Best Rock Climbing Harness: Black Diamond Chaos Harness Review

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From the hard single-pitch splitters of Indian Creek to the soaring alpine walls of the Charakusa Valley, the Black Diamond Chaos harness is a highly durable, premium trad climbing harness that’s built for long routes and serious abuse. Equally suited to cragging sessions and multi-pitch free climbs, the Chaos features Kinetic Core Construction, which uses a thin layer of Vectran fibers in place of traditional webbing to evenly distribute weight across the waist and legs. Four pressure-molded gear loops hold cams, slings and on-route essentials, and the front two loops are oversized for optimized racking. A Forged Speed Adjust buckle makes for easy on and off, while the rear 12 kN-rated haul loop secures your tag line.

 

What is it?

The Black Diamond Chaos is a high spec trad climbing harness aimed at those operating at a fairly high level. Weight is kept to a minimum by eliminating traditional bulky padding in favour of a Kinetic Core Construction which uses Vectran strands which travel the length of the waistbelt to evenly distribute load and offer support and a breathable 3D mesh lining. The Black Diamond Chaos also features and abrasion resistant shell, 4 moulded gear loops, adjustable rise and a speed adjust waist buckle.

This rock climbing specific harness has everything you need for a day at the crag or a huge multi-pitch climb. If you don’t venture into the alpine or ice climb very often, this harness will excel at everything you throw at it. This is a super versatile harness and would be our pick if we could only have one harness for everything from the gym to done-in-a-day routes.


We Liked:

  • We loved how comfortable this harness is and enjoyed not having to mess with leg loop buckles.
  • The Kinetic Core Construction makes this harness quite comfortable without making it heavy.

We Didn’t Like:

  • We wish the harness would breathe a little bit better, but it breathes much better than any other harness We’ve worn and only notice it when standing around in the gym.
  • Not as adjustable as other harnesses.
  • No ice clipper slots.

Overall

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Best Rock Climbing Helmet: Petzl Elios Helmet Review

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Say hello to Petzl’s version of the Black Diamond Half Dome. The Elios features similar design concepts, a hard plastic shell that can absorb a lot of impact, an EPS foam interior, and adjustable straps. These are all the things you’ve come (by now) to know and expect from a helmet.

 

What is it?

This is the latest version of the Petzl Elios Helmet. The ventilation slots on this updated model can be opened or closed depending on the conditions. Furthermore the dial adjustment system has been replaced by two push-buttons.

The Petzl Elios helmet is durable and offers efficient protection against impact with its ABS shell and polystyrene foam liner. It is entirely adjustable and adapts to all head shapes. The sliding ventilation slots allow the user to open or close them depending on conditions. It is very versatile, and adapts to climbing,  mountaineering, caving, via ferrata, canyoning, etc.

The Elios has vents and a cool feature that allows you to open or close the vents depending on your preference. That makes the Elios versatile and better suited for hot weather, but you pay for that in weight and cost. Additionally, the Elios comes in a women’s-specific version, dubbed the Elia, designed to fit smaller heads and accommodate ponytails.

We Liked:

  • Just like the Half Dome, this helmet is a great entry-level helmet.
  • Fits well and the vents seem to even manage to hold the water out when closed, which we didn’t really expect.

We Didn’t Like:

  • Still pretty heavy!
  • The vent shutters are somewhat stiff to adjust, but they can be positioned anywhere between fully open and fully closed when desired.
  • More expensive than the Half Dome.

Overall

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