ARTICLE - An Introduction to Vegan Climbing Equipment Review

As a vegan, taking on a new sport/discipline requires research. With the help of the Veggie Guide team, we have put together a simple guide to vegan climbing products.

Vegan Collage  © UKC Gear
Vegan Collage

Clearly there are some gear items that do not require inclusion in a guide to vegan climbing products; things like chalk, harnesses, helmets, mountain clothing and hardware rarely use animal products.

Other items such as rope bags and boulder buckets may not come to mind immediately as items containing animal products - and indeed many do not - but the use of leather, suede and certain types of glue make creating a list such as the following not so black and white. Deciding where to draw the line in terms of which item categories to include is tricky, but we have featured products that we believe could have animal product-containing alternatives and have consulted with brands to ensure that this list is vegan friendly.

We would like to thank all of the mentioned brands for their co-operation in building this guide. For a more extensive list of vegan-friendly climbing products, contact the Veggie Guide team.

Vegan Climbing Products Available in the UK

Vegan Climbing Shoes

Because climbing shoe styles vary for each discipline, we have picked a broad selection for this category. The following models have been confirmed vegan-friendly by their manufacturers.

Tenaya Oasi

Tenaya Oasi  © UKC Gear

Tenaya say: 'The shoe offers exceptional performance across a wide range of climbing disciplines, from bouldering on tiny edges and friction-slopers to long endurance pitches on overhanging walls.'

More info

Ocun - Crest QC/LU, Strike QC/LU, Hero, Pearl

Crest LU  © UKC Gear

Ocun have six pairs of vegan shoes on offer, with Quick Closure and Lace Up options available. The Crest is their most popular shoe and a good choice for beginners.

More info

Five Ten - Dragon, Quantum

Five Ten Dragon  © UKC Gear

Five Ten have a wealth of vegan footwear options, both in their rock shoe and approach shoe range. The Dragon and the Quantum models are the more downturned of the vegan options for precision and steep climbing. The Quantum has a lined, synthetic Clarino upper, which is no-stretch and the Dragon has a no-stretch synthetic Cowdura upper.

More info

Five Ten - Anasazi VCS, VCS LV, Blanco and Pinks

Anasazi Pinks  © UKC Gear

The popular Anasazi range are also vegan - from the classic Pinks to the newly reintroduced Blancos. These shoes are classed as all-rounders for smearing, edging, crack climbing and anything else!

More info

Evolv - Shaman 2016

Evolv Shaman 2016  © UKC Gear

The classic Shamans were remodeled in 2016 with an improved fit and performance. Synthetic (Synthratek VX upper).

More info

Vegan Chalk Bags & Chalk Buckets

Here's a small selection of animal-free chalk bags and chalk buckets.

DMM - Trad

DMM Trad  © UKC Gear

DMM say: 'For big hands and those who like to chalk up to the wrist, this Trad daddy chalk bag will hold all the chalk you’ll ever need on a massive route. Supplied with a matching Chalk Bag Belt.' Available in grey, green, red and blue.

More info

Ocun - Push

Ocun Push  © UKC Gear

Ocun say: 'A fashion accessory to the Ocun harness.' Practical pocket on the back + 2 brush holders

More info

Ocun - Boulder Bag

Ocun boulder  © UKC Gear

Roll-down closure, brush holders on sides, zippered back pocket, 2 rubber handles, detachable chalk ball and towel inside.

More info

Organic Climbing - Lunch Bag Chalk Bucket

Organic lunch box  © UKC Gear

Organic says: 'Burly 1000d nylon fabric is stiff, ensuring the Lunch Bag Bucket stays open while you're bouldering.'

More info

Vegan Brushes

Sourcing vegan-friendly brushes can be tough as most are made from boar hair. However, Sublime and Metolius both provide quality nylon alternatives.

Sublime - Bouldering Brush (Nylon)

Sublime  © UKC Gear

Tom Randall's Sublime brushes are available with Nylon bristles. Complete with storage compartment for secret things...

More info

Metolius - M-16 Brush (Nylon)

Metoilus  © UKC Gear

Metolius say: 'A double ended Nylon brush with standard and narrow ends make this the perfect tool for scrubbing climbing holds on a route, boulder, or in the gym. It's also great for cleaning the hard to reach parts of your cams.'

More info link where available

Vegan Rope Bags

DMM - Classic rope bag

Classic blue  © UKC Gear

DMM say: 'Use it as a rucksack on its own, or convert it easily to a courier bag with the padded straps. Large rope tarp with colour coded tie in points. Large enough for an 80m+ single rope or a pair of 60m halfs with a few extras. Zipped valuables pocket. Available in 4 colours to suit your style.'

More info

Black Diamond - Super Slacker

Superslacker  © UKC Gear

Black Diamond say: 'Keeping your rope clean and tangle free, the SuperSlacker spreads out flat for a clean place to flake your rope. Courier-style shoulder strap, compression straps for packability, full zip and drawcord closure. 123 x 152 cm (4 x 5 ft). Sold in assorted colours.'

More info link where available

Vegan Packs

Both Snap and Organic Climbing provide quality vegan-friendly rucksacks.

Snap Climbing - Snapack

Snapack  © UKC Gear

SNAP say: 'Another first from SNAP – an approach bag with the zipper between the shoulder straps. Somebody had to think of it, and inspired by crash-pad design, it was SNAP. The shoulder straps stay clean! They never come into contact with the ground!'

More info

Organic Climbing - Pump Pack

Pump  © UKC Gear

Organic say: 'Large top loading Daypack (20" tall X 10.5" X 7" deep Approx 25L) with 2 colorful daisy chains down front of pack, bar tacked with contrasting thread colors, ergonomic padded shoulder straps, Sternum strap, comfy foam back panel and a secure drawcord closure. Constructed of 1000D Cordura Nylon.'

More info

Vegan Climbing Balms and Tape

Climbing takes a toll on your hands. Here are some balms that use vegan ingredients, not tested on animals:

ClimbOn - Creme Lite

Climb on  © UKC Gear

ClimbON say: 'CRÈME LITE- You are assured to get the same proven, effective, awesome ingredients as the climbOn Crème without the beeswax and aloe vera gel. This is a silky smooth wonderful crème that soaks in quickly and leaves no greasy residue.'

More info link where available

Ocun Climbing Tape

Ocun Tape  © UKC Gear

Ocun say: 'We offer highly adhesive tapes in two different widths - 25 and 50 mm.'

100% cotton.

More info link where available

In summary...

With quite a number of options available, it should generally be possible to source vegan-friendly climbing gear. But if you feel that we have missed anything, please leave a comment below and we will do our best to help.

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31 Mar, 2017
Without wishing to disrespect Josef's personal convictions, I though nylon brushes were widely regarded these days as more damaging to the rock than boar's hair and therefore frowned upon?
31 Mar, 2017
Plants have feelings too!
31 Mar, 2017
31 Mar, 2017
Great article, thanks :)
31 Mar, 2017
The most useful bit of kit for an outdoorsy vegan
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