Black Diamond Torque Glove | $54.95 | bdel.com ★★★★★
Building the perfect climbing glove is as tall an order as building the perfect woman (or man). The glove has to have a deft touch, great grip, be easy to close, and be close fitting and warm. Most gloves fall short in at least two areas. The Torque is near perfect. Its palm material, a techy fabric from Japan called “Slip Stop,” is sticker than your own skin, and remains grippy even when it gets wet (most rubberized palm materials turn into banana skins when wet.) The Slip Stop also doesn’t conduct heat away from your hands—heat conduction is a real problem with other rubberized-palm gloves that I’ve worn. The sticky palm does make this a “climb only” glove—the grippy palm doesn’t hole up well to rappelling or lowering your partner.
Close fitting and contoured into a semi-closed fist, the Torque latches onto your hand, doesn’t creep off even when you are hanging full bore from tool handles, and isn’t pumpy to close. It’s also simple, with no cumbersome cuff to interfere with your jacket or tool leash, if you still use those things.
The Torque is just about the perfect leading glove. With them on hand, holding onto your tools is easy as is setting screws, making clips—you can even bust a rock move or two if need be. They aren’t, however, warm enough for sustained ice climbing. Down to zero F seems to push this glove’s warmth even if you are moving and keeping your hands out of the snow. Wear the Torque for leading, then switch them out with warmer handwear as soon as you have finished the pitch.
ABOUT THE RATING
I gave the Torque five stars because it is the best lead glove I’ve found. The Torque was tweaked and upgraded in 2013. The new version is ever better.
• Secure fit
• Best sticky palm found on a climbing glove
• Nimble and won’t pump your hand
• Recommended for leading ice and sport mixed climbing.