A very comfortable harness, but not perfect
Review by: tigerlilly, 2007-09-09
I think I tried on every 4 buckle harness within a 100 mile radius. BD Focus Speed, both versions of the Corax, the Caladris, and a couple 3-buckle units for comparison, or to make the salespeople happy. I didn't bother seeking any of the women's specific designs, since I seem to have a short rise. The Petzl
harnesses all failed to fit because of too high a rise. I didn't try a Wild Country Synchro nor a Mammut Baffin, though I looked high and low for them. The Petzls had very comfy legs loops, but tended to ride up uncomfortably in back when hanging. The BD had less comfortable leg loops, though it didn't ride up
quite as much. The Cadillac supported me the most evenly. Even though it had a couple minor issues I discuss below, it was the most comfortable in both the waist and the legs. It didn't hurt that Rock and Snow was having a 15% off everything sale for Memorial Day to take the sting out of the large price tag.
Pros: The Caddy is the only 4-buckle harness I found that comes in more than 2 sizes. No more two-sizes-fit-everyone-but-me. I really wanted to like the new Petzl Corax II, which had all the features I was looking for at a decent price, but it took my breath away when hanging. The Caddy actually fits me and doesn't squeeze my lower ribs when I hang. Comfy!
Plenty of large gear loops, but I don't like the way the rear ones are stacked directly over one another in the back. It's easy to clip both when the upper one is loaded and hanging down.
Excellent tunnels for tucking in the waist belt tails - no floppy ends contributing to harness clutter. The tips of the tails are apparently melted and flattened just a bit to stiffen them, which makes them a little easier to thread. The buckles are a little hard to thread, but will not slip at all.
Leg loop keeper strap in back is attached with a QR buckle that is easy to unclip when you need to, but doesn't come undone by itself.
Cons: No useful tail keepers on the leg loops. There are tunnels to tuck the tails into on the back of the leg loop padding, but on my size small, I'd have to have toothpicks for legs for the tails to reach that far. I made my own keeper loops out of a couple bits of elastic and slipped them over the straps. It was an easy problem to fix, but at this price, I expect i's dotted and t's crossed.
Non-elastic leg loop keeper straps. What's up with that? I have to keep them a little loose so as not to bind in high steps. It works, but I have to wonder why elastic was not used. If they had put QR buckles on both leg loops, I could easily replace the nylon with elastic. Since one is sewn, I guess I'll wait until the warrantee expires to put a QR buckle on the sewn end and replace all with elastic.
No ice-clipper slots.