Below you’ll find our review on the Black Diamond Crack Gloves. We tested every crack glove we could get our hands on and compare the pros and cons against all the other glove options out there. (Future reference, you can see every model of crack gloves on WeighMyRack.com/crackglove).

Hand jam with the Black Diamond Crack Glove
Kaela showing how the BD crack glove deforms in flaring hand jams. Vedauwoo, Wyoming - hinono’eino’ biito’owu’ (Arapaho), Tséstho’e (Cheyenne) & Očhéthi Šakówiŋ lands.

Fit Overview

Fit overview for black diamond crack glove

Brand Sizing – Accurate, though thumb loop can be small for thick fingers.

  • These gloves tend to run pretty accurate to what BD recommends. Due to their soft nature, they can be undersized and stretched a bit, though caution should be taken that the thumb and finger holes are a bit tight if you have thick fingers (and are known to rip if not careful taking them on/off). The finger loops are sewn and thin, so undersizing greatly increases chance of tear out.

Hand coverage – Some of the most hand coverage in the gloves we’ve tested.

  • The thumb cuff is a bit tight, but makes up for it because it also has rubber for added grip when the jams get wide.
  • The outer wrist coverage is fantastic, soft, and flexible. The thinner nature of this glove means that it doesn’t have the most padding for wrist-deep jams, but we have found they reduce abrasion well.
  • Knuckle coverage – These are some of the widest gloves at the knuckles, offering very good back of hand protection at nearly every size.

Jamming Performance – We recommend using these for hands and fists.

  • These gloves performed ok in thinner hand jamming situations. Their thin materials definitely don’t hinder jamming like some other gloves we have tested, but we have heard and seen multiple accounts of folks tearing and rolling the finger loops when performing the knuckle-twisting types of maneuvers usually required in thin cracks.
  • One of the best performing hand jam gloves we’ve found. Their thin rubber backing doesn’t offer as much padding as some, but their softness and sewn 3D shape means they stick with you and offer just that little extra bit of protection in the areas you’ll want it most. If you’re used to tape gloves, this is a great crack glove to start out with.
  • For fists/stacks, we found slightly similar results as hands. Because they are sewn into a molded ‘shape’ rather than simply flat, they feel like tape more than any other glove out there. We added points for the thumb coverage which is really handy when you are in your perfect size for a fist jam, but we had to take some away for durability, because the wrenching motions while hanging full body weight on a stack definitely can be too much without some added tape.

Fist Jam Comparison - Black Diamond Crack Glove
Various fist jams from narrow to wide. The thumb cuff definitely helps add some extra protection in these forms.

READ MORE
An entire blog post dedicated to how to fit crack gloves.
How To Fit Crack Gloves

Comfort & Feel

Comfort overview of Black Diamond Crack Glove

Finger Comfort – Top marks thanks to ‘3D stitching’.

  • The Black Diamond Crack Glove is one of the two gloves we’ve tested with sewn finger loops. The stitching is made with flat thread which is pressed so flat into the microfiber backing that you can’t tell it is there.
  • The resulting ‘loop’ shape from this technique means that even when undersized, the finger loops mold to the shape of the finger and never really pull on the webbing, making them a very comfortable all-day choice.

Glove Stiffness – Like a second layer of skin.

  • These have some of the thinnest glove body material out there, making them extremely flexible and soft to the touch.
    The rubber backing is cut into a complex shape that creates a great balance of padding where you need it, while leaving the rest of the glove as suede to maximize flexibility.
  • The result is a ‘3D” shape that feels more like a second layer of skin than a glove.

Padding – A bit lacking; best used in splitter cracks.

  • The thin nature of this glove and rubber means that it sits pretty low on the spectrum of padding.
  • We found that the BD glove performs best in cracks with smoother sides such as sandstone or granite splitter cracks, and was a bit anemic feeling in chunkier cracks with crystals and uneven edges.
  • The soft microfiber suede BD chose for this glove works perfectly with the thin, textured rubber backing. Though there isn’t a ton of padding, the over-all coverage provides the most abrasion protection out of all the gloves we tested. This is the wear-all-day crack glove.

Glove Height – Tall gloves mean lots of wrist protection.

  • These are some of the tallest gloves out there, which means they offer top level coverage for the back of the wrist.
  • A taller glove means a lower wrist strap, which can create a different fit depending on your hand height. BD manages this well with the triangular pad for the loop side of the closer, which we found helps dial fit very well.

Build Features

Build features of the Black Diamond Crack Glove

Notable Features – Things that are only found on the Black Diamond Glove

  • Sewn finger and thumb loops – As we mentioned above, this is the biggest advantage in terms of long-term comfort and BD nailed it. A word of warning: though we haven’t experienced this personally, the thin suede of these finger loops have been reported to blow out on more than a couple occasions. This may be due to folks undersizing their gloves, or having above average thickness of fingers. If you have big mitts, be aware this can be a weak point.
  • Textured backing rubber – Definitely not something we have found to provide a huge advantage overall, though on certain rock types that are prone to polishing (certain basalts and limestones for example) they feel a bit more secure than flat rubber.
  • Triangular hook and loop pad – This feature greatly improves the ‘dialability’ of this glove for different shaped wrists. Folks with longer hands or thicker wrists can angle the strap down slightly to sit in a more comfortable spot. Not a make or break for everyone, but some have found it quite nice to have.

Performance on Rock

General Rock Experience for the Black Diamond Crack Glove

Overall the performance of the BD glove on various rock was fairly consistent with what we found for most of the gloves we’ve tested. The key takeaways with where this glove performed best had to do with the consistency of the inside of the crack and its shape. They have felt the most secure and natural on softer sandstone and in splitter, even cracks. Once the shape of the crack starts to flare out (where the crack is wider on the outside than the inside) their thinner materials lack the structure to feel quite as secure. Though the textured rubber helps a bit on smoother, glassy rock, their low amount of padding makes them a bit more painful to squeeze the back of the hand in rock types that break with sharp corners or crystals.

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