Hands-on Gear Review

Petzl Selena Review

Price:  $70 List | $41.23 at Amazon
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Pros:  Light, comfortable, DoubleBack buckle
Cons:  Rear gear loops small and hard to reach, haul loop not full strength
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Petzl

Our Verdict

Petzl's updated version of the popular Selena harness weighs the same as the previous version, but now fits better and has a more comfortable, more padded waist belt. It is less breathable but more suited to hanging in. Some other features have been made easier to use, such as the detachable leg loops, but we feel that the rear gear loops are still too small and hard to reach. One of only 2 women's harnesses that we reviewed that accommodates ice clippers, this non-adjustable version would be an excellent choice for a female mixed climber. A mountaineer or ice climber might prefer the version of this harness with adjustable leg loops, the Petzl Luna because it fits more easily over multiple layers of clothing. If you want a super light harness for sport climbing, we recommend the Black Diamond Siren. A better choice for gear climbing is the Mammut Ophira, which has larger and easy to reach gear loops.

2018 Harness Updates
Petzl made some updates to the Selena harness. Check out the most recent version in the photo above, and read on for the scoop!

RELATED REVIEW: The Best Climbing Harness for Women Review

Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
McKenzie Long

Last Updated:
June 22, 2018


The 2018 Selena vs. the Old Selena

The Selena got some updates this year in the way of materials, leg loop redesign, and waistbelt redesign. See the differences in the comparison photos below, with the latest incarnation featured on the left.

Petzl Selena Harnes

The updates to the Selena are as follows:
  • Fabric Updates — Petzl updated the material to a softer fabric on this version.
  • Redesigned Leg Loops & Waistbelt — The waistbelt on the Selena has been redesigned to create fewer pressure points. The design of the leg loops has also been changed up, now wrapping in a more ergonomic way around the wearer's thigh.
  • $5 Price Increase — The new Selena has an MSRP of $70, a $5 increase over the previous harness.

We've purchased the new Selena for testing and will be releasing our findings shortly. In the meantime, the following text references the previous version we tested.

Hands-On Review of the Petzl Selena

The rear gear loops on the Petzl Selena are small and set very far back  making them hard to reach.
The rear gear loops on the Petzl Selena are small and set very far back, making them hard to reach.


In the updated version of the Selena, gone is the meshy, see-through, breathable waist belt and perforated foam leg loops. In its place is a new technology called Endoframe technology, which works to distribute weight evenly when hanging in the harness. This seems to mimic the technology Arc'teryx uses on their sleek and lightweight harnesses, but the Petzl version is more padded. The belt is now wider on the sides for comfort when hanging, and narrower in the front and back where extra bulk becomes uncomfortable.

In the previous version of the Selena, our female testers' main complaint was that the non-adjustable leg loops were too small, especially in comparison to the size of the waist belt. Often a woman who fit into a small waist size needed the leg loops from the medium, forcing these women to buy the Luna, with the adjustable legs. The new version of the Selena has adjusted these measurements slightly, and the fit is improved.

In addition, the distance between the waist belt and leg loops has increased, and the curve of the waist belt has been accentuated. All of these adjustments make the harness more comfortable and more suited to a woman's figure than the previous version of the Selena.

Climbing Style

The Petzl Selena works well for many types of climbing. Unlike almost all the other harnesses in this review (with the exception of the Luna), this harness can be used ice climbing because of its specific loops to attach an ice clipper. This features adds versatility to the harness, and allows it to be used in different seasons. However, we do not love the Selena on gear climbs or multi-pitch climbs because of the small, hard to reach rear gear loops. This harness feels like you only have 2 gear loops because the back loops are almost unusable, greatly limiting your gear carrying capacity.

Our testers preferred this model for sport climbing.
Our testers preferred this model for sport climbing.

Ease of Use

Petzl was one of the first companies (if not the first) to use a feature we love, a self-locking buckle they call it DoubleBack. For a while, Petzl harnesses stood out because they had it. Now almost all harness manufacturers use the self-locking buckle. This makes it easy to get the harness on and off, and makes it impossible to forget to double back your harness, providing added safety. We like Petzl's version of this buckle better than Black Diamond's, which feels like it slips and loosens a little. Petzl's DoubleBack does not.

This harness has the easiest to detach leg loops, much improved from the previous detachment system. This makes the harness more pleasant to use on a full day of climbing or on longer climbs with multiple pitches.

Our main complaint about this harness is the gear loops. They are positioned too far back, making them difficult to reach. The small rear loops are especially hard to access. One female tester described how she ran a climb out 35 at the end because she thought she was out of gear, only to discover another cam on her rear loop when she reached the top. There is a slot for an ice tool clipper, which separates the front gear loop and the rear loops somewhat, pushing the rear loop even further back. However, we like this feature, and feel that even the front loops are too far back. All the loops should be pushed more forward for better access.


At 12.8 ounces, this harness does not stand out for being particularly lightweight, but falls in the middle on the weight scale. It weighs almost exactly the same as the previous design of this harness, so the new belt construction has neither shed nor added pounds.

Best Applications

The Selena is best suited to sport and gym climbing, styles that don't require a lot of gear. The Luna, with the adjustable legs, works best for ice climbing or mountaineering since the leg loops can more easily accommodate thicker clothing and two layers of pants.


The Selena is a mid-range priced harness at $65. It is much less expensive than the Arc'teryx AR-385a, but more expensive than the Mammut Ophira or our Best Buy Winner, the Black Diamond Primrose.

McKenzie Long

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100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
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 17, 2013 - 03:11am
tradinista · Climber

I've been skeptical of no-buckle leg loops but at an ice festival I demo'd this harness, instead of wearing my usual Luna and loved it. It was recommended because the lack of leg buckles prevents from getting stuck in tight chimneys and getting snagged on rock features. It fit great over my two layers (including a softshell pant) and is the most comfortable durable harness I've had. So I bought two, one for the gym and one for outdoors. I realize people don't like the rear loops as being too far back, but putting in ice clippers made this harness more versatile. I'm too lazy to take the ice clippers off for rock season so I use them to hang my draws and have no problems hanging a double rack and a dozen slings, plus anchor building stuff and lockers on the harness (without a shoulder sling).

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

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