Top 10 Climbing Gloves Reviewed & Rated for Quality
But those extreme conditions are not the only ones where gripped gloves, mountaineering gloves, and rappelling gloves come in handy.
Especially if you have sensitive hands, a good pair of gloves can protect you from stray wire and fray or sharp rocky edges, and they may even help to provide a little extra warmth during the chillier months (though they won’t replace your hand warmers or winter gloves).
So peruse our list below. With full coverage and partial coverage options, you’ll be sure to get the fit that is perfect for your next climb.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When selecting the products for this 10 Best List, we highly considered what materials each bag is made out of.
The more premium options on our list are made of leather and suede. This material lasts longer, holds up to heat better, and will generally form to your hand more readily.
We also feature options made of synthetic leather and mesh. These are more affordable and offer up more breathability. They are even sometimes more flexible. However, they frequently do not last as long and need to be replaced more often.
We also consider how comfortable a bag is to wear. In this consideration, we take into account the actual feel of the fabric, how easy they are to get on and off, and how well they breathe, especially in warmer weather.
When looking at durability, we consider the different features that are designed to make the bag more durable.
We value options with reinforced stitching at the thumb and pointer finger crotch as well as at the palm as these areas encounter the most heat from friction and the most action on the glove. In order for the product to be really durable, these measures have to be taken.
We also value sturdy velcro and secure closures.
We heavily considered the fit of each product. Just like with your climbing shoes, it is important to get a pair of gloves that fit just right. As we go into below, you want to ensure that the gloves are neither too tight or too loose.
Making this decision mostly depends on the type of material it is made out of.
However, there are other factors we consider like the type of closure, how easy they are to get on and off, and the overall snugness and flexibility of the product.
Of course, we also consider whether or not they fit as expected.
Finally, we considered value. We will say again that you do not want to purchase more glove than you actually need. This is true in terms of coverage and durability.
If you are a casual climber, go with a more budget and full-coverage option. If you climb quite seriously, it’s worth investing in specialized and premium pairs for your different climbing adventures.
10 Best Climbing Gloves
1. Black Diamond Crag Half-Finger
The first pair of stellar gloves to pop off our list are the Black Diamond Crag Half-Fingers. These are made from durable synthetic materials with strategic padding to ensure that your knuckles are protected from sharp crags. And with reinforcements in all of the right places, you’ll be able to enjoy this pair for longer.
Reinforced Thumb and Index Finger Crotch
The Black Diamond Crag Half-Fingers features a durable design that is reinforced in all of the right areas. The thumb and index finger crotch is extremely durable so that it can fight off rips and friction tears from contact with your ropes.
We also like the synthetic leather material that is used for the palm as this offers up a durable base that will not easily rip or tear. And with a breathable mesh fabric on the backside of the hand, you will enjoy a healthier airflow that works to cut down on the sweatiness of your palms. These are no intended for ice climbing.
We award points for durability and materials here.
The Black Diamond Crag Half-Fingers are designed specifically for those climbers who go crag climbing. This means shoving your hands into the crabs of rocks in order to get a hold. This also means torture for your knuckles.
Thus, these babies provide an extra layer of padding just around the knuckles to cut down on the overall bulk of the glove, and to give you the necessary padding you need to protect your knuckles from serious damage. We award points for comfort here.
We also like that these come with a hook and pull closure featuring strong velcro and that there is a pull-on loop for easy on and off action. We award points for comfort and fit here.
Cost and Value
The Black Diamond Crag Half-Fingers ring up at the bottom of our price range and we love their value because they are a great introductory option for those who are getting into climbing. They are very affordable and work well in terms of breathability and protection.
And while they offer reinforced sections, some of the stitching was reviewed as less than perfect, so you may have to replace these more often than you would with a more premium pair.
The Intra-FITs are an amazing product that features a mix of materials to give the best performance possible. With natural flexibility and the right amount of padding to prevent burns from repelling, these are a great option for a variety of different purposes and they’ll also hold up well the job too--almost as well as your climbing knots.
Reinforced with Goat Skin
The Intra-FITs are designed with a mix of materials for optimal performance.
This product is soft and flexible to the touch as it is comprised of goatskin of premium grain quality. That means this product will flex with your hand’s natural movements while also providing excellent durability.
You will also enjoy the spandex which is flexible and breathable for less sweaty palms, as well as the extra padding in the palms which helps to safeguard against rope burns and abrasions. We award points for materials, durability, and comfort here.
Anatomically Curved Fingers
The Intra-FITs also come with a uniquely curved finger feature that matches the natural anatomy of the human hand. This natural curvature helps to achieve a more realistic grip and a more natural movement of your hand. This increases the comfort and fit of the product so we award points here.
And we like the velcro and neoprene cuff, as well as the carabiner loop so that you can always have these ready and by your side while you’re scaling the mountain.
Cost and Value
The Intra-FITs ring up in the middle of our price range and we love their value because they offer full protection which is useful in a variety of different climbing contexts. We also like the mix of materials as this helps with comfort and flexibility.
3. Petzl CORDEX Lightweight
The Petzl CORDEX Lightweight is made from 100% leather, so you know you’re getting quality that will last. These are lightweight with the right fit to ensure that you can belay and rappel while still feeling confident in your grip. And these are reinforced in high-friction areas to ensure even more longevity.
The Petzl CORDEX Lightweight is made with a double layer of 100% leather. This double layer works to provide the right amount of padding and protection needed with rappelling and when belaying.
We also like that the back is finished with stretchy nylon that works to drive down the weight of the gloves while increasing their breathability at the same time, so we award points for comfort and materials here.
The Petzl CORDEX Lightweight features an ergonomic cut that blends the need for protection with the need for free and natural movement of the hands. We award points for fit here.
There is nice flexibility to these within their protective structure and they are also reinforced in the high-fiction areas of the palms and thumb and pointer finger crotch. We award points for durability and comfort here.
Plus, we like the carabiner hole so that you can keep your gloves as your side and ready for the draw whenever you need them.
Cost and Value
The Petzl CORDEX Lightweight rings up at the very top of our price range but we love its value because they are very durable and because they provide a super snug and comfortable fit, which makes them well worth the investment in our book.
4. Ocun Crack
The Ocun Crack is an incredible product if you are looking for a super low profile product that won’t interfere with your finger feel on the rocks. Rather than struggling with different taping styles and excessive chalk, this product allows you to protect the most sensitive areas of your hand while still giving you the natural range of motion and finger feel of climbing without gloves.
Takes the Place of Tape
The Ocun Crack is one of the most minimal products on our list. It stands here to take the place of taping and chalking your hands before each project.
Thus, these are not intended for rappelling as they will not provide the protection against friction. Instead, these are meant to protect the back of your hands and tops of your palms from rips and tears. We award points for fit and comfort here.
The Ocun Crack is made from suede microfiber which is both durable and soft to the touch. It will mold to the shape of your hand and works to provide more responsiveness as well.
And because the velcro closure locks inside, you won’t have to worry about it snagging on a rock while you’re climbing and coming undone. We award points for materials and fit here.
Cost and Value
The Ocun Crack rings up at the top of our price range and we love their value because they offer the perfect minimalist design that protects the most sensitive areas of your hand while still giving you the comfort and feel of the rock for a secure grip.
That being said, some reviewers found that the closure loops are not so durable, so we dock a few points here for that.
5. Metolius Full Finger Belay
The Metolius Full Finger Belay is another of our full leather options. This product is reinforced at the crotch between the thumb and pointer finger which makes it a great companion for belayers--as well as a potential life saving tool. And with reinforced stitching, these are well worth shelling out a little extra for.
The Metolius Full Finger Belay is made from cow-hide that is flexible and durable at the same time. The outer is made from a strong hide that is comfortable to the touch, and the palm and crotch are reinforced with split cow-hide as well as triple stitching to ensure that you can enjoy these for seasons to come.
We award points for materials, comfort, and durability here.
Great for Rappelling and Belaying
The Metolius Full Finger Belay is, as the name suggests, ideal for belaying and rappelling. The fit is snug enough for comfort and molds to your hand’s unique shape.
And we like the hook and closure loop finished with durable velcro so you can be sure these won’t come loose on the way down. Plus, we like the carabiner loop that means you can always have these close at hand when you’re ready to put them on. Points for fit and comfort here.
Cost and Value
The Metolius Full Finger Belay rings up at the top of our price range and we love its value because they are made of super durable and flexible materials that will ensure a long life’s worth of use out of them.
6. Singing Rock Chocky Jamming
The Singing Rock Chocky Jamming is another one of our featured products that offer up a super slim profile. You can put down the complicated tape and turn to these durably made responsive rubber gloves that give the backside of your hand and upper palm protection while still allowing you to feel the rocks on your hands.
Double Wide Elastic
The Singing Rock Chocky Jamming features velcro closure that is secured by a double-wide and layered elastic band. This allows for a super-secure and snug fit that won’t budge when you’re climbing so you can feel safe and supported. We award points for materials, comfort, and fit here.
Responsive Rubber Composition
The Singing Rock Chocky Jamming is made out of a rubber material that allows for freedom of movement in the hands while also delivering high-friction. This means that when you’re shoving your hands into crags, the rubber works to create friction and hug the rocks of the crag tightly. More points for material here.
Cost and Value
The Singing Rock Chocky Jamming rings up at the top of our price range and we like its value because it replaces the need for tape which is not reusable and allows for more friction and secure contact while still having the secure feel of the rocks under your fingers.
7. Outdoor Research Fossil Rock
The Outdoor Research Fossil Rock offers up a mix of textiles to provide you with peak performance. You’ll get stretch and breathability for comfortable wear, and you’ll also enjoy the true leather and split-suede panels that provide for tons of heat protection and a nice grip to feel secure.
The Outdoor Research Fossil Rock delivers a breathable back panel that has just the right amount of stretch so that you can enjoy a snug fit that also moves with you naturally. We award points for materials and fit here, as well as for comfort.
Leather and Split-Suede
The Outdoor Research Fossil Rock features an all-leather palm that is accented with split-suede panels for extra insulation against rope burns and for extra gripping and friction power at the palm and fingers. We award points for materials and durability here.
Cost and Value
The Outdoor Research Fossil Rock rings up at the top of our price range and we like their value because they hold together nicely for their price and they are comfy for the wearer as well.
8. Metolius Belay Slave
The Metolius Belay Slave is a nice middle of the road option if you’re looking for more coverage but don’t want to shell out for a pair of genuine leathers. These are made of synthetic leather with mesh backing for breathability.
Synthetic Leather and Mesh
The Metolius Belay Slave is made using a synthetic leather palm and fingers. The back (and the back of the fingers as well) is made of mesh to ramp up breathability on these full-finger gloves.
The mesh also works to deliver a bit more flexibility, though the gloves to do not fit as snugly as their genuine leather counterparts. We take some points for fit and materials here.
The Metolius Belay Slave features a solid closure that is a hook and loop and which secures with sturdy velcro. Reviewers find that this feature holds up well. We give points for durability here.
Cost and Value
The Metolius Belay Slave rings up in the middle of our price range and we like its value because it’s a step above the budget brands in terms of longevity and also provides decent protection from burns when belaying.
9. Singing Rock Grippy
The Singing Rock Grippy is a beautifully made leather glove that features ¾ fingers. You’ll enjoy the all-leather body that is accented with split-suede on the parts of the product that need the most reinforcement because they get the most heat-friction action.
The Singing Rock Grippy features a palm and fingers that are made of split-suede panels. These panels work as an added barrier against heat friction and they also provide extra gripping power so you can get a steady hold. We award points for materials and comfort here.
The Singing Rock Grippy comes complete with a pull loop that makes getting these on and off a breeze. We also like the velcro closure, though it has been noted to snag on rocks during climbs. We take a few points to fit here.
Cost and Value
The Singing Rock Grippy rings up in the middle of our price range and we like its value because these hold up to heat and use fairly well and are a bit less expensive than other all leather options.
10. Seibertron Half-Finger Padded
The Seibertron Half-Finger Padded is the perfect way to round out our list. This is another budget option that is great for crag climbing as you will be able to enjoy the dexterity of your fingers. It is reinforced with specialized thread and padding for more durability and comfort.
The Seibertron Half-Finger Padded is reinforced with kevlar thread at the palm and fingers so that you can enjoy these budget gloves for longer. There is also a carabiner loop and an easy pull tab on the fingers to remove the gloves quickly. We give points for materials and durability here.
The Seibertron Half-Finger Padded offers, just as you might guess, extra padding in the palm. This serves to fight against hand fatigue so that you can extend your climbing hours in comfort. We award points for comfort and fit here.
Cost and Value
The Seibertron Half-Finger Padded rings up at the bottom of our price range and we like its value because it is a great entry-level glove that will hold up better than some other budget brands on the market.
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