Lightweight Climbing Gear

With a light climbing rope, shoes, and harness, you'll be packed and ready to hit the rock in no time.

Rope | Shoes | Harness

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BEAL BOOSTER III 9.7 MM ROPE

Imagine a sleeping bag that's about 20 percent less bulky than the competition without being any less warm. That's exactly what the Beal Booster III 9.7mm rope does for climbers–it lets you carry less without angsting over space versus safety. Not long ago, any rope less than 10mm in diameter was only considered safe when paired with a second one. But Beal employs a unique heat treatment on the core of the Booster III, giving it the strength of a fatter rope. It's supple for easy clipping into gear, and comes with a choice of two treatments–Dry Cover has enough water resistance for the occasional rainstorm, while GoldenDry is made for wet conditions. Tip: To prevent the rope from sliding too quickly, use a belay device designed for ropes thinner than 10mm. One gripe: The middle mark is hard to spot. $185; 8 lbs. 14 oz. (60-meter Dry Cover). (801) 278-5533; bdel.com.

Rope | Shoes | Harness

Rope | Shoes | Harness

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[Your Feet]

SCARPA THUNDER SHOES

It's a long-held belief among climbers that your feet have to suffer in rock shoes. Don't buy it. Scarpa Thunders are shaped more like a human foot than traditional climbing shoes, which meant all-day comfort for our tester, and probably healthier feet (and more climbing!) in the long run. The Thunder's sticky rubber smeared reliably on slabs, stuck to edges, and felt secure in toe jams from Idaho's City of Rocks to Nevada's Red Rocks. The perforated suede uppers resist stretching and breathe well. Rock junkies, take note: While the Thunders are admirable all-around performers, they do not excel at specific types of climbing, such as face climbing with small holds. $89; 18 oz.; men's and women's Euro sizes: 36-46, 47, 48, 49, 50. (866) 998-2895; scarpa.com.

Rope | Shoes | Harness

Rope | Shoes | Harness

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[Your Hips]

ARC'TERYX R-320 HARNESS

Old dilemma: Choose between a comfortable harness that's bulky and a torture thong that's lightweight. New dilemma: What to do with your old harness after trying Arc'Teryx's new R-320. The thin-as-a-tortilla belt and leg loops on the R-320 reduce weight by about one-third and make it the most comfortable harness we've ever tested. The trick: While harness webbing has traditionally been braided with crossing strands, Arc'Teryx designers removed the vertical strands without compromising structural integrity (because the horizontal fibers bear the load and distribute it evenly). We like the self-locking buckle (it remains doubled back, you just tighten the webbing), but the reversible, injection-molded gear loops hang limply, so it's not easy to clip 'biners into them. $125; 11 oz. (men's medium). The women's model is the R-280. (800) 985-6681; arcteryx.com.

Rope | Shoes | Harness