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danmcph

Best Harness for Ice

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got a harness with 6 clipper slots. guess how many clippers I got on? I got a hula skirt harness of plastic biners with screws hangin all over.

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comfy to hang in (with all the clothes used while ice climbing)

yet still lighterweight than a summer harness

I like gear loops on the very back which means I am making my own gear loops around the rear haul point. But if you can find one with excessive gear loops............

 

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First bit of advice is you probably don't need adjustable leg loops. As long as you have room to loosen the waistbelt enough to go OVER your shell jacket you should be fine. My experience has been very good with regular leg loops as one is not adding as many layers as on a serious mountaineering trip, where adjustment is a great feature.

 

Kinda seems like harness design has separated ice from mountaineering so don't use a mountaineering harness (ala BD Couloir) if you like uncrushed nuts and kidneys.

 

Second, minimal padding and material are a big plus. For one thing these absorb water and then get heavy and frozen, and dont dry quickly. For another you will be wearing a ton more layers than summer rock, so layers provide the padding. Besides, you will be carrying more crap with ice/alpine and sleeker harnesses take up a lot less space and weigh less, especially if they are not big frozen sponges.

 

As for ice clippers, I am not sold on those, but the Petzl Hirundos was my favorite and takes two.

 

Have been using an Arcteryx S220lt and was surpised by how well it works. Who would think a sport harness would work so well for ice but it does, especially the mesh leg loops!

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I have a CAMP Air CR - fucking awesome harness. Super light, very comfortable, two ice clipper slots (in my opinion, you don't need more than two, speed buckles, adjustable leg loops. Of all the harnesses I've owned it's by far my favourite.

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Petzl Hirundos. May be not the "best" But seems good enough.

Never been on a climb that I needed more screws than you can rack on two Petzl clippers. If that ever happens I'll need a rest anyway. So I'll rig a belay with the last two screws I have available and start over. YMMV

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So, I'm here in Ouray (just ended the festival) and the most popular ice harness is the Black Diamond Xenos. This harness is the bomb with places for 6 ice clippers, very adjustable and auto double back. It's become my go to harness for everything except easy glacier (BD Couloir) or anything where I want the harness in the 8 oz. range. The Xenos only weighs 15 oz. and it's a joy to hang in. Great features and like I said, the most popular harness seen here at Ouray which is an ok representation of what's going on in the industry IMHO.

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Petzl sponsored climbers typically run the Hirundos.

Black Diamond sponsored climbers the Xenos.

 

I'll leave it to your imagination who has the bigger budget and how those $s are spent at Ice festivals.

 

 

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I like a harness with adjustable leg loops for ice. Leg loops that are not just adjustable, but that open completely. The adjustability is not the key feature, but having leg loops that open completely are a worthwhile feature in my experience. Why?

 

You hike in to a climb with your harness in your pack. Frequently, when you reach the base of the route, you don't have a big, flat friendly area in which to gear up. Maybe you are in uneven terrain, maybe you are above the climb. Instead of balancing awkwardly on one foot to get my big honking insulated boot through a closed leg loop, it's easier and safer to simply buckle the waist loop and leg loops without having to pick my feet off the ground. This advantage is even bigger if you are already wearing crampons. Same holds true for when you're taking the harness off.

 

No need to increase the chances of going for Mr. Toad's Wild Ride when you're gearing up. Or looking like a klutz in front of your buddies.

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I've got the Xenos and ehh... It's not bad but it's not as light or comfy as the I-340a or as cheap as something like the Hirundos. Next harness I buy will be something different.

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One vote for the latest version of the Petzl Adjama.

 

As comfortable as the Xenos but way lighter. Much more comfortable than any of the Arcteryx offerings.

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Dear All,

 

One feature to an ice climbing harness mentioned above, but worth stressing a bit more is water absorbancy. Some polymers hold their weight in water, others less, some none at all. Over the course of a day ice climbing your harness will tend to get wet--even on a very cold day due to your body's warmth any snow, ice, melt water will tend to accumulate in your harness. This will rob you of core body heat (the harness wraps around your torso and the leg loops are next to your femoral artery), be harder to dry out at night, adds weight to your body, tends to be soaked in by your shell over the course of the day, etc. So try to purchase a harness which is made of polymers which are hydrophobic. If not, take the time to use spray waterproofing agents to your harness--the same stuff you use on your clothing. Doing so will pay a dividend. Some manufacturers advertise this property about the polymers they use in their harness composition. I support many of the other prior comments. I hope I have helped this conversation.

 

Cheers,

 

Bob Loomis, Spokane, Washington

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I have climbed using many different harnesses but my personal favorite is the Black Diamond Aspect. Its very light, comfortable, and streamlined with plenty of room. I think that people get caught up in bells and whistles along with marketing hype so don't over think it. You should try on every harness possible and see what works for you.

 

I have spent more time hanging in minimalist harnesses (BD couloir/Bod) than I would like to admit and felt just fine.

 

Comfortability and function is key, but remember...if you are not suffering at some point during your journey, your personal growth and accomplishment is probably just as flat as the valley below.

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I wanted to get a hirundos for my new ice harness, but I needed it later that day so I went and got the only thing REI had, a new model of the aspect (it's blue and has TIGHT bionic style cutaways on the backs of the waistbelt and legloops) They made the harness better for wet conditions by surrounding the waistbelt padding in some plasticized fabric, like bob said above. It works pretty well. I'm a one harness for everything kind of guy (actually I just can't afford more than one harness) and I have no worries about using it, whether for new routing in the beartooths or clipping bolts. I'm a little hesitant to use it for big walling, because my hips would probably get really fucked up if I hanged in it for longer than a few hours.

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but remember...if you are not suffering at some point during your journey, your personal growth and accomplishment is probably just as flat as the valley below.

 

 

What? Your harness came with a fortune cookie? Kinda a better idea to prosper from real suffering, or maybe just survive it, than from saving a few grams.

 

Agree with Keenwesh, nice to have a harness that works for sport, trad, alpine and ice.

 

Kinda nice to spend more but less than for two.

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What? Your harness came with a fortune cookie? Kinda a better idea to prosper from real suffering, or maybe just survive it, than from saving a few grams.

 

 

oh i see... your a veteran. Spending more time online than in the trenches?

 

What I mean is...comfortability is great but learn how to make due with what you have until you find the perfect harness. Try many, but go out and have fun and stop being consumed by marketing hype and a bunch of straight up whining. Which is what I see a lot of going on around here. Clever fortune cookie comment but thats all you have. Don't forget your 1000 essentials toughguy!

 

I happen to agree with keenwash as well.

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Try many, but go out and have fun and stop being consumed by marketing hype and a bunch of straight up whining. Which is what I see a lot of going on around here.

 

asking for people's opinion about gear on the web is not being consumed by market hype but real research.

And where is the "bunch of whining" on this thread?

Usual internet resort to confrontation by accusation of entire population.

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Does anyone have experience or opinions with the Togir slide harness by mammut? It looks like a sweet ice harness at a decent cost.

 

It has "3 ice carabiner slots" it looks like 2 of them are on the left hand side. Do I have this right?

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Try many, but go out and have fun and stop being consumed by marketing hype and a bunch of straight up whining. Which is what I see a lot of going on around here.

 

asking for people's opinion about gear on the web is not being consumed by market hype but real research.

And where is the "bunch of whining" on this thread?

Usual internet resort to confrontation by accusation of entire population.

 

Kinda seemed like preaching then some combination of whining AND crying.

 

Have to agree with many posters here, light & compact, not a sponge, etc.

 

My two cents is the new wave of trim harnesses that mimic stretch softshell in waist and legbands are setting the new standard. Advice is buy one.

 

Was skeptical of the dead bird leg loop mesh but I am 100% sold on it, very comfortable and durable, absorbs zero water, best material for the weight and packed size, and really doesn't feel like the whole rig is even there whether climbing sport, trad or ice.

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