Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Climbing Harnesses

Black Diamond Solution Guide

The Solution Guide is the new trad-oriented take on BD’s stalwart Solution, which has been through multiple iterations.

Lock Icon

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

All Access
Fall Sale
$1.52 / week*

  • A $500 value with 25+ benefits including:
  • Access to all member-only content on all 17 publications in the Outside network like Rock and Ice, Climbing, Outside, Backpacker, Trail Runner and more
  • Annual subscription to Climbing magazine.
  • Annual gear guides for climbing, camping, skiing, cycling, and more
  • Gaia GPS Premium with hundreds of maps and global trail recommendations, a $39.99 value
  • Today’s Plan training platform with customized training plans
  • Premium access to Outside TV and 1,000+ hours of exclusive shows
  • Annual subscription to Outside magazine
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

MSRP: $99.95

BEST FOR: Anything, but especially multipitch trad

“Kevlar” was the word that jumped to my mind the first time I handled Black Diamond’s new Solution Guide Harness—the outer fabric, dubbed Super Fabric by BD, felt like it would be damn-near bulletproof. It isn’t, to be sure; but after putting it through the wringer on real rock, my first impressions proved correct: this thing is pretty dang granite-proof, sandstone-proof, limestone-proof, etc. There’s no rock that’s going to tear or abrade this thing.  

The Solution Guide is a new take on BD’s stalwart Solution, which has been through multiple iterations. Whereas the regular Solution harness is geared toward sport climbers, the Guide version is designed for tradsters. 

Black Diamond Solution Guide side view

The biggest changes have to do with the materials inside the harness itself. The waistbelt has three parallel, slightly stretchy strips of webbing running its entire length. Also present in the leg loops, this construction helps distribute your weight better, which makes sense—think of it like a hammock. The shape of the waistbelt is subtly different, too. Whereas the prior Solution’s waistbelt was widest above the hips, the new waistbelt is widest at the very back. Throw in slightly thicker padding along the hips, and it all means the harness doesn’t cut into my love-handles—er, obliques—as much at those pesky hanging belays.

The Solution Guide still has four gear loops, but the one closest to the front on each side is longer than it used to be. This means you can fit an extra couple cams or other doodads on each side without annoying bunching. The firm, yet still flexible plastic of the loops (not new) is ideal for trad, as even with heavier gear they don’t sag toward the center. Everything stays nice and neat. Our biggest wish for this harness was that all the gear loops were more spacious still—unlike some other trad-specific harnesses, usable space is still at a premium.

The Solution Guide does have a new fifth, fabric gear loop at the very back— which is convenient for storing any gear you know you don’t need at that moment—but it isn’t useful for gear you’ll actually need while cruxing out.

Other facets of the new Solution Guide remain largely unchanged. The $99.95 price tag is middle of the road compared to other high-end trad-specific harnesses. At 14 ounces, the new Guide version is a couple ounces heavier than the regular Solution, but for the added comfort it’s a no-brainer.

—Michael Levy

Men’s

Buy Now

Women’s

Buy Now

We have opted to use affiliate links in our gear reviews. Every time you buy something after clicking on links in our gear articles you’re helping support our magazine.