There is no doubt that rock climbing can be both daring, nerve-wracking yet rewarding for you. However, to fully engage, enjoy and have a successful rock climbing experience, you must ensure you have the right gear down to the tiniest detail. Your climbing chalks are perhaps a great example of the minuscule and sometimes forgotten essential tools to have when rock climbing, both indoors and outdoors.
The best climbing chalks are designed to enhance and reinforce our safety when rock climbing. These tools are formulated to help make your hands dry and enhance friction and grip between you and the surface to which you are climbing. Thus, their design helps to reduce the risks of slipping or falling.
Listed below for you are the 10 best chalks for climbing in 2020. Each option showcases its unique formulation and design and how they help to enhance your safety in the outdoors. The choice is all yours.
How To Choose A Climbing Chalk – Buying Guide
When choosing the best rock climbing chalk, enough scrutiny should be focused on the performance. The performance of your climbing chalk reflects how effective it is at drying your hands. But it doesn’t end there. A good performing climbing chalk should dry as well as enhanced grip and friction. Furthermore, the grip and friction of your climbing chalk should be well spread and not specific to a single material such as just rock or plastic.
The integrity of your climbing chalk also counts as the performance, you don’t want climbing chalk that easily hardens, clumps or one that comes in an impractical packaging. However, evaluating all this may not be as easy when you are shopping for your climbing chalk online.
Thus, the best way to gauge the performance of the climbing chalk you intend to purchase is by going through real-life customer reviews. After going through a few reviews, you will understand more about the performance of the chalk and how effective they are. You will then have the ultimate answer of whether or not, the chalk option is worth investing in.
The best rock climbing chalk should also offer ample and effective coverage. The coverage of climbing chalk defines how easily it adheres and the duration to which it stays on your hands and actually functions. Climbing chalks such as the Primo climbing chalk are designed with an ingenious fine powder formula that penetrates to the crevices of your hands to ensure proper and ample coverage.
The coverage of your climbing chalk does not only evaluate how much chalk sticks to your hand when you dip n but also how much is left and how effective it is after multiple or long climbing sessions. Just like the performance, the best way to gauge the coverage of climbing chalks before investing in one is by going through real-life customer reviews.
It is also essential to know the type of climbing chalk you want when looking for the best rock climbing chalks to buy. There are three common types of climbing chalks and they come in the form of either loose, bock or liquid.
Loose climbing chalks refers to chalk that comes in the form of powder. The powder features a varied consistency from finely ground to coarse texture. Brands such as the FrictionLabs experiment with their textures, thus, offering consistencies ranging from Unicorn dust fine powder to the Bam Bam super chunky texture. Other FrictionLabs chalk consistencies include the Gorilla grip chunky texture, which is a coarse consistency.
Additionally to the consistency, loose climbing chalk powder will also come in the form of pure magnesium carbonate powder or chalk powder with added drying agents. Both options work great, with drying agents adding more dryness to the chalk.
Block climbing chalks on the other end come in chunks of magnesium carbonate in the form of bricks. Other forms of block climbing chalks include the ball shaped one. The ball shaped climbing chalks allow you to rub them as they are. They normally come housed in a cotton cloth bag which prevents unnecessarily wastage and spills.
Other block climbing chalks can be used by break off the amount you require at the time. Or you may also choose to personally crush and ground the block, and transfer the freshly crushed and ground powder to a chalk bag and use as you desire. You can easily crush and grind the block by first securing it in a bag then stomping on it repetitively. Ensure the bag holds enough density to protect the chalk from flying across the air.
Liquid climbing chalks on the other end come in liquid form. The most common formula integrates mixing loose powdered magnesium carbonate with rubbing alcohol. Liquid chalk is sometimes favored because it dries quickly leaving the chalk residue firmly adhered to your hands. Thus, if you find good quality liquid chalk, you have excellent drying and grip qualities. Additionally, the way the liquid dries ensures that the residue is not as dusty as that from loose or block climbing chalks.
This means that you will not be leaving marks on everything you touch. The subtle adherence of chalk residue on the hands also means that liquid chalks last longer allowing you to climb for a longer period without needed to refresh. However, if you have issues with dry skin, then liquid climbing chalks are not the best choice due to the rubbing alcohol chemical. Liquid chalk can also be used as both climbing chalk, a base layer or as a refresher.
The best climbing chalk is one that integrates pure white magnesium powder. Avoid chalks that boast too much calcium carbonate or calcium sulfate compositions. This is because magnesium carbonate is excellent at enhancing the static coefficient of friction between the hands and the rocks, which act as the coefficient. Magnesium carbonate as a substance is insoluble in water.
Thus, Magnesium carbonate doesn’t dissolve in the sweat but rather dissolves the moisture, thus, leaving your hands effectively dry. In its pure form, the magnesium carbonate also comes with no toxicity and risks to over-dry or crack your skin.
The best rock climbing chalks are those that don’t need to be refreshed over and over. The efficacy of your climbing chalks denotes their efficiency out on the field. This means that good quality climbing chalks will last longer during the climbing session. And unless you have the beginner’s anxiety to dust your palms with each stop to feel comfortable, this will not be a necessary process.
Some of the best rock climbing chalks such as the Primo climbing chalks are built to last longer thanks to their chemical composition. Their integrated formula includes magnesium carbonate, essential oils, and Epsom salt. This helps to give them a naturally anti-bacterial finish which allows them to last longer whilst also protecting your hands. Other climbing chalks feature carefully designed formulas that only require a smaller amount to be effective.
The most significant material in even the best climbing chalk is magnesium carbonate, but that’s not to say that it is the only material used. With every passing day, manufacturers develop newer cutting edge technologies to revolutionize their chalk formulas. A good example is the Primo climbing chalk which integrates magnesium carbonate with five essential oil and Epsom salt.
The Primo chalk composition helps to give the chalk naturally anti-bacterial qualities whilst also protecting your hands from extreme dryness, callus, and blisters. Others include the FrictionLabs Secret Stuff climbing chalk in a creamy texture mixed with alcohol to expedite the drying process and last longer on the hands. The majority of climbing chalks, however, also integrate small amounts of calcium carbonate, calcium sulfate, or both.
So whilst the magnesium carbonate is effective at absorbing water crystals, the calcium carbonate effectively keeps water out. The calcium carbonate does this by binding to water as it is soluble in water. But watch out for climbing chalks that have a high calcium carbonate composition as it tends to be slippery on hands when wet.
Friction And Absorption
Just like performance and coverage, you cannot virtually measure the friction of your chalk. In fact, with this factor, you can’t even explain it in a standardized way. Because friction is felt by feeling, this factor depends on the individual’s comfort, but that is not to say that 10 positive reviews from real-life customers talking about the same thing should be disregarded.
Friction also depends on individual skin types. Some individuals have drier skins, so a small amount of the chalk powder will do the works whilst others count as the opposite. So the best bet is to understand your skin type, your needs, and the reviews. And it also doesn’t hurt to experiment with different brands during the beginning. Do it at an indoor gym in the beginning. You don’t want to be experimenting at the Colorado boulders or in the Alps via Ferrata.
The best rock climbing chalk must also effectively absorb sweat from your palms and fingertips. After absorption, both your palms and fingertips should not have a slippery or damp feel before climbing. The end product should always be dry but grippy hands. The absorption can also be used as a good factor to gauge the ideal type of chalk to use.
Liquid chalks, for example, are not to have a faster absorption and drying rate, making them popular amongst many users. However, if you are one with sensitive skin, this may not be the best choice. So, combining several factors helps you to find the best product choice for you. Thus, you can link the friction and absorption abilities of your chalk to the performance with the key features being dry, grippy, and sticky hands.
Q: Does Chalk Really Help Climbing?
Yes. Chalk is essential for climbing especially with rock climbers. In fact, the use of chalk very much defines the thin line between failure and success. Climbing chalks help to make your hands dry as well as enhancing grip and friction between you and the surface you are climbing. This function of the climbing chalks helps to prevent slipping and falling accidents.
Q: Is Climbing Chalk Bad For You?
In general, when only applied to your hands climbing chalk is extremely safe. In fact, climbing chalk on your hands is life saving safe. But if inhaled, especially by individuals that are prone to respiratory disease, it can cause respiratory irritation. However, in overall climbing chalk is extremely safe.
Q: What Is Climbing Chalk Made Out Of?
Climbing chalk is made up of magnesium carbonate. However, some manufacturers add small amounts of calcium carbonate or calcium sulfate to help enhance the functions and performance of the chalks. Magnesium carbonate absorbs water whilst calcium carbonate blocks water from the outside. This balances out the chalk because if not absorbed, calcium carbonate itself can be slippery.
Q: Can You Wash Chalk Bag?
Yes, you can wash your chalk bag. But ensure it dries really well before usage because a wet chalk bag is rendered unusable. Hand wash the bag and hang dry for use. However, the majority of chalk bags are available at an extremely low price, so if you want to avoid the hassle, you may just opt to get a new chalk bag.
Q: Does Climbing Chalk Expire?
No, climbing chalk doesn’t expire the same way food does. Even though some climbing chalks come with an expiry date label, the actual expiration depends on how you care and store them. So if you follow the right practices and instruction on storing your climbing chalks, then they should last you for a while.
Globo Surf Overview
The climbing chalk reviews outline how these tools are quite handy and important on the field. The climbing chalks are built to keep both hands dry and unlike other drying agents, they also enhance grip and friction. Even though they are underrated, climbing chalks actually contribute to enhancing our safety when rock climbing.
In actuality, one can even say that climbing chalks draw the fine line between a safe and successful rock-climbing expedition and a failed one. The buying guide above on the other end provides a detailed guideline of what to look for when you are choosing the best climbing chalks to invest in.