Below you’ll find our review on the G7 Hand Jam 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).

The G7 Hand Jam
The Hand Jam crack glove from Grade VII performing admirably in Devil's Lake quartzite despite having no backing rubber. Located in Sauk, Fox, Myaamia, Očhéthi Šakówiŋ, & Ho-Chunk territories

Fit Overview

Fit Overview for G7 Hand Jam Crack Glove

Brand Sizing – Fit fairly well as recommended, though they do stretch a lot. Sizing down is recommended if you are near the bottom of the range.

  • When worn at the recommended size, these gloves fit pretty well out of the box. As we’ve tested and put some wear on them, the gloves have softened and stretched considerably, which leads to a baggier feel over time. Undersizing hasn’t shown too many problems for those at the bottom of their recommended range thanks to the ample finger holes, and often have led to a much better feel overall after the gloves break in. The recommended size that has stretched still fits well, but the feel is more loose; we compare this to a leather upper climbing shoe which fits and feels more comfortable over time, but doesn’t feel ‘snug’ like it used to.

Hand coverage – Some of the best coverage out there. When sized as recommended, everything but your thumb is well protected.

  • One of the big choices Grade VII made when designing these gloves was to make them from a single die-cut piece of leather. This means that in order for the glove to conform to the curve of the hand, there had to be ample room in the thumb hole for the base of the thumb to pivot through the glove when in different positions. The result is a very large thumb hole and zero thumb knuckle coverage. We found that taping the thumb adequately before putting the Hand Jam on showed no issues, but it is a step you’ll need to consider if you want to do wider jams with protection.
  • Thanks to that choice of soft, pliable leather, the Hand Jam has the best and most comfortable wrist protection in the gloves we’ve tried. It is the second tallest glove by comparison (the Black Diamond glove is a bit longer overall) but the thickness of the leather feels just right when you’re jamming around a hard corner or forearm-deep in a gnarly stack.
  • Knuckle coverage is great at the recommended sizing, but keep in mind that soft leather becomes a bit loose as the glove breaks in. Sizing down may help overall performance (similarly to a leather climbing shoe) but does reduce the amount of leather that covers the sides of the knuckles. (see the Stretch Comparison below.)

Jamming Performance – Pretty average to good overall. Thinner jams can be finicky with a looser-fit glove, and wider fists require tape for the thumb.

  • When performing finger jams and stacks, the laminate material that serves as the glove structure and liner can sometimes bunch up and catch on the palm side around the fingers, especially for those in the Medium and smaller demographic. We’ve had at least one person tell us they took scissors to their gloves and trimmed this material back a bit for this reason(!). Larger-sized hands had less issue with the amount of material between the fingers.
  • When undersized they had less issue with catching on the edges of thin hand jams, and the thickness of the leather can add a bit of volume in rattly hands, though we found it can take a bit of trial and error depending on how thick your hand is. Those with naturally skinny fingers were more likely to add tape under the glove and sausage hands preferred to undersize for more security in baggier hand sizes. We also noted a bit of bunching on the back of the glove in perfect-to-wide hand jams once the gloves break in. The leather seems to smooth itself out and roll better than other gloves we’ve tested with this issue, but it is worth noting that we haven’t noticed this when downsizing (see Stretch Comparison).
  • Unless you are already rocking thick thumb knuckle calluses, you’re going to want tape for fist jams. We found those who tested with us were split on the lack of rubber backing when it comes to wider jams. Some simply wanted the padding that the leather provides (which is nice for abrasion and small features in cracks) and liked how they simply made their hands thicker. Others found that the lack of rubber structure compared to other crack gloves made the Hand Jam feel floppy and sort of not helpful. Our takeaway is that this line seemed to draw between those with stronger jamming technique (and maybe a history of using tape or nothing at all) and those looking to protect their hands and use the gloves to gain advantage in a wider jam. Again, this equates well to a leather slipper climbing shoe on the foot of an experienced crack climber who simply needs protection: the shoe is soft and doesn’t offer a ton of support, and relies on the muscles and technique of the person wearing it.

Stretch Comparison of the G7 Hand Jam Crack Glove
This hand measures at 21.5mm, which is .5mm above Medium (red liner) and barely .5mm above the bottom of Large (yellow liner) according to Grade VII's recommendation. We tested these gloves at various sizes and found others 'between sizes' like this to have similar results. Note the bagginess of the L glove once it has worn in causes looseness around the knuckle in a hand jam vs the M (left and center) and the rolling above the wrist when performing a fist jam. (bottom right)

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

Comfort & Feel

Comfort & Feel of G7 Hand Jam

Finger Comfort – Good. The material between the fingers can feel wide at first, but it is thin and soft enough to fold and bunch comfortably. Some of the largest finger holes we’ve tested.

  • The choice to make these gloves from leather is another payoff here. If you can imagine simply cutting the fingers off a pair of nice leather gloves, you wouldn’t be far off as far as the way these feel. The holes are ample and even those with the largest fingers we’ve ever seen didn’t have much trouble taking them on and off.
  • One thing to note is that the flat construction of the G7 Hand Jam involves laminating a thin synthetic film to the single piece of leather, which means the finger holes have a bit of a rigid feel to them compared to the softness of the rest of the glove. When new, this can feel almost like sticking your fingers through thin cardboard and is a bit unexpected. However once the gloves warm up they become flexible and by the time you’re at the top of your first climb you all but forget about it.

Glove Stiffness – Soft. Almost nonexistent.

  • A completely rubber-free glove is a (nearly) completely soft one. There is a thin synthetic fabric that is bonded to the inside of each glove, but importantly not the entire glove. This liner provides structure around the wrist and fingers and durability at the critical areas that are under the most stress when pulling hard on a jam, but G7 wisely left it off of the center where the glove contacts the back of the hand. The result is a glove so floppy that it can easily be jammed in any pocket, yet still feel structured and robust on the hand.
  • The leather is very high quality and comfortable and it was not uncommon for climber to report they had forgotten they wore the gloves on a day long adventure, only noticing when they went to wash their hands for dinner.

Padding – A bit more than you’d think considering they are leather-only. Decent at relieving pressure on tiny features and rounded craggy crack edges, but lacking a lot when large chunky crystals and nubbins are present.

  • Most users have reported being surprised by the amount of padding a small amount of leather provides, which has more than once resulted in a motivation for seeking its limitations. For the most part the padding needed by those with more jamming experience using no gloves found the padding more than adequate, while those less used to the pain of a jam in rock found them ok to not great, especially when comparing to any other glove with rubber on it.
  • Smaller, sharp features like those found in limestone didn’t seem to bother most users, but when attempting jams on chunkier conglomerates, the lack of rubber is quite obvious.

Glove Height – Very high. Some of the most wrist protection, even if sizing down. Oversized gloves can bunch at the back of the hand when broken in a bit, so we recommend staying on the smaller end of fit to avoid this.

  • This is almost the tallest glove we’ve tried. One of the main reasons we measure this is because we’ve found it can tell a lot about the overall feel of the glove when matched with its stiffness. A tall, stiff glove feels clunky, but a short stiff glove can seem beefy. The G7 Hand Jam is the opposite of both of these; tall, flexible and supple.
  • Their flexible construction means you never feel like you’re fighting them for wrist movement like we found in other models, so your wrist stays protected without feeling like it is hostage to the rest of the gloves performance.
  • As we mentioned above, the finger holes are ample so we found that downsizing this glove didn’t cause nearly the same amount of pulling on the finger webbing we encountered with other models. Because the material is also so soft, any pulling felt more like what you would expect from a driving glove than something foreign pulling between your fingers.

Build Features

Build Features of the G7 Hand Jam Crack Glove

Notable Features – Things that are only found on the G7 Hand Jam Crack Glove

  • The obvious first thing about the G7 Hand Jam is the total lack of rubber. As mentioned several times above, this design decision has resulted in a comfortable, soft, all-day wearing glove that offers a great amount of abrasion protection and flexibility while jamming, if only at the expense of greater padding for cracks with sharp, uneven formations in them.
  • The Hand Jam comes in 5 sizes from XS to XL each one with its own colored laminate liner which also serves to provide reinforcement and structure to the glove. One of the biggest “bummer” comments we’ve gotten from folks who has tried on and tested the G7 is that they can’t get them in their size in a preferred color. To be fair, the color choices are pretty great. However it is worth noting that when you’re wearing the glove, all the color is hidden on the inside, so no worries about clashing with your Euro-chic color scheme.
  •  These gloves have by far the widest wrist strap out there. This width means they feel very secure once you get them on and almost like the cuff of a shirt as you’re wearing them. Some folks with particularly thin wrists noted having some sensory issues just because of the bulk of the closure, so be aware they can get feel a little rattly if you’re on the very narrow end of the spectrum. We have noticed that the small ring of plastic between the leather and laminate around the closure loop has definitely done its job keeping the most worn gloves we’ve used intact.

Performance on Rock

General Rock Experience for the G7 Hand Jam Crack Glove

Overall the performance of the G7 Hand Jam has been average to good. Whenever we lay all the crack glove options out, these Hand Jam’s and Black Diamond’s Crack Gloves are always the first picked.

We have to say this is one of the most middle of the pack gloves when they hit rock in terms of an excellent all-rounder; they’re not particularly great at any one thing, but also not bad at all. The most consistently ‘good’ feedback we’ve gotten as far as rock and jam style has been from those who are coming from experience of either using tape gloves, partially taping for certain jams, or using no protection at all.

If you’re an experienced crack aficionado and need a layer of protection for fast morning ascents, like to romp up Bastille without showing up to work with tape gloves on, these are a great choice. 

In the types of crack and rock that most folks climb with minimal taping, such as sandstone and the grippy granite of Yosemite, they are a great little extra layer of protection and are much easier to don and doff than tape for sure.

When put to the test in the chunkier, flat crystalline jams of quartzite they held their own, though not noticeably better than others we’ve tried and in the sharp, gravelly offwidths of Vedauwoo where tape gloves can sometimes take a roll per hand, their lack of rubber felt woefully inadequate.

They are the most comfortable all-day gloves we’ve tried. On long, hot, 18hr days they stayed with us, stayed dry, and were removable to swap into belay gloves, which is more than we can say for taping up.

The G7 Hand Jam are a good option for those who aren’t looking for sticky rubber, padding or structure. Like all crack gloves, they are way easier to deal with than removing all you knuckle hair or for those with allergies to tape; those needing more than skin coverage from a glove might do better with a bit more structured glove.

And they should last for years due to the leather construction. Which is good because these gloves are currently the most expensive on the market at $80 US dollars. Fortunately, there is also a 2-year warranty – which no other crack glove offers. So far, we’ve heard many a complaint of other crack gloves dying all too soon (days, weeks, months), which is not a complaint we’ve heard about the G7 Hand Jam.

Online Buying Options

You can buy these gloves directly from G7’s website. It can be hard to find them elsewhere currently.