Below you’ll find our review on both the Ocun Crack Gloves and Ocun Lite 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. We chose to combine these two gloves into one review because they are more similar than not, and their differences are easiest to understand and discuss when they are side by side. (Future reference, you can see every model of crack gloves on

Fit Overview

Fit Overview for Ocún Crack Glove and Crack Glove Lite

Brand Sizing – Pretty accurate for most. Can be worn undersized up to 1cm for thinner jams, with increased wrist discomfort and risk for thumb loop tear out on Original model. Those with larger fingers or knuckles might choose Lite version for larger finger and thumb loops.

  • We’ve found that both the Original and Lite models from Ocún fit relatively the same and as recommended. Those seeking thinner jams may want the Lite model and look into sizing down to lower the bulk of the glove a bit.
  • Original model can also be worn oversized which almost provides a bit of thumb coverage, though it does become extremely chunky. The strap on the Lite is very long and may not be able to tighten enough if oversized.

note: One of the most common fail points for the original crack glove (black leather finger loops) is the thumb loop. All of the ones that have broken in the small sample of people we’ve talked to were sized down originals. The Lite model (red leather finger loops) has changed the shape and increased the size of the finger holes, we think at least partially to combat this.

Hand coverage – Below average, but fine for hand jams. Knuckle coverage is on the lower end for both models tested. Lite model adds slightly more protection for the palm and heel, but doesn’t completely cover wrist bone. Those seeking fists may want to size up or add tape.

  • When compared across all crack gloves, both models of Ocún’s crack gloves cover some of the least skin, with the Lite measuring an average of just a few mm narrower than the Original.
  • They both lack adequate thumb coverage for jams wider than narrow fists, and due to their short height don’t cover the back of the wrist as well as others. This is compensated a bit by the palm and heel coverage which is welcome in flares and stacks.
  • Those with sensitive skin might bring some tape along to supplement for deep or wide jams.

Jamming Performance – Above average to good, especially in wider hands and narrow fists. Narrow jams get better with Lite version and both can be improved when worn undersized with a decrease in durability.

  • Thinner jams can be a pain depending on the thickness of your hands, though we did get slightly better results by sizing the gloves down and using Lite which have a bit less knuckle padding. Sausage mitts had trouble getting into good position.
  • Both the Lite and Original excel at adding mass and protection to hands while still maintaining enough sensitivity in medium to large hands and narrow fist jams. For many people just learning from us about crack gloves, this size and glove combo has been an ‘aha’ moment in feeling a secure jam.
  • Narrow stacks fall into place securely, though larger fist stacks tend to abrade the thumb and wrists without additional tape.
Crack Glove Review - Ocún & Ocún Lite Crack Gloves 1
The overall hand coverage of the Ocún Lite Crack Glove hasn't increased notably from the previous version, with a slight increase in the wrist and palm area. They have however expanded the size of the leather that makes up the finger loops considerably which means a more comfortable fit overall. The thumb loop on the Lite has been increased in both size and material from the black version which greatly improves mobility and reduces strain.

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

Comfort & Feel

Comfort and Feel for Ocún Crack Glove and Crack Glove Lite

Finger Comfort – Moderately good for Original and better for Lite. Both use soft leather, though Lite version has slightly larger holes and a better position for the thumb.

  • As we mentioned earlier, the Original model has suffered from some tear out problems resulting from the hole being too small and high on the glove (or perhaps poor glove sizing). The leather is comfortable and stretches well, but will eventually break if sized down too far.
  • Lite version finger loops are much larger if not slightly baggy resulting in a more comfortable all-day feel than the Original.

Glove Stiffness – Fairly stiff but still offering a bit of flexibility. Updated shape in rubber cutout on Lite model pinches less, but makes glove slightly less flexible than Original.

  • Ocún has found one of the best balances of stiffness and mobility in the Crack Glove and the Lite version has even improved it slightly. The ‘crown’ shape cut out from the backing rubber allows flex but not so much that the glove deforms while making tough jams. You don’t however have the complete range of a lighter glove like the GradeVII Hand Jam, and they do limit some movement and can pinch in some situations.
  • The updated shape of the Lite model seems to pinch a bit less than the Original when bent backward, though the opening is larger and provides a little less rubber as a result.

Padding – A good amount, almost the most we’ve tested, though more flexibly usable than its cousins. Hides unevenness in cracks well without feeling too numb and protects from some sharp irregularities. Both models suffer from occasional ‘poke-through’ of a rock in the rubber cutout on backing.

  • Ocún has long been thought of as the brand that makes ‘the thick gloves’ and reasonably so. This level of padding is almost the thickest available, especially when you include the knuckle padding sewn inside each glove.
  • The rubber used on each glove (there are 2 different types) is stiff enough to absorb some sharpness but still flexible for moderate feedback. Interestingly (and contrary to its name) the Lite version rubber is actually thicker.
  • One drawback on both models is the potential for rocks and edges to press on the cut away rubber sections where there is no padding. This has resulted in more than a couple cursing howls during blind jams when a protrusion has found the hand bone of an unsuspecting jammer.

Glove Height – Tied for the second shortest there is. Both models can leave the wrist bone fully exposed and ultimately be a bit lacking for those with long hands.

  • Though the Lite version has had its glove elongated for better finger placement over the Original, the rubber backing still sits and performs the same coverage for both, which sits just above or across the middle of the wrist for most users.
  • It is common for users to opt for additional taping, especially if deep and blind jams are on the menu.

Build Features

Build Features for Ocún Crack Glove and Crack Glove Lite

Notable Features – Things that are only found on the Ocún Crack Glove and Crack Glove Lite.

  • Probably the most stand out feature that has so far only appeared on crack gloves from Ocún is sewn-in athletic mesh knuckle padding. These sections of mesh feel similar to the inside of a backpack strap or mesh harness, and actually do quite a good job at adding absorption of pressure and wicking away moisture. One of the key differences in the Lite crack glove is Ocún have opted to shorten this pad and concentrated it solely above the knuckles. It feels lighter while wearing it, but when it comes to jamming we only notice a difference in fitting slightly easier in narrow fists and thin hands.
  • Another pioneering feature on both of Ocún’s gloves is the scallop-shaped cutout in the backing rubber that allows it to articulate and flex. Their differing shapes don’t seem to have any advantage over one another, but they both function well at providing noticeable flexibility for such a stiff glove. It isn’t perfect, and these gloves are much stiffer than many models, but nowhere as stiff as those without this feature.

note: we have had a couple instances of rocks, crystals or sharp edges sneaking their way over the opening in the glove backing, resulting in an unexpected shock of pain from the lack of rubber. Be aware this is something to look out for in deep cracks where you can’t see the walls.

  • Similar to Singing Rock’s Craggy the wrist strap passes through a large section of rubber-backed leather that wraps around and protects the base of the hand (sometimes called the heel) and a wide strip of the inside of the wrist. This has been a point of tear out for more than a few folks we’ve talked to using the Original model, but we haven’t seen this yet with the updated and expanded rubber on the Lite.

Performance on Rock

Rock Experience for Ocún Crack Glove and Crack Glove Lite

When it comes to moderate to extremely narrow jams, the performance of each model of Crack Gloves from Ocún depends on the climber’s hand thickness more than anything else. If you have meaty mitts it is likely you will struggle to get into a crack just because of the bulk of these gloves. This bulk makes medium hands and narrow fits in sandstone and granite feel secure and grippy and have often been a reference point for climbers on hw a ‘good jam’ is supposed to feel.

When they do fit in a crack, both models strike a great balance of structure and flexibility and the slightly stickier rubber on the Lite model is a notable improvement on flaring jams and when friction starts to wane on more polished and trafficked rock. Jaggy rock like limestone and quartz have been ok in some instances, though when the need to protect against actual painful jams on crystals, we sometimes opted for other gloves.

As cracks widen and stacks become necessary we have found the shorter rise to make the building of tight stacks easier than most gloves, and often opt to tape the wrists and thumbs for a ‘mini tape glove’ to supplement the lack of coverage here. The Lite model performs better here as well as the finger loops are more accommodating and the thicker rubber helps absorb a bit more pressure.

Overall there is a reason that Ocúns gloves have been considered a standard in thicker hand protection for years, and it is great to see the issues with previous models being tuned and adjusted to create a quiver of options rather than attempting to create a ‘one glove’ to rule them all. Those who had a chance to use their first iteration should feel good about the Lite fitting like their chunkier ancestors but being more agile in performance with some welcome tweaks.

Sizing up helps the Crack Glove’s longevity, and sizing down helps the Lite fit into thinner jams. Bring a pair or two of these and some tape for the wide stuff and most jams will be in reach.

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Jeff Jaramillo

Jeff Jaramillo

Jeff currently lives in the Midwest and spends most of his free time answering questions nobody asked. When not plugging gear on moderate warmups and calling it a day, he can be found whining about whipping on bolts in the gym or at the local pub waxing poetic about climbing saving humanity and the planet.

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