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Last updated: June 09, 2021
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Rock climbing is one of the most intense and rewarding workouts but it isn’t always possible to squeeze one in your busy schedule. There are many devices that can help you prepare for the climbing season at home and a hangboard is the best out of all of them. Using a hangboard strengthens your upper body, core muscles, and arm muscles. It also improves the flexibility and strength of your fingers.
Finding the best hangboard for you among the large variety available on the market isn’t an easy choice. Some hangboards are meant for beginner use, while others are intermediate or expert rock climbers. To help you find the right hangboard, we reviewed the seven best hangboards we could find. We looked primarily at five features including hand grips and positions, mountability, friction, dimensions, and price. Hand grips and positions criterion was the most important out of all as it minimizes the risk of injuries and maximizes muscle strength. We also tested different materials for their grip and the impact it has on your skin.
Our team spent several hours trying each of the hangboards to come with an in-depth review and combined it with product specifications, customer reviews, and expert reviews to construct this article. It is divided into three parts including the comparison table of the seven hangboards followed by detailed product reviews and a buying guide to help you purchase the best hangboard.
One of the best hangboards in the market, TRANGO Rock Prodigy Training Center has the more distinguished 2, 3, and 4-finger holds. The deep and shallow finger holds along with the crimp grips and pinch-grips improve finger strength and ensure no hand muscle is under or overworked. Its ergonomic design supports finger joins, decreases the risk of injury, and ensures comfortable workout sessions. Its smooth texture on non-hold areas protects inactive fingers from getting bruised, while the double texture on the slopper, jug, and pinch maintain optimum grip.
One of the best features of this polyurethane hangboard is its variable depth edge rails that simulate deep holds and micro-edges. On the other hand, the variable edge rails and index bumps assist precision and repeatable finger placement during your workout.
This hangboard is easy to mount but if you don’t have wall space for it or the ceiling of your house are too high, you can ask the manufacturer to custom build it as the board requires more space than an average model does. It is designed for 5.10 and 5.13+ climbers, making it suitable for an extended number of users. Priced at $130, it is one of the costlier models on the list but it does last longer, and the quality of material used is unmatched.
What makes it special?
Superior quality material used
Perfect for training on different levels of pinches and smears
This beautiful model by Beastmaker Hangboards is constructed using superior quality wood and has 2,3, and 4-finger holds. At a dimension of 22 ¾” x 6”, Beastmaker 1000 is the smallest hangboard on our list, which allows you to mount it anywhere in the house. Despite the small size, it offers a variety of grips and has a strong progression of holds. It is ideal for rock climbers 5.13 or V8. When we compared its performance with other hangboards, we were surprised with the results.
It is packed with holds and has three sets of four-finger edges along with one stand-alone edge in the board’s center. It has three sets of edges including 1 3/4″, 3/4″, and 1/2″, which is the perfect combination for warming up and building muscle strength. The model comes with three sets of three-finger pockets and two sets of 2-finger pockets and is designed to assist people transitioning from using four fingers to less than four.
The board has a smooth texture that ensures the the textured surfaces don’t hurt your non-active fingers. It is easier to clean compared to resin or polyurethane products. However, keep chalk use to a minimum and avoid using water on it. The Beastmaker 1000 is made in the United Kingdom using 100 percent renewable energy and each grove is sanded individually to ensure the surface is smooth as desired.
What stands out?
Aesthetic appearance; blends in with the interiors
Lightweight and high-quality wood construction
Easy to mount
What cons did we manage to find?
Deeper pockets not ideal for people with small fingers
The Rock Prodigy Forge by TRANGO combines well with the brand’s RPTC model perfectly, but can be used as a stand-alone item as well. It is designed with all new and improved drafted pockets, edge profiles, and steeper slopers. It has a smooth texture minimizes the risk of finger and muscle injury. The model is designed after years of research and advanced computer advanced technology. It has a closed-crimp grip feature and added thumb support, which is unique to the Rock Prodigy Forge.
The 2, 3, and 4-finger holds build muscle strength, while the crimp grips and pinch grips with bumpers make your fingers stronger. It is a compact model so you can hang it anywhere in your house including the living room, garage, bedroom, and home office. The two-piece design is ergonomic and joint-friendly to ensure you enjoy a comfortable workout. It makes a great hangboard for beginners as the variable depth edge rails will help you build your strength and prepare you for real rock climbing.
The only downside of this product is its color. It doesn’t match any decor and furniture styles of modern houses so you will have compromise on the interiors if you want to mount it in the living room. You will also experience some slippage so you can rough the grip parts using low-grit sandpaper.
What makes it special?
Smooth texture to protect your fingers from getting hurt
Amazing option for beginners
Ergonomic build for maximizing strength
What cons did we find?
Two-finger pockets are less comfortable than three-finger pockets
We experienced slippage and roughened it with sandpaper
Yaniro Power Hangboard is a 20-years model known for its unmatched quality and durability. The brand, Yaniro, is the absolute best in the industry and a renowned choice for climbers of all kinds. It has a glove-like design that effortlessly holds your fingers and hands to make climbing easy and hassle-free. It has multiple edges, holes, and pockets that will assist you in practicing different grips and holds.
The multi-faceted hangboard is one of the few models that has multiple parallel holds. It has a dimension of 31” x 10”, which makes it easy to mount anywhere in the house. The gentle texture protects your hand from abrasion and cuts, which makes it a great option for people with sensitive skin. It has 1, 2, 3, and 4-finger holds in variations of shallow and deep along with several jugs, slopers, and thumb hold options.
It is constructed using eco-friendly polyurethane material and available in several colors, so you can purchase the one that goes best with the house decor. Apart from being a great product for the money you pay, Yaniro Power Hangboard is easy to install and offers multiple workout options. It comes with only one major disadvantage, which is the hangboard has no holds.
What are its best features?
Easy to install
Smooth texture perfect for people with sensitive skin
Available in multiple colors
Made using eco-friendly material
Designed to be used by beginners as well as experts
Beastmaker 2000 is the advanced version of Beastmaker 1000, ideal for advanced rock climbers. Even though the model doesn’t have any jugs, it does come with dual four-finger holds, which helps you practice your expertise while rock climbing tricky edges. People who have already climbed 5.13+ should only use it as people with lower expertise will struggle with this model. It is best for rock climbers who mostly perform one-armed with three hangs or 2-fingered 2-armed hangs during their workout regime. You simply won’t find a better board for advanced climber than this one.
Since it is designed around two-finger pockets arrangement, it doesn’t have proper edges. It has two sets of four finger edges but only meant for warm-up routines. It has the smallest 4-finger edge, which is ½” deep, while the larger edge that is more like a pad and is 1 ¼” deep. The biggest advantage of using Beastmaker 2000 is the number of pockets it comes with.
It has the best texture out of all products mentioned in our list. It is constructed using wood and has a super smooth texture that protects your fingers from abrasion. If it gets gummy from using too often, clean it using water and a soft cloth. Other than that, it is easy to mount and only requires six screws.
What makes it stand out?
A lightweight board designed for advanced climbers
Easy to mount
Designed to merge with your house interiors
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Doesn’t have proper edges
Not meant for climbers who haven’t climbed 5.13 treks
The Metolius Wood Grips Compact II is an affordable wood hangboard designed for consistent finger workouts. Despite being compact in size, it is packed with a variety of holds, making it an amazing choice for 5.10 to 5.12+ type rock climbers. Its edges and pockets form the board’s foundation and great to exercise finger strength. It has two pairs of four-finger edges and two 4-finger edges in the middle with a slight rib on the lower side.
Other features include two sets of three-finger pocket and two sets of two finger pockets that are ¾” and 1 ¼” in depth. The rounded edges prevent any cuts or bruises and support the tendons of your hands in a better way. It comes with two sets of slopers – subtle charge and challenging. Combine them with a single pair of jugs, and you will find it super convenient for a warmup workout.
Its texture isn’t the best out there, but it does have a smooth finish that causes minimal harm to your fingers and hands. This model isn’t the right choice for people who use excessive chalk as it gets extremely greasy. It is 24″ x 6.2″ in dimensions, making it convenient to fit in any small space.
Why did it make our list?
Best for people on a budget or with limited space
Easy to install
Ideal for 5.10 - 5.12+ type rock climbers
Wood construction aesthetically blends with modern interiors
What is not ideal about it?
Less friction compared to other models on the list
Another model by Metolius, Simulator 3D is a polyester resin hangboard available in three attractive color combinations. It has 2, 3, and 4-finger shallow and deep holds that create a number of positions for you to practice. As one of the world’s most popular hangboard, Simulator 3D is quite affordable and has a broad arc that ensures better ergonomics and decreased injuries.
You will get a training guide, instruction guide, and all required mounting hardware along with hangboard. It has a fine-grained texture, making the hangboard skin-friendly. Our testers love the variety of holds it offers as it let them experiment with multiple finger positions. Compared to other products in our review, Simulator 3D’s edges and pockets higher in the arrangement and are deeper compared to the lower ones.
It has a slightly downward turned design that decreases the stress on elbows and shoulders and offers ergonomic comfort at the same time. The board comes with four sets of different four-finger edges with varying depths including 1 ½ “, 1″, ¾,” and ⅝.” It features two slopers, which are more rounded and helps you to warm up. Other than that, the polyester resin model is easy to mount and is small enough to fit over any door frame. However, it will be difficult to do pull ups in certain tight places.
What stands out?
Well-built and gives a good grip
Training guide helps to work your way up
Ideal for climbers who want to take it to the next level
Easy to mount
What cons did we manage to find?
Color combinations aren’t everyone’s favorite
Slopers need to be improved
Things to Consider
That’s put an end to our review. By this time, you surely would have shortlisted some of the products. This buying guide will help you to go ahead and finalize the right product for you. In this section, we talk about different features to look for in the hangboard including its material, grip positions, difficulty ranges, and cost along with an FAQ sub-section. In the end, you will find our verdict, where we introduce the three clear winners of our review process. Many differences separate the average hangboards from the amazing ones. Let’s find out how to choose the best hangboard for your home workouts.
Hangboard material is the most crucial decision before you dive in deeper. You have three options to choose from, including:
Until now, the polyester resin was every brand’s choice to make climbing gear, but it was replaced with polyurethane because of its weight and durability problems. There are still many hangboards made out of this material as its biggest advantage is that it can be mold into any shape. However, it is skin-friendly and can cause abrasions, so make sure you use an ample amount of chalk.
Polyurethane is very similar to polyester resin but has one unique feature that makes it the preferred choice. It is skin-friendly as it has a smoother texture compared to resin. Also, it is a bad conductor of heat and won’t heat up after using it for a long time.
Out of all three materials, wood is the best choice as it has the smoothest texture. It has low friction, which makes the workout more challenging, so you are prepared for the worst while rock climbing. Using chalk is a little difficult with wood as it gets gummy and slippery. Also, wood absorbs heat, so your workout might be cut short sometimes as heat reduces friction. Another advantage of wood hangboards is that they blend in with your home decor, unlike polyester resin and polyurethane models that look like a sore thumb sticking out because of their bright, neon colors.
Grip positions available
If you want to strengthen your fingers and hands, you need to practice different types of grip positions. An average hangboard has four types of grips including edges, pockets, pinches, and slopers and jugs. During the workout, you combine them to form positions that you will use while actual rock climbing.
Edges are the three or four finger holds located at extreme ends of the hangboard. Beginners mostly use them for learning proper grip positions. The more the number of fingers they can fit, the shallower they are. For example, a three-finger hold will be 1 ⅜” deep, while a four-finger hold will only be 1 ⅛” deep. Boards made for 5.10 or 5.12 + climbers have more edges than those made for advanced or 5.13+ rock climbers.
Pockets are two of three-finger holds placed all over the board to add variation to your workout. The depth and width of finger pockets are unrelated but teach you about depth and perception. A good hangboard has multiple pockets as it helps you develop different types of workouts.
Slopers and jugs
A hangboard has no more than two or three slopers, which are located at the very top. It is mostly used during warm up sessions. Every board has three jugs, one located in the center top and the other two on either side of the top bar. They are for maintaining balance and giving you a rest while the excruciating activity.
Not all hangboards have pinches as there isn’t any space to exercise your thumb strength. There’s a huge risk of injury, so it is best if you buy a hangboard with any pinches. There is other more effective and less damaging exercise gear you can use to exercise your thumb muscles including pinch balls, campus boards, and system training.
The best hangboard is the one that offers a range of difficulty and is recommended to people who are interested in rock climbing but might not continue forever. Expert rock climbers should go for an advanced hangboard with shallow holds to exercise different grip positions. The TRANGO Rock Prodigy Training Center is the best model for advanced climbers, while the Metolius Wood Grips Compact II is meant for beginners who want to work their way up.
You don’t have to invest a lot to find a good quality, affordable hangboard because the price depends on the price, country of manufacture, and material used. If you are on a tight budget and looking for a satisfactory product, Metolius Simulator 3D is a great option. It isn’t as good as the Beastmaker 2000 or TRANGO Rock Prodigy Training Center, but you can always buy them once you feel you are 100 percent committed to the workout regime.
Finger strength is the primary benefit of using a wooden hangboard. It offers the least friction and turns your workout into a challenging one, which is an advantage as it prepares you for difficult treks. It also improves upper body and grip strength to help you achieve your maximum climbing potential.
Climbing holds were earlier made of wood but because they would easily get gummy, climbing gyms are use fiberglass, moulded plastic, or resin. It isn’t necessary to buy a hangboard in the same material because it is only for practice. All of them have smooth surfaces, so there isn’t much difference in the texture.
Creativity is the key to increasing the level of difficulty with the same hangboard you have. There are several workouts available on the internet that you can learn from. It is important to focus on the footwork to balance body pressure.
After struggling our way around with these exercise equipment, we have three best hangboards for you. Without any doubt, the first one is the TRANGO Rock Prodigy Training Center, which one the Editor’s Choice title. It is constructed using polyurethane and has 2, 3, and 4-finger holds, pinch grips, and crimp grips for advanced climbers. It comes in a set of two, so it becomes easy to find space to mount the hangboard.
Beastmaker 1000 is our second pick and made out of wood. It is the best choice for beginners and is small enough to mount over any door frame in your house. We also love its aesthetic appeal as it blends with your home decor. The hangboard has 2, 3, and 4-finger hold and is easy to clean compared to other models. When you want to upgrade, you can go for the Beastmaker 2000 model by the same brand.
Our third favorite is the TRANGO Rock Prodigy Forge because it has the smoothest texture out of the seven hangboards. It has a closed-crimp grip with thumb support that reduces the risk of injuries. You can buy any of these three hangboards depending on your requirements and budget.