Petzl Selena Review
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|Pros||Comfortable if you like to wear your harness on your hips||Comfortable, very durable, five gear loops, simple design||Comfortable, easy to clip rigid gear loops, great value, adjustable leg loop system is light and easy||Lightweight, breathable, comfortable, and highly mobile||Sliding waist belt keeps the belay loop in front as you adjust it, comfortable to hang in, durable|
|Cons||Rear gear loops are small and hard to reach, haul loop not full strength||On the expensive side, a bit bulky, stiff leg loops||Waist belt doesn't have the best ventilation||Uncomfortable if leg loops don't fit you||Rear haul loop isn't very functional, bulky especially around leg loops|
|Bottom Line||A popular harness, particularly among women with a shorter rise||We love this model for its emphasis on durability and comfort||One of the best and least expensive all around harnesses in this review||A lightweight and thin harness that is comfortable to hang in||This all-around harness is a good beginner model and also good for gyms or programs|
|Rating Categories||Petzl Selena||Black Diamond Solut...||Black Diamond Momentum||Black Diamond Solution||Edelrid Jayne|
|Hanging Comfort (30%)|
|Standing Comfort (25%)|
|Specs||Petzl Selena||Black Diamond Solut...||Black Diamond Momentum||Black Diamond Solution||Edelrid Jayne|
|Designed for these Disciplines||Sport||Trad, Multipitch||Sport, Trad||Sport||Sport, Trad, Ice|
|Weight in Ounces (Size Small)||13.2 oz||12.5 oz||10.3 oz||11.4 oz||15.5 oz|
|Gear Loops||4 (rigid with flexible attachment points)||5 (4 rigid, 1 flexible)||4 (rigid)||4 (rigid)||4 (rigid with flexible attachment points)|
|Haul Loop||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (not full strength)||Yes (very small)|
|Ice Tool Holder Slot||No||No||No||No||Yes (2)|
|Waistbelt Construction||EndoFrame construction||Fusion Comfort Technology (3 strands of webbing)||Dual Core (2 thin bands of webbing with foam in between)||Fusion Comfort Technology (3 strands of webbing)||3D mesh padding|
|Special Features||Contoured waistband, long-rise for better hip-pacement||Extra padding in waistband||trakFIT leg adjusters are low profile and lightweight||Leg loops have same wide construction as waistbelt||Plastic protector over bottom tie-in point|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Petzl Selena is very similar to the men's version, the Sama, which is an award winner. While both the men's and women's versions are quite popular and well-made, we know more women who can't get a good fit in this harness versus those who can. Petzl keeps updating it to make it suit a women's physique better, but they still use the same waistband as the men's, which is part of the problem.
Petzl has tweaked a few things from the men's version to make it suit a women's physique better: the Selena had a longer rise, and the leg loops are larger relative to the waistbelt size. We appreciate these efforts; however, they use the same waistbelt as the men's, which is part of why we didn't find it so comfortable. The waistbelt is designed to sit on the hips, and it gets wider around the hipbone area. That's great if you wear your harness around your hips, but more often than not, women prefer to wear it above them and around their natural waist. (This is from our informal poll of a dozen or so climbing ladies.) If you do wear this one around the waist, there is so much material at the hip bone that it digs into the ribs and is quite uncomfortable.
Those that do like to wear it around their hips tend to have a shorter rise and a "boxier" figure, i.e., more similar to a man's hipbone structure. However, the newer version has a longer rise, and so now there is extra material bunching up on the shorter-rise ladies. Long story short, we feel like this harness is just a mish-mash of proportions that don't fit a large segment of the female population. We'd love to see Petzl start from scratch and design something for ladies from the ground up the way Camp has, as opposed to just tweaking the men's version over and over.
We appreciated the extra padding that this model has vs. the older version, but due to the fit issues, we just described it wasn't that comfortable for hanging in either.
As a sport climbing harness, the Selena gets the job done fairly well, but it isn't that breathable should you climb a lot in warm weather. The back gear loops are small and hard to reach, but you can fit at least six draws on both of the front gear loops, which is usually sufficient. The older version of this harness did have ice tool clipper slots, but those are gone now. The leg loops are easy to detach in the rear (there is a plastic buckle on each strap), but those buckles are fairly uncomfortable pushing up against your low back when chimneying, something you're not likely to encounter though if you only use it for sport climbing.
This harness is not that versatile. It's hard to carry a lot of gear on it, and while it works okay for sport climbing, there's not a ton of ventilation in the waistbelt. This is more of a cool weather sport harness than anything else.
The newer leg loops have a lot more flexibility than the older ones, and you can get several inches of play from them. The Petzl Luna is the same as the Selena, with adjustable leg loops, so check that model out if you are looking for more adjustability in the legs.
This harness retails at a very reasonable price for a sport-specific harness. Be sure to try in on first, since this model seemed to be a bit more specific in terms of fit than some of the other models we tested.
The Petzl Selena didn't score very high in our tests primarily because it didn't fit the majority of our testers. There is a segment of the female climbing population that it does fit well, though, so you may love the fit and comfort of this model.
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