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Edelrid Sendero Review

An excellent harness for any style of climbing, and the best quiver of one you can buy
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $85 List | $84.95 at REI
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Pros:  Perfect set of features, lightweight, comfortable, affordable
Cons:  Not the most comfortable for long belay sessions
Manufacturer:   Edelrid
By Andy Wellman ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 7, 2020
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80
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 12
  • Hanging Comfort - 35% 8
  • Standing Comfort and Mobility - 20% 8
  • Features - 20% 9
  • Belaying Comfort - 15% 6
  • Versatility - 10% 9

Our Verdict

The Edelrid Sendero is a harness that can handle absolutely any type of climbing well, and with few, if any, faults is a natural pick for our Editors' Choice Award as the Best All-Around Harness. While Edelrid markets this harness for alpine climbing, we think it works equally as well for days of trad or sport cragging, in no small part due to its excellent set of features that performs nearly flawlessly. As one of the lightest options you can buy, and offering great comfort at that weight, it also makes an excellent choice for long alpine missions. To top it off, this harness is affordably priced, costing less than half what some other top of the line alpine harnesses do. If you want one to rule them all, we highly recommend checking out the Sendero.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

The Sendero is a newly released harness by Edelrid in the winter/spring of 2020. This harness is designed for alpine climbing, but in fact, works very well for any style of climbing. We tested it frequently while sport climbing in Greece and thought it worked great. In particular, the waist belt and leg loops have dual strips of webbing inside and are padded with 3D mesh that does an effective job of dispersing the weight of a climber when they are hanging, falling, or belaying.

We also think that the feature set on this harness is nearly perfect, more so than any other harness we have worn, and these features do an excellent job of making it applicable for any style of climbing, while also not limiting it from any others — a rare achievement. While we have other harnesses that we prefer for specific purposes, such as sport climbing or for long trad climbs, we think this harness covers the entire range better than any other, and is, therefore, an optimal choice if you only want one harness to do everything.

Uses Bluesign Certified Materials
This harness is one of a number that Edelrid makes that uses Bluesign Certified Materials, which means that some of the materials used (but not all), are made to increased environmental and best worker practice standards. We appreciate this small step in a more conscious direction.

The Sendero has adjustable leg loops, although if you prefer fixed leg loops, which also makes it slightly lighter, then check out the Edelrid Sirana. They also make a women's specific version of this harness, the Autana.

Performance Comparison


The Sendero is an excellent all around harness  and works fantastic for sport climbing  trad climbing  or ice and alpine climbing. It is low weight  has plenty of storage space on the gear loops  and features adjustable leg loops. To top it off its pretty affordable.
The Sendero is an excellent all around harness, and works fantastic for sport climbing, trad climbing, or ice and alpine climbing. It is low weight, has plenty of storage space on the gear loops, and features adjustable leg loops. To top it off its pretty affordable.

Hanging Comfort


The Sendero ranks up there with the best when it comes to comfort while hanging. We find that in a hanging seated position, the weight tends to be distributed relatively evenly between the leg loops and the waist belt. The soft frame construction entails two strips of webbing spaced apart on the inside of 3D mesh padding. While neither the leg loops nor the waist belt is especially wide, the system does a good job of distributing the load, while also cutting down on unnecessary bulk.


We also like how this harness fits. Compared to many other competitors that tend to ride up significantly while hanging for too long, thereby squishing the kidneys and lower ribs, this harness stays put nicely.

Rappelling off a tower in Smith Rock while testing the Sendero. We did four pitches of climbing  followed by four rappels this day  putting the hanging comfort to the test. We can confirm this harness is really quite comfy to hang out in all day!
Rappelling off a tower in Smith Rock while testing the Sendero. We did four pitches of climbing, followed by four rappels this day, putting the hanging comfort to the test. We can confirm this harness is really quite comfy to hang out in all day!

While using this harness on multi-pitch routes, we hung at some belays, and never experienced a loss of circulation that can be surprisingly common.

Testing the hanging comfort of harnesses while getting lowered out over space at the Mars crag at Leonidio  Greece. The Sendero ranks up there with the best for comfort while hanging.
Testing the hanging comfort of harnesses while getting lowered out over space at the Mars crag at Leonidio, Greece. The Sendero ranks up there with the best for comfort while hanging.

Standing Comfort and Mobility


While we are impressed with how comfortable this harness is to hang in, we concede that it's not as comfortable for standing around. The waist belt is not the most supple, as the padding is slightly stiff and structured. This led it to feel slightly more bulky and present against our body as we wore it on long days. We also noticed that our size Medium required us to really tighten the waist buckle down for an optimal fit, which of course, translated into us noticing it a lot more. You may consider sizing down if you happen to fall on the edge of the size recommendations.


The adjustable leg loop buckles worked well for us and allowed us to tailor the fit around the thighs perfectly so that the harness remained supple and flexible, but not overly tight. This is a harness that we felt we were able to walk around in without annoying side-effects, but the thicker, slightly more bulky waist belt meant that it didn't serve nearly as well for wearing under a pack as those harnesses with an unpadded, flat waist belt.

You can see the adjustable leg loop buckles that allow you to fine tune the fit no matter what you are wearing that day  as well as the yellow Dyneema covered tie in points and belay loop which also include a wear indicator sewn inside  so you will see red threads when it is time to retire your harness.
You can see the adjustable leg loop buckles that allow you to fine tune the fit no matter what you are wearing that day, as well as the yellow Dyneema covered tie in points and belay loop which also include a wear indicator sewn inside, so you will see red threads when it is time to retire your harness.

Features


The excellent features are really what make this harness shine, as no harness that we've tested has as many features that work so well. It is designed as an "alpine" harness, and so has adjustable leg loops. The buckles on these are easy to work, and the tail keeper is at an adequate distance to keep the webbing tail securely in place. It has two slots for ice clippers, and we loved that these are very low profile (you won't even notice they are there if you aren't using them), while also not interfering in any way with the gear loops or the webbing tail for the waist belt. A surprising amount of harnesses that have ice clipper slots become rather awkward to use once they are in place, so this was a nice way of designing things.


The five gear loops make this harness great for any sort of rock climbing. The loops are large, flat, and the front two on each side are rigid, so they are easier to clip. A fifth flexible gear loop in the back is ideal for clipping in shoes or a windbreaker or small water bottle, not to mention a tag line if you have one.

This harness has five gear loops total  with the front two on each side made of thick  rigid cord that is oriented flat for the easiest clipping and unclipping. The fifth gear loop in the back is softer and rounded  and adds the extra space you need for multi pitch climbing.
This harness has five gear loops total, with the front two on each side made of thick, rigid cord that is oriented flat for the easiest clipping and unclipping. The fifth gear loop in the back is softer and rounded, and adds the extra space you need for multi pitch climbing.

The tie in points are made with slippery Dyneema for added durability, and also include red threads woven inside to serve as a wear indicator, letting you know when it is time to replace the harness. All told, we have not a single complaint about how any of these features function, and aren't sure we've ever worn a harness where we could say that — until now!

The tiny little strip of fabric on the waist belt between the two gear loops is the ice clipper slot  and there is another one mirrored on the other side. You can add on ice clippers for easier carrying of screws and tools while winter climbing. We like how low profile they are so they don't catch on anything when not in use.
The tiny little strip of fabric on the waist belt between the two gear loops is the ice clipper slot, and there is another one mirrored on the other side. You can add on ice clippers for easier carrying of screws and tools while winter climbing. We like how low profile they are so they don't catch on anything when not in use.

Belaying Comfort


If this harness has one flaw, it's that it isn't as comfortable for logging serious belay duty as some others. We verified by putting in hours of hangdog duty on the dull end of the rope on a long sport climbing trip in Greece, and feel that if we were buying this harness exclusively to sport climb, we would choose another for this reason. That said, long sessions of belay duty aren't very comfortable no matter what harness you have on, so the performance of this one isn't out of line with what we expect.


The main area of concern when thinking about belaying comfort is the leg loops where they wrap around the inside of the leg to eventually meet at the belay loop and lower tie-in point. On this harness, the loops tapered to be much thinner at this point, and despite having padding that covered the edges of these thinner pieces of webbing, still dug in a bit when holding a climber for a long time.

Belaying comfort is the one weak point of this harness  as the leg loops taper to be rather thin where they loop around the inside of the leg. We wouldn't call it a prohibitive flaw  as few harnesses are genuinely comfortable for hours of belay duty.
Belaying comfort is the one weak point of this harness, as the leg loops taper to be rather thin where they loop around the inside of the leg. We wouldn't call it a prohibitive flaw, as few harnesses are genuinely comfortable for hours of belay duty.

Versatility


We've mentioned it a lot already, but it bears repeating, this harness is super versatile! It works great for ice or alpine climbing and has plenty of gear loop space for any type of multi-pitch climbing. It's super lightweight, so works equally as well for hard sport climbing, and won't cost you a bunch of extra ounces in the pack when approaching long distances. The only style of climbing that we wouldn't immediately recommend it for is mountaineering, as it's a bit bulky for walking long distances.


Leading up the second pitch on the Sky Ridge at Smith Rock  putting the versatility of the Sendero to the test by carrying shoes and a heavier than needed rack. With such a great set of features for every style of climbing  and including adjustable leg loops  this is one versatile harness.
Leading up the second pitch on the Sky Ridge at Smith Rock, putting the versatility of the Sendero to the test by carrying shoes and a heavier than needed rack. With such a great set of features for every style of climbing, and including adjustable leg loops, this is one versatile harness.

Value


While this harness isn't nearly the least expensive, it's also nowhere close to the most expensive. It sits just slightly above average in the spectrum and remains pretty affordable. As a super versatile option that also scored very high in our overall rankings, and performs well enough to be worthy of an award, we think that you will find excellent value in a purchase.

As one of the highest scorers in our review  and with a relatively affordable price  we think the Sendero presents great value. We thought it worked equally well on steep sport climbs  here in Greece  as it did on multi-pitch trad climbs  and think its feature set and light weight will also prove to be valuable attributes for winter alpine climbing.
As one of the highest scorers in our review, and with a relatively affordable price, we think the Sendero presents great value. We thought it worked equally well on steep sport climbs, here in Greece, as it did on multi-pitch trad climbs, and think its feature set and light weight will also prove to be valuable attributes for winter alpine climbing.

Conclusion


The Edelrid Sendero wins our Editors' Choice award for the best all-around harness because it is versatile, and has the feature set you need for any style of climbing. It is lightweight, functional, and also quite affordable, considering the level of performance offered. While it is marketed as an alpine harness, we recommend it for anyone who wants a single harness that can easily meet all of their needs.

Putting the Sendero to the test on the awesome tufa climbs at the Elona crag in Leonidio  Greece.
Putting the Sendero to the test on the awesome tufa climbs at the Elona crag in Leonidio, Greece.


Andy Wellman