Gloves are an undervalued component of a climber’s equipment kit. In particular, they come in handy for lengthy goals involving jumaring or aid climbing because they protect the skin on belays and rappels. They can add to the warmth in chilly weather, especially when used in conjunction with some effective hand warmers. Our discussion of the 8 best climbing gloves for you is contained in this article. Please continue reading and choose your favorite.
8 Best Climbing Gloves
Best For Belaying and Rappelling: Petzl Cordex
Our testers’ top picks for belaying and rappelling are the Petzl Cordex gloves. They have a reinforced leather palm and a nylon backing that is breathable, maximizing protection without sacrificing comfort.
Particularly on the index finger of each hand, where no other models offer additional protection, we thought the leather reinforcements were strategically placed and useful.
In addition to featuring a durable leather hand, the backs of the Cordex gloves are completely synthetic, making them much lighter and more breathable than leather full-finger models.
Best For Aid Climbing: Black Diamond Crag Half-finger
If you’re searching for a thin, cozy, and breathable model, the Black Diamond Crag Half-Finger gloves have a lot to offer. For hot weather and shorter big wall climbs, they are ideal because they are entirely synthetic.
They have a couple of loops for carabiner attachment and some padding over the knuckles, which was useful for juggling ropes. The Crag Half-Finger gloves are significantly more comfortable and breathable than their leather counterparts, which offer more protection but feel stuffy in hot conditions.
Best Value: Black Diamond Crag Gloves
In order to save money, the Crag uses synthetic leather instead of the Petzl Cordex’s leather design. While the back is made of mesh fabric with padding over the knuckles, the palm and fingers are wrapped in synthetic leather and lightly padded.
Nearly as maneuverable and comfortable is the Crag as the Cordex. It has a comparable seam pattern and came in second place to Cordex in my knot-tying test.
Without impairing sensitivity, the padding increases comfort. The fabric is gentle for wiping a runny nose on the back of the thumb. Although the clip-in loops can be a little tricky, they generally function well.
Best Glove For Big Wall Climbing: Black Diamond Stone Gloves
The Stone is extremely helpful because of this. It is made simply to withstand rough treatment over several long days on larger walls. Years ago, I bought a pair of Stone gloves, and they’ve endured more than I ever imagined.
Only a half-finger glove style of the Stone is offered. Less protection than full-finger gloves (or the OR Fossil) is sacrificed in exchange for maintaining dexterity for tasks like aid climbing.
The Stone is exceptional at rappelling and jumaring. For wall use, it combines the ideal amounts of toughness, safety, and dexterity.
Best Crack Climbing Gloves: Ocun Crack Glove
Our preferred models for coarse splitters were the Ocun Crack Gloves. Among the crack gloves we tested, they are thoughtfully made and provide the best balance of sensitivity and durability.
We found a few flaws in them after scaling a few thousand feet of plastic and rock cracks. They are a great substitute for tape gloves and don’t bulk up your hands much.
Best Budget: Wells Lamont Grain Cowhide Work Gloves
The garish yellow Wells Lamont gloves were a budget entry and a dark horse in this test. They performed their climbing duties well. Full-leather construction is flexible and generally cozy. Although it wasn’t as skillful as any of our other award winners, it wasn’t particularly bad either.
These gloves have a straightforward pull cord on the back of the wrist in place of a closure system. Even while wearing both gloves, adjustment is simple. Easy on and off are achieved.
Best For Durable And Comfortable: Black Diamond Transition
The Black Diamond Transition gloves are among the most dependable and comfortable gloves we tested thanks to their sturdy design, well-sewn leather, and synthetic construction.
They rivaled the Petzl Cordex in both comfort and durability but fell short by just a hair. The leather knuckle protection was breathable but not flimsy, and the stretchy synthetic backing was well received.
Best For Stitching: Metolius Belay
The most durable full-finger option we tested was a pair of Metolius Belay gloves. They have substantial stitching, thick leather, and a cozy wrist closure, just like their half-finger counterparts.
For climbing, where you won’t be wearing them for very long stretches of time, the Belay is a good option.
They take a while to break in and if you only use them occasionally, they’ll last you several seasons. The Petzl Cordex is a more breathable and lightweight model that offers comparable palm and finger protection at a similar cost.
How To Choose The Best Climbing Gloves?
Climbing rope handling is the main function of climbing gloves. That calls for the ability to withstand significant friction, which typically calls for some kind of synthetic or genuine leather.
Synthetic leather is cheaper but tends to be less durable in the long run.
Real leather can be sourced from either cows or goats. Goat hide is supple but less robust than cowhide, which is more resilient but stiffer. Although they can feel stiff, leather gloves can actually be quite comfortable, especially if they are made of a hybrid material.
Both full-finger and half-finger (also known as 3/4-finger) climbing gloves are available.
Full-finger gloves are more protective but sacrifice some dexterity. A quality set of full-finger gloves provides the best protection for lengthy belays or rappels.
Half-finger gloves preserve more dexterity but leave the fingers exposed. Your fingertips will experience more wear as a result, but it makes tasks like setting up gear and tying knots easier. Half-finger gloves also make it simple to use a phone or take pictures for all of us millennials who are addicted to technology—hopefully not while belaying.
A good set of gloves must have a carabiner clip because climbers frequently need to attach their gloves to their harnesses. While other gloves just have a hole punched near the base of the palm, some have a specific loop for this purpose. Although I find loops to be easier to clip, either configuration is useful.
What you need the gloves for will have a big impact on the type of gloves you choose. When choosing the best climbing gloves, you should compare the rope handling protection, dexterity, durability, and usefulness for aid climbing.