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Black Diamond Solution
This minimalist harness was a hit for its versatility. The Solution shone on gneiss and granite sport climbs, desert trad routes, and in the gym. And at only 11 ounces, we expect it will find its way into our alpine packs and overnight mountaineering loads, too.
In 1991, Petzl set the standard for belay devices when it introduced the assisted-braking GRIGRI. Nearly 30 years later, the GRIGRI is still on our harnesses, and it’s better than ever.
Evolv Nighthawk / Skyhawk
Climbers seeking an affordable do-it-all shoe can stop searching. The synthetic lace-up Nighthawk (the Skyhawk, pictured, is its low-volume counterpart) can handle just about anything: We used it for moderate roped soloing in Eldorado Canyon, Colorado, as well as sandstone bouldering in Utah and gym sessions.
This helmet barely registers on a scale, and with 21 ventilation holes, it was our choice for hot days at the crag. Safety is still dialed, though: An EPS (expanded polystyrene) liner injected into a polycarbonate shell provides protection from both lateral strikes and rockfall.
Maybe you’ve been climbing for decades, or maybe you’re a hiker who’s just starting to consider taking your first steps into the vertical. Either way, there’s a lot to love in this round-up of the best rock climbing gear of 2019, curated by the staff of Climbing.