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Belay gloves, full or partial finger?


Original Post
anotherclimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 70

In light of "The Deadly ATC" post which evolved into discussions of brake assisted devices not necessarily holding as well as we thought on extreme fall factor falls... Which lead me to read and digest the entire "Edelrid Megajul Belay Device" post that was linked in the prior thread and went over all of the data about that... I've come to the conclusion that my climbing partners and I should be using belay gloves.

What I don't understand is why I would choose a partial finger belay glove over a full finger one? Doesn't a partial finger glove expose the skin on the ends of your fingers to potential rope burn? Any reason to use one over the other? Thanks.

Clint White aka Faulted Geologist · · Lawrence, KS · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 158

Yes. It depends on the climate, warm or cold.

Robert Hall · · North Conway, NH · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 12,413

I used full finger gloves for decades (they were "mandatory" with the "hip" belay). I also use gloves for rapping...and that's one reason I switched to partial fingered...you have some dexterity while rapping (and belaying). I also find that, on easier climbs or on slab, I often don't bother to take off my partial-fingered gloves while seconding a pitch; again, dexterity of the exposed fingers allows you to unclip, remove pro, rack. Full fingered are mostly good only for belaying, and rapping when you are headed straight down and don't need dexterity to, for example, get out the rope snarls.

Never had a problem with the open part of the finger getting caught. It you think about how you squeeze a rope for a belay and rap, it's sort of a "whole hand" thing.

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,530

IMHO, partial finger gloves are a PITA to take off compared to full finger gloves.

In terms of actual use, other than keeping your fingers a bit cleaner (which i like), it probably doesn't matter.

Billcoe · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 655

Hint: doubling up on the locking carabiners (if they are the same size) will effectively double your holding power on almost all ATC's. I can't testify to the Jul as it has a recess that only takes a single biner.

If you think you are might take a hard lead fall or maybe will be lowering a heavy leader even on toprope, I would highly suggest utilizing this in advance.'



See where that single biner slots in during a fall in the pic above I borrowed off the net? In a regular ATC, that slot is not there, if you double the biners instead of just using a single locker, as long as they are the same size, your breaking force about doubles and it's much easier to hold a screamer.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
Billcoe wrote:Hint: doubling up on the locking carabiners (if they are the same size) will effectively double your holding power on almost all ATC's. I can't testify to the Jul as it has a recess that only takes a single biner. If you think you are might take a hard lead fall or maybe will be lowering a heavy leader even on toprope, I would highly suggest utilizing this in advance.' See where that single biner slots in during a fall in the pic above I borrowed off the net? In a regular ATC, that slot is not there, if you double the biners instead of just using a single locker, as long as they are the same size, your breaking force about doubles and it's much easier to hold a screamer.
Is this relevant to what the OP asked?
aikibujin · · Castle Rock, CO · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 294
anotherclimber wrote:What I don't understand is why I would choose a partial finger belay glove over a full finger one? Doesn't a partial finger glove expose the skin on the ends of your fingers to potential rope burn? Any reason to use one over the other? Thanks.
Most partial finger belay gloves are 3/4 finger, covering your finger up to the last joint below your finger tips. Unless you hold the rope like some delicate flower with just your finger tips, you're not going to risk much rope burn. Like already mentioned above, the 3/4 finger gloves give you more dexterity to set up belay devices, tie knots, etc. I have and use both 3/4 finger and full finger belay gloves. 3/4 finger in the warmer months for the extra dexterity; the full finger in cold weather to keep my hand a little warmer. If I am to get only one pair of gloves, I’d probably go with full finger gloves to use in colder months. If I need more dexterity I can always take my gloves off.
Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190
FrankPS wrote: Is this relevant to what the OP asked?
I'd say so. The TS's goal is to not drop his climber on a big fall; gloves would help this, as would the biner trick.
Thomas Beck · · Las Vegas, Nevada · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 1,040

I use full finger gloves. I'll shop around for some low cost "mechanics" gloves; usually around $10. I used to use batter's gloves and they are the bomb. Supple, tough and sensitive, but the price got too high for me.

Robert Hall · · North Conway, NH · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 12,413

Re' John Wilder's "IMHO, partial finger gloves are a PITA to take off compared to full finger gloves." I agree. Somehow the "commercial" partial finger climbing gloves ARE a PITA to take off. Basically, even XL's seem to be somewhere between normal "Mediums and Larges" (maybe "Made in China"-syndrome???)

Buy some reasonable ($10 -$15) leather gloves at your local hardware store and cut off the tips. Then put a drop or two of superglue on the threads where you've cut through the stitching, and they should last reasonably well and are easy to take off.

Bill Lawry · · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,523

When not using belay gloves, I typically hang them from my harness so fingers are pointing down. So debris tends to fall inside when bushwhacking back to the base of some multi-pitch climb.

Tip-less gloves tend to let little debris fall through and the bigger stuff is easirer to just push through when putting them back on.

David Gibbs · · Ottawa, ON · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 6

I have tried both. I found that part-finger gloves actually made rope-handling more difficult than full-finger gloves, and didn't protect my hands from rope-movement nearly as well as full-finger gloves.

Paul Deger · · Colorado · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 35

I have only used full finger and find quite helpful for both belay and rap.

Peter Brown-Whale · · Randallstown, MD · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 20

Getting 1/2 finger gloves off is what permanently turned me off of them. Especially if you're a little sweaty, good luck. I just got a full leather palm work glove and it has been working great for quite a while now.

Bill Lawry · · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,523

Makes sense that the ones with tips are likely easier to get off. Might depend on how tight-to-loose the fit. My 3/4s have the gold-i-locks fit. :-)

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348
Billcoe wrote:Hint: doubling up on the locking carabiners (if they are the same size) will effectively double your holding power on almost all ATC's.
It's more like a 25% increase, and no where near double. I use this technique on very thin twins and I've caught falls with both one and two biners. Adding a second helps for sure, but it's not that massive of a difference.
Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 290
Robert Hall wrote:Re' John Wilder's "IMHO, partial finger gloves are a PITA to take off compared to full finger gloves." I agree. Somehow the "commercial" partial finger climbing gloves ARE a PITA to take off. Basically, even XL's seem to be somewhere between normal "Mediums and Larges" (maybe "Made in China"-syndrome???) Buy some reasonable ($10 -$15) leather gloves at your local hardware store and cut off the tips. Then put a drop or two of superglue on the threads where you've cut through the stitching, and they should last reasonably well and are easy to take off.
If you do decide to look for just regular old leather gloves, good farm supply stores have a much better range of sizes and styles than hardware stores, usually including kids, if you have small hands. Hardware stores haven't yet figured out that women swing Pulaskis. And not all guys are Aleks.

Helen
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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