When it comes to what to wear rock climbing outdoors, there are a few key things to remember; depending on if you’re crack climbing, rock climbing or bouldering.
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First and foremost, you need to dress for the conditions. If it’s cold outside, wear layers that will keep you warm without restricting your mobility. A light base layer topped with a fleece or other insulating mid-layer is usually recommended.
Additionally, make sure to bring an additional layer in case of the temperature drops during the day.
On top of that, you also need to keep in mind the type of rock climbing you’re doing. For example, if you’re in a wet area like climbing near a waterfall or stream, make sure to wear weather-resistant materials and climbing clothes that won’t absorb too much water.
If you’re bouldering on rough terrain, look for pants with reinforced knees and a synthetic or wool T-shirt.
Finally, don’t forget to bring a comfortable pair of climbing shoes that fit your feet well and are suitable for the type of rock climbing you’re doing.
In this article, we will be focusing on the essentials of outdoor rock climbing attire, providing recommendations for both men and women.
If you’re looking for indoor rock climbing attire recommendations when at your local climbing gym, check out my article here.
What To Wear When Rock Climbing Outdoors
When rock climbing outdoors, the most crucial element to consider is what you wear. Your clothing should be breathable and comfortable so that temperature changes won’t bother you too much. Bring (or wear) extra layers in case it gets cold later on.
Stay warm by wearing layers of clothing, beginning with a base layer made of synthetic or wool materials. Depending on the temperature, add extra layers on top. Also, don’t forget to bring along water-resistant outerwear for inclement weather.
Climbers should consider buying pants made specifically for sports that offer a wide range of motion and are built to last longer. Pants with strengthened knees and seat, as well as materials like synthetic or wool fabrics that help circulate air, are ideal.
Don’t worry about splashing the cash on new a climbing wardrobe though, your usual gym clothes can make up most of the outfit.
What To Wear Rock Climbing: Men’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Attire
The main indoor climbing gear men need:
- Men’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Shirt – Choose a lightweight, breathable shirt made of synthetic or wool material. A tank top could work too, if the weather calls for it.
- Men’s Wear – Outdoor Rock Climbing Pants/Shorts – Look for a fabric that is both lightweight and breathable. Choose climbing-specific pants or shorts that are flexible enough to provide a full range of motion while climbing and are moisture-wicking.
- Men’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Shoes – Look for specialized outdoor rock climbing shoes that have a good grip and are waterproof.
- Men’s Climbing Jackets – Choose a lightweight and breathable jacket to layer on top when the temperature drops. You’ll want a specific one that is meant to be wear for rock climbing.
Men’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Shirts
If you’re looking for the best shirt to wear rock climbing, aim for a breathable and light fabric. Something like synthetic or wool materials are your best bet because they regulate temperature well.
Wear a shirt that won’t hinder your movement and pick a style you can stand to wear for a while. Steer clear of baggy rock climbing attire altogether.
Wear tank tops if hot weather calls for it.
Men’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Pants/Shorts
To avoid overheating or feeling restricted while rock climbing, choose pants or shorts made from a lightweight and breathable fabric. You’ll be doing a lot of movement, so make sure the fabric you chooses gives you plenty of mobility.
You want your running pants, three-quarter length pants, or gym shorts to be comfortable with a fit that allows you to move freely. They should also have enough pockets to hold any essentials you might need during your run.
Men’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Shoes
A good grip is an important quality to look for in a pair of rock climbing shoes.
Using your own shoes while climbing is not only more comfortable, but it’s safer as well. You can always rent a pair from the local store, but I would recommend that you purchase your own eventually.
Even if you don’t splash out on a premium pair of climbing shoes, I would absolutely recommend you get a decent pair, for now, it will really make you climbing experience much more enjoyable.
Not only should your shoes be comfortable, but they should also be waterproof. This way, even if you get caught in rainy weather while climbing, your feet will stay dry.
Men’s Outdoor Climbing Jackets
You’ll stay warm and comfortable on your climb if you invest in a lightweight, breathable jacket for when the temperature drops.
Even if you find out this actually hinders your climbing abilities (as it probably will) it’s still handy to bring along a light rain jacket when you’re not on the rock – when you’re watching a friend climb or going to and from your climbing spot.
Select a style that is impermeable to protect you from any rainfalls. Confirm that the fit can be worn for long periods without irritation and it does not hinder your mobility.
What To Wear Rock Climbing Outdoors: Women’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Attire
The main things women should be bringing along to their favorite outdoor rock:
- Women’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Shirt – A women’s outdoor rock climbing shirt should be lightweight and breathable to keep you cool and comfortable. Look for a short-sleeved technical tee with wicking fabric to help pull sweat away from your skin before it can become uncomfortable.
- Women’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Long Pants/Shorts – For your bottoms, pick pants or wear shorts that fit well but don’t restrict movement. Look for fabrics with UPF protection to keep you safe from harmful sun exposure.
- Women’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Shoes – Of all the gear required for rock climbing, shoes are perhaps the most crucial piece. Find shoes that fit snugly and provide copious amounts of ankle support; this will give you poise and protection while you’re scaling heights.
- Women’s Climbing Jackets – A jacket is a critical component of rock climbing comfort and safety. Choose a wind-resistant and waterproof option to keep you nimble while climbers scale different routes.
Women’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Shirt
Choose a women’s outdoor rock climbing shirt that is lightweight and breathable. Wicking fabric pulls sweat away from your skin, while added sun protection provides you with an extra layer of defense against the sun’s harmful rays.
A sports bra is a great option if you’re looking for extra comfort and support.
Women’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Pants/Climbing Shorts
Choose more relaxed outdoor rock climbing pants and shorts to facilitate a fuller range of motion.
UPF-protected fabrics will stop the sun’s harmful rays from harming you. You should also look for features like strengthened knees or seat areas to make your pants last longer when you’re out mountain climbing.
Women’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Shoes
Women should wear climbing shoes should fit snugly, support their ankles, and have soles that grip the rocks well. Look for shoes made with a rubber toe cap and heel cup to feel more secure while climbing.
Women’s Climbing Jackets
A good women’s climbing jacket should fulfill the following three criteria: being lightweight, wind-resistant, and waterproof. By meeting these standards, you will be prepared for any warm weather or colder climates.
Important Factors To Consider When Determining What To Wear Rock Climbing Outdoors
When selecting the clothing you will need for rock climbing outdoors, it’s important to consider a few factors. First and foremost, think about comfort. If you’re uncomfortable in your clothes, then that could significantly detract from your overall experience.
Second, be aware of the weather conditions and how they might affect what type of clothing you should wear. Third, make sure you select clothing items that will protect you from the sun and any potential rain or snowfall.
Finally, pick items that are lightweight and breathable so as to not hinder your movement while climbing.
Make Sure You Bring Extra Layers When Outdoor Climbing
Depending on the weather conditions, you might have to change your climbing plans. Make sure to review the forecast before leaving and see what kind of temperatures and conditions are expected.
That way, you can dress in layers so that you’ll be comfortable no matter what situation arises with the weather.
Don’t let the cold weather stop you from being active! By layering a few light, sweat-wicking rock climbing clothing items, you can create a comfortable barrier against the chill.
Stay cozy in fabrics like fleece, pile, or wool. Top it off with a layer that will help block out harsh weather conditions. Be sure this outer layer is made of water-resistant fabric material so perspiration can escape easily.
When Outdoor Climbing, Avoid Cotton Clothing
Cotton clothing should be avoided in cold or wet weather, as it will absorb your body heat when waterlogged and could result in hypothermia.
Apparel made of cotton is often summer attire because it takes a while to dry; thus, you’ll have a wet layer next to your skin. For climbing in colder or drier conditions, choose different fabrics.
Other Important Clothing Items To Bring Rock Climbing Outdoors
I’ve covered the absolute basics when it comes to what you should wear when climbing outside, but what other things should you consider?
- A hat or headband to keep your head warm and the sun out of your eyes.
- Lightweight gloves protect your hands from becoming raw and sore.
- Sunglasses for sunny conditions, as well as sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
- An extra layer of clothing you can add if the temperature drops.
- A hydration pack to stay properly hydrated during your climb.
Rock climbing outfits should provide you with a comfortable fit and maximum flexibility; wear spandex pants to ensure you have proper movement. Wearing clothes that features fabrics that wick sweat away from your skin, as well as provide sun protection if you’re out in the daytime.
Remember to layer up on even mild days; bring extra layers, such as waterproof jackets and breathable base layers, so you can adjust your clothing depending on the temperatures outside.
By choosing an ideal rock climbing outfit, you’ll be able to stay cool and comfortable while you’re out rock climbing!