Alpine harnesses are the ninjas of the alpine world. They are ultra-light and compact and can remain hidden in the tiniest corner of a pack until the assault begins. Black Diamond's new Couloir Harness exemplifies what you want and need in an alpine harness. It weighs just 8 ounces and is as spare as a Zen garden. The snap-on, snap-off quick-release plastic fasteners on the leg loops make donning the harness simple even when you are wearing gloves and crampons. The legs adjust to fit anyone from a ballerina to a sumo wrestler. Like most alpine harnesses, the Couloir waist belt has scant padding and the leg straps are basic webbing, keeping the weight down and relying on winter clothing for cushion, if in fact it is ever needed. Two gear loops keep mountain necessities like screws and flukes at hand.
Ironically, the Couloir's closest competition might well be Black Diamond's own and highly popular Alpine Bod. I've worn both, and while fond of the Bod, now prefer the Couloir, which weighs 7 ounces less, is just as easy to get off and on, and has a very handy belay loop.