/ Best gear you've bought this year?
I've banned myself from buying any new gear for the next two months (finances-induced nightmares, mostly self-inflicted). So as a poor and dangerous substitute, I am instead fantasising about gear that I will buy once the ban expires.
So: what would people say is the best bit of kit they've acquired in the past year?
I am still waiting on the arrival of my DMM Dragonflies, so they fail to make the cut. I'm instead going to go for the discovery (at least, for me) of Tenaya shoes.
After being a Scarpa devotee for the best part of 3 years, in particular being a fan of the Instinct Lace, but using Anasazi 5.10 pinks for longer trad routes with a lot of edging (was unimpressed with the Scarpa Techno X), I recently made a switch. This was because:
- Scarpa just wear out far too fast in the toe, and also the lace-up area seems to get tatty really quickly in the instincts
- Adidas have allowed standards to collapse in the 5.10s, with appalling quality control leading to e.g. an officially "same" size shoe being markedly bigger than the previous pair. They also wear out very fast. Not cool when you're dropping £100 on a product that needs precise dimensions, and that you expect to get decent usage out of.
Having heard good things about Tenaya, I bought a pair of Oasi to replace my busted Instincts. Although I think I went a half size too big, I rate these shoes incredibly highly. If the Instincts are 9/10, the Oasi are 10/10 (waiting to see on durability, but on functionality they are even better than the Instincts).
So impressed was I with Tenaya that I splashed out and got a pair of Masai to take over for trad exploits. If anything these are 11/10. The rubber is incredible, the fit can be dialled in perfectly, and they are comfy as hell without sacrificing performance. I feel like I can stand on anything in them, and indeed may end up just wearing them for everything other than super overhung boulders/sport climbs.
But now I've got shoes sorted, I'm keen to talk hardware. So hit me up with ideas for things I don't need, but should definitely want.
Slightly in love with my BD Ultralight camalot 4 (big silver).
I actually take it with me on my harness as it's so light. As a result, I've placed it far more than other big cams I've had.
Partners seem to like it too...it's the only bit of gear they consistently want to borrow!
The only real best gear I've come across lately is without a doubt LaSpo Maverink (kids) noedge slipper for casual bouldering (low 7s) and short single-pitch stuff (albeit I'm sure they'd also work for multi pitch stuff)... cheap as well, around 85 € or so (retail).
Predictably Totem cams but I also like my Revo
> but I also like my Revo
You are the one person!
I also like my revo! (Now awaiting a chorus of “I am Spartacus”’s but suspect in vain)
I was going to say the 5.10 Anasazi Pink just because they were the first pair of shoes to fit me really well (and as such both my footwork and confidence got a huge boost), but, just like you, I found the build quality to be appalling.
So I'm going to go with Totem Cams instead: I started out with the Red and Green 'to give them a try' and now own the full set.
A close second would be the Black Diamond ATC Pilot. I've tried both the Gri-Gri and the Click-UP in the past and found both of them incredibly fiddly to pay out rope with (they would also somehow lock exactly when you didn't want them to). The ATC Pilot gives you the assisted braking function while being much closer to a classic tuber in the way it functions, not to mention cheaper (got mine for £30) and lighter.
A set of DMM IMP's given as a birthday gift,. they really do fit in all sorts of places and weigh nothing too. brilliantly designed too with the little sliding alloy swage part.
Black Totem cam, it’s become a " thing " to place it on every lead 🙂
It's going to be my silent partner. Lovely bit of kit.
Would be interested to here where you got hold of it? They seem to be few and far between nowadays.
The Edelrid Mega Jul.
I have been using a Gri Gri for years when doing sport and love the fact it locks when someone falls off. Although I've never had a problem holding trad falls it made sense to me to get a plate like this that locks. You can use it in guide mode which is a must for me and you can ab with it. A cool piece of engineering.
Does it work for two-rope belaying? If so I’d be very interested in that.
> You are the one person!
Well, entering the chorus: I also like my Revo - mainly for lead rope solo...!
It sure does. Apologies if I've just made you purchase something else ;)
+1 for the Camalot C4 ultralight #4.
WC super light offsets are a new staple
I really like the DMM Ceros too
Impressed with my ME Aerostat 7.0 synthetic after years of thermarest use.
My Terra Nova voyager off FB for £ 35 , not quite as nice as my Hilleberg Nallo2 but for what I paid i'm made up.
Arcteryx Adahy hoody , well impressed as I run pretty hot ... but would be interested in similar tops from others that aren't quite as expensive!
Scarpa Mescalito approach shoes , totally given up on 5:10 Tennies but do like my Aescents still....
Merlin #8 big cam! A thing of beauty.
Outdoor gear exchange on FB. Picked it up with some other big walling gear. Right place at the right time I think. Having kicked myself for not buying one a couple of years earlier. Surprisingly happy climbing with it.
A pair of crack gloves, so much better than torn up hands.
Another set of small Tri Cams for those ubiquitous Armathwaite pockets! They are superb
Like you I am waiting with anticipation for my Dragonflies.
Best gear in order of brilliance:
WC superlight offset rocks - now replaced all my old rocks on my rack
Totems - just the most secure cam placements you can get.
alpha light quick draws.
Edding 750 paint marker pens for marking my gear.
My mega jul was ultimately a disappointment for me as I had high hopes for it but found it too grabby and fiddly to use especially when abbing so reverted to DMM pivot.
I've not bought any gear this year because there's nothing wrong with the gear I've already got.
Make do and mend is what I say!
No new gear but I have knitted myself a new pair of walking shocks.
hmmm good point - the Ocun crack gloves have transformed jamming for me from something I loathed and avoided at all costs to something I now actively seek out.
Upon reflection I elevate them to the status of tied with the Tenaya Masai as my gear of the year.
Sounds like I need to buy me some Totems, though...and maybe a megajul...oh dear....
Today, ultra-runner Paul Tierney completed a record breaking round of all 214 of Alfred Wainwright's Lake District peaks, in an astonishing time of 6 days, 6 hours & 5 minutes.