How Much Does Rappelling Gear Cost: A Quick Guide


Rappelling is a fantastic sport to get into. You get to be in the great outdoors, breathing the fresh air, and having experiences that very few ever will. There is nothing like descending a cliff wall and looking up once you are finished seeing what you accomplished. Just the thought of it makes me want to drop everything and go…but I will finish this post first. So you have an interest in the sport but are trying to gauge how Much Does Rappelling Gear Cost. There are several pieces of gear that you will need to begin because rappelling is an extremely athletic sport but there are also some potential hazards. For these reasons you need professional gear that can endure extreme strain, conditions, and weight.

What I do recommend before going all in though is to test the sport several times to see if it is the right fit for you. You can do this by going out with some friends who are properly trained to rappel if they have gear, look into a local rock climbing gym that cna train rappelling techniques, or complete a beginner rappel course under the direction of a professional instructor. This will give you enough of a taste what rappelling is and if it is a right fit for you. At the end of the day it can be easy to spend a few hundred dollars on rappelling gear so it’s better to know you like it before dropping your hard earned cash.

If you just want to jump all in because it just stands out as a sport that you would love well by all means do but still seek additional guidance from a professional instructor or an experienced individual prior to actively rappelling.

Beginner’s Rappelling Gear Cost

Below are my recommendations on the equipment that you will need to properly and securely rappel. I have created two separate categories. The first category includes gear that is absolutely essential to perform a standard rappel safely while the second category includes gear that is less essential but still highly recommended. Next to each item is an estimated rappelling gear cost based off current market prices. At the end of each category is the total expense for the rappelling gear and at the very end of both categories is the grand total if you were to purchase both the essential and non-essential gear.

Whether or not you get the non-essential gear when you begin rappelling is up to you; however, if you find a new love for rappelling and frequently participate in the sport you may want to look into acquiring these additional items as well.

I will say that the best part of rappelling is a lot of this gear can serve dual purposes: both rappelling and rock climbing. You can enjoy two unique sports and activities for the price of one.

Essential Rappelling Gear

  • Rappelling Harness $54 – A harness provides support and security. It includes two leg loops and a waist belt. Adjust the belts so that the harness is snug. When worn correctly the harness should fit tightly to your waist and legs and will not be loose. A harness will include additional gear loops to be used for carabiners, chalk bag, etc. There is a belay loop in the front of the harness where you will attach your carabiner and then tie the rope to the carabiner for rappelling. Read about the Best Rappelling Harness for Beginners.
  • Static Rope $170 (Based off a 10.5mm, 200ft rope, price can vary based off size and length) – To rappel you need a static rope. This rope is intended for caving, industrial use, or rappelling down a mountain side. The static rope should not be used for normal rock climbing though. The recommended rope for rock climbing would be a dynamic rope, which provides great spring if you happen to fall. It is important to note this unique difference so you have the right rope for the right job. Who knew there would be different choices? Read more about Choosing the Right Rappel Rope.
  • Carabiners (Amazon link) $29.99 – Carabiners are the butter to the bread. They are absolutely essential for the job and are multifunctional for rappelling. Carabiners are used to attach links, rappelling or other climbing devices, and even slings to ropes and cords. If you buy some, make sure that they are UIAA certified which is the most accepted climbing safety standard.
  • Slings (Amazon link) $17.99 (Pack of 3, 120cm / 48inch, price can vary based off size and length)– Slings are used as anchors from which you can rappel from. The anchor is made on something that is attached, such as a live tree with vibrant roots or a pultruding rock from the structure, etc. Avoid loose rocks, boulders, or any other object that in itself is not anchored one way or another to avoid unexpected movement of the object that you have attached to.
  • Cord and Cordelettes (Amazon link) $57.95 – Cords and Cordelettes are popularly used to create static equalization by connecting two or more anchor points. As you continue to learn and practice rappelling in areas with increased difficulty these pieces of equipment will become more and more important in your descents.
  • Helmet $55 – ALWAYS wear a helmet when rappelling. Some of the most common injuries that occur in rappelling are from debris and rocks falling down and striking the climbers in the head. Debris can be loosened from the rope if swinging back and forth as the climber descends. Debris can also come loose from the climber pushing off the surface of the sheer rock cliff as they descend. In addition, a helmet can prevent serious injury if the climber rappelling falls or strikes against the surface of the rock. Read more about How to Choose a Climbing and Rappelling Helmet.
  • Chalk Bag (Amazon link) $11.87 – A good chalk bag is highly recommended. You can attach one to your harness gear loop to use in the event that your hands become too moist. Chalk keeps your hands dry and allows you to have a firm grip while rappelling. Along with the chalk bag you should get a chalk ball $7.99 and chalk (both on Amazon) $7.45 (100oz bag, price can vary based off size) to fill the ball.
  • ATC and Lock Carabiner (Amazon link) $27.95 – The ATC, known as the Air Traffic Controller, is used to feed the rope through so that you can belay your rock climbing partner and be there to support them in case they slip or fall or to rappel yourself down in a controlled manner after the reach the peak. Hence the reason ATC stands for Air Traffic Controller because you are controlling your own descent is rappelling or you are in complete control of your partner’s ability to scale the mountain or when they descend if belaying. Sorry, this doesn’t mean you can work at an airport unless properly certified.

Total Cost

Essential Rappelling Gear Cost = $440.19 (Current Market Value)

Additional Recommended Gear

  • Climbing Shoes (Men Shoes $80 or Women Shoes $80) – Now it is important to wear the right shoes for the occasion. If you are playing basketball then wear basketball shoes, if you are hiking wear hiking shoes, and if you are rappelling use climbing shoes. Do not skimp on a good pair of shoes because it can make a significant difference whether someone is rock climbing up a mountain or rappelling down the mountain. I love a nice pair of rock climbing shoes because they are light weight, durable, and create a greater grip for any footholds when needed. Read the review about Men and Women Shoes that I recommend at How to Choose Rappelling Shoes.
  • Knife (Amazon link) $10.98 – Now anyone that goes out into the great outdoors should always carry a knife for any emergency. It’s no different than for rappelling. This carabiner contains a knife in case it is needed to cut something that may get snagged or removing any old, frayed slings/cords left behind by previous climbers.
  • Rope Bag (Amazon link) $39.95 – A rope bag is equally important because it has a dual purpose: storing the rope and creating a simple tarp or mat where you can lay out your rope or tangle the loose ends above it once the rappel is setup. When used as a mat it keeps the rope out of the dirt or any other sediment. When in use the loose ends tangling down protected by this mat so no unnecessary abrasion takes place as the ends move around on the earth.
  • Dynamic Rope $89.95 (40m, price can vary based off size and length)– Dynamic rope is primarily used for rock climbing. If you decide to do both rappelling and rock climbing then you will want to add this specific type of rope to your gear. Dynamic rope provides the best support for a climber in the chance that they slip and fall when climbing. Dynamic rope is intended for heavy use and has more elasticity than static rope. Read the review about Choosing the Right Rappel Rope.
  • Sunglasses $50 (Price can vary significantly based off quality and brand) – A good pair of active sport sunglasses is recommended in case you are rappelling in an area where there is a lot of direct sunlight. You don’t want to overstrain your eyes if you plan to be rappelling for an extensive period of time. Not to mention that the position of the sun could impact your visibility as you rappel.
  • Shorts or Pants (See on Amazon) $67 – Yes there are specialty shorts and pants for outdoor climbing and rappelling use. They are great because of their durability but I haven’t seen too great of a difference between any. I would recommend just navigating online or go to your local outdoor retail store, such as an REI, to pick some up for your personal use.

Total Cost

Recommend Rappelling Gear Cost = $337.88 (Current Market Value)

Grand Total (If both groups of gear were purchased)

Essential Rappelling Gear Cost $440.19 + Additional Recommended Gear Cost $337.88 = $778.07 (Current Market Value)

So hopefully this has laid out clearly how much rappelling gear cost. I hope this gets you a better idea on what you can expect for the cost. Remember that in rappelling you will have experiences that you cannot find anywhere else. Just the pure thrill and awe as you control your descent from a towering cliff wall is absolutely amazing. There is nothing like it in this world.

If this is the right fit for you don’t let the rappelling gear cost deter you. Focus on getting the absolute essentials first. Even then you can share the costs of some equipment possibly by splitting the expensive of the rope, carabiners, etc. with friends. Make this sport manageable by thinking outside the box to get the right equipment for your rappelling needs.

The individual prices and the total cost estimates are listed at current market value based off the current value of each specific item. Each product can vary based off brand, sales, special offers, season, size, etc. The purpose of this article, How Much Rappelling Gear Cost, is to give you, the reader, a better idea of what the overall cost may be; however, the actual cost may be less than or more than what is listed.

Jacob

I love the great outdoors. I've tried to write the go-to info for all the Rappelling enthusiasts out there. Whether you finished your climb or hiked and rappelled down you will find tips, tutorials, and additional resources to help you. I live in Idaho with my wife and three kids and the great outdoors is our playground.

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