While apparel gets updated pretty much every season, there wasn’t a ton of new ice climbing hardware on show at Outdoor Retailer this winter. However, a few key pieces stood out that I believe all my fellow vertical loving friends will enjoy.
Salewa Vultur Vertical ($339): At 950 grams, these lightweight boots deliver precision toe control via a unique lace lock system that lets you dial in the forefront fit. Ankle articulation makes them comfortable for the approach while the combination nylon and fiberglass shank creates a boot stiff enough for vertical ascents. Waterproof with a built-in snow cuff and insulated with Duratherm, these climbing boots are warm enough for those screaming barfy days.
Osprey Daylite Pack ($50): Updated for Fall ’16, the no-frills Daylite makes the perfect multi-pitch pack. The panel loading main compartment offers 16L of storage space for your belay jacket, gloves, snacks, and thermos with a small organizer pocket to safely store your car keys and phone. The spacer mesh shoulder straps aren’t restrictive when swinging your tools and the integrated handle makes a great anchor attachment point when hanging out at the belay station.
OR Project Gloves ($135): For Fall ’16, Outdoor Research introduces its new 3D Fit Technology for gloves–a dedicated in-house lab created molds of the human hand then began a process of draping fabrics on the three-dimensional models, looking at how the pattern changed shape through a range of different hand positions in order to create a three-dimensional rather than two-dimensional pattern. The result is a better fitting glove with more dexterity. The Project Gloves are built with ice climbers in mind using a waterproof Gore-Tex Grip liner, Pittards Oil Tac leather palm, and no-slip PrimaLoft Grip insulation.
Julbo Drift Sunglasses ($180): With a classic mountain look, the Fall ’16 updated and highly durable Drift feature photochromic Zebra lenses made with NXT material that change from Category 2 to 4 in 28 seconds–perfect for the ever-changing light conditions when climbing.
SmartWool PhD Outdoor Mountaineer Socks ($35): SmartWool teamed up with Conrad Anker to create this new sock with Indestructible Technology. Supposedly 35% more durable than any in their current sock line, these socks feature a compression heel, targeted high-density cushioning and ventilated mesh in the in-step for better breathability. Available next fall.
DryGuy Force Dry DX ($80): There is nothing worse than putting on wet boots and gloves in the morning–not to mention they will make you colder, too. Using a forced-air drying system that heats to 105 degrees, the Force Dry DX dries your boots and gloves in just one to two hours without damaging fragile material. Drying wet gear faster helps control odor-causing bacteria to keep gear smelling fresh. The Force Dry DX weighs five pounds for easy transporting, is powered by a 120 volt AC outlet for simplicity, and features a three-hour timer with heat/no heat switch for overnight drying. Available now.
I was given a Dry Guy Warm N’ Charge ($40) at Outdoor Retailer which I plan to keep in the pocket of my belay jacket. It provides up to 5 hours of heat to warm up cold hands and can also charge your phone up to two times in a pinch.