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Climbing Harnesses

Black Diamond Momentum Speed Harness

This season, Black Diamond has introduced swami belts with compression-molded foam to their new harnesses.The design provides incredible support and comfort from the sacrum to the lower lumbar.

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Black Diamond Momentum Speed Harness $64.95
www.bdel.com

2Œ-Stars

This season, Black Diamond has introduced swami belts with compression-molded foam to their new harnesses.The design provides incredible support and comfort from the sacrum to the lower lumbar.

The Momentum Speed gets its name for the speed buckle system. The harness has four buckles, two at the waist, and one for each leg loop. The buckles are pre-threaded, and don’t require doubling back. The ends of the buckles are wrapped in a pull-tab that, when the harness is snugly on, helps release the buckles so you can loosen the harness and remove it quickly.

This harness is extremely comfortable and it has smart safety features like the pre-threaded buckles, but it contains a few flaws. First, having more than one waist buckle is superfluous. Two ostensibly allow for a precise fit, one where the belay loop is perfectly centered; but who’s ever had a problem centering the belay loop? For me, the extra buckle on the waist just adds one more thing to futz with.

The speed buckles are also excessive. It seems contradictory that you’d want a device that gets your harness off quickly and easily. Even the leg loops come with this feature, which allowed my leg loops to creep loose over the course of the day.

The biggest problem with the Momentum Speed, however, is the placement of the gear loops, which interfere with the waist-belt webbing. When the gear loops move up and down as you clip and unclip gear, they jostle the webbing so it’s no longer flush against the swami belt, making it easy to accidentally clip gear to the webbing.