PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Aspect and Lotus Harnesses
Innovation is what drives everything here at Black Diamond. If we're not making gear better, stronger, lighter, faster, more durable and easier to use, then we're not doing our job. In this ongoing series of monthly posts, we'll be giving you an inside look at some of our most innovative products through one-on-one interviews with our team of industry-leading product designers and category directors.
This month we talked with Softgoods Category Director Nathan Kuder to get the inside scoop on our redesigned Aspect and Lotus, a pair of gender-specific, 4-season harnesses that cllimb everything from alpine gnar in the Canadian Rockies to steep limestone on the Mediterranean coast. To learn more or to pick one up for yourself, click the links: Aspect and Lotus.
What kinds of climbing are the Aspect and Lotus harnesses ideal for?
These are the ideal quiver-of-one harnesses for climbers that do it all. Summer cragging, technical alpine, and winter ice are all within the scope of the Aspect and Lotus. The person we had in mind while designing them is a dedicated climber during the spring, summer and fall, then shifts to an intermittent climber in the winter. Maybe skiing is their predominant winter sport, but they still enjoy getting on the ice a handful of times and still want one harness for all pursuits.
What makes these harnesses so versatile?
We set out from the beginning to create a performance workhorse harness that was comfortable enough for long routes, compact enough for long approaches, adaptable between summer cragging and winter ice, and with incredible abrasion resistance for a long lifespan. To that end, we incorporated Dual Core construction for comfort, Speed Adjust legs loops for accommodating a wide range of clothing options, Bombshell abrasion patches for durability, and Ice Clipper slots for racking ice screws. It's really the best balance of all that we know in harness design.
What improvements have been made from the previous versions of the Aspect and Lotus?
Dual Core XP Construction drastically increases comfort over the previous iteration, and the welded Bombshell patches offer incredible abrasion resistance on both rock and ice. The harnesses also have much easier adjustments thanks to the new Forged Speed Adjust buckles.
What does Dual Core XP Construction add?
The waist is constructed using two parallel structural bands of webbing so the load is distributed more evenly and the waist is more supportive. But, dedicated climbers know how critical the leg loops are to long term comfort and we put a lot of focus on them. The leg loops have a unique construction that uses a full-width webbing band to distribute your weight very evenly across the entire width of the leg loop. The combination of these unique constructions define Dual Core XP and they are entirely responsible for how comfortable and how supportive the harness feels during a long climb.
What makes the Lotus harness women's specific?
For all of our women's harnesses, we implement unique sizing ratios for the waist and legs and custom-profiled waist patterning to address the physical differences. Then there are the more obvious differences in color and aesthetics to address stylistic preferences.