If you like organizational tools, the Love Handle is up your alley. The Love Handle by Freestone Equipment is especially nice to have for transitions and organizational moments. Due to its price tag and solutions that you may already own that can work fine, we don’t call the Love Handle a “need to have” but it’s certainly a great idea to put on a Birthday or Holiday list. Invariably this tool will up your gear sorting game.

Warning for Crusty Climbers
If you don’t like the idea of specialty gear made to make life “simpler” by adding another product into the mix (like a PAS), this item is Not Made For You, and reading this post is likely not worth your time.

What is a Love Handle?

Literarily, it’s a 8” of birch plywood grip with 11 inches of 6mm cord. It’s made in Squamish, British Columbia and its sole purpose is to hold (organize & store) your gear. You can think of it as a one loop gear sling.

Best Uses

The tiny moments are where the Love Handle really shines. Depending on how much you care about gear organization, it can be a total game changer. If you don’t care about organization, it’ll still make for some extra pleasant experiences and take away some hassles that come from a lack of organization.


When you’re at the parking lot deciding which gear to take with your partners, you can pull out your already organized Love Handle or you can rack up on the Love Handle to bring your gear to the crag.

The first time Jeff climbed with Andreas, he was afraid of our mis-matched pile of gear (since we’re always testing there are many different pieces involved). Jeff says…

When I saw the pile of gear in the bottom of Andreas’ bag I thought, “oh no…” but then he reached in and grabbed 2 different Love Handles and I realized that it was actually already sorted and organized. It made racking for the day super quick and efficient.


We have 3 Love Handles (given to us for testing). One holds our sport climbing rack. One holds our base trad rack. One holds our doubles and extra gear. This type of organization makes it fast to find what you want. There were many times, particularly while sport climbing, where we’d just grab the Love Handle and go.

The first time many of our friends saw the Love Handle they were skeptical if it was worth it. After seeing it in action, most climbers agreed it was handy, and could imagine using it themselves.

Lifting & Moving gear

Undoubtably, it is easier to pull out a Love Handle from a bag (it’s very easy to see, and grab) versus trying to find the top of a standard sling. The Love Handle also tends to get less tangled. This is especially true if you don’t have a bag with organizational gear loops inside.

Similarly, when you move from climb to climb the Love Handle remains easy to grab and fast to find gear, taking and leaving pieces as the routes dictate the rack.

How Many Love Handles?

If you’re a sport climber, 1 is sufficient. There is plenty of room for draws, belay device, belay gloves, anchor materials, etc.

If you’re a trad climber, you could likely get by with 1, but 2 is more convenient, especially if you have a double rack and aid gear.

For most people I wouldn’t recommend 3 (or more), unless you own a ton of gear and are looking for primo organization options.

Again, typically, we use 1 as a Grab And Go Sport Rack, 1 as a Grab and Go Single Trad Rack, and 1 as a doubles rack and various gear we use less often (sometimes it holds say 6 belay devices and we grab the one we want to test that day).

Love Handle Overall

Love Handles Racking 1
Notice the open hand grip, these are definitely easier to hold. One Love Handle easily holds 24+ pieces of gear, without doubling gear on carabiners.


  • Easy to hold and hangs great from the hand, no pressure points
  • Rigidity -> your gear stays more spread out
  • Easy to find the handle in a pack, and to grab quickly and comfortably
  • Now available with more sustainable materials (hemp, recycled plastic)
  • Also comes in a longer version for even more gear storage
  • Made in Squamish (in Canada)


  • Classic version doesn’t hang well from small knobs like a tree, car hook, carabiner (the Double Rainbow version does have cord that allows you to do this)
  • Cost is significantly higher than a sling
  • Heavy compared to a sling (wouldn’t take this on an alpine climb or for a super long approach)


  • 90 grams (for the classic version)


  • $30 USD
See Love Handle details

Half Sling or Single Sling

Half and Full Sling Racks 2
The half sling is a nicer distance, but the full sling could be thrown over the shoulder (or you could tie a knot to grab it closer). It's worth noting that the gear on these slings would never come out of a pack this cleanly.


  • A half sling (12” / 30cm) or single sling (24″ / 60cm) is about third the price of a Love Handle
  • Hangs nicely on a tree or attaches easily to gear loops in a backpack
  • You likely already own one, and this is a great way to upcycle old slings
  • Can be quite light (if weight matters, take a perfectly good sling to rack your gear on, and then use that sling on the climb)


  • A narrow sling can cut into the hands with the weight of a full rack
  • All the gear slides to the bottom and can get quite jumbled
  • Tends to get tangled more in a pack
  • Is harder to lift from a bag (finding the right spot to grab)
  • A single sling in particular, hangs down long if holding in the hand (works much better over the shoulder, or to use a half sling)


  • 10-40 grams


  • $4-10 USD
See Half Sling OptionsSee Single Sling Options

Neon Speedrack

Neon Speedrack photo by Jeff Jaramillo 3
Neon Speedrack photo by Jeff Jaramillo


  • Hangs very well (car hooks, carabiner, tree, inner backpack gear loops)
  • Significantly more comfortable handle than a typical sling
  • Cheaper than a Love Handle


  • Gear can sag in the middle (less than a sling, more than the Love Handle)
  • Harder to find in a backpack versus the Love Handle, especially the black Speedrack
  • More expensive than an upcycled sling


  • 75 grams


  • $23 USD
See Speedrack details

Tubular Webbing + dowel (or stick) – The Homemade Method


  • Can be the cheapest solution (unless your upcycling an old used sling)
  • Can have a quite similar effect to the Love Handle


  • Takes time to acquire materials and build
  • Looks vary depending on how much you care and your sewing skills


  • super variable


  • also variable
Ask Google


You have the power to make your gear organized to have faster and smoother transitions. Whether you use a Love Handle (or similar alternative), organizing your gear will make for a cleaner start to the day. It can also make moving between climbs significantly faster.

In cragging situations, the Love Handle (particularly the Double Rainbow edition) gives a leg up over a standard sling in every way other than price.

If you can’t personally justify the cost to splurge on yourself, we think the Love Handle is an excellent gift idea –  to ask for, or to buy for a friend.