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Issues in carrying gear/ product design

Original Post
m maup · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 5

Hi everyone!

I'm in a Product Design + Engineering Master's program and for our first research project we have to define a problem that involves *carrying stuff*. So naturally I thought about issues I have carrying stuff on multi-pitch trad climbs. I'd love to hear if other people experience the same problem(s) so I pose the question:

What are your biggest issues carrying gear/other *stuff* on climbs?

Please respond to this thread or DM me.


Justin Barrett · · Russellville, AR · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 85

Okay, I'll give you a hard one. Needing stretch/mesh pockets on the sides/back for storing gear when needed (think rain shell on the outside for grabbing in a pinch in iffy conditions), but nonexistent/streamlined so they don't snag when not needed.

Sean H · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Dec 2008 · Points: 120

Everyone's #1 should be shoes that are burly enough for the descent but light/small enough to carry well. I love my Patagucci Rovers for this purpose, but they're discontinued, and not really good for 5+ mile days imho.

Kinda surprised things like the Salomon trail running packs haven't caught on with climbers. The design wouldn't be exactly the same, but I feel like there's a lot that could be learned from the S-Lab line as far as more "second skin" like packs with enough storage for hydration and "just in case" layer storage.

Having any pack on pretty much sucks in chimneys/wide/OW.

I bet if you really thought outside the box, you could dramatically save weight/bulk on racking biners vs what you really use for pro. I carry all trad draws (i.e. with 2 biners, as opposed to shit around my neck with 1 biner only), and rack all my cams on their own biners. I bet a totally different design for racking cams could be made that was way small and light, yet not hard to handle - provided that it could NOT be used to clip directly into - but then you're required to always place a piece AND have to sling it. Maybe worth it, maybe not, so not simple - but hey, you said it's a Masters degree right? :P

johnnyrig · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 105

keeping my belay beer cold.
hiding the gopro, so people don't think i'm a dork.
price demanded for newfangled products. cause if it cost less, there's probably already a product on the market and i'd actually spend time looking for it.

Brandon.Phillips · · Portola, CA · Joined May 2011 · Points: 55

I've always been surprised how many climbing packs don't have actual haul loops. I'm talking about multi-pitch free routes, where you might haul a pack through a couple of hard pitches.

And, of course, shoes.

Sam Stephens · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 1,020

Worrying about carrying enough stuff for two climbers on a long day in one pack, so as the leader I eventually wind up carrying my own pack as well.

Carrying my big ass shoes (wife has it easy)

Dealing with carrying/hauling that pack through chimneys or on hard pitches when the second already has a pack.

Carrying the extra rope to rap but not leading on it (usually tail it)

m maup · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 5

Thanks these are awesome so far! Shoes was also my #1 because my pack is small so I definitely have to attach my shoes to the outside, and I HATE when they get stuck while I'm climbing.

Keep the suggestions coming!

Josh Kornish · · · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 845

In regard to shoes: Sportiva TX2

Systematic · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 321
Josh Kornish wrote:In regard to shoes: Sportiva TX2
Yes. And clip BOTH shoes in. Regardless of the elastic thingy that makes them into a tight package.
apoet · · AZ · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 193

Carrying water and shoes.

Josh Kornish · · · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 845

I second Andrew. I think water carry is one of the best areas that can be improved upon. This is always the most complicated factor in my experience planning larger climbs - but oh does dehydration make for a trippy climb. haha

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 483

I'll second water. Clip a bottle to your harness and it keeps your center of gravity low, which is nice when it gets steep, but then it also swings when you make a more dynamic movement. Carry a bladder and you can keep it close to your back, but now you're loading your fingers more......and it SUCKS when you have a chimney.

Sean C · · SLC · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 230

These bottles are pretty sweet for carrying on multipitch. I probably wouldn't take it on anything you'd have to chimney in, but they're pretty burly.

David Coley · · UK · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 70

if you can solve the problem of stuff carried on the upper body swinging around to the front and getting in the way on slabs that would be good. Needs to be something more simple that a big heavy chest gear harness

Eric M Parks · · Campo, CA · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 165

if you can solve the problem of stuff carried on the upper body swinging around to the front and getting in the way on slabs


Michael Schneider · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 780
apoet wrote:Carrying water and shoes.
A poet?
You are not
But I see from lookin'
That Sean C needs a re-adjustment

Do not re-invent the wheel,
reuse re-purpose . . .
Gatorade And Pwer-aid( especially ) taped with the grey that will save the world ; cloth infused duct Tape,
will give you cheap long lasting water bottles.
If you do them up with a full wrap, so that you have a roll of The Grey along with you it accomplishes dual purposes.( & provides some insulation)
Once wrapped in duct tape a bottle may out live many peoples climbing lives.

Stop buying more plastic that has built in obsolescence !, unless you need to waste your coin, lookin' cool with the latest junk.
Whatever you need to feel like you're climber have at it , but what you do need is not for sale.

Beyond that the slab problem can be a PIA, yes!
I would wrap or stuff my gear for the head wall out of the way by using small sacks or SOCKS!
Five cams per sock then the the other gear that was not needed also in a package, that I would rubber band together and clip to a back loop , (Yates harnesses were full strength everywhere.)
This may be hard or impossible to visualize. Think -bundled together held 'tubed' in socks .
gear that can still migrate but captured together to reduce the clusterfux. . . YMMV.
20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348
Sean H wrote:Everyone's #1 should be shoes that are burly enough for the descent but light/small enough to carry well.
Bingo. For this main purpose, I actually prefer to rap off than walk off. I dont want to bring bulky shoes that take up a crap ton of room in my pack. There is a demand for a light, compact, low-profile shoe that doesent break the bank. Most of the options that exist are basically $120 sandals with sticky rubber on them.
Medic741 · · Red Hook, New York · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 265

Alternative solution to racking biners for cams, esp small cams, in which a traditional racking biner won't be used to connect to rope


Biner w 90* twist for racking the bulky new u stemmed totems so they hang next to each other better instead of hanging off of harness end to end

Dallas R · · Traveling the USA · Joined May 2013 · Points: 178

Please make a haul bag that can carry 2 pair of shoes, a liter water bottle, sandwich, bag of chips, an apples, 2 crushable water proof wind shirts, sunscreen, bug spray.

It needs a sturdy haul loop. A small pocket at the top to store cordelette should it be needed to haul. Make an adjustable, storable, waist strap. Doesn't have to heavy duty as it's only purpose would be to keep the pack from sliding around. The adjustment needs to be up and down as well so you can raise it up a bit so it fits over the top of a climbing belt.

john strand · · southern colo · Joined May 2008 · Points: 1,640

I'll bite..convince people to carry less shit ! I bet that would help a lot.

For a long route (all day) ,if it doesn't fit in a small daypack for the second to carry, it doesn't get to go..period.

Jon Nelson · · Bellingham, WA · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 4,675
m maup wrote:Thanks these are awesome so far! .... Keep the suggestions coming!
Apparently "awesome", but not quite awesome enough...

Anyway, it is fun to read about the various ideas. Seems like a good approach for designing new products. I'm just joking about your choice of words.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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