The Maverick 2 is DMM's latest offering as the top of their range all round performance harness. I've probably worn it most days since late August until now (mid November) in a full variety of climbing situations from big rock routes in the Dolomites, guiding on modest alpine peaks, rock climbing throughout Snowdonia on popular V Diffs through to less popular E6s, abseiling/jumaring up and down the Quarryman wall in Twll Mawr whilst replacing old bolts and finally on the '38 Route on the Eiger North Face. I've tried my best to give it a good varied test...
I'm fussy enough about gear to have more than one harness to choose from. Having said that I've chosen to wear this harness for all of those tasks. I hope that speaks volumes about the quality of this product.
Climbing is no longer just climbing and if you're a genuine all rounder pushing yourself in many disciplines you have to accept a certain amount of compromise with your kit. The lighter equipment is great in the short run, but durability and long term safety is clearly compromised. Sturdy solid kit will last a long time but holds most people back in their strive for efficiency. Today, the lightest kit for climbing is almost "one trip wonder" use. It's cool if you're sponsored, but if you're reaching into your own pocket or mindful of continuous use of resources that's difficult to justify.
The Maverick 2 seems to me to be aimed at being the best balance possible.....built to last, but also designed to be as helpful as possible for a climber wanting as much from their purchase as possible!
My first impression was that it was really well made. There are many little details that I'm sure will enhance its life span. A bug bear for me has always been the wear and tear point where you tie in with the rope. The use of flimsy tapes and weak little buckles to hold your rope captive through its tie in points often snap or come undone ... Not really a big safety thing but it looks a mess, especially if you find details like this distracting to your concentration or you're just trying to be well turned out at the crag. DMM have made a super neat and robust looking take on this....simple and effective.
The sizing I'd say is on the snug side. The waist on my medium harness is fully pulled in but the leg loops only just fit. I'm 6ft 7, have a 32 inch waist and I'd hope I don't have chunky legs..... Most brands are rarely consistent with sizing across their range, whether it be clothing, shoes, boots or harnesses. Harness fit is important for a whole host of reasons and if your a border line fit (between standard sizes) I'd recommend trying this one on before buying to get the best fit possible. Previous DMM harnesses I've had in medium have been similar around the waist but way more baggy on the legs. Like I said, try it on.
Fit and Feel
The fit and feel of the harness I think is great. This is different to its sizing. What I mean is it feels pretty neat and compact when your wearing it. It doesn't have bits of excess padding not held in place if you have the waist done right up to its maximum limit. There isn't lots of slack elastic NOT holding up your leg loops or loosening off of their own accord. When it's all adjusted properly all the excess straps stay neatly tucked away. It looks smart!
Whilst the fit and feel of it are top notch it's not that comfy if you have to hang in for some time.
The first outing I took it on was the Brandler Hasse route up the N Face of the Cima Grande. There are a number of really steep hanging belays and I thought it might lose my legs. Lots of friends who've been wearing this harness multi pitching or other climbing situations, where sitting in a harness for lengthy periods, have all said this is its main (perhaps only) drawback!
I wouldn't go big walling with it...so perhaps not quite the all round harness.
What DMM Say:
Our lightest padded harness is ideal for the all season purist. Lightweight design and construction is used throughout the Maverick 2, meaning the harness is highly flexible whilst climbing and packs down well when walking off. We've used in-board structural webbing to create soft edges that won't bite or pinch when loading the harness. Ventilated internal padding ensures high levels of breathability and comfort, enhanced by a body-contact fabric that gives a great 'next to skin' feel. A streamlined racking system guarantees efficient all-season capability, making the Maverick 2 ideal whether blasting up your 40m redpoint project or battling a fierce winter crux.
- Lightweight, supple construction results in excellent flexibility and comfort
- Ventilated internal padding for breathability
- Fixed leg loops for lightweight simplicity
- Small pack size
- Streamlined racking system: four gear loops, two Vault slots and an essentials loop provide all season capability
- 4 sizes: S, M, L, XL
More Info: DMM Website
ABOUT TIM NEILL:
Tim Neill is a fully qualified British Mountain Guide (UIAGM) and is based near Llanberis. He is often found working on his home crags of North Wales where he has climbed more routes than anyone else we know. He spends much of the winter working in Scotland and some of the summer working in the Alps.
Tim has been climbing for many years with ascents of hundreds of classic routes across the world (including some hard ones!), including an early repeat of the stunning ice climb Super Domo in Patagonia with James McHaffie (see photo and UKC News).