Climbing harness

Post here for all your gear questions, rants and raves. Ask about gear before you buy it and find out what others are using. NOTE: this forum is NOT for gear sales.

User avatar
Ghaznavid
Posts: 365
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:37 pm
Real Name: Jonathan

Climbing harness

Postby Ghaznavid » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:20 pm

I'm in need of a harness, I have narrowed it down to 3 possibilities and would like some advice on which to get. Its use will mainly be for trad climbing, so it needs to be comfortable and able to take nasty falls.

I'm looking at Black Diamond Momentum SA, Singing Rock Attack or Petzl Corax Harness.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated :farao:
"There is something fundamentally wrong in treating the Earth as if it were a business in liquidation." Herman E Daly

shorti
Posts: 706
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:13 pm

Re: Climbing harness

Postby shorti » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:42 pm

Wild country syncro. I had a peztl corax and it's just not in the same league.

User avatar
Ghaznavid
Posts: 365
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:37 pm
Real Name: Jonathan

Re: Climbing harness

Postby Ghaznavid » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:33 pm

Thanks for the reply.

How does that compare with the "Wild Country Men's Vision Ziplock Harness"? I have been looking on Mountain Mail Order and don't see the Syncro, but a google search brings up a harness with very similar specs (I only see 1 less tightening strap and 3 less gear loops).
"There is something fundamentally wrong in treating the Earth as if it were a business in liquidation." Herman E Daly

User avatar
Justin
Posts: 3179
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 8:31 am
Real Name: Justin Lawson
Location: Montagu
Contact:

Re: Climbing harness

Postby Justin » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:09 pm

Harnesses are similar to shoes, make sure it fits your body shape well.

You may want to: (spend some time in the harness you are thinking about getting)
- Weight the gear loops and see how the harness feels on your hips (don't forget rope drag pulling you down :)
- Sit / hang in the harness
- Walk in the harness
- Do some climbing/movements with the harness on

I suspect the WC Syncro appeals to Shorti for the extra padding and number of gear loops.

Also, do you envisage yourself ever needing a haul loop?

Be interested the hear which one you decide on.
Climb ZA - Administrator
justin@climbing.co.za

User avatar
brianweaver
Posts: 286
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:55 am
Real Name: Brian Weaver
Location: Pretoria
Contact:

Re: Climbing harness

Postby brianweaver » Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:48 am

Another good harness for trad and sport is the Edelrid Creed harness. It is really lightweight but is a laminate so it distributes pressure equally. I've been using one for the last year and it's been up Blouberg twice as well as a bunch of other trad and sport climbs.
I hate this real world place... I'd be more than happy to live out there rather...

shorti
Posts: 706
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:13 pm

Re: Climbing harness

Postby shorti » Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:55 am

The vision is just like any other harness, nothing special. From the ones you listed I would pick the corax. Obviously different things appeal to different people. I want comfort, symmetrical waist loop, lots of gear loops, haul loop, accessory loops and quality. The corax served me well and I took pretty much all of my big falls on it. It did the job admirably. What i didn't like: hanging stances. It wasn't lekker hanging in that thing for more than 5 minutes. The webbing you tightened the waist loop with got in the way. I had to tuck it into the waist loop like a shirt. It also drove me nuts to walk in it, the sound the leg loops made when they rubbed on each other was unbearable. The syncro has more padding, the waist loop and leg loops are also wider i think. It is symmetrical, like the corax, but unlike the vision. The webbing has perfectly placed elastic loops to tuck it out of the way. Lots of gear loops, only the BD big gun beats it. It's better to walk in. It's super comfy. It has a red layer in the tie in loops. If you see red you have to replace it. I almost noticed the extensive wear on my corax too late. Most important off them all, it's orange! :mrgreen:

Justin, I'm not fat, just well rounded, you beeeetch :twisted:

User avatar
Ghaznavid
Posts: 365
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:37 pm
Real Name: Jonathan

Re: Climbing harness

Postby Ghaznavid » Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:27 am

Thanks for all the replies :viking:

Ok - so I should probably try out the harness I end up getting before buying it rather than Mountain Mail Order?

Once again, MMO doesn't seem to stock the Edelrid Creed, but they do stock the Edelrid Jay (which looks very bottom of the range).

Let me just add some background - the main use of the harness will be in the Drakensberg, probably starting with the Amphlett and the Turret (a C+ and a D grade - so grade 8 at worst, but not on great rock and probably little opportunity to place protection, so lead falls could be bad). This means that it has to be light and compact as it will be sharing space in my pack with a sleeping bag, self inflating mattress and a tent (and enough food for the 3 day hike its attached to). It is also on a tight budget as I need to build up climbing gear and currently only have the shoes...

I don't see need for haul loops (they say you don't need chalk on Drakensberg routes and I am not aware of many hanging belays in the Drakensberg).

So in summary - not overly expensive, not too uncomfortable for taking falls on 6 pitches of bad rock (my top goal right now only has 3 fairly long pitches).

Right now I am really liking the idea of that Wild Country Men's Vision Ziplock Harness, it looks like good value for money. I see it also has a wear indicator which also really appeals to me.

Any more thoughts are welcome - I won't be buying the harness till the end of the month any way!
"There is something fundamentally wrong in treating the Earth as if it were a business in liquidation." Herman E Daly

User avatar
Baldrick
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2005 10:51 am
Real Name: Nigel Bailes
Location: JHB
Contact:

Re: Climbing harness

Postby Baldrick » Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:55 am

A good choice would be the Quattro Tech or Twist harnesses from Ocun. Quattro has 6 gear loops, a haul loop, dual belay loops, fully adjustable legs and waist and well padded. Great for big wall, trad and sport.
Twist has 4 gear loops single waist buckle and 2 leg buckles, light weight sport harness but good for trad as well.

shorti
Posts: 706
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:13 pm

Re: Climbing harness

Postby shorti » Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:02 am

Ghaznavid wrote: the main use of the harness will be in the Drakensberg
Ah, in that case you don't need a harness at all, you can just tie the rope around your waist - you're screwed in any case if you fall. You won't need gear loops, you can just hang a few hexes over your shoulders. I might still have my dad's old Whillans harness somewhere if you would like some "comfort". :thumleft:

User avatar
Ghaznavid
Posts: 365
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:37 pm
Real Name: Jonathan

Re: Climbing harness

Postby Ghaznavid » Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:13 am

Why do I always get that response to climbing the Dragon :pirat:

My recent attempt at rock scrambling a B/C grade fairly smooth rock (which could easily be smeared if not wearing hiking boots) included trying to use a good handhold - it broke off before I even put any real weight on it! Fortunately there was an easy way around the rock... Joys of opening up new Berg passes...
"There is something fundamentally wrong in treating the Earth as if it were a business in liquidation." Herman E Daly

User avatar
mountainmailorder
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:16 am

Re: Climbing harness

Postby mountainmailorder » Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:25 pm

We do have the Wild Country Vision in stock. R595.
https://www.mountainmailorder.co.za/ind ... uctId=1988

We also have the Wild Country Elite Ultralite Ziplock and Syncro Ziplock on the site now. R800.
https://www.mountainmailorder.co.za/ind ... uctId=2530
https://www.mountainmailorder.co.za/ind ... uctId=2529

I actually climb with the Elite, a very comfortable but not so cheap trad harness.

The Petzl Corax is a good comfortable harness with a great size range. Comes in XS-M (size 1) and M-XL (size 2). So it is really good value for money and our best-selling harness. The Singing Rock Attack and BD Momentum AL also sell extremely well.

Yes in theory you should try on a harness. But in practice it's actually fine to buy sight-unseen. (I wouldn't say the same about your first pair of rock climbing shoes). But a harness is a harness is a harness. All the models you are looking at are fully adjustable on the waist and legs so unless you are a freak of nature it will fit.

Case in point, we just ordered a new model for Christmas, 114 of them, sight unseen. So I am not making this up.

If price is an issue, go for the Singing Rock Attack @ R550.

- Trish

User avatar
Thermophage
Posts: 376
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:03 am
Real Name: Cuan Lohrentz
Location: Cape Town

Re: Climbing harness

Postby Thermophage » Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:51 pm

If you can get an Edelrid harness go for it...They honestly make the best everything :P
And MMO has some in stock...However, if you're just climbing sport and gym the Edelrid Loopo is freaking AMAZING!!!!

Nic Le Maitre
Posts: 844
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:40 am
Real Name: Nic Le Maitre
Location: Stellenbosch

Re: Climbing harness

Postby Nic Le Maitre » Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:53 am

For a trad harness it needs to be comfortable, some designs fit some people, others don't (for instance I find the Petzl Corax very uncomfortable but loads of people rave about it). Next the number, size and positioning of the gear loops is the most important part. They need to be far enough forward that you can see them without having to twist too much, they need to take more than 8 'biners easily per gear loop (you're not just carrying 12 quickdraws here) and try and get a harness with at the absolute least 4 large gear loops, 6 would be better. Soft gear loops made from cord covered with tubing are better than the hard plastic types because you can comfortably do up a pack waist belt over them.

Other things too look out for are brightly coloured belay loops (makes life easier at stances), a spare loop at the back (not necessarily a rated point) to hang your emergeny prussiks/knife/whistle off and a lot of harnesses these days have a "hollow" construction (the "belt" is not continuous around the harness) which makes them much more breathable than the older generation and therefore much nicer to wear for a long time.
Happy climbing
Nic

User avatar
Xenomorph
Posts: 269
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:23 am
Real Name: Cormac Tooze
Location: Cape Town

Re: Climbing harness

Postby Xenomorph » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:02 am

There is a harness review in SA MTN Sport Dec issue.
I tested, SInging Rock, Mad Rock, DB, Wild Country, Beal & Petzl

I tested 4 new 2013 harnesses from Wild Country, the trad/ multi-pitch/alpine "Summit" is pretty awesome- THese harness are not on their website yet.

BD is up there too with the great technology like trakFIT

Cheers
Cormac

The Real McCoy
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:44 pm

Re: Climbing harness

Postby The Real McCoy » Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:52 pm

Ghaznavid... Go take a drive up Pietermaritz St, park in Bush and Bundu's parking and go chat to Ce'sar. He'll sell you the correct harness for your needs. :thumleft:

Marshall1
Posts: 726
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:38 am
Real Name: Derek Marshall
Location: Port Elizabeth

Re: Climbing harness

Postby Marshall1 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:12 pm

I didn't need a new harness, but bought the new Edelrid harness because its is so fricking cool!

Cormac, if you didn't test the new Edelrid harness you won't be able to give a proper review.

The folks at MMO stock Edelrid harnesses, but are keeping them for themselves (greedy).

User avatar
Xenomorph
Posts: 269
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:23 am
Real Name: Cormac Tooze
Location: Cape Town

Re: Climbing harness

Postby Xenomorph » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:52 pm

Marshall, I would gladly have tested a Edelrid harness, but the agent was not forthcoming in giving me samples!
He gave me Mad Rock instead.

Cormac

BAbycoat
Posts: 156
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 12:53 pm

Re: Climbing harness

Postby BAbycoat » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:00 pm

My experience is the opposite of shorti - I had a Corax for years, found it (acceptably) comfy, and reluctantly replaced it when the gear loops started breaking and my friends refused to be belayed when I wore it.

I moved onto the Synchro, and I'm very disappointed. The foam in the leg-loops isn't stiff enough, so the loop constricts into a half-inch garotte which is uncomfortable to hang, rap, rest or belay in. The waist belt doesn't distribute a heavy rack as comfortably as the Corax. And the buckles don't synch or release as naturally as the Corax. I'm strongly considering moving back to Petzl (probably the Calidris).

Stay away from Mad Rock - their self-locking buckles don't lock. My Saturn progressively slipped while I was abseiling polyprop lines last year. Seemed that the vibration of the belay device caused the buckles to slip. It's just not cool having to re-tighten your harness after every abseil, and doubting your harness every time you step off.

Harnesses comfortability is mostly about body shape. Try them on until you find one that fits.

User avatar
Xenomorph
Posts: 269
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:23 am
Real Name: Cormac Tooze
Location: Cape Town

Re: Climbing harness

Postby Xenomorph » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:14 pm

BAbycoat wrote:My experience is the opposite of shorti - I had a Corax for years, found it (acceptably) comfy, and reluctantly replaced it when the gear loops started breaking and my friends refused to be belayed when I wore it.

I moved onto the Synchro, and I'm very disappointed. The foam in the leg-loops isn't stiff enough, so the loop constricts into a half-inch garotte which is uncomfortable to hang, rap, rest or belay in. The waist belt doesn't distribute a heavy rack as comfortably as the Corax. And the buckles don't synch or release as naturally as the Corax. I'm strongly considering moving back to Petzl (probably the Calidris).

Stay away from Mad Rock - their self-locking buckles don't lock. My Saturn progressively slipped while I was abseiling polyprop lines last year. Seemed that the vibration of the belay device caused the buckles to slip. It's just not cool having to re-tighten your harness after every abseil, and doubting your harness every time you step off.

Harnesses comfortability is mostly about body shape. Try them on until you find one that fits.


Corax was right at top with comfort, ALthough expensive and heavy compared to rest, New Wild Country Summit is very comfy, I could not test other Petzl's as whole range of harness is being reworked; new styles coming out soon, Agent only let me test the old reliable Corax
Cormac

User avatar
Xharlie
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:26 am
Real Name: Stephen Martindale
Location: London, United Kingdom

Re: Climbing harness

Postby Xharlie » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:46 pm

You can't beat the Petzl Corax. I have one. All my friends climb in them. They're brilliant.
Petzl are going to have a tough job living up to expectations set by the Corax.

... although the collapsed gear-loops aren't universally liked. Some prestidigitation is required to clip stuff onto them, behind your back.

User avatar
Ghaznavid
Posts: 365
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:37 pm
Real Name: Jonathan

Re: Climbing harness

Postby Ghaznavid » Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:22 pm

Thanks for all the replies!

It definitely helps in making an informed decision :thumleft:
"There is something fundamentally wrong in treating the Earth as if it were a business in liquidation." Herman E Daly


Return to “Gear Questions & Reviews”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest