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Metolius Safe Tech All Around Review

   
Top Pick Award

Climbing Harness - Men's

  • Currently 3.8/5
Overall avg rating 3.8 of 5 based on 9 reviews. Most recent review: November 26, 2013
Street Price:   $89 | Compare prices at 5 resellers
Pros:  bomber, comfy, durable
Cons:  heavy, no self-locking buckle, adjustable leg loops only, can't drop leg loops
Best Uses:  trad climbing, sport climbing, multi-pitch climbing
User Rating:     
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 (3.7 of 5) based on 8 reviews
Recommendations:  75% of reviewers (6/8) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Metolius
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ January 3, 2010  
Overview
The Metolius Safe Tech All Around was one of the top all-around climbing harnesses tested. If you only had one word to describe this climbing harness it would be this: bomber. If you clip a carabiner to almost anything on the harness it will hold 10,000 pounds. In addition, most parts of the harness are designed for maximum wear resistance.

The Safe Tech features make this rock climbing harness stand out. If those features are important to you, then this is a great harness that will last you forever. If those features are not as important and you value more a self-locking buckle and lower price get the Black Diamond Momentum SA or the CAMP Quartz CR3.

View our complete Climbing Harness Review to see how this product compared to others.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Likes
We loved the full strength gear loops on this Safe Tech harness. On a multi-pitch climb it's nice to know you can hang anything from the side of your harness and not be worried about it falling to the deck. The loops are also perky and stick out so that you can easily clip stuff to them. They were as easy to clip to as the Black Diamond gear loops but much more durable.

Most testers found this to be an overall solid harness. The waist belt is comfy and the belay loop is beefy and confidence-inspiring. It is nice that the points where the harness wears the most are reinforced and the full strength trail line loop is easy to clip.

Some people will appreciate the other Safe-Tech features. For example, you can clip a biner just about anywhere and hang from it. This will surely save a beginner climber one day who is not sure where to clip the belay device biner. However, that feature comes at a cost: you can't release the leg loop straps and you can't take off the leg loops if you want to sleep in the harness. If you want to use the waist belt for a fast and light alpine rock traverse, you can't. For most people, this trade-off is worth it, which is why we have the Safe Tech features in the "likes" category. But some climbers will be bummed that they can't remove the leg loops.

Dislikes
This one of the few harnesses we tested that does not have a self-locking buckle for the waist belt. . For some of our gear testers this was a deal breaker; they are so used to self-locking buckles that they refuse to highly rate a harness without one. For others, this omission was forgivable considering the other positive features of the harness.

Also, this harness, like all Metolius harnesses, only comes with adjustable leg loops. Metolius claims they make the most adjustable leg loops. Maybe, but most of our testers prefer the simplicity and lightness of non-adjustable leg loops or leg loops with self-locking buckles. With these adjustable leg loops there is more bulk and weight and it seems like the end of the webbing is always sticking out. The leg loop buckles along with the large leg loop adjust buckles add up to make this one of the heaviest harness we tested.

One feature this harness does not have is the ability to quickly drop the elastic risers attached to the leg loops. Combine that with the fact the elastic is not that stretchy (because they want to make it stronger) and this is the hardest harness to squat in to go to the bathroom.

Best Application
This is called the All Around harness and indeed it excels at all-around climbing. Because of its price and features, climbers doing multi-pitch climbs will appreciate this the most.

Personal Stories
Chris McNamara still has a Metolius harness from the 90s that is still bomber. Unfortunately his waist has crept out a little since he was 15, so he can't quite fit in it. But it's now the harness his girlfriend uses. So if you want a harness that will last a decade, this is it."

Value
At $79, this is not one of the cheaper harnesses out there but not the most expensive either. The harness is durable and should last a decade or more. So if you climb in your harness a lot and really value the Safe Tech features this harness is a good buy.

Other Versions
Metolius Safe Tech Women's Deluxe

Metolius Video on the 3-D Adjustable Rise System

Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: November 26, 2013
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (3.7)

75% of 8 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
8 Total Ratings
5 star: 38%  (3)
4 star: 38%  (3)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 13%  (1)
1 star: 13%  (1)
Sort 8 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Nov 26, 2013 - 08:00pm
Did no one else notice that when you double back the harness red is showing? That is a huge problem. The first time I put this harness on I was so utterly confused.
The two belay loops seems to me as merely an inconvenience and most people will never use them for what they are designed for.
The gear loops are pretty cool. But just like the gri gri I think it encourages poor habits.
Comfort? Hardly. This harness is the most uncomfortable harness I've worn. Sure it's got padding but not where you want it.
Hopefully metolius will step it up with the next harness.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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Jul 22, 2011 - 01:12pm
 
Splater · Climber · Grey Matter
It is a mistake to say this is only a mens harness. The article claims:
"For example, the following popular models do not come in women's versions: Petzl Corax, Black Diamond Chaos, Metolius Safe Tech All Around and there are many more." http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Climbing-Harness-Womens-Reviews

The Metolius has adjustable rise which makes it a universal fit.
The non-droppable leg loops are a lessor issue.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   May 27, 2010 - 01:23pm
ps · Climber
Amazing harness.

Did anyone mention that this is one of the few harnesses that you can find that is still Made In The USA? Compare prices and you'll be surprised that it is competative with any of the harnesses outsourced to several of the countries in the east.

Also:

Nicely sized gear loops, and the position of the gear loops is neutral, ie, not sticking up, and not sticking down, but instead, directly off to the side. If you're one of those people that doesn't like plastic "down-oriented" gear loops, this may be something that you like about this harness.

The new version of this has 2 spectra/dyneema belay loops, which adds some nice redundancy and flexibility should the need arise.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Mar 10, 2010 - 02:53pm
jfailing · Climber · Lone Pine
This is a great harness! It's beefy in all respects and one of the most comfortable harnesses I've worn. One huge plus is that the belay loop is one of the thicker ones I've seen, which eases your mind on top of that 10 pitch rappel…

This harness would get 5 stars if it had detachable leg loops, and slightly larger rear gear loops. Also, it would be a little nicer if the excess straps could fold away easier.

I tried on the BD Chaos and Arc Teryx R320 recently and hung around in them for a while, being drawn to their sleek looks and cool design, but found them to be nowhere near as comfortable as the Safe Tech.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jan 3, 2010 - 10:49pm
Bill Becher · Climber · Westlake Village, CA
SafeTech is a great harness. I'm comfortable with double backing the harness, and it's rated 10kn (2250lbf) even if you don't double back..I especially like the 10kn gear loops. A friend had a plastic gear loop fail on a BD harness while on a climb and lost some gear.. could have turned into a real epic. I like adjustable leg loops. It's great that they last so long, but after Todd Skinner's fall keeping an harness more than five years if you're a regular climber seems idiotic..

Bill Becher

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jan 3, 2010 - 10:20pm
Mark Hudon · Climber · Hood River, OR
A really, really light harness is nice but a beefo, bomber harness, one you don't ever have to worry about, is nicer. Mine is comfortable and convenient.

I bought my wife one just so I never again had to worry about where she was clipped in on it.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jan 3, 2010 - 08:58pm
locker · Climber · CO
I have owned two Metolius Safe Tech harnesses and found them to be comfortable and BOMBER.

Very good harness!

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
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   Jul 26, 2010 - 12:49pm
Footloose · Climber · Lake Tahoe
I just tried it out about a month ago, ended up returning it. Indeed, the "deal breaker" for me was not having the the self-locking buckle and having to double back. Which is such a hassle. Guess having a harness with a self-locking buckle spoiled me. Beats me why a self-locking buckle and full-strength gear loops aren't standard on every harness now. Maybe next year.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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