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Blue Ice Choucas Pro Review

This minimalist, yet fully-featured harness is perfect for any technical mission where extended hanging isn't likely
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Blue Ice Choucas Pro Review (The Blue Ice Choucas Pro climbing harness.)
The Blue Ice Choucas Pro climbing harness.
Credit: Sam Willits
Price:  $110 List
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Manufacturer:   Blue Ice
By Jeff Dobronyi ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 19, 2023
75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 15
  • Hanging Comfort - 30% 5.0
  • Standing Comfort and Mobility - 25% 10.0
  • Features - 20% 8.0
  • Versatility - 15% 8.0
  • Adjustability - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Blue Ice Choucas Pro is a minimalist harness for technical climbing that performs well across the board, easily earning it a spot as our favorite lightweight harness. The mesh waistband and leg loops move freely with the user and are barely noticeable while standing, walking, or climbing. It comes fully loaded with two huge gear loops on each side, a haul loop, and two ice clipper slots per side, making it useful for any kind of climbing. And it's light enough to be a stealthy companion on long, remote missions. The only downside to this harness is that it isn't very comfortable to wear during extended bouts of hanging. But if you aren't planning on weighting the rope very often, this is the perfect harness for your next climbing adventure.
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight
Great features
Highly versatile and mobile
REASONS TO AVOID
Uncomfortable for extended hanging
Editor's Note: We added the Blue Ice Choucas Pro to our lineup on December 18, 2023.

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blue ice choucas pro
Awards Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  Top Pick Award 
Price $110 List
$105.95 at Amazon
$43.97 at Backcountry
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Check Price at REI$79.95 at Backcountry
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Bottom Line A lightweight harness for technical climbing adventures as long as they don't involve much hangingThis harness is simply the best choice for gym and sport climbingThis model is fashionable, comfortable, and versatile, all for a lower price than the competitionA decent all-around performer with a puzzling design that allows the nylon waist belt to slide through the padding, causing confusion and discomfortA specialized harness that is the very best for ski mountaineering and glacier travel
Rating Categories Blue Ice Choucas Pro Black Diamond Solution Petzl Sama Edelrid Moe Blue Ice Choucas Light
Hanging Comfort (30%)
5.0
9.0
8.0
5.0
3.0
Standing Comfort and Mobility (25%)
10.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
10.0
Features (20%)
8.0
6.0
8.0
8.0
3.0
Versatility (15%)
8.0
5.0
7.0
7.0
3.0
Adjustability (10%)
7.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
3.0
Specs Blue Ice Choucas Pro Black Diamond Solution Petzl Sama Edelrid Moe Blue Ice Choucas Light
Weight (size Large) 5.3 oz 13.3 oz 14.8 oz 12.3 oz 3.3 oz
Number of Gear Loops 4 4 4 4 2
Haul Loop? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Adjustable Leg Loops? No No, elastic No, elastic Yes No
Self-Locking Buckle? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Ice Clipper Slots? Yes - 4 No No Yes - 2 Yes - 2
Waist Belt Construction Mesh Fusion Comfort: three bands of webbing, breathable mesh, EVA foam insert EndoFrame: wide waistband to reduce pressure points Soft frame construction with 3D mesh padding UHMW polyethylene, polyamide

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Blue Ice Choucas Pro is a paired-down version of the best climbing harnesses on the market. It offers every feature you might need for any style of climbing, except for padded waist and leg bands that make hanging comfortable. But that helps keep this versatile harness super lightweight and packable.

Performance Comparison


blue ice choucas pro - climbing moderate granite cracks in the blue ice choucas pro.
Climbing moderate granite cracks in the Blue Ice Choucas Pro.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Hanging Comfort


This harness is not designed to be worn while hanging for very long. It lacks padding in the waist and leg loops, and the leg loops aren't adjustable for a snug fit to take weight off the waistband. That said, the waist is contoured well enough to provide some support, and the mesh band is wide enough to distribute weight to hit a minimum standard of comfort.


While we wouldn't recommend hanging all day in this harness, it is comfortable enough to wear for multiple rappels or the occasional hanging belay. And it's comfortable enough that we won't hesitate to bring it on missions that still involve some hang time. However, the significant weight savings make us more likely to bring this harness on long, remote alpine climbs rather than using it for cragging.

blue ice choucas pro - the choucas pro isn't as comfortable for hanging as other padded...
The Choucas Pro isn't as comfortable for hanging as other padded harnesses, but it isn't that bad, either.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Standing Comfort and Mobility


This harness delivers excellent mobility thanks to its supple and thin mesh material that bends easily and doesn't resist the climber's motion. Thanks to excellent contouring, the waist and leg material sit comfortably in place and move easily with the body. We can hardly feel this harness while wearing it.


This harness delivers all the features you might need for hard alpine climbing or acrobatic ice and mixed climbing without affecting your movement. It's even minimalist enough to wear while ski mountaineering.

blue ice choucas pro - the choucas pro offers plenty of mobility. in fact, it can be hard...
The Choucas Pro offers plenty of mobility. In fact, it can be hard to notice while doing acrobatic movements.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Features


There are four gear loops, two on each side, just like other fully-featured climbing harnesses. These gear loops are large enough to fit twelve full-sized carabiners each, which rivals the best gear loops on heavier rock-oriented harnesses. The gear loops are placed conveniently close to the front of the harness, meaning you won't have to search around the back of your body to find protection when you need it. There is also a small haul loop in the back.


Other useful features include four ice clipper slots, placed far enough forward that they are easy to use. We also like the infinity-style belay loop, made from a loop of Dyneema encased in a nylon shell. The nylon is wrapped laterally, so there is no exposed end of material for carabiners to catch on. We also like the releasable leg loop fastening tab that allows the harness to be removed without stepping through the leg loops. This is especially convenient when wearing skis while ski mountaineering or while wearing crampons.

blue ice choucas pro - the huge gear loops on the choucas pro can carry a full double rack...
The huge gear loops on the Choucas Pro can carry a full double rack and anchor gear for long multi-pitch or alpine routes.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Versatility


The Choucas Pro is among the most versatile harnesses we have ever tested. It excels in nearly every climbing discipline, making it a great choice for anyone who prefers a lightweight harness and spends a lot of time climbing in areas with long approaches. The large gear loops and ice clipper slots make it perfectly suitable for trad and mixed climbing, while its low mass is perfect for hard redpoint attempts at the sport crag and alpine climbs where every gram matters.


This harness only falls short for activities where extended bouts of hanging are required, like projecting sport routes, aid climbing, and severe multi-pitch climbing. By eliminating padding, this harness shaves weight, but it also shaves comfort points. If you don't do much hanging in your climbing, this harness will do it all. If you spend more time on vertical and overhanging terrain, you'll want a different harness.

blue ice choucas pro - two ice clipper slots on each side of the choucas pro make this...
Two ice clipper slots on each side of the Choucas Pro make this harness a great option for winter mixed and ice climbing.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Adjustability


The Choucas Pro offers 10 inches (25 centimeters) of length adjustment in the waist belt, which is great. The leg loops aren't adjustable and instead feature a small elastic band that offers about an inch and a half (4 cm) of thigh circumference adjustability. While this harness is surprisingly adjustable for its weight, it is still important to measure to ensure correct sizing.


We didn't expect so much length adjustment for such a lightweight harness. This is a major advantage over comparable harnesses, adding versatility between seasons. It's common to want a snugger fitting harness for summer rock climbing and a looser fit to accompany stuffing layers underneath for winter climbs.

The waist belt offers plenty of length adjustment, and the leg loops offer a small amount of elastic stretch.

Should You Buy the Blue Ice Choucas Pro?


This harness is divine for lightweight gear enthusiasts who are constantly trying to shave weight from their kit. It has all the features you need on any technical alpine route and nothing you don't. However, the major caveat is that this harness isn't comfortable for hanging. If you plan on doing long rappels or hanging from anchors for extended lengths of time, you'll wish you brought a more comfortable harness with more padding.

blue ice choucas pro - rappelling in the blue ice choucas pro.
Rappelling in the Blue Ice Choucas Pro.
Credit: Sam Willits

What Other Climbing Harnesses Should You Consider?


If weight is a major consideration in your climbing pursuits, but you're willing to carry a few more ounces for major increases in comfort, the Petzl Sitta is our favorite harness on the market. It offers the best blend of features and comfort for the weight. If you're okay with a heavier harness, you'll be happy on all kinds of rock routes while wearing the affordable Petzl Sama. The Black Diamond Solution is another decently lightweight option specifically designed for supreme comfort while sport climbing. And if you're looking for the lightest harness on the market, the Blue Ice Choucas Light weighs even less than the Choucas Pro, but it doesn't have many features, either.

blue ice choucas pro - granite slab climbing in the highly mobile blue ice choucas pro.
Granite slab climbing in the highly mobile Blue Ice Choucas Pro.
Credit: Sam Willits

Jeff Dobronyi