What I wear Climbing: indoors vs outdoors

DISCLAIMER: SOME OF THE LINKS BELOW ARE AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU, I’LL EARN A COMMISSION IF YOU CLICK THROUGH AND MAKE A PURCHASE. 

I’ve noticed you’ve been enjoying my latest climbing posts so I thought I would do another one. If you’d like to watch some climbing vlogs head over to my Youtube channel, I’ve got a playlist just for you! 

This is probably the main thing I get asked by first-timers and the main thing I wish I’d known before my first climbing session. I remember when my boyfriend first took me climbing indoors and I was so nervous didn’t know what to expect or what to wear. Then when we went outdoors for the first time I once again was so confused about all the gear and clothing necessary.

Now I feel like I have a better understanding of what my body needs and how to still be comfortable for climbing.

Indoors

If it is your first time going bouldering I advise taking some stretchy bottoms, like yoga pants or workout leggings. My personal favourites are the USA Pro leggings (they do slide down a little) or the Fabletics high waisted leggings. I advise wearing something that covers your knees as you’ll be bound to graze them against the wall. For tops, climbing gyms are usually located in old warehouses so they don’t tend to have regulated temperatures. If you are going in the winter take thin layers such as a t-shirt and a hoodie or jacket if going in the summer a tank might be more suitable. 

I would also take thin socks, people don’t usually wear socks with climbing shoes, but you’ll probably be renting shoes and you want them to snug your feet well. 

If you are going indoor sport climbing be aware that a lot of these warehouses are even colder than the bouldering ones and it only gets cooler as you get up the route so take layers with you. 

Outdoors

You’ve been climbing indoors and you are now addicted. I get it. You are ready for your first outdoor adventure but what should you wear? In one word: LAYERS. 

Summer VS Winter

Outdoor climbing can be unpredictable. Even if the forecast looks great you might end up in a super windy area and freeze or a very sheltered area and toast. So layers are key for outdoor climbing. 

I usually wear my sports bra, a tank/t-shirt, a long sleeve base layer, a fleece (thinner the better for layering purposes), down jacket and a waterproof soft-shell for rain and wind. 

Starting with my favourite sports bra, perfect for the required mobility and support is the Adidas R.Y.V. Sports bra with back straps. Then add a cotton top, and a long sleeve base layer. When I was looking for a base layer I was very picky because it needs to be breathable, preferably wicking and not itchy! This was surprisingly the most difficult box to tick. I ended up going with this Berghaus base layer which ticks all the boxes and it is also soft and warm.

Then for extra warmth, I add my Craghoppers fleece, it’s not my favourite and I do need to invest in a new one as this one is a bit too thick for its warmth level. I couldn’t find my exact one but I would say this one is very similar to the one I have. I would say that if you’re not looking to layer then it is perfect.

For my last warmth layer, I add my down jacket the RAB women’s microlight alpine jacket. I’ve done a whole video on it so go watch it here.  

For bottoms, I tend to wear these Decathlon leggings, (which are thin, warm and soft) underneath my La Sportiva Mantra climbing trousers in black. I love these trousers. They are little windshielding, super comfortable, stretchy and with durable fabric. I highly recommend them but they fit big. 

Take comfortable walking shoes or boots that are easy to put on and take off as you’ll be doing a lot of that. Oh and some sandals too to wear in-between routes.

Let me know on the comments below when you are planning your next climbing adventure!

Love,
Carolina

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