Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: $32
Pros: Great dexterity, soft.
Cons: Not durable.
Best Uses: Big wall climbing, aid climbing.
PMI's Fingerless Glove stands out for how soft it is. Even when brand new, the goat skin leather fits perfectly around your hand and gives great dexterity. It does not need to be broken in. There is one piece of cowhide leather where you need it the most: on the palm.
They are not only comfortable and supple, they also give you confidence when handling carabiners high off the ground. If price is an issue, you can always make your own Homemade Fingerless climbing glove. The main issue is that they are not that durable. After a wall or two, the stitching on the fingers started to blow out for us. We recommend a more durable glove like the Metolius Climbing Glove or Black Diamond Stone Glove.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The first thing you notice about this glove is the soft goat skin. Right away the glove is very comfortable and does not require breaking in. This also means the glove fits tightly to the hand and gives great dexterity. Of all the gloves we tested, we felt most confident handling carabiners 2000 feet off the deck with this one. For the high friction area on the palm, PMI switches to cowhide leather for extra durability. There is a handy little tab between the middle and index finger for getting the glove off quickly (if you find this tab annoying you can always cut it off).
The same things that make the glove great are the drawbacks. They are not durable. The soft goat skin leather wears relatively fast compared to cowhide. If you use the gloves carefully, and keep the rope on the cowhide, this is no big deal. But don't expect as much life out of these as more reinforced gloves with beefier leather. Also, the clip-in point is not that bomber. Not a big deal, but you don't have the same confidence when clipping them to the side of your harness as with the Metolius Climbing Glove with its beefy clip-in points.
These are ideal for any big wall application, from learning to aid climb to seven-day big wall missions. For generally rappelling or belaying, it is better to have a full-fingered glove. With this glove, your fingers will turn black after extended biner and rope handling.
These gloves fall in the middle of the value range. At $32 they are not cheap but not too expensive either. I know people who have had theirs for years, so they hold up if you are careful with them.
PMI Lightweight Rappel Glove - Full Fingers
— Chris McNamara
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: March 16, 2010
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