The 2018 Luna vs. the Old Luna
Petzl made a series of updates to the Luna this year, including a fabric change, updates to the design of the leg loops and waistbelt, and an added gear loop. Compare the newest version (left) to the older one (right), in the photos below.
Here is a brief outline of the updates to the Luna.
- Fabric Updates — Petzl changed up the fabric to a softer material in hopes of providing increased comfort to the wearer.
- Leg Loops & Waistbelt Redesigned — The construction of the leg loops has been changed so that they wrap more ergonomically around the leg, and the waist belt has been redesigned to have fewer pressure points.
- Extra Gear Loop — Petzl added a 5th gear loop to the back of the new version, which could theoretically make this harness better suited for trad climbing than its predecessor.
- No Ice Clipper Slots — Petzl now makes a Caritool EVO that hooks around the entire waistbelt, eliminating the need for slots in the harness.
- Price Increase — With these design changes, the Luna now retails for $80, a $5 increase over the old model.
We haven't gotten vertical in this new version of the Luna yet, so the following review references the older version. You can check out our hands-on review of the new Selena, which is similar to the Luna but with fixed leg loops.
Hands-On Review of the Luna
The waistbelt on the Petzl Luna is made with Petzl's ENDOFRAME technology, which has a split webbing design on the inside to distribute the load all around the frame, and the belt is wider on the sides than in the back. The tie-in points are reinforced with Dyneema to increase the longevity of the harness. The two front gear loops are longer and have a forward-angled design, and the rear gear loops are much smaller. There is a clip in loop at the back for a chalk bag or trailing a rope, and a plastic buckle for releasing the leg loops. There is also an ice clipper slot on each side between the gear loops
Field testing the latest version of this harness from Petzl. While a few of our testers really liked this model, it didn't quite fit the rest of us very well.
Standing & Hanging Comfort
At 15 ounces for a size Small, the Petzl Luna is one of the heaviest harnesses that we tested. Though we don't believe a few ounces here or there will interfere with you sending your latest project, we do notice a difference between this harness and the lightweight Mammut Zephir in terms of standing comfort. You can almost forget that the Zephir is on, but not so with this harness. While the distance between the waistbelt and leg loops has increased, making this harness more suited to a woman's figure than the previous version of the Petzl Luna, we still feel as though it's halfway between a men's and women's harness. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as women come in all different shapes (as opposed to men, who vary between a smaller range of dimensions).
While other harness are wide in the back and then contour around and over the hips, like the BD Lotus (below), the Luna (above) gets wider around the hips and seem more suited to a man's physique.
The women who tested this harness who had shorter rises and more straight cut physiques found it comfortable to stand and hang in, and didn't mind wearing this harness more over their hips than their waist. But the rest (and majority) of us, found that when we wore this harness on our hips, the rise was too short and we felt as though we were hanging too far backward. If we tried to wear the harness higher up on our waists, the wide padding on the sides was constricting and uncomfortable. Long story short, if you have a short rise, you might really like this harness. Otherwise, the Black Diamond Momentum and Mammut Ophira are better suited to ladies with higher rises and curvier hips.
Just because you are a woman does not mean you can only wear a women's harness. If you have a shorter rise and square cut hips, you might find a better fit (and more options) in the men's and unisex models.
This harness was an awkward fit on women with medium to high rises, or who like to wear their harness on their waist and not around their hips.
Petzl touts this harness as its ice climbing model, but we don't feel as though it is very well-suited to that discipline. It has adjustable leg loops to fit over heavier pants and two ice clipper slots, however, the slots are positioned so far towards the rear of the harness that they are hard to reach. We also didn't find the ice clipper attachment as secure as on the ones on the Black Diamond Techinician. If ice climbing is your main thing, then you'll be better off with the Technician or the Arc'teryx AR-385a.
Due to the large front gear loop, the ice clipper slots are positioned far to the rear on this harness, making them difficult to reach.
We also are not a fan of using this harness on traditional climbs. Though you can fit a lot of gear on the front loops, the back loops are very small, completely behind you, and almost unusable, which greatly limits your gear carrying capacity. This harness does have the easiest to detach leg loops of all of the different models that we tested. There is a single buckle for both legs that can be unsnapped one-handed and easily replaced. The buckle creates a pressure point on your back when chimneying or otherwise pressing against the rock, and probably wouldn't hold up for very long when doing a lot of that style of climbing.
The rear gear loops are small and hard to access. The drop seat buckle is easy to use, but not comfortable when chimneying or pressing your back against the rock.
The material on the Petzl Luna is a little stiff, and overall the harness is not quite as mobile as some of the sport specific harnesses, like the Mammut Zephir and Black Diamond Solution.
The stiff material made this harness feel a little constricting compared to some of the lighter, sport-specific models.
While the addition of the ice clipper slots and adjustable legs make this harness more versatile than some sport-specific models, due to the design flaws with the gear loops, we feel that this is actually more of a sport climbing harness than an all-around or ice model.
Just because you can fit ice tools on a harness doesn't mean it is good for ice climbing. We feel that this harness is actually more of a sport climbing model than anything else.
The adjustable leg loops are also a bonus. In our testing, the fixed-leg Selena version of this harness did not fit women with larger legs relative to their waists well. So, if you don't have skinny legs but like the Petzl design and waistbelt, then this version is a great option.
The DoubleBack buckle is easy to adjust and stays in place. The adjustable legs are a nice feature for most people and allow this harness to be worn over heavier layers.
While the Petzl Luna can work for ice climbing or mountaineering as Petzl suggests (the leg loops can more easily accommodate two layers of pants and the harness can hold an ice clipper for racking screws) we still think this is more of a sport climbing harness. This harness is on the heavier side, but the beefier material seems like it will last a long time. The addition of buckles on the leg loops adds some more weight, but it also adds functionality that some women prefer.
After trying this harness out on a few traditional climbs, we feel like it is better suited to sport climbing due to its hard-to-reach back gear loops.
The Petzl Luna is a little more expensive than some other harnesses, and at $80 it is $10 more than the non-adjustable leg loop version, the Selena. However, this is much less expensive than other ice climbing specific harnesses such as the Arc'teryx AR-385a, which costs $159. The Camp Supernova is comparably priced at $90, and since it is much more versatile, we feel like it's a better deal.
This harness is best suited for sport climbing and is great option for people who like the shape of the Selena but prefer adjustable leg loops.
It seems to us that Petzl didn't fully consider the female form when designing this harness, changing only a few proportions from the men's version, and of course, the color. Women and men tend to have very different anatomies, particularly in the hip area. If this harness fits, you will probably love it, but for most of us, that just wasn't the case.