Outdoor Research Air Brake Gloves


$49; outdoorresearch.com


With thick palm leather, Kevlar stitching in high-friction areas, and a breathable, wicking synthetic polyester-Spandex material on the back, “These gloves made me a convert to always using belay gloves, whether it’s gym, sport, or trad,” said one tester of her six months with the gloves in Yosemite, Red Rock, and Shelf Road. While they are a bit pricier than other belay-specific gloves, the Air Brakes have a few extra features that make them top-of-the-line, including gel packs in the palms that absorb and dissipate heat from rope friction, and extra leather where the rope runs over the hand and fingers. They were so dexterous that one tester donned them for camping, eating, and bike commuting. The sister model, the fingerless Seam Seeker, has the same features, and both have gender-specific sizes (and colors) to fit all hands.