Home > 2013, 2013 Hold Reviews, Holds, New Holds!, Orogen Designs > Orogen Designs – The Review

Orogen Designs – The Review

Orogen Climbing Designs

This review is a bit overdue, as I was in Hueco for nearly 2 months and we got these holds at the start of it, just in time for the Highlines & Highballs comp. I was excited to use them in that comp and again for Gladiator Finals, and I’ve been using them in the reset as well.

What we got


Right side – 6 Blocky Purple Holds – Olivine Series 1 Crimps

Middle – Top Large Purple Hold – Pahoehoe Jug

Middle – Lower Large Purple Hold – Low Volume Sloper

 Top Left – Single Orange Blob Pinch – Cobblestone

Left Side – Orange and Green Feet – ORONITE Footholds

Left Side – Green Disc Feet – Ovoid Footholds

Bottom Screw-on – OROgranum Screw Ons

Another Angle:

Orogen Climbing Holds

My first impressions were lukewarm. The holds looked cool enough, but nothing spectacular. First impressions aren’t usually accurate though. Read on.


Olivine Series 1

OLIVINE EDGES_Top Shot-800x800

The Yay

These are my favorite of the Orogen samples, and I find myself reaching for them again and again. Similar to the blocky pinches in the Teknik line, but a bit smaller & lower profile. Very comfortable, the edges look harsh but are actually pretty smooth and just fine on the tendons. Good hold-wall transition. We’ve had them for 3 months and no breaks yet. Recommended.

The Nay

Very subtle and many of the other setters aren’t very inspired by them. Once you start using them though…great!



PAHOEHOE_Top Shot-800x800

We got the bottom one.

The Yay

Like the Olivine, a bit subtle in the edge, which is a comfortable block cut. I really like this jug. Good for a range of grades on a range of angles.

The Nay

Kinda heavy. Seems like it might be brittle, though no breaks so far.


Low Volume Slopers

LOW VOLUME SLOPER_Top Shot-800x800

We got the one on the bottom right.

The Yay

Smooth lines, makes a nice hand position, a challenging foot, good on volumes or around an arête. Connor uses it often.

The Nay

Orogen Designs Edge Chipped Sloper

The edges are chipping during our normal hold shoveling/dumping/washing. The chips aren’t major, though they do affect the look of the hold. This is so slopey it would be difficult to use without opposition. Kinda heavy.



COBBLESTONES_Top Shot-800x800

The Yay

I’m not going to lie, I have feelings for our Cobblestone pinch. We only got one, but I like it a lot. It’d be the 8 o’clock hold, if you were wondering. Why do I like it? Small, fat, comfortable.

The Nay

This thing is sweet. The orange urethane seems stronger/more flexible than the purple holds (everything we got that is listed above this).


Oronite Complete Footholds

ORONITE FOOT HOLDS_Top Shot_Complete-800x800

The Yay

These are fine, nothing spectacular but good to go. Rough edges on purpose which is nice in a foothold because it’s uncomfortable to grab but good to stand on.

The Nay

Martini bolts.


Ovoid Footholds


The Yay

Again, nothing groundbreaking, but useful.

The Nay

Martini Bolts.


OROgranum Screw Ons

OROGRANUM SCREW ONS_Top Shot 03-800x800

We aren’t big screw-on users at The Spot, because we can’t & won’t screw into our walls (mostly concrete, some fiberglass). However, we do use screw-ons on volumes and other holds.

The Yay

Small and rough, so good for adding a positive foot that won’t be used as a hand. Will fit well on/around other holds. Seem good for what they are are probably cost effective as well.

The Nay

Not our favorite style as most of the jibs we use are hand jibs and need to be smooth.


General Conclusions

The texture is great–fine, comfortable, hold chalk, not slick (except the feet, the neon urethane is slicker).

The dark color of most of the sets we got makes them easy to overlook, but I find myself seeking them out because I know they will be fun to climb on.

I think that, despite my earlier positive comments about the uniqueness of their hold-presentation on their website, Orogen is actually doing themselves a little bit of a disservice by presenting everything in this particular color of green. The reason? It is difficult to tell what is going on from the photos. The photos of the holds that we have still look different to me than the actual holds we have, and I think it’d be hard to discern the holds’ lines enough to know clearly what to order. For example, on the website the Pahoehoe jugs look…mediocre. I probably wouldn’t order them from the picture. But they sent us one to test and it’s great! The edge radius is comfortable, the jug is incut enough to use on steep roofs but round enough for lesser angles…overall it’s just a nice hold. On that note, since the sets they sent us were good, I will assume their other sets are good enough to take a chance on as well.

See ’em all on their website : Orogen Designs

Wanna see more hold companies?  The Big Hold Company List – North America

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