The Ozone is one of our favorite sport climbing harnesses. This harness is simple, light, comfortable and has the basic necessities for sport climbing (and nothing more). It only has two gear loops but they are big enough to handle a lot of draws. There is no haul loop, for that you should consider the Black Diamond Chaos. The Women's version of this harness is the Black Diamond Aura.It faces fierce competition from the Mad Rock Alpha that is much cheaper, the Petzl Sama that is much cheaper and more all-around, the Petzl Hirundos and the Arc'teryx R320. The competition is so close you should try on all five and see what fits best. All that said, if we were on a budget, we would definitely get the Black Diamond Momentum which is $55 less.
Black Diamond Ozone Review
Cons: Only two gear loops, no haul loop
Manufacturer: Black Diamond
Our Analysis and Test Results
New Version of the Ozone Vs. Older Version
To be sure what you're getting the latest model of the Ozone, you'll want to purchase the version with the gear loops. This new version also weighs 20 grams less than the version that we reviewed. This harness also features a pre-threaded speed adjust buckle and a differently shaped waist belt. In addition, the new model now features a mesh interior with an abrasion-resistant shell for both the waist band and the leg loops. Four gear loops have also been added. Black Diamond adds that,
- Black Diamond
Take a look below to compare the differences between the newest model, located on the left, and the older model, pictured right.
This harness is very comfortable considering how light and compact it is. Surprisingly, a few testers found the women's version, the Aura, more comfortable than the Black Diamond Chaos, which is beefier, more expensive and is supposed to be more comfortable. It could be that our testers (all men) fit better in women's harnesses. Who knew? At any rate, we were pleasantly surprised at how well it fit. Despite having only two gear loops, it was possible to fit a ton of draws because the gear loops are so big.
The main dislike is the fact that the Ozone has no rear gear loops or haul loop. We understand that the harness is targeted for sport climbing and Black Diamond wants to steer trad climbers toward the Chaos, but it would be nice if this had four gear loops for multi-pitch climbing.
Another point: the yellow color really popped at first and looks great in photos. However, this harness also shows dirt faster than any other. So if you want this harness to look pristine, you really must take care of it.
The elastic on the leg loops does not release quickly and easily. This might not be a big deal to some people, but the women's Aura should have a better release system. We prefer the buckle release Black Diamond uses on its Momentum harness.
This harness is designed for sport climbing and gym climbing.
For $40 less you can get the Mad Rock Alpha, which is not as highly rated but is almost as comfortable and has four gear loops, making it more practical for traditional climbing. However, most people keep their harness for many years and use it a ton so the Aura could be well worth the extra bucks it was one of our favorite harnesses for sport climbing.
— Chris McNamara