Outdoor Research Air Brake Glove
Any climber who runs lap after lap on that yellow route at the gym knows the other side of it— belaying your partner lap after lap on that yellow route. Belaying is a necessary evil that can lead to rope burn, more flappers, and general pain. Check out the Outdoor Research Air Brake Gloves ($49; outdoorresearch.com) for a skin-saving alternative. The durable leather on the palms lasted through six months of testing and hundreds of belays, and gel packs in the palms dissipate heat and beef up the padding in notorious hot spots. The breathability was tops—even in a hellaciously muggy gym—thanks to vents on the sides and backs of the fingers, so hands didn’t sweat. Men- and women-specific sizes (and colors) fit our testers with giant paws or tiny mitts. There’s a fingerless version, the Seam Seeker Glove, that offers all the same benefits.