The PMI Lightweight Rappel Glove is a great glove for rappelling. It is one of the few gloves we tested with an extra leather flap that extends over the bottom of the fingers. This gives the glove added friction control when lowering. That said, the extra leather also compromised dexterity, especially when handling biners. If this is main a rappel glove, it is hard to beat. If you want a great belay glove also, we lean more toward the Mad Rock Wall Glove or the Black Diamond Transition Glove. If you want just the most durable rappel glove, check out the PMI Heavyweight Rescue Glove that costs $3 less and is much more padded. The PMI Lightweight Rappel Gloves can be difficult to find at major retailers.
PMI Lightweight Rappel Gloves Review
Cons: Dexterity not great.
Our Analysis and Test Results
The first thing you notice about this climbing glove is the soft goat skin. Right away the glove is very comfortable. Second, you notice the extra leather that covers the bottoms of the fingers. This gives the glove a lot of surface contact with the rope when rappelling. For this high friction area PMI switches to cow hide leather for extra durability.
The same things that make the glove great are the drawbacks. 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. Also, the extra leather over the bottom of the finger adds protection but sacrifices dexterity.
This are ideal for rappelling when you really have time to orient your hand just right and take advantage of the extra leather.
These gloves fall in the middle of the value range. They are not cheap but not too expensive either. I know many people who have had theirs for years, so they really hold up.
— Chris McNamara