Black Diamond Xenos Harness Review

The Black Diamond Xenos Harness is one of the most intelligently designed harness ever made. If you’re serious about rock climbing (especially ice climbing), this harness’ features will blow you away.

But don’t take it from us (or from the manufacturers). Instead, watch video reviews of the Black Diamond Xenos Harness. These are uncut testimonials by real climbers who have actually owned and used it. Then decide if it’s for you.

Video Review

Name: Mike Lewis

Pros: Padded, Comfortable, Double Backed, Versatile

Cons: Leg loop issue

Owned For: 2 years

Recommends: Yes

Hi. My name is Mike Lewis.. I am a guide for the Colorado Mountain School here in Boulder, Colorado and I am going to give a review on the Black Diamond Xenos Harness.

Lots of people have just one harness. I have a lot of different harnesses for lot of different things that I do. But if you are looking for one harness that does it all, I would really suggest this Xenos harness.

Why? Because it is made for winter ice climbing, alpine climbing and you can rock climb in it. It’s adjustable, so can have all kinds of different layers of clothes on or not. It’s also padded, so it’s very comfortable. So you can climb in the gym with this thing or you can go climb crazy, alpine multiday climbs in the Himalayas. Whatever you want to do, you can do it with this harness.

For being a padded harness with lots of adjustments, it’s actually quite light and that’s a big thing when you are carrying your harness in for long approaches to rock climbs or alpine climbs.

So, let me share some of the features about this.

First of all, you have adjustable leg loops. They are padded, which is really nice. You have your belay rappel loop. You have a, I don’t know what they are calling this, but it’s a fixed adjustable harness, so you don’t have to double back the harness. It’s already double backed for you.

Some other aspects of it are that it has these little loop holes here for the ice clippers. So you can clip all your ice tools in there: your ice axes, ice screws, whatever. It gives you multiple places to put those. Once I put this harness on, I’ll show you why that’s important for me.

It also has two gear loops. Some ice climbing harnesses only have one gear loop, but then that doesn’t make it so usable for rock climbing. So, this is more adaptable to different kind of climbing.

You also have a haul loop in the back that’s full strength with webbing, so you can haul a rope behind you. And you also have clip outs, so when you need to go use the bathroom or whatever else you might do, you can just unclip the leg loops and do your business.

I am gonna put this harness on. I don’t remember when I was wearing last time, so I am gonna open the leg loops up a little bit.

Here on the side of this harness is a little place to catch your tail there, which sometimes is important, because I have heard of lots of people that, when they’re rock climbing in a chimney, the tail can get caught and open up a bit. When that happens, it’s not gonna fully come out, but will definitely loosen up a lot. So, it’s nice to have a place to put your tail in.

Now that I have this on, I would like to share couple of features. Depending on how much clothing you wear, if it’s really a cold day or you’re ice climbing, you might have this buckle much looser and much more open. That’s one of the great things about all these different options for the ice clippers. You will notice that on this side, I am using the middle ice clipper hole and over here I am using the front one and the harness keeps it about the same place. So if I am wearing less clothes, I might move this one over. Lots of harnesses have only one option for your ice clipper, but this one has a bunch.

There is only one con that I have about this harness. The one thing that I don’t like about this, and I think Black Diamond is working on this because I have seen some of the other harnesses that they have put out and they’re using a different system… But this feature right here (the leg loop strap), for some reason this will open up. It won’t open up much more than that (about 80% open). I’ll then tighten it down, climb up another hour and I look down and it’s loosened up again. I think it’s something about the thickness of this webbing here on the leg loop. For some reason it doesn’t bite down.

I have seen that in a number of the other Black Diamond Harness that came out over the last few years and as I said, they are working to correct that. Other than that I love the fit. It’s really comfortable for hanging in and hanging belays, thanks to the padding.

How many stars out of 5 would you give it?

Because of the leg loop issue, I will give it a 4 out of 5. If they can fix this leg loop issue, it will definitely be a 5 out of 5 for the harness.

How long do you own it for?

I have had this harness for about 2 years, or may be year and a half. Something like that.

Alright, thank you very much.

Thank you.

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