Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: Varies from $75 - $80 | Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros: light, compact
Cons: uncomfotable to hang in
Best Uses: alpine climbing
The Camp Air is one of the lightest and most compact full-featured harnesses we have ever seen. You can actually scrunch it up in your hand and put it in your chalk bag. Not surprisingly, its not that comfy to hang around in for hours. But if you are obsessed with traveling light in the mountains, it is hard to find a lighter harness.
If you are an alpine rock or ice climber and want the lightest harness that still has gear loops and some support, it is hard to beat this one. It is a specialty harness; you won't wear it to the gym or cragging. But for traveling ultra-light in the mountains, it is hard to beat. If you don't mind a slightly heavier harness that is also more expensive, check out the Arc'teryx R320 or the Black Diamond Ozone. If you want to spend less money, the Mad Rock Alpha is an inexpensive ultra-light and comfy harness with more versatility.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
Along with the Arc'teryx R320, this is one of the few harnesses that made Chris Mac do a double take. He had never seen a full-featured harness that was this light or compact. It's amazing how they can now make harnesses so small they fit in the palm of your hand. It's also cool that even though it is so light, the harness has what you need: smooth speed adjust buckle, four gear loops and solid belay loop. The perforated closed cell foam on the waist belt and leg loops increases breathability. This is nice, although in most alpine environments breathability is not the big issue that it might be when sport climbing in a tropical spot like Thailand.
The trade-off for such a light harness is comfort. When you free hang in this harness it doesn't take long to feel the edges of the harness digging into your side. Of course, if you are wearing this on alpine rock routes, you probably won't we hanging in it much. And if you are wearing it for ice and snow routes, you will have enough clothes on so that you could hang around reasonably comfortably. This harness does not have a release for the leg loop straps. However, the elastic on these straps is so stretchy they don't hinder your movement. Also, how often do you really need to take off your leg loop straps?
This harness excels in the alpine world on both rock and snow basically in any application where light weight is essential. For example, we would take this harness on any High Sierra route with a massive approach where we want to travel light and probably won't be hanging in the harness much.
This is not the most expensive harness but at $70 it is not cheap considering its limited applications.
— Chris McNamara, Chris Van Leuven
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: February 15, 2010
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