39 of the Best Gifts for Rock Climbers and Boulderers
Are you scratching your head about what the best gifts for rock climbers might be? What do climbers want?! What on earth do they want!! Good god, why can’t they just have a normal hobby, something that is easier to shop for??!
If that sounds like you, then rest at ease, because I’m going to give you some of my favorite options that any rock climber would love to get. From the practical gifts (the things we always need more of as climbers) to the nice-to-have rock climbing gifts, there are a limitless list of options to choose from.
You’re also in luck because we climbers tend to be cheap. We buy what we need, hold onto it forever, and only upgrade when absolutely necessary (as in, it’s falling apart necessary), so getting something new will be a lovely surprise to any climber or boulderer.
So let me help you out. If you’ve got a friend, relative, or partner who really loves climbing and you are feeling stumped on what to get them, I’m going to break out my gift ideas for rock climbers into a 7 core sections:
Gifts for Rock Climbers Under $25 (for those of you on a budget)
Gifts for Boulderers
Gifts for Sport Climbers
Gifts for Trad Climbers
Gifts for Indoor Rock Climbers
Best Gifts for Climbers to Keep Them Safe & Injury Free
Best All-Around Gifts for Climbers
In the end, don’t stress out too much. If your rock climbing friend or family member is anything like me, we are easily pleased.
We enjoy the simple things in life. We only want this kind of stuff to help keep us on the rock and make our journey a bit more comfortable. Heck, buy us a six pack of beer or a box a cliff bars. We will still love you. Better yet, go climbing with us…
That would be MY ultimate gift. :)
Please note: The below post contains affiliate links.
Gifts for Rock Climbers Under $25
Rock climber hands get rough, and after days and days of climbing, we need to make sure we have a solid hand repair regimen. I spent some time looking for that perfect hand repair cream, and for me that is something that will heal my hands but not be super greasy or "thick" feeling after I put it on.
The ClimbSkin Hand Repair Cream is probably the best stuff I've found so far for that. It's fine to have a thicker hand cream on when you go to sleep, but sometimes when you just want some hand repair during the day, and this is my go-to stuff. I love it!
Michael keeps stealing this from me too, so I think he likes it also! This is also one of those gifts that climbers can’t really ever get enough of, we continually use it.
This is my favorite brand of climbing chalk. In my opinion, it just feels better than any other chalk that I've used. I feel like spider-woman with this chalk (unless I'm in Bishop and have no skin left on my hands). I'm converted.
Gorilla Grip is my favorite combo too, "Chunky" but not "Overly Chunky". However, they do have different kinds as well if that suits you (or your friend) better. Another great gift under $25 that all climbers can never have enough of!
When rock climbers get callouses on their hands or knick some skin on the wall, its best to file it down immediately so that you don’t make it worse or get an even bigger “flapper” (basically a giant gash in your hand or fingers).
This is my favorite hand file option. I've tried pumice and other such filing devices for sanding down my calloused hands after climbing, but this thing works the best so far... plus, its nice and small.
This stuff is the bomb, and such a simple, easy gift idea that is sure to please any outdoor enthusiast, AND it’s super affordable. Sometimes it's hard to let go of that perfect down jacket or hardshell that you love, but rips are inevitable in the outdoor world and especially in rock climbing.
I love this tape for patching up my favorite gear so that I can keep on wearing it. Also, I think it's great if people continue to try re-using their gear instead of automatically buying something new. This tape works great, and comes in some fun shapes too.
Ok, no one likes smelly climbing shoes, but if your friend climbs often, the stink is inevitable. This stuff is great! Not a bad gift in my opinion, but if your friend takes gifts personally, maybe go for the hand repair cream instead!
Alex Honnold is arguably one of the most famous climbers. He is the first and only climber to have free soloed El Capitan in Yosemite National Park—you might have heard of him! Honnold wrote a memoir outlining his seven biggest achievements (pre El Capitan) in his limit defying climbing career.
If you want to get into the head of one of the greatest free solo climbers of this generation, be sure to check this book out. It also makes for a great gift for your climbing friends.
Gifts for Boulderers
When you first start climbing, the best training is just to get on the wall more, but as you progress as a climber and want to take your skills to the next level, it can be really smart to start learning about how to train strategically for your goals. The Power Company creates awesome training programs that would make excellent gifts for any climber, and they have tons of options.
I’ve purchased the Boulder Better Program in the past and loved that I could follow the plan easily without having to create my own plan. It is really well done, and is easy to keep up with. The Power Company has all kinds of programs too, Here are just a few of the options:
Fundamental Skills for All Climbers:
Core Strength for Climbers
Movement Strength for Climbers
Advanced Climber Training Programs:
Advanced Finger Strength
Specific Training Programs:
Kettlebells for Climbers
and many more! Definitely worth checking out!
This is hands down our favorite hang board that we have used so far to help build finger strength and it would make a great gift for any boulderer. Most Climbers love having a hangboard set-up at home, and this one is one of the best ones out there. Give your friend or family member the gift of finger strength. They will love you for it.
Night time bouldering is the best, and having a good spotlight to shine a light on your boulder problem is essential. This spotlight is nice and small, but with a good, powerful light. It also has rechargeable batteries! This is a great bouldering gift!
There are a ton of great climbing brushes out there, but we really love Sublime climbing brushes. This is a great little brush for cleaning greasy climbing holds and as an added bonus for this particular Sublime brush, there is a secret compartment... a good place to stash some lip balm! A boulderer can never really have enough climbing brushes.
Another essential piece of gear for boulderers is a good chalk bucket. Unlike sport climbers, we typically aren’t wearing chalk around our waist to climb (although some boulderers do like to have a small chalk bag as well as a chalk bucket), so we can carry a much larger bag of chalk around with us.
I like the chalk bags that fold down and that have zippers to store things like your finger file and nail clippers in. The Black Diamond Mondo Chalk Bucket checks off all these tick list items and makes for a great present for climbers.
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Gifts for Sport Climbers
I used to always want a pair of belay glasses so that I wouldn’t have to crane my neck when I was belaying Michael at the crag, but the belay glasses I found were always around $75, which always felt way too expensive.
Well one day I was searching around again and I found these belay glasses on Amazon, and to my delight they were only $20 and they work great so far! These would make a great gift for any sport climber!
Physical strength is only half the battle in climbing, I love that there are more and more books out there these days teaching us ways to train our minds and this is a great one for that. A great read for any climber on the rope.
Rock climbing helmets have come a really long way since I first started climbing. Michael and I both recently invested in these Black Diamond Vector Helmets and we love them so much! They are super lightweight compared to our older helmets, and they have great coverage while still feeling breathable.
I highly recommend the investment of a great helmet like this one. We got these for each other as Christmas gifts one year, and loved them so much!
I’m a big fan of the PETZL gri-gri 2 belay device. It’s piece of mind and it’s redundancy of safety in my climbing system. I pretty much only use the gri-gri to belay Michael with because he weighs so much more than me. It’s nice to know that if I go flying up into the air on a big lead fall, that I’ll have him no matter what. It’s also nice to know that if he for some reason knocked down a rock on my head and it (let’s just say for example) knocked me out, that he would still likely be ok because of the gri-gris auto-locking system.
I love this thing. It’s a bit pricey, so some people don’t opt to get one when they first start climbing, but I think its a great option for any sport or trad climber.
Another great gift for any trad or sport climber is a new climbing rope. If your climbing friend is out there climbing outdoors all the time, its likely his or her rope has seen a lot of lead falls and dirt and abuse. We like to replace these things after a while, and we love a good, light rope.
Michael and I tend to like the smaller diameter ropes at about 70m (so we can do some longer multi-pitch stuff), and PETZL has some great options for this with lots of different length options, a 60m to 70m rope is usually a pretty safe bet for a gift though.
The best way to keep your climbing rope clean and in good shape is to use a climbing tarp of some sorts. It’s surprising how many climbers don’t lay anything on the ground at all when they are laying out their rope for the climb.
Tarps will help preserve the quality of your rope for longer, and if you have multiple ropes, it’s nice to have a couple of these tarps!
A skirt might seem like a strange gear option for a climber, but hear me out. Climbing in the early spring and fall can be quite chilly—especially for the belayer—and having something simple and warm to throw on over your climbing pants or leggings is an actual lifesaver when it comes to staving off the inevitable chill.
The full length zippers on each side of the skirt make it incredibly easy to transition from belayer to climber. Comfy and cute, this is the perfect and unexpected gift for your climber friend.
Gifts for Trad Climbers
Another great gift for any trad or sport climber is a new climbing rope. If your climbing friend is out there climbing outdoors all the time, its likely his or her rope has seen a lot of lead falls and dirt and abuse.
We like to replace these things after a while, and we love a good, light rope. Michael and I tend to like the smaller diameter ropes at about 70m (so we can do some longer multi-pitch stuff), and PETZL has some great options for this with lots of different length options, a 60m to 70m rope is usually a pretty safe bet for a gift though.
You’ll never go wrong by getting your trad-climbing friend some more gear, like a set of DMM Wallnuts. Trad climbers pretty much love to get more gear.
We love to find it on climbs, and we love to add to our current set of tools. Michael and I have always found these Wallnut sets to be nice for the rock here in California.
Looking for a unique gift? This Piranha knife is super cool! In rock climbing, weight matters! Having lighter gear is better than heavier gear, and the Trango Piranha Knife weighs almost nothing, but can cut through just about anything.
It’s an awesome knife for adventures. It’s the only one I bring with me, and its strong enough to cut through rope. Though we try to avoid cutting our rope at all costs (Michael and I still haven’t had to do this yet) it’s good to be prepared to have a way to do this if there is an emergency of some sort.
Another great gift is a great bag to carry all that trad-climbing gear in. I love the Patagonia Cragsmith Pack because of the top and back panels make it super easy to load and unload all of your gear in. This would be a great gift!
The Houdini jacket is a relatively new favorite of mine, and in particular the Alpine Houdini jacket, because it is super lightweight, wind and rain resistant. I bought one of the men alpine houdini jackets because I liked the colors better and it fits me just fine.
This is typically the only rain jacket I bring with me here in California on climbing trips, long hikes or even backpacking trips (as long as the weather looks fairly decent), it has been an awesome addition to my outdoor clothing arsenal. Another reason it makes for a great climbing gift is that it can be stuffed into its own pocket and clipped to a harness easily and out of the way.
Gifts for Indoor Rock Climbers
Most gym climbers typically start with rope climbing (although I always advocate to also start bouldering when you are gym climbing or if you are just getting started with climbing).
A good harness is key to rope climbing, and often an item many gym climbers are wanting to invest in. The Black Diamond Momentum Harness is a great harness to start with, and a great gift for any new gym climber (or seasoned climber needing a fresh harness).
24. CHALK BAG
Another great item to have at the climbing gym is your own personal chalk bag. If your friend is big into roped climbing, then a smaller chalk bag like the Black Diamond one linked above will suit them perfectly. If your friend or family member is more of a boulderer, then a chalk bucket (which we mentioned in the bouldering section above) would be a great gift as well.
Climbing gyms are great places for training. There are a variety of holds and angles to climb on to practice all kinds of strength and skill exercises. Many gyms these days even have weights, pull-up bars, and fingerboards as well.
So if you think your friend may want to step up their climbing training at the gym, this book would be a great start. Couple this book gift with one of the training plans from The Power Company mentioned above in the bouldering section, and that would be a really awesome gift!
Another great thing about climbing gyms is that they provide a safe place to practice all of your climbing skills, including working on your climbing knots. These crag cards will help any climber hone their rope tying skills in no time.
Rock rings are a great training device to start on to get a feel for fingerboard training, particularly when you are just starting out. They are much easier to install than a fingerboard, and you can also do pullups easily on them.
One of the first things I ever bought when I started training for climbing more seriously was a set of these Metolius rock rings.
Best Gifts for Climbers to Keep Them Safe & INJURY FREE
A great gift you can give to the climber in your life is an American Alpine Club Membership. Besides supporting a great cause, one great benefit to the AAC membership is that the climber gets $12,500 worth of rescue coverage in case they have to reach out to a rescue team in the mountains, it’s worth the peace of mind!
This gift is a pricey item, I JUST bought one myself, but not because I didn’t need one earlier (I was just too cheap to invest in one). This in my opinion would be the ULTIMATE gift for any climber (or backpacker or hiker for that matter).
I’ve loved having this thing with me when I hit the trails. In an emergency you can trigger an SOS for 24/7 search and rescue, if something horribly wrong happens while you are on the trail or out in the backcountry on a climb, but what is even cooler about this tiny device is that you can also have 2-way communication with the ones you love and send and receive messages while you are in the “dead" zone for cell service.
The Garmin inReach mini also has the ability to send a constant tracking signal while you are outdoors, so you could actually have your family members check up on you while you are hiking or climbing. Pretty rad.
30. PETZL HEADLAMP
I pretty much don’t go anywhere without a headlamp, including when I go out to climb and PARTICULARLY if we are going into the backcountry or on a longer, more complicated climb. I have a Petzl headlamp, and it has been going strong for over 3 years now.
I was recently backpacking near Half Dome, and I ran into some hikers who looked lost. It was getting close to sunset, so I asked them if they needed any help. They told me they had just gotten down the cables from Half Dome and weren’t sure which way to head back to the trailhead. They didn’t have anything with them. No water filter, no jackets, and no headlamp. All they had was their phone flashlight, which definitely wouldn’t last them on the way back down. Don’t be this person, and don’t let your friends be them either. Make sure they have essentials like light!
Taking care of your body and muscles is essential to climbing recovery, and this thera cane messager is a great way for any climber to get the kinks out of their muscles after a long day of climbing or training. A must have for any climbers recovery arsenal.
This book is great if you are looking to prevent climbing injuries or if you (or your friend) may be looking to recover from an existing injury.
Recovery is an important part of climbing. Our hands need frequent breaks from holding our bodies up on rock walls.
These acupressure massage rings are a great way for your fellow climbers to help their fingers recover. The ring has tight coils that massage the tendons and tissue in one’s fingers. These are small and convenient, so your friends (or you) can take them anywhere and work on their climbing recovery.
Best All-Around Gifts for Climbers
We LOVE our Five Ten Guide Tennies. We own several different types of approach shoes, but if I were to pick one great one that is good all around, it is the Guide Tennies. As climbers we are often having to hike to our climbs, sometimes long distances and sometimes up steep hillsides just to get to the start of our climb.
Approach shoes make that hike easier and also give you the support of having sticky rubber to stick to any steep slabby portions of your approach. Some seasoned climbers even doing their actual rock climbing in these shoes. These kind of shoes also make great Alpine-climbing/hiking shoes for class 3 and class 4 hikes.
A US National Parks Pass makes for a really awesome gift for any outdoor enthusiast. The passes cost about $80, but they give you access to all sites managed by the Forest Service, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation for a whole year.
It’s worth the price if you or the climber you’re shopping for does a lot of outdoor climbing and exploring in these areas (for instance, if they love climbing in Yosemite National Park). Otherwise entrance fees run about $20-$30 per visit. After 3-4 visits, the pass has paid for itself. We buy one every year.
36. REEL ROCK DVDS
Michael and I go see the new Reel Rock Films every year when they tour in California. They are really great and super inspiring. One day I'd like to own all of them, but right now I think we only have the Valley Uprising Video.
Regardless, any of these videos would make great gifts. We like to turn them on when we have friends over... a little climbing inspiration in the background while making dinner in our small apartment.
A Climbing Magazine Print Subscription is pretty much a safe bet rock climbing gift for someone. The magazine is filled with awesome tips for rock climbing, fun stories, and is chock full of inspiration and climbing guides. It’s an awesome resource fo any rock climber.
38. DRY ICE TOOLS
Not all climbing revolved around rock. While winter is normally a season where climbers either migrate to the desert or focus in the gym, your fellow crag dwellers might get into ice climbing once the cold rolls in.
These DRY ICE Tools are an innovative way to practice ice climbing. Your friends will have the ability to learn and practice ice and mixed climbing before they decide to invest in the outdoor gear. These tools are great for indoor training and strength building as your friends adds another type of climbing to their outdoor arsenal.
39. REI GIFT CARD
If you really can’t determine what gift ideas for climbers might best, it’s always safe to get them an REI Gift Card as backup. You can choose the amount and can even go as low as $10. It’s a great option if you really don’t know what to get them, or they are the kind of person that seems like they “already own everything”.
Trust me, I’ve never heard of any rock climber being sad about getting a gift card too REI. You can’t go wrong.
I hope this gift guide has sparked some ideas for your rock climbing friends and family members (or maybe yourself)! If you have any questions or want any other suggestions, reach out to me in the comments below, and be sure to check out some of our other gear resources!
Other Gear Guide Resources:
Allison- She Dreams of Alpine
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