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Hands-on Gear Review
Johnson & Johnson Athletic Tape Review
Cons: Slightly Less Sticky
Johnson & Johnson athletic tape is an affordable, solid option for all your climbing tape needs. It will perform excellent while protecting you from those flesh eating hand cracks, or will hold your finger tips together on that jagged crimp. We found the tape to be highly durable providing us with 3 days of hand jamming on one pair of gloves, with some life still left in them. The adhesive, while slightly less sticky than other tapes, still held the tape firmly in place, and we experienced very little rolling and bunching. Performance-wise, we couldn't find any real difference between Metolius' Climbing Tape and Johnson & Johnson's regular old athletic tape. Both of these tapes work perfectly and I've never had any disappointment with their performance. Where the difference lies is in the price. Johnson & Johnson's 15 yard roll delivers almost 12 feet more tape than
Metolius Climbing Tape, for just about the same price.
RELATED: Our complete review of climbing tape
Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings
Johnson & Johnson's Athletic tape is a widely available classic cloth athletic tape that will fill all of your climbing tape needs. In our tests, we found John & Johnson's tape to be highly durable allowing us to re-use our crack gloves for several days of hard jamming. When jamming we experienced very little rolling and bunching of the tape until after several days of use. We found this tape to be strong, and easy to handle. If you look closely at the tape it is perforated with little tiny holes making it more breathable according to Johnson & Johnson. At the same price as Metolius' 10m (33ft) roll of climbing tape, Johnson & Johnson's 15yd (45ft) roll is also an excellent value.
The only real drawback that we could find with Johnson and Johnson's athletic tape was that the adhesive seemed to be slightly less sticky than the other tapes that we tested. We didn't find this to be a major performance issue, but it did mean that when taping a fingertip we had to use slightly more tape. As with all the tapes that we tested, we found that after the initial tape job, the adhesive was pretty much shot anyway.
Johnson & Johnson athletic tape is a good all around tape for climbing applications. It will work equally well for making crack gloves as it will for other, more traditional taping needs.
Early in the season I ruptured my right ring finger pulley while pulling a super crimpy boulder problem. The loud pop indicated to me that I wouldn't be doing a lot of crimping this season so after about 2 weeks of full on rest (read: 2 torturous weeks of no climbing) I took to the cracks hoping that it would be easy on my finger. Thankfully, up on Donner Summit, where I summered this year, are beautiful granite cracks abound. While I don't tape all the time, if I'm pulling a crack near my limit Ill tape up for sure as I'm liable to thrash. Johnson & Johnson's tape was my tape of choice for both stabilizing my ruptured tendon and making crack gloves. I just couldn't justify the cost of the Metolius stuff and I've always had good luck with ol' J&J. The tape always worked great, and it seemed to last me an average of 3-4 hand jamming sessions before the gloves got too manky and beat up. All in all: solid.
Johnson & Johnson tape was the best value tape that we tested.
Also available in 2 inch width.
— Robert Beno
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: September 14, 2011