Are you an outdoor enthusiast who’s into brand new outdoor materials? Or you are a mountain-climber on a budget?
While there is an influx of outdoor adventurers like climbers year after year, outdoor tools and accessories have also become too pricey.
Whether you are only shopping for that one item to complete your collections or you are in dire need of climbing gear, you’d surely opt for a wise buy. Well, if the gear on display is already slightly-used but is reasonably functional, why not?
Let’s face it! We don’t want to spend too much of our penny for high-end outdoor gear unless we are willing to pay just for the brand.
If you are the brand-conscious type, shopping for the best brand and best quality climbing gear must be your top priority. But, did you know that you can actually buy the same quality and the same brand at a lower price? Well, yeah, I am talking about buying a branded but used climbing gear.
- 1 Safety First
- 2 Usage History
- 3 Take It or Leave It
- 4 Buying Secondhand Items
- 5 Online Purchases
- 6 7 Things to Consider When Buying Climbing Gear
- 7 Conclusion
Whether it’s climbing on a wall or a rock, in a gym or outdoor, first things first－ keep safe.
Long-time consumers and climbers have one common advice to those who are eyeing on used climbing gear - to never trust a piece of secondhand equipment unless you know the first user. Is he from your neighborhood, a common friend’s close acquaintance, a second-degree relative, or just a random stranger?
Well, this is not to say that you have to be suspicious about every person selling used equipment to you. You just have to be extra cautious while giving them the benefit of the doubt.
Of course, there is more to knowing the first user of the climbing gear. A thorough visual inspection can help you detect the equipment’s transparent defects. So, demand a quick check on the gear before making further transactions, especially payment.
But, what if the person you are currently dealing with is not the owner of the gear? Can you possibly locate the first owner through him? Or what if he’s the second user of the equipment? Then, you will have to be extra careful about it.
Take It or Leave It
Buying used climbing gear can be tricky. If the person trading in the secondhand gear smells your interest, he’d assume that you are a potential buyer. He might be all-praise about the gear and would only tell you what you want to hear.
The truth is, a climbing gear has a long lifespan. Besides, climbers won’t wait until their equipment wears out before they decide to stop climbing. This only goes to show that there is a lot of used gear hiding in the closet, waiting to be turned over to someone out of budget.
Whether it is a used rock climbing gear or one that is slightly-used, less defective, or not defective at all, here’s the catch - is it 100 percent safe to reuse? Would you feel secure using it while you are reaching the top? When in doubt, just buy yourself a new one.
Buying Secondhand Items
Let’s be honest here. Climbing is a luxury adventure sport. Whether you like it or not, you have to buy the complete equipment needed to pursue such a hobby.
You can’t just join the bandwagon barehanded, much less barefooted. You must equip yourself with the right climbing tools and accessories - from a headlamp to the harness, and down to the shoes.
The harness is one of the essentials as it keeps your whole body safe up and down a wall or an actual crag. It goes without saying that your life after the climb depends on how good your harness holds you. Thus, buying a used climbing harness should be a well-thought-out decision of yours.
Secondhand sales are usually done by individuals, not by a company. Although most of these used items are sold in good faith, you still cannot be so sure about the quality of the item, its history, as well as the probability that this item has just been stolen.
Actually, not all secondhand items are used already. There is some secondhand climbing gear that still has not been used by the first buyer. If you can find someone who sells his unused, still-packed climbing gear, then, good for you!
Quality assurance is already questionable when purchasing a product online because you cannot actually see and touch it. How much more buying secondhand climbing harnesses online when you cannot fit or try on them first?
However, there are online stores(amazon.com) that are worth taking a chance on as they are transparent about the history of their used climbing equipment. Their customer reviews will somehow give you an idea of whether you’d take the risk of buying the item.
But, should you really buy online? Well, one outdoor writer puts it this way, “Don’t put your life on the line when it comes to gear.”
7 Things to Consider When Buying Climbing Gear
There are no shortcuts in getting the right climbing gear you desire. Just like the process of climbing that always starts at the bottom, to find the right gear, you have to do your research first.
2. Try before you buy.
You wouldn’t know whether the item fits you unless you try it on. Ill-fitting climbing gear spells a disaster.
3. If possible, avoid buying them online.
Fitting the gear before buying it can only be possible if you purchase them at the physical store.
4. Watch out for counterfeit products.
If you are not familiar with the difference between a fake item and a genuine one, then, you better bring someone who can decipher it for you. Fake products closely resemble the genuine ones. But, consider it a red flag if they are sold at very low prices.
5. Buying secondhand/used climbing gear is discouraged.
Your climbing equipment is what will keep you safe from this extreme sport some would call “a life-and-death type of hobby.” Hence, it is just wise for you to ensure your gear is strong enough to protect you. Helmets, ropes, and harnesses are primarily listed as gear that should not be acquired secondhand.
6. Keep track of your purchases (and your outdoor activities).
You have to keep a record of your purchases, be it online or physical store. This will help you easily trace the time interval of your outdoor usage from the purchase date. Include in your record how many times you went outdoor for this sport. By keeping track of the date when you bought them as well as your usage will help you calculate the possible season these climbing gear would wear out.
7. Replace your gear as advised.
If you happen to purchase a PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), make sure you adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines as to when you should have them replaced. PPE have their own lifespan and aging process and they have to be replaced for security purposes.
We have just tackled a few disadvantages of buying used climbing equipment, and there’s only one advantage of doing so you can keep in mind - it is a low-budget purchase.
May the seven listed things to consider when buying climbing gear guide you in your shopping spree.
Yet again, are used climbing gear good for you? Well, you be the judge. Buy at your own risk.