Reviews You Can Rely On

Black Diamond Solution - Women's Review

A lightweight and thin harness that is comfortable to hang in
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Black Diamond Solution - Women's Review (The Solution was one of the most comfortable harnesses in our standing metric. We loved the leg loop design and the...)
The Solution was one of the most comfortable harnesses in our standing metric. We loved the leg loop design and the higher rise.
Credit: Cam McKenzie Ring
Price:  $80 List
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Manufacturer:   Black Diamond
By Jane Jackson & Whitney Clark  ⋅  Jan 31, 2024
80
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 11
  • Hanging Comfort - 30% 8.0
  • Standing Comfort and Mobility - 25% 9.0
  • Features - 20% 9.0
  • Versatility - 15% 6.0
  • Adjustability - 10% 6.0

Our Verdict

We haven't always been a fan of the “tape-style” harnesses. While they look sleek and feel great when “hanging” around the crag, once you weight the rope, they often don't feel so comfortable when you're actually hanging in them. But Black Diamond found a way to make a thin, non-padded harness comfortable to hang in, and we love the Solution. It's lightweight and breathable, and you'll barely notice that it's on, even when hang-dogging your project or giving your buddy an epic belay. See it rated versus top competitors in our review of the best women's climbing harness.
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight
Breathable
Comfortable
And highly mobile
REASONS TO AVOID
Uncomfortable if leg loops don't fit you

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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59
Star Rating
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Bottom Line A sport climber's dream harness that is comfortable, breathable, and easy to move inAn excellent all around model that is also affordableA super comfortable, women's specific harness that is perfectly suited for long days in the alpineComfortable to wear on your hips but doesn't sit well on a woman's waistThis all-around harness is a good beginner model and also good for gyms or programs
Rating Categories Black Diamond Solut... Black Diamond Momen... Blue Ice Cuesta - W... Petzl Selena Edelrid Jayne
Hanging Comfort (30%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Standing Comfort and Mobility (25%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Features (20%)
9.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
Versatility (15%)
6.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
Adjustability (10%)
6.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
Specs Black Diamond Solut... Black Diamond Momen... Blue Ice Cuesta - W... Petzl Selena Edelrid Jayne
Designed for These Disciplines Sport Sport, Trad Sport, Trad Sport Sport, Trad, Ice
Measured Weight (size Small) 11.4 oz 10.3 oz 9.7 oz 13.2 oz 15.5 oz
Number of Gear Loops 4 (rigid) 4 (rigid) 4 (2 rigid in front) 4 (rigid with flexible attachment points) 4 (rigid with flexible attachment points)
Haul Loop? Yes (not full strength) Yes Yes Yes Yes (very small)
Adjustable Legs? No Yes No No Yes
Self-Locking Buckle? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ice Clipper Slots? No No No No Yes (2)
Waist Belt Construction Fusion Comfort Technology (3 strands of webbing) Dual Core (2 thin bands of webbing with foam in between) Laminate waist belt, high-tenacity PES EndoFrame construction 3D mesh padding
Special Features Leg loops have same wide construction as waistbelt trakFIT leg adjusters are low profile and lightweight Women's specific fit for higher waist and larger thighs Contoured waistband, long-rise for better hip-pacement Plastic protector over bottom tie-in point

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Solution uses Black Diamond's “Fusion Comfort Technology,” which has three different strands of webbing in the waistbelt and leg loops to help distribute the load and minimize pressure points. This harness weighed 11.6 ounces on our scales in the size Small we tested.

Performance Comparison


black diamond solution for women - the solution is lightweight and comfortable, making it a team...
The Solution is lightweight and comfortable, making it a team favorite for sport climbing.
Credit: Cam McKenzie Ring

Hanging Comfort


We didn't think that the Solution would be so comfortable to hang in because, at first glance, there is minimal padding, and our experience with thin harnesses hasn't always been excellent. But the triple-strand load distribution disperses your weight over the entirety of the waistbelt and leg loops, and we felt great hanging in this one even on an extended belay or hangdog session.


Here, again, is where the Solution's leg loops are superior to other models. Some others we tested didn't have enough coverage, so we felt the adjustable webbing digging into the sides of our thighs and cutting off circulation. The Solution's loops extend far enough around the front to mitigate this issue. The waistband was also surprisingly comfortable for being so thin, though we still prefer more padding when doing longer routes with hanging belays.

black diamond solution for women - the leg loops on the black diamond solution harness utilize "fusion...
The leg loops on the Black Diamond Solution Harness utilize “Fusion Comfort Technology,” which has three different strands of webbing to help distribute the load and minimize pressure points.
Credit: Will Stanhope

Standing Comfort and Mobility


The Solution received one of our highest scores for standing comfort and overall mobility. It's our favorite harness to wear around the crag. The thin waist belt and leg loops help you stay cool all day long, and we didn't have any weird or annoying fit issues with it.


A lot of this metric comes down to how well the different geometries of a harness fit your particular body shape. The Solution is designed to fit the contours of a woman's body. We found this harness to sit slightly above our hips and still allow the leg loops to settle comfortably on the thigh without causing discomfort.

black diamond solution for women - with tapered leg loops and a relatively thin waistbelt, we loved the...
With tapered leg loops and a relatively thin waistbelt, we loved the overall comfort of the Solution.
Credit: Will Stanhope

One of the things that makes this harness more comfortable are the tapered leg loops. Leg loop construction must be a finicky business — if it is too wide and bulky where it passes between your thighs, and you'll feel like there's too much material bunching up in that spot. The Solution has one of the widest leg loops in this review, but it tapers down so that there isn't too much going on between your legs.

black diamond solution for women - the solution's leg loop (top) vs. the fl-355's (bottom). not only is...
The Solution's leg loop (top) vs. the FL-355's (bottom). Not only is the Solutions's wider, but it tapers down more where it passes through your thighs, making it more comfortable.
Credit: Cam McKenzie Ring

Features


We rated each harness on its discipline-specific features. When evaluating an all-around harness, we wanted to be sure we really could use it for multiple disciplines, and with a sport-specific harness, we wanted it to have everything we needed to help us send our project and nothing that we didn't. When compared to other sport-specific harnesses, the Solution had much better features than comparable options in our lineup.


We think the molded gear loops that Black Diamond uses on most of their harnesses are some of the best in the business. They are encased in plastic molding so that they are rigid for easy racking, extremely durable, and abrasion-resistant. Our only quibble with this style is that it's not comfortable to throw your pack on over this harness when moving from one spot to another. It's not that big a deal to take your harness off either, but for anything more than a five-minute hike, you'll be more comfortable without it on.

black diamond solution for women - the black diamond solution is made from four-way nylon stretch...
The Black Diamond Solution is made from four-way nylon stretch woven, and 3D AirMesh materials.
Credit: Whitney Clark

We like that these gear loops lay flat. The idea behind their design is that it keeps all of your draws at the front of the gear loop for easy access. But when the angle steepens, they all shoot to the back of your harness, making them a bit harder to reach.

black diamond solution for women - our movement never felt impeded by this harness, and could climb...
Our movement never felt impeded by this harness, and could climb with ease thanks to the thin leg loops and stretchy elastic.
Credit: Kyle Queener

Versatility


As a dedicated sport model, the Solution isn't the most versatile harness, but it still works great for trad climbing and has plenty of room on the gear loops for a double rack. It's definitely comfortable enough to take on a longer route, but it lacks a few key features that you would want in an all-around model.


There is a 0 kN tab sewn on the back of the harness for a tagline, potentially, though it does seem a little flimsy to us. There's no option for ice tool carabiners, and the non-adjustable leg loops will limit your ability to wear this over heavier pants in colder weather.

black diamond solution for women - the black diamond solution harness has four rigid gear loops that...
The Black Diamond Solution harness has four rigid gear loops that makes racking easy.
Credit: Kyle Queener

Adjustability


The Solution is not very adjustable. The fixed leg loops do have a good amount of stretch to them from the elastic, but if the proportions don't quite fit you, then you won't find this model as comfortable.


Black Diamond does seem to have sized their leg loops a little more generously than the Arc'teryx models we've tested. If you do need more adjustability in the legs, check out a harness with fully adjustable leg loops or size up in this model to get the most comfortable fit.

black diamond solution for women - there is a long elastic band in the leg loops to give you more...
There is a long elastic band in the leg loops to give you more stretch and a few inches of play for better sizing.
Credit: Cam McKenzie Ring

Should You Buy The Black Diamond Solution?


The Black Diamond Solution is our number one choice for most sport climbing applications. The lightweight and breathable waistbelt won't weigh you down, and it's comfortable enough for prolonged hanging or working belays. If you haven't liked some of the thinner-style harnesses in the past, check this one out. You might be pleasantly surprised.

black diamond solution for women - if you are searching for the best sport-specific harness, look no...
If you are searching for the best sport-specific harness, look no further! The Solution was our favorite option for sport cragging days.
Credit: Cam McKenzie Ring

What Other Climbing Harness Should You Consider?


If a sport climbing harness is what you're after, check out the Black Diamond airNET. This is one of the lightest harnesses on the market and was designed in conjunction with Adam Ondra, who stripped it down to its bare necessities. The airNET has two fully molded gear loops on the front and two lightweight webbing loops on the back, which limits the space to carry draws. However, if you're sport climbing at a crag with fixed draws, this is an excellent alternative as an uber-lightweight harness. If you're aiming to invest in a more versatile harness for all of your climbing adventures – sport, trad, and ice – it's well worth considering our overall top choice, the Arc'teryx AR-385a.

Jane Jackson & Whitney Clark