In this post, I will help you find the best climbing gloves. I’m talking about the ones with proven ability to protect your palms and digits from getting sore as you belay or rappel. Climbers swear by their ability to handle carabiners. Their durability is never in doubt as is the reliably. These will help you climb the toughest of mountains from Annapurna to Meru. I’ve based this collection on overall performance, durability, materials, functionality, user feedback and cost.
- 1. Petzl – CORDEX Gloves for Climbers – Best for Sensitivity
- 2. Black Diamond Crag Half-Finger – Best Budget Climbing Gloves
- 3. Ocun Crack Climbing Gloves – Best for Excellent Grip on the Rocks
- 4. TraAcc Gloves – Best for Winter Climbing
- 5. Vbiger Crag Gloves – Best Full-finger Gloves for Belaying
- Advice When Buying Climbing Gloves
First things first; the CORDEX gloves are 100% leather. What does that tell you? Well, it means that they’ll protect your palm and fingers from blisters time and again. It also translates to durability. In fact, one of the primary selling points of this pair is the ability to hold well against the demands of frequent use.
The CORDEX flaunts an ergonomic design to give you iconic dexterity. Keep in mind that the best climbing gloves should keep your fingers touch sensitive and that’s exactly what this pair does. Put differently these offer the dexterity you need without being too tight. That way, you can belay, or rappel without restriction.
The CORDEX’s quality is top-notch. After all, it’s all-leather. By extension, this pair strikes a perfect balance between flexibility and durability. For you as a climber, it means getting more value for your money.
These gloves don’t fall short when it comes to protecting your hands either. They’re reinforced with a double layer of leather to protect susceptible areas such as your palm, index finger and thumb from bruises. And then there is the breathable stretch nylon at the back of the back to ensure that your hands stay cool even after hours of rappelling or belaying.
The other highlight that caught my eye about the CORDEX is the flexible cuff design on the wrist. You see, mountain climbing is a rigorous activity. You cannot, therefore, gamble with your glove’s ability to remain on your hands at all times. This pair’s cuffs allow you to find a tight, snug fit. Plus, the integrated carabiner hole enables you to attach your gloves to your harness for a quick, convenient reach.
The CORDEX is one of the best climbing gloves if you’re after comfort and sensitivity. It is soft with a silky feel. I bet you’ll love the excellent breathability too. While is not the most durable pair, it comes at an affordable price so you can pick several pairs to ensure that you’re stocked. Don’t worry though; these gloves will last relatively long, especially if you take good care of your pair.
Don’t have the money to splurge? Fret not! Black Diamond has got your back. Make no mistake about it though; the affordability doesn’t in any way mean that you’ll be sacrificing quality. In fact, this is one of my favorite climbing gloves.
First, the Black Diamond Crag halve finger is great for belaying. Of course, the open finger design means that you get maximum dexterity. They’re also a good pick if you’re an occasional climber. The other reason I vouch for this pair is the fact that the design allows you to hold things such as camera, smartphone or snacks without taking off the glove. I’d say it’s a good alternative to the CORDEX if you want a little bit more sensitivity.
Just like any climbing glove worth your money, the Crag is adequately breathable. It features a soft mesh fabric to ensure that your palm stays dry all the time. Needless to say, with the breathability comes greater comfort. In the meantime, the knuckle padding works to make sure that the back of your hand gets enough protection.
The Black Diamond Crag, unlike the CORDEX, flaunts a synthetic leather palm. While this construction may fall short when it comes to durability, the index finger and the thumb crotch have a reinforcement layer to make up for it.
Other striking highlights worth mentioning include the hook and loop cuff closure for a tight fit. There’s also the pull-on clip so you can wear your gloves painlessly and carabiner to suspend the gloves on your backpack. One more thing; the Black Diamond Crag is available in black and cobalt shades.
The Black Diamond Crag half finger is for any climbing enthusiast looking for a solid pair without spending too much. Its breathability is on point as is the flexibility. Reviewers say they’re well made and comfortable. I still insist, however, that this pair will serve you well only if you belay occasionally.
When you’re not belaying or rappelling, the Ocun are your to-go-to gloves. They’re a brilliant alternative to taping your hands. Fans say they can potentially save you time, skin and money, sentiments I strongly concur with.
The Ocun has a simple open design but that’s understandable given their intended use. More specifically, they feature an innovative anatomical shape that contours to your hands for increased sensitivity. This build also enhances friction more so when jamming.
As for durability, the Ocun doesn’t disappoint. It comes with a long lasting sticky rubber for extended use. I love the Velcro closure too. Not only does it make easy for you to find a perfect fit but also prevents unfastening when crack climbing. Think of it as a safety feature to ensure that the glove indeed does it work.
How about the breathability you ask? Well, these gloves have microfiber stretch suede reinforced with a sensitive adhesive rubber to keep breathability at its best.
While I’m not taking anything away from the Ocun, I must point out a couple of things. One, it doesn’t offer wrist protection. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it makes them more breathable. On the flipside, however, it leaves your wrist exposed. Second, the wrist closure isn’t the simplest to use. On the other hand, it is super robust and once you’ve locked it in, your glove will remain in place until you remove it.
For those asking, the Ocun is available in multiple sizes from extra small, small, medium, large and extra large. It weighs a mere 57 grams.
The Ocun gloves are a must-have for any crack climbing enthusiast. They’re a heavy-duty pair that promises to stand the rigors of crack climbing. The slim profile is great and doesn’t bind or impede your hand’s movements. Plus, for what you pay to get them, I think they’re a good bargain.
Don’t let sideways snow, dark clouds or whipping winds keep you away from climbing. These gloves by TraAcc could very be your best chance to conquer the mountains when temperatures drop. They won’t shrink your wallet too thanks to the inexpensive price tag.
Moving on, this pair features a built-in soft fleece for warmth and comfort. It is super light and elastic to offer better heat preservation. On top of that, the interior has a moisture wicking lining to keep your palm dry even when temps start to rise.
Sure, these are not leather gloves but don’t underestimate their handiness when it comes to your hand’s safety. I couldn’t help but notice the anti-skid design. In essence, this translates to less slip on slippery surfaces. Did I tell you that the TraAcc’s palm touts a water-resistant silicone layer? That way, you can hold the climbing rope better, further guaranteeing your hand’s security.
Additionally, these gloves are made with a modern climber’s needs in mind. Both fingers are touch screen sensitive, allowing you to use your smartphone without taking your off your gloves.
Even with the TraAcc’s five-star performance, I must mention that they’re not completely waterproof. I wouldn’t, therefore, advise you to use them in heavy rain. Also, these will only serve you well if you don’t do a lot of climbing. But, they are some of the most versatile gloves you can get. When you’re not climbing, they’ll come in handy for outdoor activities such as driving, hiking, hiking or cycling. So it’s a win-win situation.
The TraAcc is a perfect unisex climbing glove that will make a great addition to your outdoor gear. It is a nice and comfy pair as long as you get the sizing right. Speaking of sizes, this pair comes in small, medium, large, extra large and XXL. Reviewers say it fits snugly and offers a good grip as well.
This pair by the renowned Vbiger is had to feature on my collection of best climbing gloves for belaying. It is one of the least expensive options on the market, which is another plus for frugal shoppers. It is also one of the lightest.
Top of the list of the Vbiger’s impressive features is waterproof polar fleece. The breathability is top-quality as is the ability to keep your hands warm. Climbers praise the soft construction material that feels comfortable against the palm and skin.
The Vbiger’s padding is on another level. The idea behind extra cushioning is to give you a buffer in case of sudden shock or accident. The cleverly placed PVC on the back of the hand increases the protection. And then there is the elastic slip-on wrist cuff to give you the comfort you need without compromising the movement of your fingers.
These gloves promise to give you grip on surfaces with the anti-slip palm patches. Besides, the flexible, highly bendable design ensures that your fingers move sensitively and freely. And, due to the Vbiger’s thoughtful design, it can also double up as a skiing, snowboarding, trekking or hiking.
Just when you thought this pair couldn’t get any better, I tell you that it supports touchscreen technology. The unique fingers will give you access to all your mobile devices including mobiles devices including iPads and more.
There’s so much to say about the Vbiger, the only way to experience them is to own a pair. The comfort is impressive as is the durability. These gloves are not bulky so you can wear them for hours. You can easily grasp not to mention that the cinch around the wrist isn’t too tight. Most importantly, they’ll keep your hands warm and dry. I like!
Advice When Buying Climbing Gloves
You see, the market is brimming with options when it comes to climbing to gloves. To spend your money on the right pair, you must determine what you’re likely to use for in the first place. Below, I explain the three main climbing-related activities to help you narrow down your options.
This is the most common reason you’re going to need a climbing glove. If that’s the case, be sure to choose a full-fingered pair so you can protect your fingertips. You’re better off with gloves that offer dexterity to allow you to handle biners and belay devices.
Also, you want a durable pair especially if you’ll belay mostly at the crags. Failure to pick durable gloves means that you’ll have to keep replacing them if you’re a frequent climber.
To rappel comfortably invest in a heavy-duty pair complete with reinforced fingers and thumb. The robust construction is to help you manage the heat during long rappels. It is worth noting that you can’t use a rappel glove for belaying because most don’t offer enough dexterity. Plus, the fit isn’t the best for belaying.
A good glove for crack climbing should cover the entire back or your and the wrist. It has to be easy to put on and off while offering enough cushioning at the same time. I suggest that you go for a lightweight crack glove that won’t feel bulky on your hand. Also, crack gloves are an excellent choice if you’re a beginner who’s trying to learn the ropes of climbing.
…Other things to keep in mind
A climbing glove has to fit over your hands – there are no two ways about that. As a rule of thumb, choose a smaller glove than your normal sizing. Remember, most pairs on the market use either leather or synthetic material which means that they don’t stretch. A large glove will be sloppy to hold the carabiners safely.
The Materials and Durability
When it comes to construction material, you can choose between goatskin, cowhide, and synthetics. Cowhide gloves are the most durable. On the flip side, they offer the least dexterity and may take some time to break in.
Goatskin is great for dexterity but is not as durable as cowhide. Note that most goat skin climbing gloves tend to wear out faster around the fingertip area.
Synthetics are even less durable but a good choice if you’re on a budget. You may also opt for a pair that uses a combination of the three materials. In simple terms, if you’re scouting for a combination of exceptional dexterity and durability, pick goatskin. If you want a lightweight and breathable pair, but synthetic.
It is important to mention that other than the materials, stitching also determines how durable a glove is – more specifically, the stitching around the fingers. Select a pair with burly stitching for durability.
The type of closure varies from one glove to another. Some use Velcro wrist closures while others don’t. While the choice of closure system is somewhat a personal preference, I’d suggest that you go for low profile closures. Big closures may come across as too bulky not to mention they may reduce breathability. It also makes it relatively hard to get the gloves on and off.
You may opt to choose climbing gloves with clip-in points made of a bomber. Most pairs with this design also have easier-to-find webbing sewn on the glove’s wrist. You can as well buy one with a low key clip-in hole on the wrist. I have seen some climbers cut their own holes into gloves and it still serves the purpose.
Exclusive tip – Be sure to tape the palm of your brake hand before adorning a leather rappel glove for high-speed dives. That way, you will be protecting your hands from heat blisters. Plus, you’ll be able to control the speed at which your body descents. That’s how professional climbers do it.
I hope you enjoyed reading my best climbing gloves reviews as much I did writing them. Most importantly, I trust that you can find the gloves whose design and features can meet your needs. And even if the pair you’re looking for isn’t in my reviews, the buying advice I’ve shared will help you figure out what to buy. I’ll keep my eyes on what’s happening in the climbing world and in case a new glove is causing buzzes in the market you’ll be the first one to know all about it. For now, over to you!