Some pieces of outdoor gear naturally lend themselves to the "quiver" philosophy. It's nice to own a couple of pairs of skis, for certain more than one jacket, lots of people have multiple different pairs of rock climbing shoes, but harnesses? Enter the Arc'teryx AR-395a. If you purchase this harness, we promise you that you will have no need for any other harness, regardless of the objective or style. The AR-395a is by far the most versatile harness that we tested and reviewed, and as such, we chose to award it our Top Pick for that reason. Whether you are planning a day of ice climbing, a huge alpine objective, or simply headed to the crag or gym, the AR-395a won't leave you wishing for features found on your partner's harness. We could easily have seen this being the best overall harness if it wasn't for the less comfortable leg loop design. As it was, it was the third best harness in our overall ratings and the only one that can easily do everything that involves a rope.
Arc'teryx's most recent version of the AR-395a is black and red, shown in the photo above. The blue version that we reviewed is no longer available, however, we confirmed with Arc'teryx that the technical specs of the harness are the same.
Overall, the AR-395a is by far the lowest profile harness we tested. An advantage of this design is that this harness is so thin that it disappears from thought as you're crushing your latest project. It is one of the most versatile harness we tested and excelled at everything except super extended periods of hanging. The biggest downside to this harness is definitely the steep price point. At $160, you could buy two discipline-specific harnesses (instead of an all-arounder like the 395a) and still have some cash left over to treat yourself at the end of a long climbing day.