How Much Does Rock Climbing Gear Cost?

Things you will need to buy for rock climbing.

The amount you would spend on the necessary rock-climbing gear depends much on the type of rock climbing you would engage in. Rock climbing can be classified into two types: free climbing and aid climbing. Free climbing allows you to use your physical strength to scale any route. In this kind of sport, you only used gear and equipment for protection and not for support. 

On the other hand, aid climbing is a gear-dependent type of climbing wherein you use your equipment to enable and facilitate your scaling of a route. The estimated costs of rock-climbing related activities may range from $400 to $3,000, depending on what type of climber and what kind of terrain you intend to tackle.

Breakdown of Rock-climbing Gear Expenses

As a beginner, you might think that rock climbing as a hobby is expensive. Thus, you may want to know the costs of the necessary equipment you would use to jumpstart your rock-climbing activities. Fortunately, we have done the legwork to provide you with a ballpark figure of how much you would spend on climbing gear.

If you would like to engage in indoor climbing, you might be spending around 10 to 15 dollars per session and about $170 for a decent pair of climbing shoes. The cost of lead climbing with the necessary equipment is approximately $500. This initial cost includes the following:

  • Climbing shoes———————$170
  • Climbing harness——————-$50
  • Climbing helmet——————–$100
  • Chalk———————————$10 
  • Carabiners—————————$10
  • Climbing ropes———————-$100
  • Belay device————————-$35 
  • Chalk bag —————————-$15
  • Chalk brush————————–$10

If you want to engage in bouldering, you will need to shell out around $400. You will spend $170 on climbing shoes, $10 for chalk, $10 for chalk brush, $15 for a chalk bag, and $200 for a climbing crash pad. The figure mentioned above is just a ballpark figure of how much you would spend to engage in such a sport properly, and it might be higher or lower.

Many recreational climbers are not keen on investing their money in equipment. They are merely desirous of experiencing rock climbing indoors to while away their time. So, if you belong to this type of climbers and only want to rent out equipment, you can readily pay for a day pass in a gym. 

Renting, of course, is a viable way of enjoying this sport without shelling out much money for personal equipment. For a day pass, you will only pay around $30 to $35 for a lead climbing experience at any indoor climbing gym.

Basic Gear You Need to Invest In

You will not spend much on an indoor rock-climbing wall experience, even if you visit the gym twice a week. However, if you want to have your gear, you can check out this short discussion on the following gear and their prices:

1) Rope and Helmet

Depending on the type of gym you will join, you may need to wear a helmet and bring your rope. When buying a helmet, you should go for a good climbing helmet, for which you will spend $50-$140 on average. Ropes, on the other hand, are the most expensive gear for which you need to spend around $100 to $300.

2) Belay Devices and Harness

The harness is another piece of equipment you would need to have aside from the rope and helmet. You can buy it separately or pay for a starter kit that includes a harness, carabiner, and belay device. You may need to spend around $90 to $100 for a starter pack of harness, belay device, and carabiner, allowing you to save a bit. 

However, if you do not want to buy a starter pack, you can only buy the harness and pay around $50 to $70 for a beginner’s harness. For a belay device, you will spend at least $20 to $30.   

3) Carabiners, Slings, and ATC

If you want to engage in lead climbing outdoors, you will need extra safety gear. You will need to spend around $30 for a personal anchor system that is important for cleaning your route. You will also need a prusik knot or ATC when you abseil down. If you intend to set up topropes frequently, you will need to buy a locking carabiner and a sling set. This set may cost you around $30 to $40.

4) Cams, Stoppers, and Nuts

If you happen to have your hand on multi-pitch climbing or trad climbing, you will need an additional set of new gear like crack climbing gloves and a full trad rack as protection for your palms. For example, you can settle for a set of cams for which you need to spend around $300. You can also purchase a set of wide stoppers or nuts. These pieces of gear come in different sizes of cracks and may cost you about $50 to $100.

5) Quickdraws

You will also need a quickdraw set for setting up your routes. The number of quickdraws you will need depends on the length of the trails you intend to tackle. When shopping around for quickdraw, it will be useful to remember that it is better to buy these things in packs. You can buy, for example, a set of six quickdraws for $60 to $80, which will let you save a bit, for a single quick draw may cost around $20.

Recreational Rock Climbing: How Much Would It Cost?

If you have decided, after careful thought, to engage in recreational rock climbing, you would surely want to know further the cheapest way to realize to enjoy recreational rock climbing. Well, there is a way to engage in rock climbing as recreation without denting your savings. 

As a piece of good advice, you need to buy a pair of climbing shoes that are durable. Moreover, it will be useful to engage in bouldering outdoors at the onset because it is cheaper than other rock-climbing types. Besides, it necessitates less equipment. 

Yet, you may find bouldering outdoor a bit challenging for you as a beginner. Thus, you can settle for indoor bouldering to save some money. With indoor bouldering, you only need to buy climbing shoes sans those crash pads. Moreover, you only need to pay around $195 for a day session. The bulk of what you are going to pay goes to your climbing shoes, which will cost you about $170, and chalk, which is around $10, plus $15 for the use of the indoor facilities. 

Of course, your shoes will last only 6 to 24 months, depending on how you use them, so you will need a new pair afterward. You might also want to ask for discounts from your climbing gyms. They usually offer discounts for regular clients. Moreover, you can pay for bulk sessions, which can help you save money.  

If you do not want to engage in bouldering, you can purchase a good pair of climbing shoes while availing of equipment for rent at the gym. However, you need to spend a bit more on other equipment for rent if you do not like bouldering.


The costs of the necessary rock-climbing gear vary depending on the rock-climbing type you would like to do. Bouldering, of course, might be the cheapest type you could engage in, and it is even less expensive if you could do it indoors. On average, you will spend around 400 dollars for the cheapest experience. However, the average lead climbing equipment will cost you about $500

The abovementioned costs of enjoying this type of sport are just ballpark figures. However, it can either be more or less, depending on your preference. Given the ballpark figure above, you can indeed have a good idea about how much you would spend to jumpstart your rock climber ambition. 

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