Best Gear For Mountaineering

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
The North Face Venture 2
Test Winner: The North Face Venture 2
Amazon Link
If you have ever been mountaineering than you know the thrill and adrenaline rush it can provide. There is no feeling like trekking up a mountain and feeling what our ancestors felt as they explored new lands. If you have not gone mountaineering and are just looking to get into the sport, then most likely you are starting to stock up on the gear you will need to keep you safe on your adventure. Mountaineering gear is important as it keeps you safe and provides you with the necessary tools to accomplish your climb without issue. Now, if you have been scouring the web looking for the best gear for your next mountaineering trip, but are having some trouble deciding which gear is best, the below guide is for you!

Standout Picks

The North Face Men's Venture 2 Jacket
This jacket from North Face is guaranteed to keep you warm and comfortable on your next mountaineering expedition. The North Face company is known for its durable and well-made products that keep you warm in colder temperatures.
Darn Tough Mountaineering OTC Extra Cushion Sock
When going mountaineering for hiking one of the most vital and important pieces of gear you can bring with you is a durable pair of socks. These socks from Darn Tough, are exactly like they sound, darn tough.
Amazon Link
$29.95
Tuck Ex Sleeping Bag - 20 Degree
If you’re planning on doing any overnight mountaineering, then you’re certainly going to need a durable, weatherproof sleeping bag to bring with you on your adventures. Protecting yourself while you sleep is one thing that the Kelty Tuck-Ex Sleeping Bag can successfully do.
Amazon Link
Oakley Men's Airbrake XL Snow Goggles
If you’re planning to hit the mountains whenever you want to, including when the weather is bad, then you’re going to need some effective protective eyewear. Oakley’s Airbrake Snow Goggles offer you plenty of eye protection as well as some technological benefits that could assist you with your performance.
Montem Ultra Strong Hiking/Walking/Trekking Poles
Trekking poles are always a great addition to your climbing or mountaineering gear, as they help take the stress off your legs and back especially when climbing or trekking on uneven ground.
Amazon Link
$69.95
La Sportiva Men's Makalu Mountaineering Boot
These boots are great if you are looking to get into hiking, trekking, or mountaineering as the traction and support you get from these boots are incomparable when it comes to other brands. These boots not only are highly rated but come from a great brand as well.
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent
Mountaineering would not be mountaineering without a tent as a part of the gear. A tent allows you to stay for multiple days up in mountain peaks witnessing a beautiful view while allowing to stay warm and get a comfortable sleep.
Amazon Link
$100.09
Fjallraven - Men's Keb Trousers Long
If you want to stay protected and warm throughout your mountaineering adventure, then you’ll need a pair of good quality trekking trousers to protect legs from both scratches on the trails, and the elements. Fjallraven’s Keb Trekking Trousers come in both men’s and women’s styles and offer you the type of protection you’ll need to enjoy your trip.
Black Diamond Raven Ice Axe
This ice ax from Black Diamond is a quality ax that you will want to have as part of your mountaineering gear. It's lightweight and will give you the extra grip and traction you need to overcome tough obstacles while on your next mountaineering trip.
ALPS Mountaineering Compression Stuff Sack
This compression sack will allow you to compactly bring the rest of your mountaineering gear securely and easily as it connects to your backpack for easy transport. Compression sacks always come in handy when going on long treks as they help reduce the amount of gear that is scattered within your backpack.
Amazon Link
$23.02

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Insulation

Whether you’ve been hitting the mountains for some time or you’re just starting out as a newbie, you always need to make sure you have the right types of clothing for your mountaineering adventure. As such, you’re going to need to make sure you have the right clothing that’s warm, waterproof, and fits.

Typically, it’s recommended that you layer your clothing when you dress for the mountains so you can add or remove layers quickly while outside. However, the three most important pieces of clothing to have are a high-quality jacket, great boots and good pants made to withstand the elements. Other clothing items you’ll need to think about include gloves and helmets.

Gear is also something you’ll need to take a close look at. Two of your most important gear choices will be your crampons and your ax, so we’ve covered both here.

Style

When it comes to selecting a jacket for your mountaineering adventure, you’ve got four different basic types to pick from: the light insulation jumper, the medium insulation jacket, the hard shell jacket, and the parka jacket.

-Light Insulation Jumper. A light insulation jumper type jacket is usually used as a mid-layer for your clothing and something that should keep you warm while still being breathable. Most of these jumper style jackets are not made to be a top layer jacket but designed with fleece to be a mid-layer for extra warmth and comfort. Most of these jumper jackets are styled from different types of fleece materials.

-Medium Insulation Jacket. Most medium insulation jackets are made to be worn over a fleece light insulation jumper. These jackets are designed to keep you warm but tend to be less breathable. The best material choice to purchase when looking for these jackets is down or synthetic insulation. Some medium insulation jackets are made to be weatherproof and withstand the elements, so they can be worn and still protect you even if the weather is warm. Also, several are made to be lightweight so they are easy to carry.

-Hard Shell Jacket. This jacket is a necessity and should be used as a top layer jacket. Hard shell jackets are made to be waterproof and windproof, and most are lightweight but don’t offer much insulation. The idea of the hard-shell jacket is to be your layer that protects you from what’s outside—but you won’t typically get the comfort of fleece or down with these.

-Parka Jacket. These jackets are really best for those that are planning to hit extreme altitudes while outdoors. So, if you know you’ll be around extreme temperatures, then you’ll want one of these with you. However, if you aren’t hitting any extreme mountains, then you probably won’t need this.

Comfort

When it comes to keeping yourself protected while mountaineering, you’re also going to want a decent pair of trousers. Many mountain climbers prefer to layer their trousers as well. When it comes to trousers, you’ll find you have the option of softshell trousers and hard-shell trousers.

-Soft shell trousers work well as a mid-layer, but not an outer layer. If you do plan to climb in alpine conditions, layering for added padding and comfort will be a benefit. Most soft shell trousers are stretchy and flexible, and also come lightly insulated.

-Hard shell trousers are meant to cover your soft-shell trousers and offer you weather protection. Make sure the hard-shell trousers you purchase are waterproof, windproof, and strong. It also helps to get hardshell trousers with zip pockets on the side, so you can easily access items you might need, like crampons.

Versatility

Both fit and comfort are going to be extremely important when it comes to selecting a pair of mountaineering boots. In fact, this is probably the most important clothing item you’ll buy for your trips. The type of boot you want to buy is going to depend much on the places you plan to tackle mountaineering.

You need to consider what you’ll be climbing—rock, ice, or snow. You also need to think about whether or not you’ll be tacking vertical ascents or if you’ll be hiking good distances before you climb. Also, think about how long you plan on being outdoors—meaning whether or not you just plan to do one-day trips or week-long adventures. Also, think about how cold the weather usually is, and consider the climate.

Once you know that, you can pick a style from one of the three options you’ll see in mountaineering boots: single boots, double boots, and super gaiter boots.

-Single mountaineering boots give you a single upper boot that doesn’t separate. The lining won’t come apart, and they are very lightweight. These boots are great for tackling both hard rock and ice.

-Double mountaineering boots come with inner and outer boots that separate. They tend to be heavier but work well in cold climates since they are very warm. Plus, you can remove the inner boot to dry it when you aren’t using the boot.

-Super gaiter mountaineering boots are more of a combination boot. You won’t be able to take off the inner boot, but you do get the extra warmth and weatherproofing of a connected outer boot.

The Best Gear for Mountaineering

1. The North Face Venture 2

Where to buy
The North Face Men's Venture 2 Jacket
Amazon Link

This jacket from North Face is guaranteed to keep you warm and comfortable on your next mountaineering expedition. The North Face company is known for its durable and well-made products that keep you warm in colder temperatures.

Read more

Insulation
This jacket is made with durable material but feels lightweight and will not weigh you down. When fully down up this jacket will maintain your body heat and keep you warm in mild to cold temperatures. If you are going into extreme cold temperatures, maybe look for a jacket with a little more insulation. Check out our guide about best winter jackets.
Style
This jacket is sleek and lightweight. It comes in a variety of colors to choose from to ensure that there is a jacket to fit your style and personality. It also comes equipped with a hood, to give you that extra protection if you get caught in the rain.

Comfort
This jacket is quite comfortable as all North Face products are and will keep you warm and dry.

Versatility
This jacket is not only good if you are planning a mountaineering trip, but also will be a well-fitted jacket for skiing, day to day errands, or any activity in the fall, spring, or winter.

2. Darn Tough OTC Socks

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$29.95
Darn Tough Mountaineering OTC Extra Cushion Sock
Amazon Link

When going mountaineering for hiking one of the most vital and important pieces of gear you can bring with you is a durable pair of socks. These socks from Darn Tough, are exactly like they sound, darn tough.

Read more

Insulation
These socks have great insulation, any outdoor socks should. They are made from merino wool so you know your feet will stay warm and dry while on your next mountaineering trip. To be safe, whenever traveling for long distances and in cold weather, you should always pack multiple pairs of socks.

Style
These socks are great for keeping your feet warm while exploring, but they only come in a couple of styles. If you are not worried about style options and rather a great pair of socks that will keep you warm, than these may be the socks for you and your next mountaineering trip.

Comfort
These socks will not only keep your feet warm but also have a sense of cushion for under your feet. The cushion is a great feature as it adds extra support, and allows you to trek and hike longer without being uncomfortable.

Versatility
These socks are not only great for mountaineering but also can be used hiking, camping, or for your normal day to day routine. Great socks for a quality price.

Amazon Link
$29.95

3. Kelty Tuck-Ex Sleeping Bag

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Tuck Ex Sleeping Bag - 20 Degree
Amazon Link

If you’re planning on doing any overnight mountaineering, then you’re certainly going to need a durable, weatherproof sleeping bag to bring with you on your adventures. Protecting yourself while you sleep is one thing that the Kelty Tuck-Ex Sleeping Bag can successfully do.

Read more

Insulation
Kelty also designed the Tuck-Ex Sleeping Bag with ThermaPro insulation, so that the sleeping bag retains heat throughout the night. The Kelty Tuck-Ex Sleeping Bag is designed to offer you excellent protection from the cold weather with its effective insulation system. It’s also made to be comfortable so that you can rest easy, and not worry about being overwhelmed by the elements outside.

Style
The Kelty Tuck-Ex Sleeping Bag also features a comfort-tuck zipper system, a comforting hood, and natural fit footbox, all which help keep you cozy for a good night’s rest. Plus, the sleeping bag is fairly lightweight and easy to carry.

Comfort
The Kelty Tuck-Ex Sleeping Bag is made with a tafferta shell and liner, which provides a lot of warmth and comfort even during the coldest of nights.

Versitility
You’ll also get an easy-to-transport sleeping bag with this purchase since it doesn’t weigh much and is designed to compress easily. You’ll be able to stay warm and safe during all of your outdoor mountaineering adventures.

Amazon Link

4. Oakley Airbrake Snow Goggles

Where to buy
Oakley Men's Airbrake XL Snow Goggles
Amazon Link

If you’re planning to hit the mountains whenever you want to, including when the weather is bad, then you’re going to need some effective protective eyewear. Oakley’s Airbrake Snow Goggles offer you plenty of eye protection as well as some technological benefits that could assist you with your performance.

Read more

Insulation
These goggles do not have much insulation except for the padding around the eyes which will maintain heat in your eye space and keep a part of your face warm.

Style
With Oakley’s Airbrake Snow Goggles, you get a strong, durable exoskeleton on your goggles that come with Switch lock technology, which will let you change your lenses more efficiently. These Oakley goggles are also designed with an O Matter faceplate which is designed to be both flexible and comfortable during the war.

Comfort
Oakley’s Airbrake Sun Goggles are made for comfort and come with a balanced fit whether you wear a helmet or not. These sun goggles are made with an O Matter strap that keeps your goggles on and also adjusts to fit on most helmets.

Versatility
Oakley’s Airbrake Snow Goggles also come with prism lenses to help control glare, making your visibility more effective. These lenses also come with an anti-fog coating and high definition optics, making clarity a bonus.

5. Montem Trekking Poles

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$69.95
Montem Ultra Strong Hiking/Walking/Trekking Poles
Amazon Link

Trekking poles are always a great addition to your climbing or mountaineering gear, as they help take the stress off your legs and back especially when climbing or trekking on uneven ground.

Read more

Insulation
These trekking poles will add nothing to the insulation in keeping you warm. The minor insulation that these trekking poles have is around the handles as they are padded to ensure that your hands do not get cold while climbing.

Style
These trekking poles are built to last and come in a variety of colors to choose from, so you can find the best poles that fit your style. These poles have padded handles and are able to be adjusted to ensure you are comfortable the entire time you are using them.

Comfort
The fact that these poles are adjustable makes them quite comfortable as you will not be putting any extra strain on your back and can adjust them so they are the perfect fit. The handles being padded also is a bonus as since you will be using them for long periods of time, your hands will not get cold and feel comfortable the entire trek.

Versatility
These trekking poles are quite versatile as you can use them for mountaineering, hiking, walking, day to day errands, camping, and pretty much any activity outdoors.

Amazon Link
$69.95

6. La Sportiva Makalu

Where to buy
La Sportiva Men's Makalu Mountaineering Boot
Amazon Link

These boots are great if you are looking to get into hiking, trekking, or mountaineering as the traction and support you get from these boots are incomparable when it comes to other brands. These boots not only are highly rated but come from a great brand as well.

Read more

Insulation
These hiking boots are made for the outdoors, and for any season. They will keep your feet insulated and warm if you decide to go adventuring in colder climates and will keep your feet breathing and dry in the summer if it gets a tad to warm.

Style
These boots have a basic design to them but do not let that sway you from the quality and performance of these boots. Overall if you are after style, then these boots may not be the ones for you. But if you are after quality and support, then take a closer look at these boots from La Sportiva.

Comfort
These boots have a comfortable fit and are highly rated amongst previous customers. They also support the ankle nicely which is important when you are trekking in the woods or mountaineering as the ground can be uneven and with improper ankle support could result in injury.

Versatility
These boots are not only great for any outdoor adventure you can think of, but they are also great for your day to day activities, especially in the winter. These boots offer great traction and grip, so if you are using them in the winter when things can get a bit slippy, you will be covered.

7. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx Tent

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$100.09
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent
Amazon Link

Mountaineering would not be mountaineering without a tent as a part of the gear. A tent allows you to stay for multiple days up in mountain peaks witnessing a beautiful view while allowing to stay warm and get a comfortable sleep.

Read more

Insulation
This tent is lightweight and provides great protection from the outside elements. It fits a single person so this would be great if you and a friend are going mountaineering or if you have decided to go on a solo trip.

Style
This tent being a one person tent could be a little small, but the overall style is quite good as ALPS make a quality product. It is easy to set up and is lightweight so it is perfect for attaching to your backpack and to transport with you on your next mountaineering trip.

Comfort
This tent could be a tad more comfortable but due to it being lightweight and compact so you are able to bring it with you easily and not weigh you down, the comfort had to be spared a little.

Versatility
This tent not only would be a great piece of gear for mountaineering but also for camping, hiking, or any overnight stay you may have in mind. It is easy to set up and easy to transport.

Amazon Link
$100.09

8. Fjallraven Keb Trekking Trousers

Where to buy
Fjallraven - Men's Keb Trousers Long
Amazon Link

If you want to stay protected and warm throughout your mountaineering adventure, then you’ll need a pair of good quality trekking trousers to protect legs from both scratches on the trails, and the elements. Fjallraven’s Keb Trekking Trousers come in both men’s and women’s styles and offer you the type of protection you’ll need to enjoy your trip.

Read more

Insulation
These pants offer great insulation and will keep you warm in mild and cold weather. they are also water-resistant which means they will keep you dry and the water out. If you are trekking in extremely cold climates, maybe take a look at some more insulated pants.

Style
Fjallraven’s Keb Trekking Trousers are some of the best trekking trousers you’ll find on the market. The flexibility of the pants makes them great for climbing and hiking since they’ll move and flex with you and maintain a comfortable feel.

Comfort
Fjallraven’s Keb Trekking Trousers are made from Fjallraven’s polycotton blend G-100, which you can wax easily to make waterproof. Around the back of the legs, the Fjallraven Keb Trekking Trousers are made out of polyimide that stretches, so you get the addition of comfort and flexibility when moving.

Versitility
The knee area on the Fjallraven Keb Trekking Trousers is also made with flexibility in mind and includes an opening that brings you kneepads for extra protection. Also, you’ll get two good-sized leg pockets, one zipped and one mesh, to carry anything you might need.

9. Black Diamond Raven Ice Axe

Where to buy
Black Diamond Raven Ice Axe
Amazon Link

This ice ax from Black Diamond is a quality ax that you will want to have as part of your mountaineering gear. It's lightweight and will give you the extra grip and traction you need to overcome tough obstacles while on your next mountaineering trip.

Read more

Insulation
When it comes to insulation this Ice ax does not have much insulation and will not do anything towards keeping you warm. Its main purpose is to give you traction and grip if you need help while climbing.

Style
This ice ax is sleek and ergonomic to ensure that it will be easy to use and transport with you on your next mountaineering trip. The strap is great for extra support while using this tool.

Comfort
The grip on this ice ax is padded for maximum comfort. That way when using this tool for long periods of time, your hands will not get uncomfortable.

Versitility
This tool's main purpose is to give you extra grip when climbing, but it can come in handy if you come across some dangerous critters or need to reach out and grab something.

10. ALPS Mountaineering Compression Stuff Sack

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$23.02
ALPS Mountaineering Compression Stuff Sack
Amazon Link

This compression sack will allow you to compactly bring the rest of your mountaineering gear securely and easily as it connects to your backpack for easy transport. Compression sacks always come in handy when going on long treks as they help reduce the amount of gear that is scattered within your backpack.

Read more

Insulation
This compression sack is made from polyester material and will keep your gear warm, but your personal warmth will have no effect.

Style
This compression sack comes in limited colors and does not have very much style to it. It is built to compress your gear and make it easy to transport, and that is what it does.

Comfort
This compression sack connects to your backpack easily. The only comfort it could provide is as a pillow when you are getting ready to call it a night.

Versatility
Again, this compression sack is made to transport your gear and it does its job nicely. You could use this compression sack as a pillow if needed.

Amazon Link
$23.02

Sources

  1. Steven Duong , Mountaineering Checklist,