­tle,” said our tester of the in­no­va­tive Microlite 500. Weigh­ing 7.9 ounces, this sleek, por­ta­ble vac­uum bot­tle was a wel­come size for crag­ging, with eight- hour heat and cold re­ten­tion. De­spite hav­ing only 2mm stainless- steel walls, it fared leagues bet­ter than other metal bot­tles our tester owns— you know, the ones that get leaky and dinged after a sea­son. The lock­ing, sin­gle- but­ton flip top was a nice touch, al­low­ing easy, one- handed open­ing and clo­sure. “I gave the Microlite 500 to my two wild boys, ages 2 and 5, and even after fam­ily hikes and boul­der­ing to­gether they weren’t able to even scratch it,” said our tester. Bonus: The flat, rub­ber- cush­ioned bot­tom lets the bot­tle stand re­li­ably up­right. $26, gsiout­doors.com

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