Realizing that sometimes there’s just too much new stuff out there to keep track of, we wanted to start a feature on this site that could highlight some of the best new products of the season. Welcome to Splitter Stuff!
I love light gear, but I don’t really want it small. Thankfully, CAMP gives the people what they want with the Photon Wire Rack Pack. Featuring the incredibly lightweight Photon Wire (29g), this rack pack offers eight different colors to match with your cams. I’ve found these to be incredibly easy to use, as the large size feels good in your hand, and the contoured wire gates clip super easy. For those who do prefer a smaller size, the rack pack is also available in the Nano, a smaller, 23 gram wire gate.
The term “rope bag technology” makes almost as much sense as “military intelligence,” but this is indeed a rope bag that makes a major departure from the norm. Featuring a tarp with a round bucket sewn into the middle, it makes packing up the rope a cinch. Simply grab the corners, shake it, and everything slides into the basket. Plus, the grab loops at the corners make it easy to move the bag in between climbs. Genius! One issue I’ve found, however, is that when you lay down the bag, it helps to roll down the sides of the center basket or the rope doesn’t feed that smoothly. That aside, the tarp on the Caddy is huge, and might make you wonder why other ropes bags feel so small.
At first glance, it’s hard to tell if these are climbing shoes or approach shoes. Or maybe a little bit of both? Regardless, one thing’s for sure, the Cruzers certainly have style! While they climb adequately enough, where these really shine is as a lightweight shoe for descents from long climbs. (Or for descending to long climbs like you do in the Black Canyon.) They weigh less than eight ounces a piece, and easily fold flat, meaning they take up little room hanging off your harness or tucked in a pack. On rugged trails, they weren’t ideal given the lack of support, but I don’t think twice about throwing them on for missions where I’ll be walking off from a long climb.
You don’t have to look far to find rave reviews on this one, and for good reason. The bombroof yet supple GORE-TEX® Active shell fabric provides superior storm protection, while maintaining excellent breathability. One rainy/snowy morning I hiked uphill for twenty minutes on a steep trail with a full pack, and never once felt like I was overheating. I did find the sleeves a bit short for my long arms on a jacket that I’d actually want to climb in, but for staying dry while cruising around in the mountains, the Axiom is hard to beat.
These are the all-arounder all-stars, perfect for those iffy weather days when you’re just not sure what to expect. They’re light enough that if the sun comes out you wont bake, and if it does get warm you can easily roll them up. They offer decent wind protection, and good water resistance, just don’t expect to stay dry in a prolonged down pour. The nylon/spandex fabric is durable while offering excellent mobility, and anyone spending time in the mountains this summer should give the Rock Craft pants a look.
When I first checked out the Petzl Ange S, I really liked them, but thought they’d be way more functional in a larger size. Enter the L version, which is perfect for long routes, or trad climbing where you want some quick draws but not any extra weight. I found them super easy to clip, and though I’m generally not a fan of skinny dogbones, these make sense for keeping down the weight. The Finesse quickdraw is available in several options, with two Ange S, one small and one large, or two large.
In my mind, the perfect summer cragging pant is lightweight, yet durable, and offers excellent freedom of movement. If you feel the same way, the Prana Sutra pant is worth checking out. Made of a blended hemp/lycra fabric, it’s a baggy fit that feels right at home anywhere you might be scuffing up your legs. If you do want shorts for this lovely hot weather we’re having, they offer the same fabric in those as well.
Disclaimer: Wait! Do you really need to buy more new stuff? If so, these products are worth a look. In the spirit of full disclosure, these products were provided to SplitterChoss.com for the purpose of reviewing. Don’t worry, though, our integrity can’t be bought!