No matter what level of rock climbing you have reached, you know all about how crucial it is to have the right gear to keep you as safe as possible. One wrong move or lack of supplies could lead to serious injuries and falls, which should be avoided at all costs.
One of the most important items that you will want to include on your climb up is rock climbing chalk. As you may have noticed when you are climbing or doing any form of physical activity, you sweat a lot, and we all know why we do.
In most sports, sweating is just seen as an inevitable consequence of burning off calories, but with rock climbing, it is more of a concern.
Your hands need to be as dry as possible in order to grip and maneuver over the rocks with ease securely. The hands are among the first to acquire moisture, and since they make direct contact with the rocks, it could make things slippery.
In order to prevent this, you will need to invest in the best chalk for climbing that suits your budget and preference, and that is what we will be discussing today.
The most frequently asked question asked by many rock climbing enthusiasts is what is the best chalk for climbing, and we have you covered.
Choosing the right product can be overwhelming with a variety of options out there. We will help to break down everything you need to know about the process. While there are three main kinds, we will go over two types, our favorite loose and liquid chalk brands.
Best Loose Climbing Chalk - Black Diamond White Gold Loose Chalk
The first product on our list is the Black Diamond White Gold loose chalk, one of the best rock climbing chalk on the market. It is very affordable, with prices just under fifteen dollars for the largest size.
The feature that makes this brand unique is the chalk shot that comes with some of the size options. The chalk shot is a refillable mesh ball that holds 50g of the chalk inside of it. This makes applying the chalk to your hands a lot easier.
When you are just using the loose powder out of the bag provided, it takes a great amount of effort not to make a mess, which is the common issue with any brand of loose powder.
With the chalk shot, you have more control over the amount that you use each time. You can pour a small amount into the palm of your hands before you start your climbing session with ease.
Also, since it is like a pouch, when you are in the middle of a session or about to start one that is more challenging that requires more grip, you can simply dip your fingers in.
Another great feature of this brand is the quality of the product itself. Magnesium carbonate is the drying agent that is responsible for keeping any moisture at bay.
Some brands use antiperspirant additives to try and prevent sweating altogether, but the chemicals used can be harmful and irritating to the skin.
If you do not sweat in excessive amounts on your hands, this will not be necessary. The pure magnesium carbonate blend that Black Diamond incorporated into this product removes unwanted moisture from the hands without leaving them chapped and cracked.
So, if you want the all-around best chalk for indoor climbing without risking quality and your budget, this option is perfect for you.
Best Finely Ground Climbing Chalk - TRANGO Gunpowder Climbing Chalk
Next up is the TRANGO Gunpowder climbing chalk, the best chalk climbing product for those who do not like lumps. When it comes to rock climbing chalk, there are different textures to choose from, ranging from clumpy to fine dust.
If your personal preference is a loose powder with a very fine texture, this brand is perfect for you. Because of how fine it is, it will feel silky on the skin and will allow you to use less of the product at once, as the powder will take up more surface area faster.
The best part of this brand is the packaging. Where most chalk brands use buckets or bags, this one uses a container that dispenses the product out slowly for more control. You won’t have to dip your hands in, dust them off and create a big mess on the floor or the area around you. You can simply sprinkle it into your hands.
Using this kind of container and being clump-free makes it very easy and mess-free to refill chalk bags or shots if you have chosen to use them. You won’t have any spills, making the chalk last a lot longer than other methods of packaging.
With the texture, many have found that it lasts longer on your hands as well. If you are conservative with your products, or don’t want to have to continuously dip and reapply the chalk to your hands in the middle of rock climbing sessions, this chalk is the way to go.
The feature that many customers have raved about with this product is how it feels on the skin. It feels extremely soft and smooth and has a soothing effect with drying. This is good news for those of you that don't like the rough feeling that you get with the most block and chunky powders.
Although this product isn’t as popular and high-quality as the more expensive brands available, investing in it will mean that you will have a smooth, efficient fine climbing chalk that will last for a long time.
Best Liquid Chalk for Climbing - Liquid Fit Grip Climbing Chalk
The best liquid chalk for bouldering is the one by Liquid Fit Grip. Liquid chalks are the hardest chalk to make since it involves making a lotion that dries out your hands, but this brand does it while also keeping comfortability and efficiency in mind.
The great thing about this product is that it is made to be as convenient as possible. It comes in two main sizes, a 50mL, and 250mL bottle. The small one is made with a carabiner on the outside of the bottle, making it readily accessible at all times.
The bigger one is packaged in a slim container that fits nicely in hand and a pocket or bag with ease. If you have a bit more to spend, you can get these two sizes packaged together for the use of the carabiner, and the bigger one for refills.
It is also very simple to use. All you have to do is squirt a small amount into the palm of your hands, rub them together, and let it dry for 10 seconds. You have absolute control of the amount that you use of the product, which is not possible with a block or loose chalks, so waste isn't a problem.
Something to look out for, however, is using small amounts when applying. Since it is liquid, it has buildable coverage. Applying too much at once can lead to the product caking up on the hands, defeating the purpose of the grip that it is meant to provide.
It does have additives in place to help minimize sweating, so if you do not mind this and don’t have sensitive skin, this brand should be among the first that you try.
On What to Pay Attention to When Choosing Your Product
Ease of Application
One of the first things that you want to look out for before choosing the right chalk is how it is applied, and this can be determined by its texture. Block chalk comes in clumps that give you the ability to hold it in your hand, getting just the right amount of dust without wasting too much.
However, you will still need to do quite a bit of dusting and blowing to get off any excess that you don't need on your hands. Loose powder is similar, except that in most instances, you have to dip your hands in it, which allows more product to be applied. The downside is that there is more cleaning to do.
Liquid chalk is applied like lotion and is stored in containers that allow you to squeeze out the perfect amount of product. But, unlike the other two, too much of it can make it get cakey a lot quicker and easier. It boils down to how much mess you are willing to make and the way it feels on the hands.
How Long It Lasts
The next thing to check out is how long it lasts. While reapplication isn't that much of a hassle, you would want to choose chalk that is used less frequently in order to save the product and your money.
To find out how long specific brands last, be sure to look at personal reviews from customers to see what issues they have had with reapplication. In general, products that have antiperspirant additives will last longer, as they keep away sweat, but they are also extremely drying for sensitive skin, so keep that in mind.
The way that you have to grind the chalk is another thing to consider. Chunky climbing chalk might require you to find ways to break it up. Most people put the chalk into a bag and step on it until it gets to the desired size. The grind of the chalk also impacts the way it feels on the hand.
Finely ground chalk that is more of powder usually feels very smooth, since there is more control of the amount applied in one go. With block and liquid chalk, it can get more on the cakey side, as mentioned earlier so that they might feel more grainy than loose chalk.
While the grip of most climbing chalks is similar, you will need to make sure that it gets the job done every time. The grip indicates how long it stays on. You will not want the product to be too smooth, as this won't cause enough friction and will cause it to wear off faster.
You also should take into account whether you are a beginner or expert, and how long your sessions usually last. The length of time and difficulty will decide how much grip you will need.
Type Of Chalk
As you may have guessed from the other aspects to look out for, the common theme among them is the type of chalk. Since each texture has its own list of features and benefits, the main thing to consider before making a purchase is the type.
As mentioned before, block chalk is the type that clumps together. It has a similar feel to powder, the only difference being that you can pick it up and put it into your hand to get the product on it. You can also break off just enough to bring along with you on your climb without needing a bag.
Loose powder is what it sounds like. It ranges from slightly clumpy to very fine and is easier to rub into the hands. While it gives the perfect amount of surface area without caking, it is a lot messier than the other types.
Liquid chalk is powder mixed with alcohol and other additives to make it the consistency of lotion. This makes it mess free and very easy to apply, but more customers dislike the way it feels on the hands than the others, as it is the one that cakes the most and can irritate the skin.
Besides that, they all do the same thing and have the same effect; it just depends mostly upon preference. If you are unsure after learning about each type to choose, trying each one may be the best choice for you if the opportunity arises.
Shopping for the best rock climbing chalk can be a challenge, but figuring out what features matter to you and the texture that you prefer makes the process a lot simpler.
It is important for you to have the perfect one to feel as comfortable and as safe as possible when you are engaging in such an exciting and risky activity. Thank you for reading.