Petzl and the Black Diamond harnesses excel at different levels when it comes to climbing, both companies do have a variety of harnesses for different genders including kids, however, they are very distinct when it comes to other products and the only thing that brings them together are the harnesses.
And even in the latter, it is very clear that Petzl does offer a wide variety and category of harnesses.
The company, therefore, has up to 8 categories of harnesses some of which are the fall arrest harness, the rope access harness, tree and care harness, and evacuations triangles among others.
All these categories have been further subdivided with regard to the style of harness, for example under the Harnesses for fall arrest, and work positioning there are at least three different types of harnesses, which are the chest harness, and the comfortable seat harness.
Then there is the comfortable harness for fall arrest that also includes work positioning and suspension.
Now when we go back to Black Diamond they also do have a number of products apart from the harness, for example, they have the men’s apparel, and here you can find jackets, hats, gloves and performance footwear among others.
Then there are the women’s apparel, and the climb, snow, and trail products.
The below excerpt will, however, focus on the harnesses from the two reputable manufacturers and determine the one that stacks up best from the other.
As we mentioned earlier Petzl has specialized in harnesses and other climbing gear but does not manufacture apparel like Black Diamond.
Harnesses from Petzl come in varieties and categories, so different climbers can be sure of getting a harness that suits their style from Petzl. So what should you expect from a Petzl harness?
Harnesses from Petzl adhere to three strict principles, which are safety, comfort and ergonomics; since they do run different types of harnesses, we did a random selection and will thus study one of their harnesses “the Aquilla” and see if it lives up to the companies standards.
The Petzl Aquila
Aquila is a climbing harness but specifically designed for use in a gym, on a multi-pitch route or at the crag.
Let us now dig into the comfort features that have been incorporated in the Aquila harness, beginning from the waist belt, where you will notice that it features a wide structure, which is an effective design when it comes to weight distribution, and even more important is that it makes it useable by large people.
The second main component of a harness is its leg loops, and the Aquila harness has incorporated a double-back buckle that is adjustable and quickly adapts to the different types of clothing that you might have to wear.
An adjustable buckle is indicative that different body sizes can fit into the harness and once inside you only need to adjust it for a perfect fit.
Now the comfort feature that makes the Aquilla harness to stand out is the technology incorporated in the construction of the waist belt, the FuseFrame technology.
The latter ensures that the waist belt is thin and supple, and minimal weight enhances freedom during movement.
As you work heights you need to carry some gear with you that will help you to successfully complete your mission. So, how has the Aquila harness provided for this?
For starters, the harness is compatible with the caritool tool holder for which it has provided two slots. A Caritool tool holder organizes gear that is to be attached to the harness, for example, you could attach cams, ice screws, pitons and other small tools.
For your other transportation needs, you have been provided with two rear equipment loops, that you can use to bring gear to the front and it also enhances comfort in case you have to carry a backpack.
And for your quickdraws, the Aquila harness has integrated two equipment loops at the front so that you can clip and unclip without too much hustle.
What about durability? The features that enhance the durability of the harness are quite impressive, for one, the tie-in points have been reinforced with modulus polyethylene, a feature that prevents tear and wears from rope friction.
The exterior fabric of the harness is abrasion-resistant thus enhancing durability and the double back HD buckles incorporated in the waist belt and the leg loops have been forged in aluminum.
The latter has two functions one is that it offers fluid glide and enables a good grip on the webbing, climbers can, therefore, take less time and easily adjust their buckles.
Climbers who wish to attach their trail line have been provided for with one rear loop. To this end, it is safe to conclude that the Petzl harness has thus lived up to its standards as concerns comfort, safety and ergonomics.
The Black Diamond Harness
Black diamond is one of a kind retailer because it ensures that you have all the equipments you need when you decide to cross out climbing in your bucket list.
The retailer will provide you with performance footwear that will tackle the difficult terrain, you will also be able to shop for your helmet, chalk and chalk bags among other things.
And for those interested in taking the trail then you can get your gaiters, trekking poles, and tents or bivys from black diamond.
This is to say that all the stuff that you want for your mission are of good quality and can be found under one roof. When it comes to working heights, people are always concerned about their safety, which is then guaranteed by the quality of equipments that they use.
To this end, we will take a look at the harnesses from black diamond and determine whether it stacks up when compared to Petzl.
The women’s AirNet harness from Black Diamond comes at a steep price when compared to some of the best performing harnesses from Petzl, and given that it’s one of the company’s newest product in the market; let us see if it is up to standard.
Now in case, you didn’t know the Airnet harness has been constructed for use in the 2020 Olympics.
But be informed that with the Airnet harness you will only be able to access the general information on performance but not the detailed specifics as witnessed in the Petzl.
Comfort in the Airnet harness has been enhanced by its ultra-breathable feature, which ensures that load is distributed evenly across the net especially during falls.
The harness has integrated a belaying infinity loop, which has been constructed in such a manner that prevents the belay loop shift when a climber is dodging a route and is caught by the belay loop seam.
Included are the pressure-molded gear loops at the front and back of the harness, and the rear gear loops have been constructed to be low profile under advisement by the leading world championship climber Adam Ondra.
According to the Czech Professional climber, the low profile rear gears loops are meant to reduce bulk thus save the weight.
The upper and lower ties in points have incorporated the black Dynex thus light in weight and durable. Climbers also don’t have to worry about skin irritation around the waist belt and the leg loops as the edges have been taped and are seamless.
Performance of Petzl vs the Black Diamond Harness
Both harnesses have stack up well, and the companies do offer a competitive edge when it comes to products because each of them specializes in different niches.
Performance of both the harnesses is with regard to the style of climbing, but if we are to look at the black diamond individually, they are performance-oriented to the extent of incorporating the suggestion of the users in a bid to make the harness user-friendly.
Petzl, on the other hand, has the user’s interest at heart and that is why every minute detail has been given careful thought and constructed to suit the user’s needs, it is therefore, safe to say that harnesses from Petzl are all round and also come at an affordable price.
Both Petzl and Black Diamond do manufacture other climbing gears that are as necessary as the harness.
Remember the harness is just an aspect among many other different aspects of climbing, things like footwear, and clothing are some of the necessary accompaniments that should be put into consideration when planning to work the heights.
What are some of the recommended mountaineering gear?
Professional climbers are well versed with the essentials of mountaineering, newbie’s on the other hand, might need a helping hand and that is why we are here.
Now let’s start with the clothes that you must have or risk being airlifted. Remember going mountain climbing without the below stuff, will most likely put your teammates in danger, as they try to save your life.
Help has to be sought and may take hours, so it is best to go prepared and with the right gear.
Putting on gloves while on this escapade is not an option even if the sun is hot. Apart from keeping you warm, they will help you achieve a tight grip, and prevent unnecessary injuries resulting from gripping and climbing.
Now the types of gloves that you choose to get are largely dependent on your style of climbing and the weather you are going to encounter.
Assuming you have already done a thorough research of the weather, don’t choose gloves because of aesthetics, there are those that are attractive but not warm enough for ice-cold mountains.
And remember you will be tying and adjusting knots, and this can’t be done with very thick gloves, you will thus need ones that are light in weight. So to conclude is that you will need at least two pairs of gloves.
A Helmet has to be the most uncomfortable thing that you have to wear during a climb, for one they are bulky, might encourage sweating and may even fail to absorb the sweat.
But you need it if you want to stay alive. When mountaineering you never know what is happening above you, and there is no telling what will come rolling down, the reason why you should be prepared.
An accidental fall might have you hit your head on hard ground, and small pieces of rock are bound to come rolling down, even worse is that the wind might send chunks of ice rolling down and truth be told the ice and rock will hit different if you have your helmet on, than without.
You definitely need this if you plan on scaling a steep terrain and the good thing is that they normally fit into crampons, so even if you lose traction you still have viable options.
What’s more, is that the boots offer the wearer warmth, this is especially important in preventing frostbite when you suddenly encounter extreme weather conditions.
Are used to control the rope during rappelling or belaying, they, therefore, help minimize the physical effort involved in the process. Belay devices are normally made of metallic material and come in handy when scaling ice or rock faces.
Even if you have never climbed before, you just know that you will need a rope, but what you don’t know is that you will need two types of ropes.
One that is stretchable and the other that is static, the former are effective when someone accidentally slips and falls and the latter are effective when you have to transport equipment up the mountain.
Petzl and Black diamond harnesses work perfectly, besides you are able to choose a harness with regard to your climbing style.
However, from the information above it is quite apparent that Petzl are quite forthcoming with information on the minute details as concerns the manufacture of the harness, while Black Diamond are a bit reserved, but that doesn’t mean that their harness are not as effective.
So as you shop for your climbing companion be sure to visit the legit stores, whether online or physical because in mountaineering your life literary hangs on a rope, and knock offs abound.