Best Bouldering Hand Cream, Balm, & Salve

Taking care of your hands is an integral part of bouldering. If you don’t, they are liable to lead to cracked skin or worse. That is why we set out on our quest to find the best bouldering hand cream, balm or salve. It was no easy task, and honestly difficult to quantify. Our results are below!

Bouldering Hand Cream, Balm, SalveTypeSizeRating
ClimbOn BarBar56g 94
Crimp Oil - OriginalOil30ml92
Metolius Hand BalmSalve14g89
Rhino Skin PerformanceLotion30ml88

It’s hard to track what happens to your skin over the course of a month or so. Your hands will always be under stress when climbing and they heal naturally. That said, using a specialised hand repair bar or cream certainly encourages this repair. Through our tests, we didn’t see massive differences between the products.

The Four Best Bouldering Hand Creams in Detail

1. ClimbOn Bar

ClimbOn Lotion Bar

Essential Info

  • Size: 57g
  • Type: Bar
  • Natural: Yes

Our Verdict

ClimbOn is the name that resonates when speaking about bouldering hand cream. Although, it is not a cream it is a salve! It is respected the world over, and many boulderers use it. It’s made from 100% natural ingredients, and combines different oils and is suitable for all types of skin.

We recommend putting it on at night, as once you put it on you don’t want to touch anything for a while. It is not tested on animals either, so that is an added plus. We found it helps skin recover, but does not make it too soft. This is essential when you want to climb hard often. The price is ok too! Here at TopBouldering, it is our favourite.

Get the ClimbOn Bar!

2. Crimp Oil – Original

Essential Info

  • Size: 30ml
  • Type: Oil
  • Natural: Yes

Our Verdict

Made with 100% organic blend of essential oils this is a top-end bouldering hand oil. The natural plant extract acts as an anti-inflammatory and also a pain reliever. It’s a great product if you are experiencing finger pain or looking to prevent injuries.

The idea of Crimp Oil is to keep your fingers in great shape and promote healthy muscles. It can be applied up to three or four times a day and it gives your hands the care they need to repair, but not to the point where they get too soft.

Get Crimp Oil – Original!

3. Metolius Hand Balm

Essential Info

  • Size: 14g
  • Type: Salve
  • Natural: Yes

Our Verdict

This is also a salve, but it is not bar-shaped. It is more like a vaseline tin, where you put your finger in and scoop some out. That is probably the main reason why it ranked lower than the bouldering hand creams on this list. Once again the products are natural, with beeswax, almond oil, mango oil, and jojoba all making appearances.

The best thing about this product is the fact that you can buy it in either 14g or 28g packages. The smaller version is cheaper and is very affordable. This means you can give it a go at a cheap price.

Get Metolius Hand Balm!

4. Rhino Skin Performance

Essential Info

  • Size: 30ml
  • Type: Lotion
  • Natural: Yes

Our Verdict

The first lotion on this list is the Rhino Performance Cream. It is hydrating, regenerative, and cleansing. It is made with earth-grown ingredients and smells very nice. If you have beat up hands it really does help your performance. It is on the expensive side, however.

What must also be noted is that your hands will soften more with this one than other products. We would say be careful not to overapply this bouldering hand cream, as you may end up regretting it! Even so, for stopping broken skin it is really effective.

Get Rhino Skin Performance!

How to Choose Bouldering Hand Cream

There is no other way than to try it. You can read the ingredients list and make sure you are not allergic to anything, other than that it is largely personal preference. Of course, things like the price will also sway your decision. Mainly, it is simply a good idea to try.

Taking Care of Your Hands With Bouldering Hand Cream

We have already detailed how to take care of bouldering calluses, and using cream is an essential part of that. By staying on top of your hands, you will allow yourself the opportunity to boulder more. We recommend using hand cream as part of your hand care routine.

List of Bouldering Hand Cream

No we are nearing the end of this review of bouldering hand cream we thought we’d provide the overall list with each one ranked by category:

  • ClimbOn Bar – Best Bouldering Hand Cream
  • Crimp Oil – Original – Top for Finger Pain
  • Metolius Hand Balm – Most Affordable
  • Rhino Skin Performance – For Elite Climbers

As you see, you have some top options available to you. We recommend giving a couple of them a go and seeing what works best.

Overall: Not Much Difference in Bouldering Hand Cream

Let’s be honest, when it comes to bouldering hand cream, balm, wax, salve or anything it is generally a personal choice. Most of the top end products are similar in what they bring to the table. As always, the best way to go is to try for yourself. You’ll so find you have a preference.

Check out some other bouldering gear reviews, for other types of products, like the best bouldering shoes.


We have come to the end of our review of bouldering hand cream, yet all is not lost! We have gathered some of the most frequently asked questions in the section below. Have a look to see if they interest you.

What is the best bouldering hand cream?

As always, we’d say this is a personal choice. Nevertheless, our team has picked the ClimbOn Bar as the top all-round performer. It helps exponentially with skin recovery, ensuring you can always climb hard!

How do you treat you hands after bouldering?

One of the main things you need to do when bouldering is take care of your hands. Make sure calluses don’t get too big, to avoid them ripping off, and keep your skin in top condition by using cream, or other products.

Should I use oil, salve or cream for my hands after bouldering?

As we have mentioned throughout the review, this is purely a personal preference. Some boulderer swear by salves, others by lotions, and others by cream. If you are not sure, we’d say try a couple out and see which ones work best.