UKC

REVIEW: Black Diamond Zone Harness

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 UKC Gear 22 Oct 2021

It might have been designed primarily for sport, but as a comfy and versatile all-rounder this is a harness we've struggled to fault.

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In reply to UKC Gear:

What, if anything, substantive separates the Zone from the BD Technician? 

I love my BD Technician - the only thing this seems to offer that is different is the infinity belay loop. Or am I missing something? Is this harness scheduled to replace the Technician in BD's line-up?

 Wil Treasure 22 Oct 2021
In reply to Paul Sagar:

The Technician has 4 ice clipper slots and adjustable leg loops, the Zone only has 2 and fixed leg loops.

I don't know if it's the case here, but older BD models had different face fabrics on harnesses designed for winter use, so that they didn't absorb as much moisture.

In reply to UKC Gear:

If the AirNet built quality is anything to go by... mine has had three months use and the seam tape bordering the leg loop has unglued itself. I don't think it affects performance, but I can't see it being long lasting harness. Also the stitching on the infinity loop started also to unravel, had to burn the end to stop it. So something to watch out on the Zone too.

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In reply to Ramon Marin:

> If the AirNet built quality is anything to go by... mine has had three months use and the seam tape bordering the leg loop has unglued itself. I don't think it affects performance, but I can't see it being long lasting harness.

If durability is what you're after the airNET is probably the last harness I'd recommend. It's a superlight harness designed with indoor/olympic comp climbing in mind. Whilst it does work equally well outdoors, it's still superlight, and super light and super durable infrequently come hand-in-hand. The Zone would be a much, much better option in this respect, as it's got a much burlier, durable construction. 

That said, knowing how much climbing you do it'd probably last five minutes

> Also the stitching on the infinity loop started also to unravel, had to burn the end to stop it. So something to watch out on the Zone too.

I haven't had this with either, or seen it reported elsewhere, but will keep an eye out. Belay loops usually fluff up a bit, but the word 'unravel' is pretty alarming (and certainly not what you'd want from such an integral part of the structure).

 MischaHY 23 Oct 2021
In reply to UKC Gear:

Nice one Rob. I think the Zone is one of the best harness designs on the market and sits at a good price point. I've been using one for the last two years or so and found it brilliant for literally everything from 8m sport-bouldering in Frankenjura to massive multipitches with 14 hours on the wall. Tiny packsize, great durability and you can get a double rack on it with no issues. I recommend it every chance I get! 

 jezb1 23 Oct 2021
In reply to UKC Gear:

I really like mine. 

The only downside is I do find the gear loops a bit on the small side. They're ok but my last long term similar harness was an Arcteryx one and the gear loops are massive on that which makes the size of the BD's ones more noticeable.

The massive 5th one does negate this problem a little.

Post edited at 11:31
In reply to jezb1:

When I first saw the gear loops I thought “oh dear, here we go…”, as I had kind of expected that due to their size I was inevitably going to have to give them an absolute panning; however, as per the review I barely ended up noticing their size, which really surprised me. I think this came down to them having adequate width, as you could still fit a whole load on, but they were quite as low lying as some in terms of depth.

 jamie_bkc 23 Oct 2021
In reply to Paul Sagar:

I tried the Technician and zone back to back and to add to the other differences above, the front two gear loops are larger on the technician as per the solution guide, whereas the zone they are the same as the rears like the regular solution.

In reply to UKC Gear:

Interesting. As I’m not a fan of adjustable leg loops when I retire my Technician I’ll definitely look at the Zone. Huge fan of both my Technician and Solution - firmly in the Black Diamond camp for harnesses now, though DMM still have first dibs on all hardware for me!


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