Climbing gloves can be an essential piece of gear for any climber, providing protection, grip, and warmth while tackling rough or slippery surfaces. But with so many options on the market, how do you choose the best climbing gloves for your needs? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the top climbing gloves on the market, examining their features, pros and cons, and overall performance. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned climber, this guide will help you find the best climbing gloves to take your climbing to the next level.
If you’re in the market for a new pair of climbing gloves, there are several factors you should consider before making a purchase. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll go over some key features to look for when selecting the best climbing gloves for your needs.
- Material: Climbing gloves can be made from a variety of materials, including leather, synthetic fabrics, and hybrid materials. Leather gloves are durable and provide a good grip, but can be less breathable than synthetic options. Synthetic gloves are often more lightweight and breathable, but may not be as durable as leather. Hybrid gloves combine the best of both worlds, offering a balance of durability, grip, and breathability.
- Features: When it comes to climbing gloves, there are several features to look for. Padding can help protect your hands from abrasions and impacts, while the grip is essential for maintaining a secure hold on the climbing surface. Durability is also important, as climbing gloves can take a lot of wear and tear. Additionally, many climbers prefer gloves that are breathable and offer touchscreen compatibility for using smartphones or other devices.
- Brand Comparison: There are several brands that specialize in climbing gloves, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Some popular brands to consider include Black Diamond, Petzl, Mammut, La Sportiva, and Metolius. Researching different brands can help you find a pair of gloves that best fit your needs and preferences.
- Season: Climbing gloves can be designed for specific seasons, such as winter or summer. Make sure to choose gloves that are appropriate for the conditions you plan to climb in.
- Fit: It’s important to choose gloves that fit properly, as gloves that are too loose or too tight can affect your performance and comfort. Look for gloves that offer a sizing guide to ensure a proper fit. Additionally, some gloves are designed specifically for men or women, while others are unisex.
By considering these factors, you can find a pair of climbing gloves that best fit your needs and preferences, and that will help you climb safely and comfortably.
Types of Climbing Gloves
When it comes to climbing gloves, there are several types to choose from, each with its own features and benefits. Here are some of the most common types of climbing gloves:
- Bouldering Gloves: Bouldering gloves are designed to provide extra padding and protection for your hands during falls or impacts. These gloves often feature reinforced palm and knuckle areas to help prevent injuries.
- Sport Climbing Gloves: Sport climbing gloves are typically lightweight and breathable, with a focus on grip and dexterity. These gloves may have minimal padding, as falls are generally less frequent than in bouldering.
- Trad Climbing Gloves: Trad climbing gloves are designed for longer climbs that require hand jams and crack climbing. These gloves typically have extra padding in the back of the hand to protect against abrasions.
- Ice Climbing Gloves: Ice climbing gloves are designed for cold temperatures, with added insulation to keep your hands warm. These gloves may also have additional padding in the knuckles and palms to protect against impacts from ice tools.
- Mixed Climbing Gloves: Mixed climbing gloves are designed for a combination of rock and ice climbing, with features like insulation and padding for both activities.
- Fingerless Gloves: Fingerless gloves provide extra dexterity and grip, making them ideal for warmer weather or activities like belaying or rappelling.
- Full-Fingered Gloves: Full-fingered gloves provide more protection and warmth, making them ideal for colder weather or more rugged climbs.
When choosing a type of climbing glove, consider the type of climbing you’ll be doing, as well as the conditions you’ll be facing. Keep in mind that different types of gloves may offer different levels of protection and grip, so it’s important to choose a pair that best fits your needs and preferences.
Top Picks for Best Climbing Gloves
Looking for high-quality climbing gloves that are both lightweight and durable? Look no further than the Seibertron lightweight half-finger climbing gloves! These gloves are expertly crafted with breathable neoprene material that provides superior impact protection, making them ideal for even the most rugged climbing adventures. Featuring double-kevlar thread stitching and SBR padding on the palm for extended durability, these gloves are built to last. Additionally, the SBR padding helps to isolate the heat generated when the rope passes through the palm, making these gloves perfect for climbing activities. With convenient features like a hook and loop closure on the wrist and a non-slip strap end for a secure fit, these gloves are a must-have for any serious climber. Plus, the S-flexible rubber round hole on the wrist is perfect for climbers who use D-rings to hang their gloves.
- Quality pull on strap
- Needs padding near thumb
- Reinforced palm
- Kevlar thread stitching
- Padding on palm
Featuring a padded palm that protects your hands from the heat generated during long rappels, these gloves are designed to provide maximum comfort and performance during any climbing challenge. With stretchable spandex and an anatomically curved finger design, you'll have the flexibility you need to take on even the most challenging climbs. And with our soft neoprene cuff and Velcro closure, you'll enjoy a snug, comfortable fit without feeling constricted. Whether you're bouldering in the park or scaling a mountain peak, Intra-FIT climbing gloves are the perfect choice for climbers who demand the best.
- Good grip
- Can be tight if you have large hands
- Goat skin blend
- Padded palm
- Soft neoprene cuff
The Black Diamond half finger crag climbing gloves are the perfect lightweight, breathable, and durable gloves for any climber. With superior dexterity for belaying and a hook-and-loop cuff closure with a pull-on/clip-in loop, these gloves are sure to make your climbing experience easier and more fun.
- Hook and loop closure makes taking off easy
- Durable reinforced palm
- Sizing for women
- Men's sizing issues
- Faux leather blend
- Breathable mesh
- Available in women's sizes
If you're in search of durable and lightweight gloves for rock climbing or rappelling look no further than these climbing gloves from Petzl. These gloves are expertly crafted with a natural double-layer leather construction that is tough and able to withstand the wear and tear of climbing. Meanwhile, the stretch nylon back provides a comfortable fit that allows for maximum flexibility. With a low-profile cuff and Velcro closure, these gloves will stay secure and comfortable throughout your climb. Additionally, the reinforced carabiner hole makes it easy to attach the gloves to your harness, ensuring that they are always within reach. So if you're serious about climbing and demand the best in quality and performance, order your Petzl climbing gloves today and take your climbing game to the next level!
- Breathable mesh back
- Enhanced thumb reinforcement
- Lightweight at only 4 oz
- Not available in half finger design
- Reinforced fingers and thumb
- Nylon back for breathability
- Carabiner hole for hanging
When it comes to rock climbing, having the right gear is crucial for both safety and performance. That's why these medium-weight climbing gloves from Petzl are the perfect addition to any climber's arsenal. Crafted from durable goatskin and double-layer leather, these gloves offer optimal protection without sacrificing dexterity. The fingertips and other high-wear areas of the gloves have been reinforced for increased durability, ensuring that they will last through many climbs to come. Furthermore, a low-profile neoprene cuff with Velcro closure is designed for a snug fit, and the reinforced carabiner hole makes it easy to attach the gloves to your harness, ensuring that they are always within reach when you need them.
- Heavy duty hand protection
- Great price
- Durable Velcro closure
- Sizing issues
- Leather construction
- Velcro closure
- Padded palm
For climbers in search of a glove that provides both dexterity and durability, the Black Diamond Crag Gloves are an excellent choice. These gloves boast an updated finger construction, along with breathable stretch mesh fabric and knuckle padding, all of which work together to protect your hands while you climb. The low-profile wrist strap on these gloves makes them ideal for use during climbing ensuring that they stay securely in place without getting in the way. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, the Black Diamond Crag gloves offer the perfect balance of protection and performance for all your climbing adventures.
- Hook and loop closure
- Women's sizes available
- Reinforced thumb and pointer finger
- Rubber palm leaves residue
- Mesh fabric
- Padded knuckle
- Leather palm
Designed with a cowhide main body, these gloves are triple-stitched for added durability, ensuring they can withstand the wear and tear of frequent use. Furthermore, the split cowhide palm reinforcement also provides extra protection, making these gloves ideal for rugged outdoor activities. Plus, with double-stitched finger openings and a bar-tacked webbing clip-in loop, these gloves offer both comfort and convenience. So whether you're scaling a mountain peak or taking on a challenging trad climb, the Metolius 3/4 climbing gloves will keep your hands protected and comfortable throughout your adventure.
- Thick leather
- Secure Velcro closure
- Durable palm
- Runs small
- Cowhide construction
- Double stitched fingers
- All areas reinforced
These gloves are specially designed for kids who love to rock climb, bike, do gymnastics, and more! Furthermore, the special palm material provides a strong grip, ensuring that your child can safely grip any object without slipping. They also feature an attractive design, making your child feel stylish and confident as they protect their hands from blisters and calluses. And with a variety of cute designs to choose from, your child is sure to find a pair they love.
- Stretchable fabric
- Anti slip palm
- Decent stitching
- Palm doesn't offer a ton of padding
- Nylon blend
- Easy slip on
- Multiple designs
Care and Maintenance
Proper care and maintenance of your climbing gloves can help extend their lifespan and ensure that they continue to perform well. Here are some tips for caring for and maintaining your climbing gloves:
- Clean your gloves regularly: Dirt and sweat can build up on your gloves over time, reducing their effectiveness and causing unpleasant odors. Clean your gloves regularly with mild soap and warm water, and let them air dry completely before using them again.
- Store your gloves properly: When not in use, store your gloves in a cool, dry place to help prevent mold and mildew growth. Avoid leaving your gloves in direct sunlight, as this can cause the materials to break down over time.
- Repair minor damages: Small tears or holes in your gloves can be repaired using a patch kit or seam sealer. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, and allow the repair to dry completely before using the gloves again.
- Replace your gloves when necessary: Climbing gloves can take a lot of wear and tear, so it’s important to replace them when they become worn or damaged beyond repair. Pay attention to signs of wear like thinning material or holes, and replace your gloves before they become a safety hazard.
- Avoid using harsh chemicals: Avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach or fabric softeners when cleaning your gloves, as these can damage the materials and reduce their effectiveness.
By following these care and maintenance tips, you can help ensure that your climbing gloves stay in good condition and continue to provide the protection and grip you need while climbing.
Pros and Cons of Climbing Gloves
Like any piece of climbing gear, climbing gloves have their own set of pros and cons. Here are some of the key advantages and disadvantages of using climbing gloves:
- Protection: Climbing gloves provide an extra layer of protection for your hands, helping to prevent cuts, scrapes, and blisters.
- Grip: Climbing gloves can provide a better grip on rough or slippery surfaces, helping to improve your overall performance and confidence while climbing.
- Warmth: In colder weather, climbing gloves can provide additional insulation to keep your hands warm and comfortable.
- Durability: High-quality climbing gloves can be quite durable, lasting for years with proper care and maintenance.
- Reduced Dexterity: Some climbers find that gloves reduce their dexterity, making it more difficult to perform precise movements while climbing.
- Comfort: Poorly fitting gloves or gloves made from uncomfortable materials can cause discomfort or even pain during long climbs.
- Cost: Climbing gloves can be relatively expensive, particularly those made from high-quality materials and with specialized features.
- Personal Preference: Ultimately, whether or not to use climbing gloves is a matter of personal preference. Some climbers prefer the added protection and grip, while others find gloves to be more of a hindrance than a help.
When deciding whether or not to use climbing gloves, it’s important to consider your own preferences and the type of climbing you’ll be doing. Some climbers may find gloves to be a valuable addition to their gear, while others may prefer to climb without them.
Meet Eric McGough, a seasoned adventurer and military veteran who traded his tech career for a life of outdoor exploration and freedom. He plans to travel the world, discover new adventures, and share information about great destinations, gear, and more on the Shaman Mountain Sports and Outdoors Blog.