We interviewed Canadian World Cup & Olympic climber Sean McColl about what’s in his climbing kit – for indoor bouldering and for outdoor sport climbing. Below you’ll see all the details of what he carries with him from his shoes to his warmup equipment.

Gym Training – Bouldering Bag

Sean McColl Indoors min 1
Photo credit to Sean McColl

Tank & Shorts

Sean only climbs in tanks (and shorts). He chooses tank tops partly for the lack of restriction, but it also has a lot of it has to do with temperature control. Sean’s also sponsored by the Boiler Room, a Canadian gym outside of Toronto that has an exceptional training & competition focused facility.

Massage Balls

Before starting a day of training, Sean starts warming up his muscles. He’ll use the small lacrosse ball and massages on the bottom of his feet, them moves into calves and thighs on the bigger ball.

The double ball is used daily to roll his hands up to his forarms to warm up the wrist and the back of the hands. He also uses the double ball as-needed if his spine is sore.

Theraband Flexbar

This green bar is for combatting tennis elbow. In the past Sean had frequent issues with tennis elbow, although now he uses the Theraband for preventative maintenance.

Resistance Bands

Along with the massage balls, the resistance bands are used daily during warmup. Sean uses the bands to warm up the shoulders and increase mobility. One use of the narrow bands is to add light resistance while rotating his shoulders externally.

The wide band is specifically for his shoulder rehab and regaining mobility. One common exercise he’ll do is step on one end and reach up to the sky with the other end in his hand.

If you’re curious more about Sean’s exercises through his shoulder rehab, he’s posted some of them on his Instagram @mccollsean.

The Wave Tool

Mostly Sean uses The Wave after training if his fingers are sore as it helps to massage them. It’s a useful tool that can scrape, massage, or cause pressure points to relieve tension. He always keeps it in his gym bag since it’s so light and small and provides multiple options for relief.

Foam Roller

This travel size foam roller is also hollow, so when Sean travels he can fit the Theraband and resistance band inside it.


A water bottle is key. So is the insulated mug that holds Sean’s second cup of aromatic coffee at his ideal (hot hot) temperature.

Chalk / Bags

Although you see a chalkbag, Sean rarely uses it for bouldering, and it’s mostly used for lead climbing. The chalk bucket is most often used while bouldering & training at the gym. These bags are both by the Canadian brand Flashed, one of Seans earliest sponsors.

Sean prefers a mix of chunky (small chunks, not blocky) and fine chalk. While waiting to try a boulder, crushing the chalk chunks gives him something to do with his hands, and it almost brings a meditative element to the task.


Although Sean always has a number of shoes in his bag that specialize in slightly different ways, he usually does the whole training session in one pair. Most commonly he’ll use the SCARPA Drago, Drago LV, Instinct VSR, and the Furia S (pictured is actually the long since sold out, Limited Edition, Furia 80) depending on how he feels.

If his feet get too warm and start sliding (even slightly) in the shoes, he’ll switch to a different pair. The Drago’s are used the most given the softness and large rubber covering, and the Instincts are used the least, as they’re the stiffest and only best when the holds are really small and crimpy.

Sean uses the Chimera (not pictured) for lead climbing, where he can tighten the laces exactly how he wants to get the perfect fit. He doesn’t use them for bouldering because he finds the laces too cumbersome.


The tripod gives a lot more options vs positioning your phone against a shoe to stabilize it. This tripod is the easiest to use with its compact nature yet still has an articulating arm and is very easy to get in the right position, whether the shot needs to be vertical or horizontal. Sean almost always films from afar, as he finds the close / side / top shots don’t give enough information to evaluate the body position properly.

Sean primarily films himself when he is trying really hard routes and wants to analyze and practice or finds a beautiful boulder that he wants to capture. During training he records the climb to watch everything – the body position, where his knee’s are, what his feet did, how it’s all coordinating together, etc. Or for jumps, so he can better see where he is landing on the volume, be it the corner or the front nose.

Difference from Gym Training Bouldering kit to Competition Bouldering kit


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A post shared by Sean McColl (@mccollsean)

Sean’s indoor training kit is very similar to the gear Sean takes when he flies to a comp. The main difference is he’ll swap out his training shoes for the exact same models of his perfectly worn in competition shoes and he’ll switch from a regular tank to his official Team Canada tank.

In his carry-on (versus checked luggage) he’ll take 1 pair of shoes and also his official Team Canada tank, just for precautions sake. One time he had the Team Canada tank in his checked bag and his checked bag was delayed… he had to compete with his name taped in tape on the back of his shirt.

Sean’s Outdoor Sport Climbing Rack

Sean McColl Outdoors min 2
Photo credit to Sean McColl

Sean recently became an Edelrid athlete, so his kit primarily features Edelrid’s newest gear.


The rope in the rope bag is a pink Edelrid 70m 8.6mm Canary Pro Dry and is triple certified (single / half / twin) though Sean mostly uses it as a single rope. This rope is a significantly smaller diameter than gym ropes and upon first look and feel, it’s SKINNY. Sean got used to the small diameter quickly and enjoyed how lightweight the rope is at 51 grams / meter. Typically this rope is not recommended for projecting but since Sean doesn’t climb outdoors nearly as much as he climbs indoors, it’s not expected to be an issue.

Sean does prefer a 70m rope. The first local 14c route he did was a ~31m plus route, where you lower further than the start of the route as well and it has set a precedent for convenience with the 70m length.

Rope Bag

The Edelrid Drone rope bag is a colorful bag, made of upcycled fabrics, that includes an integrated rope tarp. It’s hard to see in the initial gear list photo, but the Drone rope bag does have backpack straps and contains a hearty rope tarp, better seen below.

Edelrid Drone rope bag 3

Locking Carabiners

You’ll see a lot of options pictured in the gear spread because they are all currently being tested to see where they fit on Sean’s rack.

The Edelrid Pure Slider locking carabiners were new to Sean but he greatly enjoyed the speed of opening and closing them. He acknowledged they were a little weird to get used to especially since they look like non-lockers upon first glance. He doesn’t plan on using Pure Sliders for his belay device, instead he’ll keep to a beefier carabiner like the HMS Bulletproof ECO or HMS Bulletproof Triple FG ECO that also have a gate keeper.

The Kiwi Slider (oval locker) was attached to an ascender that didn’t make it into the photo.


Sean usually brings 14 draws with him, unless the local he’s climbing with suggests more/less. Less usually means either the crag has permadraws or Sean’s friend is bringing the rack. More is usually for a special project.

Sean only uses solid gate draws and is stoked on how far technology has come for these Edelrid 14cm Mission quickdraws to be the lightest on the market at 67 grams.

On the other side of the weight spectrum are the 12cm Bulletproof draws (MEC carries the 18cm version), almost double the weight at 117g. Although the Bulletproof draws are perfect for the first bolt, especially when projecting a route, Sean would actually use the Edelrid Axiom Slider (carabiner with an integrated pulley) for the first bolt if it was a climb where the belayer was standing a fair distance away from the side of the route. Instead, Sean will use the Bulletproof draws as top rope anchors for friends and family, as the steel inserts ensure minimal wear to the carabiner.

Sean racking up 4
Photo credit to Milen Kootnikoff

Belay Devices

Sean is currently testing all Edelrid has to offer in this category. Historically he’s used the Petzl GriGri for the majority of his climbing. He was impressed with the Edelrid Jul² and it’s brake assist capabilities. And if he was going multi-pitch climbing he’d pick the Edelrid Gigajul since it has a guide mode option – a hole on the back that allows one to belay up 2 followers and also adds brake assist.


As a recent addition to the MEC Athlete team, Sean now has greater access to MEC equipment and is currently testing and excited about the newly released MEC 45L Cragalot pack. With strategic packing it’ll hold everything in Sean’s outdoor sport climbing kit. Sean noted the pack even has straps to secure the rope ends, while carrying the rope atop the pack. Sean also mentioned his favorite part of the pack was the back of the pack that completely unzips, allowing quick and easy access to important goods versus needing to dig from the top.

MEC Cragalot 5


The pink harness is the Edelrid Ace (second generation). Sean has the pink version because that’s what Edelrid sent after finding many males preferred the bright pink. Sean does love bright and flashy colors that pop, but don’t be surprised if you see him in the bright lime green model in the future. Or, you may see Sean in the lighter weight blue Prisma or white Prisma Guide as he’s always keeping an eye out for minimal harnesses.

Belay Gloves

Sean uses belay gloves when he’s belaying his family, especially if he’s using an old rope. He also likes them for rappelling. Sean used to hate fingerless gloves, but he came around once he realized you could actually climb most grades with fingerless gloves and weren’t forced to take them on/off on/off repeatedly.


Sean always wears a helmet while trad climbing or often while multi-pitch climbing. Sean will also wear a helmet anytime a his partner says it’s recommended, like when he went climbing with Jorg Verhoeven outside of Innsbruck, Austria, and Jorg suggested they wear helmets because of loose rock. Similarly, if a local says it’s dangerous or if the area is sketchy/unknown Sean has no problem donning a helmet. The helmet seen here is the new Edelrid Zodiac 3R – a model where the inner and outer shells are made from recycled material.

Sean Climbing 6
Photo credit to Milen Kootnikoff

Capture Pulley 

The Edelrid Spoc is a progress capture pulley and it’s a rarely used device for Sean but he loves having it for options like to check out lines or as an emergency ascender.


Sean’s outdoor shoes look identical to his indoor shoes in terms of the models but they are literally different pairs of the same shoe models that he uses indoors. Outside rock leaves different perforations in the sole of the shoe, so Sean keeps his outdoor shoes outdoor and indoor shoes indoor.

Sean usually uses the SCARPA Chimera’s or Drago’s for route climbing, and prefers the Drago or Furia S for bouldering. Although not pictured, he does usually bring a pair of outdoor Instinct VSR’s for an occasional crimp-filled route.

You’ll also notice the Chimera’s pictured in the gear list above are older pair that is no longer made – an upgrade came out in 2020 (see the current Chimera model). Amazingly, these shoes are the same ones Sean’s been climbing in outdoors since at least 2018. He’s been able to use the same shoes partly because he barely climbed outside from 2019 – early 2022 as he was so focused on qualifying for the Olympics (in 2019) and then training for the Olympics (in 2020-early 2022).

Sean walking to the crag 7
Photo credit to Milen Kootnikoff

If you’d like to follow along with Sean, you can find him on Instagram @mccollsean.

This post was sponsored by MEC, Mountain Equipment Company, Canada’s largest outdoor retailer. Sponsoring this post meant MEC provided us an editing budget along with access to interview Sean McColl and we linked to MEC directly for any in-stock products.