Is it safe to climb in the rain?
Yes, of course! As long as you have the necessary gear and do what you can to mitigate risk, you’re set to climb, rain or shine.
Now, this article isn’t about the do’s and don’ts of climbing in the rain, it’s focused on gear and gear alone. For climbing in the rain tips and tricks, we got you covered.
Rain or Shine Rock Climbing Checklist
Prep your gear bag with these necessities before you head out in a downpour:
- Rain jacket
- Spare change of clothing
- Waterproof backpack
- Hand warmers/Feet warmers
- Normal rock climbing gear
What gear should I have to rock climb in the rain?
Any rock climbing gear for the rain needs to be both windproof and waterproof, yet easily packable and lightweight. We’ve rounded up some recommendations from our climbing crew, for you.
Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Jacket
This rain jacket is unparalleled when it comes to moisture control.
It has three layers of H20-proof membrane so you’re guaranteed to stay dry. It’s bulkier than other contenders on this list, but the price point makes up for it.
An added plus is how sustainable Patagonia shapes its business practices. They really do go above and beyond in “greening up” their clothing options.
Black Diamond Liquid Point Shell
Black Diamond’s rain jacket provides outer and inner waterproof technology.
This jacket is designed with climbers in mind, withan oversized hood that fits over most climbing helmets. The Gore-Tex exterior is perfect for any weather conditions.
Decathlon Quechua MH100
If the price doesn’t attract you, check the specs on this rain jacket.
Although it won’t last you as long as the most expensive alternatives, it will do the trick for part-time use, when you need it most.
Decathlon claims its jacket is built for five inches of rainfall over two hours. It’s totally worth finding a place for this clothing staple in your pack.
Rainleaf Microfiber Towel
This towel is affordable, lightweight, and an enemy to rain. Okay, kidding — but if you need to dry your face or hands before you ascend, Rainleaf’s got you covered.
This towel dries quickly and climbers claim it outperforms other climbing brand towels.
REI Co-Op Multi Towel Lite
REI’s Multi Towel Lite is a lightweight alternative to its heavier, but popular, climbing and hiking towel.
It comes with a handy carrying pouch so you don’t need to toss it in your bag with your gear.
It’s small but mighty; REI states the towel absorbs up to 8 times its weight in water but rings out dry.
Thermos Ultimate Series 500ml
Keep your coffee hot and your hands warm with this outdoor-proof thermos.
It’s light enough to be carried in your pack without adding too much weight, and you’ll thank yourself later when you need to thaw out.
Hydro Flask Standard Mouth 24 oz.
Keep your drinks warm for hours on end as you trek to the next crag.
This thermos is a favorite amongst climbers for its dual usage in keeping beverages toasty or cool.
Marchway Floating Waterproof Bag
Store a change of dry clothing or a second pair of climbing shoes in this dry pack.
It’s affordable enough to be a secondary bag in a bigger rucksack, or use it as your normal daypack.
It’s intended to keep out water, so there’s not much else to it in terms of storage.
Vitchelo 30L Waterproof Backpack
This bag is meant for river crossing and longer backpacking trips, so it’ll do its due diligence for your rainy climbing trip.
It’s lightweight and a total beast in waterproofing. The bag is also buoyant, in case you use it for multiple purposes.
HotHands Variety Pack
Stay warm in all conditions with HotHands warmers.
You won’t even feel them in your bag. Simply stick them in a pocket, gloves, or shoes to keep extremities warm in inclement weather.
Keep in mind the dangers of climbing in the rain.
It’s advised to stay off peaks in storms or where there is lightning in the nearby area.
As long as you understand the risks and climb carefully, the weather shouldn’t affect your climb too much.
Stick to overhangs or forested areas for sheltered routes.
Remember to stay warm and pack your normal gear.
Forgetting anything? Here’s a climbing checklist to be extra sure!
McKenzi Taylor founded Rock Climbing Women in 2013 after moving to a new city as a new climber seeking more climbing partners (and new friends!). Since her first taste of climbing in Spearfish Canyon, SD, McKenzi has been at the rock face seeking and sharing the thrill of climbing. She credits the support of a consistent climbing partner and community as the motivation to continue developing her skill, whether it’s trad, sport climbing or bouldering. A full-time business owner and mother, McKenzi’s on a mission to get her kids outside and learning to adventure alongside her.