If there’s one thing to know about rock climbers, it’s that they’re incredibly devoted to their sport. And when you’ve got a loved one who also rock climbs, it might be difficult to think of an appropriate gift. It can be tough to figure out what to get for loved ones who climb, as a lot of climbing gear is not intuitive for people who don’t do it. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back – this massive guide has 30 incredible gifts for climbers that they can use indoors and outdoors, on lead climbs and boulders.
Overall Best Gifts for Climbers
As the most important climbing tool, a good pair of climbing shoes should last quite a while. This is one of the best gifts for climbers; however, this gift may require a bit of planning and research. Find out what shoe size your friend is before you buy and read the reviews to determine fit.
If you are buying for a beginner, check out the Black Diamond Momentum or the LaSportiva Women’s TranatuLace. For intermediate or advanced climbers, offer to take your loved one out to try on different pairs as they may need a specific type of climbing shoe.
If your loved one likes to rope climb, one of the best gifts for climbers is a new harness. As with the climbing shoes, picking a proper harness requires some research. If buying for a beginner, the Petzl Corax harness is a great first choice. Additionally, some beginner harnesses sold as part of a pack, such as the Black Diamond Momentum pack, that come a chalk bag, chalk, and a belay device at a fantastic value
Climbing Gym Pass
Not sure what size shoe or harness your friend would prefer? An especially appreciated gift is a day pass to a nearby climbing gym. Look up a couple in your area, check for climbing deals on Groupon, and consider bundling it with a training lesson too!
A belay device is used to keep the rope taunt and allow safe descent from a large height. This is used by the belayer, who is on the ground, to keep the climber safe on the wall. This Black Diamond Big Air belay device and carabiner is an excellent gift that will keep the climber in your life on the wall (literally).
Known by climbers everywhere, PrAna makes some of the best climbing pants in the market. The PrAna Stretch Zion pants for men and the PrAna Halle pants for women are the most comfortable all-purpose pants around. The pants are tough but are also lightweight and stretch. The climber (and hiker!) in your life will love these pants.
Any climber should invest in a quality helmet to protect themselves, and it’s one of the best climbing gifts to get for your sporty loved ones. Nothing says “I love you” more than getting something that will keep your favorite climber safe, right? A great climbing helmet is lightweight and breathable – Black Diamond has a great selection of colorful and sturdy helmets to choose from (although bright is always better).
Cheap Gifts for Rock Climbers (Under $25)
Climbing chalk is another essential item for all types of climbers. If you are on a budget, a bag of premium climbing chalk will cost you less than $25, and is one of the most useful climbing gifts you can get. Friction Labs sells a highly reviewed fine chalk called Unicorn Dust.
While harnesses and climbing shoes more of less have the same basic shape, chalk bags come in a variety of styles and colors. Consider gifting a colorful chalk bag for the climber in your life to let them express their own unique style while on the rock. Grab a simple Black Diamond Mojo Zip bag or get something cuter and funnier, like this Monkey Chalk Bag.
Climbing tape protects your hands while climbing. A serious climber can go through many rolls of tape in a month. you will brighten up any climber’s day with a gift of several rolls of tape. Metolius sells a solid set of cotton based tape.
A pocket-sized finger strength trainer makes a great small gift for white elephant gift exchanges. We recommend the VariGrip Exerciser as it has adjustable resistance levels.
Looking to inspire your rock climbing friends? Send them a copy of Alone on the Wall by Alex Honnold. In the book, Honnold shares his memoir and reflections on his achievements and climbs, including his most recent, groundbreaking free solo climb of El Capitan.
Joshua Tree Climbing Salve is a well known and respected brand among climbers. Give this to your friend to heal their hands without getting rid of their calluses.
Make your rock climbing friends smile and struggle for their coffee at the same time with a hilarious and clever gift of a coffee mug with a climbing hold handle. Yep, that’s right, you’ve got to hold it like you would on the wall! Good practice, right?
A climbing brush is used to wipe dirt and chalk off of holds to make them easier to grip . Give this to an avid gym climber and we guarantee they will use it every day.
Tommy Caldwell is a legend among climbers. Not only was he the first person to climb Yosemite’s iconic Dawn Wall, but he also has a riveting life story involving losing part of a finger, winning various climbing competitions, and even being held hostage by kidnappers in Central Asia. Send The Push, Tommy Caldwell’s autobiography, to a friend you want to inspire.
Buy any climber some extra carabiners and they will be overjoyed. Keep in mind that these shouldn’t be your typical lightweight aluminum carabiners – you should get locking carabiners designed specifically for high weight loads, such as these Black Diamond Screwgate Carabiners.
A GriGri is a belay device developed by Petzl that auto-locks, preventing accidental rope slippage while belaying. Not only does it make belaying safer, but it’s also easier to use than a traditional belay device. This is an exciting gift that would make any climber happy.
Sometimes, the best times to be outdoors are in the early morning and late in the afternoon. However, if your loved one plans adventures in non-optimal daylight, it’s critical to bring a lighting source. Needless to say, a head lamp is one of the best gifts for climbers because it’s truly an essential item. Our favorite head lamp is the Black Diamond Spot – it’s lightweight, durable, and isn’t too expensive.
Other Practical Gifts for Climbers
Hangboards are reasonably priced home climbing trainers that can be affixed to any wall or doorframe. Many climbers use these to build strength when they’re not at the rock gym or out in the mountains. Metolius hangboards are a fantastic choice, with several different sizes of finger inlets that are appropriate for climbers of all skill levels.
Rope is essential to the serious outdoor climber. If you’re planning to buy a new rope for the climber in your life, check with them first on what size and style they need. The Black Diamond 60m 9.9m climbing rope is a good starting option.
Quick draws are tools used to attach your climbing rope to an anchored bolt on the wall or some other form of protection. The Petzl Djinn Axess Quickdraw 6-Pack is a solid option to start building a collection of sturdy quickdraws for lead climbers.
Hydration is a very important part of staying healthy while outdoors, as hours in the sun and can really dehydrate you. To keep water ice cold, a Hydro Flask water bottle is the perfect adventure companion. Hydro Flask boasts that its bottles keep water cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours…definitely enough for a cold morning or a full day out on the rock.
Often for outdoor adventures, people need to carry gear, water, snacks, and extra clothing. Having a day pack that feels comfortable and distributes weight evenly is absolutely critical. Osprey day packs are hands down the best and more durable option for day packs – we recommend a size between 18 and 30 liters for daytime adventures.
While outdoors in colder temperatures, it can be important to bring some extra layers, especially if you’re going to be at altitude. The Patagonia Down Sweater is our favorite compressible puffer because it’s a sustainably-made, warm, and cozy thermal layer for cold conditions. When paired with a rain jacket, it can keep your adventurer warm even in light snow!
A towel can come in handy on any hiking trip. From humid, sweaty trails to impromptu swimming sessions, outdoorsy people can always use a towel that’s small and thin enough to carry around in a day pack. Youphoria Outdoors makes an affordable quick-dry microfiber towel that comes in a lot of fun colors and is perfect for shoving in your bag on the way out to the crag.
Don’t underestimate how powerful sun exposure can be on a long day climbing outdoors. One of the most useful gifts for climbers is a pair of high-quality, polarized sunglasses to keep their eyes safe and protected while exposed to the sun. There are tons of polarized sunglasses ranging in style and price available, so you’ll have to choose based on your favorite hiker’s preferences.
Crash pads are a great gift for boulderers. You can never have too many of these. When buying a crash pad, look for ones with backpack straps for easy carrying. Mad Rock crash pads are our recommendation.
Cams are tools used in trad climbing, so this is a gift only for the serious climber. A full set of Black Diamond cams can be expensive, but you can buy individual pieces. Ask your gift recipient what sizes they need.
A climbing nut tool is a gift for the advanced climber. Put simply, a nut tool allows the climber to remove tools embedded in cracks with ease. This is a simple and small gift that any serious climber will be grateful for. Black Diamond’s nut tools are affordable and durable.
Technology Gifts for Climbers
Garmin watches are basically the smartphones for outdoor people. Garmin’s GPS capabilities are some of the best out there, and their Forerunner watches help thousands of runners, hikers, and climbers track mileage around the world. The Garmin Instinct watch does exactly that and was designed specifically for outdoor adventures, and is one of the more innovative gifts for hikers out there.
A GoPro Hero Black is an excellent gift for the avid hiker who wants to document their adventures. Portable, weatherproof, and high-quality, a GoPro will help your favorite outdoor lover capture and relive their favorite moments on the trails again and again.