The Black Diamond Raven Ultra Ice Axe is an easy-to-carry, relatively strong, and lightweight option for those who want to save weight on extended trips, and want a convenient axe to carry efficiently. The somewhat limited robustness may deter those who need a heavy-duty axe, but for a fairly strong and sturdy option, this is a great choice.
The Black Diamond Creek 50L Haul Bag is big enough for all of your gear at the crag, and sturdy enough for years of hard use on and off the wall. With a smart and durable design, the Creek 50L holds just about everything you may need, with useful organizer pockets for easy access to smaller things. Despite the technical design, the pack also carries weight well, for comfortable approaches. While there are some small features that users miss, the overall consensus is that this is one of the best haul bags you can get, and one that will hold up for years to come.
The Tenaya Masai Climbing Shoe is a flexible, precise, and supportive option for those who want a snug, slim, and lightweight climbing shoe. The lack of stiffness means this shoe will likely not be as proficient on more aggressive problems, but for those who want flexibility, this is your best bet.
The Scarpa Instinct S Climbing Shoe with Vibram XS Grip2 rubber is a comfortable and exceedingly sensitive shoe that excels on steep to overhanging terrain. The Instinct S offers a precise toe and great edging capabilities, but the slipper style does not offer great stability for heel-hooks, and the durability is questionable for the sticky rubber. The Instinct S requires some breaking in to achieve the best fit and stick, but it is an all-around favorite once it becomes well-adjusted.
The Mammut Infinity Classic Climbing Rope – 9.5mm is a durable, good-handling, and smooth rope that works well with belay and GriGri devices, enhancing the rope’s functionality. Withstanding 8-9 UIAA falls, having a dry treatment, and being easy to break-in all contribute to this rope being a top option in the climbing world for any level of climber.
The Tenaya Iati Climbing Shoe is a moderately downturned shoe loved for its comfort out of the box and the stability that its unique lacing system offers. The Iati offers sticky rubber and stability in small holds, but does not excel at smearing or edging. It is comfortable, breathable, and a great option for those looking for an all-around shoe that can be worn for hours and forms well to the foot.
The Mammut Infinity Protect Climbing Rope – 9.5mm is a durable, stiff, supple, and lightweight option that is versatile enough for a variety of climbing conditions. Despite some reports of shrinkage and not being the cheapest option on the market, this rope is a great choice for climbers who want a combination of stiffness and flexibility to withstand multiple climbing surfaces.
The La Sportiva Finale Climbing Shoe for women is a supportive and durable shoe that is designed for beginner and intermediate climbers. The solid grip for bouldering makes this a great beginner sport shoe, while the toe shape and stretch over time make this not suitable for advanced climbers who need to use tiny footholds. The longer break-in time and average sensitivity may deter some from this model, but for beginners who want a comfortable and versatile option, this is a great bet.
The Black Diamond Cobra Ice Tool is a good-looking and highly capable tool for almost all routes, including mixed. With a very lightweight but unwaveringly sturdy design, this tool has good accuracy and sticks well in the ice, with low vibration and an easy, relatively warm grip to hold onto. The Cobra is very durable to years of hard use, and its versatility increases with the simple change of the adze or pick and its ability to be easily racked together. Overall, there is not much to complain about with this tool, as it performs well on most routes and lasts a long long time.
The Arc’teryx AR-385a Harness for women is an easy-to-slip-on, mobile, and functional option for climbers who prefer to quickly transition between climbing styles instead of spending numerous hours hanging in a harness. The thinner leg loops may be uncomfortable over long periods of time, so this harness is best used for light and fast expeditions.