Best Climbing Gloves

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
CLC Custom
Test Winner: CLC Custom
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If you have ever been rock climbing or free climbing before then you know this sport is a great workout and provides you with an adrenaline rush like no other. Now, when people go climbing one of the issues is getting the proper grip, especially if you are in a hotter climate where your hands will start to sweat. This can be an issue and also a safety concern, and many climbers decide to use climbing chalk or climbing gloves. Climbing gloves are great as they only need to be purchased once as climbing chalk needs to be refilled over time and can get messy. If you have had some trouble getting the proper grip, and have decided that climbing gloves would make a great addition to your climbing gear than the guide below was made for you!

Standout Picks

Outdoor Research Seamseeker Half-Cut
The purpose of wearing a pair of climbing gloves is two-fold. First, gloves are designed to protect your hands from the elements, and second, a pair of gloves are designed to provide the flexibility and dexterity you need to grip the wall or rock effectively. These gloves by Outdoor Research managed to perform both these jobs beautifully.
Amazon Link
CLC Custom
These gloves from CLC are heavy duty and offer fantastic grip, which is exactly what you are looking for in quality climbing gloves. They are also quite affordable, so if you are in the market for a pair of climbing gloves, check these gloves out from CLC.
Amazon Link
$14.74
Metolius Finger
These ¾ finger gloves from Metolius offer a great combination of superior manual dexterity and protection for your hands while climbing. While they may not be the first choice for all situations, they certainly should be in the running for your go-to climbing gloves.
Amazon Link
$32.95
Metolius Belay
If you’re looking for a belay or repelling glove that offers great comfort and overall protection for your hands, this glove is a great choice.
Amazon Link
$39.95
Outdoor Research Seamseeker
While these Seamseeker gloves from Outdoor Research may be a little less tough than we would like to see in a pair of climbing gloves, they are more than suitable for a beginner or someone who doesn’t climb that often.
Amazon Link
$19.99
Outdoor Research Air Brake
Designed to be used for belay and rappelling, these gloves are constructed to make stopping a descent via rope easy and relatively painless for both the climber and belayer.
Amazon Link
$52.62
Black Diamond Crag
Black Diamond is a top contender in the climbing world and with very good reason. They have consistently provided gear that is well made, affordable, and designed with the climbing enthusiast in mind. These crag climbing gloves are a great testament to that tradition.
Amazon Link
$26.75
Black Diamond Stone
These ¾ finger leather gloves from Black Diamond offer fantastic manual dexterity and adequate durability overall at a great price.
Amazon Link
Petzl Cordex Lightweight
If you’re looking for a fantastic belay or repelling glove to add to your climbing gear, the Petzl Cordex Lightweight gloves should certainly be on the list. They provide a great balance between protection, durability, and flexibility overall.
Outdoor Research Splitter
These gloves from Outdoor Research are another version of the classic crack climbing gloves that offer a lightweight and durable alternative to the Ocun gloves listed above.
Amazon Link
$38.95

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Fit

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of a pair of the best climbing gloves is how they fit on your hands. Climbing by its very nature is a tactile sport, so the last thing you need is a pair of gloves that are either too large, too bulky or even too small. In the world of climbing, your gloves should fit, well, like gloves. Comfortable yet snug, and allow for enough freedom of movement for your fingers to grip properly and your hands to flex adequately.

The climbing gloves on this list, with the exception of a few, are able to fit a wide range of hand sizes and types. While gloves like the Metolius Belay gloves and the Ocun Crack Climbing gloves offer limited sizes somewhat, for the most part, the average climber, should be able to find a pair of gloves on this list that fits their hands relatively well.

Comfort

If a pair of gloves doesn’t feel right on your hands, you won’t be able to concentrate on the climb. It really is as simple as that. So choosing a pair of climbing gloves that are comfortable for you to wear in a number of climbing environments is essential to the whole process. When considering the potential comfort of a glove we took a look at the overall size and shape, the materials used, the sizes available, as well as the range of allowable motion. All these factors contribute greatly to the overall comfort of the glove.

In the cases of the examples on this list, most of the gloves proved to be fairly comfortable for the average climber, with preferences taken into consideration. Some like the Outdoor Research Splitter Gloves and the Ocun Crack Climbing Gloves were shown to be a bit restrictive and uncomfortable around the knuckle area, for the most part, a climber won’t notice these gloves while they’re climbing.

Durability

Since the best climbing gloves available take so much abuse on a regular basis, they need to be durable enough to go the distance. After all, they are sometimes your first and best contact against a rock face. Their tactile strength needs to be enough to not only allow for a superior grip, but also be able to protect your hands from the sharp edges, debris, and other dangers of rock climbing. So they need to be tough, maybe tougher than you.

Most of the gloves on this list are made of tougher materials, and sometimes are even double or triple stitched for added protection and durability. While there were a few, like the Woman’s Seamseeker glove by Outdoor Research, for the most part, these gloves can easily offer years of service to your climbing adventures.

Effectiveness

Climbing gloves can take a serious amount of abuse over time. Between being squeezed into cracks, wrapping quickly around a rope to prevent a fall, and grabbing onto the next handhold or grip point, gloves are liable to wear out very quickly if their overall construction isn’t up to par.

Thankfully, these climbing gloves listed here are some of the best that we could find in regards to materials used, stitching, padding, reinforcement, and overall construction quality. Places like the thumb through, the index finger, or the palm, which routinely receive more abuse are reinforced with tough materials like leather or rubber to keep them in good shape. Overall if you want to know how effective these gloves are when climbing before you purchase them, the best thing to do is to check the customer reviews.

The customer reviews will give you an inside look at how comfortable and how much grip these gloves will provide you before you purchase them. This way you know if other customers that decided to go ahead with the gloves made a good choice or if you should move on to the next pair of gloves you have your eye on.

Top Ten Pairs of Climbing Gloves

1. Outdoor Research Seamseeker Half-Cut

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Outdoor Research Seamseeker Half-Cut
Amazon Link

The purpose of wearing a pair of climbing gloves is two-fold. First, gloves are designed to protect your hands from the elements, and second, a pair of gloves are designed to provide the flexibility and dexterity you need to grip the wall or rock effectively. These gloves by Outdoor Research managed to perform both these jobs beautifully.

Read more

Overall Fit
These gloves come in sizes ranging from small to extra-large, so finding a pair that suits your needs shouldn’t be that much of a problem. Also, most customers find that they are true to the size that they expected, and they don’t show any indication of shrinkage or excessive stretching over time.

Comfort
While the extra gel padding at the palm may be a bit much for some users, we found the gloves to be very comfortable overall, with little restriction in the upper palm and fingers, and a comfortably snug fit throughout the lower palm and the back of the hand.

Durability
These gloves offer a combination of polyester and spandex at the back of the hand, a goat leather palm, and a neoprene cuff. They provide just enough stretch overall to allow for easy movement without restriction, and protection for the palms. The combination of materials in these gloves makes them very durable, and usable in a wide array of climbing situations. If properly cared for, there is no reason why these gloves wouldn’t last for years to come.

Effectiveness
These ¾ gloves are fairly flexible given the extra padding and materials used for protection, and the fingers enjoy a wide range of independent motion, so gripping the crack in the wall or rock face is a relatively easy thing to do.

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2. CLC Custom

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$14.74
CLC Custom
Amazon Link

These gloves from CLC are heavy duty and offer fantastic grip, which is exactly what you are looking for in quality climbing gloves. They are also quite affordable, so if you are in the market for a pair of climbing gloves, check these gloves out from CLC.

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Overall Fit
These gloves come in two sizes which is medium and xxlarge, this can be problematic if you need a size in between these sizes as there is such a gap. They do fit great if you find the right size and offer great comfort while climbing.

Comfort
The Sytrex material offers great padding and protection when climbing to protect your hands from abrasions caused by the rough rocks. The material also feels comfortable against your skin and are also breathable to allow your hands to breath and to ensure that the gloves do not keep your sweat inside the gloves which can make you uncomfortable.

Durability
These gloves are made from synthetic material and spandex to ensure they will hold up to the sharpness of rocks if free climbing and also the friction that will be caused by frequent climbing.

Effectiveness
Overall, these gloves are highly rated and come from a brand that is known for the quality and durability they put into their gloves. If you are looking for a pair of gloves that will offer protection and give you more grip while climbing than these just might be the gloves for you.

Amazon Link
$14.74

3. Metolius Finger

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$32.95
Metolius Finger
Amazon Link

These ¾ finger gloves from Metolius offer a great combination of superior manual dexterity and protection for your hands while climbing. While they may not be the first choice for all situations, they certainly should be in the running for your go-to climbing gloves.

Read more

Overall Fit
These gloves only come in small and large, so finding a good fit might be a bit problematic for some people. However, if you fall into one of those two categories, you should be relatively fine with these gloves. There have been reports of the gloves being somewhat ill-fitting in the heel of the hand and wrist area, but overall, complaints have been minor.

Comfort
Provided that you find the right fit for your needs, these gloves are some of the most comfortable that you’ll find on the market today once they are broken in. Like most leather products, these gloves will stretch slightly over time, and grow to more closely fit the hands of the user or owner.

Durability
These gloves are made from tough cowhide leather and are tripled stitched in the palm area for added protection from tears and wear through. In addition, all the typical wear areas are reinforced with additional leather, and the slip-on style makes it easy to wear. The thicker leather and reinforced areas, and triple stitching of these gloves make for a very durable, and long lasting glove. Short of being cut by an extremely sharp edge, or wearing through after a couple of years of solid everyday use, these gloves should last as long as you need them.

Effectiveness
These gloves are the classic ¾ finger design, and they offer fantastic finger dexterity and range of motion. While we certainly would have liked to see more sizing choices, these leather climbing gloves by Metolius are a fantastic choice if you’re concerned about dexterity and overall protection.

Amazon Link
$32.95

4. Metolius Belay

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$39.95
Metolius Belay
Amazon Link

If you’re looking for a belay or repelling glove that offers great comfort and overall protection for your hands, this glove is a great choice.

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Overall Fit
These gloves are provided in a somewhat limited range of sizes, namely extra small, small and extra-large, so finding the right size for your needs may be a bit problematic.

Comfort
Overall, these gloves are quite comfortable and perfect for rope work and belaying while climbing with friends. While they may be a bit too much material to use for crack climbing or wall climbing, If you’re the one handling the rope, you can’t go too wrong.

Durability
These gloves are fashioned from genuine leather and feature a hook and loop closure, and reinforcement in the palm, index finger, thumb, and pinky side of the hand. It’s well suited for handling repels and belays situations. If used for their intended purpose, these gloves have a life longer than most climbing gloves, sometimes lasting for nearly five to seven years. The strong and durable leather and reinforced areas help to keep wear and tear on these gloves to a minimum.

Effectivness
When it comes to gripping the belay or rappel line, these gloves offer great manual dexterity. They allow for a full range of motion, from completely open to close into a tight fist with relative ease, and each of the fingers can move somewhat independently of each other. While it doesn’t offer the same flexibility as a ¾ climbing glove, this one is more than adequate for most climbing situations.

Amazon Link
$39.95

5. Outdoor Research Seamseeker

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$19.99
Outdoor Research Seamseeker
Amazon Link

While these Seamseeker gloves from Outdoor Research may be a little less tough than we would like to see in a pair of climbing gloves, they are more than suitable for a beginner or someone who doesn’t climb that often.

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Overall Fit
These gloves are offered in the standard small, medium and large sizes and most customers find them to be relatively true to size.

Comfort
These gloves offer a comfortable and lightweight option for climbing in a wide array of situations.

Durability
These gloves are constructed from lightweight nylon material with split suede overlays on the palm and fingers for additional protection and durability. In addition, the Velcro straps at the wrists provide a more secure fit overall. While these gloves are certainly reinforced in key problem areas, other portions of the glove are a bit thinner and less tough overall than we would have preferred. These gloves will probably last about 1 to 2 years with very active use and regular maintenance.

Effectiveness
Like many ¾ finger climbing gloves, this entry from Outdoor Research provides a great range of finger movement, along with the ability to twist and turn the hands as the need to find the next crevice or crack to use.

Amazon Link
$19.99

6. Outdoor Research Air Brake

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$52.62
Outdoor Research Air Brake
Amazon Link

Designed to be used for belay and rappelling, these gloves are constructed to make stopping a descent via rope easy and relatively painless for both the climber and belayer.

Read more

Overall Fit
These gloves range in size from small to extra –large and are shown to be true to size about 85% of the time.

Comfort
These gloves are some of the most comfortable and lightweight belayer gloves that we’ve seen in a long time. Not only does the polyester material provide superior breathability, but these gloves easily pull sweat away from the hands and they are also very quick drying, so you don’t have to worry about sweaty palms.

Durability
These gloves are constructed out of polyester material with leather overlays on the palm and interior areas of the finger joints for added strength and durability while using ropes. In addition, the Velcro wrist closure is easy to adjust when needed. While these gloves are well suited for belaying and repelling, they are not truly durable enough to withstand the rigors of some of the more abrasive types of climbing such as canyoneering or crack climbing.

Effectiveness
These gloves provide a decent range of motion for the fingers, and the hand is able to easily wrap around a climbing rope with enough pressure to cause someone to stop gently without too much of a hassle. In addition, they can easily release the rope with a fluid motion.

Amazon Link
$52.62

7. Black Diamond Crag

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$26.75
Black Diamond Crag
Amazon Link

Black Diamond is a top contender in the climbing world and with very good reason. They have consistently provided gear that is well made, affordable, and designed with the climbing enthusiast in mind. These crag climbing gloves are a great testament to that tradition.

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Overall Fit
These gloves come in a various range of sizes. Most customers find that they fit as expected about ¾ of the time, with some finding them to be a bit on the smaller size. However, the glove fits snugly overall, and there is little sliding or shifting, which is essential while you’re on the mountain.

Comfort
These gloves are some of the more comfortable ones we’ve found, and most climbers don’t really notice them until they think about the protection that is offered by the tough synthetic leather.

Durability
These gloves feature a combination of synthetic and breathable mesh material that provides a good amount of flexibility and strength. Reinforcement is added to the index finger and thumb crotch, which make it ideal for handling belay lines or ropes in general. The synthetic leather material and flexible mesh backing combine to make a very durable glove overall, and the hook and loop closure allows for a secure fit, which leads to overall longevity.

Effectiveness
Generally speaking, these gloves offer adequate flexibility for climbing and belaying situations, and most people will find that they are a great choice for scrambling around rocky slopes and bouldering as well. While we wouldn’t suggest their use in situations where fingertip sensitivity is important such as crack climbing or smearing, overall these gloves work very well indeed.

Amazon Link
$26.75

8. Black Diamond Stone

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Black Diamond Stone
Amazon Link

These ¾ finger leather gloves from Black Diamond offer fantastic manual dexterity and adequate durability overall at a great price.

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Overall Fit
These gloves come in a wide range of sizes, from extra-small to extra-large, so even if your hands are a bit different from the average size, you’ll probably be able to wear a pair of these gloves. Most customers find them true to size, but they may not be an exact fit in either direction, so consider sizing up or down as needed to get the fit you desire.

Comfort
These gloves are a great find for those climbers who are more comfortable in gloves that have a minimal amount of material and padding overall. While some users might enjoy a bit more padding in the palm area, for the most part, these gloves are light and easy to wear.

Durability
These gloves are fashioned from quality goat leather and feature a reinforced leather palm and knuckle patches for added strength. They also feature Kevlar stitching and a hook and loop cuff closures for a secure fit. Truth be told, these gloves are not as durable as some of the others on this list, but for the most part, they do standup adequately to normal climbing use.

Effectiveness
When it comes to finger range of motion and overall hand flexibility, these gloves from Black Diamond are very hard to beat. The classic ¾ finger design offers a full range of motion while still providing the protection you have come to expect from Black Diamond.

Amazon Link

9. Petzl Cordex Lightweight

Where to buy
Petzl Cordex Lightweight
Amazon Link

If you’re looking for a fantastic belay or repelling glove to add to your climbing gear, the Petzl Cordex Lightweight gloves should certainly be on the list. They provide a great balance between protection, durability, and flexibility overall.

Read more

Overall Fit
These gloves are sized between small and extra-large, so finding a pair that fits your needs shouldn’t be too much of a problem. They do tend to run a little large about a third of the time, so you might want to consider sizing down for a more proper fit.

Comfort
Not surprisingly, these are some of the most comfortable gloves to wear for repelling and belaying purposes that you can find. While we consider them a bit on the heavy side for crack climbing overall, they are more than comfortable for general climbing use.

Durability
These gloves from Petzl are constructed from a combination of durable goatskin leather and breathable nylon material for increased overall durability and ventilation where you need it most. In addition, strategic areas, such as the index finger, thumb crotch, and fingertips have a double layer of leather for added protection and durability. With the combination of thicker goatskin leather and strategic reinforcement of typical problem areas, these gloves will likely last for quite a few years with proper care and maintenance.

Effectivness
While these gloves don’t offer the same manual dexterity as many ¾ gloves, they do come pretty close to it for full finger gloves. They are ergonomically designed to maximize a fingers range of motion and still offer a good amount of protection. However, some climbers might find the extra leather at the fingertips to be more of a dexterity hindrance than anything else

10. Outdoor Research Splitter

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$38.95
Outdoor Research Splitter
Amazon Link

These gloves from Outdoor Research are another version of the classic crack climbing gloves that offer a lightweight and durable alternative to the Ocun gloves listed above.

Read more

Overall Fit
These gloves are offered in a somewhat limited range of sizes, namely extra-small, small/medium, and large/extra-large sizes. Thankfully, the gloves are truly adjustable at the wrist, so getting a good fit isn’t too much of a hassle.

Comfort
These Outdoor Research gloves are extremely comfortable in the palm and wrist area, although some customers have found them to be a little too lightweight and thin around the finger and knuckle area.

Durability
These climbing gloves are fashioned out of a combination of polyester, polyurethane and rubber material. They are overall lightweight and thin, with a completely open palm area. The gloves are secured to the wrist area with a loop and hook Velcro strap that is completely adjustable. While these gloves are remarkably thin and lightweight, the materials used and overall construction still make them fairly durable. On average these gloves have been shown to last about 2 to 3 years of steady use.

Effectivness
Similar to other crack climbing gloves, these gloves from Outdoor Research offer great manual dexterity and flexibility overall. In addition, the anti-slip rubber on the back of the hand allows you to grip the rock in the crack from both your fingers and your hand, provided that the crack is wide enough.

Amazon Link
$38.95