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Is the Petzl Calidris Harness unsafe?
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By Greg-Az
From Prescott Az
Jan 27, 2012

In my expirence with the petzl calidris harness the speed buckles were loosening up during a climb. Often times I would have to retighten them mid pitch. Jugging while aid climbing became kinda scarey due to all the weight pushing down on the harness.

Is this a normal problem with speed buckles? Or is it unique to petzl's calidris harness or even just unique to my harness.

Originaly my plan was to mail the harness in and have petzl look at it. After tallking with Petzl they gave me a mailing address. I sent out the harness out but the package was lost in the mail.

Now I am unable to find out whether the speed buckles loosening up was due to a defunct harness or whether this is a real problem. So I am weighing in with the internet world...

If this is a normal problem with this harness people should know.


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Jan 27, 2012

Well....speed buckles are not as secure as a double-backed buckle, but that "not as secure" thing is kind of splitting hairs. They're pretty damn secure and in my experience, if they slip, its very little (less than half an inch).

The way speed buckles work is based more on the webbing than the buckle itself, but of course the buckle design is important. It sounds like you either had a buckle out of tolerance or some webbing that wasn't quite right- either one would be enough to allow slippage.

Not sure what to tell you- probably go for a different style of harness. Or possibly a different size, depending on how tight the Calidris fit.


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By fat cow
From Salinas, CA
Jan 27, 2012
perfect seam

lost in the mail, how convenient for them


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By Khoi
From Vancouver, BC
Jan 27, 2012

I find that all Petzl speed buckles do that. I have gotten used to retightening them every half hour or so, but I can definitely see why one would not want to deal with that shit.


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By Yarp
Jan 27, 2012

Khoi wrote:
I find that all Petzl speed buckles do that. I have gotten used to retightening them every half hour or so, but I can definitely see why one would not want to deal with that shit.



No, not ALL Petzl speed buckles do that. I've been climbing in one of their harnesses with speed buckles for a year now. So has my main climbing partner. Neither of us have had a problem. Of course if you don't cinch them down properly or if you wear your harness hanging off your ass like a pair of oversized jeans then I could see them loosening up because they need to be tensioned properly in order to stay tight.

If this problem really existed don't you think that Petzl (and all the other companies that are starting to use speed buckles) would abandon the design?

Figure it out people. It's called user error.


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By Jeff J
From Bozeman
Jan 27, 2012

I have a petzl calidris and I find that it slips maybe 1/2 during the day.
Now just out of curiosity do you have the tails tucked back through the tabs/loops (for lack of a better name). Because if you dont than yes the buckles can slip lot and fast. usually the speed buckle issues is user error, so make sure the after tightening the harness that your tails are tucks securely to the side of the harness.


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By J.Roatch
From Twisp, WA
Jan 27, 2012
In my hammock camping in Washington in the Okinawa county region

Yeah, I don't think I've really experienced this before. I've been using the Adjama for a little over a year now.. in winter, summer, wet, dry.. I recall feeling like tightening them a few times on some multi-pitch routes and a few other times, but I think that was because of the way it was moving on my hips, not so much loosening.

But it's something I'll pay attention to more now to make sure it isn't happening. I also tuck the tails into the hoops that follow the metal.


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By Yarp
Jan 27, 2012

Jeff J wrote:
I have a petzl calidris and I find that it slips maybe 1/2 during the day.


And you know that it "slips maybe 1/2" because you mark the webbing every time you climb in it and measure the distance your mark has moved in relation to the buckle with a calibrated measuring device?

Or maybe you just shrink ever so slightly during the day as your body dries out like a raisin because we usually don't drink enough water when we're climbing and it's not the harness that is slipping but you and whatever layers you have on under the harness that are getting packed out and shrinking?

Absolutely correct about tucking the tails in and out of the way. I wouldn't want that loose webbing catching on something during a fall.


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By Finn the Human
From The Land of Ooo
Jan 27, 2012
Mathematical!

Khoi wrote:
I find that all Petzl speed buckles do that. I have gotten used to retightening them every half hour or so, but I can definitely see why one would not want to deal with that shit.


I agree with Yarp on this one: not all Petzl speed buckles slip. I climb in the Adjama and haven't had any issues (I've been keeping an eye out too, ever since someone posted about their BD speed buckle harness having issues several months ago). Never noticed any slippage.


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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Jan 27, 2012
Cleo's Needle

My Petzl harness speed buckles do not slip at all.


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By Jeff J
From Bozeman
Jan 28, 2012

Yarp wrote:
And you know that it "slips maybe 1/2" because you mark the webbing every time you climb in it and measure the distance your mark has moved in relation to the buckle with a calibrated measuring device?


Not quite, there is a sharpie mark at he point I usually tighten the buckle to and over the course of a day I can see that the sharpie line in relation to the buckle...


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By Greg-Az
From Prescott Az
Jan 28, 2012

The Calidris only comes in two sizes so there is plenty of tail for a smaller person like me. The harness is also plenty snug when I begin climbing. I put the tail ends through elastic loops along the waist belt.

Yarp: How do you not cinch your harness down properly with speed buckles? AS long as you cinch it tight it and thread it correctly doesnt really seem possible to mess it up.

Somebody earlier mention to thread the the tail back through the buckle again according to the instruction manual this is uneccessary... but I bet its helpful.

I dont think this harnesses is safe and speed buckles in most cases should be avoided. What if it did loosen up and you took an up-side down leadfall and out of your harness that is a real possibility.

And thats why I switched over to a harness with normal buckles. I feel a whole lot safer.

Does anyobdy notice the harness slipping more when they put more gear on thier harness? With the ones that dont slip what are you climbing? Sport routes? Trad? Multipitch? El cap?


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By Kilroywashere!
From Harrisonburg, Virginia
Jan 28, 2012
Kilroy

if your heart is set on having a harness with speed buckles buy a misty with them. mine have never slipped the least bit, in fact, i find at the end of the day, its almost difficult to loosen up the buckles!


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Jan 28, 2012

GJamesM wrote:
What if it did loosen up and you took an up-side down leadfall and out of your harness that is a real possibility.


no, its not. that's fine if you don't feel comfortable with using speed buckles, but keep in mind that the people who design this stuff and test it are professionals and know what they're doing. they can't put a dangerous product on the market- even a whiff of uncertainty around a piece of PPE is enough to stop it from coming to market.

and, for the record, even Misty Mountain, the last bastions of standard harness manufacturing, are starting to use speed buckles.

If you're hell bent on sticking with standard harness buckles, that's fine- but don't go crying wolf without real evidence and statistics to back it up.


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By Yarp
Jan 28, 2012

Jeff J wrote:
Not quite, there is a sharpie mark at he point I usually tighten the buckle to and over the course of a day I can see that the sharpie line in relation to the buckle...



OK, says you on the internet. I want to see pictures and actual test data. How's about $20 and a well loved number 3 TCU to the person who can prove to us all that speed buckles can spontaneously loosen if used properly.



...and,this is a bit off topic but... could the mod that's been following me around the forums tonight deleting my comments care to elaborate on their reasons for deleting my beta on the Zebra Zion route page? I know you're reading this so please come out from behind the curtain and explain what was wrong with my post. I added a significant amount of useful beta to that page in an effort to correct the incorrect information that is still there. Why would you do this? Feel free to PM me if you would rather explain yourself in a more appropriate setting. Thanks!


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By Greg-Az
From Prescott Az
Jan 28, 2012

Jon: Ok fair enough.. no crying wolf without statistics or proof.

In my case at the beggining of the climb I cinched it down tight and when the rope went tight or I was lowered off the pitch or hanging at a belay there was about four inches between my waist and the harness. That to me is a lot of room, and I think you could fall out that. Anyway this was just my harness and thats why i sent it in.

Thanks everyone for posting.


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By Peter Stokes
From Them Thar Hills
Jan 28, 2012
Wall Street, Moab, UT

My Petzl Hirundos speed buckle slips just a little, mainly because I cinch it all the way tight, right up to the end of the webbing, which is maybe beyond the point Petzl designed it to go (probably should've gotten a smaller size). I fixed that by adding an extra slip lock fitting to the webbing behind the stock speed buckle that I move up against the speed buckle after tightening it. Since this adds a step, it's no longer really a "speed buckle" harness anymore, but still easy enough to use, and one of my favorites for light sport climbing.

There's a photo of the same mod I made to another harness on a thread about Black Diamond speed buckles:
www.mountainproject.com/v/another-speed-buckle-catastrophic->>>


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By Glenn Schuler
From Monument, Co.
Jan 28, 2012
A grey fox skull wedged in a crack 100' up on a FA I was working on - don't see that every day...

Yarp wrote:
and explain what was wrong with my post.


It was written by you. That's all anyone needs to know.


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By bearbreeder
Jan 28, 2012

this gumbie falls more in a day than anyone here does in a week ... and climbs harder than anyone here ...

he hasnt fallen out of his petzl harness yet ;)

sharma
sharma


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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Jan 28, 2012
Cleo's Needle

Yarp wrote:
OK, says you on the internet. I want to see pictures and actual test data. How's about $20 and a well loved number 3 TCU to the person who can prove to us all that speed buckles can spontaneously loosen if used properly. ...and,this is a bit off topic but... could the mod that's been following me around the forums tonight deleting my comments care to elaborate on their reasons for deleting my beta on the Zebra Zion route page? I know you're reading this so please come out from behind the curtain and explain what was wrong with my post. I added a significant amount of useful beta to that page in an effort to correct the incorrect information that is still there. Why would you do this? Feel free to PM me if you would rather explain yourself in a more appropriate setting. Thanks!


Drama Queen.


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By Yarp
Jan 28, 2012

Ray Pinpillage wrote:
Drama Queen.


Guilty.


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By Weston L
From Summerlin, NV
Jan 29, 2012
Me at the good rest on Doggie Do

I have owned the Petzl Adjama for over a year now. Two of my main climbing partners have owned theirs for a similar period of time. Their sentiments echo mine and many others in this thread that they have not experienced any of the slipping phenomena described relative to the Petzl Calidris that the OP mentions.


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By Yarp
Jan 29, 2012

johnL wrote:
may I suggest a Petzl Navaho? Maybe you'll start a new fashion trend.



Waistbelt and shoulder straps equipped with self-locking DoubleBack buckles

Yer still gonna die.


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By Darby
From Snoqualmie, wa
Jan 29, 2012

It's interesting when these "speed Buckle" debates come up. There are 2 sides, those who have had a buckle slip and everyone else who says "user error". Yes, I think the harnesses are safe. And, Yes, I've had my petzl speed buckle slip too. I leaned back at the top of the route and looked down to watch 2-3 inches of slack pull through. Your gonna have a hard time convincing me it didn't happen or that I put the harness on wrong.

I think it's FACT that speed buckles CAN slip.


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By bearbreeder
Jan 30, 2012

if you look at all those sponsored sport climbers ... chances are that most of them use speed buckles ...

and they take way more whippers than anyone here ...

its a wonder they arent all dead from speed buckles unravelling ...


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By Zappatista
Jan 30, 2012
Book me, officer.

The non-epic du jour raises its head, again...


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