GEAR REVIEW – Outdoor Research Splitter Gloves.
I realize that I am writing this review at the brink of a revolution – to hand jammie or tape up? The days of looking like a total gumby are something of the past; your hand jammie wearing self is racked up and ready to launch up, while your climbing partner is still working on taping up hand number one. Sure, I got pretty quick at taping up and even better at saving my tape gloves for multiple uses, but they never really worked as well as the first day of use. Enter the hand jammie.
Many companies have entered this hand jammie game and professional climbers have even begun to embrace them. One such company entering the hand jammie arena is Outdoor Research with their Splitter Glove. As part of Outdoor Research’s #ORInsightLab, I was able to beat these to hell in testing. For reference, My hand circumference and length is 7.5″ and I tested the Splitter Glove in a size S/M (size chart).
- Material – the synthetic suede fits like second skin, making for some very secure jamming which is nice for smooth or narrow cracks and those minimalists wanting to feel the stone.
- Hook/Loop wrist closure – unlike competitor styles of hand jammies, this hook and loop closure did not pull undone in abusive jamming ventures. I did not have to apply extra tape over the closure of the wrist to ensure it remained sealed.
- The Fit – SIZE DOWN. According to the Outdoor research size chart, I am size S for their unisex gloves. The splitter glove only comes in XS, S/M, and L/XL and so I tested the S/M. After three big days in the alpine, they stretched out a bit making me sadly pass them on to my husband to complete gear testing them. They simply were too big for me to effectively wear.
- Knuckle Protection – the Outdoor Research Splitter Glove comes outfitted with a layer of non-slip synthetic leather which is awesome; but for large crystal cracks or those of us that like to swing about like tarzan on fist jams, a bit more padding behind the knucks would be nice (as is offered in some other variants) or we found that just adding a a bit of tape did the trick.
Bottom Line – Outdoor Research developed a hand jammie option for those of us die-hard trad go getters that are sick of wasting rolls of tape and time. The Outdoor Research Splitter Gloves are a great alternative to taping up if sized appropriately.