Climbing holds cheap
You ready to step your brush game up a notch?
A climbing brush is by no means an integral, or even necessary, piece of climbing gear. However, it does serve an important function — cleaning holds — and clean holds are significantly easier to grip.
Now, let’s be honest about this from the start:
You can easily use a simple toothbrush to clean holds. It won’t do a great job, and it will take a while, but it’s cheap and it’ll get the job done. (Sounds like me at every job I’ve ever had…)
However, there are better options out there. Much better options, in fact.
And that’s what this article is all about. We did the research and compiled a list of the five best climbing brushes available today.
Read on to see our recommendations and reviews.
Top Pick: Sublime Premium Boar’s Hair Climbing Brush
I used to think climbing brushes were pretty much all the same.
After all, there just brushes, right? How much better could one be than any other?
Finding Sublime climbing brushes, though, made me have a small change of heart. While I still believe that the quality of your climbing brush doesn’t matter too much in the grand scheme of things, some brushes are undeniably better than others.
In our opinion, the best of all of them is the Sublime Premium Boar’s Hair Climbing Brush.
The Sublime Premium Boar’s Hair Climbing Brush is a clever new take on a simple piece of climbing gear. While it may look like a normal plastic brush, the plastic is 100% recycled and surprisingly rigid. The brush comes with standard boar’s hair bristles, but the brush head size is larger than normal.
Hmm… I wonder what might fit that description?
The brush was designed by professional climber Tom Randall (of Wide Boyz fame) and technology designer Ransom Allison. They launched the product on Kickstarter with this video that does a good job of discussing the brushes features:
The Sublime Premium Boar’s Hair Climbing Brush is more expensive than most other climbing brushes out there, but it’s not too pricey. It’s still just a brush, after all. If you know you’ll use your brush often, then we say it’s worth the extra dough.
If you just want a brush and you don’t care what the bristles are made out of or any of the finer details, though, check out the Best Value or Budget Buy options below.
Best Value: Lapis Boar’s Hair Climbing Brush
Recognize this brush?
If you’ve been climbing for long enough then chances are you do.
Why is this brush so popular exactly?
Simple: it’s a good, reliable product at a great value. It has boar’s hair bristles and decent brush head size, and it just plain works.
There are only two cons that I’ve found from using the brush:
- The plastic the brush is made out of isn’t very rigid and can bend or break if you push down too hard while brushing
You can combat the flimsiness of the plastic by pressing the back of the brush head with your thumb while brushing. You can’t do much about the brush head size, though. Go with our Top Pick or a larger brush if you’ll be cleaning lots of large holds.
The combination of price and performance makes the Lapis Boar’s Hair Climbing Brush an obvious choice for our Best Value pick. We’ve made the the plastic version our Best Value option because it usually retails for a few dollars less than the wooden version.
However, if you aren’t super price sensitive and don’t want to go with our Top Pick, I recommend you take a look at the Lapis Wooden Boar’s Hair Climbing Brush below. It usually retails for a little more, but the wooden brush is stronger than plastic brush and better for the environment.
Budget Buy: A Cheap Toothbrush
Wanna go super dirtbag with your climbing brush?
Easy: don’t get a climbing brush at all. Just buy a cheap toothbrush instead.
Yes, I agree — that would be quite disgusting. I’m just trying to help you save some dough here. That’s what the Budget Buy pick is all about.
They’re also dirt cheap, and you probably have a spare one in your bathroom drawer at this very moment. If you do, there you go: it’s now your climbing brush.
On a final note, obviously a toothbrush isn’t a good climbing brush in terms of raw brushing performance. However, it is the best in terms of budget options, and that’s why we included it on this list.
Best Wooden Brush: Lapis Wooden Boar’s Hair Climbing Brush
If you brush hard (which you actually shouldn’t do since it damages the rock), over the course of its life a plastic climbing brush will likely develop a bend.
Kinda like that one thin metal spoon you tried to scoop ice cream with that one time. RIP, Mr. Spoon.
Wooden brushes usually don’t have this problem. They are stronger and less flexible than plastic brushes.
The Lapis Wooden Boar’s Hair Climbing Brush is as good a brush as its plastic counterpart, our Best Value pick, with the added benefits that come with it being made of wood. As the name states, it has boar’s hair bristles so it cleans holds well. According to Lapis, the brush is also 100% organic.
What else is there to say? It’s a simple yet effective wooden climbing brush.
Best Nylon Brush: Sublime Classic Nylon Climbing Brush
While most of the brushes on this list so far have had bristles made of boar’s hair, there are also many climbing brushes with nylon bristles.