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  1. #1
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    Default Full or half finger climbing gloves?

    Hey all;
    I'm not really a climber (at least not technical), but I occasionally do find myself on a rock scramble where I need to use both hands and feet. I am now looking for a new pair of gloves to protect my hands, but also to give me the best grip on the rock.
    A friend has a pair of the full finger BD Crag Climbing gloves. They look really good, but I'm wondering whether I am sacrificing something if I go with full finger vs half.
    For one thing, the half finger would be more convenient if I want to stop and take a photo with my phone. I don't think the full finger gloves will allow this.
    Another pro for half finger would be the additional dexterity of the fingertips. But at the same time, it is also possible to injure the fingertips if not protected.

    After type, I am thinking size. The largest dimension of my hand is just short of 9in measured around the hand at the knuckles. This puts me at the tight end of BD's size men's medium. Normally, I would always go with a large glove size. The larger size makes them much easier to slip on and off, and if they're too tight, that would put strain on the stitching, possibly causing premature failure.
    OTOH, I was reading that you really want climbing gloves to fit snugly. The reason for this is obvious to me, but still I hesitate to go with the M rather than L size.
    So I guess the real question (about size) is how much will the BD Crag gloves stretch?
    Unfortunately, I am unable to find these gloves at my local retailer, where I could try them on for size and feel, but I will continue to search. Perhaps it is worth driving an extra 10 miles to find a retailer that stocks them. Otherwise, I'm going to buy them on Amazon and hope for the best. I believe they are returnable, but I would probably have to pay for shipping.

    I appreciate your advice.
    Thanks
    Aredn

  2. #2
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    Some climbers use gloves for crack climbing. Some climbers use gloves on rappel. Aside from poor form or really rough rock and crack climbing, I don't know any climbers that use gloves. . . except yeah, in really cold conditions when you can't stay warm without them, but then, you're normally not rock climbing anyway. I've done lots of colder climbs and used fingerless gloves to keep my hands as warm as possible, but never gloves with fingers!! Most climbers don't use gloves because anything between your hands and the rocks reduces your ability to hold on. I'd suggest climbing without gloves, maybe learn to tape your hands in particularly rough situations, and then consider gloves when you know you need them, can't live without them, and probably have figured out what will work for you by then.

    In summary, if you're just scrambling around and it's cold, sure, use some gloves to stay warm, generally fingerless gloves. But, climbing without gloves is almost always more secure and allows much more advanced climbing.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the advice. I'm generally a hiker, and not a climber, but found myself hiking Breakneck Ridge on the Hudson in NY last Sunday. I wore a pair of weight lifting gloves, which didn't provide any advantage, and may have hindered me in a couple spots, but my friend had the BD full-finger crag climbing gloves.
    The scrambling on Breakneck was challenging, and fun, but I don't think I will get a chance to do it so often. Mostly I hike on the A.T. and other more 'tame' trails.
    My idea for the gloves probably came from watching some YouTube vids on Breakneck.

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    Full finger gloves you lose dexterity, feel with the rock, but they're more protective. You said it. They are also hotter although different full finger designs are lighter wt and more breathable. Having sweaty hands is not something climbers crave. My bro has the half finger ones. He's the climber. I'm the tech climber NEWB. Ok knuckle protection, loop to hang then on is nice if taking off and on repeatedly, not all that durable, like cycling gloves were his comments. Full finger gloves I may use as a third pt of contact when summiting, non tech climbs as an aside centered around a hike or backpacking trip. I tend toward UL and less expensive for this type of activity so I go through gloves like this quite fast. They do protect my hands on falls but I'm not wearing them having my life depending on them. Full fingers I like for belaying, repelling, mountaineering and colder weather mixed activity trips.

    I'd go to climbing sites to ask your question as they'd prolly have more comprehensive answers than most, including me, here.

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    Thanks for your good advice guys. I'm going to wait and see where my future experiences with this type of hiking/climbing takes me. Except for Breakneck, and a little bit in the Catskills, I haven't hiked anything where I needed my hands... except for pole plants of course.

  6. #6
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    I've used half finger gloves for all my hiking. I know I've saved my hand from certain mutilation on rocks, trees and trekking poles. At first I used an old pair of sailing gloves already on hand. Those wore out eventually, so while on the trail, I stopped at a Walmart and bought some Golds Gym workout gloves for $8. They work fine and I continue to use them. Save yourself some money.

  7. #7

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    I've used NRC half finger paddle gloves for years for a range of reasons. They keep my hands reasonably warm in temperatures around freezing, provide padding in the palm to cushion against rocks or other rough surfaces that can cut or injure bare skin, prevent blisters when using trekking poles over long periods of time and distances, capture and wick sweat, rainwater, and casual contact water from brush that can make hand grip slippery. I wouldn't use these for technical climbing and if that's what they are being used for, a conversation with someone who is experienced or a professional climber may offer more specific information.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for your advice guys;
    No technical climbing. Mostly hiking (with poles) and just a bit of the scrambling like at Breakneck in NY. I suppose I will want to have gloves with me when I finally visit Katahdin - probably next year.

  9. #9
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Just as another data point, I do a lot of hiking that involves scrambling and I sure like my half-finger gloves for those sections (and also on very technical climbs, up to about 5.7 or so, beyond that, best with no gloves).

    If it's not too cold, I'll wind up wearing those half-finger gloves all day. Even on not-too-cold, completely non-technical hikes I like my half finger gloves. Lots of reasons, dexterity, phone swiping, etc, etc.

    And save yourself some $$$, no reason to buy fancy climbing half-finger gloves, just chop off the fingers of whatever cheap gloves you like! Best to do though when not wearing them....

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