Best Climbing Chalk Reviews 2023

Every climber understands the importance of a good quality climbing chalk for taming sweaty fingers and palms. But it’s also great for enhancing friction on your hands as you scale those entrancing heights. Some climbers, however, admit that having a respectable climbing chalk is a necessary mental crutch as you navigate vertical environments. Now, choosing the right climbing chalk for your climbing needs can seem overwhelming since there’s so many on the market. Luckily, we’ve ventured far and wide to bring you five of the best climbing chalk brands you can trust. It goes without saying that a great quality climbing chalk should be kept in an equally high quality chalk bag, so we have a detailed review of the best chalk bags as well.
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Our Top Choice
FrictionLabs Loose Gym Chalk
FrictionLabs has been helping thousands of athletes who are frustrated with bad grip to finally find a reliable chalk that they love. It’s made by climbers for climbers.
High purity magnesium carbonate. Lasts 3 times longer than standard chalk. Available in 3 textures. Keeps skin strong and healthy. Variety pack available.
Might not work well on very sweaty hands
No fillers, healthy for lungs
1 oz, 2.5 oz, 5 oz, 10 oz
Rock Climb, CrossFit, Powerlift
Chunky, super chunky, fine
Best Value
Edelweiss 250 ml Liquid Chalk
As a pioneer of climbing equipment, Edelweiss provides a wide variety of products for all outdoor adventures and levels.
Lasts longer. Requires fewer applications. Can be used where chalk is prohibited. Excellent grip. Good for novices and pros.
Water alone cannot get it off
No drying agent
Indoor climbing, bouldering
Primo Chalk Powdered Gym Chalk
Primo makes high performance climbing and lifting chalk, infused with Epsom salt and essential oils.
Fine texture to easily cover your palm. Infused essential oils and Epson salt reduces callus build up. Choose from 6-ounces, 1-pound or 5-pound sizes. Naturally antibacterial.
A bit pricey compared to ordinary chalk
Essential oil blend, no fillers
1 pounds, 5 pounds or 6 ounces
Climbing, weightlifting
Petzl Power 200ml Liquid Chalk
Petzl’s approach to creating innovative tools for scaling accessible vertical environments is to focus on safety, comfort, ergonomics, and reliability.
Non-airborne. Dries hands in seconds. Keeps hands dry for long. Can be combined with powdered chalk for maximum effect.
Sometimes too much comes out at a time
Gym holds
Black Diamond Loose Chalk
Black Diamond is not only recognized for rock climbing and skiing, but also for their unmatched outdoor sporting spirit, great values and goals, which they have preserved for years.
Mesh balls keep the mess at a minimum. Excellent absorption and friction. Stays put for a considerable amount of time. Multiple sized packets to choose from.
Some customers found it too chunky for them
No drying agents
Several sizes available
Mountain climbing

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Watch Our Climbing Chalk Review

What is the Best Climbing Chalk?

Any athlete involved in various activities that require a secure grip needs a good quality climbing chalk. These chalks are designed to quickly absorb moisture and sweat from your palm, making them equally ideal for weightlifters, gymnasts, and skiers. You can find them as a block, powder, or a non-messy liquid. Now that you’re well informed on what to look for when shopping for a climbing chalk, it’s time to go through our individual reviews and pick a type that suits your needs and budget.
Our Top Choice
Available in 3 textures, the FrictionLabs Loose Gym Chalk comes with high purity magnesium carbonate to help you chalk up less and climb more. Prefer a chalk ball instead? We recommend the Friction Lab Magic Chalk Ball.

FrictionLabs Loose Gym/Climbing Chalk - Available in 4 Sizes & 4 Textures

FrictionLabs, a US based company, has tasked itself with creating the best climbing chalk on the market. Their chalk is tailored for rock climbers and excellent for any athlete looking for a perfect grip. From health, to environment, and performance, FrictionLabs has addressed the major component needed for a great climb, and confidently assert that their chalk contains higher magnesium carbonate compared to other manufacturers.

Responsibly manufactured in the USA and cleared of all undesired fillers, FrictionLabs will give you unmatched moisture absorption and other skin health benefits. The high purity Magnesium Carbonate chalk is more effective at drying hands and will stay on your hands for longer. This means you will concentrate more on making bold moves and not on slipping.

Friction is among the greatest factors in the success or failure of your climbing. Good friction means you will slip less and be able to achieve better holds, which will ultimately lead to energy conservation and improved climbing. FrictionLabs’ chalk leaves your hands drier and does not create a flimsy feel; therefore, it increases your friction and reduces the need to chalk more, which will allow you to climb more effectively.

Their Loose Climbing Chalk is excellent for climbing gyms, rock climbing training, crack climbing, gymnastics, weightlifting, powerlifting, outdoor climbing, sport climbing, bouldering, traditional climbing, and workout bars. It comes in three blends, all with the same health benefits and performance; the Gorilla Grip (chunky), the Bam Bam (super chunky), and Unicorn Dust (fine). There is a variety pack available with a packet of each of these so you can try them all and choose the one you like the most.

When it comes to post-climbing dryness, your skin will feel less dry when you use the FrictionLabs chalk. Also, this chalk does not crack your skin! If you know which texture chalk you prefer, you can then go ahead and choose from four sizes; 1, 2.5, 5 or 10 ounces.
The super fine texture of the Primo Chalk Powdered Gym Chalk makes it easy to cover your palm and stay put. This means you will use a lot less compared to cheap chalk. Want your loose chalk already packed in pouches for easy use? Go for the “Stop ruining your hands” Primo Chalk.

Primo Chalk Powdered Gym & Climbing Chalk - Available in 3 Sizes

Primo aims at making high performance chalk for all the lifters and climbers around the world. The company has improved the basic magnesium carbonate chalk by adding anti-bacterial properties, organic essential oils, and a pleasant smell.

Infused with essential oils, primo chalk has a sweet-scented smell that you will not find in standard gym chalks. This blend of oils, also called “thieves oil”, is traditionally made with lemon, rosemary, eucalyptus, clove, and cinnamon bark essential oils and has been utilized as health promoting agents for a long time. Primo chalk is, therefore, naturally antibacterial and will last you longer than ordinary chalk. You will get excellent grip and your skin will remain in great shape.

Other excellent features that make primo chalk one of the best climbing and lifting chalks include:
  • Available in 3 sizes- 1.0 pound, 5.0 pounds, or 6.0 ounces
  • Lasts twice as long as the normal magnesium carbonate chalk
  • Used by professionals- NFL and NCAA players
  • Essential oils condition the skin and naturally protect it against dryness and tearing, common with ordinary weight lifting chalk
  • Natural Epson salts dramatically improves grip
  • The fineness gets into your hands well, allowing for less re-chalking between lifts
The Petzl Power Liquid Chalk is non-airborne and dries hands instantly following an application. If you are a fan of powdered chalk, don’t forget to check out the Petzl Power Crunch Chalk which is a mixture of powder and chunks.

Petzl 200 ml Tube Power Liquid Chalk

Petzl is a global giant in innovative tools and services that assist people to climb, position, and secure themselves in vertical environments. Their climbing chalk varieties are designed for top-notch performance, comfort, ergonomics, and reliability. The company always positions itself to support their products’ users in their pursuit for the inaccessible and willingness to risk for a greater goal.

The Petzl Power Liquid Chalk is a non-airborne liquid chalk that provides a great grip for climbing gyms. It dries in the hands within seconds of application and maintains that dryness for a long time, so you don’t slip off your climbing projects. This liquid chalk is particularly important when pulling plastic ropes all day. It can additionally be used with power crunch chalk to maximize its effectiveness. The 200ml bottle should last a while as you only need a small amount per application and you shouldn’t need to reapply often.
The Black Diamond Loose Chalk consists of magnesium carbonate-charged mesh balls, excellent for keeping the mess at a minimum. Prefer liquid chalk instead? We recommend the Black Diamond Liquid White Gold Chalk.

Black Diamond White Gold Loose Chalk - Available in Multiple Sizes

Black Diamond is a household name in climbing and skiing activities. Their employees share the same experiences you encounter on rocks, snow, and ice, and this pushes the team of dedicated professionals to make the best gear possible for professional skiers and climbers across the globe. Since 1957, the company has produced innovative gear designs that set industry standards in various areas. Perhaps this is driven by the fact that they’re professional skiers and climbers themselves.

Avoid needless falls during your climbing expeditions by purchasing the high-quality Black Diamond White Gold Chalk. This climbing chalk is a 100% pure magnesium carbonate chalk that comes with no added drying agents, making it one of the driest unadulterated climbing chalks you can find on the market. Since it has no chemical additives, it’s safe for your skin and the environment as well.

The formula has a fantastic friction and absorption capability and stays on your hands for a respectable duration. It’s relatively affordable and offers great reliability giving you value for your money. The chalk is available in several chalk shots that are typically mesh balls filled with magnesium carbonate to keep the mess to a bare minimum, but you can also go for loose chalk as well. Choose from 50, 56, 100, 200 or 300 gram packets, depending on your needs.

How Do I Choose the Best Climbing Chalk?

Every gym enthusiast, skier, or mountain climber understands how a sweaty mess can ruin your day on the verticals – not to mention the risks you’ll be putting your life through. A good climbing chalk is all you need to make that foolproof grip on the rocks or climbing rope for a safe and efficient climbing experience. Perhaps you’re thinking, chalks are just chalks, whether it’s a loose chalk, scented chalk, liquid chalk, or chalk balls. Not quite! These friction and grip enhancers are not made equal and some may carry harsh chemicals that can be harmful to your skin or the environment. So, you need to clearly understand what to look for when shopping for the best climbing chalks as this can be just as crucial to your safety as a climbing harness.

Since their discovery in the 1950s by gymnastic and boulder-problem-solver John Gill, the climbing chalk has steadily evolved, but the actual ingredient remains the same; magnesium carbonate. On paper, maximum friction is achieved by dry hands on a clean rock. But in reality, hands sweat, especially when you’re pulling and squeezing. Climbing chalk is designed to enhance friction, but the amount applied must be limited. When too much chalk is used, it builds a barrier between your hand and the rock, hence reducing friction. No wonder you’ll see many loose chalk climbers “French Blow” or clap their hands or pants to get a perfectly thin layer of chalk.

Additionally, you’ll need a decent chalk bag to strategically carry your climbing chalk. Be sure to keep your bag attached to your waist belt as opposed to the harness’ carabiner – you need to easily access the chalk without hassle even when in strenuous positions. It goes without saying that you need to wear full protective gear like a climbing helmet and boots before you take off. Safety should be your priority at all times.

With that appreciation in mind, let’s take you through some important features to look for when shopping for a climbing chalk, then you can dive into our individual reviews.
Some climbers feel skeptical about spending anything above $10 on climbing chalk. It’s just chalk, right? Perhaps such climbers think it doesn’t make any difference, whether you pick a cheap climbing chalk or one from a high-end brand. Conversely, some professional climbers think that the quality of chalk they use does affect their performance on the verticals and they’re usually willing to pay premium prices for good stuff. Regardless of your school of thought, you’ll find some good quality climbing chalk from just under $10 to about $100 for premium products in large quantities.
Now, all climbing chalks are not made equal. Different models are made with different friction and absorption capabilities, chemical compositions, mode of application and duration they last on your hand. Here are the features in more details:
  • Composition – Most climbing chalks are made of Magnesium Carbonate (MgCO3), but chalks are constituted with other molecules like Calcium Sulfate and Calcium Carbonate. MgCO3 traps water within its crystalline structure while Calcium Carbonate works by binding water on the outside. This is why MgCO3 is better at absorbing moisture and sweat while Calcium Carbonate sometimes feels slippery or slimy when you sweat. So, pure chalk contains pure MgCO3.
  • Friction and Absorption – A good climbing chalk should absorb sweat from your fingertips and palms without resulting in a greasy or slippery feel. Every model of climbing chalk is designed to absorb moisture and enhance friction, but the level of enhancement differs from one model to another. Some chalk manufacturers will add some drying agents to the mixture to improve this.
  • How Long it Lasts – If you’re going to spend a day on the ropes, you need a chalk that can stay as long as possible on your hands. You want minimal interruptions as you scale the heights, so chalking as infrequently as possible should be your focus. Climbers who go bouldering particularly prefer chalking at the bottom and climbing all the way to the top so would obviously consider chalks that can last a long time. Because of this, most climbers bouldering rarely carry along any chalk bags.
Construction and Design
Climbing chalks are available in different forms. The most common type is loose chalk, but sometimes climbing situations may demand the use of chalk balls (chalk socks) or liquid chalk. Always analyze your climbing needs and go for the most appropriate chalk type.
  • Loose Chalk – This is perhaps the least expensive form of climbing chalk which explains its popularity. Most manufacturers sell this product in hard containers or bags, but some models come as blocks that you can break yourself. It’s convenient if you fill your chalk bag or bucket with this powder and coat your hands at will. One downside with loose chalk is that it can get messy and cover almost everything around you.
  • Chalk Balls – Most climbing gyms have banned the use of loose chalk due to air quality concerns. In such cases, it’s appropriate to consider chalk balls. These balls are filled with chalk and sealed whilst others can also be refilled by the climber when they run out. These balls release chalk at a slower pace ensuring that your chalk lasts longer.
  • Liquid Chalk – This is a special form of chalk sold as a mixture of alcohol and highly purified MgCO3. Its application is pretty simple: you just put a tiny dollop on your palm and rub it thoroughly on your fingers and fingertips. Once the alcohol evaporates, it leaves a thin, even layer of chalk that lasts considerably longer than loose chalk. Some climbers will use a combination of liquid chalk with some loose chalk. The liquid chalk is preferred as a foundation layer or when climbing tough red-point burns with minimal opportunities to chalk up midway.
Performance and Ease of Use
Different forms of climbing chalks offer different levels of performance and ease of use. As a general rule of thumb, consider chalks that are quick to apply and last longer between applications. Normally, liquid chalks last the longest and can take you the entire journey while loose chalk will need occasional chalking on route.

A critical factor to consider is the route you’re going to take during your climbing expedition. You’ll find difficult routes and easy routes. Easy routes have some resting positions where you can chalk up and continue. You’ll want to avoid chalking up in tough climbing situations and this calls for a long-lasting climbing chalk before commencing the journey.

Sometimes it may be necessary to consider climbing chalks with a drying agent, especially if your hands sweat a lot. These are generally antiperspirants meant to clog your pores and stop them from releasing sweat. However, if you’re new to climbing and you’re not sure of whether you need a drying agent or not, we recommend going with basic chalks and adjusting appropriately if need be.

Finally, loose chalks can be really messy. The chalk will get on literally every item you have on. You may want to consider chalk balls or liquid chalks if you care about your appearance. Although, liquid chalk can overly dry your skin, especially if you have naturally dry skin. Again, you can’t “Euro blow” liquid chalk and the composition can develop a sticky residue that is difficult to wash off.

Get the Best Climbing Chalk of 2023!

Perfect for skiers, climbers, gymnasts, and weightlifters, climbing chalks are a critical component for anyone looking to acquire a solid grip. However, finding the right climbing chalk may not be a piece of cake for many users. Hopefully, our review helped you find the best climbing chalk for you that will give you the mental crutch as you scale those verticals. If you didn’t find a perfect fit, feel free to sample other alternative types by these same brands.

Our Top Choice
FrictionLabs Loose Gym Chalk
Best Value
Edelweiss 250 ml Liquid Chalk
Primo Chalk Powdered Gym Chalk
Petzl Power 200ml Liquid Chalk
Black Diamond Loose Chalk