||Climate-resilient crops and crop varieties have been recommended as a way for farmers to cope with or adapt to climate change, but despite the apparent benefits, rates of adoption by smallholder farmers are highly variable. Here we present a scoping review, using PRISMA-P (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic review and Meta-Analysis Protocols), examining the conditions that have led to the adoption of climate-resilient crops over the past 30 years in lower- and middle-income countries. The descriptive analysis performed on 202 papers shows that small-scale producers adopted climate-resilient crops and varieties to cope with abiotic stresses such as drought, heat, flooding and salinity. The most prevalent trait in our dataset was drought tolerance, followed by water-use efficiency. Our analysis found that the most important determinants of adoption of climate-resilient crops were the availability and effectiveness of extension services and outreach, followed by education levels of heads of households, farmers’ access to inputs—especially seeds and fertilizers—and socio-economic status of farming families. About 53% of studies reported that social differences such as sex, age, marital status and ethnicity affected the adoption of varieties or crops as climate change-adaptation strategies. On the basis of the collected evidence, this study presents a series of pathways and interventions that could contribute to higher adoption rates of climate-resilient crops and reduce dis-adoption.