used gear

12:04 p.m. on August 14, 2009 (EDT)
nay and
2 reviewer rep
9 forum posts

I'm looking to start climbing and was wondering if anyone has some basic gear that they don't use anymore.

8:12 p.m. on August 16, 2009 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1 forum posts
1:28 p.m. on August 17, 2009 (EDT)
Bill S
4,537 reviewer rep
6,037 forum posts

Be very very cautious about what used climbing gear you buy. In general, do not buy used harnesses, ropes, or slings - even when the seller reassures you that the item "was only used a couple times", they might have forgotten to tell you about those whipper falls or the rock that fell on the rope. You really do not know the history and a visual/tactile inspection can only tell you so much. Nylon gear deteriorates with time, even sitting in a cool, dry closet. The general lifetime recommendation from UIAA for ropes, slings, harnesses, and helmet suspensions is 5 years in proper storage, though some companies are now claiming 7 years. But a rope in regular use (climbing every weekend) can be less than half the single-rope standard in 2 years, and one heavily used (4 or 5 days a week) may need to be replaced in half a season.

Metal gear is somewhat less of a risk, but microcracks are hard to see in carabiners without an Xray or other metal integrity testing.

Helmets are another thing to avoid on the used market - again, you don't really know the history.

Clothing, tents, sleeping bags, and such are fairly easy to inspect, so you are pretty safe there, if you examine them carefully to determine a reasonable price.

Climbing boots and rock shoes are fairly safe (if you don't mind someone else's athlete's foot or toenail fungus - but you can generally disinfect footgear).

May 24, 2020
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