Black Diamond Zone
The Zone is Black Diamond’s lightest harness, if barely. At 11.3 ounces for a men’s medium, the Zone is .7 ounces lighter than Black Diamond’s older and still available Solution ($69.96), which I reviewed about a year ago. Unless you are a hummingbird you won’t miss .7 ounces but as a capitalist you may notice the $30 more you’ll pay for the Zone.
You may also notice the Zone and Solution use the same gear loops, waist belt and buckle, and look and feel, at least in hand, similar. What gives?
For all its similarities to the Solution, the Zone is its own boss. Mainly, it is much more svelte. The waist belt, leg loops and belay loop are narrower. The trimmings make the Zone feel nearly unnoticeable. No doubt this is also to do with what BD calls “Fusion Comfort Technology.” Rather than incorporating a traditional slab of foam for padding, the Zone uses three bands of narrow webbing fanned an inch apart and backed with a smidge of foam and a soft porous lining. The various layers add up to about the thickness of a half dollar, and make it feel more like a hammock than a harness.
BD said the Zone is for sport and alpine. I only used it for sport, although I can see that its two ice clipper loops would come in handy once the snow flies.
I couldn’t find a fault with the Zone. It is comfortable, its four outward canted gear loops make snapping things on and off … a snap! Even the narrow 3/8-inch-wide belay loop is a nice touch, if for no other reason than it is narrow, and that makes me feel lighter.
-11.3 oz. (medium).
-Thin, packs well.
-Comfortable even when you are lightly clothed.
-Svelte, trim fit is nearly unnoticeable.
-Available in men’s or women’s.
-Two ice clipper loops.
This article appeared in Rock and Ice issue 247 (January 2018).
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