Protecting Your Hands: Metolius Climbing Gloves
Rope burn is painful in your hands. Especially, after a long day of belaying at the crag. Having sweaty hands while belaying isn’t fun either. Wearing climbing gloves would help prevent those problems from happening
I bought the Metolius 3/4 Climbing Gloves (aka belay gloves) to wear for a climbing photography camp I attended last summer. Rock and Ice Magazine hosted the camp near Rifle, CO. They highly recommended participants bring gloves because they would protect our hands while we’re aid climbing and rappelling. So, I bought a pair to bring with me.
When researching belay gloves, I saw these Metolius gloves had the best customer reviews. I looked for a comfortable pair that will let my hands breathe and were durable. These gloves fit the criteria.
The gloves are made of cowhide leather and have 3/4 fingers. The leather is breathable and breaks in well. The palms have cowhide reinforcements to protect them and triple stitching to ensure they last. They have hook and loop wrist closures to secure them. A nice feature the gloves have is a webbing clip-in loop on the bottom edge. That means I can clip them onto a carabiner and carry them on my harness or bag.
My one concern was their sizing. I have tiny hands, so I was torn in-between getting a size small or x-small. Unfortunately, I didn’t know of anyone who sold them locally and where I could try them on. I prefer to try clothing items and accessories on first before buying them.
The only place I could buy a pair is online. I went with the small because I would rather have them a little big than too small to wear. They are roomy but not enough to where they’re a problem.
How Have They Fared?
In my opinion, these gloves have proven their worth. Originally, when I went to the Fall Gathering, I thought I would be using them just for belaying at the crag. That’s why I brought them with me. I didn’t realize until the second day that I’ll be using the pair for something else.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous article, Climbing Quartz Mountain Part 2: Sending Snakes Head, I was glad I had my gloves for rappelling. I didn’t get rope burn coming down the mountain which I was worried about the most. If I descended without them, my hands would have been red and sore. I think that was the longest distance I’ve rappelled before. I don’t remember how much rappelling I did at the photography camp, but I don’t think it was that high.
Also, the gloves kept my hands clean from the aluminum dust on the rope. I didn’t even think about it until I untied from the rope and looked at them. They were dirty. There were a few dust marks on the palms previously from the camp and the outdoor climbing class I took this past spring at Mount Scott. However, the most of it was from rappelling on Quartz.
The Metolius gloves are keepers. I use them mainly to protect my hands while I’m belaying outside. Although, I don’t wear them in the climbing gym because I think they're overkill. Plus, I’m not belaying for long periods of time. I’ve seen people wear belay gloves in the gym and that’s their personal preference. I just don’t see a reason to do so.
I recommend the Metolius climbing gloves to anyone who’s interested in buying a pair. They’re good to have. The gloves are breathable, and I haven’t had any problems wearing them. Until next time, happy climbing!