Mountain Project Logo

Best Car for Climbers


Andrew Rational · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2018 · Points: 10

Used Ford Flex. No resale value, ugly as sin, so they are cheap, used. Big. I’m a big guy, and am comfortable driving in and sleeping in it. Four potential cross bar mount points on the roof for Yak racks, so options abound. Decent AWD and clearance.

Seats 7 pretty comfortably; but is not a minivan. We get about 20 mpg, average, but the caveat is that we are in Montana. 80-85mph is standard on the interstate here, and our typical drive to town is either 20 miles of highway and six miles of gravel, or eleven miles of dirt/gravel and two miles of asphalt. It depends on the conditions, but it generally takes 30 minutes either way we go. When we road trip in other states with lower speed limits, we average closer to 25-27mpg.

Edit: family of four, two car seats, dog, plenty of room with roof rack. We can put a big semi-whitewater canoe and a rocket box on the rack with minimal fuckery.

Red Label · · Unknown Hometown · Joined 29 days ago · Points: 0

I've had a lot of pickups (Dakota, F150, Tundra) and the wife has had a lot of SUVs (CRV, Pilot, Suburban)... and the best outdoor rig we've ever had is her current Subaru Forester XT 2.0 Touring.

Kyle Taylor · · Broomfield CO · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

The best car is paid for in cash so you don’t pay monthly payments or interest. More money for climbing trips and gear. You’re welcome 

Racechinees . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 0

Why not put a cargorack at the back? Pads are not that heavy and less steel hauling around for regular use.

Mine euro sized one fits 2 like a factory option and will easily take 3. Use lockable straps to prevent theft or toss them in the car when you are doing other things. 

Mine euro sized car with a rack mounted with a bag (not saying you need to get this size of a car, but you can easily not choose a giant car to just fit crashpads):

Pavel Burov · · Russia · Joined May 2013 · Points: 50

Mitsubishi Delica IV (discontinued).

Joe Prescott · · Berlin Germany · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 6

I've had Toyota trucks, Subie Outback, Jeep Cherokee and AWD Sienna. Wife with 2 kids and a dog. By FAR the best has been the Sienna. So comfy and nice with various seat options. When the kids were small, all 4 of us could sleep in there and not have to bring a tent. Can still do that when they got bigger, but I usually tossed a bivy outside. Great to climb in the back from the front seats without going outside in crapy weather. Amazing amount of room, and a top box extends that to a rediculous amount. Works great as a daily driver. The newer ones (2012+) even look kind of cool, almost like a big Matrix. Pretty expensive, but the resale is very good. Bought a used on for $18.5K and sold it 3+ years later for $16.5K (only sold it for a move to Europe).

Caleb Schwarz · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 125

+1 for the outback.
I had a suburban and the thing was awesome. Fits anything and everything for tons of people. Gas mileage is just a little too bad and doesn't park in small places.
I told myself I wasn't going to be a cliche, but the outback just simply works for the climber lifestyle.
AWD, incredible in snow, seats fold completely flat without taking them out, good gas mileage, people under 6ft can sleep diagonally in the back without any modifications, and the roof rack can fit about anything.

(I have the old one, year 2000, but I'm sure the new ones are cool too)

Rod Shaftmoore · · Boulder, CO · Joined May 2008 · Points: 100

I gotta throw some love for the Toyota Sienna mini-van.  I had an Outback, and loved it, until it got totaled.  Then got the Sienna to replace it, and think it's way better.  If you remove one middle row seat (leave one for your kid), and drop the rear stow-and-go seats, you could easily sleep in it.  My wife and I put a full time bed in the back of ours, and I think it's the perfect balance of a great road-trip vehicle (lots of space), and a great everyday driver (AWD, good gas mileage, handles well, faster than you'd expect).  The only drawback is that your friends will see you driving a mini-van, but fuck it...

Joe Prescott · · Berlin Germany · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 6

My outback was great, but not so much with kid(s) and dogs PLUS crashpads AND camping stuff. The back seat is a huge pain with car seats. Very shallow and the front seats have to be moved pretty far forwad, especially with a rear-facing carseat. 2 medium crashpads fils the back. Was ok for camping without pad and carseats, with a Rocketbox. Drove well and handels snow awesome, but for what your OP said (2 dogs, kid, crashpads, climbing gear and camping gear for weeks/months... Super tight. No comparison with Sienna or similar.

Steve Sangdahl · · eldo sprngs,co · Joined Mar 2002 · Points: 735

Porsche 911 GT2RS.......0-60mph in 2.7 seconds
                                        Top speed   212mph

Slartibartfast · · Magrathea · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 0
The best car for climbers?
The one that's having the most fun.
Christian Edstrom · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2019 · Points: 0

I use my Land Cruiser (200) for ice climbs and really hard to reach places.  Mostly in summer, I take my Odyssey.  Both are pretty ideal but the Odyssey slays on cargo room. 

SeƱor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

I'm about to sell a 2007 Subaru Tribeca. You should buy it. About the size of a Highlander. Three row seating. AWD for Colorado winters. Sleeping length in back for dirtbag adventures. Fly to CA and drive it back via Red Rock. 

Steve Golebiewski · · Portland, OR · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 16

Have you checked out the new Subaru Ascent? It's like a Forester but with 37% more room.

https://www.subaru.com/vehicles/ascent/index.html

Chris Owen · · Big Bear Lake · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 10,533

Land Rover LR4 - 2010-2013 or Range Rover L322 2010 - 2012. Depending upon how much room (and/or luxury) you need. From my experience, these vehicles are unbeatable in the snow, and are effortless on long road trips.

JDMCO · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 0
Chris Owen wrote: Land Rover LR4 - 2010-2013 or Range Rover L322 2010 - 2012. Depending upon how much room (and/or luxury) you need. From my experience, these vehicles are unbeatable in the snow, and are effortless on long road trips.

if you can get them to run.

s.price · · Pagosa Springs · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1,346
Chris Owen wrote: Land Rover LR4 - 2010-2013 or Range Rover L322 2010 - 2012. Depending upon how much room (and/or luxury) you need. From my experience, these vehicles are unbeatable in the snow, and are effortless on long road trips.

My wife swears by Land Rovers. But she never has to work on them :)

They are great in the snow and very comfy I agree. But if you ever have to work on one be sure to join the Land Rovers only forums.
There you will find the answer to " what the fuck is wrong with my Rover" because it has happened thousands of times before.

Forget about original replacement parts unless $100 for a thermostat makes sense to you.
M Sprague · · New England · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 5,034

How do you guys do the minivan thing? I would just die inside.

Short Fall Sean · · Flagstaff, AZ · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 5
M Sprague wrote: How do you guys do the minivan thing? I would just die inside.

You gotta make sure someone cracks a window when they leave you in there. Especially on hot days.

Elyas Bianchi · · Eugene, OR · Joined Oct 2018 · Points: 0

I drive a toyota tacoma and it is the single best car for snow driving, carting climbing gear around, and everything in-between. I put so many miles on mine and it keeps on trucking. Cheap to fix and they hold their value like no other vehicle. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Climbing Gear Discussion
Post a Reply to "Best Car for Climbers"

Log In to Reply