The Best Petzl Harnesses for Men and Women
A harness is a system that connects the climber to a rope. Some of its more important parts are the belay loop and the gear loop. They vary according to the nature of your climb, weather, and sometimes gender. If you are a mountaineer or just getting started on mountain climbing, you know that a harness is one of the most valuable tools for your (new) hobby. Well, we would like to emphasize that not just any brand goes- a Petzl harness is very popular among pro climbers.
So what is a harness? It is a system that connects the climber to a rope to keep them safe when going up a mountain. The rope is attached to the anchor. The entire system works as one to help you hoist yourself up rocky mountains. It would be unthinkable to try mountain climbing without a harness. Actually, you wouldn’t get far considering the formation of the rocks.
When to Buy a Harness
Harnesses are in most cases a reserve of the outdoorsy person, specifically those who are into rock climbing. You will, however, also need a harness for indoorwall climbing. If you plan to be an avid climber, it will serve you well to invest in one.
Outdoor activities can be quite challenging. Before you pack up for Nepal to scale Everest, try climbing a few local hills and mountains first. You will find enough challenging rocks to get you started. The thing about owning a harness as opposed to renting one every time you need it is the convenience. You are motivated to climb (indoors or outdoors) more often, and you get used to having it around your waist.
Renting costs money. If you add it all together, the cost of buying your harness will be much lower. Besides, you get to choose one that suits you to a tee.
Buying One Already?
The market is literally littered with harnesses. Every gear shop has one of a different brand and naturally, you are bound to get confused. What is your intention when buying this harness? We would assume that yours will be for mountain climbing in this case.
- Color is No Deal Breaker
You would think that it would matter what color you choose, but boy are you wrong. Okay, if you find the perfect harness in your favorite color, good for you. But under normal circumstances, you might not need a brightly colored one for rescue missions. You have bigger fish to fry.
Consumers have had their heads wrapped around big names. That is not a bad idea at all, buying from renowned brands, seeing that they have been around long enough and have done extensive research in the product they bring to the market. However, you can always find equally good harnesses from the little-known brands, and at better prices.
- How Much Is It?
Would you rather pay a little bit more for a product you believe in or would you leave it for a cheaper brand? Price does not always equal to quality, and so it should not influence your decision. However, you should always look out for a good bargain.
Those factors should not influence your decision when buying a harness. What should?
Before You Buy a Harness, Consider These Factors
All harnesses are designed with the equal ability to provide maximum support while rock climbing. However, the type of climbing will also call for a few tweaks in design.
An all-around harness will be mid-weight, with breathable material and foam on both the leg loops and your waist belt (both of which are adjustable). We will talk about gear loops later. They are ideal for just about any challenge-even ice climbing, if they have ice clip slots.
Winter harnesses cannot use open foam, as they would absorb water that will freeze and become unmanageably heavy. Instead, closed foam is used, which is less breathable but more robust. The gear loops will be larger, and the leg loops adjustable.
- Sizing Up the Waist
The waist belt, also known as Swami belt, needs to fit snugly o the waistline. It should be tight yet comfortable, but at the same time impossible to pull down. Seeing that you will attach it to your hip, you may need to consider the weight.
The standard harness has one or two buckles. They are usually placed a little to the side to avoid conflicting with the rope tie-in. A harness must have a buckle or buckles for the waist but not necessarily for the leg loops.
- The Bottom Part
Leg loops should be aptly padded for comfort, and roomy enough for you to add or remove layers without fastening the loop. An adjustable is ideal for mountaineering and ice climbing where you would need to put boots on before you secure the harness. However, fitted leg loops are perfect when doing indoor climbing.
- Gear Loop
Your harness of choice should have at least 2 gear loops, although there is no limit to the number. Two loops are ideal for gym and indoor climbing, seeing that you will not need to bring too much along. If you are an ice climber or multi-pitcher, you will need four or more gear loops.
Gear loops are designed for hauling equipment such as nuts, cams, and quickdraws, and they are mostly made of plastic. You can even customize some harnesses with removable plastic gear loops.
- Belay Loop
This loop is the most important on a harness as it is the only load-tested part. A belay loop connects the waist belt to your leg loop. One of the reasons that make it a vital component is the fact that a locking carabiner is attached to it when you are belaying. Your belay loop should be strong and rigid and made of nylon webbing.
- Ice Clipper Slots
If your adventures are likely to send you to snowy mountains, you will certainly need a harness with ice clipper slots. The slots are on each side of the harness, attached to the waist belt.
- The Construction
You will be wearing it on your body, which will be generating heat from the ascent. Go for comfortable yet breathable material to heighten your experience. The more expensive the harness, the more likely it is to be breathable and comfortable. It will also serve you longer.
4 Best Petzl Harnesses Reviews for Women 2017
Super light, safe
Perfect fit, sturdy
1. Petzl Selena - Climbing Harness for Women
This colorful harness is female morphology specific and designed and stitched for comfort. The sides are a little thicker than most harnesses, and the loops are foam padded.
The waist belt and leg loops, which are quite thick, are wider on the sides are reinforced with double stitching to ensure that they hold the climber securely.
Still, on the waist belt, the manufacturer has put more stitching emphasis on the points likely to give in to pressure as well as make it adjustable for sizes up to 37 inches. It only has one buckle on the left side, and so it needs proper fitting to get a harness that is snug yet leaves space to breathe.
When buying this harness, you will need to be certain of your size. Petzl has them in various sizes, from small to extra large, and you can use one of the charts on their website to be certain of your size. The leg loops are not adjustable which only emphasizes the need for proper prior fitting. One thing is sure, though: this harness is true to size.
All parts are foam-padded, and the material is breathable. It is not ideal for winter but will do for the rest of the seasons. Oh, and it only comes in bright colors: pink and raspberry. It is also quite cheap.
- It is super light and so mostly ideal for sports climbing.
- Double-backed waist buckle ensures safety.
- It wears well.
- The fitted leg loops may be a problem when your weight fluctuates.
- Open foam is not ideal for winter climbing.
2. Petzl Luna - Women's Climbing Harness
This turquoise harness comes with four gear loops and double stitching on all points that are likely to hold too much pressure. As is Petzl’s trademark, it only has one buckle to the left at the front. It is also true to size. If you find turquoise too bright, they have gray too.
The white belay loop is properly stitched into the harness, connecting the waist belt to its leg loop. Instead of plastic, loop gears on this harness are nylon webbing that can handle quite heavy gear.
The waist belt and leg loop both give the impression of being a little too thin, but we tested and confirmed that they are ideally padded.
The foam on this is open, with tiny holes that make its material breathable. This holes could allow water in and soak the foam from the inside, which would add excess weight, or even pose a health concern. Since the harness itself is quite light and suited for sports climbing or indoor sports, this will not be an issue. We would not recommend it for rainy seasons either (but we doubt you will be climbing rocks in the rain).
On the leg loops, you have a buckle on each side for fastening. They (leg loops) are a fixed fit, and so we advise that you check your exact size in Petzl’s online chart.
- The fitted leg loop ensures a snug fit.
- We like the colors and the wider waist belt.
- Made of durable material: polyester, nylon, ad EVA foam.
- Since the fitting is fixed, the leg loops tend to be either too small or too big for most people.
- Because it has only one buckle, you will have few options for adjustment.
3. Petzl FALCON - Women's Rescue Climbing Harness
Petzl has made this harness a bit different from most of theirs: it is black with a few yellow impressions. Most climbers will agree that it comes as a welcome relief from all the brightly colored harnesses.
They have designed it for suspended rescue, with the waist belt being thicker than usual and with enough EVA foam for comfort. Waist size is restricted to 37.3 inches for the large harness. The company stocks both small and medium as well.
Leg loops on this Falcon harness extend to 24.4 inches for this large size. It fits true to size, which is why you will need to confirm your ideal size from Petzl’s online chart.
On the front part, you have a metal ventral attachment point that distributes the weight between the legs and the waist. The two buckles on each side of the waist belt are self-locking to make for quick adjustment, and the same goes for buckles on leg loops.
Since it is a rescue harness, you have four robust loops for hauling needed equipment. There are two on the side and two at the rear part, designed in such a way not to interfere with a backpack.
- You can adjust the foam on leg loops for a perfect fit.
- Sturdy construction.
- It is adjustable and has two buckles on the waist belt.
- Limited colors.
4. Petzl Pro Avao Bod - Fast Harness for Women
Shifting from the conventional designs of harnesses that connect from waist and to the lower body, Avao Bod Fast Harness is one for the entire upper body. It, of course, comes with better reinforcement and heightened comfort levels, but you will have to dig deeper into your pockets.
The X-shaped dorsal construction of Petzl’s Pro Avao Bod makes you feel as though your body is in a safe blanket. It is comfortable, with enough padding for legs, back, and waist belt. Its waist belt is larger than that of most harnesses, and it supports the small of the back ideally.
Your double metal attachments connect the top and middle parts of your body to your legs so that weight is equally distributed. It has self-locking DoubleBack buckles on the shoulders, the waistline, and on each of the leg loops.
This harness is an expensive investment, and so you should have an expert fit you for size. Leg loops are true to size, but the waist belt is adjustable.
- Solid construction.
- Hugs the entire body.
- Has self-locking DoubleBack buckles on all three points.
- Fitted leg loops.
The Best Women’s Harness For The Money
When making our decision, we looked at the material longevity of the harness, breathability, and function. We tested this harness and were impressed at what you could get for such a reasonably priced harness. We have heard reviewers say it can take a beating, even after daily use for a prolonged period.
The belay loop is super rigid, as are the self-locking buckles. The fitting is perfect as long as you get one designated for your dimensions. It is super light at 400 grams, and so we recommend it for all-around adventure except for ice climbing.
The only downside is the non-adjustable leg loop, but overall, we think Petzl Selena Climbing Harness is a steal.
4 Best Petzl Harnesses Reviews for Men 2017
1. Petzl Sama - Men's Climbing Harness
Although the color may be too little too bright for some men, Petzl Sama Climbing Harness has great features. Its price is also unbeatable.
At the front, the belay loop connects waist belt and leg loop, and it has been carefully double stitched for tenacity. Two gear loops are at the back while the other two prominently feature on the side.
The waist belt, wide and padded with EVA foam for comfort, accommodates sizes 76 to 86cm, but that is for the medium-sized harness.
The company carries small through large sizes. It has a self-locking buckle on the left side for sizing up. Its EndoFrame construction distributes weight equally during suspension.
Petzl Sama Climbing Harness has no leg loop adjustment. It requires that you know your ideal size before placing your order. The upside to this design is that leg loops are elastic, and so they fit snugly and will not expand for as long as the harness lasts.
- Fitted leg loops do not expand.
- Its EndoFrame construction distributes weight.
- Its Dyneema tie-in points offer excellent resistance to rope friction.
- Fitted leg loops are not for everyone.
- It runs small.
2. Petzl Adjama - Climbing Harness for Men
Blue has never been too hard on the eyes, and so this harness is quite the looker. Its DoubleBack Light buckle placed on the left side does not interfere with belaying. It also leaves enough space for the left side for one gear loop. Three others go round the harness to make four.
Because it has only one buckle, waist circumference for X-large is 89 - 99 cm. Some reviewers have complained that Petzl’s sizes do not consider climber caught between two sizes, say, you are too big for medium but still too small for large.
Since these harnesses are true to size, you may have to make a compromise (take a larger size and adjust it).
Leg loops have a self-locking buckle on each side, and X-large fits 60 to 70 cm. It is made of Nylon, polyester, and EVA foam. The foam makes the harness comfortable and yet breathable, but you cannot shift it to be more accommodating. Tie-points on the belay loop prevent rope friction.
- It has four gear loops.
- Waistbelt and leg loops have doubled straps for safety.
- Leg loops are adjustable.
- It runs small.
- It is not heavy-duty enough to sit on for about an hour if you weigh more than 150lbs.
3. Petzl Corax - Men's Climbing Harness
In true Petzel fashion, this harness has a solid construction, and it is lightweight. They have also changed the color scheme to keep it simple yet elegant. The waistbelt is quite wide with EVA foam padding it for the climber’s comfort.
Petzl Corax Climbing Harness has a twist to it: closed foam, which makes it ideal for both summers and winters. It also has 2 buckles - one on each side of the waistbelt to keep the equipment loops in a balanced position.
On the side and at the back are four gear loops, each of which will take up to 10lbs of equipment. We would not advise that you do that since it would slow your ascent down. The back loops have been designed to prevent any interaction with a backpack.
- Closed foam makes it ideal for winter climbing.
- The loops distribute weight equally.
- Adjustable leg loops accommodate layers of clothing on a winter climb.
- The gear loops are not covered in plastic.
- Closed foam is not very breathable.
4. Petzl Aquila - Climbing Harness for Men
The price range of this gray harness is higher than the rest of our reviews in the men section, but its construction makes it all so worth it. It has four solid gear loops that are not covered in plastic, and a buckle on the side. It is made for summer as evidenced open foam and lack of ice clipper slots.
The waist belt on this harness is slightly different in that there are no breaking points that could exert pressure. Additionally, it is thicker with a thicker pad for a comfortable climb or suspension for up to 60 minutes.
To ensure that the belay loop has the tenacity to hold your body for hours, the manufacturer has double stitched the area around each possible pressure point. Buckles on the leg loops, back, and waist belt are self-locking and forged in aluminum to perfect their grip.
- The waist belt, as well as leg loops, have thick yet comfortable pads.
- Adjustable leg loops.
- Thermoformed foam produces a unit with no pressure points.
- Can run small unless you are fitted by an expert.
Best Value For Your Money…(Men’s Section)
Based on overall construction, Petzl Sama Climbing Harness is the best value for money. The belay loop is strong to hold you for a prolonged time while you marvel at nature, while EndoFrame construction distributes weight equally.
The harness is ridiculously affordable too. We do not hate Petzl’s three-year guarantee. The color is, well, a little off-putting, but we will overlook that.