Misty Mountain Silhouette Review
Cons: Heavy and a little bulky
Manufacturer: Misty Mountain
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Misty Mountain Silhouette is a comfortable and well-made harness from the heart of Appalachia, the only harness in our test group that is made in the USA. It's a sturdy model that has great comfort and works well for long routes where you might be hanging in your harness at every belay.
When it came to standing comfort, the Silhouette didn't score so high. The same features that make it comfortable to hang in (see the next metric below) make it a little bulky and sweaty.
This was the heaviest harness in our review (15.4 ounces in size Small), and it felt noticeably heavier than some of the lighter weight harnesses we tested. We also felt hot in this model when testing it in the summer.
Here is where the Silhouette shines, and it was the most comfortable harness that we tested to hang in.
The waist belt is four inches wide at the back, and then it tapers around the front, contouring the waist and hips and providing ample padding throughout. It's not quite as beefy as a big wall harness, but it's enough so that you won't be crying during your next hanging belay. The leg loops have nice padding as well, which is key since that's where most of your weight is held by your harness. While we appreciate attempts to make gear lighter, sometimes you need a few ounces of padding on your harness!
One of the most important things you can do before buying any harness, but particularly one you plan on multi-pitch climbing in, is to hang in it first. Gear stores will often have a powerpoint that you can hang from, or if you purchase it online, you can test it out at your home or a gym first before ripping the tags off and committing to the purchase. Try to spend at least five minutes free-hanging in it, and if you can't handle that amount of time, it's probably not the best one for you.
We liked all of the features on the Silhouette — it had almost everything that we want in a trad harness, except perhaps a fifth gear loop in the rear.
There is a haul loop tab that can fit one or two carabiners, but sometimes it's nice to have even more racking options for your shoes, a windbreaker, a water bottle, or whatever you like to clip to your rear.
We liked the gear loops on the Silhouette. Sure, they look a little weird sticking up or out from your harness when there is nothing on them, but they can hold a lot of gear. Other than that, this is a fairly simple model. There's an abrasion-resistant material sewn to the outside of the waist belt, but that might be nice over the leg loops too.
The Silhouette is somewhat versatile. It functions best as a trad harness, but we still did some moderate sport climbing in it with no worries. The leg loops are adjustable enough for this to fit over your winter gear, should you want to ice climb in it, though there aren't any ice clipper tools slots.
The Silhouette received top marks for adjustability. The leg loops can fit a range of sizes comfortably. The rise is high enough to fit those who like to wear their harness on their waist, though the adjusters are a little challenging to lengthen or shorten.
The real thing that makes Misty stand out from the competition from an adjustability standpoint is the ability to order a custom harness from them. Have muscular thighs from years of mountain biking or deadlifting? Some of the other models might not fit you well, particularly if the leg loops aren't adjustable. Misty will let you order different sized waistbelts and leg loops in various combinations, with any of their product lines.
The Silhouette is one of the more expensive harnesses in our test group. Only the Arc'teryx brand was more expensive. The price on the Silhouette didn't seem too excessive though, considering the quality workmanship, and the knowledge that you are supporting a small company that does all of it's manufacturing in the States.
The Misty Mountain Silhouette was our first choice of harness every time we racked up for a gear route, and even for the occasional sport climb too. It is supportive and comfortable, and your body will thank you if you take this one on your next multi-pitch climb as opposed to some thin sport climbing model.
— Jane Jackson & Cam McKenzie Ring