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Climbing skin product review 2016

  • Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Hand: Insanely expensive, but really good, and really odor free. On the other hand, an 8 oz tube will last years. Be careful to get the right thing, there are lots of knockoffs and different versions and small tubes sold for full price. This is nice if you don’t want to smell like a French brothel. This might be the best day-to-day take-to-work hand lotion. A+
  • ClimbOn: Has an odor, but it’s not bad, and it is good at calming skin after a hot day of popping off the big holds, and keeping the rough edges down. Immediate relief. A.
  • ClimbSkin: The jury is out. It has an odor, not a bad one, but generally I’d prefer not to smell like things, and a weird clay texture. Expensive for a small tin (see Joshua Tree) which doesn’t last that long. Does it work? Still testing. I(ncomplete)
  • Vaseline: Tried and true, and cheap. Also useful for other things, so I’ve been told. Which none of these other ones are. No kidding, it does work, but there are more climbing specific things that work better, albeit at N times the price. A solid fallback. B+
  • Joshua Tree: It’s okay, nothing special. A bit expensive for a small breakable jar, probably not the kinda thing you want to keep in your climbing kit. Also, a smell. Again, not a bad smell. Gentleman’s C
  • Bag Balm: It works on cows? C
  • Blue Emu: Skateboarders swear by it. I couldn’t tell any difference. B-
  • Rhino: A whole line of products, including a supposedly kinder Antihydral substitute, which you can use on your whole hand. Which is good, because unlike AH, you can’t keep this out of the pad joints. It has an odor. There’s teatree oil in the lotion, which is interesting if you put it on your hands then touch your eyes. A better AH is always welcome. The whole kit is a lotion, an anti-perspirant, and the drying creme. Testing in progress. I
  • Hoofmaker Mane and Tail: The Great Sartini swears by this for toughening up your skin. It doesn’t moisturize at all – I have to use one of the other products after I use this. Maybe it works? It’s cheap. AH is better if you want to be sure. B
  • Antihydral: The Bugatti Veyron of toughening your hands. It probably alters your DNA. It is definitely not FDA-approved. It’s from Germany. It’s made for professional foosball players. It’s ridiculous, and you’ll regret it. But it works. Keep it out of the joints or you’ll be sorry. Another antihydral victim, as one of my friends put it. A+ does what it says on the tin.
  • Mammut liquid chalk: First time I used it I sent my proj. Probably psychological, but I’ll take that. A
  • Friction Labs has a liquid chalk/anti-perspirant, which they apparently don’t sell anymore. Hmmm. It leaked all over my bag first time I carried it out, so there’s that. I
  • Neutrogena: Not quite as old school as Vaseline. It’s ok, it might have a smell, I’m never certain. I don’t think it’s any better than V, and it costs a lot more. B-