Posted by Rob Atkinson on November 27, 2014
Petzl Cordex Gloves
Price - £35
Weight – 118g (large)
Summary – A close fitting, dextrous and durable glove for a host of situations when protecting your hands while still needing the full use of your fingers. Whether alpine climbing or ropes access situations these gloves are a must have item.
The Petzl Cordex Gloves have been around for a few years now and have earned themselves the reputation as being tough and dexterous, a favorite amongst ropes access technicians and mountain professionals.
I have admired these gloves for a few years now as a replacement for a pair of worn out leather work gloves which i have used for rope handling situations. From the moment they are taken out of their packaging it becomes apparent that these gloves were designed for one specific use, protecting hands from the rigors of working with rope.
What Petzl Say,
These lightweight belay/rappel gloves combine the durability of a work glove with the precise fit and dexterity of a thinner glove. Double-layered leather protects the palm and other high-wear areas. The back is made of abrasion resistant, breathable stretch nylon, ensuring comfort and fit. The low profile neoprene cuff with Velcro closure features a reinforced karabiner hole for attaching the gloves to your harness.
There’s no doubt that Petzl have attempted to create a simple and to the point rope work glove, the gloves have thick, soft goat skin leather on the palm which feels supple and strong, the fingers are further wrapped in the leather and the primary wear area between thumb and finger is further reinforced with an extra layer of leather. On the reverse of the glove you find a thin and stretchy nylon fabric that’s designed to stretch with your hand movements. The cuff appears to be neat and tidy with a neoprene material surrounding the wrist with a velcro closure to allow for a secure fit, the cuff also has a leather karabiner hol
e to allow for the gloves to be hung from a harness.
The fit is something I’ve learned over the years is very important, and I am please to say that the fit is excellent. The Fingers are made with a ‘Box’ construction that allows for a much closer fit and very little loose material, this is aided by the stretch nylon that pulls everything in nice and snug. The fingers also seem to be precurved which gives a nice feel when wearing them, and gives less resistance when gripping objects. The key to the close fitting feel of the glove is the stretch material on the back of the glove, when you put the gloves on you immediately feel the nylon grip the back of your hand and pull the entire glove tightly in around your hand,which gives you immediate confidence in the gloves dexterity.
One of the challenges I’ve found with lightweight mountaineering orientated gloves in the past is their lack of dexterity when it comes to belays setups and also for rock climbing in. There are some notable challengers however, the Marmot XT glove ( http://marmot.com/products/details/xt-glove) has become a firm favorite amongst mountain professionals and the classic Simond Leather alpinism glove has been favoured by Mountain Guides for a long while http://www.decathlon.co.uk/alpinism-leather-gloves-id_3256818.html.
In the Field
I bought these for a trip to Chamonix this summer with my partner, via ferrata (metal cable ways up mountainsides) was on the cards so i treated us to two pairs of Petzl Cordex Gloves. The first time we used them was on the Aiguille De Belvedere which is a grade III scramble in the Aiguille Rouge above Chamonix, the climbing is on granite and consists of big holds and precipitous drops, this means a rope is essential. The ascent was cold and I donned the gloves to get a bit of protection from them, and I was surprised just how much warmth they gave, they are obviously not designed to provide any warmth but I was pr
esently surprised that they definitely gave a much need boost in warmth. Once at the base of the climb we started roping up and were moving together across easy terrain, the gloves gave really good purchase on the granite and allowed me to the majority of climbing in the gloves, they also had great purchase on the rope and gave me great purchase when belaying direct. After this climb my confidence in the gloves soared and throughout the trip I wore them constantly, they proved to be best gloves yet for handling ice tools and rigging belays, the dexterity in them is the best I’ve come across. Another benefit I discovered is because of the thin nylon on the back; your hands tend to stay dry and not get too clammy, which is nice when you’re running hot. Using them on the glaciers I also noticed that they offer pretty good protection when touching wet surfaces, and the leather seems to resist moisture well, when wet they also dry very quickly as there is no thick material on the glove to absorb moisture.
Since arriving back I have used them constantly on rock climbing adventures and also at work on the high ropes course. Having a pair of gloves that you can just clip on and off your harness, and use them without even knowing you’ve got a pair of gloves on while still gaining loads of protection from rope burn and cold hands from cables.
From a critical point of view there’s little to say, they are £35 which compared to most work gloves is allot however they offer a much more refined experience and the quality is fantastic, when compared to other gloves in the outdoor market they offer good value, the Marmot XT which as stated is renowned, lacks the durability of these in my view after owning both, and I also feel the addition of the karabiner hole makes a noticeable difference.
They aren’t inherently warm or weather resistant but then they aren’t trying to be, for something warm and weather resistant try these two that I have and really like.
Arcteryx Cam SV - http://arcteryx.com/product.aspx?model=Cam-SV-Glove&language=EN
Mountain Equipment Super Alpine - http://www.mountain-equipment.co.uk/super-alpine-glove