QC Lab: The Archives

Before any piece of Black Diamond gear makes it on to the shelves, it spends months, sometimes years getting put through the wringer by our team of Quality Control engineers. Through extensive and meticulous testing, both in the lab and in the field, the QC Lab team help ensure that you can count on your BD gear to be as durable, reliable and as strong as possible every time you head into the mountains or out to the crags. Our QC Lab posts aim to answer some of the most common gear-related questions.


QC Lab: Personal Anchor Systems Explained

QC Lab: Old vs. New Gear Testing

QC Lab: Playlist


QC Lab: How Ice Screws Are Made 

QC Lab: Off-Axis and Tri/Quad-Axial Loading 


QC Lab: Full Strength Haul Loops 


QC Lab: The Electric Harness Acid Test 

QC Lab: Choosing the Right Tool for the Job - Carabiners 

QC Lab: Can a hot belay device melt my rappel slings? 


QC Lab: Gear Doesn't Last Forever—CRAMPONS 

QC Lab: Gear Doesn't Last Forever—SLINGS and QUICKDRAWS 

QC Lab: Gear Doesn't Last Forever— ICE TOOL PICKS 

QC Lab: How strong are Himalayan fixed lines? 

QC Lab: Re-slinging Camalots and C3s 

QC Lab: The Dangers Of Modifying Your Gear 


 QC Lab: Via Ferrata

QC Lab: To Screamer or not to Screamer? 

QC Lab: Do ropes need to rest between falls? 

QC Lab: How strong is the Spinner Leash? 

QC Lab: Remounting previously drilled skis 


 QC Lab: Daisy chain dangers 

 QC Lab: How Sketchy Is a Rope-Worn, Sharp-Edged Carabiner? 

QC Lab: Dangers of rope worn carabiners 

2009 and older

QC Lab: Autoblock Misuse 

QC Lab: What is the strongest rappel knot? 

QC Lab: Can I Use a Sharpie to Mark the Middle of my Rope? 

QC Lab: Weakness of Nose-hooked Carabiners 

QC Lab: Worn Anchors 

QC Lab: Sling Strength in 3 Different Anchor Configurations 

QC Lab: Draws in a Gym 

QC Lab: Extending a Cam Sling

QC Lab: Girth Hitching a Stopper 

QC Lab: Retiring Old Ropes 

QC Lab: Connecting Two Slings Together

QC Lab: Strength of a worn belay loop and when to retire a harness