The New Camp Air CR EVO vs. The Camp Air That We Tested
The Camp Air Harness has been replaced by the Camp Air CR EVO. The version of the Air Harness that we previously reviewed was a fixed leg loop harness; there was also at that time an adjustable leg loop version. Many of the features remain the same: Single Pull Buckles, Patented No-Twist Belay Loop, Drop Seat, and the Chalk Bag Loop. See below for a quote from Camp about the new upgrades:
"We have simplified the line a bit and now only offer the adjustable leg loop version, which is better suited for a larger variety of activities/seasons and body types. There are several key improvements between the two generations of the Air Harnesses: for the current generation, we kept the lightweight and breathability that the Air series is known for and added in some durability and comfort, along with an additional Ice Screw Racking point.
Durability was improved by changing the outer mesh on the waist and leg loops. The current Air CR has a much more fine mesh that doesn't affect breathability but improves durability. We also upgraded the padding to a 3mm perforated EVA foam. This improves both the overall comfort while hanging in the harness and the long-term durability of the harness. For improved comfort - the internal mesh on the waist and legs was upgraded to a 3D Mesh with superior wicking properties without sacrificing weight. We added a 3rd racking position for Ice Screws forward of the left gear loop for quick access to screws."
Pictured below on the left is a photo of the Camp Air CR EVO, while you will find a photo of the older version, the Camp Air, on the right.
This is one of the few harnesses that made Chris Mac do a double take. He had never seen a full-featured harness that was this light or compact. It's amazing how they can now make harnesses so small they fit in the palm of your hand. It's also cool that even though it is so light, the harness has what you need: smooth speed adjust buckle, four gear loops and solid belay loop. The perforated closed cell foam on the waist belt and leg loops increases breathability. This is nice, although in most alpine environments breathability is not the big issue that it might be when sport climbing in a tropical spot like Thailand.
The trade-off for such a light harness is comfort. When you free hang in this harness it doesn't take long to feel the edges of the harness digging into your side. Of course, if you are wearing this on alpine rock routes, you probably won't we hanging in it much. And if you are wearing it for ice and snow routes, you will have enough clothes on so that you could hang around reasonably comfortably. This harness does not have a release for the leg loop straps. However, the elastic on these straps is so stretchy they don't hinder your movement. Also, how often do you really need to take off your leg loop straps?
This harness excels in the alpine world on both rock and snow — basically in any application where light weight is essential. For example, we would take this harness on any High Sierra route with a massive approach where we want to travel light and probably won't be hanging in the harness much.
This is not the most expensive harness, but at $90 it is not cheap considering its limited applications.