Duane Raleigh’s Top Picks:
Raleigh is the Publisher and Editor in Chief, has climbed for 45 years.
$141.71 (Down from $188.95)
This is the perfect shoe for an all-around good guy like your Dad. The Maestro is supportive for precise, hard edging and comfortable and protective enough for cracks and all-day wear. The Maestro isn’t clunky, but is a refined multi-tool that can do anything outside of a gym or sport cave.
$89.25 Was $119
The SL-340 is sleek, only weighs 12 ounces and is billed as a sport harness, but it is at home on trad lines and multi-pitchers. A soft face material is comfortable next to the skin, and a wide waist belt and leg loops take the sting out of hang time—your dad will be eternally grateful.
IX DryXP 9mm 60m $193.56 (Down from $241.95) or 70m $226.36 (Down from $282.95)
The Fusion Nano does everything well. It’s certified as a single, double and twin rope, so dad can send his sport proj one day, go ice climbing or mountaineering the next and even double up the cord for big alpine routes. The Nano is firm but supple, and thanks to its dry treatment doesn’t turn into a cable in wet and freezing conditions. Certified for 6 single-rope falls. 52 grams per meter.
Francis Sanzaro’s Top Picks:
Sanzaro is the Editor, has been climbing for 25 years.
$4.45 for 4.5 oz
For me, it’s the best chalk out there. Super Chalk has a drying agent for sweaty mitts. If you have dry hands, this isn’t for you, but anything above that this chalk really does give you a slight edge when climbing at your limit, courtesy of having to chalk less and increased friction between your hands and the rock (or plastic). It’s the only chalk I use.
The Nano-Air is a tough mid layer that I use for just about everything–beneath a shell in cold, rough conditions, or in itself when climbing on a crisp morning or spring day. The fabric is burly and after two years still withstanding the abuse I hurl at it. A climber’s fit. Light weight. Dries quickly. A stand-out item in my opinion.
Jeff Jackson’s Top Picks
Jackson is the Editor at Large
If dad’s a Man For All Seasons he’ll dig this do-it-all climbing pack. At 52 liters the Mutant easily swallows a rope, shoes, chalk bag and rack along with whatever else he wants to strap to his back. Come winter, the Mutant serves as an alpine / ice / ski mountaineering pack with ice-tool carry points and an A-frame ski-carry system. For light-and-fast missions, remove the waist belt and top compartment, and charge. Best of all, the Mutant features Osprey’s storied fit. It’s built to climb — just like dad.
What can you say about a climbing shoe that’s been on the market virtually unchanged for 29 years? I suppose you could call it a “classic,” like your old man. The Mythos is arguably the most comfortable high-performance shoe ever made. You’ll see it on the feet of newbies as well as veterans like Alex Huber, who used it to climb Kommunist (5.14a), the first-ever solo of that grade. Of course, dad won’t be soloing — he better not be! — but he’ll love the patented lacing system, symmetrical toe for crack climbing and legendarily comfortable fit.
Andrew Bisharat’s Top Picks
Former Rock and Ice editor
Everyone needs at least one locking carabiner, and nobody makes carabiners as well as DMM, in my opinion. You can choose from three different types of locking mechanisms for the Shadow, as well as most of DMM’s lockers. My favorite is the red Kwicklock version because it’s easy to open and automatically locks itself. This is a great locker for a master point at an anchor or using with a Grigri.
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