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How old is your harness?
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By earl mcalister
From idaho
Oct 23, 2012
me
How often do you replace your harness? I've been climbing about 6 years on a regular basis (over 100 days a year in past years) and am on my 2nd harness. I have a Petzl Calidris that I have used a lot the last 2 years and the webbing on the leg loop buckles is quite worn (one side is about half worn through from chimneying) that I am considering replacing. Just wanted to get opinions of how long others will wait to retire theirs. I know people that climb less than me and replace theirs annually.

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By ben schuldt
From Morris, MN
Oct 23, 2012
me in mid summer on the column direct
When in doubt, replace it. I'm sure your life and the mental comfort of your partner are worth more than the $75-100 for a new harness.

In answer to your question, I replace mine every 4-5 years when I replace my rope.

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By jmeizis
From Colorado Springs, CO
Oct 23, 2012
The Beginning of Mr. Clean (5.8) at the Barkeater Cliffs in Adirondack Park NY.
I heard this a while ago and can't remember from where but heard that 7 years is when nylon manufacturers recommend replacing nylon products.

If things are getting worn out though I'd say it's time, regardless of how long you've had it. That's when I generally replace things. It's usually long before manufacturer recommendations though.

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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Oct 23, 2012
if you're getting 100 days a year, i'd say roughly every 2-3 years, depending on what you're doing.

most manufacturers will say 3-5 based on use.

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By Jon H
From Boulder
Oct 23, 2012
At the matching crux
Sounds like it's high time to replace your harness.

I replace mine every 3ish years probably, but I also have a ~10 year old Arcteryx Vapor (The first laser cut harness made, with purple fleece lining) that I refuse to throw away because it's just perfect. Best damn harness ever made. I use it pretty much exclusively in the gym and it's in perfect shape. It sat hidden in the bottom of my closet for 7 years probably and I just recently found it and started using it again.

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By Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Oct 23, 2012
...
Sounds like your harness still has PLENTY of life left.

Worn leg loops are not a big issue.

I wear mine until they're falling apart (So long as the belay loop is still in good condition).



Also, you can sometimes replace the leg loops with leg loops from other harnesses.

When I climb, I'm wearing a Petzl, Metolius...

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By Said
From Boulder, Co
Oct 23, 2012
Top of the 3rd pitch of Touchstone at Zion NP.
Interesting you post this topic on the anniversary of Todd Skinner's Death:

mountainproject.com/v/10587780...

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By james-va
Oct 23, 2012
I'm using one from 1994 or 1995.

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By Woodchuck ATC
Oct 23, 2012
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
I have a few to choose from , none older than 2008 and none with more than 20 days a year climbing on them. No severe lead falls, that's for sure. ( I'm easy going climber these days)

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By Burd
From Selinsgrove, PA
Oct 23, 2012
Agree. Sounds like it's time and you got your money's-worth out of it.

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By Rob Kepley
From Westminster,CO
Oct 23, 2012
Yosemite Valley..
Jon H wrote:
but I also have a ~10 year old Arcteryx Vapor (The first laser cut harness made, with purple fleece lining)


God I wish they would bring that harness back! Best damn harness I've ever owned.

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By Aric Datesman
Oct 23, 2012
I've got a circa-1992 era REI brand harness (remember when theymade climbing gear?) that had no padding (really just a glorified Swiss Seat) that gets used on occasion.

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By Leo Paik
Administrator
From Westminster, Colorado
Oct 23, 2012
Earl, it's time to replace that harness.

So much of the lifespan of the harness depends on what you do to your harness. Chimneying is really hard on harnesses. You can go through a harness on one route if it is tight enough of a squeeze. I recall rubbing through a leg strap on a harness on one desert chimney. Still, general cragging and minimal abrasions can get you into the 5th year. Inspect your harness each time you get out there, especially your belay loop (which can be backed up). Todd, we miss you. The old Petzl Jump harness seemed to be really tolerant of abuse.

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By EB
From Winona
Oct 23, 2012
I get a new one every year.

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By earl mcalister
From idaho
Oct 24, 2012
me
Wow, that is a strange coincidence about the Skinner anniversary. I often think of him and look at my belay loop when I do a lot of raps. Thanks for the info everyone.

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By Ed Wright
Oct 24, 2012
Magic Ed
My sport harness is fine but my big wall harness, which I use when bolting new routes, is too old and abused. Frayed as all hell-but I did back up my belay loop.

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By Woodchuck ATC
Oct 24, 2012
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
Aric Datesman wrote:
I've got a circa-1992 era REI brand harness (remember when theymade climbing gear?) that had no padding (really just a glorified Swiss Seat) that gets used on occasion.


Same here, those seat belt webbing sit-harnesses with the 2 big tie in loops up front. Ageless REI design. Cheapest harness available for 19.95 or so. Got some from the early 80's around yet, in 3 different sizes and colors.

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By Wally
From Denver
Oct 24, 2012
I have had the leg loops on two harness blow out. Both times were from falls in climbing gyms, on retired (from outside climbing) harnesses. Both falls were pretty scary in that, once the leg loop breaks, your center of balance is off and there is the feeling that it may be possible to fall out of the harness, which realistically is probably not likely.

I primarily trad climb, and like the wide, so I sense my leg loops may get more abrasion than others may experience.

Agree with the general sentiment expressed here, inspect your gear, when in doubt, replace it.

The comments about harnesses from 1992 and 1994 still in use - that is a long time ago - perhaps consideration should be given to retiring those harnesses!

Climb Ohn. Wally

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By Aric Datesman
Oct 24, 2012
Woodchuck ATC wrote:
Same here, those seat belt webbing sit-harnesses with the 2 big tie in loops up front. Ageless REI design. Cheapest harness available for 19.95 or so. Got some from the early 80's around yet, in 3 different sizes and colors.



Surprisingly comfy in spite of the lack of padding, aren't they? Only reason mine has be relegated to spare-harness-for-TR-or-gym duty is the lack of gear loops. Perhaps I should add some gear loops and rack up the set of Titons I've slowly been acquiring?

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By Woodchuck ATC
Oct 24, 2012
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
Aric Datesman wrote:
Surprisingly comfy in spite of the lack of padding, aren't they? Only reason mine has be relegated to spare-harness-for-TR-or-gym duty is the lack of gear loops. Perhaps I should add some gear loops and rack up the set of Titons I've slowly been acquiring?


I actually did add a section of 5mm cord for gear loops on one of them to carry a few items along. Hand sewn, so not very strong. Agree that they were pretty foolproof. YOur double tie in points guarantee you are upright, and even hold if buckle failed. Quite a unique design for REI to come up with. Agree they are still good enough for gym or easy toprope use yet.

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By JKzxcv
Oct 24, 2012
Wally wrote:
I have had the leg loops on two harness blow out. Both times were from falls in climbing gyms, on retired (from outside climbing) harnesses. Both falls were pretty scary in that, once the leg loop breaks, your center of balance is off and there is the feeling that it may be possible to fall out of the harness, which realistically is probably not likely. I primarily trad climb, and like the wide, so I sense my leg loops may get more abrasion than others may experience. Agree with the general sentiment expressed here, inspect your gear, when in doubt, replace it. The comments about harnesses from 1992 and 1994 still in use - that is a long time ago - perhaps consideration should be given to retiring those harnesses! Climb Ohn. Wally

When your leg loops broke did you get hurt from the waist belt slamming into your chest/armpits? It seems like you could get some bad whiplash on your back from a fall being caught by only the waistbelt.

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By chosspector
From San Juans, CO
Oct 25, 2012
If you start worrying about it, then replace it.

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By Gunkiemike
Oct 25, 2012
JKzxcv wrote:
When your leg loops broke did you get hurt from the waist belt slamming into your chest/armpits? It seems like you could get some bad whiplash on your back from a fall being caught by only the waistbelt.


Thousands of people took numerous whippers on nothing but a swami belt (or less!) "back in the day".

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By Forestvonsinkafinger
From Iowa
Oct 25, 2012
Here is some hard data.

blackdiamondequipment.com/en-u...

rockandice.com/articles/how-to...

I also remember another research project involving harnesses as old as 1950's and cotton. Also keep in mind, exposure to VOC's and acids are more serious than a fray here and there. Keep your harness off the floor/ground, and in a harness bag.

I bought my petzl harness used nearly ten years ago. It is a champ, and while it may be slightly less integral, it is likely quite redundant or overkill yet on force it could withstand.

If I knew I was going to be taking many BIG falls onto a "worn" harness, i'd probably just shell out the $60 for peace of mind.

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By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Oct 25, 2012
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV
ben schuldt wrote:
When in doubt, replace it. I'm sure your life and the mental comfort of your partner are worth more than the $75-100 for a new harness. In answer to your question, I replace mine every 4-5 years when I replace my rope.


me too

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By Wally
From Denver
Oct 25, 2012
JKzxcv wrote:
When your leg loops broke did you get hurt from the waist belt slamming into your chest/armpits? It seems like you could get some bad whiplash on your back from a fall being caught by only the waistbelt.


Didn't get hurt, but almost flipped upside down the first time and might have flipped upside down the second time had I not bear hugged the taught rope I had just fallen on.

For both my outdoor and my gym harnesses, I will be more careful going forward. Having a leg loop fail in an outdoor climbing situation could increase the odds of the climber falling in a compromised position (i.e. - head first), which could increase the odds of injury or death.

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