I've been climbing in the Black Diamond Solution ($70) for six months now, both outside and in the gym, and it's quickly become my favorite harness. Here's why.
The Solution features a slim, minimalist design and weighs just 11 ounces. At first glance, the lack of padding seems like it would be miserable to wear for an entire day, but don't let its looks fool you.
An important aspect of a harness is how the waistband and leg loops hold and distribute weight. The Solution does this better than any harness I've worn over my seven years of climbing, thanks to an internal structure comprised of three webbing bands that help spread loads. This design cleverly relieves pressure and pinching.
The thin, mesh-lined material breathes well, which means I sweat less than when I'm in a bulkier harness. I’ve worn the Solution while slowly working through climbs at my limit, long belays, and route setting, and it’s never felt painful or cut off my circulation. I can't say the same for any other harness I've used.
Because it's light and well-fitted, the Solution is perfect for putting down sport-climbing projects. But it’s also comfortable during the times I spend hanging on the rope sussing out a tricky route sequence or waiting for my forearms to recover. It’s easy to get on, too, with fixed, stretchy leg loops and a quick-to-adjust waist strap.
Plus, the sleek design looks great. You know what they say: “Look good, climb hard.” At least I’ve got the first part down.