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James's Passions

Sport Climbing

James's Bio


James wrote an answer about on March 22, 2012

I ended up buying this harness and here's what I found:

- The leg loops fit much tighter than on the older model (2009) orange-and-green Black Diamond Chaos, but this is accurately reflected in the size chart numbers on the Black Diamond website.
- Also on the BD website, there is an updated picture of the Focus with 4 normal gear loops; NOT the “mondo” gear loops pictured here on backcountry. The Focus harness I got has the normal gear loops. These gear loops are the same as on the new Flight/Siren and Momentum/Primrose harnesses. They are slightly different from the gear loops on the new Chaos and Ozone/Aura harnesses (because they don't have the little grey retention piece where the gear loop goes into the waist belt).
- The rear 5th gear loop is not rigid and does not have a plastic sheath like the other 4 gear loops. It is fairly taut however, so it doesn't sag much when loaded with gear. I can imagine it getting frayed with some use.
- The widths of both the waist belt and the leg loops are narrow – a little narrower than on the Momentum and much narrower than on my 2009 Chaos. The leg loops on the Focus are noticeably less comfortable to hang in.

I will keep this harness because it is the only 5-gear-loop harness that Black Diamond makes so far, and I like BD's rigid, straight gear loops. I hesitate to recommend it though – someone who wants a rear gear loop probably wants the harness for trad climbing, and this is a less-comfortable option. I wish they made a Kinetic-Core Construction harness with mondo gear loops, a rear gear loop, the narrow belay loop, and conical-shaped trak-fit legs.




James wrote a question about on February 29, 2012

Anyone know how these leg loops fit compared to, say, the previous model BD Chaos harness? And how comfortable they are to hang in on trad days vs the Chaos?

How rigid is that rear gear loop? Would it sag much after clipping gear to it? It looks like its not the same construction as the regular gear loops on the side.




James wrote a review of on October 14, 2011

4 5

I prefer the DMM phantom screwgate (41.5/42 g) for 3 (minor) reasons:
- The nose "hooks" on the neon. There is more of a bend in the shape of this part of the carabiner. But the nose on the phantom is a smoother curve so it snags a little less when unclipping bolt anchors and such. This seems to matter more when handling smaller carabiners like the neon than large ones.
- The screwgate on the neon is a little stiffer AND requires more turns to lock and unlock. If you compare it to the screwgate action of say, the Petzl Attache 3D, the difference is very noticeable and starts to annoy.
- When the neon is locked, it looks like it might not be fully locked. The nose protrudes out of the screwgate sleeve more than on most other lockers.

The downside of the phantom is that the gate opening is slightly (1 or 2 mm) smaller. The other option for lightweight locking biners is the CAMP photon screwgate (42 g) which doesn't feel quite as solid and I'm not sold on yet.