I’ve been playing around with some gear from Black Diamond and Evolv lately and have been very impressed.
For the last few months I’ve been climbing in a Black Diamond Aura harness (haha yes it is the female one but it’s what fitted best). It’s BD’s lightweight sport harness, for females; the male version is the Ozone. It sits really well when you’re climbing and is super comfortable for those long dogging sessions and hanging belays. There are two large gear loops that easily fit 6+ quickdraws on each plus a spare biners etc. I’ll definitely be taking it out to Frog when winter comes around. I think it’ll work quite well for hard trad routes. I’m really happy with the Aura and can see myself hanging in it for a while. Did I mention it’s an awesome bright yellow!! The Ozone is orange.
|Wearing the Aura on Point Break, 30, Wave Wall, Blue Mtns. Photo: Frank Petsch|
The Evolv Talon G2 and Optimus Prime are the two main shoes I’ve been climbing for a while now. I’m onto my 2nd pair of the Optimus Primes. Both shoes have been great for both bouldering and sport climbing. The Optimus Primes are a Velcro with a 4.2mm medium stiff sole and great edges. The Talon G2s are a lace up and seem to have the same stiff sole. Being a stiffer sole they aren’t too sensitive, but once you get your confidence with them they are great. Heel and toe hooking is a breeze in both shoes. I’ve only been climbing in the Talons for a month now but am very impressed. And my second pair of the Optimus Primes are just as good as the first. Evolv’s shoes are vegan, no leather, so they won’t stretch too much. Buy your Evolvs comfortably tight. They will mold to the shape of your foot, but they wont stretch by more then ½ a size.
|Wearing the Aura harness and Optimus Primes on Matt Schimke's new route Eraserhead, 26!?, Mt Coolum. Photo: JJ Obrien|