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Black Diamond Chaos Harness Review

11-Nov-2013
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Black Diamond Chaos
www.bdel.com $124.95

The new Chaos harness is Black Diamond’s premier “all around” rig that strikes the perfect balance between a lightweight construction, total comfort, full lumbar support and durability.

At 14 ounces, the Chaos is light and handles the brutal rigors of the real world.

Gear geeks will want to know that the new swami-belt technology is also used in the latest NASA spacesuits, while the rest of us may be duly satisfied with the five-star review and B.I.G. award. The swami is built on a three-layer laminate of liquid crystal polymer (LCP) that Black Diamond is calling “Kinetic Core Construction.” The tri-laminate of LCP evenly distributes the load across the entire structure. While this is not a new concept in harness technology, its union with enough (but not too much) breathable padding is what distinguishes the Chaos harness.

The harness has a pre-threaded buckle on the waist-belt that should help eliminate any chance that someone would forget to double-back the harness. I found it somewhat difficult to take the harness off and put it on while keeping the buckle pre-threaded. This could be because I tested a medium when I really needed a large—or it could be because the webbing was a little short (though any longer, and it would’ve flopped around, which I hate).

This was ultimately a small gripe that never detracted from how well the harness performed. I was always comfortable holding my partner’s full weight while belaying, or hangdogging my project. Even on hot days the harness never felt too sweaty. Nothing chaffed. I loved the shape and position of the four gear loops and, best of all, after nearly eight months of hard abuse, the belay loop and tie-in points still look new—which has definitely not been my experience with many lightweight harnesses on today’s market.

* Kinetic Core Construction uses a breathable and supportive liquid crystal polymer laminate to distribute the load over the whole swami belt.
* Four pressure-molded gear loops sit off the harness, making it easy to rack gear.
* Burly belay loop and tie-in points resist wear.
* Only 14 oz.
Recommended for: All types of roped climbing.

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