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Indecision: Which BD harness?


Original Post
Maddy G · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 0

I have had the BD Primrose for 3 years. The waist strap is extremely fuzzy so I'm in the market for a new one. I'm pretty much sold on BD harnesses because of their lovely lovely gear loops. I work in a climbing gym so I spend a fair amount of time wearing my harness standing around or top rope belaying for long periods of time, so belaying comfort is key. 

I heard a rumor that the current Primose is different than the one I purchased in 2015 (mine has the speed buckle, trakFit leg loops, etc). I really like my Primrose except for its lack of breathability so I'm not opposed to getting it again. I'm also considering the Solution and the Zone. 

TL;DR --  I have a BD Primrose <3  but it's worn. Can't decide between new Primose, BD Solution, or BD Zone. Work at gym so lots of standing and top rope belay

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

Black Diamond momentum harness. Cheapest/best compromise available. Use extra $$$ to buy hardware (grigri, atc, draws, lockers, rope, etc)

EDIT - You already had this plan in mind.

caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,470

Can't contribute too much, but I will say that the Solution is a nice harness at the price.  I think the Zone is a slimmed down Solution, so more expensive, will probably wear out quicker and likely less comfy.

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,530
grog m aka Greg McKee wrote:

Black Diamond momentum harness. Cheapest/best compromise available. Use extra $$$ to buy hardware (grigri, atc, draws, lockers, rope, etc)

Also known as the Primrose if you wear the women's version. 

I'd second this. To my knowledge, they have not substantially changed the Primrose in the last couple years. 

Noah Yetter · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 105

The Solution is an excellent gym harness. No reason to get the Zone, it's just lighter and has ice clipper slots. BD is coming out with an adjustable leg version of the Solution (called the Technician) next year if you don't like fixed legs.

Nate Doyle · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 10
Noah Yetter wrote:

The Solution is an excellent gym harness. No reason to get the Zone, it's just lighter and has ice clipper slots. BD is coming out with an adjustable leg version of the Solution (called the Technician) next year if you don't like fixed legs.

The Technician sounds almost exactly like the Momentum.

They say one is for sport and the other is an all arounder? I wonder what's the actual difference. I suppose the adjustable rear elastic riser is different?

I have the Aspect. I've liked it so far (I'm not suggesting you buy the Aspect rather, I like my BD harnesses too.)

Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,470

There are two things that wore out on my latest Black Diamond harness that have never been an issue on any other harness I have owned. One, the black colored decorative trim that surrounds the harness wears off, since it is just a coating. Second, the leg loop keepers for the straps have a hard plastic insert that cuts the webbing surrounding it, leaving an unsightly, torn up mess. I switch to a Petzl Corax and hope this one wears better. I'm sure if you never climb offwidths or chimneys or outdoors then this is not a problem. 

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70
John Wilder wrote:

Also known as the Primrose if you wear the women's version. 

I did not know, thank you sir.

Gavin W · · Surrey, BC · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 183

My wife recently upgraded from an older Primrose to a new one, and it's the same thing.

Her upgrade was a warranty replacement though, one of the TrakFit leg adjusters broke in half on a lead fall. Interestingly, the break was caused by the impact of the fall, not from the plastic hitting the wall (the leg that broke was away from the wall, since she twisted sideways as she fell).

Noah Yetter · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 105
Nate Doyle wrote:

The Technician sounds almost exactly like the Momentum.

They say one is for sport and the other is an all arounder? I wonder what's the actual difference. I suppose the adjustable rear elastic riser is different?

I have the Aspect. I've liked it so far (I'm not suggesting you buy the Aspect rather, I like my BD harnesses too.)

It didn't get much coverage when it was introduced at one of the trade shows, but judging by what comes up on google image search, the differences are: adjustable legs, 5th gear loop in back, ice clipper slots. Campsaver has a product page up for it way too early, as they often do http://www.campsaver.com/black-diamond-technician-harness-men-s

Kemper Brightman · · Tucson · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 1,913

Like you, I'm totally sold on BD harnesses. I've had many over the years and currently have the Chaos. I can easily say that it has been my favorite all around harness hands down, and one of my favorite pieces of climbing equipment I've ever owned. Its the first harness I've had that actually broke-in to my body to the point that when I take it off, it maintains the shape of my hips and legs. I used to work at a gym and as a guide, so lots of time spent in the harness like you described. 

The female version is called The Ethos. I would check it out, especially if you get a pro-deal.

caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,470
Kemper Brightman wrote:

Like you, I'm totally sold on BD harnesses. I've had many over the years and currently have the Chaos. I can easily say that it has been my favorite all around harness hands down, and one of my favorite pieces of climbing equipment I've ever owned. Its the first harness I've had that actually broke-in to my body to the point that when I take it off, it maintains the shape of my hips and legs. I used to work at a gym and as a guide, so lots of time spent in the harness like you described. 

The female version is called The Ethos. I would check it out, especially if you get a pro-deal.

The chaos is a nice harness, but I never understood the high price tag on it. I've got one and recently switched to a solution, which is $50 cheaper at full price. 

The Chaos does have bigger/better gear loops though, and a nice fat belay loop. Not a fan of the skinny belay loops. 

rkrum · · Colorado or somewhere else · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 40

I have a love hate relationship with the chaos. It would be purely hate if bd or someone else made an aspect with low profile, non adjustable leg loops.

Had an annoying habit of crushing my kidneys no matter how it was positioned. Just belaying someone hang dogging on TR was miserable. The cost/features ratio was dismal. Same size gear loops as the aspect etc, but no 5th gear loop. No more durable than any other models, if anything slightly worse. "Abrasion resistant" patches were the first thing to wear/tear off, which I thought was somewhat hilarious. It was the most overpriced piece of gear I have ever owned.

anna.gutwin · · Burlington, VT · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 75

The Outdoor Gear Exchange has the new Technician harnesses (we got them in a few weeks ago) - basically the Zone with adjustable leg loops. They're very different from the Momentum/Primrose harnesses, much more like the Solution.

Get the Solution - wide leg loops and waist belt makes it super comfortable. It's by far my top recommendation for harnesses because it's so affordable and so freaking comfortable. Definitely a step up from the Primrose.  

slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,085

i am kind of in the same boat as rkrum about the chaos.  i have it, as well as an aspect.  i think i actually like the aspect better, despite it having adjustable leg loops (i prefer non-adjustable to avoid focused wear at the bucklye).  the chaos isn't particularly comfortable and so far i have been pretty bummed about how not-durable it is.  particularly for something billed as a trad harness.

Kyle Elliott · · Everett, WA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 385
rkrum wrote:

I have a love hate relationship with the chaos. It would be purely hate if bd or someone else made an aspect with low profile, non adjustable leg loops.

Had an annoying habit of crushing my kidneys no matter how it was positioned. Just belaying someone hang dogging on TR was miserable. The cost/features ratio was dismal. Same size gear loops as the aspect etc, but no 5th gear loop. No more durable than any other models, if anything slightly worse. "Abrasion resistant" patches were the first thing to wear/tear off, which I thought was somewhat hilarious. It was the most overpriced piece of gear I have ever owned.

I can relate. it's been my main harness for a year. I love the leg loops, and I was worried when I ordered a medium because I have thick legs but it ended up fitting rather well. however, this thing will leave bruises from hanging belays, and the patches flake off faster than the sides of TC pros. 

rkrum · · Colorado or somewhere else · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 40

The first route I ever did in my first chaos (didn't learn my lesson the first time apparently) was a severely flaring full body stem to squeeze roof. I had a bruise in the shape of the waist belt across my lower back for over a week...

The last couple months, I've actually been using the leg loops from my last chaos, or what's left of them, with the aspect waist belt. Really like that combo. BD please make this.

Edit: For what it's worth, with my last chaos, I got exactly 2/3 of a spring in the desert and 3 days in vedauwoo before breaking a gear loop, significantly abrading the belay loop, and beginning to wear completely through the face fabric on the leg loops. I do tend to be hard on gear, and this spring was spent climbing... abrasive routes, but this was slightly below average vs other harnesses I've used in recent years.

Jake Jones · · Richmond, VA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 1,480
slim wrote:

i am kind of in the same boat as rkrum about the chaos.  i have it, as well as an aspect.  i think i actually like the aspect better, despite it having adjustable leg loops (i prefer non-adjustable to avoid focused wear at the bucklye).  the chaos isn't particularly comfortable and so far i have been pretty bummed about how not-durable it is.  particularly for something billed as a trad harness.

I actually like my Chaos.  I have only hung gear on it a couple times, but as far as durability, and I know this is blasphemy, but it has fared better than my MM Cadillac.  I was surprised for the price of the Caddy, that the tie in points and belay loop started fraying, and badly, as soon as they did.  I now have roughly the same amount of wear on the Chaos and it's held up better than the MM harness.  However, the real test will be this fall when I start putting gear on my loops a lot more and putting it through more than just 3 or four days a week of gym climbing.  The only real gripe I have with it is that the leg loops, even though I have skinny upper legs, still seem a bit tight.  So when I'm dogging the crap out of something (which is far more often than I'd like) I have to pull the leg loops down so I can hang a big more comfortably and engage less of my core when I'm hanging.  I have no idea what someone with bulkier legs would do with this harness.   I hope that it does ok this fall season but these reviews aren't inspiring much confidence.

Chris Blatchley · · Somerville, MA · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0

solution. i think it would be a perfect sport harness if the gear loops were different. i think they're too hard and short

Mr. Nick · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 0

i have a solution and work at a gym as well lots of belaying and hanging around. i hate sport climbing but love trad this harness is perfect and the price is unbeatable. ive had pretty much every harness bd has ever made since 1997 honestly this thing is amazing. there are a few things that would nice if they fixed but im still happy with the performance.

Chris  

slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,085
Jake Jones wrote:

  The only real gripe I have with it is that the leg loops, even though I have skinny upper legs, still seem a bit tight.  So when I'm dogging the crap out of something (which is far more often than I'd like) I have to pull the leg loops down so I can hang a big more comfortably and engage less of my core when I'm hanging.  I have no idea what someone with bulkier legs would do with this harness.   I hope that it does ok this fall season but these reviews aren't inspiring much confidence.

I have really skinny legs and i had to fold up some of the elastic band in the leg loops and sew it together to keep the leg loops from sliding up and slapping the old kibble n bits :(

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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