UKC

Edelrid Sendero Harness - quietly competent Review

© Toby Archer

The Edelrid Sendero is actually quite difficult to review because there is really very little to dislike about it. It's light, comfortable, well designed for a range of different types of climbing, manufactured to stringent environmental standards and, with an RRP of £75 (although widely available for a bit less than this) it isn't even particularly expensive.

Edelrid bill it as an Alpine harness, but I've been happily using it closer to home   © Toby Archer
Edelrid bill it as an Alpine harness, but I've been happily using it closer to home
© Toby Archer

Since getting the Sendero at the end of June I've used it for every trip out where a harness has been required, and have now logged well over 100 pitches wearing it as well belaying many hours in it. Due to covid restrictions this has mainly been locally to me - in the Peak District - probably split about 3:2 sport to trad climbs. I haven't climbed mountain routes in it yet, although Edelrid actually describes it as an "alpine harness", but I would happily use it for multi pitch rock climbs, UK winter climbs, or alpine and water ice.

The Sendero comes in three size options, S, M and L. It has two sibling harnesses: the Sirana, which has fixed leg loops and weighs slightly less, and the Autana - essentially the same as the Sendero but sized for women. Interestingly both the Sirana and Autana come in an XS option.

A traditional-looking harness, nothing fancy, but a good one  © Toby Archer
A traditional-looking harness, nothing fancy, but a good one
© Toby Archer

Weight

Edelrid states 332g for medium and the definitely harness feels light: on my scales it is actually just 325g! So nice to see Edelrid are being conservative with their stated weights. It's not quite as light as the Edelrid Leaf I reviewed five years ago, which was a whole 15g lighter, although the Sendero has adjustable leg loops, so has two more metal buckles on it than the Leaf. The Sendero's sibling harness, the Sirana, is essentially the same as the Sendero except with fixed leg loops rather than adjustable weighs a paltry 282g in medium. So while the Sendero isn't the lightest harness I've used, it is certainly lighter than many. It also packs down well - easy to stuff into your pack - unlike the very comfy but rather rigid and bulky-to-pack Edelrid Orion.

Construction

The split webbing of the 'Soft Frame' construction spreads the load over a wide area, which - say Edelrid - reduces the need for thick padding for comfort, thus making the harness lighter and more slimline. Running the load bearing webbing in two strands around the harness also makes the middle section between them more breathable. The mesh padding they have used is firm and supportive without feeling bulky or restrictive. I find the Sendero very comfortable, and it doesn't weigh a lot, so the design seems to be performing as intended. The legs loops are held up by the standard elastics held up by a fastex buckle.

Adjustable leg loops  © Toby Archer
Adjustable leg loops
© Toby Archer

Five gear loops  © Toby Archer
Five gear loops
© Toby Archer

Fit

The harness is adjusted by a 20mm buckle at the waist and 15mm buckles on the leg loops. These can be fully opened relatively easily, meaning the harness can be put on without taking your feet off the ground - so the harness could be used whilst skiing for example - although over a summer and autumn of rock climbing in the Sendero I've not needed to fully open any of the buckles.

The waist adjustment does only have one buckle, so having the harness centred will depend on where the user is within the adjustable range of the three sizes, S, M and L. I have used the medium - climbing in just a t-shirt through the summer the fit has felt perfect, but recently climbing on cooler days in a base layer, thin fleece and medium-weight soft shell I've found I can't snug the waist down quite so much and this means the racking loops on the right side are slightly further back than on the left. This is far from a big problem, but considering how many layers you are likely to wear under the harness might help you decide which size to go for if you were, for instance, at the top of the M size, or the bottom of the L.

An excellent harness for sport, trad, winter...  © Toby Archer
An excellent harness for sport, trad, winter...
© Toby Archer

Suitable for a lot more than grotty quarries!  © Toby Archer
Suitable for a lot more than grotty quarries!
© Toby Archer

Features

Five gear loops - hallelujah! Have Edelrid been listening? My reviews of Edelrid harnesses in the past have both been along the lines of "great harness but could really do with a fifth gear loop." And my prayers have been answered. With these five loops I can carry a full trad rack on the four main stiffened racks, then belay device prussiks and so on on the soft back loop.

Not that I've used them in the Derbyshire summer, but there are slots on each side between the two main racks for ice screw clippers. In the past living in colder climes and climbing pure ice routes I've sometimes needed more than two ice screw clippers to carry a full rack of screws, but for most UK winter routes two ice clippers is about perfect - although you are perhaps more likely to have a couple of Bulldogs or Warthogs and some pitons on one of them, than having both loaded up with ice screws.

Tie-in and belay loops have a wear indicator  © Toby Archer
Tie-in and belay loops have a wear indicator
© Toby Archer

Elastic loops for spare webbing are a bit loose  © Toby Archer
Elastic loops for spare webbing are a bit loose
© Toby Archer

Even for sport climbing when two decent-sized loops is more than enough space for the number of quickdraws you need for Horseshoe or Masson Lees, I still like to have some space round the back for my lowering-off screwgate and emergency bail krab. Beyond the five (five!) gear loops, there aren't many other features of note on this simple and straightforward design.

There are two little loops on left side to hold the excess webbing of the waist belt, and one more on each leg loop for the same purpose. The tie-in points have an outer "Dyneema wear indicator" layer; this is said to reveal internal red threads in case of increased abrasion although I will take Edelrid's word for this because after 100+ pitches the tie-in points and belay loop still look as new.

In use

Put it on. Go climbing. Have fun and stay safe. It's that simple with the Sendero. I can wear it all day: climbing, falling, resting on the rope, lowering off, belaying, hour after hour and basically forget I'm wearing it. The only real negative I've come up with is that the loops that hold the excess belt webbing on the right side are a bit loose. Occasionally when trying to clip something onto the front right gear loop you can catch the belt webbing with the krab - this can be rectified by actually looking at what you are trying to do! Beyond that, I can't really think of anything wrong with the Sendero.

Summary

I almost wish I had reviewed the Sendero's fixed leg loop sibling the Sirana, purely so I could pinch and adapt the last American president's nickname from No-drama-Obama to No-drama-Sirana. The Sendero is completely no-drama; it is well designed, comfortable, environmentally friendly, and not even particularly expensive. It just doesn't rhyme so well. 2020 has been a chaotic year in so many ways, so it's definitely been a summer to appreciate things that just do their job well, while not making a fuss - even little things like a climbing harness.

Edelrid say:

Comfortable and lightweight alpine harness with extensive features. The three buckle design ensures optimal fit. The five gear loops and two attachment points for ice screw clips offer plenty of options to store equipment. The SENDERO is another member of our bluesign® certified harness range.

Sendero

  • 3D mesh padding and soft webbing edges offer optimum comfort
  • Made of bluesign®-certified materials
  • 20 mm Slide Block buckle on the waist belt and 15 mm Slide Block buckles on the leg loops that can be fully opened to make the harness easier to put on when wearing skis or crampons
  • Tie-in point with Dyneema wear indicator, which reveals internal red threads in case of increased abrasion
  • Soft Frame Construction for a wide force distribution offering more comfort with low weight and minimal packing size
  • 5 gear loops, 2 attachment options for ice screw clips and a chalk bag loop at the back
  • Weight: 332g size M

For more info see edelrid.de



Support UKC

As climbers we strive to make UKClimbing.com the kind of website we would love to visit, with the most up-to-date news, diverse and interesting articles, comprehensive gear reviews, breathtaking photographs and a vast and useful logbook system. As a result, an incredible community has formed around the site - we’ve provided the framework but it’s you who make the website what it is today. If you appreciate the content we offer then you can help us by becoming an official UKC Supporter. This can be a one-off single annual payment or a more substantial payment paid monthly or yearly which includes full access to Rockfax Digital and discounts on Rockfax print publications.

If you appreciate UKClimbing.com then please help us by becoming a UKC Supporter.

UKC Supporter

  • Support the website we all know and love
  • Access to a year's subscription to Rockfax Digital.
  • Plus 30% off Rockfax guidebooks
  • Plus Show your support UKC Supporter badge on your profile and forum posts
UKC/UKH/Rockfax logo

19 Dec, 2020

Just a quick user experience comment on the Sirana - I wanted a 5 loop "harness for everything" leaning towards the trad end of the spectrum. In size small the loops overlapped and seemed quite small and far back, which didn't suit me for carrying a full rack.

19 Dec, 2020

I’m impressed with harness and what swung it for me was the ice clipper slots are between the gear loops rather than in the gear loop and making the gear loop nearly useless. For me it’s close to the perfect ice/winter climbing harness.

19 Dec, 2020

Not sure I get what you mean by overlap? Do they literally overlap- as in one starts before the other loop is finished? If so that does sound very weird.

19 Dec, 2020

Yes, as I think you've described, so that if you were clipping gear back to your harness you may end up accidentally clipping through two loops at once - hope this makes sense!

The advertising pics didn't have this overlap, so I assumed it was because I had ordered a size small harness.

19 Dec, 2020

Very helpful, thanks for posting this, I’d also take a size small and was half tempted to get one on the basis of the review and 5 gear loops however this could change things.


Loading Notifications...
Facebook Twitter Copy Email LinkedIn Pinterest