LA SPORTIVA SOLUTION
There isn’t a bouldering problem the Solution can’t solve. The snug-fitting, high-performance climber has a newly designed molded heel cup and patent-pending Lock Harness that’s equipped to hook unlikely dime edges. Our tester loved the quick closure system that enabled an easier insert than most climbing shoes. $145.
FIVE TEN ANASAZI LACE
Reputed to have been on some of the world’s record-breaking climbs, the Anasazi is an ultra-gripper on vertical faces that is ready for the most precise routes. The breathable synthetic upper and carefully constructed side seams also provide more comfort than the average climber. A bonus to animal lovers: this shoe is totally vegan. $140.
BLACK DIAMOND TRACER HELMET
Because we know it’s usually hot in the South, we recommend the Tracer and its 14 vents to keep your head cool and clear for the next ascent. It’s also one of the lightest options out there to keep your melon intact—made with an EPS foam and polycarbonate shell that keeps you moving fast. $90.
MAMMUT FOCUS HARNESS
A solid all-around harness, the Focus is high on function and low on frills. A great option for beginners, the slide buckles on the waist and the legs are easy to adjust, while the Y leg loops have a simple, comfortable fit. $44.
PRANA STRETCH ZION PANT
The Stretch Zion is all about freedom of movement, thanks to the limber nylon that dries fast—a perk when the Southern crags start to bake. If things heat up too much, you can roll up the legs and fasten with convenient snaps. $67.
PRANA SACRED MOVEMENT TEE
In this shirt you’ll not only feel good on the rock, but you’ll also feel good about what you’re doing for the rock. All proceeds from this quick-drying poly performance tee go to the Access Fund. $28.
METOLIUS PORTA-CORD PACK
A do-it-all climbing pack/rope bag hybrid, the Porta-Cord has both a top-load and duffel-style side opening, as well as a hydration pocket. It’s a perfect all-purpose option for the mild weather of the Appalachians, where we don’t often need a technical summit pack. $55.
ARC’TERYX VAPOR HARNESS
Let’s face it. A harness is strangling a pretty important area of your body, so why not expect a little comfort with the required safety? The Vapor has got you covered with a design that tapers thickness to the front of your waist and legs, which also get fleece-lined adjustable loops. $100.