The kid's version of the BD Momentum does a great job of incorporating all the features as the adult harness, while maintaining a kid-friendly simple design. This is the lightest harness we tested, and with such a comfortable waist belt and leg loops, kids forget they are even wearing it.
Testing above the crowds at Quail Springs in Joshua Tree.
The Momentum uses the same dual core construction waist belts and padded leg loops as their adult versions, which help distribute the forces for when the kids are working a route, waiting at a hanging belay, or just lowering off. It also is a very comfortable harness for those long belaying sessions for when their partner just won't give up. The rear elastic risers, though not adjustable, do a good job of keeping the adjustable leg loops in place and the tie in points are high enough to keep kids upright.
Lowering off in comfort in Oklahoma.
Standing Comfort and Mobility
The super light design, combined with the adjustability, help kids forget they are even wearing this harness around. We spent countless hours playing around the base of climbs and the Momentum never caused any discomfort. Their movement wasn't restricted, and the breathable mesh kept our testers cool and dry.
Our testers loved the lightweight feel of this harness.
While many of the kids sit harnesses are comfortable, the Momentum takes the cake for being the most comfortable for general wearing around.
Downtime, in the Momentum - kids as mom racks up.
There is something to be said for simplicity. Bells and whistles are nice if you are a cow or a crossing guard, but when you are just a kid crusher, a simple, easy to use design is key. The dual core foam waist belt and breathable mesh padded leg loops supply great comfort. A single pre-threaded speed adjust waist buckle, while simple, doesn't slide as easy as some others, making it a bit of a challenge for some kids. Thankfully, the leg loops are quick and simple to adjust. Two pressure-molded gear loops stand off the harness, making them easy to clip gear to; however they don't sit square on the hips. The right side gear loop is in a good location, but the loop on the side with the buckle is so far around the back it can make it difficult to clip stuff to and would require feeling around for it.
With the belay loop centered, the gear loops and waist belt didn't sit square on the hips.
The waist-belt also doesn't sit square for all but the skinniest of kids. We would have liked to see dual adjust waist buckles to keep stuff straight and alleviate these couple issues.
With the front centered, the waistbelt was offset. (60lb climber)
Black Diamond's website states that the rear leg loop risers are adjustable; however, the one we tested doesn't have any adjustment, nor are they removable. The fixed length is nearly perfect, and keeps the leg loops in the right position. They are easy enough to pull to the side for an emergency bathroom break if needed.
Black Diamond did a good job of making a basic kids harness that has all of the features of the adult harnesses so their equipment won't restrict those kids who need more from a harness to grow into the sport. We used this harness on everything from basic beginner gym auto-belay routes to multi-pitch trad routes, where gear loops came in handy for bringing the gear back up to the leader. The contrasting colored belay loop is large and located high enough to make belaying easy. The waist and leg loop adjustability allows for growing kids as well as for layering up in colder weather.
The Momentum works well for almost anyone who has progressed beyond a full body harness. The lightweight design and comfortable feel make sure the kids won't feel encumbered by it, and the features will allow use for almost any kid climbing application. Larger waisted kids will have a hard time getting a good fit due to the offset gear loops and waist belt.
Every kid sit harness in our test retails for the same price of $49.95, so no one harness has a particularly higher value than another. It mostly comes down to comfort and which features you are looking for. The thing that sets this harness apart from the others is the lightweight design that is just generally comfortable with less of a bulky feeling.
This all-around kids harness, while having a basic design, has most of the features needed in a kid's sit harness. Most importantly, the lightweight design is comfortable and adjustable. It makes a good choice for smaller kids ready to move up from a full body harness. Now the entire family can sport the Momentum.
High steppin' into the crux.