If you’re a beginner and you find you’re getting a taste for climbing it quickly becomes clear that the gear rental costs are going to add up. At which point both your head and your heart start calling to you simultaneously and for once they’re in complete agreement.


Your head is busy doing the maths to work out at what point it actually breaks even to buy your own kit. Your heart says ‘the hell with the maths: you want your own kit, am I right?’

Of course they’re both right. You want your own kit because it makes financial sense in the longer run. You want your own kit because it makes you feel good about yourself and your new sport.  You want your own kit so you can look at it and secretly stroke it when nobody’s looking (we’ve all done it). So you start to look at what you can get yourself while still staying within a budget because, you know, you don’t want to get too fancy, and you’re still pretty new, and maybe a little broke. Or maybe because you’re buying for kids and you never know how long kids’ new passions will last so you don’t want to get carried away.

That’s where the Decathlon Starter Pack comes in. Decathlon has a long and trusted track record in making sports accessible by providing decent quality kit at an unbeatable price. The company has made itself the natural first stop for first timers who reason that they deserve decent quality but aren’t yet ready to splash out on top of the line.

So we’ll be taking a close look at the following set up, designed to meet the needs of starter climbers and keep them happy through their first years in the sport. Put together this is enough to get you climbing in any gym. No more rental and all for a combined cost of 2,165,000 VND. That’s less than the cost of a pair of branded running shoes.

At first glance the ensemble has a logic to it. Understated. Simple, robust, functional and very reasonably priced. Over the next few weeks we’ll be putting this combination to the test and letting our experts rip on exactly how they stood up to it.

You can already read about what we think of the Simond Chalk, and the Simond Rock Climbing Shoes on our site.  For the full starter pack test you’ll have to wait just a little longer.

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Words by Steve Shipside.