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Time for a New Harness

My second Petzl Corax finally bit the dust.  Overall it was a great harness except:

  • The back elastic parts were poorly designed- always slipping, wore out fast, loop that they attached to broke.
  • The quick adjustable leg loop buckles always slip and wear out quicker than normal buckles.  Legs loops don’t need to be quickly adjustable.
  • The waist buckles have a tendency to rub on the climbers stomach (not covered with padding).

So I’m in the market for a new harness, any suggestions?

Adam - Wow Eli, did you take a flame thrower to that thing?

I use the Wild Country Syncro Ziplock.

I’ve found it has a few advantages over other harnesses:

1. The back padding is thick and wide which makes the harness more comfortable on longer climbs and hanging belays. All buckles are padded.
2. The harness has three gear loops per side (and an unneccessary one in back). If you’re like me, you don’t like carrying a gear sling on difficult trad/mixed lines. Having an extra loop in these cases is very helpful. I like to put long draws on the center loop and everything else on the front and back loops.
3. There are weight bearing loops all over that can come in handy.

The disadvantages are:

1. It’s a little heavier than your sporty Petzl harness.
2. The three gear loops overlap which can make it difficult to find gear in a pinch and harder to pull gear from the harness.
3. Like your Petzl, the leg loops slip. Manufacturers really need to get this figured out.

WIld Country has a new version out that doesn’t have the third gear loop and has the two large loops angled from back to front. I haven’t tried it, but it looks like it has many of the same comfort features as the original. 12, 2010 – 9:27 am

Will - Following Adam’s direction:

I have the misty mountain sonic harness:

I have found this to be extremely comfortable and light (I’ve spent quite a bit of dangling time in it). The upward facing loops makes stowing gear fast and easy. Some don’t like the loops, but you’ll find that the design keeps the gear a little further from your body, so finding these loops blind is quite simple. For the money, the Titan is supposed to be really comfy, but has a little more beef. I haven’t had the leg loops slip much– but my legs are sculpted to perfection, so this may be the reason. Hope you find the right one, or it finds you!July 14, 2010 – 8:49 pm

Tyler - I have a Petzl Adjama, and I think it’s pretty great. Although, the leg loops slip on mine as well. It’s a good mixed-use harness, as it’s light, but has enough space for a double rack and draws.

Then again, it’s all situation dependent. If the climb is getting to be hard for me, I’ll switch it up. As soon as I start breaking into the 5.9 range, I find it’s more comfortable to wear one of these:

I usually bring one along for my belayer as well, because I’m a nice guy. It can get uncomfortable when I ask them to pull in enough slack to take out all the dynamic stretch in the rope for an hour or three at a time. I still can’t figure out why they don’t put in bolts within arms reach of one another. That would make my free ascents go a lot faster.July 15, 2010 – 11:36 am

Andrew - I think a small peice of webbing losely tied with an overhand knot around your waste would be better than your old one!!!!!! Glad to see you are getting a new one. I also have the Wild Country harness that Adam has and really like it. It is alittle heavier but its worth the extra comfort and gear loops….July 15, 2010 – 3:57 pm

Ian - I don’t know, but your harness looks to be in good shape still. I’d climb on it. Have you looked at the BD ones with elastic leg loops? They are expensive though!July 23, 2010 – 11:07 am

Eli - I ended up getting a Petzl Adjama. Seems pretty good so far, maybe I’ll write a review (but don’t hold your breath).July 27, 2010 – 4:49 pm

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