Outdoor Research Alibi gloves

Climbing Gear / Gloves

Outdoor Research Alibi gloves    

Outdoor Research Alibi gloves

Outdoor Research Alibi gloves

Finally, rubber fingers! Old-fashioned fleece gloves are foolish when you're fiddling with an ice screw or fingertip pull-up. On hard climbs—ice, mixed, or stone—no dexterity means no security, which means you'll soon be scared out of your mind. The fix is rubber fingers, the sole of Outdoor Research's Alibi Gloves. I used these gloves ice climbing last weekend in Rocky Mountain National Park and was amazed at my newfound unfumbly ability to sink an ice screw in a matter of seconds.

Other unusually smart design features include:

1) The ring finger and little finger are wisely padded for those of us who haven't quite perfected the delicate technique of an Alex Lowe (in other words, for ice bashers like myself).

2) The large nylon loop makes pulling these paws on a snap.

3) The stretchy knuckle fabric makes the glove fit, like, uh… a glove.

As far as I know, there's no better technical climbing glove out there. But the OR Alibi—as the name suggests—is not just for climbing. I've taken to using these gloves mountain biking as well—the rubber fingers make shifting precise and the inevitable nasty endo an opportunity to tweezer pebbles only out of my elbows, not out of my palms. I've even used the Alibis as regular work gloves, hammering away on my kid's redwood fort in the backyard or cleaning leaves out of the gutter.

One caveat: They're not that warm. You'll need an overmitt or large glove on arctic ice-climbing days. $59; www.orgear.com

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