Review by: playouts1de, 2008-02-26
Vegastradguy reviewed the new Arctryx 280 just as I was looking for a new harness. I had been thinking of jumping into a Petzl Adjama, but was hesitant, having a hard time with sizing and gear loop sizes keeping me happy at the same time (for some reason the harness that fit me had really, really small rear gear loops). Having rushed in to a few expensive purchases recently I decided to wait untill the right harness presented it self, and I am so glad I did.
I chose the 320 over others in the line due to the number of gear loops it sported. The harness had to be special ordered through REI (I work on building a nice inflated dividend check every year) which meant waiting a week. It came in a tin box that wasn't even big enough to hold an reasonable amount of girl scout cookies, much less a harness, with their beautiful logo embossed on the lid. I've seen wrist watches come in bigger boxes. A+ on presentation.
This harness is much lighter and thinner than it looks, uncomfortably so, but absolutely solid. The review mentioned that you almost forget that the harness is there, and that has definitely been my experience. The auto lock is smooth, and doesn't bind like the other harnesses that I have used. Tie in points are bomber. I am a little worried about the elastic on the fixed leg loops, but for now they feel great and stay in place. Gear loops are appropriately sized, and conveniently positioned (my last harness had off-set gear loops????). I am sure the reversibility of the gear loops will be useful to someone, but not me.
The other concern I had was comfort. This is where this harness steps up to bat. For its weight, it is extremely comfortable. When I hang in it, I can feel the support of the WARP webbing through out the entire width of the harness along my lower back. It is far from the piece of 1" webbing that wraps around your waist every other harness offers. Honestly, I was expecting hanging to be a little more uncomfortable. I still feel the harness after a longer hang, just as you do in any harness, but it doesn't leave the same "impression" my last harness did and my kidnees thank me every climb.
I dont expect to ever switch harnesses again. 5 stars. Worth the price, even though its a little steep.