Development of Functional/Ergonomic Rock Climbing Clothes for Different 

climate Zones and Evaluation of the Integration of Smart Sensing Technology 

Aleksandra Novikova

School of Future Environments, Faculty – Design and Creative Technology  


Rock climbing, an extreme outdoor sport, has carved out a growing and significant niche within the realm of adventurous activities. It is a physiologically and psychologically demanding sport that under the influence of external environmental factors. It can be a dangerous activity and knowledge of proper climbing techniques, tactics, and the use of specialized climbing equipment and ergonomic clothes are crucial for the safe completion of routes.  


Currently, there are no published requirements of the apparel needs of rock climbers depend on different climate zones. The functions of such clothes are protection and compensation of the influence of dangerous and harmful factors and support of stable climbers’ health condition. It is important to consider body motion and body measurement changes while in dynamic positions to design a functional/ergonomic garment for rock climbing.  


The valuable next step in this research area is an integration of smart sensing technology, which allows obtaining of innovative smart clothes for a climber. Such clothes will be able to monitor physiological parameters of the climber and quickly compare it to the optimal body scan measurements and/or will be able to respond to changes in temperature, humidity and create an individual "microclimate" for its wearer. 


The potential benefits of this research are the investigation and analyses of rock climbers’ apparel needs,  better articulating the requirements for functional rock climbing clothes, design optimal functional/ergonomic garment for rock climbing that reckon with dynamic positions of body, creation of an innovative prototype for rock climbing smart cloth. This technology might be extended to different areas that concern cold weather, such as multi-day hiking, trekking or polar expeditions.  


My name is Aleksandra Novikova and I am a PhD student at the Click here to enter text.School of Future Environments, Faculty – Design and Creative Technology, AUT (Auckland University of Technology). Originally, I am from Vladivostok, Russia. I have an engineering background in the apparel designing and textile areas, 9 years of working experience at the Research and Development Center, Vladivostok State University of Economics, and a completed scientific degree in Russia - PhD in Science (Engineering and Technology), 2009.