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Johnson & Johnson Athletic Tape Review

   
Editors' Choice Award

Climbing Tape

  • Currently 3.0/5
Overall avg rating 3.0 of 5 based on 7 reviews. Most recent review: September 14, 2011
Street Price:   $9 | Compare prices at 1 resellers
Pros:  Durable, Affordable, Breathable
Cons:  Slightly Less Sticky
Best Uses:  Crack Gloves, Split finger taping, all taping needs
User Rating:     
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 (3.0 of 5) based on 6 reviews
Recommendations:  50% of reviewers (2/4) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Johnson & Johnson
Review by: Robert Beno ⋅ November 18, 2010  
Overview
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.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Likes
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.

Dislikes
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.


Best Application
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.


Personal Stories
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.

Value
Johnson & Johnson tape was the best value tape that we tested.

Other Versions
Also available in 2 inch width.

Robert Beno

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: September 14, 2011
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (3.0)

50% of 4 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
5 Total Ratings
5 star: 40%  (2)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 20%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 40%  (2)
Sort 6 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Sep 14, 2011 - 10:02pm
wmfork · Climber · Front Range
Wait what? How does this tape even get mentioned? It pales in comparison to the old Kendall Curity, way more expensive than (and doesn't work as well as) the 30yd roll Proguard elite hockey tape you can buy for a few bucks.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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Aug 21, 2011 - 12:20am
 
Mighty Hiker · Climber · Vancouver, B.C.
Haw-kee tape is the tried and true solution here. Just the right width and stickiness, no need to pay for a brand name.
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   Aug 20, 2011 - 02:12pm
Ed Hartouni · Climber · Livermore, CA
I can't help but respond to this "review" of climbing minutiae: tape

probably not necessary if you have impeccable technique, which means: do not scuff your hands around in the crack once you place the jam… aficionados of crack climbing eschew using tape, and prefer to work on technique.

tape can help by preventing the dreaded "gobi" (however it's spelled) with its two week healing period, but the use of tape should not promote sloppy technique, thus the dilemma over its use as a training aid…

$4 a roll promotes the reuse of tape gloves… you can order boxes of 36 from Frank Endo… at just under $2/roll if you are going to be doing a lot of crack climbing, one box usually lasts me a year… strictly for training of course ;), rumor has it you can pick tape up on eBay for less than $1/roll but risk getting a box full of melted adhesive mess…

as for what tape to use… really? you go with tradition, what ever your's is, probably passed down from your crack-mentor… J&J was the mainstay first aid supplier to the baby boomer generation, of course we're going to use it… who can resist those old B&W baby pictures?

AND AS ERIK REMINDS PICK THE STUFF UP AT THE CRAG don't leave your tape wads or incidental scraps and cast offs laying around.

IMHO, YMMV

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Aug 20, 2011 - 12:06pm
highcamp · Climber · Boulder, CO
Interesting to see the high star rating on the J&J tape, as I, along with most of my climbing partners, think this tape totally sucks. No tack, no stick, it rolls. Kendall Curity used to be the clear winner in the tape department, but it appears they changed their 'formula' recently and it now has joined the ranks for Metolius and Mueller.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Nov 20, 2010 - 02:59am
jfailing · Climber · Lone Pine
The best! I've tried a number of different athletic tapes for climbing, and never buy anything else but Johnson&Johnson.

I guess the main reason is that it has the perfect amount of stickiness. It stays stuck to your fingers, and stuck to itself very well.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Nov 18, 2010 - 10:30am
 
ron gomez · Climber · fallbrook,ca
I would also recommend that you try the Zonas brand of J&J tape. Higher quality tape that might address the issues of low tack and rolling. I use Zonas and have for years with little to no issues
Peace
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Johnson & Johnson Athletic Tape
Credit: Johnson & Johnson
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