The Best Climbing Holds of 2021

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In the not so distant past, indoor gyms were not readily available as they are today. And the selection of climbing holds was next to non-existent. Mostly you used what was available and were happy with it. Today, however, in the glorious heyday of climbing, climbing holds have become a fusion of art and science.

What was once relegated to a few eccentric individuals has now risen to new heights in the hands of Master Shapers. From their masterful fingers, a bounty of unique climbing holds flow with each passing day, adding to the veritable cornucopia of choices. While this profusion most definitely gives us options, we now face the question, “what are the best climbing holds?”

Maybe you’re an avid rock climber who can’t make it out to the gym as much as you’d like. Or perhaps you’re route setter in a gym. Or maybe you’re just looking to make an interactive climbing playground for your kids. Whatever the case may be, you’ll need some climbing holds, and lots of them. Not to worry! We have scoured the internet of all things and have found the best there is to offer.

Given the vast number of choices, we have opted to choose bundles of climbing holds that give the most combinations of holds, as well as maintaining the standards of quality. By following our guide, you will be able to find the best climbing holds to start your new wall or add to an existing one.

Our Top Favorite
Metolius Foundation Hold Set - 35 pk Holds & boards
Our Top Runner Up
Metolius Mega Pack Hold Sets One Color, 60
Our Top Value Pick
Metolius PU Greatest Hits Super 7-7 Pack
Climbing Holds
Metolius Foundation Set
Metolius Mega Hold Pack
Metolius Super 7 Holds
Prime Eligible?
-
-
Our Top Favorite
Metolius Foundation Hold Set - 35 pk Holds & boards
Climbing Holds
Metolius Foundation Set
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Runner Up
Metolius Mega Pack Hold Sets One Color, 60
Climbing Holds
Metolius Mega Hold Pack
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Value Pick
Metolius PU Greatest Hits Super 7-7 Pack
Climbing Holds
Metolius Super 7 Holds
Prime Eligible?

Last update: 2021-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Best Climbing Holds For New Walls The Best Climbing Holds For New Walls

With our busy lives, it’s hard to go climbing as much as we like. Maybe we can make it out to the local crag on the weekend, but for those of us who can’t get enough or want to train hard during the week, we need an alternative. Going to the local climbing gym isn’t always an option either. That leaves home gyms. We looked around, and these are the best climbing hold set to start a new wall, combing versatility and function.

Metolius Foundation Set

The best pack on the market for beginners, the Metolius Foundation Set, does what it says; sets the foundation of your wall. Depending on your wall size, this climbing hold pack comes in 35, 65, and 105 piece pack setting you up for success right out of the gate.

As a self-styled foundational pack, there is a large variety of sizes, styles, and types of holds from which to choose. Not only that, but each piece is designed in a way that different orientations serve different functions, giving you the versatility to set routes in many different configurations with a limited number of holds.

To help those new to home gyms, the pack comes with a handy booklet that outlines the best way to set up your home gym, as well as all the hardware to get started. This pack includes a variety of both screw-on and bolt-on holds, allowing you to maximize the area covered by the climbing holds.

What makes the Metolius Foundation Set Unique:

  • It comes in a variety of quantities: 35, 65, and 105 piece packs.
  • Features a variety of different sizes and styles of holds, forming an excellent foundation for your wall.
  • Each hold has multiple possible orientations, maximizing their versatility and saving valuable space and, ultimately, money.

Why You Should Choose this Climbing Holds Pack:

Metolius Foundation Hold Set - 35 pk Holds & boards
  • Metolius
  • 10 screw on hands, 10 screw on feet, 5 mini jug, 5 modulars, 5 micros, 1 multi wrench
  • Includes all hardware and a "How to Build a Home Bouldering Wall" booklet

Last update: 2021-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


The Best Climbing Holds For Adding To Walls

The Best Climbing Holds For Adding To Walls

So you’ve got a climbing wall, and you want to add some holds to it. Maybe you specific types of holds to train for particular climbs, or perhaps you want more variety to f. If you have specific holds in mind, chances are you know where to get them. On the other hand, as they say, variety is the spice of life. These climbing hold packs will add that flavor only spice provides.

Metolius Mega Hold Pack

Another Metolius product on the list is hardly a surprise considering that the company has been manufacturing climbing holds for the past 20 years. Plenty of time to optimize their products to meet all our climbing needs.

When it comes to variety, the Metolius Mega Hold Pack meets that need perfectly. With packs containing 30, 40, 50, and 60 holds each; these packs make perfect additions to every wall. Every pack comes with footholds, rails, micros, jugs, and everything else you could want, and in many different sizes to boot!

Like the Metolius Foundations Pack, the Mega Pack comes with an instruction booklet as well as all the hardware need for mounting them. This includes a variety of both screw-on and bolt-on holds.

While these are not the cheapest hold on the market, for the variety and quality of the holds, these are a great value and make an excellent addition to your climbing wall. If you need specific types of holds for your wall, however, you might be better off buying packs specific to your needs.

When it comes to the texture and durability of the holds, these holds excel. They are a favorite of route setters and are used in gyms all over. However, it should be noted that they have a tendency to crack when over-torqued.

What makes Metolius Mega Hold Pack Unique:

  • It comes in a variety of quantities: 30, 40, 50, and 60 piece packs.
  • Features a variety of different sizes and styles of holds, adding diversity to an existing wall or new wall.
  • Each hold has multiple possible orientations, maximizing their versatility and saving valuable space and, ultimately, money.

Why You Should Choose this Climbing Holds Pack:

  • It comes with a handy booklet and all the hardware needed to start a new wall.
  • It contains a mixture of both screw-on and bolt-on holds, enabling you to maximize your wall space.
  • The holds are made of a durable polyurethane resin, mimicking natural rock.
Metolius Mega Pack Hold Sets One Color, 60
  • Bolts, t-nuts and self-drilling screws included
  • How to Build a Home Bouldering Wall booklet

Last update: 2021-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Our Value Picks for the Best Climbing Holds

Our Value Picks for the Best Climbing Holds

Climbing holds are not cheap! But then you get what you pay for. When you want value for money, the Metolius Packs are hard to beat. But if you want to save money, there are a few ways to do that.

Metolius Super 7 Holds

The smallest pack offered by Metolius, the Super 7, comes with, you guessed it, 7 holds. With this small number of holds, it’s easy to choose the pack with the holds you want, and at this price, you can probably get at least two. If not, this is a perfect pack to increase your climbing hold stash over time.

Each pack comes with four modular and three micro holds of different sizes, styles, and textures. And as with their other packs, changing their orientation gives new opportunities for route setting. While they won’t drastically change your wall, they will add variety where you need it and can up your strength training and technical game if placed in strategic places.

Unlike the previous packs, these holds are all bolt-on, meaning that they are not as versatile in placement. But they will provide the security you need to push yourself as far as you want.

What makes Metolius Super 7 Holds Unique:

  • Reliable holds that will last you for a long time.
  • This pack comes with four modular and three micro holds allowing you to add variety to your wall.
  • The hardware is included in this set.

Why You Should Choose these Climbing Holds:

  • With only seven holds, this pack is extremely budget-friendly, allowing you to add holds when you can afford to.
  • The quality and variety of the holds allow you to target the climbing style you want specifically.
Metolius PU Greatest Hits Super 7-7 Pack
  • An excellent value.
  • Set includes 4 Modular holds and 3 Micro holds that are a random mix of holds from Metolius' Greatest Hits which combines sets for a better variety.

Last update: 2021-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


How to Choose the Best Climbing Holds for You

Given the number of different styles of climbing holds that are available, it is a daunting task trying to find the right ones for you. Especially as they are not cheap and the costs add up quickly! By keeping in mind a few key factors, you will narrow down your choices and be able to choose the best climbing holds for you.

Your Climbing Capability: the most important determining factor in choosing the best climbing holds, it is important to be honest with yourself. While you may want to give yourself the benefit of the doubt and inflate your climbing capability, this will only come back to haunt you. You can always use climbing holds that are larger and geared towards lower level climbers when your climbing capabilities increase. However, if you buy a bunch of crimpers and slopers when you’re a novice, you’ll be in for a bad time. These types of holds can always be added to your collection over time.

Type of Training: the next factor to consider would be the type of training you are going for. If you are a newbie, then you’ll want a mix of holds that will give you the ability to practice different techniques. It is essential to include a good combination of small and larger holds to help you develop your climbing muscles. If you’re an experienced climber, then you will be aware of what type of training you need. In this case, look for sets of climbing holds that will give you the challenge that you need.

Key Differentiators of Climbing Holds

These days there are many different types of climbing holds, from generic ones to specialized and outlandish. On the whole, there are a few key ways in which they differ.

Type of Hold: for the most part, climbing holds are designed to mimic the physical forms of natural mineral formations in addition to forcing climbers to perform the same physical motions they would in situ. There are ten essential types of climbing holds.

1. Jugs: named after the handles on jugs, these holds are usually the easiest to grasp. They are by and large bigger than most holds—big enough to comfortably hold with two hands—and tend to be incredibly “positive” (easy to hold onto).

2. Incuts/Minijugs: smaller versions of Jugs, these mini-jugs are positive but usually only large enough to be held with one hand.

3. Crimps: small narrow holds with slightly positive edges these holds are characterized by being only deep enough to fit the tips of the fingers onto. To utilize them fully, your fingers are bent at the second knuckle, hence “crimp.”

4. Edges/Ledges: similar to crimps, these holds are deeper than crimps and can accommodate more of your finger and/or toes on the positive edge. Mimics common holds found in the great outdoors.

5. Slopers: some of the least positive climbing holds, slopers “slope” away from the wall in a smooth curve providing few if any features to cling to. These holds require the use of static friction, often employing the whole palm to find purchase.

6. Pinches: these holds are characterized by the climbers’ ability to “pinch” them between the fingers and the thumb. Often thin and similar to crimps—although they have two positive edges—, they require tremendous finger strength to be used effectively.

7. Volumes: the largest of all climbing holds, volumes are generally used to add unique features to a route, and can significantly change the profile of a wall. They are essentially a “growth” on the wall providing additional locations on which to attach yet other climbing holds.

8. Pockets: climbing holds that feature a small opening, usually only big enough for one to three fingers. These holds are typically designed so that they must be used as pockets with no additional positive features.

9. Underclings: while these perhaps do not strictly fall into a category of their own, underclings are characterized by having their positive edge facing towards the ground. This position forces the climber to grip the hold with an underhanded grip. Other holds may be utilized as underclings with proper orientation.

10. Horns: named after the shape of a horn, these holds are characterized by a broad base that tapers to a rounded point.

Composition: the materials from which climbing holds are highly varied. In the beginning, climbing holds were composed of natural materials, but they were quickly replaced by synthetics, which are easier to work with and last longer.

1. Wood: an early material used for making climbing holds, wood is inexpensive and easy to shape. It is still used today by many home gym builders as well as commercial climbing hold manufacturers. They are usually smooth and easy to grasp but wear down and may splinter.

2. Rock: another early material used for climbing holds, rocks give the most realistic experience of all climbing holds. Difficult to manufacture, heavy, and with a tendency to polish over time with use, rock can be a difficult material to work with. However, a resurgence of commercially available rock climbing holds is taking place today, emphasizing their environmentally friendly nature. They are, however, more expensive due to their intensive labor.

3. Polyester Resin (PE): another material that found popularity in the early days of climbing hold manufacturing, polyester resin climbing holds are easy to mass-produce and create diverse forms. While they are rigid and have a tendency to chip or crack, modern techniques have tried to mitigate these problems. This is still the resin of choice for many manufacturers.

4. Polyurethane Resin (PU): a popular alternative to polyester holds, polyurethane climbing holds are harder to produce high quality holds. However, when made correctly, they are lighter, stronger, and can support more weight on smaller holds. Currently, PU is the material of choice for manufacturers in the US.

5. Fiberglass: very lightweight and easy to manipulate, fiberglass is an ideal choice for large volumes and climbing holds. Climbing holds made from this material have a base composed of fiberglass, with a textured resin coating. These composites have all the benefits of resin climbing holds without the downsides. In addition, they are strong enough to support attaching holds to these volumes, allowing for creativity and diversity. However, they are expensive to manufacture, entailing a high price tag as well as losing their texture over time and with heavy use.

6. Synthetic Rock: made from mixtures of resin, rock powder, and slippery hard plastic, these climbing holds are durable with textures that accurately simulate natural rock. These mixtures can be shaped into shapes that would otherwise be dangerous and difficult with other composites.

7. Natural Resins: using natural materials such as soy and corn, these resins are being developed to produce environmentally friendly materials that are both lightweight and durable.

These days, the manufacture and designing of climbing hold is as much an art as it is a science. Indeed, many of the most revered “shapers” or hold designers have backgrounds in the arts. These modern-day alchemists are changing the way we think about indoor climbing by staying true to nature and creating incredibly realistic formations or embracing their whimsical side and creating fantastical holds of all shapes. The environmentalism attitudes of the day are further shaping the way that we think about rock climbing, climbing holds included.

Other Important Things to Consider When Buying Climbing Holds

While the key differences in climbing holds are the most crucial consideration to take into account, there are some further characteristics you may want to think about.

Bolt-On vs. Screw-On: while bolt-on holds are more secure, they can only be placed in locations where a bolt hole is present. This limits the potential route setting, and on a small wall may be frustrating and challenging. Screw-on holds, on the other hand, are less secure but offer much more versatility when it comes to route setting. Furthermore, how often you plan on changing holds may affect your decision, as bolt-on holds take more time to remove and put on compared to screw-on. Finally, by their nature, screw-on holds will damage the wall and will weaken its integrity after some time. A mix of bolt-on and screw-on holds is the way to go for those with limited space.

Footprint: depending on your wall size, the footprint, or space each hold takes up on the wall can be crucial. If a hold takes up too much space, it may limit the number of routes that you can set. For small indoor home walls, large holds and volumes will take up vital space and are best avoided. To mitigate the space issue, using holds that serve multiple functions will add variety to your routes.

Cost: in general, climbing holds are not cheap! Therefore you will probably not be buying a large amount at one time but over a period of time. By buying bulk sets with a variety of holds you will be able to set different varied routes and save money. Over time you can add to your collection, diversifying on your base sets. Furthermore, you can find many hold second hand from climbing gyms or holds from manufacturers that do not meet quality control standards due to cosmetic reasons. These holds are often a fraction of the cost and can make up the bulk of your needs.

Summary of the Best Climbing Holds

When it comes to buying climbing holds, it depends on your needs. For those that are just starting out with a pack with a variety of holds like the Metolius Foundations Pack is the right way to go. For those who want to add to their wall and want a variety of holds to choose from, the Metolius MegaPack provides numerous options. For those who want to buy their holds a few at a time to save money, the Metolius Super 7 pack allows you to do just that.

Chances are, if you have a wall, then you know what types of holds you like and want to add to your wall for your specific needs. By following our guidelines, you will be able to find the right holds to set that perfect route.

And if you really want to be creative or want to save money, you can always make your own holds, or go bargain shopping at your local gym or from factory defects (cosmetic only though!).

Whatever your needs, our recommendations for the best climbing holds are excellent choices. There are many options, enough to fill your needs, and more.

Did you enjoy this post? Then you’ll love our other climbing gear reviews. We’ve also gone over what the best hangboards for climbing are, as well as the best gifts for climbers here.

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