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Climbing Tapes - Reviews & Guides For 2024

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Climbing tape buying guide

Love the thrill of rock-climbing but tired of the bruises on your fingers and feet? Worry no more. Climbing tapes keep your finger safe from these stinging cuts and bruises.

The tape acts as one of the essential items you don't want to miss when trying some outdoor activity. It is capable of providing first aid to the injuries and prevents them from aggravating further. The tapes are easy to carry and store and also provide proper support to strained muscles and tendons.

With such a marvelous product in your possession, you have a personalized first aid support every time you make a run for long heights. Preferred by most of the climbers, the tape provides multipurpose functions.

Let us look into the benefits of the product.

Advantages of Climbing Tape

If you are into climbing, the tape is your best friend. Climbing and tape indeed go hand in hand. You do not want to stop at anything when you are in the zone, and climbing tapes help you remain so by giving your hands the protection and the grip they need.

  • The climbing tape can help you dress any existing wounds so that they don't aggravate during your vigorous activities.
  • In case you get hurt and need to put pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding, the climbing tape is handy.
  • To hold the padding in place, climbing tapes are greatly adhesive and non-slip.
  • Any joint or muscle that needs extra protection, its range of motion can be limited with the use of climbing tape.
  • For extra support to anybody port or region for quicker recovery, the climbing tape can be used.

Importance of reading the buying guide before selecting the appropriate product

Imagine you are climbing the biggest mountain, and suddenly, you need assistance from your best pal to save your fingers from bruises. After taping your finger properly, you find that it is slipping, and you can't make a proper grip.

Such a disaster. Now either you have to abort the climb or take the risk of damaging your finger. To avoid indulging in such situations, you must select the right product.

The buying guide provides you with detailed information about the product's characteristics so that you can make an informed decision and select the appropriate product.

Now it is time to evaluate the characteristics of the climbing tape.

Types of Climbing Tape

The market is swarming with options of climbing tapes, but you need to choose the tape that works best for you. When it comes to the type of climbing tape based on what they are made of, there are three types of tape:

  1. Elastoplast

This type of climbing tape is stretchy and is resistant to tearing easily. It is mainly used for compression of an injured body part, in case of bleeding or swelling. With regard to support, this tape is not the best in the game as it provides low support.

  1. Zinc Oxide

This tape is not stretchy. It is stiff and tough, making it a great choice if you are looking for strong support around joints. It is very adhesive and should not be applied concentrically as it can stop blood flow due to tightness. It is tearable.

  1. Cohesive and Tub-grip

These climbing tapes are a mid-way between the elastoplastic and zinc oxide. They can function as both compressors as well as for joint support.

Based on the function of the climbings tapes, there are two types:

  1. Skin Protection

Climbing tape, which functions as a skin protector, is designed to prevent cuts, blisters, and other types of damage that the skin can be exposed to. Often, using skin protection tape can require time to get used to and additional gripping assistance, such as using chalk.

Skin protection climbing tapes work as a barrier between the fingers and knuckles' skin and the rough climbing surface. This barrier can be used for prevention as well as to protect already damaged skin from getting irritated. The extra layer facilitates comfort while climbing, even if the hands are bruised or cut from previous experiences.

  1. Structural Support

The second type of tape serves the function of providing structural support to joints and muscles. Some specific tendons or ligaments might require extra support while climbing due to previous injuries or general tenderness.

Mostly, the wrists, joints, and knuckles are taped using structural support climbing tapes to prevent twisting or facilitating healing. If you use the correct type of type and apply it aptly, it can even help prevent fatigue.

Things to Deem When Selecting the Appropriate Climate Tape


Depending on the use for which you are purchasing climbing tape, the climbing tapes' width should be determined. Simultaneously, some people might be looking to make climbing gloves out of the tape, while others may be looking for taping the fingers. Yet others may want an extra layer of protection for injuries.

If you are only looking to tape your fingers for grip while climbing, a smaller width would be apt. Similarly, if you are buying tape for finger injuries, thin width is appropriate. 0.5-inch width will work fine for these purposes.

If the feet and ankles are also in need of support, a little larger width of 1 inch will be befitting. 1.5-inch width will suit you best if you are looking to make tape gloves. Preferences and finger sizes should also be taken into consideration.


It is often based on your preferences and convenience that you look for easily tearable tape or one that sticks. Depending on if you want hassle-free removal or sticky adhesive tape that remains so even in the midst of sweat, you can choose a tape that fits your needs.

If you are not looking for botheration while removal, especially since the climbing already made your fingers sore, easily tearable tapes are a better choice. Tapes with serrated edges are extremely easy to remove.

Some climbers, on the other hand, have sweaty hands or have trouble with easily tearable tapes. They require resilient tapes even though they are quite inconvenient to remove.


Different climbing tapes have different stickiness based on the strength of their adhesive. You can find your match in terms of the level of stickiness based on the adhesive features. It will depend upon your personal preferences and the needs of your hands, their perspiration levels, and grip requirements.

The adhesive's strength will determine how easy it is to remove the tape and how comfortable it is to wear while climbing. Nobody wants the tape to slip and expose the skin to the rough climbing surfaces as it can lead to rashes, blisters, and whatnot. However, the adhesive should not be leaving residue on removal.

Best Brands

Some brands offer options of tapes specifically designed for climbing, while others sell all-purpose athletic tapes. The brands present in the market, selling climbing tapes, work with similar pricing, so cost is less of an issue when determining the best brand of climbing tape. So it boils down to customer reviews on stickiness, easy removability, convenient application, grip assistance, etc.

With several brands fighting for the best of climbing tape, Mueller remains at the top of the game when it comes to medical solutions for athletic situations. They provide several choices so people can choose good quality climbing tapes that cater to their specific needs.

Some other brands next in line are Evolv, Johnson & Johnson, and Metolius.


There may be several material options available, and companies continue to experiment with new and innovative ideas to make climbing tapes better. The most suitable material, however, remains cotton.

Cotton is easy to bend and lightweight. It facilitates the full mobility of the fingers and wrists even when they are taped up. It is non-stretchable and tearable for added convenience.

Cotton has naturally breathable qualities and is durable. It is conveniently available and easy to manufacture. It makes it inexpensive so that you do not have to invest a fortune to experience protection and support in your athletic pleasures.


Most climbing tapes are quite easily available and that too, at affordable rates. This is because they are made of inexpensive material and are easy to manufacture. In fact, the main selling point of these tapes is that they are quite cheap so that they can afford athletic safety and care.

Tapes can even be used to make climbing gloves. It is an inexpensive alternative to keep hands blister-free and safe. They can work for structural support for not just hands but feet as well.

Some Core Features

In a nutshell, when looking for the appropriate climbing tape that will suit your needs and keep you safe, the following are the core features that you need to look into:

  1. Adhesive

The substance that makes the tape sticky is called adhesive. It determines the strength with which the climbing tapes will stick to the hands. A stronger adhesive will be more apt to ensure that the tape will not slip for people with extra sweaty hands.

  1. Non-Stretch

For the tape to provide adequate support while climbing, the material used must be non-stretch. Stiff material will help with the fact that the hands are gripped and supported without losing shape.

  1. Porous

For breathability and airflow purposes, the climbing tape you choose must have porous material. Small pores on the surface will allow the air to circulate for comfort and convenience.

How to Apply Climbing Tape?

As preparation for application, you must ensure that area that needs to be taped is clean. Wash thoroughly with soap. In the case of the region being hairy, shaving or waxing is advised as it will give the tape a better chance of gripping tightly. It will also facilitate the removal of the tape.

  1. Fingers

In the case of injured fingers, climbing tapes are the most useful tool in the book. The instability that accompanies finger injuries can be done away with, with the help of these tapes. Finger tendons can be provided with the needed support so you can keep on climbing.

The tape can be applied first around one finger and then onto the next. It should be applied above and below the middle joint for the best support. The fingers' mobility will be facilitated in this manner while providing adequate structural support to injured tendons.

When it comes to the tightness around the fingers, you can determine your comfort level through trial and error. It should be tight enough to grip but loose enough for blood circulation and hand dexterity and mobility.

  1. Thumb

Climbing involves several possibilities of different kinds of injuries, and prevention is always better than cure. A condition called the 'skier's thumb' is when the ligaments supporting the thumb knuckles are damaged. It can be prevented with structural support from climbing tapes.

Wrapping the tape around the thumb and its knuckle can provide dexterity as well as comfort. You can begin by taping the edge to the other side of the wrist and circling it across the joint. This, along with a criss-cross above and below the thumb knuckle, can prove to be useful.

Three to four overlaps of the tape in the above-mentioned sequence can aid the thumb to function perfectly in climbing even in case of an injury. It can prevent further damage by providing appropriate support. Structural support climbing tape, preferably zinc oxide, will be the best choice here.

  1. Wrist

For hand mobility, a healthy wrist is a must. In case of a wrist injury, you must use climbing tape skilfully to provide maximum support while aiding functionality. An uncertainty regarding gripping due to pain or weakness can be rectified using climbing tapes.

It may so happen that a certain type of movement is more painful than the others. Try to restrict movement in that direction.

The tape should be quite tight and pulled enough when the wrist is in question. Three strips of tape applied on the wrist where you wear a watch can help the wrist with support and not come in the way of the mobility range. The overall power of the hand will be enhanced in this manner, and pain will be comforted.

Additional support for the wrist can come from taping the outer wrist border through the thumb web space. Avoid excessive tape layers as it will affect breathability and limit the range of movement. It will make the area stiffer than it has to be.

Steps to Apply Tape for Crack Climbing

Often, climbers look for answers to their questions about extra support and protection in climbing tapes and their skillful application. This is because they make a world of difference and allow smooth climbing, even in injuries.

Knowing how to apply climbing tape in what manner, and how to make climbing gloves out of it meticulously can be a game-changer. Let us look at the following steps for applying tape for single or multiple use crack climbing gloves.

  1. Take a large strip of climbing tape, approximately 6 inches. Tear the piece of tape in half to get two long strips.
  2. Take one of the two strips and stick it on the back of one hand. Then, pull it through the middle of the fingers.
  3. The second step needs to be repeated twice between each finger. You now have overlapping tape pieces on your palm as well as on the back of the hand. These cover almost your entire hand space when it comes to the palm and the back.
  4. Now, take two more large strips of climbing tape and place them over the other pieces that overlap on the back of the hand. It will prevent the other pieces from slipping.
  5. With the third piece of tape, begin at the same point. Go under the thumb and come back over the top of the knuckle.
  6. Finally, use a full-width piece of tape and begin wrapping all over the hand. Go around the wrist from the back of the hand to the palm. This taping should end near the thumb.
  7. You may also add an additional layer around the wrist to facilitate the removal of the tape glove. However, it is only optional.


Is climbing tape the same as the medical tape?

No, the climbing tapes are very different from the medical tapes. They may resemble in the way that both are used to treat any wounds on your skin. However, a climbing tape is created as stiffer so that your hands get ample support in a jiffy.

What are the precautions to follow while putting on a climbing tape?

A climbing tape is efficient in protecting the hands from unnecessary wounds. But some pointers that should be kept in mind while applying this tape:

  1. Do not apply it on an allergic skin or infected wound
  2. You should not put this tape on the area that has lost blood circulation or become numb
  3. Don't put it tightly that can restrict blood flow
  4. If needed, you should also add adhesive or cover it further to impart extra padding.
How can I know the climbing tape is porous?

A porous tape is more recommended than the usual climbing tape owing to its consistent breathability. While buying the tape, if you see that there are small holes on the tape, then you are purchasing a porous tape.

Are there any specific methods to tape your hands while climbing?

There are mainly three methods that can be used to tape your hands, namely:

  1. Ring Method: The tape covers each finger from its pulley area.
  2. H Method: Split the tape in half from both ends and apply it to the wounded area.
  3. X Method: With the aim to protect from tearing the skin, the tape is applied in a criss-cross.

Final Verdict

If you are an adventure junkie, then you know how swiftly small injuries can change into fatal wounds. The climbing tapes provide a simple solution in providing adequate support to the injuries to halt them from escalating. All you need to do is select the appropriate tape so that it caters to all your requirements.

In this guide, we have listed out all the essential characteristics to deem about, which will help you make the right decision while selecting a suitable product. / - © Copyright 2020