METOLIUS BELAY GLOVE
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.