Hands-on Gear Review

Black Diamond Ozone Review

Black Diamond Ozone
Price:  $100 List | $69.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Comfortable, light
Cons:  Only two gear loops, no haul loop
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Black Diamond

Our Verdict

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.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Chris McNamara

Last Updated:
Monday
April 13, 2015

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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,

"The color and cosmetic look has also been updated to look cleaner."
-Black Diamond

Take a look below to compare the differences between the newest model, located on the left, and the older model, pictured right.

Black Diamond Ozone
Black Diamond Ozone Harness

Hands-On Review



Likes


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.

Dislikes


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.

Best Application


This harness is designed for sport climbing and gym climbing.

Value


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

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Most recent review: April 13, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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 (5.0)

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 100%  (2)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Climber

Jul 22, 2011 - 08:49am
 
Melissa · Climber · berkeley, ca
I don't know if they are still making the harness shown above. I just got a harness that is also called Ozone that is a new release, and IMO, they really nailed it this time.

The light harnesses that I've had previously have all been paired down to nothing with a really steep 80 ft. redpoint in mind when they were designed. I wanted a light harness for long hikes and climbs.

Most harnesses marketed as comfy or all-day or "trad" have too much crap on them for my taste…leg buckles, plastic snaps on the butt, heavy padding, a stiff high profile tie in that makes the point where your oh-dub becomes a squeeze about two inches larger (even the lightwieghts have this "feature".

The last generation of light harnesses were too minimal for big days. The one shown above didn't have enough gear loops to handle a rack and the need to move it around. Arcteryx has comfy lightweight harnesses, but the thinness of the buckle webbing scares me and would probably lead to early harness retirement (relative to harnesses w/ a fatter waistbelt). The Petzl Sama was pretty good, but not that comfortable and mesh stuff shredded almost immediately.

But the NEW Ozone totally nailed it. The waist band is lightly, but adequately padded and distributes your weight throughout it (not a strap of webbing). The buckle webbing is about twice as wide as the stuff on the Arcteryx. The FOUR gear loops are low profile and stay close to my butt. It has a small haul loop that appears full strength (I haven't checked specs though). The butt strap clips are tiny/low profile. It has the softest tie-in point that I've seen in years. It's comfortable. And, it only weighs 11 oz.

In my perfect world, the only thing that I'd change on this harness is the buckle. It has one of those ones that you never undo. I've never heard of one failing, but I figure that if all I need to do is pry up the size to get it to open up, then the same thing could happen if it ever hung up just so when I'm climbing. I'd rather have the responsibility of remember to double it back.

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   Jul 22, 2011 - 03:58am
Cormes · Climber · Cape Town
NB: I only use this for sport!
Very light, comfortable and compact! Initially missed 2nd/rear gear loop, but after climbing with one realised this is way better, Would need that for trad. though, I will order the Black Diamond Chaos for trad. Has a nice large belay loop. Love the fact that it comes with its own baggie too! :-) Folds away to nothing for packing!

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


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