Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: Varies from $67 - $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
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
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
Metolius Safe Tech Women's Deluxe
Metolius Video on the 3-D Adjustable Rise System
— Chris McNamara
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Most recent review: July 22, 2011
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