Black Diamond Xenos harness

GearFlogger reviews the Black Diamond Xenos harness

Black Diamond has been in the harness business a long time now. Having learned to climb back in the good old days – even the descent was uphill, punk! – I've graduated from the Alpine Bod to their current pinnacle of alpine ice climbing goodness, the Xenos. The Xenos replaces the Blizzard, and where the Blizzard was good the Xenos is great.

It has the same Kinetic Core construction as the other top-of-the-line BD harnesses, and is constructed of materials that do a great job of shedding water. The waistbelt is thicker in all dimensions in the rear for comfort, and thinner and narrower in the front so it doesn't get in the way of your bat-hanging, figure-four contorting self.

The waistbelt is pre-threaded, meaning it's designed to stay buckled and just be tightened up after putting it on, but really you can un-thread and re-thread easily if you need to. Leg loops are adjustable, a must for conditions where layers are flying on and off faster than pajamas at the Playboy mansion. The keeper straps on the back are individually adjustable with buckles and are elastic, so they keep the leg loops in the right place while giving you a little room to move on the high steps.

Four beefy gear loops are molded to stick out from the harness, making racking and releasing gear a breeze. The loops hang low so they don't interfere with a pack hip belt. There are six ice clipper slots, with one three on each side located where the gear loops meet the waist belt. This is a good location to minimize interference with loop-racked gear. The haul loop on back is bomber, rated at 12kN. The whole enchilada weighs in at 18oz, and even though that's twice as heavy as your redpoint rig, the Xenos is so comfortable and well-designed don't be surprised if you find yourself living in it whatever you're climbing.

$106.21 (on sale from $124.95) at Moosejaw




Note to readers: As of November 1, 2022, Gearflogger no longer participates in affiliate programs or accepts commissions on links to products. We’ll find some other way to make money. Maybe get a real job. Maybe not.

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