Rock Climbing is a luxury sport that requires many pieces of gear for safety and ease. However, climbing gear can be very expensive. With improvements in technology, it doesn’t look like newer goods will be any cheaper.
From a pair of shoes, chalk, and a harness, to packs, ropes, and expensive protection, you have to pay a hefty sum when getting ready for the climb.
So what to do if you can’t afford to buy expensive gear?
Thankfully, there are many places to buy cheap and used climbing gear for everyone’s convenience.
Since there are plenty of online stores that offer these, you don’t have to wait all year for a Black Friday sale to find the ones for your needs. To be honest, buying used gear is the ideal way to equip yourself before climbs when you’re on a low budget.
From used climbing shoes to used tree climbing gear, we have rounded up some of the best online places for your purchasing pleasure.
Now let’s explore each one of them!
Some Places to Buy Cheap & Used Climbing Gear
Whether you are frequently online or not, you should definitely know about Amazon. It is a multinational e-commerce company based in Seattle, founded by the American billionaire entrepreneur Jeff Bezos.
While Amazon homes the goods and services of all types, you can find a wide range of climbing essentials by visiting their website. More importantly, not everyone could be familiar with the fact that Amazon, too, offers a second-hand service. Especially if you have a Prime membership, you can get your hands on some used gear from any category.
Shopping for used climbing gear on Amazon is very easy. Amazon is swift, extremely accessible, and is a reliable online store that offers exceedingly user-friendly support.
Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) is a high-profile American retail and outdoor recreation services corporation. This retail company has been one of the top names in outdoor gear for quite a long time now.
Amidst their growing popularity, they have added a used gear segment to their online store termed as REI Co-Op Used Gear. The best thing about REI is that they take in-house photography of all their used offerings to provide a clear view of what you are going to purchase.
They are a trustworthy source of climbing and other outdoor gear, which is why REI is a great place to find gently-used second-hand equipment for your needs.
eBay is another American multinational e-commerce cooperation that facilitates consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sales. Based in San Jose, California, eBay tends to be less known in the outdoor industry, but deals do surface from time to time.
You can find some cheap climbing gear homes in this popular online store. Moreover, the established outdoor gear review website, OutdoorGearLab, has its own eBay store where they sell different climbing gear after testing and reviewing them. But you have no choice but to wait until they’ve added the tested climbing equipment.
Based in Boulder, Colorado, U.S., the Mountain Project is a website that serves as a guidebook to more than 170,000 climbing routes across the world. Besides, it includes the MP For Sale forum, where you can find wonderful deals for used climbing gear.
The forum is a great place to spend time and look for second-hand equipment. On any given day, anyone can put their gear up for sale here, and if priced well, the gear gets sold within a day or two. On the other hand, if it’s particularly priced, it might just take an hour or even minutes to find a buyer.
There are many conventions for buying gear on Mountain Project that include:
- Most sellers are willing to ship.
- Shipping costs and total price generally get specified in each post.
- PayPal is the norm for payment.
- The website encourages buyers to use the Goods and Services payment option on PayPal.
- Besides, PayPal’s Friends and Family payment option remains widely used.
This Utah-based website is essentially eBay for the outdoors, and it homes a lot of good deals. If you are seeking for one of the broadest selections of used climbing gear for sale, look no further. GearTrade is the place where you find them, and find them all.
The website has a fairly thorough organization and search functions that make it easy to check whether it has what you are looking for. With prices often set at over 80% off and the wide variety available, it’s hard not to put this website towards the top of your list when searching for your next used climbing equipment.
While most of the websites act kind of like an intermediary between customers, the MEC Gear Swap operates differently. Based in Canada, this site works like an online swap forum where people can post the things they want to unload with a direct route between the seller and buyer, as opposed to taking in used gear and selling it themselves to other users.
Since there is a high chance of scammers taking advantage of this process, the MEC is always keen on keeping that sort of trouble out of their space. They offer support to anyone claiming against fraud of any kind.
The North Face Renewed is an online used gear program launched by the American outdoor recreation product company, The North Face. This California-based clothing company is known for producing clothing, footwear, and outdoor equipment.
The Renewed program inspects and makes necessary repairs to every piece of equipment before reselling them to customers. With thorough maintenance, they make sure everything is in working order before making them available for the general public.
Although the variety is limited to the offerings of The North Face, it is an incredibly beneficial program to anyone who knows the value of the brand’s products.
Outdoors Geek is one of the world’s largest online stops for rental camping equipment. Based on Colorado, it offers a wide array of gently-used outdoor gear for everyone’s reach. On top of that, they also provide a service that is pretty rare elsewhere.
Besides purchasing and selling goods through this service, you can also actually rent the gear beforehand to see it if you like it. In case you are satisfied with the item, you can make a purchase and make it yours. Else, simply return it.
With that, this is an astonishingly user-friendly experience for anyone looking to buy some used outdoor gear.
This Burlington-based outdoor gear shop is famous for selling a large selection of pre-owned and lightly used climbing gear in addition to new products for every season. The online consignment shop is perfect for out-of-state gearheads who want to buy or sell the used products.
The cool thing about using this service is that the consignment gear that doesn’t sell after eight months is donated to charities.
The Clymb is another US-based online shop that has daily deals on outdoor gear, apparel, and equipment from prominent brands when you become a member. You have the chance to score up to 50% discount on climbing and other all types of gear.
Steep and Cheap is an American online store run by the Utah-based online retail company, Backcountry. The Steep and Cheap outdoor retailer offers new steals every five minutes for the deal-hungry bargain hunters out there. You can get the products from top brands at a conveniently low price.
Local Thrift & Consignment Stores
Besides going on online portals, you can pick up items locally. Particularly, local shops are good sources. Most of the towns have some form of a consignment store. These shops are great places to find the best deal.
Be thoughtful while purchasing from consignment stores by making sure whatever you buy fits you perfectly.
Why Should You Buy Used Gear?
You may wonder why you would ever want to buy second-hand gear when you can purchase a brand new one. However, have you thought how much a new pair of climbing boots cost in the first place?
Brand new climbing gear can be very expensive— notably, the climbing boots can shake your budget. Purchasing used gear offers you an opportunity to equip some of the best equipment available for a fraction of the retail price. Moreover, sometimes you can find goods in like-new condition while paying 50% less than what you might have to pay for the new one.
On the other hand, buying used equipment is better for the environment. After you use your new gear, if nobody ends up buying and using them, it can cause an adverse environmental impact in the form of garbage and extra pollutants.
Lastly, buying used gear offers you the opportunity to try things that you might not usually be able to. If you are new to climbing and are not sure of the techniques, used gear is a great way to learn the basics without a huge investment.
Climbing Gear That is Fine to Buy Used
Before you decide to purchase a used gear from any shop, you need to figure out which ones are fine to buy used and which are not. Here is the list of some of the climbing gear that can you can buy used:
- Rock climbing shoes
- Mountaineering boots
- Ice Axes
- Sleeping bag
However, you should inspect each of the gear before you decide to spend your money on them.
Gear That You Should Not Buy Used
Well, here are some of the used climbing equipment that aren’t good purchases:
You can’t guarantee that a rope hasn’t been stored improperly or if it has taken a lot of falls even though it looks brand new. Moreover, the rope could be UV damaged, but you can’t prove it as you don’t know its original color. Besides, a rope that has not been used for a while raises many concerns.
You can’t try a harness on and hang it in when you buy it used. Hence, you can’t guarantee whether it fits or not. Buying an ill-fitting harness can be problematic for comfort and safety. Likewise, the used harnesses rarely come with handy instructions.
With the advancement in technology, new climbing harnesses have more safety features. Therefore, you should buy a new harness as opposed to purchasing used ones.
Like the climbing rope, you can’t guarantee that the helmet hasn’t taken a crazy fall just because it doesn’t have cracks, deep scratches, or dents. There is no way that you can ensure the integrity of a used helmet.
When you look for used webbing and slings, you can’t necessarily notice how much they have taken all the way. Though there may be no visual signs of abuse, yet the holding power of the gear can be compromised.
Questionable Gear That Could be Ok to Buy Used
Here are some gears that are questionable but could be ok to buy used:
Before deciding to buy a used carabiner, you need to make sure of different things. First, be sure that the gate pins are in good shape. Also, look at whether the gates open and close without sticking or not. Furthermore, you must check if the lock works well, and the body isn’t out of alignment in any way.
Make sure you note any significant wearing like deep scratches or grooves.
Spending some $20 will get you a new belay device that can last over ten years, so why look for used ones. But more than the price, look for the model with teeth and cut-outs that make it lightweight. If you insist on buying a used one, check thoroughly for wear and whether the belay still has its original color or not.
Table of Content
- Some Places to Buy Cheap & Used Climbing Gear
- Why Should You Buy Used Gear?
- Climbing Gear That is Fine to Buy Used
- Gear That You Should Not Buy Used
- Questionable Gear That Could be Ok to Buy Used
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Well, it is safe, but you need to check for a few things. Firstly, take note of rubber wear. If the toes are worn unevenly or if you notice that the toes or sides are dragged on climbing walls a lot, then that’s a sign that the climber had poor techniques. Avoid using these types of products for your safety.
As the polyamide fibers that ropes are made from tend to break down slowly over time, many manufacturers recommend rope retirement after ten years, even if it has never been used. So basically, that’s how much a climbing rope can last.
To make your used outdoor gear available on the market for reuse, you need to follow these steps:
Look for the price
Pick the best time
Clean your gear properly
Repair if there is any issue
Click some great and clear pictures for online sales
There you go! These are some of the few places where you can find cheap and used climbing gear. We recommend you not to buy the used equipment if you are not entirely familiar with gear anatomy and if you don’t know what you are searching for.