Reviews You Can Rely On

Black Diamond Momentum - Women's Review

One of the best and least expensive all around harnesses in this review
black diamond momentum for women climbing harness review
Credit: Black Diamond
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $65 List
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond
By Jane Jackson & Whitney Clark  ⋅  Dec 15, 2022
82
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 9
  • Hanging Comfort - 30% 8.0
  • Standing Comfort - 25% 9.0
  • Features - 20% 8.0
  • Versatility - 15% 8.0
  • Adjustability - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Black Diamond Momentum is a ubiquitous sight at most crags and climbing gyms across the US. With good reason too; the Momentum is comfortable, lightweight, and easy to put on and off. The waistbelt has a lot of padding for all-day comfort, plus it has speed adjust buckles and trakFIT leg loops. The Momentum is a great all-around model, fit for first-time users and seasoned climbers, alike. It's comfortable to hang in and has easy-to-clip rigid gear loops. Best of all, it is very reasonably priced. If you are looking for a great all-around harness that will perform well from trad to sport, this is an excellent purchase.
REASONS TO BUY
Comfortable
Easy to clip rigid gear loops
Great value
Adjustable leg loop system is light and easy
REASONS TO AVOID
Waist belt doesn't have the best ventilation

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award Top Pick Award    
Price $65 List
$64.95 at REI
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$64.00 at Backcountry$74.95 at Amazon
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Star Rating
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Pros Comfortable, easy to clip rigid gear loops, great value, adjustable leg loop system is light and easyLightweight, breathable, comfortable, and highly mobileSliding waist belt keeps the belay loop in front as you adjust it, comfortable to hang in, durableWell-constructed, adjustable, loops for ice clippersComfortable if you like to wear your harness on your hips
Cons Waist belt doesn't have the best ventilationUncomfortable if leg loops don't fit youRear haul loop isn't very functional, bulky especially around leg loopsExpensive, haul loop not full strength, gear loops in rear too small and hard to reach, not very comfortable for hanging inRear gear loops are small and hard to reach, haul loop not full strength
Bottom Line One of the best and least expensive all around harnesses in this reviewA lightweight and thin harness that is comfortable to hang inThis all-around harness is a good beginner model and also good for gyms or programsAdjustable leg version of the popular Selena harnessA popular harness, particularly among women with a shorter rise
Rating Categories Black Diamond Momentum Black Diamond Solution Edelrid Jayne Petzl Luna Petzl Selena
Hanging Comfort (30%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Standing Comfort (25%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Features (20%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Versatility (15%)
8.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Adjustability (10%)
7.0
6.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Specs Black Diamond Momentum Black Diamond Solution Edelrid Jayne Petzl Luna Petzl Selena
Designed for these Disciplines Sport, Trad Sport Sport, Trad, Ice Sport, Trad, Ice Sport
Weight in Ounces (Size Small) 10.3 oz 11.4 oz 15.5 oz 16.5 oz 13.2 oz
Gear Loops 4 (rigid) 4 (rigid) 4 (rigid with flexible attachment points) 5 (rigid with flexible attachment points) 4 (rigid with flexible attachment points)
Haul Loop Yes Yes (not full strength) Yes (very small) Yes Yes
Adjustable Legs? Yes No Yes Yes (not detachable) No
Self-Locking Buckle? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ice Tool Holder Slot No No Yes (2) No No
Waistbelt Construction Dual Core (2 thin bands of webbing with foam in between) Fusion Comfort Technology (3 strands of webbing) 3D mesh padding EndoFrame construction EndoFrame construction
Special Features trakFIT leg adjusters are low profile and lightweight Leg loops have same wide construction as waistbelt Plastic protector over bottom tie-in point CARITOOL EVO tool holder
Large fifth gear loop in back
Contoured waistband, long-rise for better hip-pacement

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Momentum is made with BD's Dual Core construction. They use two bands of webbing on the outside of the 3.5-inch waistbelt, with a foam insert in the center for padding and comfort. The legs have a trakFIT adjustment system, which uses a sliding adjuster to change the size of the leg loop, as opposed to a buckle system. According to Black Diamond, this gives you the "adjustability of a buckle but the security of a fixed leg system." It has four rigid, plastic-coated gear loops and a rear haul loop.

Performance Comparison


black diamond momentum for women climbing harness review - with adjustable leg loops and a cushioned waist, the bd momentum is...
With adjustable leg loops and a cushioned waist, the BD Momentum is one of the most comfortable harnesses we tested.
Credit: Will Stanhope

Standing Comfort


With a wide, 3.5 inch waistbelt, the Momentum is one of the most comfortable harnesses to hang around in, but it doesn't have the best breathability.


This waistbelt is softer than some of the more uncomfortable harnesses, but the thick padding doesn't breathe so well. If you plan on climbing in tropical climates, or anywhere warm really, then look for something a little thinner or a harness that has an open-back mesh design. The Momentum is also a little bulky, and you probably won't want to walk around in it. It's not quite as comfortable as our Editors' Choice winner, but overall this harness does a good job of finding the sweet spot between a padded harness that won't make your toes go numb and something that's not too bulky and can be left on all day.

black diamond momentum for women climbing harness review - the momentum is well-padded in the waistband and leg loops.
The Momentum is well-padded in the waistband and leg loops.
Credit: Lindsay Hamm

Hanging Comfort


Here is where that extra padding on the Momentum comes in handy — this was one of the most comfortable models to hang in.


This harness manages to be padded and lightweight, which is almost a revelation these days. Manufacturers want to have lighter and lighter products and often do so at the sacrifice of comfort or durability. The Momentum has a lot of padding, and it weighs less than some of the sleekest lightweight harnesses we tested! This is great for anyone who climbs multi-pitch routes or hang dogs a lot, and even for those who have to belay someone who hang dogs a lot.

black diamond momentum for women climbing harness review - with its comfortable fit and large gear loops, we found the black...
With its comfortable fit and large gear loops, we found the Black Diamond Momentum harness to be versatile for both trad and sport climbing and a great choice for all day wear at the crag.
Credit: Chris Kalman

Discipline-Specific Features


This harness fits the bill quite nicely for an all-around harness.


The speed-adjust buckle is easy to tighten, and you don't have to worry about doubling back the waistbelt every time you put it on. (An older version of this harness had a traditional, fold-back waist buckle, but that type of buckle seems to have finally bit the dust — all of the harnesses in this review have speed adjust/pre-threaded waistbelt buckles.)

black diamond momentum for women climbing harness review - the black diamond momentum harness has plenty of room on its gear...
The Black Diamond Momentum harness has plenty of room on its gear loops for a double rack.
Credit: Will Stanhope

The gear loops are encased in hard plastic, leaving them rigid and standing out from the side of the harness. This makes them very easy to clip gear to and unclip gear from, though they are not as comfortable when wearing your pack and harness at the same time. The gear loops are appropriately positioned for easy reach to the front and back loops. This harness also has a "real" haul loop (and not just a piece of dental floss flimsily stitched on) which is handy if you are trailing a haul line up a multi-pitch route. All told it is comfortable enough for a long day out but not too bulky to sport climb in. Our lead tester has even used the Momentum on multi-day ascents of El Cap!

black diamond momentum for women climbing harness review - the gear loops are rigid and stick out from the sides of the...
The gear loops are rigid and stick out from the sides of the waistbelt for easy clipping and unclipping. There's also a haul loop and detachable leg loops should you need them.
Credit: Cam McKenzie Ring

Versatility


The Momentum is a great all-around harness that works well in most climbing applications. The comfortable waistbelt and easy to clip rigid gear loops make loading the harness with gear for multi-pitch trad climbs just as easy as racking up for a single pitch sport climb.


It has a sturdy rear haul loop, so you can clip a tag line to it stress-free! Our lead tester has even used the Momentum on multi-day ascents of El Cap — tagging the haul line off of the full-strength haul loop for days! The one feature it lacks is a loop for ice tool holders, so it will not cross-over to winter use.

black diamond momentum for women climbing harness review - we love the women's momentum harness and how comfortable it is for...
We love the women's Momentum harness and how comfortable it is for trad climbing and long days on the wall.
Credit: JP

Adjustability


Black Diamond's trakFIT leg loop system is a unique method of adjusting the size of the loops. Instead of a threaded buckle closure, there is a sliding buckle that tightens or loosens the leg loop, which still has some elastic for stretch and mobility. This system offers more adjustability than a pure elastic system alone, but not as much as a traditional buckle closure.


The plastic slider moves easily around the leg loop to adjust the size quickly and effortlessly. We like that it's so light and that there's not a ton of extra webbing flapping around your legs. However, it only gives you about 2 inches of play, which isn't as much as the 5-7 inches most other adjustable legs loops provide. If you fall within the size range than BD has made the leg loops in, this gives you the ability to wear this harness over various bottoms, from thin leggings at the gym one day to heavier pants outside the next. If your thighs are a little larger, though (relative to your waist size), then you'll want to stick to a harness with fully adjustable legs.

black diamond momentum for women climbing harness review - the easy-to-adjust and well-padded leg loop. though the adjustment...
The easy-to-adjust and well-padded leg loop. Though the adjustment buckle is easy to use, there is not a ton of adjustability in these elasticized leg loops.
Credit: Lindsay Hamm

Should You Buy The Momentum Harness?


The Momentum is one of the best values out there for women's harnesses. It's durable enough to last for years and versatile enough to be used for almost anything, increasing its worth, which is why we've given it our Best Buy Award. It is a ubiquitous sight at crags and gyms all across the country for a reason. It's affordable and comfortable, which is not always an easy feat for a manufacturer. Although it's deemed an "entry-level" harness, we know many expert climbers who use it for those very reasons as well. While we preferred other models for specific disciplines, the Momentum is a good bet for any climber.

black diamond momentum for women climbing harness review - we tested the momentum harness by loading it down with a double rack...
We tested the Momentum harness by loading it down with a double rack while multi-pitching.
Credit: Whitney Clark

What Other Harness Should You Consider?


If you're looking for a well rounded and adjustable harness, consider the Petzl Luna as an alternative option. It is slightly more expensive, but is one of the more versatile harnesses we tested. Comfortable for all day wear, easily adjustable, and equipped with many features such as a large fifth gear loop and the capability to add an ice tool clipper, the Petzl Luna is a great harness that won't disappoint.

Jane Jackson & Whitney Clark
 
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