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Essential garments for outdoor climbing | Alpinestandards

The clothing you wear is extremely important for comfort, flexibility, and overall performance. In this article, we'll delve into the essential upper body garments necessary for outdoor climbing.

Whether you are embarking on an outdoor climbing expedition or going at your local crag during lunch break, choosing what to wear demands careful considerations. 

What to look for?

The dynamic and unpredictable nature of outdoor activities like climbing, hiking, ski touring or trail running requires attention for every piece of gear, with upper body garments playing a pivotal role in the overall set up to keep the core safe and warm, avoiding dangerous situations in case of bad weather. When engaging in outdoor activities like climbing or running, the choice of garments plays a crucial role in ensuring comfort, performance and safety. Why is it so important to choose carefully?

Comfort is Key

Wearing the right clothing can make a significant difference in how comfortable you feel during your outdoor adventures. Garments that are too tight, too loose, or made from the wrong material can cause chafing, irritation, and discomfort. By selecting clothing that fits well and designed for the specific activity, you can enhance your overall comfort level.

    • Performance Enhancement

      The right clothing can also improve your performance during outdoor activities. Moisture-wicking fabrics help to keep you dry by pulling sweat away from your skin, while breathable materials allow for better airflow. These features can help regulate your body temperature, prevent overheating, and enhance your overall performance.

    • Protection and Safety

      Choosing the appropriate garments for outdoor activities can also contribute to your safety. For example, wearing reflective clothing while running in low-light conditions can increase your visibility to others. Additionally, garments with UPF protection can shield your skin from harmful UV rays during long hours in the sun. By prioritizing safety features in your clothing choices, you can reduce the risk of accidents and potential harm.

    • Durability and Longevity

      Investing in high-quality outdoor garments can also lead to greater durability and longevity. Well-made clothing designed for specific activities is more likely to withstand the wear and tear of outdoor adventures. By choosing carefully, you can ensure that your garments last longer, saving you money in the long run.

Overall, the importance of selecting the right garments for outdoor activities like climbing or running cannot be overstated. From comfort and performance to safety and durability, the right clothing can make a significant impact on your overall outdoor experience. So next time you gear up for an adventure, remember to choose your garments wisely.

The clothing you wear is extremely important to get the maximum comfort. In this article, we'll delve into the essential upper body garments necessary for outdoor climbing, ensuring you're properly dressed up for the challenges that await. Selecting the right clothing for outdoor activities is a crucial aspect of ensuring a safe, comfortable, and successful ascent and in the end, a good climbing day.

Here's a complete list of the essential garments for outdoor climbing.

  1. Moisture-Wicking Base Layer

    during winter or if you are about to climb in colder crags would be ideal to add a base layer to keep you warm and dry. Opt for base layer tops with flatlock seams to minimize chafing, and choose a snug fit for efficient moisture transfer. Look for tops with antimicrobial properties to combat odor during extended climbs.

  2. Insulating Mid-Layer Jackets

    consider a mid-layer jacket with strategic insulation placement to maximize warmth where it's needed most. Look for jackets with packable designs for easy stowage in your backpack when not in use.


  3. Waterproof and Windproof Shells

    when it gets windy or rainy having a shell with a helmet-compatible hood for added protection is a must. Ensure the jacket has pit zips or ventilation features to prevent overheating during strenuous climbs. Look for durable water repellent (DWR) coatings for long-lasting waterproofing. 

  4. Climbing-Specific Tops

    explore tops with stretch panels to facilitate a full range of motion. Reinforced stitching on high-stress areas adds durability, while a streamlined fit prevents snagging on rocks and equipment.

  5. Technical T-Shirts

    during warmer seasons like spring and summer having technical t-shirts specific for climbing can be a wise choice. These T-shirts guarantee the maximum comfort and flexibility, thanks to flat seams to minimize discomfort under a harness. Look for UPF-rated fabrics for added sun protection, especially when climbing in exposed areas.

  6. Climbing Hoodies or Fleeces

    consider hoodies or fleeces with zippered pockets for secure storage of small essentials. Thumbhole cuffs provide added coverage and help keep sleeves in place during dynamic movements.

  7. Climbing Vests

    choose a vest with a slim profile to avoid bulkiness under a harness. Insulated vests with synthetic fillings remain effective even when damp, offering reliable warmth in varying weather conditions.

  8. Sun Protection

    consider clothing with integrated sun protection features, such as UPF-rated fabric and collars that can be flipped up for additional neck coverage. Lightweight, breathable materials ensure comfort on sunny days.

  9. Climbing Beanie

    because every cool climber has one ;)

By investing in the right upper body garments for outdoor climbing and outdoor activities in general, you can enhance your performance, stay comfortable, and stay safe in challenging conditions. Choose high-quality, technical fabrics and designs to ensure that your gear can keep up with your adventures.


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