First Look Gear Review

Arc'teryx R320 Review

   

Climbing Harness - Men's

  • Currently 4.0/5
Overall avg rating 4.0 of 5 based on 13 reviews. Most recent review: June 15, 2013
Street Price:   $159 | Compare prices at 5 resellers
Pros:  Cool looking, light, compact, great gear loops
Cons:  Expensive, not the most comortable
Best Uses:  Sport climbing, gym climbing
User Rating:     
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  • 5
 (4.0 of 5) based on 12 reviews
Recommendations:  100% of reviewers (10/10) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Arc'Teryx
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ July 2, 2012  
Overview
The Arc'teryx R320 is the outdated version of the lighter and more comfortable Arc'teryx R300 harness. We've left our original review of the R320 untouched below if you're curious, but do check out the updated R300. It's awesome! We have also included prices of the R320a below. The 320a is the similar to the 300, it just has leg buckles.

OLD REVIEW BELOW
Of all the harnesses we tested, this one turned the most heads it is just so thin and unlike any other harness out there. Arc'teryx uses what they call Warp technology to make the waist belt and leg loops about the thickness of two quarters. This means the harness feels like you are not wearing anything. In addition, this harness has a number of quality design features such as a self-locking buckle, awesome gear loops and waist belt tuckaway. Not surprisingly, it was the most expensive harness we tested. The women's version of this climbing harness is the Arc'teryx R280.

This was our favorite cragging and gym climbing harness because it is so full featured while being light and compact. Although it is the most expensive harness, the Arc'teryx lifetime warranty insures that you will enjoy it for, well a lifetime. On a strict budget, get the Black Diamond Momentum harness. If you want the ultimate sport climbing harness at any price, try this on next to the Black Diamond Ozone and see what fits best. Another budget pick is the Mad Rock Alpha Harness.


  • Photos
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Chris McNamara, Chris Van Leuven

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: June 15, 2013
Summary of All Ratings

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

100% of 10 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
10 Total Ratings
5 star: 20%  (2)
4 star: 60%  (6)
3 star: 20%  (2)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 12 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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Jun 15, 2013 - 11:19am
 
holybit · Climber · Boulder
I have had the R320 for about two years. Great harness that I used primarily for outdoor trad and some sport. It did not crease at all as some of the R300 users have reported. It's has two weaknesses: not great for extended hanging and the belay loops seem to wear a bit fast. My leg loop in particular is now showing the orange wear material and it's retired. Hopefully, the R300 is beefier in the belay loops.

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Credit: holybit
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Jul 3, 2012 - 12:46pm
 
Blakey · Climber · Newcastle UK
Nice,

Light with little bulk, good fro dragging, I agree with other posters that it's not so good for sustained hanging, and the elastic in my leg loops failed, but the harness was swapped out with no fuss.

I now use the R300 which hasn't got the elastic, but uses a stretchy netting instead.

given the cost and 'quality' of Arcteryx kit it seems strange they used duff elastic, but hey they exchanged it, so….

Yes, I'd recommend it to a friend

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Feb 14, 2012 - 02:42am
cheesemaster · Climber · Seattle, WA
Very light and compact, it came in a box that would have trouble holding a mountain house 4 serving dinner. This means that it always fits in your pack and you don't have to wear it while hiking.

This is a VERY comfortable harness for climbing, hiking, eating lunch, sitting, even falling and belaying. However, it becomes quite uncomfortable after rappelling multiple pitches in a row, or hanging in for really any amount of time. This = good motivation to get moving.

This is a good harness, but the uncomfortable nature of the hangs and rappels will cause it to be a single pitch and gym climbing only harness some day.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Nov 3, 2011 - 01:33am
tooth · Climber · B.C.
This harness was great until I stuffed it into the bag enough times and ended up over-stretching the elastic in the leg loops. I have skinny legs. Now the loops flap around on my legs and I don't like the harness as much. Maybe I should fold/roll it like the last poster.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Nov 3, 2011 - 01:23am
rurprider · Climber · Mt. Rubidoux
The R-320 is a super comfy harness, but very fragile. I did a significant amount of climbing in it, but didn't abuse it and it showed enough wear to warrant retirement after one year. The gear loops were awesome and the harness so light I'd be walking up the trail having forgotten I was still wearing it, but too expensive for the short time it lasts. I've gone to a similar Mammut harness that has reinforcements where the R-320 wore out, at 1/5 the price.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Oct 10, 2011 - 06:59pm
crøtch · Climber
This is a super-comfy harness with enough room for a full rack of doubles plus draws. It's probably the most comfortable harness I've ever had and the low profile works as well as a harness can in squeezes.

There are a couple of things that could be better.
1) The rear haul loop is so flimsy that I feel like I might wear through it in a single chimney. I beefed mine up with some climbing tape.
2) The elastic that hold the leg loop to the waist belt in the back wears very quickly and elongates. It could be a bit thicker at the attachment point to the leg loops.
3) It's not easy to drop the leg loops when nature calls. A buckle, or better hook design would help.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Feb 3, 2011 - 02:03pm
caughtinside · Climber · Davis, CA
This has been a great harness for me. The only drawback to me is that the lower tie in wears VERY quickly. I'd say it lasted a year of heavy climbing before I wore through the black webbing on the lower tie in into the orange, when Arcteryx recommends replacement.

This has been my favorite harness, but for the price I need it to last longer.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Jul 28, 2010 - 11:00pm
 
G_Gnome · Climber · In the mountains... somewhere...
Ha! The lightweight haul loop was one of my favorite features. Anytime I haul a second line up a route I tie it in the front anyway so that it just feels like a lead line so I loved that feature. Chopped the think off of mine!
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   Jul 28, 2010 - 03:19pm
luntor · Climber · norway
This one got me to overcome my fear of the self-lock buckle!
I will offer 2 cons and workarounds :
  • the leg loop wearpoint tend to shift sideways; I have wrapped 2mm cord for the mid 10cm and made it into U-shape
  • flimsy haul-loop (if you can call it so); I have tied some thin webbing through D-ring and around harness
OK, this add a few gr but makes this my favorite since the '70s Troll Willians

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   May 11, 2010 - 06:40pm
cultureshock · Climber · Mountain View
Pros:
* Very lightweight and moves well with your body.
* Comfortable to wear while hiking and descending from long routes.
* Breathes well and is soft enough to wear shirtless.
* Gear loops are reversible and large enough for a double rack of cams plus quickdraws.

Cons:
* Gear loops are somewhat floppy and the plastic can become detached.
* Gear loops are proportional to the size of harness. The smaller sized harnesses have less room for gear.
* Adjustable leg loops are only available on other modles
* Expensive

For a complete review:

http://www.dreaminvertical.com/?p=1548
  • Luke


Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jan 30, 2010 - 10:18am
justindan45 · Climber · GA
I found this to be my best climbing purchase yet.

Likes:
Super lightweight.
Holds up to lots of abuse.
Has built in wear indicators on belay loop and tie-in points.
Organizes gear well. Forward racking.
Comfortable.
The WST system works for me distributing the load evenly on hanging belays.
Feels like you have nothing on at all.
Highly abrasion resistant for adventure climbing.
'Strecthy' fabric reduces that restricted feeling that some harnesses give.

Dislikes:
None so far.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jan 4, 2010 - 12:03am
Ihateplastic · Climber · It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Having used everything from 1" tube swamis with self-tied leg loops to 2" red swami belt only to a bunch of homemade stuff (testing… what testing?) and several purchased harnesses I was perplexed when it came to purchasing a new harness. The choices were indeed endless. I went to stores, hung in 'em, dropped the leg loops, thought about racking gear, considered how I could possible put it on wrong, etc.

In the end I settled on the one that tore the biggest hole in my wallet, the Arc'teryx R320. I have not looked back.

The harness is ultra-ultra-ultra light, wraps small in the pack, is acceptably comfortable in a hanging belay, nice enough to rap in and the short falls I have taken so far leave my twig and berries intact.

The ONE BIG COMPLAINT I have is the "haul loop." I am not sure this loop could support a haul line! I know they don't want people being idiots and clipping into it as an anchor point (DON'T do this!) but still, let's add a little bit of beef to it boys!

Overall, I highly recommend this as a great all-around trad harness. Keep it on all day and you will still feel light and airy at the end of the day. (I have no idea what that means… just came out of my head like a vacuous tampon commercial. )

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Arc'Teryx R320 Harness
Credit: arcteryx.com
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