Reviews You Can Rely On

Petzl Selena Review

A popular harness, particularly among women with a shorter rise
petzl selena climbing harness women review
Credit: Petzl
Price:  $75 List
Manufacturer:   Petzl
By Jane Jackson & Cam McKenzie Ring  ⋅  May 11, 2020
67
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 9
  • Hanging Comfort - 30% 7.0
  • Standing Comfort - 25% 7.0
  • Features - 20% 6.0
  • Versatility - 15% 6.0
  • Adjustability - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

Petzl's latest update of their popular Selena harness has some significant changes from the older model. The new version has more padding in the waistbelt and is more comfortable, but not very breathable. The leg loops are also different — instead of a continuous band, there is now an elastic spreader to accommodate different thigh sizes. However, Petzl is still using the same type of waistbelt as the men's version, which is meant to contour around your hips. If you wear your harness on your hips, it will likely fit you fine, but if you like it to ride on your waist, it doesn't feel as comfortable.
REASONS TO BUY
Comfortable if you like to wear your harness on your hips
REASONS TO AVOID
Rear gear loops are small and hard to reach
Haul loop not full strength

Compare to Similar Products

 
petzl selena climbing harness women review
This Product
Petzl Selena
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  
Price $74.95 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$100 List
$99.95 at REI
$65 List
$64.95 at REI
$80 List
$79.95 at REI
$70 List
Check Price at REI
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Comfortable if you like to wear your harness on your hipsComfortable, very durable, five gear loops, simple designComfortable, easy to clip rigid gear loops, great value, adjustable leg loop system is light and easyLightweight, breathable, comfortable, and highly mobileSliding 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 strengthOn the expensive side, a bit bulky, stiff leg loopsWaist belt doesn't have the best ventilationUncomfortable if leg loops don't fit youRear haul loop isn't very functional, bulky especially around leg loops
Bottom Line A popular harness, particularly among women with a shorter riseWe love this model for its emphasis on durability and comfortOne of the best and least expensive all around harnesses in this reviewA lightweight and thin harness that is comfortable to hang inThis 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%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Standing Comfort (25%)
7.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Features (20%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
Versatility (15%)
6.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
Adjustability (10%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
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)
Adjustable Legs? No No Yes No Yes
Self-Locking Buckle? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
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 selena climbing harness women review - the older selena (left), vs. the 2018 model (right). the new version...
The older Selena (left), vs. the 2018 model (right). The new version has more adjustability in the legs and a slightly longer rise.
Credit: Cam McKenzie Ring

Performance Comparison


petzl selena climbing harness women review - this harness is best for sport climbing and those who like to wear...
This harness is best for sport climbing and those who like to wear it around their hips more than their waist.
Credit: Cam McKenzie Ring

Standing Comfort


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.

petzl selena climbing harness women review - if you like your harness to contour around your hips, this harness...
If you like your harness to contour around your hips, this harness is comfortable, but if you prefer to wear it higher around your waist, the thicker material on the sides doesn't feel as nice.
Credit: Cam McKenzie Ring

Hanging Comfort


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.

petzl selena climbing harness women review - we liked how this updated version had more padding on it, giving it...
We liked how this updated version had more padding on it, giving it improved hanging comfort.
Credit: Cam McKenzie Ring

Discipline-Specific Features


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.

petzl selena climbing harness women review - the rear gear loops are hard to access, but usually not used much...
The rear gear loops are hard to access, but usually not used much anyway when single-pitch sport climbing.
Credit: Cam McKenzie Ring

Versatility


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.

petzl selena climbing harness women review - stretching it out in the new selena. this harness has fairly good...
Stretching it out in the new Selena. This harness has fairly good mobility.
Credit: Cam McKenzie Ring

Adjustability


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.

petzl selena climbing harness women review - the elastic at the leg loop will give you several more inches of...
The elastic at the leg loop will give you several more inches of play than the previous model. This is great for those of us who have more muscular thighs!
Credit: Cam McKenzie Ring

Value


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.

petzl selena climbing harness women review - single-pitch sport climbing is where this harness shines, and for...
Single-pitch sport climbing is where this harness shines, and for anyone who specifically likes a low-riding harness.
Credit: Cam McKenzie Ring

Conclusion


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.

Jane Jackson & Cam McKenzie Ring
 
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