Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Review: Black Diamond Momentum Harness

I recently bought the newest version of BD’s Momentum harness. The new harness has several upgrades and technical improvements that made it worth the buy. What I am most excited about is that they added an elastic Velcro band to prevent you from having to do yoga moves to keep your harness on your waste while strapping in. The material is also finer making it much more comfortable and allows it to glide through the buckles with more ease.

Overall the weight of the harness seems significantly less as well. The fabric seems to be much less rigid and the foam more comfortable. My biggest complaint about their previous version was that the plastic “stays” on the waste belt portion that hold the gear loops into place would dig into your waste if you were hang dogging or if you were belaying someone who was hang dogging. That was one of the most annoying things I had ever experienced about a harness. Luckily, this is not the case with the new version.

Although the new version is much more comfortable than the previous, my first day out I took two really big whippers and had bruises on my waste I had never experienced before that lasted about four days. I am not sure of the harness constricts more or if I am just gaining weight.

Black Diamonds description of the Momentum harness:

“The Momentum is functional across all disciplines. The waistbelt and leg loops are padded with seven millimeter closed-cell foam for comfort and lined with BD-Lux for breathability. The anatomically contoured, bullhorn-shaped waistbelt and Y-style leg loops allow unrestricted movement yet still provide support. An excellent, affordable all-around harness, it is equipped with four molded gear loops and a full-strength haul loop, so it’ll hold enough draws for a bolted endurance fest or enough pro for a gear-eating crack.”

I agree with everything except the last statement. That is actually my only complaint with this harness is that the gear loops are super small and really only hold about 5-6 draws each – not ideal for trad climbing or long multi-pitch routes requiring a lot of gear. Also, the main loops connected by the belay loop is smaller and a little harder to work with. It’s not restrictive, but will take a little getting used to.

Overall I would give it a 9 out of 10. Here’s the breakdown:

Waste belt: 10
Leg belts: 10
Belay loop and connected harness straps: 8
Gear loops: 7
Comfort: 10
Weight: 10
Ease of use: 10

Price: Low at $43


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