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10 Best Trekking Poles in 2018: The Best Guide You’ll Find

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If you enjoy hiking, trekking, or similar activities in mountainous regions, a pair of trekking poles could be your best friend. These handy devices can help to get a good grip on the terrain and also lessen the strain on your whole body. However, there are several kinds of trekking poles on the market today, so make sure you know what you’re getting before you make a purchase.

Curious to know how to choose the best trekking poles?

Does the Need for Using Trekking Poles Even Exist?

The need for trekking poles may not be apparent to every climber, but it’s definitely there. Still, you need to know just how to make use of your trekking poles and choose the best kind for yourself accordingly. Otherwise, you might be lugging around an extra piece of equipment for no reason.

Trekking poles can greatly reduce the effect of climbing, hiking, and trekking on your body. In the long term, such activities can decrease your health. So when you're trekking in a harsh environment, you absolutely need some trekking poles to support you.

These strenuous activities can take their toll on your knees, feet, hips, back, and ankles. Before this happens, get your trekking poles as soon as possible! Plus, using trekking poles actually results in a higher level of muscle exercise than otherwise.

You’d be using around 90 percent of your muscles as opposed to the 40 percent when you trek without poles. This enhances the workout aspect of trekking.

This also means that you burn 46 percent more calories while trekking. Along with this, trekking poles can contribute to improving and maintaining your posture, balance, and upper body mobility. You can achieve all of this without the serious physical exertion that you get without trekking poles.

Why You Should Invest in Trekking Poles

using a Trekking Poles while walking

Image via Pixabay

Investing in trekking poles might set you back a few bucks and seem to be an added weight. However, they’re recommended additions to hikers and trekkers of all ages, not just the elderly.

To begin with, trekking poles distribute the strain from the lower body to the upper. You’re forced to use your arms with these poles, so your legs have less of a burden to manage. This comes in especially useful when you’re going downhill, which could be very hard on the knees.

Trekking poles are also necessary for balancing when the terrain is uneven or slippery. Even river crossing becomes much easier since the poles help to maintain a constant gait. Your pace becomes more efficient, rapid, and even.

Finally, trekking poles are also excellent for uses other than climbing. If you’re planning a mountain climb or hike that could take days, these poles can easily double as tent supports at night!

How to Choose the Best Trekking Pole According to Your Outdoor Activity

Getting the best trekking pole isn’t a matter of just looking at the prices, ratings, and reviews. It also depends on the kind of outdoor activity you prefer. Several top options are available to suit every need, so consider what kind of activity you'll need the poles for.

For instance, if you’re going to be trekking on varying terrain, it’s important to get a pair of trekking poles with an adjustable length. If you’re simply going to be hiking regularly, make sure that the length can be long or short enough to make a 90-degree at your elbow when the tips are near your feet.

If you’re going to be trekking uphill, you need to have a shorter pole. Steep slopes require short poles to provide climbing assistance without causing fatigue. For the downhill trek, longer lengths are best.

For varying terrain, an adjustable pole made of aluminum can be the best bet. This is a versatile, durable, and lightweight choice that comes in several different gauges. However, these won’t be suitable if you’re putting a lot of weight on them.

If you’re just going on a long, regular hike, a carbon-fiber pole should be the first option to consider. These are more lightweight than aluminum poles, but not as strong. For more rugged terrain, you might want to consider strong materials like iron or even wood.

How to Use Trekking Poles like a Pro

Alternate poles and legs

Get into the rhythm of putting your right pole with your left foot, and vice versa. If you lose this rhythm, walk a bit without your poles and get back into the pace wherever possible. With time, this will become instinct, and you can get into such a gait automatically.

​​Natural walking

​Walk with the poles like you’re just swinging your arms. Don’t think about what you’re doing with them, but keep them at a slight angle. This way, you can push off using them to move forward more easily.

​​Planting double

​When necessary, you can plant both the trekking poles at once. After this, take a couple of steps, and then plant the poles again. This is a useful trick for steep slopes. While going up or coming down, you might need this stabilizing practice.

​​Navigating obstacles

​Many trekking trials may have obstacles such as puddles, streams, river crossings, rocks, and logs. You can vault over the shallow obstacles using your trekking poles, or navigate around them. The poles will help you stay stable. Once you plant your pole down in a water body, make sure it’s secure before you use it for support. Lengthen the poles if the obstacle is deep.

​​Pitching tents

​​You may want to take along some lightweight tarps or tents for your trekking journey. Having a trekking pole on hand will come in handy for pitching certain models of tents. Their adjustable length makes for easy setup, so you get two pieces of equipment in one!

The 10 Best Trekking Poles 

We now come to the best trekking poles for sale in 2018. There are many options with varying features, so take your time and get to know what’s available before you take the plunge:

Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork

Black Diamond 793661307143 Alpine Trekking Poles, One Size, Carbon...
  • Premium cork grip with dual-density top and adjustable 360-degree sewn strap
  • Non-slip EVA foam grip extension. Weight Per Pair : 475 g (1lb 1 oz)
  • 3 section 100% carbon fiber shaft

The Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork trekking pole just might be the best choice you can have in this category. The pair weighs 17 ounces, and it has a telescopic mechanism with a lever lock. The shaft is made of carbon, while the grip is a resilient, soft cork. This nicely balances the weight and strength. With Black Diamond’s name, you can be sure of getting the best quality and performance.

Overall, these poles are reported to be the best type for backpacking, hiking, and much more. However, they might be a bit too heavy for some. ​

​The Amazon rating for this item is.

​​Black Diamond Women’s Trail Pro Shock

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The Black Diamond Women’s Trail Pro Shock might be the best trekking poles for women. Specially made for backpacking journeys, its total weight is 20 ounces. The lever lock and telescopic mechanism make for compact and secure equipment. The shaft material is aluminum, which provides a lightweight experience.

The grip is foam, making for a comfortable hold. Equipped with shock-absorbing technology, these poles have excellent performance and will keep your trekking safe. Customers have loved how these poles go easy on the knees and are simple to adjust. However, they’re also on the heavy side.​

​The Amazon rating for this item is.

​​Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber

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The Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber trekking poles are an excellent option for trekkers on a budget. One pair weighs around 16 ounces, with a telescopic system and lever lock. The shaft is made of lightweight and durable carbon. There’s a choice in the grip, which could be either rubber or cork. Both have their advantages, so it’s good for you to choose according to your preferences.

Reviews have praised this pair for providing various features at an immensely affordable price. However, this also means that these poles may not last as long as other options.​

​The Amazon rating for this item is.

Montem Ultra Strong Hiking/Walking/Trekking Poles

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The Montem Ultra Strong Hiking/Walking/Trekking Poles are also an option that won’t break the budget. They weigh 21 ounces in total, which is a bit heavy for such items. They also have a telescopic and locking mechanism. The shaft is made of aluminum, providing a lightweight and adjustable result. With the grips made of rubber, you can be sure they're durable and reliable.

Customer reviews have praised the fact that while the construction isn’t as excellent as that of the higher-end models of this brand, the differences are subtle. However, the rubber grips might not be as comfortable as the cork option. ​

​The Amazon rating for this item is.

​​Montem Ultra Strong

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The Montem Ultra Strong poles are yet another budget option with high ratings and positive reviews online. Together, both poles weigh around 19.2 ounces. The foam grip is reasonably comfortable, while the aluminum shaft makes the poles lightweight. While this company is new in this field, they’re already known for their high-quality output at affordable prices.

The reviews for these poles have mentioned how customers have enjoyed the adjustment design of the hand grips. This makes the poles suitable for steep climbing. However, the design may not be too tough.​

​The Amazon rating for this item is.

​​Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z

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The Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z poles are among the best collapsible options you can get for these items. They can weigh anywhere from 9.3 to 10.4 ounces, making for a relatively lightweight result. The folding style, carbon shaft, and foam grip all provide a comfortable experience.

Customers have reported an excellent experience with these lightweight poles, especially the rapid rate in which they can be set up and collapsed. However, the lightness also means more strain on your arms, since these poles aren’t adjustable. ​

​The Amazon rating for this item is.

​​Black Diamond Distance Z

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The Black Diamond Distance Z poles are also collapsible. They weigh 12 ounces in total and can fold into a much more compact size when required. The additional weight is due to the aluminum shaft instead of a carbon-fiber material.

While customers have loved this collapsible pole, you should keep in mind that the adjustability isn’t an included feature. This might be problematic for those who want to get the poles for a variety of trekking expeditions. ​

​The Amazon rating for this item is.

​​Leki Corklite DSS Antishock

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The Leki Corklite DSS Antishock poles are true to their name, providing antishock technology while weighing 18 ounces. The grips are cork or rubber, while the shaft is aluminum. The antishock system serves to take a load off your body during your excursions. However, some people may not like this technology. It’s largely a matter of preference.

Overall, customers are satisfied with the trusty lever locks and interchangeable baskets in this pair of trekking poles. Still, they’re a bit on the heavy side and expensive to boot. ​

​The Amazon rating for this item is.

​​Leki Micro Vario Carbon DSS

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The Leki Micro Vario Carbon DSS might be the best trekking pole regarding anti-shock features. They weigh around 17 ounces and have a folding mechanism for easy storage and adjustment. The material of their shaft is carbon fiber, which gives you a lightweight experience.

Customers value the anti-shock technology available in these poles, even at the high price. The folding capacity of these poles also means that there’s less adjustability available. ​

​The Amazon rating for this item is.

​​Mountainsmith Halite

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The Mountainsmith Halite poles weigh 21 ounces when put together. This is a heavyweight as far as trekking poles go, but the folding mechanism makes sure they’re compact. This pair is also quite affordable for a collapsible pair, so this can be a great gift for beginners. There are also comfy cork handles, hiking baskets, rubber tips, and snow baskets included.

Customers have loved the cost-effective construction and compactness of this option. However, this pair isn’t as sturdy as the pricier poles. ​

​The Amazon rating for this item is.

Picking the Best Option

group of people trekking using a hiking poles

Image via Pixabay

Each of the trekking poles reviewed above will be great for your excursions on the mountains or hiking trails. See what your requirements are and pick the pair that fulfills them. For instance, the Black Diamond Women’s Trail Pro Shock gives you adjustment along with an anti-shock system. If you want a lighter weight, though, the Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z is the answer.

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Choose Your Climbing Rope Like Your Life Depends On It!

rock climbing featured image
rock climbing

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The most important part of any climber’s gear is the climbing rope. Choosing your climbing rope may sound like a trivial matter. But, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Your climbing rope is literally your lifeline. And If you are a beginner and new to climbing, choosing a rope can lead to confusion and uncertainty.

As with almost any adventuring equipment, climbing ropes come with many and varied options. A highly recommended rope designed for one type of terrain or environment may be almost useless in another. We hope this list may help you better understand the different ropes and how the manufacturers design them for various tasks. We hope it provides the information you need to stay safe, wherever you choose to climb.

Whether you are climbing for the first time, have climbed a time or two before, or you know the sheer rock face like the back of your hand, having the right climbing rope makes it easier. A climbing rope that stretches may be perfect if you slip from a rock face and need a cushioned fall, but it may be inconvenient if you require a rope with a firm tension. New climbers and old veterans alike can appreciate the reliability and security of a quality climbing rope when the going gets rough.

How We Determined The Best Climbing Rope

man in the cliff holding climbing rope

image via: pixabay

Our ratings of these climbing ropes were determined by analyzing sales figures and reviews from distributors such as Gear.com, Backcountry.com, and Amazon.com. We also consulted several manufacturer's websites for their information. Most importantly, we considered the reports and experiences of customers like you collected from several sources.

While it is unlikely that this list will reflect the results of any of these resources rope by rope, they do reflect results from analyzing all the available data and applying it to the specific parameters of our list. Comparing different ropes can be a confusing and time-consuming process. We have attempted to make that process somewhat easier by doing some of the legwork for you.

Finding The Right Climbing Rope For You

girl climbing

image via: pixabay

In our opinion, these are the nine best climbing ropes for 2018. We have listed them by type of use, so please consider where you plan to climb and the conditions when choosing your next rope.

1.) Syiswei

Syiswei Professional Outdoor Rock Climbing Safety Rope, Diameter 12mm,...
  • Length:10 meters( 32feet ), Diameter: 12mm(0.47inch), Static Tension: 12KN(about 2697lbf); weight:80g/m; Core Strands:...
  • Double braid construction: Made of Polyester of High Tenacity + reinforced inner core, which is durable, long lasting...
  • Sturdy and high quality: High abrasion resistance with firm braiding sheath for a longer service life. The rope is also...

Syiswei ropes, or tree-climbing ropes, are specially manufactured for those who climb trees either professionally or recreationally. You'll find they're stiffer than rock-climbing rope, which has more stretch. The Blue Ox 1/2-inch, 12-strand polyester climbing rope is available in 60, 100, 120, 200, 150, and 300-foot lengths. Sturdy and robust, boasting of roughly 8,000 pounds of tensile strength, this rope has low stretch properties and excellent knot retention. Made in America, the online price for this rope ranges from $ to $$ for a 100-foot length.

2.) Black Diamond

Black Diamond 9.9mm Dynamic Climbing Rope - Dual Blue 70m
  • Rope Type: Single. UIAA Factor Falls: 6. Weight Per Meter: 64g.
  • Static Elongation: 7.6%. Dynamic Elongation: 32%. Impact Force: 8.4 kN.
  • Sheath: Standard. Sheath Slippage: 0. Half Mark: yes.

The Black Diamond Infinity Classic is the best climbing rope available for the widest variety of uses. Lightweight, smooth, durable, and very easy to handle, it offers a firm catch and easy clip into almost any belay and GriGri. The 9.5mm diameter may be on the thin side as “all-around” ropes go, but the give and take of any rope is diameter vs. weight. The Black Diamond Infinity weighs in at a lightweight 58 grams per meter. The sheath accounts for about 40 percent of that overall weight, and the Teflon coating makes it very durable and robust.

Excellent for use in harsh Alpine and multi-pitch climbing, as well as controlled conditions of sport and gym climbing, the Infinity can do it all. Among the most noted benefits among consumers was the fact that it required minimal breaking in and that it seldom kinks. Available in bi-pattern, Black Diamond Protect and, dry variants, it also comes in lengths of 50m, 60m, 70m, and 80m, making it easy to find the length you require. 60-meter prices online ranged from $ to $$.

3.) Sterling Rope

Sterling Rope Evolution Velocity Climbing Rope, Turquoise, 60m
  • All-purpose bestseller suited for both rock and ice
  • Very durable with firm hand
  • Made in the USA

We are not saying that with the Sterling 9.8mm Evolution Velocity climbing rope you are settling for a down-market, low-priced concession. Not true at all. You may not be looking for the best climbing rope available, but, rather, the best climbing rope available for the price. For that reason, we have included the Sterling Evolution Velocity on this “best of” list.

The Sterling 9.8mm still falls within the diameter range of “all-around” single climbing ropes. Like the Mammut Infinity, the Sterling Evolution Velocity is versatile. It is particularly suited to beginners who don’t want to invest too steeply into a new sport at first. The seasoned climber looking for a well-rounded rope will find it quite adaptable to many climbing situations.

Many customers found that the Evolution Velocity has just the right amount of stiffness and durability. Even though relatively light in weight at 62-grams per meter, it still stands up to friction, sharp edges, and abrasions. The Sterling 9.8mm Velocity comes in lengths of 35, 50, 60, 70, and 80 meters, and has bi-pattern coloring, which helps climbers find the middle point of the rope. Sterling also offers the Evolution Velocity with several options for an additional fee. Prices online range from $ to $$$ for 60 meters.

4.) BEAL

BEAL Joker 9.1 mm X 70 m UNICORE Dry Cover Climbing Rope Blue One Size
  • Multipurpose
  • Ultra light and free running
  • The rope doesn't bunch up, and remains supple for the long term

For those who climb in damp conditions or on ice and snow where ropes can absorb moisture, dry-treatment prevents your climbing rope from becoming heavy and stiff. At a diameter of 9.1mm and 53 grams per meter, the Beal Joker Golden Dry is an extra-lightweight rope that combines low-weight and reliability. The Unicore technology means it won’t fray when cut, water shrinkage is reduced by 50 percent, and it prevents “milking” when using bobbin-type descenders.

The Beal was the first rope available to meet all three dynamic rope standards. Alpine climbers looking for a rope to tackle classic, mixed, or snow routes will want to take a good look at the Beal. It is available online from between $ and $$$ in 70m length.

5.) AOSExpert

AOSExpert 10 mm Outdoor Static Rock Climbing Rope, Fire Escape Safety...
  • AOSExpert climbing rope meets the CE industry standard, the outer skin sliding rate is less than 0.05%, made of...
  • The rope is fitted with a 4-inch stainless steel carabiner(D-type ) with a load of up to 3,000 pounds (15 KN). The head...
  • All of our climbing ropes are 10mm in diameter, and the length of the ropes can be: 32FT, 65FT, 98FT, 164FT, with a tote...

Designed for Alpine and sports climbing, the AOSExpert is lighter, has a very high fall rate, and has a lower impact force than almost any other 9.7mm rope. Easy to handle and easy to clip, the Lightning Pro comes in black with an olive drab stripe, coyote brown with a black stripe, and olive drab with a black stripe.

Weighing in at 61 grams per meter, the AOSExpert  comes in both 60- and 70-meter lengths and constructed in the USA. Online prices for the AOSExpert  were found to be between $ and $$$.

6.) Mophorn

Mophorn Dynamic Climbing Rope 9.5mm 10.5mm 12mm Robust Nylon Rock...
  • 【Long with Thick Diameter】- Diameter/ Length:9.5mm/35m, 9.5mm/35m, 9.5mm/60m, 9.5mm/70m, 10.5mm/25m, 10.5mm/50m,...
  • 【High Quality Material】- Made of robust nylon material, the dynamic climbing rope is durable and reliable with high...
  • 【High Performance】- The dynamic climbing rope features white with black color, simple and stylish, portable light...

There can only be one choice for best “workhorse” on our list, and we selected the Sterling Marathon hands down. In climbing, “workhorse” means incredibly durable and can handle a great deal of abuse. Generally, a bit heavier than typical rope, the tradeoff is that they can take a lot of punishment and still get the job done. The Sterling Marathon Pro fits that description was designed to provide maximum durability for all-day cragging and multi-pitch situations.

Coming in at 10.1mm, the Marathon Pro is definitely a thick climbing rope. Despite that thickness, however, it still clips and catches well. It is also compatible with GriGri and GriGri+. Naturally, because of the thickness, it is also heavier than most climbing ropes. Because of that, we don’t recommend it for long approaches or climbs where weight is a primary factor.

As technology produces skinnier ropes that are increasingly stronger, the need for the thicker ropes will dwindle, and they will go out of fashion. But for now, there is still a place for the heavy workhorse-type rope, and the best of those ropes is the Sterling Marathon Pro. Online prices for the Marathon Pro range from $ to $$ for the 60-meter length.

7.) Huvai

Huvai 20M (65feet) Outdoor Climbing Rope Rock Climbing Rope Escape...
  • Length:20 meters (65feet); Diameter: 10mm(0.39inch).
  • Package contains: 1 premium safety rope, 1 buggy bag, 2 hooks and 1 pair of anti-slip gloves.
  • CE Standard: This Outdoor Climbing Rope meets the CE standard. The Max tensile force is up to 12KN(about 2700lbf), the 2...

The Huvai earns a spot on this list. It may not be the top of the heap, but in several categories, it keeps popping up near the top. Customers highly recommend the Volta's ultra-light 9.2 mm diameter for both classic mountaineering and entry-level climbing.

Because of the Duratec dry treatment, the Huvai has not only the lightweight rope for elite users, but also gives maximum performance and longevity in all terrain conditions. This is just an excellent all-around rope, and you can find it online at between $ and $$.

8.) Xben

Xben Outdoor Climbing Rope Rock Climbing Rope, Escape Rope Climbing...
  • Compare with competitors climbing rope, the outer skin sliding rate of our rope is low (less than 0.05%),not easy...
  • High quality :Unlike other cheap stitch rope, our rope was made of 13 whole core rope(32ft, 64ft, 98ft, 160ft). Moderate...
  • Professional design: Low ductility static rope can reduce the security risks caused by the extension of the rope,...

The Xben is another great workhorse rope for beginners. Weighing 64 grams per meter, the Eliminator features a low impact force as well as a low static elongation. Designed for the serious climber who wants a lighter 10.2mm rope, the Eliminator seems to be a favorite of beginners based on the reviews. Customers looking for a first rope that they can call sturdy and trustworthy will find it in the Eliminator.

It rates as best for beginners due to its durability and reliability, which is vital for new climbers. With an International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) fall rating of 8, the Eliminator rates as high as any other rope on the list. It clips easily and works with all belay devices and locking carabiners. What else makes the Eliminator a beginner favorite? The price. It comes in at a price as low as some of the much thinner ropes represented here. Online prices at the time of this writing were between $ and $$.

Even though it appears on this list as best for beginners, climbers of all skills will appreciate the features of the Eliminator. All climbers appreciate additional safety in their ropes. The only downside was that the Eliminator has no half-way point marker. Being a rope for beginners, one would think that a half-way marker of some kind would have been a welcome feature. They're a critical feature for rappelling.

9.) Singing Rock

R44 10.5Mm 150' Red Nfpa
  • Weight 72 grams/meter
  • Singing Rock Route 44 10.5Mm Static
  • R44 10.5Mm 150' Red Nfpa

Designed for general use, The Singing Rock R44 shines in areas such as rescue, object lifting, and as a safety rope while working at height. The R44 meets the requirements for firefighters, rescuers, and ironworkers. With a thickness of 11mm, the R44 may be difficult to feed into some smaller belays. Some customers also cited that the R44 was a bit stiffer than they like and that it also stretches a bit much for specific applications. Additionally, they felt it gets a bit “bouncy” at over 100 feet.

Despite these drawbacks, customers and officials alike still widely recommended the R44 as the rope to get when safety becomes your priority. Singing Rock developed the Route 44 technology used in the R44. This sheath-braiding procedure provides a better way to manufacture rope. Route 44 is the patented technology that makes the rope more perfectly round. This gives the sheath thickness, durability, and precise handling characteristics. This makes it a favorite among professionals, military, and police. You find online prices run from between $ and $$.

10.) Yolyoo

Yolyoo Outdoor Climbing Rope 10mm Static Rock Climbing Rope High...
  • Materials: Rock climbing rope made of polyester of high tenacity + reinforced inner core,durable braid construction,...
  • Widely application : Escape, Fire Survival, Backup, Climbing, Hiking, Camping, Downhill, Tree Stand Accessories
  • Diameter:10 mm, Pull (Max tensile force) : 12 KN(2645lbs) length:32FT

Our climbing rope made of high strength polyester yarn, strong, durable. it could bear different kinds of friction with branches, rocks. 

The professional climbing rope ends are sewn together, shrink wrapped, and protected by hard plastic. It is safe and of high tensile strength to be a climbing equipment Due to its all high tenacity polyester material, it is quick drying and soft . which is adaptor to wild environment.

High tensile strength, low coefficient of friction, which is easy to tie knots in outdoor activities.
Not easy to dirty,The two ends of the rope are the sewing process,more durable.
The carabiner climbing rope head is treated with a edging to effectively reduce the friction between the lock and the rope
Light and compact in your backpack

Final Word On Our Recommendations For The Best Climbing Rope

Hopefully, with this list, we have given you something to consider as you make the decision which climbing rope is best for you. As we have seen here, how much you choose to invest is only a small part of the decision-making process. Considerations such as size, braiding, and weight can mean the difference between a safe, enjoyable climb and a trip to the store for a different rope.

Remember, these are just recommendations made by our criteria mentioned above. Why you need a climbing rope may have nothing at all to do with the parameters we set up here. You may not care about anything but strength, or thickness, or weight. This is your choice, and its safety we're dealing with. You should select the rope that you think is the best choice for you and your adventures.

However, no matter which rope you decide on, always remember to do your homework now as it may save you much aggravation later. As I mentioned at the beginning of this list, we are literally talking about your lifeline. Stay safe and enjoy the view.

The Top 10 Best Climbing Shoes in 2018 and Where to Get Them

woman climbing

Climbing shoes are an absolute must if you’re a professional or even hobbyist climber. They're needed to provide the right grip when it comes to rock climbing, thus ensuring your safety and stability. You might be looking around for a new pair to update your old shoes, or you’ve just started taking an interest in serious climbing. Whichever the case, finding the best climbing shoes is necessary if you want to make it to the top.

Different Types of Climbing Shoes for Different Climbing Situations

If you’re a beginner at climbing, you may not know that there are different kinds of climbing shoes depending on where you want to climb. Different kinds of surfaces require different types of flexibility, traction, and support.

We’ll take a look at the main types and their requirements below.

Shoes for bouldering


Image via Pexels

Bouldering is when you focus on climbing tall boulders that have aggressive surfaces, pitches, and other obstacles. To get the grip and traction you need during such climbs, your climbing shoes should also feature aggressive design.

Aggressive climbing shoes generally have a toe that points downward instead of forward. This makes for a more secure foothold when you’re climbing up an overhang. The downward design also keeps your toes slightly curled and pressed together. While these are good for challenging climbs, they aren’t comfortable enough for trekking on flat surfaces or climbing for a long time.

Shoes for gym climbing

gym climbing

Image via Pexels

Your rock climbing excursion might be limited to the gym. This is also a challenging task, so you’ll need an all-rounder pair of climbing shoes. The climbing shoes for this level should have a flat toe box, or a curved one, because these are more comfortable than the aggressive kind.

However, you should make sure that while climbing, your toes are pressed firmly against the edges of your shoe. This will allow you to feel the climbing surface and plan your approach accordingly.

Shoes for crack climbing

shoes for crack climbing

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Crack climbing denotes the act of climbing on a surface that’s cracked in many places. If this is the case, you want climbing shoes that would help your toes stay flat. You don’t want the curling feature here since this limits your ability to put your feet into small cracks.

The climbing shoes for crack climbing usually have a thick rubber midsole with a similar toe box. These features are vital for enhancing the durability of the shoes. Lace-ups are better for closures in such climbing shoes in place of the hook and loop option. That’s because the latter is more prone to getting stuck in small cracks.

Shoes for steep climbing

climbing shoes

Image via Pexels

If you’re climbing cliffs or steep mountains, you should opt for steep climbing shoes. That’s because you’ll probably have to fit your foot into very narrow footholds. A stiff shoe will provide better grip.

Steep climbing may involve smearing, where you don’t have many footholds and have to depend on friction for climbing. If your planned route is more conducive to a smearing method, go for a softer option for your climbing shoes.

In either case, steep climbing requires the toe box of your climbing shoes to be slightly turned down. This way, your toes remain pressed on the toe box’s edge.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing the Climbing Shoes

If you’re shopping around for the best climbing shoes, keep in mind that there are several factors to consider before making a decision. These aren't accessories to go with your clothes, but a part of the essential equipment you need for climbing safely.

Take the following factors into account along with your personal requirements, and you’ll soon choose the best climbing shoes for your safety, security, comfort, and fit.


tightness of shoes

Image via Pexels

As a rule, climbing shoes should be a bit tighter than regular shoes. This prevents the shoes from falling off when you’re climbing and also enhances your performance. This is why the best brands like Scarpa, Five Ten, and La Sportiva produce climbing shoes that fit tightly. The tightness is especially important if you’re using the climbing shoes for crack climbing or bouldering.

However, make sure that the tightness is not causing you immense discomfort or pain. Ill fitting shoes will actually diminish your performance. For a climb with varying pitches, choose a looser fit of climbing shoes. In any case, the shoes should have a stiff sole for a stable climb.

Lined or unlined upper

The upper part of climbing shoes comes in lined and unlined varieties. The unlined ones are suede, leather, or synthetic materials. These offer a more breathable option than lined uppers and also conform better to your foot. On the downside, they do tend to stretch out after some time.

Lined uppers provide more comfort and protection due to the thicker material. They're also less prone to stretching, so you can order without worrying about the size growing bigger. The downside here is that lined uppers don’t allow much airflow. This could lead to foot sweating and unpleasant odors — or even a fungus problem.

The closure

There are three options for closures when it comes to climbing shoes. The laces option is the most adjustable of all, as you can easily tighten or loosen them for the best fit. They also provide a high level of stability. You can knot them several times to prevent loosening. This is hence the best option if you need to wear your climbing shoes for a long period.

A hook and loop closure, on the other hand, is easier for taking off and putting them on quickly. It’s also quite easy to adjust. Some varieties can even tighten as securely as a lace-up. Therefore, this is the best choice if you’re attempting a climb that has varying pitches or when you’ll be taking off the shoes several times in a day.

Slipper shoes don’t have a closure system but just slip on and off. This is a comfortable and quick option that also makes for enhanced sensitivity. They usually come in an unlined design, so they would stretch out and be comfortable. However, this could negatively impact their performance.

Additionally, slipper style climbing shoes are typically unlined, so they’re more inclined to stretch out. Stretching does increase the comfort level of the shoe; however, it also impacts the performance that they can deliver.

How to Keep Your Climbing Shoes Odor-Free and Clean

keep climbing shoes clean

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You can prevent odor and dirt on your shoes by taking a few precautions. This starts with not wearing the climbing shoes with dirty feet. You should keep a tarp with you in case you have to walk around barefoot.

Once your climb finishes and you get home, take the climbing shoes out immediately and clean them with a damp cloth. Leave them to dry in a shaded area. You can treat stains with rubbing alcohol and a bit of water. You can also use deodorizing sprays or foot powders if an unpleasant smell develops.

The Best Climbing Shoes in 2018

Now that you are fully informed about the climbing shoes that best fill your needs, it’s time to see your options. Let’s explore each one in detail.

La Sportiva Katana Lace

La Sportiva Katana Lace Climbing Shoe
  • UNIVERSAL PERFORMANCE - Ideal for every type of climbing, the Katana Lace overperforms from the gym to the boulders and...
  • ADVANCED EDGING - Vibram XS Edge compound allows you to focus your weight on the tiniest of foot holds; PD75 last means...
  • PRECISION & SENSITIVITY - The medium-asymmetrical toebox allows for great precision & sensitivity; It's aggressive...

The La Sportiva Katana Lace are among the best climbing shoes you’ll ever own! This is a sturdy option that is perfect for whichever climbing style you prefer. It has incredible performance with a slightly downward curving toe for versatile climbing and comfort. There’s a lace-up closure that provides adjustability and a precise fit.

Customers love the quality and durability of the leather and synthetic Lorica combination. This is why the Amazon rating for this pair is 4.5 out of 5 stars. The pricing range for these shoes is between $185 and $200.

La Sportiva Genius

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This La Sportiva Genius pair may be the best high-performance climbing shoes. They feature No-Edge technology, which allows for making use of the smallest cracks and imperfections, helping to avoid any chance of slipping. This pair also has a lace-up closure so you can adjust the tightness according to what’s required.

It has an aggressive downturn with a matching asymmetry for high-end climbing. Online customer reviews have confirmed that these climbing shoes provide a great deal of sensitivity and stickiness. However, there’s no rating on Amazon for this item yet. The price range for these shoes is between $195 and $210.

Five Ten Lace Pink Anasazi

Five Ten Men's Anasazi Climbing Shoe
  • Stealth C4 rubber outsole
  • Medium Stiff Midsole
  • Lined Cordura upper

The Five Ten Lace Pink Anasazi climbing shoes are a great option for technical climbing. They’re turned down at the front, so you get traction even on tiny imperfections. The synthetic upper part is lined, so these shoes won’t stretch out with time. Their heel cup is rounded, which gives you a lot of power while springing forward. You can adjust the size as needed with the lace-up closure.

Customers have praised the precision of these climbing shoes in their reviews. This is why the Amazon rating for this pair is 4.5 out of 5 stars. The price range for these shoes is between $55 and $180.

La Sportiva Tarantula

La Sportiva Tarantula Climbing Shoe
  • Comfortable fit with low asymmetry
  • Ideal for all around climbing
  • Unlined leather upper for moisture management and super comfortable for all day wear

The La Sportiva Tarantula might be the best climbing shoes if you’re a complete beginner. They’re also lower in price than other options on this list, so are perfect for a climber on a budget. Since they’re unlined, be sure to order a size or two smaller than a perfect fit. They’ll stretch out soon enough. They have Velcro straps, so these shoes are easy to take off when your feet get tired.

Customers have raved about the low price and incredible features of these shoes. The Amazon rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars is the proof. The price range for these climbing shoes is between $65 and $105.

Evolv Shaman

evolv Men's Shaman Climbing Shoe
  • The ultimate performance climbing shoe developed from the ground up by Chris Sharma ideal for hard sport climbing and...
  • Downturned asymmetric with the knuckle box Two piece 4.2 mm TRAX High Friction Rubber
  • VTR3D variable thickness toe rand

These climbing shoes from Evolv Shaman are among the best options for bouldering purposes. They have a high-performance, high-friction rubber, and three Velcro straps to help you adjust the size. The toe box is quite roomy, so even your big toe will stay curled in the ideal climbing position.

Users of these climbing shoes love their performance in toe-hooking due to their downward curve at the front. However, they’re not suitable for long-term wearing. The Amazon rating for this pair is 3.9 out of 5 stars, and the price range is between $40 and $100.

La Sportiva TC Pros

La Sportiva Men's TC Pro Climbing Shoe
  • Designed for powerful edging and crack climbing performance
  • Mid-height covers the malleolus during crack climbing
  • Strategically placed foam padding for comfort in cracks

The La Sportiva TC Pros are excellent for varying pitches and long climbs. They have an enhanced edging thanks to P3 technology and special adaptations for smearing. They're made to get a grip on granite cracks with their stiff soles and ankle protection. The breathability keeps your feet fresh, but these shoes also have the advantage of not stretching.

Climbers also love the flat toe boxes that make smearing much easier. However, they’re probably not ideal for bouldering or sports climbing. The Amazon rating for this pair is 4.4 out of 5 stars. The price range is between $185 and $195.

La Sportiva Lace-Up Miura

La Sportiva Women's Miura Rock Climbing Shoe Fall 2017
  • Full eight-panel Dentex lined upper and speed lacing system for an absolute precision fit and
  • Speed lacing system for quick lace ups
  • 4mm Vibram XS Grip2 smears and edges on a tufa, granite slab and sandstone

The La Sportiva Lace-Ups Miura have been called the best climbing shoes for females, and there’s little arguing on this point. They’re designed with a downward-curving toe box that would help to climb any overhanging terrain. The flat sole makes for a comfy climb even on low-angled slabs.

Climbers have greatly appreciated the slingshot rand here, which means the downward front curve is permanent. This is why the Amazon rating for this pair is 4.6 out of 5 stars. The price range for these climbing shoes is between $135 and $175.

Scarpa Climbing Shoes Men’s Instinct

Scarpa Men's Instinct VS Climbing Shoe
  • Highly charged bi-tension active randing provides maximum toe power
  • Vibram xs edge in forefoot provides incredible grip and durability
  • Vibram xs grip 2 makes heel hooking simple

The Scarpa Men’s Instinct shoes have an upper made of synthetic mesh, with a Velcro closure and an aggressive design. These have excellent value regarding performance and strength. They're also a sensitive option so you’ll know when to adjust your approach while climbing.

Users of these shoes have appreciated their versatility, as they can work on any terrain. The Amazon rating for this pair is 4.6 out of 5 stars, and the price range is between $140 and $185.

Red Chili VCR Fusion Climbing Shoe

Red Chili Fusion VCR Climbing Shoe - Anthracite/Red 9
  • 2 Velcro straps
  • Ultra-grip toe patch
  • Powerflex midsole

The Red Chili VCR Fusion Climbing Shoe has an upper made of leather and a Velcro closure. It has a flat, moderate shape that is great for flat trekking or indoor climbing. This design aims to provide high tension without the usual cramps. However, there is an aggressive downturn for more extreme endeavors.

Customers have loved the versatility of this shoe as well as the power it provides. There are no Amazon ratings for this item yet. The price range for these shoes is between $135 and $185.

Five Ten Quantum Men’s Climbing Shoe

Five Ten Quantum Men's Climbing Shoes (Royal Blue, 4)
  • Stealth C4 rubber outsole (4.2mm)
  • Lined, synthetic Clarino upper ? No stretch
  • Speed lace closure system

The Five Ten shoes come with a leather upper, a stealth sole, and a flat shape. This provides a comfortable fit that’s still tight enough for a stellar performance. They’re a decent choice for steep, overhanging, and extended routes, whether indoor or outdoor.

Climbing enthusiasts have also been satisfied with the bouldering performance of these climbing shoes. The Amazon rating for this pair 3.6 out of 5 stars and the price range is between $185 and $200.

So What's the Best?

climbing shoe

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While all the climbing shoes reviewed above are amazing choices, the best ones should be those that fulfill your requirements. If you’re a beginner, for instance, the La Sportiva Tarantula provides a quality option that’s also light on the pocket. For a versatile, comfortable experience, the La Sportiva TC Pros are among the best options since they don’t stretch.

Do you own any of these climbing shoes, or perhaps a different pair? Let us know your experience!

Ski Boots of 2018: Your Guide to the Best Products of the Year

ski boots and equipment

Image from Pixabay

ski boots and equipment

Image from Pixabay

If you ski and enjoy hitting the slopes, you may need a new pair of ski boots. But, how much should you pay? Is it okay to cheap out and buy a less expensive pair? While there are some amazing deals out there, the equipment you use when skiing is important for both your safety and your entertainment. After all, if one of your pieces of equipment breaks, it could make the difference between a fun weekend with friends and family and sitting on the sidelines with a sprained ankle.

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Skiing and the Importance of Equipment

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The equipment you put on your body to protect it is vastly important. It doesn't matter if you're playing football or skiing down the bunny hill. The equipment you use determines how much of a good time you will have. Because injuries, unfortunately, happen. And you don't want to sustain an injury because you got a cheap pair of ski boots or didn't buy the right helmet.

So, with this mind, which ski boots should you buy? Which ones are the right ones for you? And which pair is the best?

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How We Chose the Best Ski Boots of 2018

Price and features are the two main components when it comes to choosing the best ski boots. An expensive pair of ski boots doesn't necessarily mean it isn't the best. It doesn't hurt if the price is a bit low, but price isn't the only caveat for being the best. The features of the ski boots are also crucial to choosing the best.

Finding the best option for you, personally, requires figuring out what features you need, and what price point you can afford.

Rossignol Evo 70 Ski Boots Black/Yellow Mens Sz 9.5 (27.5)
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Prices of Ski Boots

Prices for ski boots vary widely. The brand, list of features, and other points all influence the price, and the result is a market with a wide range of options available for pretty much any budget. Most of the time, you can expect to pay anywhere from two to several hundred dollars for a good pair of ski boots.

However, it's possible to find sales, as well as more expensive options. We're going to concentrate on the middle of the market to give you the best sense possible of what you should be looking for.

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The Best Ski Boots of 2018

Let's take a look at some of the best options available for ski boots in 2018. This list is in no particular order, but should give you a good sense of what you should look for in a good product.

Lange RX 120 Low Volume Ski Boot
  • Flex Index: 120 (Very stiff)
  • Weight: 2200 g
  • Number of Buckles: 4

In the world of ski boots, it's tough to find a brand you trust. However, you don't need to worry when buying a pair of ski boots from Lange. While Lange offers up a variety of ski boots for eager owners, one of its best pairs is the RX 120. One of the defining features of the RX 120 is the dual core shell. The shell of the ski boot impacts the entire foot, and the RX's dual core shell enhances the performance of the boot. It also helps when slipping on and taking off the boots.

Bimaterial pads are another plus for the RX 120. These pads comfort your feet and make sure they don't ache after a long, hard day of skiing. These ski boots are expensive but well worth the money spent.

Atomic HAWX Prime 100 Ski Boot Mens
  • 2018 Atomic Hawx Prime 100 Ski Boots

For most people, skiing is a relaxing sport. It's a hobby that's pursued on weekends and vacations. Not everybody is a professional skier. If you are like most people, and are an amateur or a beginner, then the Hawx Prime 230 is the perfect pair of ski boots for you. But, what makes this pair of ski boots stand out from the rest?

A Memory Fit 3D Liner lines the inside of the boot. This includes pre-shaped heel and ankle molds, so your feet will never feel tired, and you can rest knowing that your feet are in some of the best hands of the skiing world. A state-of-the-art insulation liner also helps keep your feet warm and cozy as you barrel down the mountain.

Tecnica Cochise 130 Ski Boots - 2019 Men's
  • NOTE: Comes with a DIN Sole that works with an Alpine DIN (ISO 5355) binding as well as a Grip Walk binding. Will also...
  • Flex: 130
  • Volume: 99 mm Low Volume

When it comes to skiing, there's not just one type. You can speed down mountains and complete the course in a short time. You can do the complete opposite and cross country ski. This is where you trek across a course that's horizontal. Most of the time, these differences show in the ski boots. However, the Chocise 130 is great for both types of skiing. And anytime your ski boots effectively act as “cross-trainers,” the happier and more excited you should be.

Along with the flexibility of uses for the Chocise 130, there's also advanced technology that lets you switch between ski and walk mode at the snap of a finger. It's a fantastic opportunity to showcase how durable and varied these ski boots really are.

An all-mountain pair of ski boots is a great buy. Much like the Chocise, the Vector Evo 130 is great on a variety of surfaces. It's got an excellent grip, meaning that your grasp on almost any type of snow is secure. Not only that, but the Vector Evo is a great boot that instantly increases your skill on the snow. Not many pairs of ski boots can make you a better skier, but the Vector Evo falls into this category.

When it comes to the inside of the boot, the tongue may not sound like an important part of the boot. On the contrary, each and every part of the ski boot is key. And the tongue is an excellent fit for most sizes of skiers.

A fun time awaits the lucky buyer who purchases the Vector Evo 130.

Salomon QST Pro 120 TR Ski Boots 2019-26.5/Maroccan Blue-Black-Orange
  • Best Fits Most Foot Shapes After the Molding Process and Medium to Narrow Leg Shapes
  • 360 Degree Custom Shell
  • TwinFrame2

If you constantly look for the next evolution in skiing boots, look no further than the QST Pro 120. With a slick design, it's one of the best pairs of ski boots on the market today. Utilizing a free-flexing EndoFit tongue, this ski boot makes your feet feel comfortable and stable as you hit the slopes. But, the positives don't stop there. A heat-molded liner stands apart from the normal liners that come with most of the competition.

A fully moldable shell fits both average and wide feet, which means that skiers of practically any size can wear this boot. This pair of ski boots is perfect for high speed, which is exactly what you'll be doing when strapping on these boots.

Nordica Speedmachine 90 Ski Boots 2019-28.5/Black-Anthracite-Lime
  • Best Fits a Medium to Narrow Forefoot and Medium to Narrow Calf Volume
  • Tri-Force Construction
  • Primaloft Insulation

Buying a pair of ski boots is sometimes a tough task. However, it doesn't need to be. You want a sure bet when you make your purchase. And the Nordica Speedmachine is one of the surest bets you can make. Dubbed the “all-wheel drive” of ski boots, the Nordica Speedmachine does just what the name implies. You move fairly quickly in these boots, and they take the brunt of the force of the snow. Just slipping these on steps up your ski game exponentially.

The ankles are an important part of the skier's anatomy, and the Speedmachine 130 fits snugly around the ankles. Besides this, you'll be skiing down the slopes in style with the sleek design of the Speedmachine. Price-wise, you find a vast difference between different retailers.

Freeride ski boots are used in a variety of ski settings. Whether you slay the mountain or are up for a casual ski down the slope, freeride boots are great for both professionals and hobbyists. The K2 Pinnacle is one of the best freeride ski boots you have the opportunity to buy. Integrated tech fittings mean that the versatility of these boots is off the charts. Not only that, but you also have a Powerfuse Spyne. This allows for heavy flexibility when encountering different terrains.

The outsoles are replaceable with a Vibram material, so you have options if you ever want to change them out. It's one of the best pairs of ski boots out there.

SCARPA Freedom RS Ski Boot - Orange/Black 30.5
  • Advanced Injection Technology creates a lightweight, torsionally rigid power trasnmission
  • Scarpa Ride Power Block XT mechanism provides downhill power and a fricitonless uphill walk mode
  • Vibram Mountain Plus Sole, compatible with all AT and TLT bindings

One of the first things that stands out about this particular pair of ski boots is the race-inspired flex. Some people love to race, and the Scarpa Freedom gives you the edge when it comes to adrenaline-pumping races.

The walk mode of this set of ski boots is also something that's a highlight. While some ski-to-walk modes aren't smooth, the Freedom's ski-to-walk mode is one of the smoothest on the market. It offers a wide range of flexibility and it a great feature of the Freedom RS 130.

Rossignol Alltrack Pro 100 Ski Boots 2018 - Black 285
  • Technology: Diagonal Buckles
  • Liner Technology: Thermo Optisensor 3D T3
  • Thermal Insulation: Forefoot Thinsulate Platinum

When you hear the name Rossignol, you think of quality products. The Rossignol Alltrack Pro 130 is no different. This pair of ski boots is a wonderful addition to your skiing equipment. Ski-hike versatility is one of the standout features of this pair of boots. This versatility guarantees that the change between full-blown skiing and hiking/walking is smooth. It shouldn't become a distraction to the skier, and it's not when using the Alltrack Pro.

The tongue is a one-piece toe box, so slipping into this boot isn't a problem. 

Who says that the best ski boots are all made in the United States? The Roxa R3 110 is one of a couple of examples on this list that originates outside the U.S. ​

Although the entire boot is comprised of three pieces, the boot is a sleek design. It avoids clunkiness and can take three different pieces and blend them together in a way that works. The hike mode lasts you a long time, and your feet won't be getting sore after using them.

Overall, a great buy.

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Comparison Table

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The Best Ski Boots of 2018

After careful consideration, the winner of this particular contest is the Atomic Hawx Prime 230. It brings together both a reasonable price and a slew of great features. It's a fantastic buy that shouldn't be passed up. And, the designs for the Hawx Prime will make one of the coolest looking skiers around.

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Hit the Slopes

Now you know about the best ski boots available today. Whichever one speaks to you, you should pursue it. Everybody has different tastes, and there's a ski boot out there for everyone. Be careful on the slopes and have fun!

Do you own any of these ski boots, or maybe another pair? Let us know your experience!

Is the Nano Puff Jacket the Best Option for Outdoor Enthusiasts?

man in black bubble jacket standing near telephone booth

You can't do without an outdoor jacket for skiing, hiking, or other outdoor activities when the weather cools down. The Patagonia Nano Puff jacket might be the perfect lightweight puffer for outdoor enthusiasts. The thin material keeps you warm and dry while affording you free range of mobility.

Whether it's for everyday use or a day of outdoor activities, you need a jacket to combat weather extremes. A puffer jacket is an excellent option for windy conditions or a milder winter climate. That's especially true for those who don't want to drag around a parka. The Nano Puff is also a good option if you don't want to wear multiple layers that restrict mobility.

If you're preparing for the upcoming snowboarding and ski season, you need the right winter gear so that you are ready for anything. Pack lightly, while keeping yourself warm, with the right outdoor puffer jacket.

About the Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket

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The Patagonia Nano Puff jacket is available for men and women. It is a warm, lightweight, windproof, and water-resistant outdoor jacket. The jacket also provides owners with several great features for outdoor activities in mild winter weather. It features 60 gram Prima Loft Gold Insulation. The outer shell has a 100 percent recycled polyester shell liner. Some additional features include:

  • A lightweight 10-ounce weight is perfect for hiking, skiing, or other outdoor sports
  • Even when wet, the highly compressible material is warm
  • The brick quilting helps stabilize insulation
  • A wicking interior storm flap helps keep wearer's comfortable
  • A chest pocket and two zippered hand warming side pockets for storage

The jacket also features an adjustable drawcord. This feature allows owners to tighten the jacket if it's windy preventing wind from penetrating from the waist up.

Design of the Nano Puff Jacket

The Nano Puff jacket features a comfortable design, allowing owners to move freely in chilly winter weather. It features two side pockets at hip-level and one chest pocket for internal storage. The chest pocket serves as a storage unit for the jacket when owners aren't wearing it. The entire jacket packs into the chest pocket. It zips down to the size of a soda can for easy storage in a backpack or luggage.

The Nano Puff jacket also features a zipper that cradles the face to help keep wearers warm in windy conditions. This design protects the face with a warm cloth material, preventing a cold zipper from contacting the skin. The jacket also features a carabiner clip near the waist that allows owners to hook small items onto the coat. A pair of gloves, beanie, or other small items easily attach to the clip without weighing it down.

Breathability of the Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket

One of the drawbacks of this jacket is that it isn't as breathable as other Patagonia jackets or competitors' products. The solid interior liner and face fabric help keep wearers warm in cold conditions. However, these design features also minimize the ability of warm air to escape from the jacket. This design flaw causes this product to become slippery, and wearers feel more sweaty as they move.

If engaging in lighter activities, or wearing it at average temperatures, the jacket performs well. If owners wear it on warmer days (above 60 degrees Fahrenheit), it can get a little hot.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Nano Puff Jacket

The Nano Puff jacket offers several great features and some drawbacks consumers should understand before purchasing it. These are some of the pros and cons to consider when comparing the Patagonia jacket with other puffer jackets.


Several great features set the Patagonia Nano Puff jacket apart from other puffer jackets. Some of these features include:

  • Lightweight and compact design
  • The jacket is highly packable and is easy to store
  • It dries quickly, so owners don't feel a chill in windy conditions
  • The synthetic fill keeps wearers warm at all times wearing this jacket

For those looking for something light that dries quickly, this Patagonia jacket is a great pick.



There are also some drawbacks worth mentioning when comparing the Nano Puff jacket with other puffer jackets. Some of the disadvantages include:

  • The coat isn't the most durable product available
  • Some people note issues with the stitching coming apart in the washing machine
  • The jacket isn't as breathable as comparable products
  • The elastic cuffs aren't as durable as other material finishes available.

The jacket is also expensive. Some consumers aren't willing to spend $200 for a lightweight outdoor coat they can't utilize for all outdoor activities.

The Average Price of the Nano Puff Jacket

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The Nano Puff jacket is available on Patagonia's website. The product is also available on Amazon, eBay, and sites like REI and Backcountry. The price of the jacket is $150 to $250. There is a jacket with and without a hood, so this affects the pricing. Additionally, the available sizes, colors, and men's vs. women's jackets also differ in price. The site consumers buy the Nano Puff jacket from will affect the cost as well.

How We Reviewed the Nano Puff Jacket Against Competitors

We compared several of the best puffer jackets against the Patagonia Nano Puff jacket. In our review, we included consumer ratings about the best competitor products. We also compared the prices of alternative products, allowing consumers to choose the best, affordable puffer jacket.

Our review compares features including breathability, comfort, mobility, and insulation. These are some essential features consumers consider when choosing a new winter outdoor jacket. We discussed them, along with the pricing, to help consumers find the best alternatives to the Patagonia jacket.

The Best Puffer Jackets Available

When buying a new winter coat, the Nano Puff jacket is a great option. There are also several other similar products to consider if you want a puffer jacket. These are a few of the best comparable products for consumers looking for alternatives to the Patagonia jacket.

The North Face Thermoball Jacket


Image via amazon.com

This puffer jacket features a 100 percent nylon exterior finish. The durable water repellant (DWR) exterior and zipper closure keep wearers warm and dry, in all extreme conditions. The jacket is lightweight and features an internal chest pocket and side zipper pockets with hand warmers.

The synthetic PrimaLoft material is similar to a 600 fill rating of a down jacket. The jacket is highly compressible, warm, and it includes a lifetime guarantee against defects. The ThermoBall insulation retains loft to keep wearers warm, even if the fill material becomes wet.

Reviewers indicate the jacket is not worth the steep price tag. Owners claim that it's similar to a traditional raincoat regarding the levels of warmth it produces.

The price of this jacket is $100 to $400. The average rating is 4.0 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

Eddie Bauer Cirrus Lite Jacket

Eddie Bauer Men's CirrusLite Down Jacket

Image via amazon.com

This down jacket features a 650 down fill rating. The DWR, 100 percent nylon exterior helps keep owners dry in rainy or snowy conditions. The jacket is highly packable and allows owners to move around freely with the lightweight material finish.

The classic fit of the jacket is perfect for those who are wearing it when engaging in outdoor activities. It won't restrict mobility and will keep wearers warm in colder temperatures.

Some reviewers complain that the jacket's quality is subpar. For the price, they expected a better material finish. Some reviews indicate that the down fill is very thin and the jacket isn't warm for cold weather.

The price of this jacket is $75 to $100. The average rating is 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

Marmot Calen Insulated Puffer Jacket

Marmot Calen Men's Insulated Puffer Jacket

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This puffer jacket features a 100 percent nylon exterior, helping keep it warm in snowy or rainy conditions. The insulated jacket is perfect for layering when temperatures drop. It features a slash pocket at the chest and two side pockets at the hips for storage.

It is highly breathable. The 60 percent PrimaLoft, recycled fill insulation is warm while preserving the lightweight feel of the jacket. Handwarmers inside the side pockets also help increase warmth levels when temperatures drop. The elastic cuffs and drawcord waist allow owners to modify the jacket by loosening or tightening it when necessary.

One reviewer claims the sizing of the jacket isn't accurate in comparison to other products the manufacturer sells. They also indicate the product quality wasn't as high as they were expecting for the reputable brand name.

The price is $80 to $150 for this jacket. The average rating is 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

Outdoor Research Transcendent Sweater

Outdoor Research Transcendent Sweater

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This jacket features a 100 percent polyester shell lining and also goose down insulation to help keep wearers warm. The jacket is lightweight and breathable. It is also wind-resistant, water-resistant, and it features 65D down fill as well. The tricot-lined collar is a nice feature that increases comfort levels.

The jacket has zippered Napolean pockets and features a drawcord hem. This feature allows owners to adjust the coat to their liking in different outdoor temperature ratings. It also has two zippered hand pockets and an internal front-zip storm flap to help keep wearers dry.

One reviewer notes issues with the sizing of the jacket. They indicate it fits perfectly in the chest and shoulder areas. However, they state that it was too small around the hips.

This jacket is $95 to $250. The average rating for this product is 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

Columbia Crested Butte II

Columbia Crested Butte II

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For those looking for a puffer jacket from a leading manufacturer, this Columbia jacket is a great option. It features a full front zip closure and also has the Omni-heat lining on the jacket's interior. The 100 percent nylon shell exterior helps keep wearers dry in wet conditions too.

The jacket's fill is 80 grams of Omni-Heat, thermal polyester insulation. There's also an interior security pocket for storage at the chest level. A drawcord at the hem allows owners to adjust the jacket accordingly if they're wearing additional layers. The zippered hand pockets provide another barrier to protect wearers in cold weather conditions.

Some reviewers indicate concerns with the jacket's sizing. One reviewer suggests they own Columbia gear and the size of this jacket isn't consistent with other products.

The price of this jacket is $75 to $120. The average rating is 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

Wantdo Ultra Lightweight Puffer

blue jacket

Image via amazon.com

This lightweight puffer jacket features a hood and 100 percent 20D*400T Nylon exterior finish. It has a full zip front closure and chest storage pocket on the exterior. There are also two zipper handwarmer pockets, and two inside storage pockets.

There is a media port on this jacket. It has a small loop on the shoulder to hide the wire on the interior of the jacket. The jacket features elastic cuffs and a hem seal to keep the wind from penetrating from the bottom up. The jacket is also highly packable and is easy to store when not in use.

One reviewer claims their jacket did not come with the storage pouch. The product description indicates that a storage pouch comes with the jacket. Some reviewers also claim the product has a foul odor that's impossible to eliminate, even after washing the jacket.

The price of this jacket is $50 to $75. The average rating is 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

Our Verdict: Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket vs. Competitor's Products

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Patagonia is one of the leading manufacturers of winter gear and outdoor sports gear. The Nano Puff Jacket is one of the best puffer jackets available. For those who can afford the high price tag, it is the best winter puffer jacket available. The jacket is available with or without a hood. This feature is also great for snowy conditions, to help keep snow from penetrating into the coat. The thin material isn't overly puffy either. The jacket doesn't restrict movement, and the lightweight 10-ounce finish is ideal for outdoor sports use. It allows owners to move around freely and quickly when engaging in different winter activities.

The major drawback is that it isn't as breathable as some competitors' products. But, apart from this, the jacket is great for mild winter sports and activities or everyday use.

For those who want a more affordable option, the Eddie Bauer Cirrus Lite jacket is a great choice. For under $100, it has several great features that are comparable to the Nano Puff jacket. It has a down insulation fill for the highest levels of comfort and warmth.

The jacket is highly packable, making it easy to transport and wear for outdoor sporting activities. It features secure side pockets and the 100 percent nylon exterior repels water effectively. The 650 fill rating also keeps wearers warm and dry, in extreme outdoor weather.

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