Best Gifts For Climbers – Christmas 2019

Christmas is coming and your loved one is into climbing in a big way. Good gifts for climbers can be tough. They talk about weird things like cams and nuts, come home covered in what they insist is chalk, and you catch them gazing at their horrific finger tips way too often. You want to show them you care, but how? Let us help you this holiday season with the very best climbing gifts for Christmas.

We’ll cover every budget from stocking fillers to “big” presents with over 90 climbing gift ideas. We’ve also narrowed this down to things they may not have and would really appreciate – so you don’t end up buying them something they won’t use. We’ve got sections covering the best gifts for climbers new to the sport, best gifts for boulderers, great gifts for climbers who want to start climbing outside, and way more.

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Under $25BooksMagazinesFilmsWater BottleClimbing Gift Ideas Under $25

Best Gifts For BoulderersSkin CareHigh End ChalkBrushes and TapeAnti SweatBouldering Crash Pads

Under $50Chalk Bags and BucketsCoffee StuffClimbing Gift Ideas Under $50

Over $50HelmetsFingerboardsClimbing Gift Ideas Over $50BackpacksSlacklineJacketsGift Cards


Christmas Gifts For Climbers Under $25


Climbing Books

Winter means downtime for most sport climbers, and downtime means planning for big adventures. Pro Chrimbo Tip: It might be tempting to buy some of the classic books about Everest and big mountaineering-style climbs. For most modern climbers this isn’t really their thing. As interesting climber gifts some of the books below would probably be better choices.

Best gifts for climbers who want to learn more about this awesome activity

Inspirational Reads

The Desert: A Dirtbag Climbing Book
Author of the climbing zine Luke Mehall’s latest bio on his dirtbag days
The Push: A Climber’s Search for the Path
The incredible account and build up to the Dawn Wall – also an amazing film – The Push Review
Alone On The Wall
Alex Honnold himself talking about his life and the incredible free solo climbs featured in the Free Solo film.
The Impossible Climb: Alex Honnold, El Capitan, and the Climbing Life
Further insight into Alex Honnold and his life – Impossible Climb Review

Training

Self-Coached Climber: The Guide to Movement, Training, Performance
Almost definitive guide to training for climbers of every level. If they don’t have it yet, we guarantee they’ll use it.
Training for Climbing: The Definitive Guide to Improving Your Performance
Another great book that is a must own for obsessives.
9 Out of 10 Climbers Make the Same Mistakes
Brilliant insight from a continuing legend. Advice that cuts straight to the bone.
Make or Break: Don’t Let Climbing Injuries Dictate Your Success
Same author as above. Really helpful when injury gets in the way.
The Rock Warrior’s Way: Mental Training for Climbers
Absolutely incredible book that has helped a lot of people push past the mental roadblocks we all put up.

Great For New Climbers

The Crag Survival Handbook: The Unspoken Rules of Climbing
Really helpful for going from gym climbing to outside in the new year. Do other climbers a favor and get them this.
Rock Climbing Technique: The Practical Guide to Movement Mastery
Great book for the basics of climbing movement that will really help beginners. Top new climber gift pick.

Great For Kids!

How to Solve a Problem: The Rise (and Falls) of a Rock-Climbing Champion
Excellent illustrated book aimed at young kids. Life lessons for kids by child prodigy climber Ashima Shiraishi. Climbing gifts for kids top pick.

Not Actually Books

Climbing Rock 2020 Wall Calendar
Plan those epic road trips. Mostly US based photos.
Climbing 2020: The 2020 Rock Climbing Calendar
Mixed from the US and Europe for those planning a trip abroad.

Coffee Table Photo Books

Most of these cost more than $25 but make great gifts for climbers that you can enjoy too!

Climbing Rock: Vertical Explorations Across North America
Lush and indulgent 270 page hardcover picture book covering North American ranges

Yosemite In The Sixties
Absolutely stunning Black and White photo books featuring legendary climbers in Yosemite – North America’s climbing mecca.

Yosemite in the Fifties: The Iron Age
Companion piece to the above. Even harder men doing hard climbs with less gear. Stunning shots.

Drawn: The Art of Ascent
Another seriously beautiful book. Gorgeous photos overlaid with journal-style illustrations and stories. Only $20!

Magazines

Print may be dying, but incredible shots of exotic locations and long form interviews and articles are still around. As Christmas gifts for climbing kids, these magazines may be the only way to get them reading content longer than 140 characters. The publications around are really top quality and look great on a coffee table to impressive co-workers too.

Available in Print and in Kindle editions. Climbing magazine is an excellent mag for long form articles and brilliant photography. A subscription makes a great present that will last the year.

Available on Kindle and perfect for new indoor climbers. Gym Climber is perfect for both boulderers and roped climbers who can’t be pulled out of their local climbing gym.

Films

Inspiration for bad weather days is much needed when stoke is low. Force your newly obsessed husband/wife to take a rest day (yes actual rest. Active rest days don’t count) with you and binge these films – equally entertaining for non-climbers. All good climbing gifts under $20.

Free Solo follows Alex Honnold as he attempts to climb the 3,000ft El Capitan rock face in Yosemite National Park. Without a rope. Multi Oscar and BAFTA winning. If your climbing loved one hasn’t seen it we’d be surprised.

Best Gifts for Climbers - Films - Valley Uprising

Valley Uprising chronicles Yosemite climbing in all it’s rebellious glory. From the early days through to adventurous and wine fuelled first ascents, on to the hazy 70 rebels. Absolutely brilliant look at climbing history.

Dawn Wall is unmissable. A tale of one man’s obsession with Yosemite’s monstrous walls. Death, loss, change, failure, and finally an incredible attempt at an impossible line.

Fred Beckey is the original Dirtbag. Living only for climbing and other pleasures, this doc takes a look back at the wild and unkempt life of one of the original vertical hobos. One of the top climbing gifts for him.

Best Gifts for Climbers – Customized Water Bottle

Customised water bottles make great gifts for climbers who like having a planet

Every climber knows you are only as cool as the stickers on your water bottle. The classic is the re-usable, BPA free Nalgene. Guaranteed to last a life time and probably not be accidentally stolen. Available in wide variety of colors in either the big 32oz or a Honnold Approved 16oz travel size.
For decoration you can get some fun sticker packs to choose from or check out etsy/local artists for more specific arty stuff. Also consider donating to the enormocast and giving your address to get stickers and support the best climbing podcast in the bromuda triangle.

Neat Climbing Gift Ideas Under $25

Boot Bananas – Solve stinky shoe-based relationship breakdowns with this innovative gift! Comes with a mini carabiner to clip in to shoes easily, smell lush and absorbs sweat and bad odours. When they need replacing they turn brown but will last a long time.
Check price on AmazonREI

Belay Glasses – Save your friend’s neck on those long project hang dog days. Well made, do the job perfectly, definitely makes you look cool. Various types, we’ve included two options.
Check price on AmazonREI

Black Diamond Forearm Trainer – Part stress ball, part training tool. Check price on AmazonBackcountryMoosejaw

Gripmaster Climbing Hand Strengthener – Comes in different tension strengths, allows you to work each finger individually for maximum bro strength.
Check price on AmazonREI

The best gifts ideas for climbers that fit in a stocking

Best Gifts For Boulderers


Bouldering is climbing small boulders without ropes, harnesses and other gear. Being close to the ground it doesn’t require much kit apart from a good pair of shoes, a crash pad, and some chalk. Bouldering inside you don’t even need a crash pad.

The best presents for boulderers end up being pretty cheap! A good brand of grippy chalk, a couple of accessories like a chalk brush, and some great skin repair balm will go down an absolute treat. Most of these are under $25 but some of the chalk bags/buckets work out around $30-40.

The secret ingredient to good skin

Skin Care

If you want to help look after a climber’s skin – don’t buy moisturizing creams, get a balm or climbing specific creams. These repair and nourish skin without leaving it too soft to climb. These are our top picks: –
Climbon Lotion Bar BackcountryREI
ClimbSkin Hand CreamBackcountryREI
Rhino Skin RepairAmazon
Rhino Skin Performance – For on the day hand conditioning – Amazon

This Climbskin Finger File Set is perfect for keeping hands nice and trim to stop skin ripping.
Check Price on AmazonBackcountryREI

High End Chalk

Friction Labs chalk has some great reviews for it’s grip, texture, and staying power. There are three types – chunky, super chunky, and fine. If you want to try one we’d suggest the chunky as less will be lost in normal use and it can be crunched up to dust anyway. Adam Ondra prefers the chunkier stuff too. You can also buy them in small 1g tasters to try all three.
Check Price on AmazonBackcountryREIMoosejaw


Brushes and Climbing Tape make good gifts for climbers as stocking fillers

Brushes and Tape

Brushes are for cleaning holds as well as cleaning chalk off when you leave. Please do this. First you clean the rock with the brush, then you chalk up, then you fall off, then you clean the chalk off the rock, then you chalk up – and the cycle continues. Don’t buy plastic ones please.
Check Price on AmazonBackcountryREIMoosejaw

Tape is for the inevitable flappers, gnarly skin, and protection when jamming fingers into cracks. Comes in a variety of shapes and colors but thick tape can be split into thin strips, so two rolls aren’t always needed. Mostly it’s all the same so don’t spend more than you need.
Check Price on AmazonBackcountryREIMoosejaw

Anti Sweat Pro Secret

This is well known secret among pro climbers who have a problem with sweaty hands. Rhino Skin Dry contains the active ingredient “Methenamine”. You spray this on your fingers before bed and wash off the chalky residue in the morning. You’ll then find for the next week or so your fingers are a lot drier and give much better grip! A Wide Boyz favorite.
Check Price on Amazon

Bouldering Crash Pads

For boulderers climb inside but want to go outside in the new year – a bouldering mat is a great gift. The below crash pads will all fit their needs perfectly as great do-it-all pads. You can also read our full Best Bouldering Mat guide to see more options.

Metolius Session II Bouldering Crash Pad

An excellent crash pad that does everything it needs to at a great price. Decently sized and perfectly thick, tough but light. The flap closure system gives a pocket for carrying bits in and doubles up as protection for the backpack and waist straps when on the floor. Two drag handles and a shoe wipe are integrated.

Check Price now on AmazonBackcountryREIMoosejaw

A brilliant gift for new boulderers
Best bouldering gift idea for the dedicated outdoor pebble wrestler

Mad Rock R3

The R3 is the best bouldering pad for dedicated boulderers. With a huge surface area and brilliant recycled cushioning, this would make an amazing present for boulderers. It has a great carry system with pockets and strap protectors, and it will last years of heavy use. A top buy.

Check Price on AmazonBackcountryMoosejaw


Best Christmas Presents For Climbers Under $50


Awesome Chalk Bags / Buckets

Chalk bags with a strap are great for climbers and boulderers as you can wear them while climbing or leave them on the ground for bouldering. Chalk buckets are for dedicated boulderers who use a lot of the white stuff. Prices vary from $20-50ish so we’ve included them here.

Best Climbing Gift Ideas – Chalk Bags that work and look great

Black Diamond Mojo Zip – Lots of colors, lightweight and hardy material – AmazonBackcountryREI
Arc’teryx Aperture – Unique closure system, light and refined. Best suited to roped climbing – Backcountry
Kavu Peak Seeker – A few different patterned designs. Good standard lightweight chalk bag that stands out – AmazonBackcountryREI
So iLL Chalk Bucket – Modern and good looking design brand. Perfect for boulderers. Massive, foldable, comes in Seafoam, Mint, or GOLD! – BackcountryREIMoosejaw

Great Bouldering Gift Ideas for those who don’t take themselves as seriously

For the more refined taste.
Metolius Uncle Sam – Fireworks, barbeque, freedom, splitter cracks. For those who climb exclusively in lycra and a wig – AmazonBackcountryREIMoosejaw
Krieg Space Unicorn – This is beautiful and we won’t hear a word otherwise – REI
8b+ Monster Bag – These fun looking guys are perfect for kids and adults who don’t take themselves too seriously. Wide a wide range of different faces and colors these are great fun – AmazonBackcountryREIMoosejaw
8b+ Monster Bucket – Also in a big chalk bucket size for boulderers. Secure inside zip pocket, side pocket and brush holder too – AmazonBackcountryREIMoosejaw

Best Gifts for Climbers – Coffee Stuff!

Really, who doesn’t love coffee. Your day can only get better with it. However there will be times out in the middle of nowhere when there is no friendly barista available. We’ve got some great climbing gift ideas for out and about coffee making that don’t take up much space, are eco-friendly, and are perfect for that quick caffeine hit.

Best Climbing Gifts Ideas for Caffeine addicts

GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip – A brilliant pour over coffee maker that is easy to use and clean, doesn’t need throwaway filters, and can be packed up light. Just the top drip part and legs, you’ll need a mug to go with it.
Check price on AmazonBackcountryREI

GSI Outdoors Infinity Backpacker Mug – The perfect pairing for the drip. The perfect size, easily cleanable, keeps your drink warm, packs up easy and looks good.
Check price on AmazonBackcountryREI

Single Origin Pre-ground Coffee – Bonfire coffee do great, freshly ground coffee from one country. They work with the growers and harvesters and deliver direct. Support local, small business and fair trade with Bonfire coffee OR buy from a local provider.
Check out Bonfire coffee’s current single origin grinds

GSI Outdoors Travel Coffee Grinder – Simple, adjustable to size, packs up small. For those who absolutely must grind their own.
Check price on AmazonBackcountryREI

Best Climbing Gift Ideas Under $50 – Training and Recovery Gear

Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar – Easy to put onto most doors, latches on to the sides of your doorways and doesn’t damage them. Put this up and whenever you walk past do a couple of pullups. Easy grip and upper back/trapezius workout without needing a gym.
Check price on Amazon

Armaid Self Massage Arm Tool – Help to alleviate the pump while training and let you actually hold the steering wheel after a big gym session. A great climber gift for the dedicated.
Check price on Amazon

Wobble Balance Board
– Climbing requires a great deal more core strength than most people would imagine. A few minutes on this every day will make a big difference!
Check price on Amazon

Escape Climbing Wooden Grips – These beautiful wooden grips are a great addition to a pull up bar or fingerboard. Different types to focus more on forearm grip strength for climbs when big pinches and slopers are a major obstacle.
Egg ShapeBall ShapeHandle Shape

These are the best gifts for climbers serious about training and recovery

Climbing Hold Mug – Practice your pinches and occasionally ruin clothes with this hugely impractical gift.
Check Price on Amazon


Great Christmas Gifts For Climbers Over $50


Best Gifts for Climbers – Helmets

Climbing outdoors is – in general – fairly safe. Sport climbing especially means the protection in the wall is already there and falls are normally small and expected. However if you are a worried relative and want your loved one to be safe then a sleek, lightweight helmet could be of mutual benefit.

Most climbers who don’t wear helmets outside give excuses about lack of side protection, weight, or obscuring vision. These modern helmets offer solutions to all of these. Also, rockfall and upside falls do happen. We’ve included our three top picks at different price points.

Three differently priced climbing helmets. The upper end are lighter weight for the most stubborn of climbers.

Black Diamond Half Dome – A classic redesigned. Offering full top, side and back protection with a hard outer shell, shock absorbing inner, featuring integrated head torch clips. At around $60 this is a no brainer. Available in Men’s, the Women’s has a nice ponytail cutout and different size/color.
Check price now on AmazonBackcountryREIMoosejawBlack Diamond

Petzl Meteor – A step up in price at around $99 brings a light (under 8oz) and slim profile helmet. Still offering excellent protection but with the outer polycarbonate shell more integrated into the inner foam. Ventilated and sleek looking and again available in different sizes and colors.
Check price now on AmazonBackcountryREIMoosejaw

Mammut Wall Rider MIPS – At $180 this is the best climbing helmet money can buy. Lightweight at under 8oz it features a top hard shell fixed into a foam inner that wraps around the back and sides – offering a large area of protection and great durability for such a light helmet. The design and ventilation mean you hardly know this is on. It also offers a world first in climbing helmets – MIPS protection. Most common falls onto the head or from rockfall cause rotation. MIPs is designed to mitigate this to decrease chance of brain trauma and neck injury.
Check price now on AmazonBackcountryREIMoosejaw

Training Gifts – Fingerboards

The best gifts for climbers are all about training – Beastmakers look great and the name rings true

Beastmaker 1000 and 2000 – These are the best fingerboards available and are hand made in the UK. Made from sustainably sourced wood that is kind to the skin. Featuring a massive range of holds from jugs, to pockets, monos, and different angled slopers. These are excellent training accessories that are lauded by everyone who touches them. Climbing gifts can be hard but this is a guaranteed hit.

The 1000 has jugs instead of the impossible slopers. The 2000 is more advanced as the holds are generally shallower and there are mono pockets. The 1000 will go a very long way so don’t be tempted to get the 2000 unless you are climbing very hard sport grades.

Check Prices on Amazon – Beastmaker 1000Beastmaker 2000
Or order direct from the manufacturer and ship from the UK here

Metolius Rock Rings – These are more dorm room/travel friendly training aids than the Beastmakers. Hang them anywhere and use the holds to train pinches, slopers, pockets and crimps anywhere you need. Great as a warm up at the crag before a project if you don’t have a good warmup route.

Check price on AmazonBackcountryREIMoosejaw

Neat Climbing Gear Gifts Over $50

Beta Stick Evo – This clip stick allows you to clip the first quickdraw in, so you can avoid that sketchy high first clip. Cleverly it also allows you to unclip quickdraws safely. Perfect for pushing your grade and keeping your gear. This is a great gift for sport climbers. Around $70
Check price on AmazonBackcountryREIMoosejaw

New Grigri 2019 – The threegri. Basically the best assisted braking belay device on the market. Redesigned to be lighter, safer, and to handle a wider range of rope sizes. Safer than a basic device and more comfortable to lock off when your climber is resting on long sessions. Watch the official video for the right technique and still NEVER take your hand off the brake rope. Around $100-110.
Check price on AmazonBackcountryREIMoosejaw

Edelrid Ohm – Absolutely invaluable device for when a climber is heavier than the belayer. You clip this into the first bolt and it assists braking/increases friction in a fall so the belayer isn’t dragged into the first quickdraw. Also helps control lowering. If you are a heavy climber, consider buying one for yourself to assure belayers and vice versa. Around $130.
Check price on AmazonBackcountryREIMoosejaw

Backpacks

A great climbing backpack can make adventures so much easier. A pack that is the right size to fit gear while fitting your body and being breathable is a total winner. These packs are brilliant, look good, and have all the features/pockets/straps needed for a great day out on the hike to the climb and going up with gear in tow.

Patagonia Cragsmith – Available in 32 and 45 liter versions. Excellent design and hard wearing material. Top zipper pocket for guidebooks and internal zipper for bigger gear, two side pockets. Zips right down both sides. Hole for a water bladder, outside daisy chain for clipping gear. Breathable straps with adjustable chest and waist strap. Absolute killer pack that will last forever.

Check price on BackcountryREI

Black Diamond Creek – Available in 20, 35 and 50 liter sizes. A big burly pack inspired by Indian Creek climbing. Perfectly suited as a haul bag that can be worn comfortably. Top loading, long side zipper, and two strong carry handles at the top. Rope tie and integrated pockets, this is a perfect back for long multipitches and packing out for a a day or two hiking.

Check price on AmazonBackcountryREIMoosejaw

Cinder 28L – A stylish pack that can be used as a crag bag as well as a functional day pack for work and life. Rugged material and heavy duty adjustable clip closure. Top zip pocket for easy access to bits, two interior gear loops. Two outside water bottle pockets as well as a daisy chain on the outside for gear clipping.

Check Price on REI

Patagonia Linked – Comes in 18L and 28L and different colors. An excellently made multi pitch pack. Similar to the cragsmith but more suited to big all day climbs. Top loading with a drawstring and two carry handles. Bladder reservoir inside for hydration mid route. Two daisy chains at the front for clipping gear and extra clipping points at the side for easier hauling and attachment. Adjustable chest and waist straps.

Check price on BackcountryREI

Gibbon Travel Slackline

An excellent downtime balance practice tool as well as a fun new way to get injured! Slacklines are actually really fun and this set from Gibbon is perfect for setting up anywhere. The classic climber’s second hobby.

Check price on AmazonBackcountryREI

Great Gift for Climbers - Gibbon Slackline

All Season Jackets

When conditions are perfect, climbing outside is an incredible experience and can create lifelong happy memories. When conditions are bad, things veer over into “type 2” fun. As in it wasn’t fun then but at least we got a story out of it. A good jacket can turn a miserable belay into a much more comfortable affair. Nowadays down jackets and synthetic down jackets can be very good gifts for climbers and offer breathable, waterproof protection in all weather.

Patagonia Nano Puff – The classic crag jacket. A brilliantly warm down jacket that packs up super tiny. Fits well under a harness and comes in Men’s and Women’s sizes, a massive variety of colors, and in a hooded version too. Top pick – best gifts for climbers.

Check price on AmazonBackcountryREI

Rab Microlight Alpine Down – Another excellent down jacket. A slightly warmer option than the micro puff, with a big drawstring hood. Great for long belays in colder weather, drawstrings and fitted hems for the perfect fit. Slightly longer fit for better cold protection and ability to wear a harness. Available in Men’s and Women’s sizes and a load of color options.

Check Men’s price on AmazonBackcountryREIMoosejaw
Check Women’s price on AmazonBackcountryREIMoosejaw

Arc’teryx Gamma LT Hoody – An almost perfect all round climbing jacket. Light, breathable, moveable and elastic, but still durable advanced fabric. A great longer cut to fit a harness with an adjustable hood. Perfectly placed pockets outside and in, elastic draws all round. This is a high end pick. Arc’teryx gear is second to none and this will last years of good use. Top pick – climbing gifts for her.

Check Men’s price on AmazonBackcountryMoosejaw
Check Women’s price on AmazonBackcountryMoosejaw

Best Gifts for Climbers – Big Gifts? Consider Gift Cards

If you are thinking of buying something big but specific – like a rope, climbing shoes, quickdraws/cams, or clothes/hiking shoes that could be ordered in the wrong size – think about a gift card instead. If you know there is something big that they would love but you don’t know the exact size/thing they need, then a gift card allows you to get it for them while they make sure it’s what they wanted.

One of the absolute best gifts for climbers that let’s them choose

We’d suggest Gift cards for REI, Backcountry, or Moosejaw. All of them are big outdoor retailers who have a huge range of outdoors and climbing gear, offer good shipping or pickup options, and will have 99% of what you are after. Gift cards can be e-mailed or sent in the post and are available for $10 and up – very good gifts for climbers who are indecisive.

Our Pick – REI are a co-operative owned by the employees not by shareholders. They have a great membership where you can earn 10% back on purchases at the end of the year, and make their own brands of well designed and economic gear. They repair used gear and support outdoors initiatives like their own #OptOutside where they close on Black Friday and pay employees to join cleanups. We like to support businesses that look after employees and the outdoors.

REI Gift Card – E-mail / Post
Backcountry Gift Card – E-mail / Post
Moosejaw Gift Card – E-mail / Post


So there is our massive guide to the best gifts for climbers just in time for Christmas 2019. We have way more climbing gear guides available including our top picks for the best beginner climbing harness, best beginner climbing shoes, best beginner bouldering pads and more. Follow us on twitter, instagram, facebook or pinterest for more climbing gift ideas and regular updates on climbing news from around the world.

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