Spring 2012 Gear Guide: Climbing

Patagonia Supercell Jacket

Climbing is one of our passions here at Open Air Life, so it was harder for us to narrow down the field of new climbing products. This is by far our biggest gear guide including over 20 pieces of gear to look at and crave. As we all know the weather can change at any time and spring snow or showers are always on the horizon. We have included gear to help keep you warm and dry even if the temperature drops or the rain starts. We have also included 3 new approach shoes in this guide, with the Vasque Rift having a men's and women's specific models. We hope that this guide will inspire you to get out a little earlier this spring and get climbing.

Patagonia Super Cell Jacket

The Super Cell Jacket is a light-weight technical climbing hard shell features GORE-TEX Paclite Shell fabric. Streamlined, durable and super packable this is a great jacket to always have stuff in the bag just in case a storm rolls in and you need some extra protection. Built with GORE-TEX Paclite Shell technology – a GORE-TEX membrane plus a protective inner layer that makes a separate lining unnecessary. The helmet-compatible, 2-way adjustable hood with laminated visor offers good visibility in bad conditions, the Touch Point System embedded cord locks in the hood and hem allow for quick adjustments, and gusseted underarm panels let you reach without lift. Low-bulk, laminated, watertight zippers close the pit zips and harness-compatible pockets.


2-layer nylon GORE-TEX® Paclite Shell

Optimal Visibility Hood™: Helmet-compatible, 2-way adjustable hood with laminated visor for good visibility in poor conditions

Touch Point System embeds cord locks in hood and hem for quick adjustments

Microfleece-lined neck and wind flap for next-to-skin comfort

Full Reach Gusseted Panels: Gusseted underarm panels let you extend your reach without raising the body of the jacket and include watertight, coated pit zips for ventilation

Harness- and pack-compatible pockets feature watertight, coated Slim Zips laminated in place to reduce bulk

Low-profile gusset cuffs create a tight wrist seal

2.7-oz 40-denier GORE-TEX® Paclite® Shell 100% nylon

382 g (13.5 oz)

MSRP: $249.00


firstascent_microthermFirst Ascent MicroTherm Down Hoodie

The MicroTherm Down Hoodie is a lighter/slimmer down jacket than the Downlight which we picked as a great belaying jacket in our winter climbing guide.  They both have 800 fill high premium goose down but the MicroTherm has micro-channels that gives it a slimmer fit and there are also stretch panels behind the arms for better stretch and mobility.  Being the lightest down layer in First Ascents history, this instant warm-up is the ideal weight for layering or packing. The lightweight ripstop shell features a StormRepel® DWR finish to shed light precip and light snow. A simple, low bulk hem design eliminates hardware and trims from under harnesses and hipbelts. A really great jacket for belaying this spring.


Lightweight 1.06 oz 20-denier ripstop nylon with Stormrepel™ DWR finish

Down-packed micro-baffles keep you warm with minimal weight and bulk

Integrated stretch-panels increase breathability, improve range of motion and allow for a trim, athletic fit

Packs into its own pocket; stows easily in small spaces

No zippers to snag or catch

Elasticized cuffs

Interior carabiner clip-in loop

100% nylon shell; 800-fill down insulation

MSRP: $189.00


polarmax_HoodyPolarmax PMX Hoodie

The PMX Hoodie provides warmth in the coldest temperature. It is simply Polarmax’s best and warmest performance base layer. This is the ideal piece of clothing to take along with you this spring when you know that it will be getting cold where you are going. It is ideal for a layering piece, or you can wear it alone. Made of heavy weight 4-Way stretch fabric and a tech face-brushed interior fleece this is a super comfortable piece of clothing.


Cold weather gear that actually keeps you warm

Heavy Weight 4-Way Power Stretch Fabric

Tech Face / Brushed Fleece Interior

Acclimate Dry Moisture Wicking

Stretches for mobilityAnti-microbial / anti-odor protection

Flat seam construction for ultimate comfort

No shrink - Easy care machine wash and dry

100% Made in the USA

MSRP: $69.95


gramicci_hempcocoGramicci Hemp Organic Coco

The Organic Coco is made with Gramicci’s Senna Hemp Jeresey material which is a natural performance technology fabric. Senna is a blend of hemp and certified organic cotton; both are grown pesticide and herbicide free. Hemp excels in moisture wicking and is the most durable natural yarn in the world. Antimicrobial, hemp naturally eliminates ordor from the garment. The Double Traverse knitted stitch provides high performance ventilation that cools the body during exertion.


55% Hemp, 45% Certified Organic Cotton

Fit: Sculpted

Lower kangaroo pouch pocket

Deep hooded V-Neck

Accented rack stitch detail on cuffs and hem

MSRP: $45.00


rab_hueco_capriRab Women’s Traverse Capri

The Women's Traverse Capri is a lightweight, quick drying, 3/4 length, stretch fit multi-activity capri. The lightweight polyamide fabric is quick drying with excellent water repellent properties. Diamond style crotch adds great freedom of movement and 2 hand warmer pockets make these a great capri for spring climbing. The option to roll the leg up and secure out of the way adds further to their versatility.


2 open hand warmer pockets, key clip in right pocket

1 YKK reverse zipped thigh pocket

1 patch pocket with flap Velcro® closure

Roll-up leg, hidden button closure

Double snap waistband closure

Belt loops

Diamond style gusset

Inside leg length 47cm/19inch (size 12)

Previously called Women’s Hueco Capri

MSRP: $65.00


firstascent_uprisingjeansFirst Ascent Uprising Jeans

The Uprising Jean are at home on the rock or at for a night on the town. These jeans were built for the Eddie Bauer/First Ascent guides to wear during days where they might not be out in the field, but they want to go climbing during lunch (for example).  Made with CORDURA® Denim with stretch these jeans are a burly cotton/spandex blend which will survive abrasion. A gusseted crotch keeps them comfy with a harness while a slight articulation in the knees keeps you moving fast while staying sharp for the aprés scene.


Tough CORDURA® denim withstands wear and abrasion when climbing or bouldering.

Gusseted crotch and articulated knees prevents embarrassing blowouts when stretching or stemming.

Integrated stretch allows greater flexibility in both active and casual situations.

V-Hold belt loops prevent gaps in coverage or crack climbing overexposure.

Pockets with reinforced bartacks stow cash, keys and wallet without fear of separation

80% Cotton, 17% nylon, 3% spandex

Machine wash

MSRP $99.00


vasque_riftVasque Rift

Vasque has continued to evolve since their days as a hiking boot only company. If you haven’t taken a look at what Vasque has to offer now, you should. The Rift is a new shoe that will take you wherever you want to go. The ultra-sticky Vibram® Spider sole with Idrogrip rubber handles crosswalks and talus slopes equally well. Low-profile, triple-density EVA midsole for stability, and a classic leather upper with a grippy rubber toe and heel makes this a top multisport choice. Lace-to-toe lacing for a truly custom fit.


• Weight: 1lb. 6 oz. (630g)

Outsole: Vibram® Spider w/ Idropgrip Compound

Last: Equalizer

Midsole: Tri Density EVA

Available Sizes: Women's Medium 5-11

MSRP: $120.00


boreal_GravitiBoreal Gravity

You can be confident that the Gravity can handle most approaches and fair well on easy climbs. With a waterproof upper this shoe is great for spring approaches where snow melt or spring rains might be a problem. Also with both toe and heel having rubber protective reinforcements the Gravity will last and protect your feet.


Premium quality waterproof 2 mm Split leather with Teramida SL.

Toe and heel rubber protective reinforcements.

HFS padded heel system for a perfect fit.

PU Air Net for ventilation and comfort.

Boreal PXF

Vibram Friction rubber sole with dual density, shock absorbing EVA.

MSRP: $150.00


lasportiva_xplorerLa Sportiva Xplorer

The new La Sportiva Xplorer is an all synthetic shoe that excels at approaches, speed climbing, canyoneering, and moving fast in the mountains. It features toe box overwrap technology that controls foot creep when edging and smearing on thin rocks. It also has a sticky Vibram rubber role that provides sturdy footing on rock. Weighing in at 13.4 oz per shoe, the Xplorer is a lightweight, versatile tool for any activity in the mountains.


Toe box Overwrap technology rand construction controls foot creep when edging and smearing

Dual density EVA midsole is soft under the heel for all day comfort and end of the day trudging

Sticky Vibram Idro-Grip rubber is amazing on the rock

Highly compressed EVA RockGuard in the forefoot

MSRP: $120.00


fiveten_coyotecanvasFive Ten Coyote VCS Canvas

The Coyote VCS is all about performance and comfort. This lined canvas climbing shoe forms to the foot, with no dead space and no hotspots. Designed for entry level to advanced intermediate, the Coyote VCS is an all-around performer, as is at home on desert towers as in an urban climbing gym.


Upper: Lined canvas

Slingshot heel rand

Outsole: Stealth® C4™

Reinforced stitching

Closure: Velcro® brand

Dual pull tabs

Color: Indigo

Padded tongue

Available Sizes: US: 2-14, 15 / UK: 1-13, 14

Weight: (Size 9) 7.9oz/223.96g per shoe

MSRP: $109.95


millet_yallaMillet Yalla

The Yalla is a slipper that is at home on small holds. With this high-precision tool, crux control is within reach. It has a rigid, composite midsole which provides real responsiveness and support that gives you grip on microholds. When you’re targeting total precision, efficient lacing is vital. This system reaches far down the shoe tip, and can be adjusted at any time. This model’s shape, high-grade materials, lining and padded tongue adds up to the perfect match between precision and comfort.


Stiff insert composite for responsive support

Synthetic microfibre upper with toe-zone lining

Powerful heel stiffener

Monobloc heel for highly effective hooking

4PointsGrip™ rubber sole

MILLET HOOK Effect™: laser micro-grooving for enhanced stickiness and grip.

MSRP: $129.00


freestyle_navigatorFreestyle Navigator 3.0

The Navigator has been a successful watch for Freestyle and the new 3.0 has been upgraded to be even better. The Navigator 3.0 still features outstanding compass functionality, but has been upgraded with a glass lens and ultra comfortable silicone strap. Ready and willing to be the co-pilot on your next adventure. Like all Freestyle Watches, the Navigator 3.0 is backed by their limited lifetime warranty and 100 meter water resistance.


• 45mm polycarbonate case

• Rotating bezel

• Durable silicon strap

• Glass lens

• Compass functionality

• Dual Time

• Alarm

• Countdown Timer

• Stopwatch

• Night vision backlight

• 100 Meter H20 resistance

• MSRP: $95.00

• http://www.freestyleusa.com/products/Navigator+3.0/

julbo_TensingJulbo Tensing sunglass

Since the inception of Julbo in 1888, three generations have directed Julbo’s evolution as a global leader in protective eyewear for all outdoor pursuits. Trusted mountaineering eyewear is Julbo’s heritage and the legacy  is consistently sustained with new products such as the Tensing. Mountaineers need nothing but the best when it comes to protective eyewear as they travel in extreme ultraviolet radiation conditions where UV intensity increases concurrently with altitude. The Tensing model rounds out Julbo’s current mountain eyewear category to offer something for everyone from amateurs to professionals. The Tensing provides mountaineers the optical performance they need, at a price they want. The ultra-­‐wrap profile design guarantees maximum protection against high altitude, as well as superior ventilation. The dual-­‐injected frame strategically combines a strong outer material with a highly  flexible inner design for comfort against the face.

• MSRP $50.

• http://www.julbo-eyewear.com/en/Products/outdoor-(all-mountain)_147/tensing_477.html

metolius_crux_helmetMetolius Climbing Crux Helmet

Although rockfall is a significant issue, 80-percent of head injuries in rock climbing are sustained by falling. The new Crux helmet provides dual protection from rock fall as well as impacts sustained during a fall on lead or seconding.


• In mold construction with full coverage EPS

• Easy adjust dial retention system

• Exceptional ventilation with washable, Coolmax liner

• One size fits 21” - 23.5” (53.5 - 60 cm)

• Weight: 11.8 oz (334 g)

• CE/UIAA certified

• Color: orange

• MSRP $74.95

• http://www.metoliusclimbing.com/

mammut_bionicMammut Bionic Alpine Belay

A safety device for use in alpine terrain, based on the tube principle. As well as securing a lead climber, the very light Bionic Alpine Belay also allows one or two second climbers to be independently belayed in an autolocking mode from the belay station. The optimised geometry also allows comfortable belaying as well as reliable blocking in the event of a fall by the second climber, the blocking action can be released again using a webbing sling and the large eyelet on the device. The V-shaped grooves allow the controlled holding of lead falls, even at low levels of manual force. Suitable for twin, half and single ropes from 7.5 to 10.5 mm in diameter.

• MSRP: $24.95

• http://www.mammut.ch/en/productDetail/221001110_v_5009/Bionic-Alpine-Belay.html

madrock_R3Mad Rock R3 Crash Pad

The R3 crash pad utilizes a completely new fill system that enables the pad to lay flat, fold easily over features, and increases the dampening ability of the impact force from falls. The baffles of the new R3 contain recycled EVA / PU foam that would normally be collected and shipped for disposal. This sustainable and innovative part of the system reduces manufacturing costs and helps reduce environmental waste. The lower manufacturing costs enables Mad Rock to provide a more durable shell system. The 1680 denier nylon shell construction makes this pad the most durable crash pad in the industry. Because the shell will have a longer lifespan, Mad Rock will be offering replacement foam for the R3 system so it can be passed down for years to come.


• Material: polyester, recycled foam

• Dimensions - Open: 138 x 100 x 10 cm

• Dimensions - Folded: 60 x 30 x 100 cm

• Carrying Mode:

• Padding Type: EVA foam

• MSRP: $189.00

• http://www.madrockclimbing.com/

SD_sorcerySierra Design Sorcery 55

This sturdy and reliable pack is crafted for the alpinist carrying for a rigorous day’s ascent. Featuring ice axe and ski loops, a crampon pocket and an easy to access fleece –lined optics pocket, you can keep your gear safe and close by no matter what backcountry conditions you tackle. Sierra Designs’ Ascent and Descent series climbing and ski packs outperform the competition thanks to the CORE Suspension™ system.  Blending an HDPE framesheet with strategically placed aluminum stays, CORE Suspension™ is more comfortable and supportive than other systems allowing you to ski longer, climb higher, and perform better.


• Waterbottle Pockets

• Security Pocket with Key Clip

• Fleece-lined Optics Pocket

• Zippered mesh pocket

• Large Front Pocket with Organization

• Load compression strap

• Ice Axe Loops

• Crampon Pocket

• Haul Handle

• 3-point Haul System

• Emergency Bivy Pad

• Gear-Racking

• Thermo-molded, S-curve shoulder straps

• Thermo-molded, pre-curved waistbelt

• MSRP: $199.95

• http://www.sierradesigns.com/p-451-sorcery-55.aspx

Easton Expedition 2P Tent


This spring be prepared for anything. I know here in Utah it has been a light snow here when usually means we will keep getting it late into spring. The Easton Expedition 2P is designed to be a lightweight shelter against the any storm. The Expedition 2P delivers a high performance tent with a long list of features to stay comfortable and protected. Large snowflaps protect the entry, internal pockets and loops keep gear organized, and oversized vents with full internal access offer climate control without leaving your sleeping bag.


• Storm resistant stability and snow shedding geometry.

Carbon Fiber Poles- Easton Carbon FX™ with AirLock™ Connectors.

• Enlarged side vents with internal-access.

Dual doors and vestibules with reflective opening and snow flaps.

Pole-supported vestibule with windows.

Pole-Pocket™ compression stuff sack.

Gear loft and accessory loops in the roof.

Waterproof construction with bathtub floor and taped seams.

• Stakes: Ultra light Easton aluminum. (7.4g each)

• Trail Weight (ASTM Min.Std. Weight) - 7lb 6oz / 3.36kg (Carbon)

Packaged Weight - 8lb 8oz / 3.86kg (Carbon)

• Canopy Fabric - 20D Nylon Ripstop, uncoated

Fly Fabric - 75D Polyester, Waterproof 1500mm PU coated, F/R

Floor Fabric - 70D Nylon Ripstop, Waterproof 10,000mm PU coated, F/R

Head Height - 39in / 99cm

• Floor Area - 35.5sq ft / 3.3sq m

Vestibule Area - 12.9sq ft / 1.2sq m

• MSRP: $599.95

• http://www.eastonmountainproducts.com/tent/expedition2p-tent

wenger_nailEvowood Nail Clippers

New to the 2012 EvoWood line is the NailClip 580. This retractable precision instrument is capable of delivering professional results in any situation and offer several key functions including nail clipper, a nail file, self-sharpening scissors and the signature EvoWood handle. The handles for the EvoWood collection are constructed from sustainable top quality walnut using what would otherwise be waste material from other production processes. The natural walnut, which is durable for light outdoor use, is colored in a rich dark stain to create individual shades and grain patterns in each knife, making every product a one-off.


Ergonomic handles made of natural walnut

1.75" Pen Blade

Exclusive nail clipper

1.8" Springless scissors with serrated, self-sharpening design

Nail file

Nail cleaner

Key ring

MSRP: $59.95


Survival_Sleeping_Bag_Retail_Box-Medium150dpi_thumb_medium300_Blizzard Sleeping bag

The Blizzard Survival sleeping bag is completely different from a traditional “space blanket.” Blizzard uses a unique and innovative technology called Reflexcell which took over 10 years to develop. It was designed with hikers and climbers in mind to help them survive emergency situations in cold conditions. The cellular construction traps warm air, giving vastly superior warmth over any comparable product. Blizzard products give you a comfortable night, even in cold conditions, and in a real emergency will keep you alive over a prolonged period. The warmth of a regular sleeping bag: the size of a video cassette. All Blizzard Survival products are pressed and vacuum packed to get the smallest possible volume. You can check out our full review of the Blizzard Survival Bag here.


Size (vacuum packed): 21 x 11 x 4 cm.

Volume: 0.9 litres.

Weight: 385 grams.

Size (unpacked): 2.1 metres.

Colour: Silver, Orange or Green.

Top may be closed to form hood.

Drawcord with spring toggle.

Fits fully clothed large adult.

Warmth: 8 Togs - equal to a medium weight regular sleeping bag.

Weather protection: fully waterproof and windproof.

Re-usability: bags can be re-used many times without loss of performance.

MSRP: $39.99


COMiniBarClimb On! Bar

The Climb On! Bar is a highly unique solid lotion, intensive skin care product used and loved by the world’s most used hands: rock climbers, construction workers, mechanics, doctors, gardeners, chefs, farmers, and more. The product is so safe and clean that it can also be used on newborns and doggie pads. This product is best used on smaller, more intense areas such as cracked cuticles, heels, cuts, scrapes, burns and rashes.


All Natural Intensive Skin Repair

Used by professional climbers, cyclists, runners, rogues and rock stars!

CO!'s Proprietary Blend of therapeutic grade essential oils

100% non-toxic, biodegradable with NO synthetics, petrochemicals, fragrances, and fillers

MSRP: 1 oz = $10.00


badger_sportBadger Broad Spectrum SPF 35 Sports Sunscreen

I don’t know about you but sunscreen seems to be one thing that I forget most often and probably one of the most important things when hanging out on the wall all day. This is formulated to meet the needs of our hardworking, hard-playing, active people everywhere.Specially formulated, this SPF 35 Sport Sunscreen offers protection wherever your adventures may take you. This cream-based sunscreen is very water resistant, and protects from sun, wind, cold and water while moisturizing and nourishing your skin. The base of certified organic oils and butters makes it more resistant to freezing, while creating a protective barrier on the skin. And it stays where you put it.


Very Water Resistant

No Added Scent

Contains Organic Ingredients

Broad Spectrum protection from UVA & UVB rays using the mineral Zinc Oxide – NO oxybenzone, octisalate, octinoxate, avobenzone, or added Vitamin A.

Water Resistant for 80 minutes; biodegradable.

Certified Organic base of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Beeswax, Jojoba & Cocoa Butter is ultra-moisturizing and soothing.

MSRP: 2.9oz Tube $15.99


peeweePee Wee Unisex urine bag

The safe, sanitary convenient, fully biodegradable way to ‘pee’ "when plumbing's not available®".  Use it, seal it, toss it in normal household trash. Pee-Wee should be in every glove-box and backpack to be used when out climbing and you need to go. The magic to the Pee-Wee is the Poo Powder which is a proprietary blend of a NASA-developed super-absorbent designed to gel and encapsulate liquid and solid waste, and a natural deodorizing agent and decay catalyst.


• Slip resistant unisex collar can be used by adults or children.

• Snap-close bag--no spills, no contact.

• Gels 24 oz. of liquid waste.

• Biodegradable dispose in normal trash.

• MSRP: 12 pack singles are $18.99

• http://www.cleanwaste.com/pee-wee-urine-bag