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Black Diamond Technician - Women's Review

An all-around harness that's not comfortable to hang in
Black Diamond Technician - Women's
Photo: Black Diamond
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Price:  $90 List | $58.47 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Extra gear loop, ice clipper tool slots, lightweight for a trad harness
Cons:  Adjustable leg loops are uncomfortable, no padding in the waist or legs
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond
By Jane Jackson & Cam McKenzie Ring  ⋅  May 11, 2020
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66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 9
  • Hanging Comfort - 30% 4
  • Standing Comfort - 25% 8
  • Features - 20% 7
  • Versatility - 15% 8
  • Adjustability - 10% 8

Our Verdict

Black Diamond recently released the Technician as a replacement to their Lotus harness. The Lotus was one of our favorite harnesses, with a nicely padded waistbelt and abrasion-resistant patches. The Technician is more of a riff on the Solution harness, with a minimalist design (and padding) that still has some all-around features, like a third gear loop, full-strength haul line tab, and ice-clipper slots. These features make it a good option for ice climbing and trad climbing. However, they missed the mark in their leg loop design. While we appreciate adjustable leg-loops for four-season use or for anyone with larger thighs, these were uncomfortable to hang in, and we were in pain as soon as we sat back in it.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Extra gear loop, ice clipper tool slots, lightweight for a trad harnessComfortable, very durable, five gear loops, simple designLightweight, breathable, comfortable, and highly mobileComfortable, easy to clip rigid gear loops, great value, adjustable leg loop system is light and easySliding waist belt keeps the belay loop in front as you adjust it, comfortable to hang in, durable
Cons Adjustable leg loops are uncomfortable, no padding in the waist or legsOn the expensive side, a bit bulky, stiff leg loopsUncomfortable if leg loops don't fit youWaist belt doesn't have the best ventilationRear haul loop isn't very functional, bulky
Bottom Line An all-around harness that's not comfortable to hang inWe love this model for its emphasis on durability and comfortA lightweight and thin harness that is comfortable to hang inOne of the best and least expensive all around harnesses in this reviewThis all-around harness is a good beginner model and also good for gyms or programs
Rating Categories Black Diamond Techn... Black Diamond Solut... Black Diamond Solution Black Diamond Momentum Edelrid Jayne II
Hanging Comfort (30%)
4.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Standing Comfort (25%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Features (20%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Versatility (15%)
8.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
7.0
Adjustability (10%)
8.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
8.0
Specs Black Diamond Techn... Black Diamond Solut... Black Diamond Solution Black Diamond Momentum Edelrid Jayne II
Designed for these Disciplines Sport, Trad, Ice Trad, Multipitch Sport Sport, Trad Sport, Trad, Ice
Weight in Ounces (Size Small) 12.9 14.1 12 12.2 15.5
Gear Loops 5 (4 rigid, 1 flexible) 5 (4 rigid, 1 flexible) 4 (rigid) 4 (rigid) 4 (rigid with flexible attachment points)
Haul Loop Yes (not full strength) Yes Yes (not full strength) Yes Yes (very small)
Adjustable Legs? Yes No No Yes Yes
Self-Locking Buckle? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ice Tool Holder Slot Yes (4) No No No Yes (2)
Waistbelt Construction Fusion Comfort Technology (3 strands of webbing) Fusion Comfort Technology (3 strands of webbing) Fusion Comfort Technology (3 strands of webbing) Dual Core (2 thin bands of webbing with foam in between) 3D mesh padding
Special Features Leg loops have same wide construction as waistbelt Extra padding in waistband Leg loops have same wide construction as waistbelt trakFIT leg adjusters are low profile and lightweight Plastic protector over bottom tie-in point

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Black Diamond Technician had a host of "all-around" features, including adjustable leg loops, four ice clipper slots, a wide fifth gear loop in the rear, a rear haul loop, and low profile releasable leg loop holders. It weighs 12.9 ounces in the size small that we tested.

Performance Comparison


This new, lightweight all-around harness from Black Diamond has some...
This new, lightweight all-around harness from Black Diamond has some nice features, but it wasn't comfortable to hang in.
Photo: Cam McKenzie Ring

Standing Comfort


The Technician is a slim and light harness, and it felt comfortable when standing around and belaying. The rise on this one is suited to those who like to wear their harness on their hips, and we didn't have any gaping at the waist or pressure points digging into us.

This harness is lightweight and has a slim profile, so you won't...
This harness is lightweight and has a slim profile, so you won't notice it too much when standing around or belaying.
Photo: Cam McKenzie Ring

Hanging Comfort


We gave the Technician the lowest score in this review for hanging comfort. This is largely due to the weird construction on the leg loops, whereby there is almost more webbing than padding. The padding barely came halfway around our legs, so once we were hanging in it, all we felt was the webbing and buckle digging into our legs. We also weren't that impressed with the waistbelt either.

The padding on the leg loops only covers the rear of our legs, so...
The padding on the leg loops only covers the rear of our legs, so when weighted we can feel the thin webbing in the front cinching down on our thighs. Not comfortable!
Photo: Cam McKenzie Ring

Discipline-Specific Features


The Technician has a host of great all-around features, which we listed above. If you want to own only one harness and like to mix it up a bit, from sport to trad to ice, then this could be the perfect harness for you.

This harness has a wide, flexible fifth gear loop, as well as a...
This harness has a wide, flexible fifth gear loop, as well as a clip-in point for a haul line and a low-profile closure for the leg loops. BD calls it a "four-season workhorse," but it's not at all beefy and is lacking in padding and comfort.
Photo: Cam McKenzie Ring

However, we also require some good padding from our all-around harnesses for those hanging belays or marathon belay sessions, and this one just didn't deliver in that department. We understand that manufacturers are trying to one-up each other with lighter and lighter harnesses, but we'd take a few extra ounces on our trad harness if it meant we were more comfortable on a long route.

We didn't have any mobility issues in this harness, particularly if...
We didn't have any mobility issues in this harness, particularly if we left the leg loops on the loose side, but that meant even more webbing cinching down on us when the sat back in the harness.
Photo: Cam McKenzie Ring

Versatility


At first, we thought the Technician would be a highly versatile harness, but after using it, we feel like we'd never take it on a multi-pitch route due to the uncomfortable leg loops. That made us knock down its versatility score a bit. However, it is versatile if you only do single pitch trad, ice or sport, and don't hang in your harness too much!

Once we realized how uncomfortable the legs loops were, we only...
Once we realized how uncomfortable the legs loops were, we only wanted to use this harness while single-pitch climbing.
Photo: Cam McKenzie Ring

Adjustability


While this harness does have adjustable leg loops, they get more uncomfortable the more you have to loosen them. Once again, we wanted to give this harness a high score for this category but had to knock a few points off of it.

So much webbing, so little padding! Adjustable leg loops are nice...
So much webbing, so little padding! Adjustable leg loops are nice, but we still want some padding around our legs and not just thin webbing for half of it.
Photo: Cam McKenzie Ring

Value


For a jack of all trades harness, the Technician could be a good option for you. However, we preferred other, cheaper, Black Diamond models for almost all disciplines.

If you love the thin, minimally padded harnesses but want one with...
If you love the thin, minimally padded harnesses but want one with adjustable legs, this could be a good option for you, though you should try and hang in it first.
Photo: Cam McKenzie Ring

Conclusion


The Black Diamond Technician seriously missed the mark for us. We've loved a lot of BD harnesses over the years, and have given many awards in our reviews, but this one was uncomfortable and ill-suited for its intended purpose, long routes where comfort is key.

Jane Jackson & Cam McKenzie Ring

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