Backpacker magazine has always done a great job when it comes to testing and reviewing outdoor gear. Over the years, its been a reliable source when learning about new products made for camping, hiking, and backpacking. But it hasn’t always been the first choice when looking for new gear for mountaineering, a topic that often seemed just outside its purview. However, the magazine recently published its picks for the ultimate mountaineering kit, and the equipment that made the cut is certainly worth of adding to your gear closet.
The gear round-up includes most of the speciality equipment that mountaineers need as part of their activities when compared to hikers or backpackers. That means you won’t find a backpack, sleeping bag, or tent on the list, but you will find a helmet, crampons, and harness for instance. The one exception to this rule is that the list does include a set of speciality mountaineering boots, which are different enough from backpacking boots that they truly do deserve their own category. In this case, the honor goes to the La Sportiva Nepal Evo GTX, a classic boot that has evolved nicely over the years.
Other products that made the cut include the Mammut Wall Rider helmet, the Black Diamond Couloir harness, and Mountain Hardwear Cyclone gloves. Other items include an ice axe, glacier glasses, and Backpacker‘s pick for the best and most versatile crampon.
This isn’t an extensive list that delves deep into the best mountaineering clothing, but it does offer a nice look at some of the top technical gear that climbers need when heading out to alpine settings. Chances are, if you’re doing that you probably have plenty of other gear already at your disposal and just need a few items to round out your kit. This list will get you started in the right direction and help you pick up some good gear along the way.