The Bod and Alpine Bod harnesses reviewedManufactured by Black Diamond - £40 and £30, added Dec/2003
Reviewed by Dave Hunter
First and foremost both Bod versions are light. Now, if you want really
light then the Alpine Bod is the way to go and it shares many excellent
features with the Bod. The Bod has much wider tape than the Alpine Bod (much wider than
on any other harness), making it significantly comfier on hanging and
semi-hanging belays, in fact more comfortable than many padded harnesses!
Secondly it is very quick and easy to put on (again a feature shared by the Alpine Bod). This is because the design of the harness is such that it allows plastic clip buckles to be used on the leg loops. So, no messing about with frozen fingers trying to thread through metal buckles on your leg loops. There is a metal buckle on the waist of course but the wide waist belt means that threading this is significantly easier than on many harnesses. It comes with a belay loop (which the Alpine Bod lacks), four good-sized gear loops and a haul loop at the back.
The downsides? Well, by no stretch of the imagination is it a sport cragging harness, the unpadded tape would chafe a bit on bare legs, and might be a bit uncomfortable with thin summer trousers. Some might worry that the plastic buckles are a bit flimsy, but there seems to have been very few problems with breakages.
Sizes range from Small to Extra Large and it’s worth bearing in mind that you’ll want to fit for your winter clothing system when you try one on.
Generally speaking either version of Bod Harness would be an excellent choice for long mountain routes, winter climbing and any situation where weight is an issue.