First Look Gear Review

Arc'teryx B360 Review

   
Top Pick Award

Big Wall Harness

  • Currently 4.0/5
Overall avg rating 4.0 of 5 based on 3 reviews. Most recent review: March 5, 2013
Street Price:   Varies from $105 - $175 | Compare prices at 5 resellers
Pros:  Super light, breathable, quick to adjust, works well as a free climbing harness.
Cons:  Edges cut into your sides when hauling massive loads, expensive.
Best Uses:  Big wall climbing, aid climbing, all-around trad climbing.
User Rating:     
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  • 5
 (4.0 of 5) based on 2 reviews
Manufacturer:   Arcteryx
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ March 30, 2012  
Overview
This is by far the lightest and most streamlined of all the big wall harnesses we tested. In fact, it is so light that I use this harness a lot trad climbing and gym climbing. If you want a harness for long multi-pitch routes with the occasional big wall, this is the harness to get. And considering I hate hauling loads, and generally spend less than two nights on a wall, this is the wall harness I reach for most often. If you are hauling massive loads, or hanging around in your harness for many days, go with the Metolius Waldo that has beefier and cozier padding. The best value is still the Petzl Calidris, which is half the cost of the B360a.

Weight
At 12.7 ounces, it is almost half the weight of the next lightest big wall harness we tested and three times lighter than the heaviest harness, the Yates Shield Harness. It is also by far the most compact; it compacts into the size of King Cobra can. Most big wall harnesses feel like you are putting on an industrial rigging harness, not so with the B360a.

Comfort
The harness has a generous waist belt and leg loops so there is plenty of support. However, there is no getting around the fact the edge of the material is thin. The edges are not big, fuzzy and rounded like most other big wall harnesses. So when you are hauling that 180-pound load, you feel the edges of the harness in your sides much more than a harness like the Waldo.

Breathability
This one of the most breathable big wall harness we tested, along with the Calidris. It has a wide waist belt with perforated foam and mesh that ventilates well. This comes in handy on those 90+ degree Valley or Zion days.

Buckles
This and the Calidris are the only wall harness we have tested to have self-locking buckles. It is easy and fast to adjust. But unlike many big wall harnesses that have two buckles at the waist, this only has one. We like that. Simple is better. It has buckles on the rear which make it easy to drop into the relief position.

We really like that you can entirely remove the leg loops to sleep at night. Thank you Arc'teryx! Removing the leg loops also turns this into a deluxe swami belt for that easy Alpine rock route where you want to go fast and light. More and more big wall harness designs won't let you remove the leg loops, which means you either have to sleep with the entire harness on or remove it and sleep with the rope tied around your waist (or bring some webbing to make a swami belt).

Gear Loops
The Arc'teryx gear loops are really easy to clip and keep the gear from bunching up at the low point. Unfortunately they are not rated to be that strong. That is a bummer because I love to be able to confidently clip the portaledge to the side of the harness when setting up the bivy or descending the East Ledges. There are three gear loops on each side. I generally don't like gear loops that overlap each other, because your gear gets all clustered. But you can always cut off a gear loop or just remove the plastic by following the video on their product page. The haul loop is a nice low-profile size. It is the only haul loop on a wall harness that is not rated to full strength. At first, this bummed me out. But now I are asking myself, "How strong does a haul loop really need to be?" After all, you are just trailing a haul line. And this is the most low profile haul loop, which makes the harness better in tight chimneys. Jury is still out.


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Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: March 5, 2013
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
  • 1
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  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (2)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 2 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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Mar 5, 2013 - 02:32pm
 
climbingeek · Climber · Ventura, CA
Received my new B360 with great anticipation.

As noted here, the harness is outstanding in many ways. But it proved to have one unforgivable flaw for me--the harness has an unusually high rise between the waist belt and leg loops. As a result, when I hang in the harness, 100% of my weight is distributed on the waist belt--in fact, the waist belt tends to slide upward, over the top of my pelvis, squeezing the soft organs of my lower torso.

As a point on comparison, the rise is 2+ inches taller than that on my Black Diamond Chaos (earlier version--not the latest design) and my CAMP Quartz CR3. Hanging from a rope in the climbing shop may be insufficient to reveal this unusual fit of the B360.

Consider the fit of this harness carefully before dropping the big bucks.
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   Apr 18, 2012 - 06:57am
portlandclimber · Climber
4.5 stars for me. hanging in it is comfy- and as a normal trad harness it does the business perfectly. it weighs nothing and packs down into its tiny mesh bag no problem, definitely a bonus.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Click to enlarge
Arcteryx B 360a big wall climbing harness.
Credit: Arcteryx
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by Chris McNamara
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