Climbers like to debate about a lot of things, but perhaps nothing sparks a bigger debate than climbing chalk. Some climbers are firmly against it, but even those people who use chalk consistently can’t figure out which option is best.
After testing over a dozen of the top-rated options available in 2019, below are the three that stood out. They all brought something different to the table, so different people might like one quite a bit more than the other. They are the best rock climbing chalk options out right now, (according to DPM Climbing: https://www.dpmclimbing.com/best-climbing-chalk/ )
1. FrictionLabs Loose Climbing Chalk Unicorn Dust
Friction Labs makes a lot of promises with its loose chalk for climbing. The Unicorn Dust is arguably their most popular option, and it is pretty easy to see why. Not only is it extremely easy to apply every time, but it has a uniform coating across the hands. It can last a long time, and it still allows the hands to feel comfortable.
A lot of the really dry chalk out their leaves the hands feeling a little uncomfortable. The way that the chalk is applied it just makes it feel very natural during the entire day. The chalk is silica-free, which also means that it is lacking any type of artificial fillers that can make the hands look and feel poorly.
If there is any drawback to Friction Labs Unicorn Dust, it is the price tag. Expect to pay seven dollars for the cheapest option out there, and around $25-$30 for a big 10-ounce bag. Those who climb a lot should buy in bulk, because it allows for some pretty significant savings.
2. TRANGO Gunpowder Climbing Chalk
Chalk is a relatively inexpensive purchase for climbers, but everyone likes a good deal. For the best overall value, it was hard to argue with what Tranfo Gunpowder Climbing Chalk brought to the table. Even though it is a bit overlooked due to not having a big name, it tested very well in a lot of different categories.
This is one of the most comfortable chalks a person can put on their hands. It provides a great grip, and the powdery substance doesn’t go away throughout the day. Some people don’t like their chalk too powdery, so that is something to keep in mind when shopping. When compared to Unicorn Dust, it is not nearly as prevalent on the hands after the initial application. It is a little bit more of a yellow color, and it fades into the skin a little more.
The chalk comes in a pretty convenient bottle that people can pack in a bag when climbing. With it being so inexpensive, no one has to worry too much if a bottle gets displaced.
3. Black Diamond White Gold Loose Chalk
Finally, many people use chalk for the first time because they simply can’t get a proper grip with sweaty hands. Some people sweat more than others, and those who sweat a lot simply can’t climb without a little assistance.
Black Diamond White Gold is the perfect solution for those people who are constantly battling sweaty hands. This chalk instantly dries out the hands, but not in a way that makes them feel too uncomfortable. With that said, not everyone is going to enjoy the feel of excessively dry hands. If the skin is sensitive already, it could cause some tenderness and even bleeding.
This is very chunky chalk, which helps dry things out. Think of this chalk as something that does its job very well. If sweat is not a huge concern, it’s probably not the best chalk out there. For those who can’t seem to find any other solution, this is what to go with.
When applied to the hands, it really doesn’t look like much. It doesn’t have a distinct color, and it might not seem like enough is applied. The good news is that once an initial coat is put on, there is no need for constant applications down the road.
White Gold is priced very competitively, and since the application process is so easy, it lasts a long time. Definitely give it a try if dry hands are just not working out in any way on the rocks.
It is really tough to pick the best rock climbing chalk that is good for everyone. Out of the three, FrictionLabs Loose Climbing Chalk Unicorn Dust is probably the most well-rounded. When trying any new chalk out for the first time, go easy with the first application to make sure the hands react well to it.