Alpine/Glacier Harness

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Alpine/Glacier Harness

by Autoxfil » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:51 am

I have a BD Momentum AL which is a decent jack-of-all-trades. But, the thick padding and stiff gear loops on the harness don't cooperate with the hip stays on my pack (Osprey Atmos). When cragging or approaching I usually leave the harness off, but I'm going to be doing some bigger stuff with glaciers and intermittent technical sections, so something has to give.

I'm looking for a super-basic harness. Two gear loops up front would be plenty, although I can just add loops to my pack if it doesn't come with any.

Comfort when walking is a big deal, comfort when falling is not. It does need to let me do a full-length rappel or jumar out of a crevasse without my legs going numb or anything, so I can't use a 1" runner.

A belay loop is nice, but I am also fine figuring out runners and tie-ins that avoid cross-loading biners.

The Camp XLH 95 looks too light - I don't like to use a harness for something it's not designed for, although I know people do glaciers in them.

The Trango Mountain Harness looks great. It has a belay loop that threads through the swami belt for easy on/off, only two gear loops up front, and they don't make it anymore. Dammit! Is there anything just like this out there now?

The BD Alpine Bod gets rave reviews, but I think I'd have to chop the rear gear loops, and it doesn't have a belay loop.

The closest thing might be the Mammut Alpine Light. It does everything the Trango does, but with gear loops in the back instead of the front. It has a leg loop release which can be very nice wheen needed, but the buckle looks like my pack might press on it. Ice clipper slots are nice too, but I would put clippers on my waistbelt anyway.

Am I missing any harnesses?

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by kheegster » Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:56 am

I have the Mammut Alpine Light harness which works pretty well for me so far. I've only worn it with a small leader pack so I don't know how it would fare with a large backpack. I really like the fact that it's superlight (close to 100g lighter than Alpine Bod).

You might also want to consider the Arcteryx A300 (something like that). Supposedly very nice but mucho dineiro.

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by godskid5 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:48 am

I have both the alpine bod and the bod harness. i prefer the bod, it does have a belay loop attached to the leg loops, make sure you string the waist belt through before buckling up!

works great, and nice and cheap! oh yeah, bit o padding on the waist is pretty nice too!

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by godskid5 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:50 am

has anyone tried the Camp XLH 95? i bought this recently but it just looks and feels way too lightweight!! I know that can be a plus, but wow, this is a tiny, barely there harness!

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by sneakyracer » Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:58 am

Hi, I have the Atmos and while it is an awesome pack it is not great with any harness because the wire frame kinda hugs the body near the bottom of the pack, further up and the mesh back separates it from the body. I love the susp. system for any warm weather outing.

I got another pack for my cragging and mountaineering dreams (and even skiing), the osprey mutant 38. AWESOME pack even with a harness on.

(I have a BD Momentum DS harness btw)

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by DukeJH » Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:50 pm

I wore out a Bod and now use the Alpine Bod. The padding on the Bod didn't agree with my pack. I've had great success with the Alpine Bod. Can't even tell it's there.

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by Steve Larson » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:02 am

There are lighter harnesses than the A-Bod. I've found that the buckle system is a major PITA when it's real cold out. Adding gear loops to your pack waistbelt is easy and eliminates the whole problem of the harness being inaccessible under the pack belt. Many harnesses have gear loops that either fold flat in that situation, or let you remove something to allow that to happen. Worth looking into. It's also worth thinking about your whole "answering nature's call" strategy while remaining tied in. The A-Bod will easily let you drop trou if it comes to that. Other harnesses are a bit more involved. Clothing that cooperates with the endeavor without forcing you to remove a lot of stuff comes in handy.

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by 4corners » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:18 am

Might want to think about getting a pack that lets you remove the padded waist belt and just use the webbing part which fits better over your harness. The Gregory Alpinisto and Makalu's let you do that. From what I've heard about Cold Cold World they may make one for you with a webbing belt instead of padding.

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by Blair » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:42 am

a swami belt is really light too

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