Trango Gunpowder Review (2022): How Good Is This Climbing Chalk?

Last update: January 2022

Trango Gunpowder climbing chalk provides a great grip and won’t dry out your hands for a great price. Keep reading below to see if this climbing chalk is right for you.

The Consensus

9Expert Score
Simple and effective chalk <meta charset="utf-8">without any additives that offers great value
Whether you’re climbing every other day or just starting out, Trango Gunpowder chalk offers something for every climber. Trango Gunpowder stands out as a quality dry climbing chalk comparable to higher-end brands but at a bargain price point.

Its powdery texture coats the creases in your hands easily, giving you a sure, dry grip. This dry chalk also offers a low-irritation formula ideal for climbers with sensitive skin. Trango Gunpowder uses a finely ground magnesium carbonate material that won’t clump up. As a dry chalk, it doesn’t include any alcohol, so you can reapply it again and again without drying out your hands.

Trango Gunpowder may not keep your hands as dry for as long as higher-end brands. If you’re climbing in high-moisture environments, you may notice that this dry chalk is less effective than a liquid chalk alternative.

It’s also not as soft as competing brands, so climbers who prefer silky-smooth chalk may prefer other brands. The grittiness provides better grip, but it might also be less comfortable on your hands.

Overall, if you’re looking for a low-cost climbing chalk for sensitive hands, Trango Gunpowder offers a great price for its hand-drying performance. Though it has some drawbacks, you’ll have a hard time beating its value.
Grip
9
Coverage
9
Staying Power
8.5
Skin Friendliness
9
Value for Money
9.5
PROS
  • Offers a much greater value for your money compared to competing brands like Friction Labs   
  • Covers your hands easily and doesn’t clump up
  • Ingredients don’t dry out and crack your hands
  • Feels great if you prefer powdery climbing chalk
  • No drying agents
CONS
  • Ingredient makeup may not be as soft as other brands
  • May not sufficiently keep your hands dry in humid outdoor climbing situations

Introduction

climber rocky wall

Every climber knows that you need dry hands to maximize your grip while you’re climbing, and that means you need reliable climbing chalk. But what makes one brand of chalk better than another? “It’s just chalk,” you might think. But in reality, there are a lot of factors to consider when you’re looking for the best chalk for you. This review will help you decide if this climbing chalk suits your needs.

Packaging/Messiness

Trango Gunpowder 200g packaging

Your experience with Gunpowder chalk container may vary, but some customers report the lid popping off. This is a powdery climbing chalk, so it can get pretty messy. However, you can easily avoid this pitfall if you transfer the chalk into a chalk bag.

Trango Gunpowder comes in a variety of package sizes, from 50g to 500g. It’s worth considering that most other climbing chalk brands don’t offer this level of size variety. Whether you want a sample size to test the product out or you’re looking to restock in bulk, there is an appropriate size for you.

Texture and Feel

Trango Gunpowder reviews

Trango Gunpowder offers a fine texture that easily coats your hands. Unlike liquid chalks, loose chalk doesn’t contain alcohol, so it won’t dry your hands out. It doesn’t clump either, so there are never any chunks you need to break up. However, the fine powder texture may mean you’ll go through it a little faster.

The feel is very powdery, but some climbers claim it’s not as soft as other brands of chalk.

If you’re looking for chunky chalk, you can also check out Trango’s TNT Chunky Climbing Chalk.

Grip/Friction

female outdoor climber chalk

This wouldn’t be a solid review if we didn’t examine how well this climbing chalk works! Due to its powdery texture, this Trango chalk offers a grittiness that helps keep your grip firm.

Powdered chalk can easily coat the creases of your hands, which helps to give you a dry and tacky hold. Be careful not to apply too much and leave some chalk behind on the rock. You might waste a lot more chalk this way if you aren’t careful.

The gritty texture may feel great for the amount of hold it provides, but some climbers prefer the feel of a softer chalk. Also, if you have very sweaty hands, the alcohol-free formula of loose chalk may not provide the drying power you’re looking for.

If you have sensitive hands or allergies to ingredients in liquid chalk such as rosin, Trango Gunpowder is worth checking out. It ranks among the high-tier climbing chalks without drying out your hands.

Staying Power

sport climber steep wall

Trango Gunpowder typically can last you for multiple climbs before you have to reapply. This depends heavily on the environment you’re climbing in and how sweaty you get. If you’re in an indoor, climate-controlled climbing area, one coating of Trango Gunpowder should be enough. If you’re outside in wet, humid weather, you’ll probably have to reapply more often.

Powder chalks typically won’t outlast liquid chalks when you look at their staying power. Alcohol dissolves the ingredients in liquid chalk and then evaporates, which leaves a thin layer of chalk adhering to your skin.

Powder chalk, meanwhile, is purely a dry application, which makes it more likely to rub off. Trango Gunpowder is cheaper than the leading liquid chalk brand, so this shortcoming may balance out with cost savings. You could just apply another layer of this powder chalk and get back to climbing without breaking the bank. A good way to get longer lasting coating is to first apply a base layer of liquid chalk and refill it regularly with regular chalk like this one for optimal performance.

Skin Friendliness and Ingredients

chalky hand grip

Trango Gunpowder is the ideal climbing chalk for those with sensitive, dry hands. It uses a fine ground magnesium carbonate that has very little potential to cause an allergic reaction.

Magnesium carbonate grinds into a soft powder that’s ideal for getting into the creases of your hands and drying off the sweat. Magnesium carbonate also lasts a remarkably long time as a moisture-absorbing agent for its relative value.  Unlike most liquid chalks, it doesn’t contain any alcohol, so there’s no risk of painfully drying out your hands. Also, Trango indicates that its formula doesn’t contain any other drying agents.

You can apply and reapply Trango Gunpowder for multiple climbing sessions, and your hands will stay hydrated and comfortable.

The formula propels Trango Gunpowder chalk into a comparable quality with other, much more expensive options.

Value

gym climber with climbing bag

Due to its relative inexpensiveness and high performance, Trango Gunpowder is one of the best value chalks on the market. It sells for about a third of the price of the high-end brands—a steal!

Trango Gunpowder is, in general, less expensive than any liquid chalks on the market as well. If you’re new to climbing or you don’t have much preference for your chalk, Trango Gunpowder may be the option for you.

However, Trango Gunpowder is cheaper for a reason. It does underperform in keeping your hands dry compared to liquid chalks. It’s also more likely to rub off, meaning you have to apply it more often. It’s also much easier to over-apply than liquid chalk, resulting in a lot of wasted climbing chalk.

If these drawbacks aren’t a deal-breaker for you, or if you’re just looking for a lower price, Trango Gunpowder certainly provides.

Wrap-Up

More advanced climbers who know exactly the type of chalk they prefer may find Trango Gunpowder lacking in some ways. It’s less effective at keeping your hands dry than liquid chalk, it rubs off more easily, and it isn’t as soft as some of its competitors.

But if you’re looking at pure value for performance, the reviews are unanimous: this chalk is a solid choice for the average climber. It won’t dry out your hands, it coats the creases of your hands easily, and it offers comparable quality to much more expensive brands.

Reference: Trango’s official website