Rappelling & Zip Line Gloves

Photo above courtesy of the Alligator Farm who use the Kinco 97 Gloves.

Rappelling & Zip Line gloves are very similar for their hand safety, gripping, and abrasion resistance properties and functions.

The primary safety goal is to protect your hands from the friction caused by the fast movement of the ropes or zip line cables. Therefore gloves used in rappelling maneuvers and grabbing zip lines must have a high level of abrasion resistance on the palms of each glove. These gloves should also be sized to the user so their dexterity is not hindered.

The only difference is that some rappelling gloves should offer some higher dexterity for handling ropes and tools. This would especially be the case when rappelling out of helicopters. However, in most cases, gloves used in rappelling operations would also be ideal for use in zip line operations.

We currently feature 2 types of Rappelling and Zip Line Glove models which are distinctly different in design and materials. These 2 glove models are described below.

Before I describe the gloves we are featuring, it is important to understand why. First, while I was searching for gloves to sell with the elements needed with these types of gloves, I obviously searched the internet. I found a few potential glove candidates but the problem was that these gloves were not sold or made by known reputable glove manufactures. They were branded gloves sold by companies who cater to the rappel and zip line markets and made by third-party foreign vendors. This is a red flag to me for many reasons.

I’m sure that some of these branded gloves are very good but I am also sure that many are made with more focus on fashion and design than the actual quality. This quality issue is in both the quality of materials used along with how the gloves are actually made. This is most important since these gloves need to last and withstand the high stress and friction that these gloves will endure.

As a footnote to some of the better rappelling and zip line gloves that I reviewed, the ones that looked very good were priced in the $40 to $50 range. That’s a bit extravagant in my personal opinion but that’s what the big brands guys do. The gloves we feature work and look just as good at a fraction of the price.

The gloves we are featuring are made by very reputable and reliable glove companies who design and make their own gloves. Furthermore and a very interesting aspect is that both of these companies are known for and make industrial work gloves such as welding gloves. Obviously, you want to purchase durable, hardworking gloves from companies who actually know how to make strong gloves.   


Kinco WK-97 Strong Cowhide Fencing Gloves

A Glove that is very popular with Zip Line operations is our Kinco WK-97 Strong Cowhide Fencing Gloves. Don’t let the name fool you since these gloves were originally designed for ranchers constructing and mending fences. Think barbed wire!

Kinco has since changed the name of these driver style leather gloves but I kept the old name alive for posterity reasons. I still think ranchers need to identify with their own type of glove that was originally designed for them.

By word of mouth, Zip Line operators started buying these gloves and they became as popular with zip line customers as well as their popularity with ranchers, landscapers and utility workers. It’s actually not surprising when you consider the basic features of these gloves. These gloves found their way to the zip line market by their own design and function and I take no personal credit or accolades for making them popular with zip line customers.

I’ll mention a few important features with these gloves but you can read more at this link: Kinco 97 Cowhide Gloves

  • They have an additional Suede cowhide patch on the palm which reinforces the high-wear area of the glove. This allows the gloves to withstand abrasions and to extend the longevity of the gloves.
  • Out-seam wrap around index finger for more comfort and less wear on a high wear seam.
  • Ergonomic keystone thumb design offers more flexibility, a fuller range of motion and provides more dexterity and less hand fatigue.
  • Shirred back for a snug fit.


Caiman MAG 2984 Rappelling and Zip Line Gloves

The MAG stands for multi-activity gloves.

These gloves were specifically designed by the Caiman glove company for rappelling and rope handling.

  • The MAG-2984 Gloves are made with a base of Goatskin leather for a comfortable fit and feel with a large reinforcement layer of tough Pig Skin Grain leather in the high wear areas of the palms and the fingers.
  • The leather palm reinforcement extends over onto the backside of the index finger and the thumb crotch for added durability and longer glove life.
  • Air-mesh back keeps gloves cool.
  • Internal padded palm for extra comfort.
  • Hi-Viz reflective back for maximum visibility. I’m told by the manufacturer that these gloves may come in a black model due to requests from police departments but I think the hi-vis aspect is a very nice feature.
  • Although the base Goatskin is not as durable as cowhide or pigskin, I feel these gloves offer a great balance of higher dexterity and good abrasion resistance for rappelling. For zip line users they meet their needs in many ways.

See this link for additional information: Caiman MAG 2984 Gloves

Link to both models: Rappelling and Zip Line Gloves

Please let me know if you have any questions and thank you for subscribing to my blog.

The Glove Guru – Joe McGarry

Alligator Gloves or Zip Line Gloves?

The simple answer is BOTH!  But we call them Strong Cowhide FencingGloves which are popular among construction workers and ranchers. 

However, one of our customers, the Alligator Farm Zoological Park, uses them on their zip line and challenge course which traverses over the zoo and alligators. The park’s guests have been using these gloves (since 2011) to hand break on the zip lines for their durability. Also, since the gloves are completely made from leather (not synthetic) they are safer if consumed by an alligator. 
You can see these gloves in action with the alligators at the following link: Alligator Farm video
For more information about the park, go to this link: Alligator Farm 
To purchase these gloves: Strong Cowhide Fencing Gloves