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Black Diamond Momentum AL Review

   
Best Buy Award

Climbing Harness - Men's

  • Currently 4.2/5
Overall avg rating 4.2 of 5 based on 4 reviews. Most recent review: March 3, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $34 - $46 | Compare prices at 7 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable, great gear loops, great value.
Cons:  No self-locking (speed adjust) buckle.
Best Uses:  Sport climbing, trad climbing, multi-pitch climbing, gym climbing.
User Rating:     
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 (4.3 of 5) based on 3 reviews
Recommendations:  50% of reviewers (1/2) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ December 6, 2013  
Overview
This is the best value we have seen in a harness and winner of our Best Buy Award. It only costs $45 and scored higher than many $80 harnesses. It is comfortable, has great gear loops, tons of features and costs a mere $50. You have to spend a LOT more money to get just minor improvements in weight, comfort or features.

If you just starting to climb or you are on a budget, and you want adjustable leg loops, it is hard to beat this climbing harness for the money. You will probably go many years before ever buying another harness. If you are buying a version of this harness with leg buckles, we prefer the speed adjust buckles of the Black Diamond Momentum SA but you have to pay another $10. That is not much extra, but it starts putting you near the price band of higher scoring harnesses like the $70 Camp Quartz CR3 or the $75 Petzl Corax. It's hard to beat the value of this harness especially if you get the Black Diamond Momentum AL Package which comes with the harness chalk, belay device, locking carabiner and chalk bag for $99.

Check out our complete climbing harness review to see how this compared to others.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Likes
This climbing harness has it all: comfort, great gear loops, sleek design, full strength trail line loop and beefy belay loop. The gear loops are nice because they are rigid, stick out from the harness and are easy to clip. They are also right next to each other; there is not an annoying gap for that special plastic biner for ice climbing protection (sorry ice climbers). The leg loops are easy to release, actually much easier to release than on the higher end Black Diamond harnesses. The material inside the waist and leg loops is very cozy and comfy.

Dislikes
The main dislike with this harness is there is no self locking (speed adjust) buckle for the waist belt or legs. There is the Black Diamond Momentum SA model (SA stands for speed adjust) that does have self-locking buckles, but you have to pay an extra $10. Another $10 doesn't break the bank but it downgrades the harness from "ridiculously good deal" to just "good deal." OutdoorGearLab testers are biased towards harnesses that have fewer buckles and certainly don't want to pay extra to have more of them.

Best Application
This is a great all around harness. It works well in the gym, at sport crags or on multi-pitch climbs. Chris Mac would even take it on El Cap and probably really like it.

Value
This is one of the best values in harnesses with leg buckles. Only the Mad Rock Mars is less expensive. But the Mars does come with self-locking buckles, which this one does not.

Other Versions
There are seven versions of the Momentum line including the Black Diamond Momentum, Black Diamond Momentum SA, Black Diamond Momentum DS and the women's versions: Black Diamond Primrose, Black Diamond Primrose SA, Black Diamond Primrose AL. They all share similar padding and gear loops but use different waist and leg tightening systems. They all vary widely in cost.

How to Adjust this Harness

Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: March 3, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.3)

50% of 2 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
4 Total Ratings
5 star: 50%  (2)
4 star: 25%  (1)
3 star: 25%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 3 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Mar 3, 2014 - 04:04pm
I love everything about this harness except the non-locking buckle. I have seen to many people forget to double back this harness's buckles(especially since this is the harness most new climbers buy). I retired this harness last year because of this.

I just like taking one less thing that could go wrong out of the formal. Spend $10 more and the the Self locking (SA) buckle version of this harness.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jun 10, 2010 - 11:13am
BrianRI · Climber · Wakefield, RI
The fit of a harness is the critical determinant and it is highly personalized. Don't believe a reviewer's opinion on fit. They may be a different shape than you with smaller hips, more or less body fat, etc. I tried on a bunch of harnesses some that were considerably more expensive than the Momentum and this one was the most comfortable with the features I needed.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Mar 10, 2010 - 01:38am
le_bruce · Climber · Oakland, CA
My favorite harness for everything other than walls. Mine lasted seven years before fraying and the ghost of TS made me buy a new one. I recently bought a Momentum SA, wish I'd stuck with the ol' classic. The SA's gear loops are smaller, its design is more ornate, and it has more 'untidy' webbing on it. Next time I'll go back to the tried and true Momentum AL.
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