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A featherweight harness for technical and vertical adventure.

If your planked adventures take you to less-than-ski-friendly terrain, you'll be glad you packed your Black Diamond Couloir Harness. Since it weighs in at just 230 grams, consider this your reminder that it's even there. When you're about to work a short rappel or glacier traverse, just tie in and go.

  • Load-bearing and strength-rated design
  • Webbing gear loops and ice clipper slots for your hardware
  • Can be put on and taken off while wearing skis
  • Low-profile gear loops don't interfere with your harness

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Black Diamond Couloir Harness

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Here's what others have to say...

4 5


This harness is very basic and light. Not ideal for very long rappel, because your tapes may not have much comfort. But it is great for those who want to make tracks in which there are obstacles that require climbing or descending. I liked!

2 5


  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Have used this harness for a bit of everything, mostly glacier travel but also ice climbing and rock climbing in a pitch.

- tiny, lightweight. This is a very big pro, as it weighs almost nothing and packs enormously tiny. Note: not very padded, so I use a different harness if I plan to hang in it at all.

- the front buckle is the worst buckle design in the history of buckles. It's really hard to double back in a warm room with bare fingers, and almost impossible to do when you are very cold with gloves. There is no earthly reason it needs to be so difficult.
- the little buckles holding the leg straps up (well, it appears that is their intended purpose, I don't see them actually doing much) have broken and now dangle forelornly. I would have to have them re-stitched in order to replace them with a different buckle. So I tie the little straps to something so they don't get caught. They are not weight-bearing but the buckle is still poor quality.

All in all it's decent, it's light and small and there are many occasions where that is the most important, but it could be made with better buckles and save us all a headache. You may want to consider other alpine harnesses.

Responded on

I would have to absolutely agree with the buckle design. Although I use this harness exclusively on cold trips where I am providing the padding with extra clothing, getting the front buckle going at 10 degrees during a pitch black alpine start is horrendous.

5 5

Love it

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I spend a good deal of time on extended back-country trips so I've wound up using this harness for rappelling, rock and ice climbing, glacier travel, and moving on fixed lines. Once again, I love this harness.

As others have said: the size and weight are awesome and it's super easy to put on and take off so you don't have to fumble about when you're wearing large boots, crampons, or anything else on your feet. I'm also impressed by how comfortable it is, even when weighted, considering how minimalist it is.

As for sizing, I didn't have any problems at all. I wear size 6 in women's pants (an XS/S sport climbing harness) so I went for the S/M, figuring I would need more room for layering. Even when I'm just in base layers it fits me so that I have a few extra inches that I could tighten it, and when I'm dressed for warmth I have plenty tail to safely double back.

4 5

Very good skimountaineering harness.

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Light and comfortable, you can have it on for the whole day. The only disadvantage are the buckles that are hard to handle. Especially having your gloves on. Gear loops could be better, but how much gear do we have on them skitouring.

Light, yet stout

Light, yet stout

Approaching the summit of Three Fingered Jack in central OR.

Responded on

Awesome picture Karen !!!

I selected this image to feature on the homepage of in our Activity Feed! Congrats on being GOATWORTHY !!!

Glacier Country, NZ

Glacier Country, NZ

You know you're somewhere really cool when you have to fix a rope and clip in a harness just to go to the toilet!

Responded on

Awesome picture Richard !!!

I selected this image to feature on the homepage in our Activity Feed! Congrats on being GOATWORTHY !!!

Hope you are getting after it in the austral winter!

5 5

Size matters

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Great harness for when you need something lightweight and compact. I use mine exclusively for canyoneering/rappelling, and for me it's great, even though that is not exactly the intended application of this harness. I do tons of canyoneering and have a few different harnesses. This is the one I use when there's a tough or long approach and I want as little weight as possible. If I know I'm going to ascend the rope or otherwise be suspended in the harness for a long period of time, I use a more padded harness. Best feature of this harness is how it folds into a very small carry pouch (see picture). Bottom line: great harness for the money.

Size matters
4 5

Lightweight and straightforward

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is a great minimalist harness for ski mountaineering. It doesn't take up a ton of room in your pack and you can put in on without taking off your skis. Nice. Sizing can be a little funky, having a 32in waist (yet putting it on over my ski clothes) i felt like i fell a bit between sizes. I went with the S/M, and it works pretty well, but not sure how well it would work over a large puffy. That said, it sounds like those went with the larger size also had issues. If you think you fall between sizes, i'd order two and return one.

4 5

Weird Sizing

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is a great, lightweight harness, but the sizing is weird. I am 6ft 185, 32in waist. Went with the M/L based on the sizing chart. Turns out, the sizing chart isn't even applicable to the Couloir harness. The M/L is pretty much maxed out on me. If I would have seen the correct size chart on BDs website, I would have sized down. You can find that here:

4 5

Great for splitboard mountaineering

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Used this guy for a few ski mountaineering days in the Tetons this year - mostly rappelling into drop zones and a few running belays, but it worked great.

Packs super easy and is relatively comfortable considering its minimalism. You probably wouldn't want to run hours of sport rock laps in it, but I'll definitely be taking it in my summer pack for raps and icy couloirs.

Only complaint would be that the buckle is a bit difficult to work with gloves on.

Great for splitboard mountaineering
3 5

I fell in...and stayed in...mostly

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

So this one time I fell head first into a crevasse... (sounds way worse than it was, because I was roped to an anchor and had ~triple redundancy on the safety end of things)
But basically this thing save my life.
One minor sketchy aspect: even though I doubled back my harness, the waist managed to stretch a little bit during my fall.
It was super concerning, and I have no idea why that happened, I dont think I put that much pressure on it... It was a very short fall...
Considering I was upside down in the crevasse (same one as the image below) the waist belt was crucial, so that marginal slippage could have been detrimental. BUT it did hold me in. I made it out, alive and smiling, then went back down to have a second look at the crevasse...

For what its worth: all the other times I've used it, i've had no problems.

Positives: super lightweight, and if your wearing it over thick pants its actually sufficiently comfortable to be sitting in.
Bathroom usage is also a breeze!

recommendations: if you are female, and have a very small waist, beware... the small is not all that small...

Listening to the heart of the glaciers..

Listening to the heart of the glaciers..

...while wearing my BD Couloir Harness

photo: inside the Vaughn Lewis Icefall- Gilkey Trench, Juneau Icefield, Alaska; during the Juneau Icefield Research Program.
Taken by Adam Tayor of Foggy Lense Photography

5 5

Perfect Ski Mountaineering Harness

If you are looking for a lightweight comfortable harness you can put on without taking your skis off you have come to the right place. Super packable when its off, barely noticeable when its on. I would highly recommend this to anyone that finds themselves roping up in an alpine environment.

The only downfall of the harness is difficulty feeding the waist strap back through the buckle in the extreme cold, but thats a problem for most.

Unanswered Question

Am looking at the comparison between the...

Am looking at the comparison between the CAMP USA Alp 95 harness and the BD Couloir. First question is how small does the BD pack down to and is it worth the extra weight to have a slightly more adjustable leg loop?
* main use for rap and accasional tricky bits and looking for ultra light (not comfort) since I have a good climbing harness for any bigger objetives

4 5

The Couloir Harness

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The Couloir Harness gets the job done, but it is not perfect. That being said, this is my, and many of my friends go to harness for glacier travel, alpine climbing, and all my ski mountaineering.

My first recommendation for someone looking to purchase this harness is check the size. I am around a 30 waist and I have the Couloir in a size Small. I found the Medium to be too big, and had problems with it sagging. My recommendation on sizing would be going with the smaller size bracket you may fall in if you are between two sizes.

My biggest, yet still minor, complaint with the harness is the buckle. Using this guy in some very cold places it would be nice to have a buckle that I could follow through with gloves on. It is not the easiest buckle to tighten and easy to not tighten correctly if you are not paying attention.

If you are looking to use with Ice Screw Clips, I would suggest buying the Black Diamond Ice Clipper one, as it works well with the clip loops.

Another convenient feature of the harness besides its compact and light design is its ability to be put on with skis on. Whether skinning onto a glacier or encountering some unexpected rope work, its nice to not have to fiddle with skis or crampons to put this harness on.

The Couloir packs down to a little bigger than a fist, and comes with a nice stuff sack. The two gear loops are more than adequate, but don't expect them to clip as easily as a normal harness with rigid loops. This is not a comfortable harness when weighted, but comfort is not what the Alpine is about. Unweighted, and even when roped up, the harness is quite comfortable and perfect for long days.

Below: The Fabrikant styles out in his Couloir harness on top of the Grand Teton.

The Couloir Harness
5 5

Now in fashonista black!

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I got this harness a few years ago and it was only available in burnt orange. Now it's in black! how exciting!

Forgetting the fashion talk for a minute, this harness is perfect for mountaineering and ski mountaineering. At 9 oz. it sits in the bottom of my bag next to a biner and ATC for that occasional repel during technical ski tours. I don't have to worry about making space for a full sized harness, yet I can climb vertical ice or rappel on this with confidence. It comes completely apart so you can get it on without removing skis That's key.
It's not much fun to sit in and weight. but it's not designed to be comfortable. Sitting is for a Lazy Boy, in his Lazy Boy.