Knowing What Gear to Buy

So, you’ve gotten to the point where you want to buy some gear. Either because you don’t want to use gym rentals or, because, you want to contribute more than your ability to belay when you’re at a crag. The hard part, now, is trying to figure out what is the best product for you.  A single product can have a bunch of 5 stars and a bunch of 1 star ratings, your friends can each have their favorite for no other reason then someone told them it was good, and sifting through articles online can sometimes be more confusing than helpful. Okay Mia, then how am I supposed to know what to get? Well, you head to Outdoor Gear Lab!

Why? Because this site is awesome! Here’s how it work.  Outdoor Gear Lab takes a bunch of quickdraws, for example, that are currently on the market, and they test them for very specific functions such as: unclipping, clipping, ease of grabbing, and portability to name a few. On the site, not only do they tell you how each draw stacked up against the others and the criteria they were testing for, but they go in-depth about that criteria and why the  results ended up that way. Why is this in-depth important? Well, when I was buying quickdraws, the ones that they had reviewed were for the most part out of my price rang. However, because they described specifically what was great about certain quickdraws, I could find ones that I could afford with similar qualities without having a lot of prior experience with quickdraws themselves. Another added bonus is that they don’t just give one product the top review, they break it down into Best Overall,  Best Bang for Buck, and in this case Best Lightweight Quickdraw, so you have more sense of what’s right for you. This site gets 1st place for comprehensive reviewing.

What I’ve used this site to buy:

  • Rope
  • Quickdraws
  • Approach Shoes (that I have yet to splurge on)

Outdoor Gear Lab tests and reviews all sorts of products. So whether you’re looking for climbing gear or a new sleeping pad, head on over.


Partial origin on page 108 of my copy of Alone on the Wall



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