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Hands-on Gear Review

Petzl Hirundos Harness Review


Climbing Harness

  • Currently 4.2/5
Overall avg rating 4.2 of 5 based on 2 reviews. Most recent review: April 13, 2015
Price:   $85 List | Varies from $80 - $85 online
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Pros:  light, well-ventilated, compact
Cons:  uncomfotable to hang in
Manufacturer:   Petzl
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ April 13, 2015  
Petzl's Hirundos is a lightweight harness is geared for sport climbers who want maximum range of movement. It is also one of favorite harnesses for alpine climbing because it is so light and dries fast. To sum up this harness in one word: skinny. The leg loops, waist belt and belay loop are among the skinniest of all harnesses we tested.

If you are loyal to Petzl harnesses and want either a light sport climbing harness or an alpine harness, you will love this. If you want the absolute lightest harness for alpine routes, the Camp Air is 30 percent lighter. If you are looking for a high performance sport climbing harness and can spend another the extra money, we recommend the Black Diamond Ozone. If you are considering this harness also look hard at the Petzl Sama, which is only a little heavier and much more comfortable and versatile.

New Version Update - April 2015
The Hirundos is now available in a new color and has received a few upgrades! Keep reading for more details.

RELATED: Our complete review of climbing harness - men's

  • Photos
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

New Version of the Hirundos vs. The Older Version

See below for some updates from Petzl!

"The new Hirundos uses FUSEFRAME Technology for excellent weight distribution and to minimize pressure points. FUSEFRAME Technology features thermo-formed foam that allows the incorporation of strength elements into the layer of foam, thus avoiding pressure points on the yokes. This makes for an exceptionally compact, lightweight waistbelt (the new version is slightly lighter 280g vs 300g for the size M. In this new design, the fabric is fused with the foam for better weight-bearing over the entire harness.

The new Hirundos has more supple leg loop attachment bridges, for more natural and comfortable movement when walking and climbing and features reinforced tie-in points made from high-tenacity polyethylene for improved resistance to wear from rope friction. This eco-designed harness, made with Bluesign fabric, respects the objectives of optimizing resource productivity, consumer safety, professional hygiene and security, and of reducing air emissions and water pollution.

The new design eliminates crossed seams, reducing compression points or friction zones on the waistbelt and features a new DoubleBack HD buckle. It's made of forged aluminum and has a slim, rounded design that offers good grip and fluid glide of the webbing for easy and quick adjustment and tightening of the waist belt."


Below you will find a side-by-side comparison, with the latest version on the left and the older version on the right.

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Hands-On Review


This is one of the lighter and more breathable harnesses we tested. It is marketed toward sport climbers but one of our reviewers, Ian Nicholson, uses as it his go-to alpine harness. It is 25 percent lighter than the Black Diamond Alpine Bod and dries fast because it is so well ventilated. It doesn't have adjustable leg loops, but most of our reviews find that feature to be overrated, even for alpine climbing and mountaineering. The Hirundos has all the solid features found on Petzl harnesses: self-locking (DoubleBack) buckle, easy to release elastic on the leg loops and well-ventilated foam.


It is no surprise that the thin waist loops and leg loops are not comfy when hanging around for long periods of time. Also, the gear loops were not the favorite of some testers; they are soft and lie flat against the harness and are positioned far back. However, other testers liked the gear loops just fine. The belay loop is startlingly skinny. It is plenty strong but not likely not have a long lifespan if you use it hard.

Best Application

This harness is designed for hard sport climbs or redpoints where you want maximum range of movement and little weight or bulk. It also excels at alpine climbing because it is among the lightest and fastest drying.

Personal Stories

One tester, Chris Van Leuven, used this on a number of El Capitan ascents. While it is generally not recommended for big walls, CVL found the advantages of such a skinny harness: it is light, gives a big range of movement for free climbing and is comfortable to sleep in because of the soft gear loops. That said, Chris vows to take a more comfortable harness on future big wall routes, a harness with more padding such as the Petzl Sama.


At $85, this harness is in the middle of the value range. The Sama is $20 less and has many more uses. On the other hand, the Hirundos is $15 less than Black Diamond's Ozone and $75 less than the Arc'teryx R320.

Video on Petzl's Frame Technology

Chris McNamara, Chris Van Leuven

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews

Most recent review: April 13, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

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100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
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2 Total Ratings
5 star: 50%  (1)
4 star: 50%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
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   Aug 11, 2012 - 01:53am
Hummerchine · Climber · East Wenatchee, WA
I LOVE this harness! Have used it for years (not the same one, don't let 'em get too old). Feels like you are wearing nothing, surprisingly comfortable at hanging belays, great gear loops. Borrowed a friends Adjama (sp?) recently, sure felt clunky…

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Petzl Hirundos 2010
Credit: Petzl
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