The Best Climbing Harness Package

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The Black Diamond / Wild Country package is a roll-your-own collection composed of products that won our Best Buy review award.
Credit: Chris McNamara
When you are just starting to climb it can be hard to figure out what harness and belay device/carabiner to buy. Climbing companies package these items together with a chalk bag so you can get all the essentials in one place. We looked at the most popular climbing packages and rated them against each other. We also created our own custom OutdoorGearLab Best Buy Package and scored that as well. Check out the review below to see how they scored against each other. You may also be interested in our Women's Climbing Harness Review.

Read the full review below >

Review by: ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab

Top Ranked Climbing Harness Packages Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 << Previous | View All | Next >>
Our Ranking #1 #2 #3 #4 #5
Product Name
Petzl Corax Kit
Petzl Corax Kit
Read the Review
Black Diamond/Wild Country Package
Black Diamond/Wild Country Package
Read the Review
Black Diamond Momentum AL Package
Black Diamond Momentum AL Package
Read the Review
Black Diamond Primrose Package
Black Diamond Primrose Package
Read the Review
Black Diamond Momentum DS Package
Black Diamond Momentum DS Package
Read the Review
Editors' Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award       
Street Price Varies $99 - $125
Compare at 4 sellers
$80$99Varies $78 - $100
Compare at 6 sellers
$100
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score 
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89
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84
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75
100
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75
100
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73
Editors' Rating
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User Rating Be the first to rate itBe the first to rate itBe the first to rate itBe the first to rate itBe the first to rate it
Pros Everything in package is top notch; you won't ever grow out of this kit.Great products at a great price.All the gear it comes with is solid and should last a long time.All the gear it comes with is solid and should last a long time.Speed adjust buckles, Editors' Choice belay device.
Cons Expensive, SuperTop Best Buy Climbing Kit almost as good and 50 percent less expensive.Hard to assemble the whole package in one spot.We wish there was a package with the regular Momentum harness and the ATC XP.Wish there was a package with the regular Primroser harness and the ATC XP.No chalk bag or chalk; we prefer the cheaper Momentum harness.
Best Uses Intro to climbing, gym climbing, as well as experienced climbers.Intro to climbing, gym climbing.Ideal for a first-time climber who wants to get started, but all of the gear also would serve an experienced climber well.Ideal for a first-time climber who wants to get started, but all of the gear also would serve an experienced climber well.Intro to climbing, gym climbing, teaching groups.
Date Reviewed Mar 31, 2011Mar 31, 2011Apr 16, 2010Oct 01, 2010Mar 31, 2011
Weighted Scores Petzl Corax Kit Black Diamond/Wild Country Package Black Diamond Momentum AL Package Black Diamond Primrose Package Black Diamond Momentum DS Package
Harness - 35%
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
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7
Carabiner - 20%
10
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8
10
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8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
6
Belaying - 15%
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
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10
Versatility - 10%
10
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10
10
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8
10
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8
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9
Value - 20%
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6
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6
10
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6
Product Specs Petzl Corax Kit Black Diamond/Wild Country Package Black Diamond Momentum AL Package Black Diamond Primrose Package Black Diamond Momentum DS Package
chalk bag Yes Yes Yes Yes No
chalk Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Warranty 3 years 1 year 1 year 1 year 1 year
Self-locking buckles? Yes No No No Yes

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review


  • Review Photos
  • Editors' Choice Winners
  • All Reviewed Products

A climbing package is only as good as its parts. We break down all the parts and score them individually. Then we wrap up with our overall recommendations.

Harness
All the harnesses tested are great none of the manufacturers choose to stick their lower end harnesses in. We recommend all of them. Our favorite harness offered in the packages is the Petzl Corax, one of of the most versatile harnesses available. Because it has two waist belts, it fits a wide variety of people, which is nice when you are just starting to climb as you may want to share your harness with differently sized friends. But what we mainly love about this harness is that you won't outgrow it as you become a better climber. This is not just a great intro harness, it is one of the best trad climbing harnesses on the market and a favorite among professional climbing guides. This harness also comes with speed adjust buckles. These are both fast to adjust and mean it is almost impossible to not double back your harness.

All that said, the other harnesses also are great. The Black Diamond Momentum (part of the Black Diamond/Wild Country Package) won our Best Buy award. It is a very solid harness for an incredibly low prince. The Momentum AL only costs $5 more and comes with leg buckles. We don't like leg buckles but a lot of people do. Finally, the Momentum DS is also a very solid harness. Like the Corax, it comes with speed adjust buckles and fits a wide selection of climbers.

Belay Device
Our favorite belay device is the Black Diamond ATC XP, which won our Editors' Choice award (this comes in the Momentum DS package). However, a very close contender that is less expensive is the Wild Country VC Pro 2 that won our Best Buy award (this is included in the OutdoorGearLab Best Buy Package). Both these devices are top of the line; you will not need to upgrade as you become a better climber. The Black Diamond ATC that comes in the Momentum Al Package is also a great device but not quite as good on skinny ropes as the ATC XP (we wish the AL Package came with the ATC XP). The Petzl Verso belay device is the lightest belay device made and scored only a little behind the ATC XP. We are big fans of light gear and highly recommend this. In short all the belay devices are solid. None stands out as way better than the others.

Locking Carabiner
Both the Petzl Am'd and the Black Diamond Rocklock were among our favorite locking carabiners. The Rocklock got our Best Buy award and the Am'd is not far behind. We also like the Wild Country Synergy, which is light for its size and has one of the smoothest gates. Any of these carabiners are solid biners you will never outgrow. The Black Diamond Quicksilver Locker is a good workhorse biner but not the one we would recommend for an intro to climbing package. It works fine, but is not nearly as versatile as the others.

Chalk Bag
Chalk bags mainly come down to personal preference of size and looks. There is no chalk bag that will make you climb better or worse. Some may keep chalk from spilling out better than others but it is mainly about color and looks. If you are just starting to climb, we recommend getting the best looking chalk bag that does not cost much.

Chalk
The Black Diamond White Gold won our editors choice for chalk. That said, it comes in a chalk ball, which some people do not like. The differences in chalk are subtle, especially when you are just starting to climb. It is hard to go wrong with Frank End Chalk (winner of our Best Buy award). It costs sometimes half as much as other climbing chalk and gets the job done.

The Bottom Line
Our Editor's Choice goes to the Petlz Corax Climbing Kit. Everything in it is top of the line, which means you won't feel the need to upgrade after climbing for a year or two. It has a very adjustable harness that means you can share it with friends more easily.

Our Best Buy award goes to the Black Diamond/Wild Country Package. This package scored only a little lower than the Corax and is 50 percent ($40) less expensive. Unless you really want leg buckles, get this package if you are on a budget or just want an awesome deal. If you like leg buckles, then swap out the Momentum Harness for the Momentum AL (only $5 extra) of the Momentum SA ($25 extra).

Chris McNamara
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