Rappelling is a critical part to your climbing repertoire. It’s at a stage in the climb where, hopefully, you’ve conquered the mountain. You’re exhausted, elated, and you feel like the hard part of the day is behind you. In short, you’re letting your guard down, which is why so many mistakes, sometimes fatal ones, happen during the rappel. And so, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best, most idiot proof rappelling gear. This is by no means a complete list of everything you need to go rappel off of a cliff, but its got all of the basic, field tested hardware you should have in your kit. Read on and enjoy the the best rappelling gear guide!
BlueWater Rescue 8 – $33
An excellent replacement for nylon based bomber ties. The inner material is Technora which was used by NASA and gives this tie a strength that lets it hold up to 4800 pounds. The outer core is Nylon so you don’t run into the tying problems that straight Technora would give you. However, as with many things which use Technora or Dyneema these ties are a bit more expensive, but worth it due to their strength and resilience. An excellent addition to your rappelling gear and other climbing equipment.
This climbing harness is excellent with many features which you will find useful. It comes in two sizes and both sizes weigh about 4 pounds. It has numerous connection points and is designed to be comfortable when the load is in different directions. It is adjustable to a wide variety of body sizes. In addition, the harness is very comfortable to wear and can be used as part of your rappelling gear or as a harness for tower and line workers. The best part of this harness is the quick way it goes on or comes off. A very good harness.
Petzl Pro Sequoia Harness – $387
A nice swing harness which works good for climbing and rappelling. It is very comfortable and provides good ventilation with open foam that lets the air flow. It has a good wide waist belt which is quickly removable while still providing excellent support. It even comes with a couple of loops built in for your stuff which is an important feature for rappelling gear. All together a good harness for your equipment.
Tree Spider Vest – $130
This is a simple vest targeted more towards hunters and tree climbers. It’s light weight and has a built in scent blocker. It comes with a built-in strap designed to safely attach to a tree or other object. However, it lacks support or attachment points for rappelling. This is an acceptable harness for simple needs, but isn’t really useful as rappelling gear.
Pacific Tactical makes good carabiners. They carry the load very effectively and are designed to make sure the load goes where it needs to go. Some carabiners can push the weights toward the wrong part of the ‘biner, but these won’t. The quick opening latch is good, too. The three pack is a good deal and an affordable way to build up your collection of climbing and rappelling gear.
These gloves are good for climbing. Especially if your looking to do some ice climbing or climbing in colder environments. They are warm and the GoreTex lining keeps your hands from gettng wet. However, the inner lining can sometimes get stuck if your hands are damp and get pulled partially out of the glove. The outer lining is capable of withstanding climbing and rappelling activities. An all around good glove to add to your rappelling gear and which will serve you well in demanding environments.
A good rope, but with a reputation for fraying and picking up dirt. It comes with a dry coating which prevents it from getting wet and is easy to knot and untie when necessary. The weight is average. The thickness is somewhere between the older thick ropes and the newer thin ropes. This gives it a nice balance for beginning and experienced climbers. The rope has a nice give, but will hold up well in your rappelling gear.
Headlamps aren’t really necessary for rappelling unless your are doing rescue or caving. However, If you are looking for a headlamp to add to your rappelling gear this would be a good choice. It has a high light output and a good battery life. The strap is adjustable and will stay in place during your climbing.
A very nice helmet for climbing. It fits well and is light weight. Although the helmet is black the vents help keep you cool during your climbing. The helmet is impact resistant and can be used on top of other headgear such as hat. It even has room for goggles if you adjust it correctly. If you are looking for a helmet to add to your rappelling gear this is a good choice.
If you want a little bit of extra security while you are rappelling or climbing this arrester would be a good addition. It is a little heavy, but will stop you in an uncontrolled fall should you lose your grip. It works on slanted rope, too. However, it is a bit heavy for an arrester, but if you feel the need for one in your rappelling gear you can’t go wrong with this one.
Petzl Pro I’D L Descender – $188
Descenders are a part of standard rappelling gear for many climbers who don’t want to use a figure eight. This particular descender is designed especially for rescue work. The handle controls the descent and even has a feature which kicks in if the person rappelling panics. It you are new at rappelling and want to be secure this will be what you want. This brand is good and this descender has a lot of features which you will like.