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Black Diamond Transition Glove Review

Black Diamond Transition Glove
Photo: Chris McNamara
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Price:  $40 List
Pros:  Great dexterity, soft, precision fit
Cons:  Expensive, bulky wrist closure, not most durable
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond
By Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief  ⋅  Mar 20, 2010
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  • Belaying - 20% 10
  • Rappelling - 20% 8
  • Handling Carabiners - 20% 7
  • Leading - 20% 5
  • Durability - 20% 8

Our Verdict

Black Diamond's Transition Glove offers a great combination of durability and dexterity by using many different layers of goat skin. The leather is thicker in the high-use areas and thinner in the low-use areas. They have some of the best articulated fit and dexterity. The goat skin makes them soft and comfortable right away; they don't require a long break-in period. If you want a glove for more heavy use belaying, we would recommend just a cheap pair of leather gloves or the Metolius Belay Glove.

Our Analysis and Test Results


These are some of the best gloves for belaying that we tested. The goat skin gives them great feel for ropes and carabiners. The articulated fit means there is very little "dead space" in the fingertips, and they grab things nicely. When you put them on they seem "pre-curved" so as to be ideally designed to hold biners and ropes.


Other than being expensive, there are not many dislikes. The Velcro wrist closure is a little bulkier than it needs to be, but that is not a huge deal. They are not incredibly durable; just middle of the road durable. The fingertips will wear out before a glove with cowhide.

Best Application

These are ideal for belaying. They are a little expensive for using in super heavy use situations. We would not use these for heavy rappelling or heavy sport crag use. They are better for more intermediate use such as giving an extra tight belay, multi-pitch climbing, etc.


The downside is that at $40 they are one of the most expensive belay gloves I have seen.

Chris McNamara

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