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Black Diamond Momentum - Kid's Review

Black Diamond put together a comfortable and capable harness in a super-light package but has a less than ideal fit
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Price:  $50 List | $49.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Super lightweight, comfortable
Cons:  Poor off-centered fit
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond
By Adam Paashaus ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 24, 2020
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70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 10
  • Hanging Comfort - 40% 8
  • Standing Comfort and Mobility - 20% 8
  • Features - 20% 5
  • Versatility - 20% 6

Our Verdict

Black Diamond, hands down, is one of the most reputable climbing equipment manufacturers in the world, and the Momentum - Kids harness stands up to the high standards we've come to expect. The simple and lightweight design makes it an excellent choice for a starter kid's sit harness. With its adjustable waist belt and leg loops, this harness can easily adjust as the kids grow. The kid's version of the Momentum harness has many of the same features as the adult Momentum, such as the comfortable dual-core waist belt and two rigid, pressure-molded gear loops that stand off the harness for easy clipping. This harness does a great job of balancing comfort, weight savings, and simplicity, and the high position of the belay loop/tie in points keep kids upright and the rear elastic risers do a good job of holding the leg loops up and in place.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

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 can forget they are even wearing it.

Performance Comparison


Watch me here! Sisters climbing together.
Watch me here! Sisters climbing together.

Hanging Comfort


The Momentum uses the same dual-core construction waist belts and padded leg loops as the adult versions, which help distribute the forces for when the kids are working a route, waiting at a hanging belay, or just lowering off a top-rope. The comfort of the harness is also great for those long belaying sessions for when the climber 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 when hanging.

The Momentum is overall quite comfortable to hang in.
The Momentum is overall quite comfortable to hang in.

Standing Comfort and Mobility


The extremely lightweight design, combined with the adjustability, helps keep kids focused on kid things rather than fidgeting with an uncomfortable harness. We spent countless hours playing around the base of climbs and the Momentum never caused any discomfort whatsoever. The children's movements weren't restricted at all, and the breathable mesh kept our testers cool, dry, and comfortable.

For all those times not climbing  the Momentum is extremely comfy!
For all those times not climbing, the Momentum is extremely comfy!

While many of the kids sit harnesses are comfortable, the Momentum takes the cake for being the most comfortable for just generally wearing around the base of the crag.

Features


There is something to be said for simplicity, and in a childrens harness, it's a crucial design feature. The dual-core foam waist belt and breathable mesh padded leg loops supply great comfort. A simple pre-threaded speed-adjust waist buckle, while simple, doesn't slide as easy as some of the others do, making it a bit of a challenge for some kids, but thankfully, the leg loops are quick and simple to adjust using the trakFIT adjustments. 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 requires feeling around for it.

The Waist belt  even on the smallest kids  can't tighten enough to get the gear loops squared on the hips.
The Waist belt, even on the smallest kids, can't tighten enough to get the gear loops squared on the hips.

The waist-belt also doesn't sit square for even the skinniest of kids. We would have liked to see dual adjust waist buckles to keep everything centered and alleviate these issues.

On the left side  the gear loop ends up behind the climbers back.
On the left side, the gear loop ends up behind the climbers back.

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. However, their fixed length is nearly perfect, and they do a great job of keeping the leg loops in the right position. They are easy enough to pull to the side for an emergency bathroom break if needed.

Versatility


The basic nature of the design makes this a great option for most kid crushers. It can be perfect for basic top-roping but also hold an assortment of gear or draws for more advanced climbing. 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 only drawback in versatility is the fact that the gear loops aren't as easily accessible as some of the others.

The Momentum will work well for most kids who have 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. The kids will have a difficult time getting a perfect fit due to the offset gear loops and waist belt, but if you can get past that, this harness performs really well.

You ready for the safety check sis?
You ready for the safety check sis?

Value


Most kid's sit harnesses in our test retail for around the same price, 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.

Conclusion


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.

Another great day out in the southwestern winter sun.
Another great day out in the southwestern winter sun.

Adam Paashaus