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Black Diamond Momentum SA Review

   

Climbing Harness - Men's

  • Currently 3.4/5
Overall avg rating 3.4 of 5 based on 6 reviews. Most recent review: May 7, 2013
Street Price:   Varies from $44 - $100 | Compare prices at 8 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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 (3.0 of 5) based on 5 reviews
Recommendations:  60% of reviewers (3/5) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ January 3, 2010  
Overview
The Black Diamond Momentum SA is the speed adjust buckle version of the popular Black Diamond Momentum AL. If you like adjustable legs loops and self locking (aka speed adjust) buckles, this is a great value and a great first climbing harness. It is comfortable, has great gear loops, tons of features and costs $60. You have to spend a LOT more money to get just minor improvements in weight, comfort or features.

It is only if you want a high end or application-specific harness that you need to look at others. For example, if you wanted the ultimate sport climbing harness, you could shell out another $55 for the Black Diamond Ozone, but in the end the Momentum would be almost as comfortable, more versatile, and come at a fraction of the price. Only the Mad Rock Mars was a better value but we liked the Momentum SA more. You will have to decide if the $15 extra you pay for the Momentum SA is worth it.

The Momentum SA is also available as part of the Black Diamond Momentum SA Package which includes a belay device, locking carabiner, a chalk bag and chalk.

View our complete Climbing Harness Review to see how this product 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 those on the higher end Black Diamond harnesses. The material inside the waist and leg loops is cozy and comfy.

Dislikes
There is not much negative to say about this harness. One thing we noticed with the Black Diamond Chaos harness (which has similar gear loops to the Momentum series) is that the gear loops were awesome… until they broke. They didn't break off completely, but the plastic that keeps them pointed out broke. They still worked but they were not as perky. This was a bit of a bummer considering that it happened after only a few months of Yosemite climbing.

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

Value
This is one of the best values in harnesses with speed adjust leg buckles. You do have to pay another $15 over the Black Diamond Momentum. This is not a big deal but it downgrades the harness from "ridiculously good deal" to just "good deal." By comparison, the Mad Rock Mars comes with self-locking buckles and is $15 less expensive.

Other Versions
There are seven versions of the Momentum line including the Black Diamond Momentum, Black Diamond Momentum AL, Black Diamond Momentum DS and the women's versions: Black Diamond Primrose, Black Diamond Primrose SA, Black Diamond Primrose AL.

How to Adjust this Harness

Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: May 7, 2013
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (3.0)

60% of 5 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
6 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 67%  (4)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 17%  (1)
1 star: 17%  (1)
Sort 5 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   May 7, 2013 - 07:12pm
HighPlanesDrifter · Skier · Telluride, CO.
I loved my old BD Mentor so I figured I'd get the new Momentum and love it. Not the case.
This harness seems to be very cheaply constructed and is falling apart! .
The 'speed adjust' buckles on the leg loops don't lock and immediately loosen all the way up as soon as I pull them back tight. The waist buckle stays put but the thin, wimpy, flat webbing is already cutting and fraying apart. Also, the gear loops are wearing out were they attach and I'm worried about dropping gear. And there is some cosmetic laminate peeling away on the waist belt too!

This harness is about to be retired and it's only one year old!

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Feb 25, 2013 - 05:10pm
wmshub · Climber · Portland, OR
This is the only harness I've ever owned, so I can only compare it to gym harnesses, but I've been very happy with it. I've been using it twice a week for a year, it has held up well over time and has been comfortable to wear when I'm climbing. I bought it because it was the cheapest harness at REI, and whenever I go "cheapest" I know there's a good chance I'll find problems later, but in this case I haven't found any. Why pay more when this works fine?

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Oct 26, 2010 - 06:32pm
Hoots · Climber · Toyota Tacoma
I also have a problem with the SA buckles loosening, especially on the leg loops, which hasn't imperiled my life yet, but has led me away from this harness. There are enough other options out there for SA buckled harnesses now.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Mar 10, 2010 - 01:57am
le_bruce · Climber · Oakland, CA
Good review that mostly matches up to how I feel. Compared to an older version Momentum AL (2004 or so), the gear loops are a little smaller, which kind of sucks. But its light, cheap, and no frills.

Only part of this review I don't understand is the notion that this is a beginner's or first time harness. Say what?

PS - Props to ST for giving us the straight dope on the more expensive, but not really better performing, "higher end" models.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Feb 4, 2010 - 01:33pm
Crillz · Climber · Seattle, WA
I bought this harness to replace a SafeTech harness. I slimmed down a bit and I felt my current harness couldn't get tight enough.

Basically, I've been using this harness for the last year. It is pretty comfortable and the speed waist buckle is a great detail, especially compared to the double back buckle of the Safetech.

I like to have adjustable leg loops because they seam more comfortable, but these leg loops have the speed buckle and they sometimes work loose. This is not a real safety issue, but an inconvenience. However, it is nice to instantly be able to loosen the leg loops at the belay or ground. So this is kind of a wash.

A couple times, the ends of the buckles found their way between the wires of wiregate biners. This sucks. The only way to fix it would be to change the method of the folded back webbing.

After about a year, the harness appears to be holding up to abuse fairly well.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Black Diamond Momentum SA
Credit: Black Diamond
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