Harness recommendations (non DMM unfortunately)

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After over a decade of using a DMM Renegade, the latest model has a failing that I'm struggling with so I might - regretfully - have to look to a different manufacturer. I will say that most of my gear (even down to thew chalk) is now DMM, and I'm disappointed to be looking elsewhere.

Whilst the current model (which I have) is fine for sport where you don't need to look at what's what, I've found the gear loops are set too far back to match the website description of the gear being "easily available". On the old harness I could see what was on the rear loops, and could reach e.g. the rear loop on the right with my left hand if the situation was a bit pressing. Normally I rack quickdraws on the rear loops, but of varying lengths. Half way up a long route it's useful to see what's what. After 10 days in Pembroke I found myself getting irritated pretty regularly.

I've mailed DMM about it but they have no options with 6 loops. 90% of their harnesses are 4 loop variants which isn't enough for trad long routes in Pembroke or wherever, so I'll need something new. Any suggestions?

 midgen 08 Sep 2023
In reply to Frank the Husky:

Very comfy, six gear loops.

 Andypeak 08 Sep 2023
In reply to Frank the Husky:

The only 2 I can thi k of are the Wild Country Syncro and an Ocun one that I can't remember the name of. I've got friends that wear both a s both like them but harnesses are lime books and it's all about fit.

I agree with you that the new model of Renegade isn't a touch on the old one, although not for the same reasons. 

In reply to Andypeak:

Is it an Ocun Twist Tech, mine is blue in colour? I really rate mine, big gear loops (5), only really use rear loop for belay jacket in winter, since can get everything on the other 4.

Good leg buckles too, don't seem to creep like Petzl or BD ones.


In reply to Andypeak:

Thanks, I'll check them out. What don't you like about this new version?

 Andypeak 08 Sep 2023
In reply to Frank the Husky:

Just doesn't seem as durable to me. The gear loops are already showing signs of wear after a year of light use. The old one lasted a decade of heavy use with little signs of wear. I even managed to clip into the gear loops as I moved past an awkward crux and ended up hanging on just the loop without it breaking. 

 whenry 08 Sep 2023
In reply to Frank the Husky:

Climbing Technology Wall harness? Six gear loops (unless you're a small, in which case it's five). I've been very pleased with mine - had it about 7 years or so.

In reply to Frank the Husky:

Arcteryx or Wild Country for me.

I've got an old FL something that is obscenely comfy with huge gear loops. Equally like the Wild Country Session but does have smaller gear loops than the Arcteryx

 TobyA 09 Sep 2023
In reply to Frank the Husky:

> After over a decade of using a DMM Renegade, the latest model has a failing that I'm struggling with...

Did you have the original Renegade, then got the latest model more recently? Of have you had the Renegade 2 for a decade?

I just checked - I got a Renegade 2 from DMM to review in early 2013, so mine is decade old now also. I haven't used it so much in recent years - it's heavier and bulkier than modern harnesses, and for some reason I'm happy with 5 gear loops for full racks these days. I've mainly been using over the last three years - like I say in the review it is a really good harness but they have put a non-load bearing covering over the leg loops and waist belt which has worn through and ripped in a number of places. I don't think this actually matters in terms of structural integrity, but it doesn't look very good anymore and it is the most obvious visible wear I've seen to a harness in 30 years of using lots of different harnesses.

 Neil Morrison 09 Sep 2023
In reply to Frank the Husky: I’ll put in a second shout out for the Ocun Twist Tech. Gear loops reasonably far forward (though still not as far as I would like) and the way it centres itself is really good. I tried any number of harnesses for the reason you describe with gear loops being so far back they are useless for trad. I sport climbing in a Black Diamond Zone which, if the gear loops were better positioned, would be my perfect all rounder.

 C Witter 09 Sep 2023
In reply to Frank the Husky:

At the risk of teaching you suck eggs (apologies in advance if so), is it definitely not the fit? My harness fits me at its tightest when I'm wearing light clothing, and the gear loops are very reacheable. But, once I'm wearing several layers and an isulated jacket, the loops start to be a bit far back...Could going a size up help? Just a thought

 Alpenglow 09 Sep 2023
In reply to Frank the Husky:

I recently had a similar issue about wanting a harness for trad with lots of racking space for multi pitch.

I did a lot of research and I'd advise to look at the size of the gear loops, not just the number. The Arcteryx AR395a has 4 large gear loops +1 small one at the back. It replaced my DMM Renegade and I'm happy with it. Lighter, more comfortable and less bulky. The only downside is that the end of the waist strap doesn't have enough loops to hook through, so it can dangle a bit - not a major issue though. 

The Mammut Comfort Fast Adjust also had pretty large gear loops.

 JonesE 09 Sep 2023
In reply to Frank the Husky:

I had the same issue as you. Loved the first Renegade, so naturally bought the latest version and was very disappointed that the gear loops were, as you said, in a different position making it difficult to see your gear. Not to mention the smaller rear loop, also in a different position.

I fixed this by taking the waist belt off my old harness and sliding it onto the new one. Had to unstitch the end of the new belt loop to slide it through (which was awkward but doable) and customise the clips on the elastic on the back. Now I have the benefit of the old waist belt and a essentially all the actual safety aspects of the new harness.

In reply to C Witter:

I've been using it in t-shirt weather down in Pembroke etc. A large harness would be too big - I did try one in a shop recently and it just felt cumbersome. If I layer much more under the current one the loops will be further back. But I get your point, and that might have made a difference but not in this case. The design change is a retrograde step unfortunately.

In reply to TobyA:

I had a couple of the originals, and this Renegade 2 is the one I don't like. Contrary to your review, I thought the overlapping, sloped gear loops were ideal.

 TobyA 09 Sep 2023
In reply to Frank the Husky:

You misread! :⁠-⁠) "Some people, for reasons I never got, hated the racks on the Renegade 1. They sloped forward a bit, something that I never really noticed but others clearly did." So I'm the same, never was bothered with the original racks in fact I really liked the original harness. Here's the original review from 15 years ago - when I was still in my mid 30s! :-0

 johnt 09 Sep 2023
In reply to TobyA:

The reason was that any gear on the front loops hung over the front of your thighs rather than at the side - this was dependant on what hatness size best fitted you but it never worked for me (and several other people i know).... 

I resolved the issue by using s waistbelt from a size Medium and leg loops from a size Large and had the best fitting harness i could have wished for - the original waist to leg loop ratio just didn't work for me....

Post edited at 20:04
 kp1 09 Sep 2023
In reply to Frank the Husky: The Arcteryx AR 395 is a great harness and definitely worth checking out. I regularly climb 50-60m trad pitches and carry a shameful amount of gear. It’s really comfortable and the loops are massive and aren’t too far back. I’ve no problem getting all my cams/ wires/ hexes on the 2 front loops and can leave the back 2 for quickdraws. It’s perfect for alpine and sport as well. 

 Mattress 09 Sep 2023
In reply to Frank the Husky:

I use DMM kit for everything - finding it brilliantly designed and made - apart from their harnesses. After 6 of persevering with different sizes and models, I gave up and bought a Black Diamond Solution Guide. Very comfortable 4 big gear loops and a smaller 5th one at the back. I love it.

 rgold 10 Sep 2023
In reply to Frank the Husky:

Well, somebody has to say this.  Get the nuts and cams off your harness and onto a Metolius Multiloop Gear Sling.  Separates the rack, keeps everything visible when it's pulled forward, out of the way when rotated back, but doesn't hang back on overhangs as a plain gear sling does. Gear hangs higher so doesn't obstruct the view as much, ability to move the gear sling, including switching sides, and lack of stuff on the harness means all kinds of body scumming is more effective, gear doesn't get pinned and unreachable, and offwidths are much better accommodated.  On multipitch the gear sling can be passed back and forth, which is more efficient than continual reracking from harness to harness.

I typically use one side loop of my harness for quickdraws and one back loop for belay stuff.  The other two loops are usually empty.  Sometimes a back loop is used for carrying a clothing item, small water bottle, or more recently a walkie-talkie because my hearing has been progressively impaired

 salad fingers 10 Sep 2023
In reply to midgen:

The Aquila has been something of a revelation. I'd go so far as to say it's the most comfortable and practical harness I've owned in 30+years. Used it all this year for long alpine rock routes, single- and multi-pitch sport, UK hefty-rack trad and it's been flawless. The plentiful, capacious and well-positioned gear loops are wondrous! Hanging in it for hours has brought a level comfort I didn't think possible.

I tend to use something simpler for sport most of the time, but that's largely because I like separate racks for trad and sport (and saving 100g will clearly make a difference on the redpoint!).

FWIW, I've recently owned and climbed in several other brands to which I'm making comparisons and I'm aware that we're all different shapes etc., but I can't think of much I'd improve on the Aquila.

 Durkules 10 Sep 2023
In reply to Frank the Husky:

Another vote for the Ocun Twist Tech from me. Tried loads of harnesses before settling on this one, I can't fault it at all for trad.

 stuartholmes 10 Sep 2023
In reply to Frank the Husky:

I tend to similarly use DMM for most kit, but do find the petzl harnesses seem to fit and position better.

I have however just bought a black diamond Big gun for my rescue training and it's a beast. Big leg and waist loops, double belay loop and loads of gear loops. Does however depend on your preferred weight or bulkiness limit.

One other option would be to add some gear loops to your DMM harness by adding some accessory cord and Flexi hose tied on to the existing ones. Giving you some more midway round.

In reply to TobyA:

Apologies old bean - you're absolutely right in that I misread your review on my silly tiny phone screen.

Reading it again and looking through your blogs reminded me of when I used to read LFTN fairly regularly. Your posts on Afghanistan (which I've been to a couple of times), and Somalia (which I have not) were really interesting.

Your blog is also how I discovered the gem that is "This American Life".

Post edited at 21:52
 TobyA 11 Sep 2023
In reply to Frank the Husky:

> Reading it again and looking through your blogs reminded me of when I used to read LFTN fairly regularly. 

When I find one those old posts it reminds me of when I used to write it fairly regularly! :⁠-⁠) 

I have heard of few people who have used my punter's guide to climbing Stetind to climb Stetind successfully - that's gratifying. I'm not sure if anyone blogs much these days on anything really? It feels all very Noughties now.

Hope you find a good harness!

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