/ Recommend me a harness

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kingjam - on 20 Feb 2013
Hi

Looking to replace my alpine BD bod ( the comfy one ). Looking for an all round harness but mainly for alpine / winter stuff . Would prefer a harness that's easy to get on and off and light.Woudl like some options other than the bods.

Any thoughts

Cheers
ice.solo - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to kingjam:

Ive been wearing a new aspect from BD.

Not super light but after years of ultra light harnesses (hirundos, bods, couloirs) its nice to have something alpine specific but fully featured.
Of the BD range its the most winter spec of the padded harnesses with adjustable leg loops. A bit like the petzl adjama which is also nice.
nufkin - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to kingjam:

Some of the Arcteryx range would be worth a look - comfy, light and no foam to soak up snow and water.
The Petzl Hirundos seems quite popular too - 4 gear loops and ice clipper slots. I had to size up as the leg loops seem quite tight, but for winter use over layers that isn't a problem
The Ex-Engineer - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to kingjam: I also have an Alpine Bod that I might potentially replace for next Winter. These days I would be looking for something similar to the already mentioned Petzl Hirundos due to its weight, but unfortunately I haven't spend enough time looking around to give any detailed recommendations.

In the last decade I can't really think of any occasions where I wouldn't have been perfectly fine with a fixed legloop design. In the Alps etc. I 'harness up' before leaving the hut/bivy and in Scotland I generally put my harness on at the same time as my crampons.

The good news is that there is no shortage of fantastic (but pricey) new harness designs on the market. Most of the major manufacturers have completely refreshed their harness ranges within the last 2 years. Also, the vast majority of harness now seem to have 'clipper' slots as standard meaning you might be able to consider a large number of the harnesses on the market.

The only bad news is that with such variety, coming to a decision is probably going to be harder than it was 18 years ago when I bought a BD Bod as my first harness. Sorry if that doesn't help that much, but it is an excellent question and I will be extremely interested in what others recommend.
ERU - on 20 Feb 2013
I've been looking at getting a lightweight harness with adjustable leg loops, twin adjustable wait belt, ice clipper slots and enough gear loops for a Gogarth rack.

You'd think with modern tech with would be possible? Is it possible?
MFB - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to kingjam: camp air cr, worth a look
The Ex-Engineer - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to ERU:
> You'd think with modern tech with would be possible? Is it possible?

Probably not. 'Lightweight' and things like 'twin adjustable waist belt' are contradictory requirements.

If you want a very light harness you will need to sacrifice features somewhere, equally if you want all the features you will undoubtedly need to accept a heavier harness.

There is also a real trade-off between weight and comfort when loaded with a large rack. Carrying a 'Gogarth rack' on most lightweight harness just isn't going to work that well.

The brand new Wild Country Summit might be worth looking at as it has all the features you want - http://www.wildcountry.co.uk/products/2013-harnesses/summit-harness/ - although the WC website is really poor and doesn't list its weight.
Styx - on 20 Feb 2013
I've been using the Arcteryx R320a for a little over a year now and I'm loving it for trad and sport. It's seriously comfortable, weighs next to nothing and the gear loops are the dogs danglies. Downside being the price and no ice clippers but that doesn't bother me these days.
TRip - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to kingjam:

To my mind a simple harness with four big gear loops, fixed leg loops and a single buckle on the waist belt is perfect for all types of climbing and is one of the few items of climbing gear which I don't see the argument for owning multiplies of.

My last three harnesses have all been of this design and i haven't missed having adjustable leg loops. I do all aspects of climbing from sport climbing, to expeditions. The vast majority of my climbing is multi pitch trad.

Ice screw clipper slots, whilst nice are hardly essential. Just rack your screws on a big biner, like a BD Ovalwire, and spin it round so the gate faces outwards and opens downwards.

Recently I've owned the following harnesses

Petzl Hirondelles. Pros: very lightweight, not that bulkly reasonably priced. Cons: very lightweight - wore it out in an alpine season; Not that comfy for hanging stances; gear loops quite small. I wouldn't buy one again.

Arc'teryx R300. Pros: very lightweight, exceptionally comfy, four big gear loops, packs up very small, fairly durable (mine lasted 2.5 years of regualr abuse). Cons: Expensive (but not really when you think how much you wear it), they changed the sizing when they updated the design and now don't fit me. Shame as I'd have had another one like a shot.

BD Chaos. Pros: quite light and comfy, four reasonable sized gear loops (smaller than the R300's but big enough for a full trad rack), rated haul loop. Cons: Not as compact as the Arc'teryx, quite expensive. I haven't used it enough to comment on its' durability.

I haven't owned one but another harness I would consider is DMM Maverick.

For those worried about getting a full rack on a harness, I don't have a problem getting the following onto four gear loops: 16 QDs, 16 cams (black, blue, green and yellow Aliens, Camalots .3 to 4 with doubles of .5, .75, 1 and 2), 4 krabs of wires, belay plate, extra screw gate and nutkey. Plus a few slings wrapped round my shoulders.

(I don't see the point in twisting up slings and racking them on your harness. It just takes up space on your harness and makes them harder to access when you need them.

Top tip if you do struggle, use Yosemite racking to create space on your harness: http://www.planetfear.com/articles/Yosemite_Racking_283.html

I find this works really well if you are doubling up on cams. E.g: clip both one Gold Camalot to the other.

HTH
Nath93 - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to kingjam: Black Diamond Momentum SA is a decent bit of gear for the price of it, but if i was going to buy another harness now it would either be the Hirundos or the BD Ozone. Hurundos has a much nicer price tag though.
Wiley Coyote - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to kingjam:
Anyone got experience of DMM Renegade? I'm very cowardly and so need lots of gear loops for oodles of cams, wires, loads and loads of tie offs plus ATC and screwgates for belays etc. Most modern harnesses I've looked at seem to be equipped for sport clip ups but the Renegade seemed to fit the bill. Anyone know different?
PS I'm also what might politely be called 'chunky' these days so a few grammes of harness either way is not going to change my life (or my grade).
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:
> These days I would be looking for something similar to the already mentioned Petzl Hirundos due to its weight, but unfortunately I haven't spend enough time looking around to give any detailed recommendations.

My review of the Arcteryx M270 http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=212613 is sitting in the UKC queue, so should be up sometime soon. Clearly they wanna give the Hirundos a run for its winter money.
Caralynh - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to kingjam:

Just replaced my old WC harness with a DMM Supercouloir. Lightweight, east to get on and off, leg loop clips, ice tool racks, and seems a decent mountaineering harness.
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

> Anyone got experience of DMM Renegade?

http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=1333 Until I got the Arcteryx last autumn to review, I've used the Renegade for basically everything for 4.5 years. Still going strong, best harness I've ever used.
cuppatea on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:
> (In reply to kingjam)
> Anyone got experience of DMM Renegade?
> PS I'm also what might politely be called 'chunky' these days ..

I just bought one and am very happy with it.

It has a greater range of adjustment than the BD Momentum I tried on, meaning it fit much better.
The main web of the belt runs through the padding so if you wear the harness in summer while wearing a t shirt and then in winter with a few layers on the gear loops can be centralised. I thought that was a good bit of design and it means only having one waist buckle.
I'm fond of the occasional pie myself, the Renegade is reassuringly strong and fits well over my layers of insulation.

I bought mine from http://www.theoutdoorshop.com/showPart.asp?part=PN84179 who were very helpful - highly recommended
Skyfall - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

Weirdly I bought a Renegade for trad - largely because of all the gear loops - but hate it and have relegated it to a wall harness. The centreing of the harness is great and I do think it's well made - don't get me wrong. I just find that the gear loops don't work for me - they tilt forward and all the gear bunches, on 3 overlapping loops, and it's just too confusing when leading and need to grab gear quickly. I've reverted to my good old BD 4 loop non-centreing but well made and simple harness. My point is, don't get blown away by the thought of all those gear loops unless you are really sure about them in practice.
purplemonkeyelephant - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to kingjam:

Second the BD Aspect. Great all rounder, relatively light and super comfy!
Skyfall - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to TRip:

Just read your post and completely agree about a 4 loop, fixed leg harness being fine and simple - from doing himalayan, to alpine, winter, trad, sports, I still find it best. Really don't get adjustable leg loops even.

But, learnt something new - Yosemite racking, genius! Thanks.
Wiley Coyote - on 21 Feb 2013
Thanks to all who chipped in their views for the info re the Renegade

WC
victim of mathematics - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

It's a great harness, but the way the gear loops slope forwards is unfathomable and really irritating. Everything bunches up, and the front loops are basically unusable as anything you put on them just swings around smacking you in the knackers because of the slope. So basically it's a 4 loop harness with some useless extra loops that just get in the way. It's very comfy though.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Skyfall - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to victim of mathematics:

> the front loops are basically unusable as anything you put on them just swings around smacking you in the knackers because of the slope.

lol - had forgotten about that effect, but you're right. One of the reasons I ditched it from 'real' climbing v fast.

> So basically it's a 4 loop harness with some useless extra loops that just get in the way. It's very comfy though.

Yes, but what's the point? Get one where the, let's face it. important features work properly.
lithos on 21 Feb 2013
I have

* an alpine bod - brilliant but not all that light, so easy to put on
* a dmm maverick (like the renegade but fixed legs) I like it for trad, comfy
* petzl hirondus nice lightweight great for long walk ins in winter and sun rock trips

I have a brand new Petzl Hirondus for sale as i bought a large then had to get a med!
see http://www.psych.york.ac.uk/~rob/forsale/petzl-harness-bnwt/index.html
40 quid plus p&p
thebigfriendlymoose - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to kingjam:
Agree with the Renegade comments; seven loops sounds good but results in nuts in yer nuts. Currently using an edelrid smith which I prefer - essentially an Arc'teyx copy - light with 4 well sited gear loops and a hard plastic tie-in loop protector.
In reply to Skyfall:
> I just find that the gear loops don't work for me - they tilt forward and all the gear bunches, on 3 overlapping loops,

They don't really overlap - unless they changed the design: http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=99479

And just to balance out the critics - I've never had any problem with the racks. Again looking at that pic, I can't see how people get nuts in their nuts! But I've got cyclists thighs so maybe that keeps the gears away from my danglies.
Skyfall - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA:

In that photo you have only 4 QD's on two of the loops and 2 on the front one (which incidentally does look v far forward and probe to swinging in front of your thighs...). My experience was that as you load them up with a proper trad rack they become very cluttered. Because the loops slope forwards, it all bunches more than on a normal loop and you get less on each loop than a normal one in order for it to make sense. They also do start to merge rather than be separated as in a normal design. So I didn't find they really have extra capacity and if you tried to do that you ended up with one big mess. Two large loops per side just seem to work better, imo of course. I have nothing against dmm gear (god knows I have enough of it!) but this design just didn't seem to produce what if promised.
Skyfall - on 21 Feb 2013
I'd add again, it's very well made and the centreing and self locking waist belt are really v good. Hence why I use it for the wall and, ironically, sports climbing now. V hard to get it wrong and v comfortable, if a tad heavy but I don't climb all that hard so a few extra gramms doesn't matter.
xplorer on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to kingjam:

Arcteryx B360

Best harness I've ever user
Jonny2vests - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to xplorer:
> (In reply to kingjam)
>
> Arcteryx B360
>
> Best harness I've ever user

Yep. I think Arcteryx are very hard to beat right now.

Although I wouldn't get adjustable leg loops. What are people wearing under there that requires adjustable leg loops?
ice.solo - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to jonny2vests:
> (In reply to xplorer)
> [...]
>
> Yep. I think Arcteryx are very hard to beat right now.
>
> Although I wouldn't get adjustable leg loops. What are people wearing under there that requires adjustable leg loops?

I find its more about putting your harness on along with 4+ layers of clothes, by torchlight, in a cramped tent being deformed by wind, over winter boots. Or when you get jack of that so step outside but then need crampons on first.
In this case its not really about being adjustable, rather that you can undo them completely.
Bods and couloiurs are easy too, but lack rackability.

But yeah, for summer, fairly pointless.
Jonny2vests - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to ice.solo:


I use a fixed harness for winter too. Maybe I've just got more space than others.
ice.solo - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to kingjam:

Or more elegant in tight spaces
purplemonkeyelephant - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to jonny2vests:

It's nice to have a harness that can securely fit over insulated salopettes but also be useful for summer cragging. If you don't do either thing every week of the year it's helpful not to have to buy two harnesses.
unknownclimber6 - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to kingjam:

Petzl Adjama works for me :)
TRip - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:
> (In reply to kingjam)
> Anyone got experience of DMM Renegade?

My take on the Renegade. I've not owned one, these are observations based on looking at several friends' Renegades.

Pros:
Well padded comfy design.
You have option of buying it with either thread back or speed buckles.
Seams quite durable

Cons:
Poorly thought out gear loops, the gear bunches forward.
The gear loops aren't that big. I'd much rather have 4 big gear loops than 6 small ones.
The thick foam is very bulky and will take up a lot for room in the sack.
The red cover on the belay loop seams to wear out quickly.
Has adjustable leg loops... I'd buy a DMM Maverick with fixed leg loops instead.

I don't think I'd buy one.
Wiley Coyote - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to kingjam:
I'd actually be fine with four loops for gear if there was an extra one at the back (such as on my old Troll harness) for all the stuff you don't need on the pitch but still need to carry such as belay device, screwgates for belay, maybe prussik loop depending on terrain, etc. With many of the harnesses I've looked at all that junk is taking up valuable rack space.
ice.solo - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

thats where the BD aspect hits the nail.
Wiley Coyote - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to ice.solo:

Thanks. I'll take a look at it
B Ffitch - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to jonny2vests:
> What are people wearing under there that requires adjustable leg loops?

Oddly from trying the arcteryx winter one for UKC - my first fixed leg harness in twenty years - I find the fixed leg loops are too loose. I've got used to snugging up the leg loops to my leg size with adjustable leg loops - with the Arcteryx one i find they slip around a bit. I could probably fit the size smaller but had to say what size with out trying one on, and that's what size the chart suggested I need.
cuppatea on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to jonny2vests:
> (In reply to xplorer)
> [...]
>
> What are people wearing under there that requires adjustable leg loops?


For me it was a case of fit, rather than variety of clothing. I seem to have a medium waist and xl thighs which meant the BD harness I tried was never going to fit. Being able to adjust the waist/legs and on a Metolius harness, rise, is the only way to get a harness to fit properly.

ads.ukclimbing.com
Jonny2vests - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to RockUp-Climbing:
> (In reply to kingjam) The DMM RENEGADE has been revamped with a new design for the gear loops. Not sure when it will be out in the shops. Here's a clip of it at ISPO 2013 http://www.vimeo.com/59247727

DMM used to make some terrible harnesses. The original renegade was just a pile of bad stitching. I understand they've upped their game now though.
xplorer on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to jonny2vests:

Adjustable leg loops are a must for winter, a hell of a lot more pros than cons.

I really don't see how anyone wouldn't be able to get on with adjustable loops.

I have a fixed leg loop harness aswell and have never noticed any difference between them
The Ex-Engineer - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to jonny2vests:
> DMM used to make some terrible harnesses. The original renegade was just a pile of bad stitching. I understand they've upped their game now though.

I'm afraid I've got to pick you up on that ;-)

AFAIK DMM don't make any of their newer style (Maverick, Renegade etc.) harnesses. I am willing to be corrected, but I believe they sub the manufacture out overseas, which is probably one of the main reasons their product line was a bit ropey originally and has needed to be altered a fair amount over reason years.
Jonny2vests - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:

I'm perfectly happy to be corrected, and that does ring a bell. Its still their name on the gear though, so any gripe I had would still be with them regardless of their internal processes.
MFB - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to kingjam:

a quick trawl produces these figures

camp air cr -250g cost 50
renegade - 450g cost 55
BD bod - 395g cost 31
{mountaineering harness primarily, not great for rock climbing in my view)
Black Diamond Chaos - 400g cost 80
Arc'teryx R320a -352g cost 120

The camp air cr has 4 gear loops, adjustable legs and comfortably accomadates 20 wires on two oval biners, 6-7 cams, 10 -12 draws and ancillaries- whats not to like
also available with fixed legs (10g lighter)


In reply to xplorer:

> Adjustable leg loops are a must for winter, a hell of a lot more pros than cons.

Having used a fixed leg winter specific harness all winter, I can promise you they're not a "must".
xplorer on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA:

They make things that bit easier Toby. You should try sometime. You will never look back.

You seem a little aggressive by the way, not just on this thread.
xplorer on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA:

Makes life that little bit more easier when taking your harness off a d putting back on, surely this makes sense to you.

It does to millions of others
nufkin - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to xplorer:
> (In reply to TobyA)
>
> Makes life that little bit more easier when taking your harness off a d putting back on, surely this makes sense to you.
>
> It does to millions of others

Maybe those millions are all wrong...?


I've had an adjustable-leg harness for years. I've never - summer or winter - needed to change the leg loops since the first time I put it on. I figured that for my new harness it would be unnecessary to bother with adjustable legs.

Those millions aren't really wrong, of course. Each to their own. If people like to be able to adjust their leg loops, there are harnesses available to accommodate them. If people find they can do fine without, there are harnesses for them too. No-one needs to impose on, or be imposed upon by, people who have alternative views towards the leg loops on their harness.
In reply to xplorer: I think you missed the bit where I said I have used adjustable leg harnesses for the last 20 years. So I guess that counts as having tried it.

You said they are "a must", I'm just suggesting you don't need to be so categorical about it.
Jonny2vests - on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to nufkin:

Yeah, its all just extra weight and extra faff. Also, I find that adjustable leg loop harnesses, with the modern style (no rethreading) buckles, loosen when you clip a prussik to them to protect an ab. Twice now, the leg loop has come undone completely.

I realise there are alternatives for that scenario, but I'd rather just wear a fixed leg loop harness anyway.

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