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Best Trad Climbing Harness
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By Bowens
From Carlsbad, CA
Apr 22, 2012
New Yosemite

What's the best trad climbing harness available? Namely, which harnesses have the best gear-loops for racking?

Thanks!


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By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Apr 22, 2012
tanuki

Misty Mountain Cadillac.

Don't just take my work for it. If you do a search here or at SuperTopo you will find that a ton of folks love both the company and the Cadillac harness. I have been wearing Misty harnesses for a while now, and really think that the Cadillac is where it is at for trad.

Good luck with your purchase.


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By Bowens
From Carlsbad, CA
Apr 22, 2012
New Yosemite

Thanks for the recommendation. Actually, I've seen and had that harness recommended before as well. Six gear loops is perfect!

Do you know if there are any stores in NC where I could try it on to find my size?


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By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Apr 22, 2012
tanuki

I moved to Phoenix from NC about a year ago, so my info is a little dated. However, I am pretty sure that Jesse Brown's in Charlotte carries them. That is where I purchased my last harness. They would probably order whatever you wanted so you could try it on. You could also just give Misty a call. They are an NC company, located in Banner Elk and could tell you where else to look. The owners are totally cool and the company has great customer service.


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By Andrew Blease
From 4runner, parking lot, USA
Apr 22, 2012

Black Dome on Tunnel Road, in Asheville, will have them as well. Call and make sure they have some of your sizes in stock. They are very friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable.


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By Bowens
From Carlsbad, CA
Apr 22, 2012
New Yosemite

Thanks guys; I'll call Jesse Brown's in Charlotte.

Since we're on the Misty Mountain topic, have any of you used their Power Pack as a multi-pitch climbing pack? Opinions?


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By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Apr 22, 2012
tanuki

A friend had a Power Pack. I was not overly impressed with the design, especially as a multi-pitch pack. The workmanship was awesome though. IMHO, the Petzl Bug is the ticket for that. Lots of other people like the small BD packs.


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By Ben Beard
From Superior, AZ
Apr 23, 2012
roo, my only son, the stare that takes down a herd of 'stock

I recently started climbing on a Yates Astroman and I like it a lot. Very comfy, well built, and can hold a lot of gear.


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By cms829
Apr 23, 2012
high e

6 gear loops? for what? can you clip the coleman stove?


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By Ben Beard
From Superior, AZ
Apr 23, 2012
roo, my only son, the stare that takes down a herd of 'stock

they are smaller than most gear loops, so it doesn't necessarily carry more gear than other trad harnesses, but you can break it up among the six loops for organization.

edit- cms829- thought you were asking about the astroman


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By B.S. Luther
From Walnut, CA
Apr 23, 2012

I'm in the market for a new harness too, for the same reason (better gear loops), and I'm leaning towards the Cadillac because it's so widely recommended. Could anyone compare it to the Yates Astroman though? They seem pretty similar, so I'll probably go for the Cadillac just because it's cheaper, but I'm curious if anyone has had experience with both.


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By mitchy
From nunya gotdamn business.
Apr 23, 2012

the two harnesses look similar. Don't go with the caddilac just because it's cheaper, go with it because it kicks ass. i got one back in dec. and love it, will definately buy another.


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By randy88fj62
Apr 23, 2012
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades

I have been multi-pitch trad climbing with my Misty Mountain Caddy harness for about 3 years now and love it. The padding is just right for hanging belays and not too bulky for free climbing.


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By claramie
From Boulder, CO
Apr 23, 2012
Should I be trying this hard on a warmup? <br /> <br />photo by Rob Kepley

Misty Mountain Cadillac is good but I hate the placement of the plastic buckle on the elastic band going to the one leg loop. I always sit on it on ledges and it's uncomfortable. Check out the Wild Country Synchro Ziplock also. I prefer it over the Cadillac, having climbed a lot in both. Arcteryx Big Wall is sick but very expensive. BD makes some good ones too. To be honest, anything with at least 4 good-sized gear loops should suffice. +1 for a haul line loop or another gear look in the very back. Ultimately, you should try a few on and go with whatever feels comfortable for you.


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By Martin le Roux
From Superior, CO
Apr 23, 2012
Stairway to Heaven

Couple of things to think about in addition to gear loop capacity, although these may not be issues in your case.
- Weight
- Comfort when worn under a pack with a hip-belt (more of an issue for mountaineering)
- Ease of undoing leg-loops in case you need to drop your pants half-way up a climb

Harness gear loops aren't much of an issue for me since I prefer to rack gear on a shoulder sling, especially when swinging leads on multi-pitch climbs.


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By kevin deweese
From walnut creek, ca
Apr 23, 2012
don't throw rocks

Big fan of the Bdel Big Gun Harness. Supposed to be a big wall harness but isn't nearly plush enough for the wall, but perfect for long multipitch trad. Dual belay loops are nice to have too.


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By Dobson
From Butte, MT
Apr 23, 2012

kevin deweese wrote:
Big fan of the Bdel Big Gun Harness. Supposed to be a big wall harness but isn't nearly plush enough for the wall, but perfect for long multipitch trad. Dual belay loops are nice to have too.


I like my Big Gun too. The big gear loop in the back is awesome for racking auxiliary gear (anchor-building, shoes, water). It free-climbs surprisingly well. In fact, I've worn it on most of my hardest redpoints.


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By Bowens
From Carlsbad, CA
Apr 23, 2012
New Yosemite

Martin le Roux wrote:
Couple of things to think about in addition to gear loop capacity, although these may not be issues in your case. - Weight - Comfort when worn under a pack with a hip-belt (more of an issue for mountaineering) - Ease of undoing leg-loops in case you need to drop your pants half-way up a climb Harness gear loops aren't much of an issue for me since I prefer to rack gear on a shoulder sling, especially when swinging leads on multi-pitch climbs.


Thank you all for your feedback!

At the moment, I have a Petzl Adjama harness (which I LOVE), but its gear loops are not that prominent or large (by design). I also use a gear sling when climbing, but I am trying to move towards racking entirely on my harness when my rack is not massive, and I'd like to have a harness that makes it easier rather than harder. Naturally, I am indeed also concerned with weight, comfort, etc., but the gear loops seem like the most natural starting point when seeking a "rack on the harness" harness.

I'd like to get my hands on a Misty Mountain to see how it feels; it definitely seems worth checking out. The WC Syncro Ziplock also looks like it might be a winner; I'll have to check it out as well.


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By bearbreeder
Apr 23, 2012

i use whatever i use in the gym and for sport ... i only own one harness right now .... never had a issue ...

one of those BD things ....


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By johnthethird
Apr 23, 2012

metolius safe tech. Nice big gear loops.


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By Joshua Steenburgh
From Longmont, Colorado
Apr 24, 2012
Chocolate Corner.

johnL wrote:
Trad harness or wall harness? I sport climb and do trad and everything else in a Petzl Sama. You don't need a special harness.

+1 for the Sama
Good harness without all the stuff you don't generally need (dual belay loops, 16 gear loops).


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By Matt Kuehl
From the desert
Apr 24, 2012
Plumbers Crack

The only acceptable answer is a Swami belt. The ultimate tradness harness, you'll climb your best!


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Apr 24, 2012
El Chorro

Footsloggers in Boone is probably the closest place to Durham that you'll find a Misty Mountain. You could check at the local gyms though... I wouldn't be surprised if they had 'em at TRC. Looking Glass Outfitters in Brevard and Waterstone Outdoors in Fayetteville, WV also carry them.

Misty harnesses are the best in the world, and the Caddy is an excellent harness for big free climbs. I have hung in mine for hours, as well as had my hardest onsights in it.


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By Larry S
Apr 24, 2012
The wife and I road-trippin on the Connie.

Dobson wrote:
I like my Big Gun too. The big gear loop in the back is awesome for racking auxiliary gear (anchor-building, shoes, water). It free-climbs surprisingly well. In fact, I've worn it on most of my hardest redpoints.


I've got one and like it too, it's my all around harness. Pretty comfortable and not restrictive. I love the back gear loop to stash everything i don't need while leading (couple of lockers, cordolette, belay device, nut tool...), which really opens up the side loops for carrying/accessing gear. If you rack everything on your harness, it's great.

Cons: The leg loops make a whooshing noise when they rub together as you walk, worthless "upper" gear loops on the sides, heavy and doesn't pack very well, the misty caddy is probably more comfortable.


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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Apr 24, 2012
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.

Larry S wrote:
worthless "upper" gear loops on the sides


+1. The damned thing is comfy. The extra "upper" loops are overkill and worthless. If you rack on them, the shit hanging from them is in the way of shit that you rack on the lower and bigger thus more useful loops. They should have made those bad boys removeable. Other than that, I have girly thighs (picture Ichabod Crane), so the rubbing thing isn't an issue. If I had it to do over again, and if I hadn't gotten such a good discount on the harness, I would have gone with Misty; I should have listened to people whose opinions I asked. Minor complaints, but you would think that BD would have addressed such things before putting out what they deem "the ultimate trad/big wall harness" at that retail price.


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By TuRETZ
From Denver, co
Apr 24, 2012
FLIGHT!

NC Rock Climber wrote:
Misty Mountain Cadillac. Don't just take my work for it. If you do a search here or at SuperTopo you will find that a ton of folks love both the company and the Cadillac harness. I have been wearing Misty harnesses for a while now, and really think that the Cadillac is where it is at for trad. Good luck with your purchase.


Agreed, not to mention their customer service is spot on. Call them they will customize it up for you: colors, multiple gear loops, etc. Hang all day in the thing, super comfy!

+++ for Misty Cady!


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