A wise man once said, “Tape is one of the ever-changing constants of the climbing life.” Like nuts and bolt and screws, tapes are an inescapable reality of a hiker’s life.
A well-branded and featured tape is a lifesaver in some of the direst of circumstances. A tape is required for all types of uses, from making gloves to using as a makeshift bandage for small cuts and injuries.
It can be quite a tough job to find out the best climbing tape. The dilemma is further pronounced when it is found that every tape has different features and is suitable for other climbs and terrains. It can be a daunting (and expensive) task to zone in on your choice.
But there is no need to worry because this guide will list out some of the best climbing tapes and all of their pros and cons so that you can be united with your climbing paraphernalia.
Top 12 Best Climbing Tapes 2023
Are you looking for an excellent and mainstream brand right off the bat? Do you want the reliability of a well-known brand? Or are you looking for a bundle of features in one single brand? Starting off our list is one of the best climbing tapes, Metolius. It comes in at this spot because of its exceptionally reliable and durable performance.
Its stickiness and the absolute ease of use (provided by its user-friendly nature, amongst other features) make it a crowd favorite.
It is one of the stickiest tapes on this list (which is a good thing, for those wondering). Some users have even reported the tape holding on to the gloves, even after a long and hard climbing day.
It works even better on the fingers. It is one rigid tape to split but can be easily divided into widths of smaller sizes. Even rookies have reported being able to use and rip this tape off easily.
But with all these features, there is a slight drawback. With so much focus being provided on the sticking capabilities and durability, they had to sacrifice removal ease. In other words, ripping off this little piece of climbing paraphernalia can be a huge task (especially for people with longer hair).
However, judging from the sales and reviews, it is a small price to pay for the high durability and security.
If that isn’t all, consider this- you get all these groundbreaking features and durability at some of the most economical pricing options. Its sheer availability at any local gear store further exemplifies all of its qualities. So grab thisproduct before it runs out from your local shelves.
- Stickier than most of the other variants out there.
- Extremely durable
- Affordable and economical
- Widely available
- Associated with a stable brand name
- Too sticky; it can be challenging to take off once applied.
2. Evolv Magic
Are you looking for a tape that is quirky and unusual in its design and features? Does standing out from the crowd sound like a good idea to you? Evolv Magic is here to take your breath (and your problems) away.
Many climbers would swear by it after extensive use, while some would refuse to touch it again. Studies suggest that this is due to the time required to fully learn and comprehend its working. To increase its friction creating capabilities and make it more breathable, it has a mesh-like surface (quite similar to our skin structure).
A rookie using this tape would have difficulty in getting good results from it. It can range from needing to be replaced within the first few hours of your climb to needing to be cut off. There is no in-between.
Coming onto the usual feature that every climber looks for in a good tape, these tapes have poor adhesivity. But in the cohesive department, they have no competitor. In simpler terms, these tapes stick poorly to different objects like skin and wood. But it sticks to itself so much that it needs a knife or a pair of scissors to remove. This unusual feature makes it very versatile if used in the right manner. With a little bit of ingenuity and out-of-the-box thinking, this tape can be used to work wonders.
However, the learning curve is quite challenging for some. Even after spending some time with it, people might need to rewrap the tape again during their climbs occasionally.
The mesh-like design makes it breathable and less noticeable on fingers such that these tapes seem to be the best bet for finger injuries and the like.
This tape is one of the best climbing tapes on this list due to its unique advantage and exceptional customizability. And while it does have a few drawbacks, they are made up by its unique features.
- Self Sealing (Sticks to itself)
- Mesh like structure provides high friction between fingers and rocks and trees.
- High durability and versatility
- It can take a long time getting used to
As far as climbing tapes go, they are relatively cheap compared to the rest of the climbing gears. But, Johnson and Johnson have taken it upon themselves to deliver the best climbing tape that would be worthy enough to be used for sportspeople and climbers alike. They use the best of athletic and climbing tapes? features to make one single type with a few small tweaks; traditional athletic tape can also be used as climbing tapes.
While not the absolute best in terms of usage and accessibility, this tape can easily make crack climbing gloves to last quite a bit and be durable. Several users have also reported it to be a mid-level performer.
The support and durability provided by this tape are exceptional. It excelled in the tricky finger wraps where many accomplished tapes have failed in the past. And while it might not have the same level of stickiness or breathability as some other tapes, it is quite the beast in its way.
Good sweat resistance and easy use and disposal make it on par with the rest of the tapeson this list. The final cherry on top is the sheer affordability and availability at all grocery and pharmacy stores.
- High breathability
- Highly affordable and available nearly everywhere.
- Very customizable
- The stickiness and ease of tearibility might not be to the level of satisfaction.
4. Leukotape P
This tape is one of the most serious contenders for the title of best climbing tape. The nude coloring, the medical-themed packaging, the affordability- everything points towards it taking the tape game seriously.
On a lighter note, it is such a useful and powerful tape that amazon classifies it as “Industrial and Scientific” instead of “Outdoors and Sports” as it is supposed to. This tag, however, fits it perfectly. People claim that it feels like it is fused with their skin. Now, that is a serious compliment to have on your side when all that matters while climbing is the tape’s stickiness.
It is, arguably, the most sticky tape on this list. Even after rigorous tests, it has been reported to not budge from its area of application. This makes it an excellent tape to take care of small cuts or bruises.
It has high durability, which is shown by the fact that it has performed exceptionally well, even in rains, sweat, and heat.
While “sticky” is an excellent quality to have in tapes, it is hard for the user to remove the tape after their expedition. Losing hair and having to cut through the tape is an everyday occurrence. Moreover, it is pricier than average taps, making it one of the most expensive tapes on this list. However, it more than delivers the features that back up this price point.
This tape is usually recommended for people who have extra sweaty hands or require tapes to remain in place, no matter what. Even for most climbing applications, it proved more than enough to tackle one roll and still have some leftover. This could be a very safe and sound investment for people looking for robust features and zero compromises.
- High breathability
- Highly sticky
- Very durable and strong
- One of the pricier entries on this list.
- It can be too sticky and become hard to remove.
One of the ever-favorite brands, Mueller tape (sometimes sold under different names), is one of the best climbing tapes to grace the stores, ever.
It is noticeably less sticky than some of its counterparts, but it makes up for durability and ease of use. It usually needs a re tape after a pitch (or more sometimes). Crack climbing is especially hard on this tape, but it stands up well to all the obstacles thrown against it.
Its less sticky nature makes it easier for climbers to remove it without sacrificing their hair. Moreover, it’s easy-to-tear and easy-to-use features make it a crowd favorite. This reduces the stress of removing or using tools to cut and remove the tape during a climb or after an expedition.
It is suitable for the occasional climbers who want to go on about their adventures without worrying about the post-climb formalities. Its use and throw nature, combined with its affordable cost and high durability, makes it a mid-level tape for climbers interested in occasional climbing.
- Easy to cut and manipulate
- Can be easily removed
- Not as sticky as some of its other counterparts
Liberty is one of the most well-known tape manufacturers in the climbing world. It has a wide array of tapes for each and every possible use. Moreover, finger taping expeditions are a particular specialty of this tape. Some might even say that it is the best climbing tape for this very reason.
Again, this tape isn’t overly sticky, nor is it too loose. It lies somewhere in the middle. It stays in an applied area reasonably well without moving too much. The more comprehensive range allows you to have a one-stop-shop for all your taping and sticking needs.
Some might find it pricey. But that depends on your outlook. If this is the tape that works well for your needs, the price would not be a deal-breaker. It is pretty cheap, durable, and easy to apply and remove. Indeed having such an array of features would entice any climber to go and wipe them off the shelves.
- A high ease of use
- Neither too sticky nor too loose
- Some people might be looking for more stickiness.
- Sold by many manufacturers, hence prices might be inflated.
Are you looking for a fashionable addition to your already existing collection of climbing gear? The MTape is one of the most fashionable tapes out there. With colors ranging from red to blue (total 6 in number) and different sizes to select from, these tapes would be sure to light up your climbing expedition.
The wide width works well to protect your hands and ankles against the perils of climbing and prevent any jamming. It is non-stretchable and highly breathable, being made from cotton (100 percent, nonetheless).
These features added to the fact that it is easy to tear and apply, make it one of the best climbing tapes on this guide.
- Extremely fashionable
- Different widths for different purposes
- Good stickiness and durability
- Exceptional breathability and easy to cut and tear.
- It might be too fragile for some people.
- Flashy colors might not suit some people.
This is classified as a medical tape. The Kendall Curity Tape is highly-priced and sought after its extra sticky adhesive for enduring any and all environmental perils. The tape also contains many pores, giving it a good grip and making it light and exceptionally breathable. They also keep your hands dry and allow sweat to evaporate quickly.
The ingenious serrated edges make tearing this tape a walk in the park. It combines the best of the “sticky” and “easily removable” words without compromising on either of its abilities. The only downside (this is after a comprehensive investigation) this tape might have is that as it is so durable and well-known, it can be challenging to find one in stock.
But otherwise, this is the best climbing tape that combines utility and ease of use into one product, seamlessly.
- Extremely sticky
- Highly durable
- Porous, hence avoids the buildup of sweat and makes it highly breathable.
- Easy to cut and remove (thanks to the serrated edges)
- It can be challenging to find
- It might not suit some climbers.
This unusual tape stands up to its name in more ways than one. It is exceptionally good for finger splits, amongst other injuries. It comes pre-cut in 1 and 0.5-inch, so you can easily tear it off and go about your hike. You won’t need to stick it around and measure the tape required for your climb or expedition. All it requires is a single rip, and you are good to go.
The zinc oxide adhesive is super duper sticky and allows this tape to stay in place, even in massive storms or in high heat when your body sweats like crazy. The non-stretch structure makes sure that your tapes and gloves won’t ever sag. These multiple uses and unusual design propel it to the top of our list of best climbing tapes.
- Extremely sticky
- Highly durable
- Porous nature makes it right for rainy and sweaty climbs
- Easy to cut and tear off
- Pre-cut strips might be off-putting for some climbers.
- Does not have many fashion choices
If you are looking for a thin and snug finger tape for your climbs, this tape should be on the top of your buying list. It is one of the thinnest tapes on this list, and it does not compromise on quality to achieve this size.
It may not be suitable for gloves or ankles but is more than enough for taping finger injuries. Moreover, it is easy to remove, despite its sticky nature, and leaves behind a residue of chalk. The cotton build imparts strength and non-stickiness. These tapes won’t sag, no matter the type or nature of your climb. The final cherry on top is that they come on six roll packages. These offer some of the best price per roll amongst its competitors.
The sheer useability, affordability, and other features at such a price range allow it to enter into this list of the best climbing tapes.
- Extremely sticky
- Highly durable
- Porous nature makes it right for rainy and sweaty climbs.
- Easy and snug fit
- It doesn’t leave much residue behind.
- It might be unfashionable for some
These tapes are the staple of rock climbers, weightlifters, and boxers. The high tensile strength and exceptional comfortability factor make it one of the best climbing tapes to be featured on this list. The high tensile strength does not mean that it is hard to tear. On the contrary, it is easy to cut and easy to apply on fingers and ankles.
Its wrap, pick, and tear mechanism is delightful for people who run away from hardy tapes that require cutters for removal.
If you are looking for tapes that are athletic by design yet have the quality and features that a climbing tape provides, this is the tape to invest in.
The sticky adhesive makes it extremely versatile in its application. It can be used to tape bats, hockey sticks, pull-up pubs, amongst many other sports equipment. And since it is medical grade, it provides ample breathing for your skin. The 100 percent cotton design gives rise to exceptional friction between the fingers and rocks.
- Stickier than many of its competitors
- Easy to apply and highly versatile
- Easy to remove as well
- Medical grade hence does not have any adverse effects on your skin.
- Exceptional breathability
- A good amount of friction generation when applied on fingers.
- It might be unfashionable for some.
- The cotton might turn some people off.
12. The Finger Tape
These tapes by Kuzushi Labs are one of the best climbing tapes for grapplers, climbers, and fight sport professionals. The high amount of rolls per package make it an outstanding deal to have, especially if you want to stock up for a whole season. The price per roll rate is exceptional. Moreover, with the number of colors provided for all the rolls, it is also a very fashionable tape.
It’s easy to use and can be stored for the next expedition when finished with the current season. The nitric glue makes sure that you get a long-lasting stickiness without compromising on its durability or affordability. Being waterproof and sweat-proof, this tape will not lose its stickiness even in the harshest of conditions.
This can be an excellent investment for those looking for cheap yet durable tapes to last them throughout the climbing season.
- Sticky and affordable
- Highly durable
- Can be easily cut
- Very fashionable
- It might not be strong enough for some heavyweight climbers.
What Should I Look For In A Climbing Tape Before Choosing And Buying One?
As we stated above, there is no single formula for finding the best climbing tape. However, when followed, some general rules promise to yield good (sometimes even excellent) results.
The width of the tape is an essential factor in determining the use and durability. Although some tapes move into a smaller size territory (a third of an inch or similar), you should look for a thin tape if you have some finger injuries or accidents. Still, it should be comprehensive in surface area.
On the other hand, you would need to select a 1 or 1.5-inch tape depending upon your hands and ankle’s size and the terrain you would be conquering. Tape gloves must also be made from the heftier and more durable 1 or 1.5-inch tapes. This gives them the added strength required to take on the rough demands of the climb.
Tapes have adhesives applied to them. This allows them to stick to objects and skin quickly. Tapes also come in a wide array of varieties. Some are thick, and some are thin, while some are wide, and others comparatively narrow.
If you are only interested in gym and cardio activities, you wouldn’t have to ponder these topics too much. But if you consider yourself an actual climber, you will have to ensure that your gloves and other gear do not fall off at the height of 100 feet from the nearest platform.
Different tapes have different glues that allow them to stick. Some of them are stickier than others. Less sticky ones are suggested for quick climbs, while the stickier ones are for rougher terrain.
Imagine having a hard day at the climb. You were working so hard that your fingers are sore from the exertion. Now the last thing you need is fumbling with your gear while removing them. Therefore, it is essential to look for tapes that are strong yet easy to remove when needed. It can be a bit of a problem to find such a tape, but in the end, accessibility is an important feature to have. It is a tough thing to quantify tearablity, but it is wildly apparent while treating them off. So choose well, and choose wisely.
Best Climbing Tapes – Conclusion
There are several different ways that climbing tape works. It is not just the stickiness that counts towards its prerequisites. The stickiness is just one facet (a rather important one at that) amongst many.
Both the width of the strips and durability of the tape play important roles. In an ideal situation, an ideal climbing tape would be too sticky and yet come off easily when desired. However, we are far from an ideal world. Therefore a sticky tape would be hard to take off. A durable tape would be difficult to cut off when needed. This changes the dynamics of choosing the best climbing tapes.
Like all the excellent hiking products, choosing the best climbing tape for your expeditions depends on your needs and wants. If you need to cut the tape strips regularly at all intervals, you should look for those tapes that provide average stickiness (or even higher stickiness than expected) but are easy to cut into pieces.
That does not mean it should be fragile; just that it should be able to cut easily when needed. On the other hand, people using tapes for much longer endeavors should look for comparatively stickier and durable tapes.
The color of the tape matters as well. Reflective tapes allow for more comfortable climbing at night, while the white ones keep your fingers cool by repelling the heat and bugs.
In the end, it all boils down to your choices. The way you climb and the way you utilize your paraphernalia. It can even change within a day as your terrain changes. And there is no one best climbing tape. There are only tapes and their features.
FAQs on Climbing Tapes
Q1. Why Do You Need Good Tapes for Climbing?
Tapes are amongst the most ignored climbing paraphernalia. Tapes help you hold together gloves and other gear without having to create separate pockets for them. They also help you attach your gloves and socks tightly against your skin so that you don’t lose them while climbing and prevent bugs and dust and mosquitoes from wandering inside your clothes.
Moreover, they can also be used to mark progress and save your body parts from injury. If these things were not taken care of by the tapes, you would have many more sores, missing gears, and injuries to account for.
Q2. Can Ropes Be Used In Place Of Tapes?
No. Both ropes and tapes have different uses. While some of these uses might intersect, many are still independent of each other. Ropes are used for climbing, applying weight, holding heavy baggage and gears. Tapes, on the other hand, rely on closing off openings and marking progress. They are also a lot more versatile than ropes.
Both of the gears have their places of use. However, that does not mean that they can be interchangeably used. Doing so could result in loss of property and life.
Q3. How Can I Tape And How Should I Safely Use It?
Using tapes is pretty simple and straightforward. You use tapes when you need to stop the bleeding, hold things together, or just provide some extra cushion to your fingers and ankles.
In such events, wrap the tape around carefully and tightly. Do not leave anything open or saggy. Cover all the required parts, and make sure to throw your trash in the dustbin. Do not reuse old tapes as they might contain germs and cause infections.
Finally, remove the tape slowly and carefully. Some tapes are stickier than the others. Removing them quickly can cause damage to your follicles and skin itself. The adhesive inside the tape can also cause irritation if not removed and washed with water thoroughly.
Tapes are relatively harmless but can become a nuisance if not cared for properly. Follow the general rules and guidelines and do not experiment, as it may cause loss of life and property.