Review by: holdplease2, 2006-08-17
[size=12]Disclaimer: The reviewer paid full retail for both the Misty Mountain and the Yates Big Wall Harnesses. This company does not currently advertise on rockclimbing.com --8/24/06While it’s hard to beat Yates when it comes to climbing equipment, Misty Mountain is trying to give them a run for their money. But first, for those of you who haven’t bought a big wall chest harness before, here are some things to consider:
• When hauling a heavy load, attaching not only the sit harness, but also the chest harness, to the rope will reduce pressure on the kidneys and reduce bruising/abrasion to the legs.
• A heavy aid rack can result in an upside down fall. Additionally, if the rope is connected to the sit harness alone, and gear pulls when weighted during a fall, the hips will be lifted by the rope and the climber inverts. Running the rope through a full strength chest harness can help the climber to remain upright.
There is some danger associated with this if you are a soloing using a self-belay device. If you run the rope from the self-belay device up through the chest harness, in theory the chest harness could interact with the camming device on the grigri, pressing it down when the chest harness becomes weighted during a fall.
• When sorting the rack or changing leaders, it is important to be able to secure the rack to the anchor. Multiple bar-tacked clip in loops facilitate this and reduce the risk of losing the rack due to gear sling failure.
• Aid racks are typically larger than free racks. Even double gear slings often are not roomy enough for an aid rack. Having several (typically three) loops per side reduces clustering of racking biners and provides opportunity for much-needed organization.
Dual Chest Buckles: Dual chest buckles are important because you want to be able to keep the front clip-in loop centered. One buckle on either side of the clip-in point allows you to do this.
• The Misty Mountain Big Wall Gear Sling ($84.95) by Misty Mountain Threadworks
• Yates Big Wall Chest Harness (84.50) by Yates Gear.
FISH products also makes a chest harness, but I have not seen one and have not climbed in it. I will say that FISH products are typically well designed (based on FISH’s decades of wall climbing experience and years as a gear manufacturer) inexpensive (because he is not a money-whore) and, um, not that attractive (because he uses random color batches).
Both are a bargain compared to trying to climb with a free climbing gear sling. Tie.: Yes to both. Tie.: Both have 2 per shoulder, basically a daisy chain. Multiple bar tacks on each, durable and convenient. Tie.: On the Misty, there are 2, one short and one long, on each side. This is plenty, but results in “gear clumping”, not a problem with the Yates system. On the Yates harness, there are 3 per side, offset to the front and back. They are made of spectra stuffed with plastic tubing, making them stiff for easy clipping. : Easier clipping and more organization opportunities win for sure.
: Each has dual chest buckles. Tie.: The misty has padding on the back, and the shoulder straps cross at the spine. This means that you can really tip backward and weight the harness when hauling. Very nice and comfy. Also, the shoulders have plenty of padding for carrying the rack. The closed cell foam padding yields both comfort and durability. Finally, the cross-over in the back keeps the straps from slipping off of your shoulders…NICE! The Yates is not as padded in the back, for hauling, thought the shoulders are well padded for rack-carrying. for the crossed back design and closed-cell foam padding.
: With a variety of sizes available, Misty makes one for me (at 5’4”) and one for my partner (6’, 230lbs) On the Yates, even the XS came nowhere close to fitting me, a 5’4” female. Disappointing. : Misty: Awesome: A replacement part (for one I lost) was sent for free! Yates: Outstanding: Free big wall advice from some of the best when I called with questions! Both have been excellent. Tie. will be traveling up walls with me in the future, as it has for my last 9 walls. If not for the sizing issues, however, the Yates gear racking system might be enough to tempt me to use it. Its all a matter of your personal priorities.