My crag­ging habits have of­ten been noted by part­ners and friends as “old school” and “weird”: I stand up to put on my rock shoes (hey, you can get your toes far­ther down), rarely use be­lay gloves or glasses, and un­til re­cent years had yet to jump on the sticky- rub­ber- kneepad band­wagon. It just felt like more stuff to cart to the cliff, which goes against my in­nate lazi­ness. The newly up­dated Metolius Be­lay Glove, how­ever, may con­vert me to more civ­i­lized, mod­ern habits. Made of cowhide and then padded with triple-stitched split cowhide on the palms, th­ese grippy, sup­ple, easy-on, easy-off gloves worked well on ev­ery­thing from old, dirty fat ropes to slick, skinny new ones—and of course, kept my hands clean. The hook-and-loop clo­sure had solid sur­face area and never came un­done even with ac­tive be­lays, and the clip-off hole is am­ply large for any size biner. Mean­while, great fin­ger ar­tic­u­la­tion and sen­si­tiv­ity helped with ma­neu­ver­ing com­pli­cated be­lay de­vices. The gloves are also ef­fec­tive hand-warm­ers with cooler temps, though they can run hot on steamier days. Sizes XS through XL.

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