Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: Varies from $38 - $80 | 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
Manufacturer: Black Diamond
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are several versions of the Momentum line including the:
Black Diamond Momentum AL, $46, 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 less than $50.
Black Diamond Momentum DS, $70, is the dual speed adjust buckle version of the popular Momentum SA; it has two buckles for the waist and fits a wider range of sizes.
The Black Diamond Primrose SA is the speed adjust buckle version of the popular Black Diamond Primrose AL, both women specific. If you like adjustable legs loops and self-locking buckles, this is a great value and a great first harness. It is comfortable, has easy to clip rigid gear loops, clever features, costs $55, and is the winner of our Best Buy Award.
How to Adjust this Harness
— Chris McNamara
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: October 9, 2014
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