Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Welcome to our big climbing gloves test 2021. Here we present all the climbing gloves we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best climbing gloves for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy climbing gloves.




Summary

  • Climbing gloves protect your hands when abseiling or climbing with wire rope belays. You can buy a cheap model for as little as 20 euros.
  • Climbing gloves are specially adapted to the requirements of climbing and protect your hands from injuries and burns.
  • When buying gloves, you should pay particular attention to the fit, the material, the quality of workmanship and a good grip. Be sure to test the gloves with one of your ropes before buying.

Climbing gloves: Our Selection

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying climbing gloves

You are not quite sure which climbing gloves to buy? No problem. Just read this guide and you're sure to find the right ones for you.

Who do we recommend climbing gloves for?

Are you a sport climber or do you like via ferrata and rope belaying? Then we advise you to use climbing gloves to protect your hands from burns and injuries and to have a better grip when abseiling.

When do you need climbing gloves?

Climbing gloves are especially recommended for belaying and abseiling. The coated inside of the gloves gives you better control over the rope. It also protects you from burns when the rope slips quickly through your hand. Climbing gloves are also highly recommended for via ferratas that are secured with wire ropes, in order to additionally protect against protruding wire residues and to have a better grip, just like when abseiling. Climbing gloves are recommended for both indoor and alpine climbing.

Which material is better?

Basically, both leather and synthetic gloves offer advantages and disadvantages. The durability of synthetic models, especially the cheaper ones, is often criticised. Leather gloves, on the other hand, have a longer lifespan. On the other hand, they are stiffer and tighter, at least in the beginning, but this becomes less so with each use.

Many recommend leather gloves because they can adapt to the individual hand. However, you should decide for yourself which glove you feel more comfortable in.

Did you know that there are vacuum-operated climbing gloves? With PVAC climbing gloves it is possible to climb vertical walls without other aids such as ladders or ropes. The system is very loud, but it works.

In which size should you buy the new gloves?

Climbing gloves are often made of leather. Since leather expands a little when in use, we recommend that you buy a slightly tighter model. This way you avoid the risk of the gloves suddenly becoming too loose after a few uses and losing the necessary sensitivity.

If the gloves are made of synthetic materials, you should not buy them too tight, because the material will not stretch any more.

How much should you spend on good climbing gloves?

Synthetic gloves can be bought from around 20 euros upwards. However, leather gloves are of higher quality and last longer, and you can buy them from around 35 euros in specialist shops. Here you should bear in mind that a higher price usually means better quality.

Decision: What types of climbing gloves are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between two different types of climbing gloves:

  • Half-finger glove
  • Closed glove

Both half-finger gloves and closed gloves can make climbing easier for sports enthusiasts and are part of the climbing equipment for many. Both have their advantages and disadvantages in use. Depending on the purpose for which you want to use your climbing gloves, one of the two types is more suitable for your needs. In the following section, we would like to introduce you to the two types of gloves and help you find out which climbing glove is the right one for you. For this purpose, we will present the above-mentioned types clearly and explain in detail what their advantages and disadvantages are.

What are the characteristics of half-finger gloves and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Climbing gloves are usually made of leather or strong nylon material and are additionally reinforced in the palms. They are made to withstand the heavy use of rock, ice or rope. Half-finger gloves are models without fingertips. The fabric ends just below or above the middle phalanx. The glove is closed with a Velcro fastener at the wrist. Half-finger gloves offer protection for the sensitive skin on the hands when rock climbing or climbing indoors. Beginners in particular can benefit from them to be able to climb longer without pain. Half-finger gloves offer the further advantage that you sweat less in them because they are not completely closed and the fingers are exposed.

Advantages
  • Ideal for climbing on the rock or in the hall
  • More mobility
  • Better grip due to more tactility
  • Cooler and more comfortable in warm temperatures
Disadvantages
  • Less protection against cold
  • Less protection against injuries
  • More callus formation

However, the more progress you make in climbing, the more annoying the gloves can become when bouldering and rock climbing. Experienced climbers will rarely be seen wearing gloves, as advanced climbing relies on proper friction and a good grip. These are reduced by the gloves. Half-finger gloves can also be used for via ferrata climbing and offer protection from cold and roughened wire ropes to a certain extent. However, if the hands are put under a lot of strain, blisters or sores can occur where the glove stops at the finger. Closed gloves are more suitable here.

What are the characteristics of closed gloves and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Closed gloves are made of the same material as half-finger gloves. They are similarly processed and constructed, but enclose the entire fingers. In addition, there are closed climbing gloves where the fingertips of the thumb and index finger are exposed. These are a good compromise between a good feel for the ground and the best possible protection for the fingers. Closed gloves are ideal for climbing via ferrata, for high ropes courses and for protecting the hands when belaying. In all these climbing activities, you often have to grip hard. Frayed ropes and protruding wire as well as sharp rocks pose a risk of injury from which climbers can protect themselves with closed gloves. In addition, the gloves protect against the cold.

Advantages
  • Ideal for climbing via ferrata, in the high ropes course and when belaying
  • Protection against injuries
  • Protection against cold
Disadvantages
  • Less tactile sensitivity
  • Uncomfortable in warm temperatures (sweating)
  • No finger freedom

The closed fingers of the glove must not pinch and should completely enclose the fingertips at the front. If you decide on closed gloves, you should bear in mind that you need fingers that are as mobile as possible for handling and rock climbing. The gloves should not be too tight.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate climbing gloves

In the following we will show you which criteria you can use to compare and evaluate climbing gloves. This will make it easier for you to get an overview and choose the right climbing gloves. In summary, these are the following criteria:

  • Quality
  • Fit
  • Feel

In the following, you can read about the respective criteria and find out why it makes sense for you to purchase climbing gloves under these aspects or not.

Quality

Always make sure that the material of the gloves is of good quality. The workmanship should not show any faults or negligence. Pay particular attention to the seams at the ends of open fingers. These areas are particularly stressed when climbing and will fray very quickly if the quality is poor.

Fit

Only choose a model if it fits you very well. Leather gloves can be a little tighter when you buy them, as they will still stretch out. Gloves made of synthetic material, on the other hand, should already fit well when you buy them because they usually do not adjust any further.

Make sure that the fingers are long enough and that the fastener can be closed well and does not open by itself when the gloves are used.

Feel

It is especially important that your new gloves allow you to have a good feeling for the rope or the handles. If you feel restricted by the gloves or if they even hinder you, you should look for another model. If the climbing gloves are too tight, for example, the blood supply to the fingers may be cut off and you may lose the necessary feeling in your fingers. In addition, the material should not be too stiff so that you can clearly feel the rope in your hand through the glove.

Did you know that there is a climbing wall for the home, similar to a treadmill? The Treadwall allows you to climb a wall without moving from the spot. Similar to a treadmill, the wall moves, not the climber. It is therefore a vertical treadmill to which climbing holds are attached.

Image source: pixabay.de / Free-Photos

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