Black Diamond Solution vs Petzl Selena Harness Review
Looking to replace your harness but going between the Black Diamond (“BD”) Women’s Solution and Petzl’s Selena harness? After climbing and belaying in the harnesses for awhile, here are some of my thoughts. First I’ll start off by comparing the specs of the harness.
The BD Women’s Solution harness comes in two different color schemes (Black/Nickel and Black/Octane) with an autolocking waist buckle, non-adjustable leg loops, four gear loops, and releasable risers for when mother nature calls. The BD Solution also utilizes Fusion Comfort Technology, which fuses three separate strands to four-way stretch nylon and 3D air mesh to ensure the best performance on the wall as well as a comfortable catch when you fall off the wall. The women’s Solution harness comes in at a weight of 11 oz.
The Petzl Selena harness only comes in one color scheme (Teal) and features an autolocking waist buckle, non adjustable leg loops, two rigid gear loops near the front of the harness and two soft gear loops towards the back, a rear loop for trail line or chalk bag and releasable risers. The Selena harness’s EndoFrame construction sews thin padding to webbing in order to amplify cushioning for hanging on the climb. The EndoFrame also minimizes pressure points so you don't end up having sore spots the next day. The Selena comes in at a weight of 15 oz.
For sizing references, I’m 5’3” and fluctuate in weight from 128 - 135 lbs., so I ordered a small in the BD Women’s Solution and Petzl Selena. Both of the harnesses fit me well in the waist and thighs. I purchased these sizes based off of how well they fit my waist - the buckle adjustment on both harnesses fit about halfway through its range - which gives me some room to work with if I gain or lose some weight. Note that both the Selena and Solution harnesses are women’s specific harnesses. Women’s specific harnesses generally have wider leg loops, but smaller waist belts than men's/unisex harnesses, to accommodate a woman’s body shape.
Both the BD Women’s Solution and the Petzl Selena are more comfortable and lightweight compared to my old Mammut Ophir 3 Slide harness, which has adjustable leg loops. However, the BD Solution was noticeably more lightweight than the Selena harness. The Solution felt like I wasn’t wearing a harness at all, which was an unfamiliar, but welcome feeling. Both harnesses also breath fairly well, much to my delight. This was a feature I appreciated during an 84℉ day trip up to Mount St. Helena, CA.
I did notice that the Solution gear loops are smaller than the Selena, so if you’re going for an all around harness (e.x. sport, trad, ice, etc), the Solutions’ gear loops will most likely be an issue. I did not find the smaller gear loops on the Solution to be an issue during single pitch sport climbing.
I have taken top rope and lead falls on both harnesses in the gym. The catches in each of the harnesses were comfortable and didn’t pinch any pressure points on my body. However, I did notice that when it came time to belaying my climbing partners, the Petzl Selena pinched some pressure points in my inner thighs, especially when giving a tighter than normal belay. The pressure I felt was not a deal breaker for me, but it was a drawback when compared to the Solution.
In all, both harnesses are great choices, but if you’re looking for a more versatile harness across disciplines, then I would recommend the Petzl Selena. If you primarily sport climb, then the BD Solution is the way to go.