Buying Used Climbing Gear
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Buying used gear is an awesome way to keep things out of landfills, to save the planet, and to save your money. Within the climbing community, you can often also borrow and share gear with your climbing friends and partners - saving money and storage space, as we discussed in this article.
In the same vein, there are a few things you need to keep an eye on when buying gently used rock climbing gear. There is some equipment you NEVER want to buy used and there are other things that you can confidently purchase second-hand if you know what key elements to look for when shopping.
No. Although it is extremely rare, new climbing gear is sometimes manufactured improperly (single defective product), or a whole line of products can be found to have engineering defects, causing the company to issue a recall for the climbing equipment.
Climbing gear has a long lifespan, and most recreational climbers never come close to wearing out their gear before getting bored or giving up the sport. This means that there is an abundance of gently used gear sitting in closest, just waiting to be handed down to someone with less money and more stoke.
Used climbing gear (used trad climbing gear in particular) holds its value pretty well. For instance, Black Diamond Camalots, the most popular cams on the market, retail new for $50 and up (larger sizes costing more). On the secondhand market, these units are rarely sold for less than $30. Often they will sell for just 10 or 20 dollars under the original purchase price.
If you are buying used bouldering crash pads, inquire about the use history (how long the previous owner has had it, how often he or she used it, if it saw a lot of falls, etc), and ask to feel the foam before buying.
Buying used ice gear can be tricky, as the most important factor for ice gear is the sharpness. Crampons can be filed down and ice tools can have new picks added, but these things are time-consuming and/or costly. Ice screws, once they are dulled, cannot be re-sharpened.
So I really want to build up my climbing rack, but I just cannot afford new gear especially cams which are so expensive. I check out the sales on ebay and MP and sometimes I think about buying used gear, but before I put in a bid I start thinking do I really want to trust used cams Should I pull the trigger and buy discounted used gear Or be forever stuck top-roping
As far as used pro goes, I've never had a problem but know what you are buying. Make sure you have a reasonable idea about old they are (what they make is, etc.) and that the the cams and slings are in decent condition. Although I've never heard of a sling breaking, if you are concerned you can have them replaced by either the manufacturer or a place like Mountain Tools or Ragged Mountain (though this will add to the cost of the used cam). Personally I have gotten the best deals off craigslist and find ebay always way overpriced. MP is usually somewhere in between but there is generally a steady stream of stuff for sale. In general, I would be reluctant to pay more than 40 bucks for a used small to mid size cam in good condition and I would try to get a biner or a shipping thrown in with that. You can easily get 20% off new things on the internet and often 30-40% during good sales. Most places ship free. Bear that in mind when buying used gear as the prices often get out of hand. One another tip is that for the majority of cragging you really don't need double sets of a cams. A single set of nuts and single set of cams up to BD#3 is plenty (I think you could probably lose the .3 and 3 and be pretty good too). Remember that people were crushing 5.12 with all passive pro. Climbing with less gear will only make you awesomer in the long run. Jim
It's like asking if you should use a used condom. It might work, it might not. You never know how someone's gear has been used and abused. I learned how to lead using someone elses gear (the guy that taught me and his gear was freaking old. That was in 1990) I didn't know any better then. I then scrounged after that to build my own rack after about 3 or 4 years. I got kinda lucky as I fell into \"teaching\" indoors at a rock gym on long island and got pro deals on some of my gear plus we didn't get paid we built up comp time and used that to pay for gear. If you buy used gear-- \"buyer beware\" You may never know though you might come across some good stuff.
Buy new. Try going out climbing with some old school traddie with 20+ year old gear. It will make you appreciate new gear so much more. If expense is a problem then I would say to budget to buy one stopper a week and one cam a month. It will take a while but will be worth it in the long run.
Pretty much everyone who climbs does so with used gear, even if it was new when they got it. If you have a magnifying glass and understand simple machinery and stress cracks you can score some decent used gear. There are people who disagree and feel nothing you don't know the entire history of can possibly be \"safe\", but we're in a sport that isn't \"safe\" to begin with- and so the debate goes... sort of like those PAS threads. Everyone draws their own line somewhere- I stick to new stuff if it's rope, harnesses, slings, etc. (basically any kind of fabric), but my used metal equipment has served me well over the years.
I think I've bought 6 new cams out of the close to 30 that I have. Most of my sport gear is new, but even it is filled out with a variety of old, but good draws. Taken plenty of falls on gear, new and used, never had a concern about it. My experience is that it is incredibly hard to break well designed climbing gear. Yes, you can damage it in a normal situation, but it is rare and that type of damage is visible(I retired a nut last week as the cable was kinked beyond fixing, if I was interested though I could reswag it and throw it back on the rack). Add to that the fact that I have yet to meet a climber who is willing to sell questionable gear and I have a good amount of faith in used climbing gear. Be smart with your purchases and you can save a lot of money getting into the sport without unnecessary risk.
It's not hard to buy decent used gear. If it looks beat then it probably is. There's a lot of folks that over think this stuff and it is largely their loss. I bought a used Gri-Gri and when one of my partners found out it was used said he refused to use it. I laughed and asked if he'd looked at the junk on his rack lately.
I've bought used gear that I totally trust as well as sold used gear that I had complete faith in. Just watch what you buy and who you buy it from. The only thing I would shy away from is some of those ebay resellers that don't know anything about climbing. They wouldn't know a bad cam from a hole in the ground.
My first rack was scored out of a pawn shop in Logan, UT around 2002. Something like 11 metolius cams, a rigid friend, a hand full of stoppers, a pair of Trango ice tools, and a couple of VHS tapes for $150. Most of the cams were maybe placed once, some looked brand new. I just had some of these cams reslung a few years back, and some of them reslung recently. Purchasing used cams is just like placing it. Inspect, and make a judgement call. I always wonder who the guy was that stole or sold the rack to a pawn shop. I definitely used the whole \"I dont know what has been done with this climbing equipment\" speech to help me get a better deal on the rack. After writing the check to the pawn shop, my bank account was non-existent. But it was well worth it. I still use all of the metolius cams, and the rigid friend hangs out on my overflow cams.
We buy used outdoor gear! We are not a consignment shop, so we give you cash or store credit for your second-hand items. We buy gear based off of seasonality and our current used inventory. Once you bring in your items we will inspect them to determine the amount of life-remaining in the product and provide you with a quote for cash or store credit (15% more than cash). We will never buy something sight unseen.
One of the preferred options for buying affordable climbing gear are outlets. Some major brands also have outlet stores that can be shopped even online. Here are some examples of climbing gear outlets.
Another option is Sierra Trading Post, which is a brand owned by the TJX conglomerate. They do have an online shop where you can purchase select climbing/hiking gear for way less than big-name stores. They also carry big brands like C.A.M.P. and Petzl.
Renting rock climbing gear is a solid option, especially if you're new to the sport and aren't sure how much you like it yet, or if you live in an apartment with little to no storage space. That said, there are so many places that offer rock climbing gear rentals. For example, REI has a gear rental option for all outdoor sports, from rock climbing to snow shoes. Since it's from REI, it's guaranteed to be in great shape and reliable, and the prices really aren't too shabby.
Just like buying used clothes, buying used climbing gear cuts down on perfectly good equipment from going to waste. Again, REI is a great resource for used gear, and so is Gear Trade, which lets you buy used equipment, and send in old gear for an incredible discount.
For all things alpine and rock climbing, Arc'teryx has a wide range of inventory, with a mission to create sustainable, long-lasting gear. The company is also committed to achieving a circular economy, and is committed to its fair trade certification, to ensure its employees are treated properly, and that its resources are 100 percent sustainable.
Not only can you find good deals on outdoor products at consignment shops and online, but you can also donate and sell your used gear to give it a second life. You could post on online marketplaces and groups, or bring your goods in to your local secondhand shop for a trade-in. If you have gear that needs a tune-up, many companies offer repair programs to help you get more use out of your precious belongings. 59ce067264