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Mammut Ophir 4 Slide Review

The most widely adjustable harness we tested, is also comfortable
Mammut Ophir 4 Slide
Photo: Backcountry
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Price:  $75 List | $74.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Maximum adjustability, lots of useful features, affordable
Cons:  Only two sizes, a bit bulky
Manufacturer:   Mammut
By Andy Wellman ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 12, 2019
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67
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 12
  • Hanging Comfort - 35% 7
  • Standing Comfort and Mobility - 20% 4
  • Features - 20% 9
  • Belaying Comfort - 15% 7
  • Versatility - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Mammut Ophir 4 Slide harness is a comfortable and heavily featured choice that is versatile for all styles of climbing while also having an affordable price tag. The "4 Slide" part of its name refers to the four sliding buckles that allow for the maximum adjustment, including two on the waist belt. Having two buckles on the waist instead of only one means that it is easy to keep the harness perfectly centered on the body even after adjustment, without having the gear loops sitting off-center as they often do on other single buckle harnesses. It makes an excellent choice for most styles of climbing, from alpine to sport, when the most fine-tuned adjustability is of primary concern.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Mammut Ophir 4 Slide
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $74.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$145 List$84.95 at Backcountry
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$99.95 at Backcountry
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$59.08 at Amazon
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Maximum adjustability, lots of useful features, affordableVery comfortable, improved leg loop design, plenty of gear loop storage, versatile for all types of climbingPerfect set of features, lightweight, comfortable, affordableComfortable to hang in, increased carrying capacity, durable, mobilePerfect feature set for any style of rock climbing, most comfortable harness for belaying, affordable
Cons Only two sizes, a bit bulkyNot very light, higher priceNot the most comfortable for long belay sessionsNot as comfortable as Solution for long belay sessions, no ice clipper slotsNo ice clipper slots, not the lightest
Bottom Line Has four different adjustment buckles – two on the legs and two on the waist – so you can perfect the fitSport, gym, alpine, ice, mountaineering – you name the style and this harness proves to be an ideal fitIf you want one harness that will perform awesome no matter what style of climbing you are doing, this is that harnessComfortable for hanging belays and holds a lot of gear really well, the ideal attributes for a multi-pitch harnessFashionable, comfortable, and sports a perfect set of features
Rating Categories Mammut Ophir 4 Slide Arc'teryx C-Quence Edelrid Sendero Black Diamond Solution Guide Petzl Sama
Hanging Comfort (35%)
7
8
8
9
8
Standing Comfort And Mobility (20%)
4
8
7
6
5
Features (20%)
9
8
9
7
7
Belaying Comfort (15%)
7
9
6
6
9
Versatility (10%)
6
8
8
7
7
Specs Mammut Ophir 4 Slide Arc'teryx C-Quence Edelrid Sendero Black Diamond... Petzl Sama
Designed for these disciplines Sport, trad, ice, alpine, mountaineering Rock, Ice, Alpine Sport, lightweight alpine, trad Sport, trad, multi-pitch Sport, indoor, trad
Weight (size medium) 14.6 oz 13.3 oz. 11.6 oz 14.1 oz 13.7 oz
Gear Loops 4 5 5 5 4
Haul Loop Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Adjustable Legs? Yes No Yes No, elastic No, elastic
Self-locking buckle? Yes - 2 on waist Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ice Clipper Slots? Yes - 2 Yes - 4 Yes - 2 No No, but works with Caritool EVO
Waist Belt Construction Two-part webbing technology combined with two Slide-bloc buckles Contoured WST (Warp Strength Technology) Soft frame construction with 3D mesh padding Super Fabric Double webbing strips padded with EndoFrame technology
Waist Size Ranges (inches) 23.2 -35 (XS-M), 29.9 - 43.3 (M-XL) (M)32-34.5 inches (L) 35-38.5 inches 27.5-33.5 (S), 29.5-35.4 (M), 31.5-37.4 (L) 24-39 in 28-30 (S), 30-33 (M), 33-36 (L), 36-39 (XL)

Our Analysis and Test Results

Most climbing harnesses only have one waist buckle. However, we often find that when adjusting the fit using this buckle, the harness can easily become uncentered, with the gear loops on one side sitting too far forward, while the loops on the other side sit towards the back. That is the great advantage of having two buckles on the waist belt, as the Mammut Ophir 4 Slide does. When making adjustments, you can fine-tune the fit using buckles on either side of the belay loop to be sure that the harness remains perfectly centered no matter how small or large you need the fit to be. This is very useful if you like to climb in all different seasons, and are often wearing different amounts of clothing.

A mid-layer and hardshell for ice climbing can affect the fit drastically compared to a pair of climbing pants and t-shirt more common in the spring or fall. Increased ease of adjustability is also useful if you often share a harness between more than one person, for instance, if you often teach others to climb who don't have their own gear, or if you are parents of a child in a youth program who needs a lot of belays, and the two of you like to split the duty.

The Ophir 4 Slide only comes in two size choices (XS-M, M-XL), and its double buckle system allows for an extensive range of adjustment between different body sizes. It has all the features you may need for literally any style of climbing. A very similar model, the Mammut Ophir 3 Slide, is also available if you like the design and price point, but want to cut down on bulk and weight by sticking with the more standard single waist buckle.

Performance Comparison


The Ophir 4 Slide is a very adjustable harness due to its double...
The Ophir 4 Slide is a very adjustable harness due to its double waist belt buckles that keeps it perfectly centered at all times, and is an affordable choice for those who want a versatile harness. Here putting it to the test at Smith Rock.

Hanging Comfort


This harness uses a "split webbing" design in both the waist belt and the leg loops, which means that pieces of webbing run along both the top and bottom of each loop, padded with a thin layer of foam. This design is visible along the outside of the harness and is very similar to the design used in the more affordable Petzl harnesses. It's pretty effective and comfortable for hanging in. While the waist belt is of roughly average width and has a moderate amount of padding, it does a good job mitigating pressure points on the back when hanging for long periods. We noticed discomfort in the kidney region of our lower back on the sides of the spine, as well as over the tops of our iliac crest on each side when hanging for quite a bit, but this is quite common among almost all harnesses. The leg loops did a good job of alleviating any circulation cut off.

The waist band is made with two strips of webbing, concealed under...
The waist band is made with two strips of webbing, concealed under the black bands here, that distributes the load along the entire width of the belt. It is then padded by the aerated white pad you can see in the middle. Overall this is a pretty comfortable harness to hang in.

Standing Comfort and Mobility


This harness is plenty comfortable to hang out in at the crag or gym all day and is fairly mobile as well. That said, compared to most of the competition, it is bulky, and we noticed this especially in the leg loops when walking. When we walk, the loops rub against each other quite noticeably, making a fair bit of noise, something that isn't such an issue with harnesses that have less padded leg loops. The waist belt is moderately padded, but isn't too uncomfortable underneath the hip belt of a pack, aided by the fact that the gear loops easily lie flat against the body. Noticeable bulk is our biggest complaint, although this didn't affect us at all while actually climbing.

You can see how the leg loops are rather large and heavily padded...
You can see how the leg loops are rather large and heavily padded, great attributes for hanging in, but which makes this harness feel a bit bulky, hindering its mobility slightly.

Features


This harness has all the features one would need for literally any style of climbing, and they all work quite well. We have already pointed out the advantages of the double waist belt buckle design, but are also happy that adequate keeper loops for the tail ends of the waist belt webbing are in place to keep these from hanging in the way of gear racking. There are also two easy to adjust buckles on the leg loops. The tie in points and belay loop include wear indicators — red threads sewn underneath the outer layers so that they will show when these critical points have worn down so far as the necessitate harness replacement.

Showing the double waist belt buckles on the front of the harness...
Showing the double waist belt buckles on the front of the harness. By being able to adjust the fit on both sides, you are able to keep the gear loops and belay loop perfectly centered. This is a good feature for those who share harnesses often, or those who often climb in the cold with extra clothes on. You can also see how the leg loop padding where it runs inside the legs protects adequately while belaying.

The lower tie in point on the leg loops also has a rigid plastic covering to greatly increase durability, a nice touch since this is usually the very first part of a harness to wear out. There are four rigid and easy to clip gear loops that lay flat against the body, as well as a haul loop on the back. Finally, there are two ice clipper slots, one on each side, for use with ice clippers that hold screws or tools more easily. About the only thing missing is a fifth rear gear loop, but by and large, it is hard to get more featured than this harness.

Check out this plastic piece that protects the lower tie in point...
Check out this plastic piece that protects the lower tie in point. Its made of durable plastic, and provides a smooth surface for the belay loop shown, as well as the rope when tied in, to run that doesn't wear and abrade the webbing. We love this feature, since this spot is where we see most harnesses wear our first.

Each of the leg loops has an adjustment buckle which is easy to...
Each of the leg loops has an adjustment buckle which is easy to loosen up or cinch down on the fly, and the long tail tucks neatly under these elastic straps.

Belaying Comfort


The part of the leg loops where it wraps around the inside of the legs to meet at the belay loop in front is the most critical for providing comfort while putting in long belay sessions, especially if you're top-roping or hanging a lot. The padding on the leg loops tapers to end at this point, although the padding still manages to protect from the thin black webbing pretty effectively. Overall, this harness was not terribly comfortable for long sessions of belay duty, but almost no harness is. It performed roughly average, and while you shouldn't have high expectations, this is no reason not to consider a purchase.

This is a pretty comfortable harness for belaying due to the fat...
This is a pretty comfortable harness for belaying due to the fat padding that protects against the bare webbing as it wraps around the inside of the leg. Here paying out slack while belaying at Smith Rock.

Versatility


This harness is designed to be used for any purpose where you need to rope up and is fairly effective. However, compared to other options you can buy, it would not be our first choice for long multi-pitch routes, due to the lack of racking space since there is no fifth gear loop on the back. We also wouldn't choose it for mountaineering, since it is bulky and the leg loops rub together when we walk. At 14.6 ounces for the larger of the two size options, it is on the heavier side and is also a bit bulky compared to a lot of choices that are more trimmed down. But if you like to climb ice, sport, trad, and at the gym, this harness can do it all.

This harness is versatile for trad cragging and sport climbing, and...
This harness is versatile for trad cragging and sport climbing, and also has ice clipper slots on each side in case you also like to climb during the frozen months. There is plenty enough room on the front gear loops for racking the cams and other protection, but there is no rear gear loop for extra necessities on long multi-pitch routes.

Value


This harness is priced pretty reasonably and makes a good value purchase for those on a budget who want a harness with the maximum amount of adjustability. However, we must point out that if you do not need the double waist buckles, our Editors' Choice winner costs the same and is also highly versatile, not to mention a much higher overall scorer. For the most budget-conscious, our Best Bang for the Buck Winner costs a bit less.

Staring up at a stemming dihedral loaded with a rack of thin cams in...
Staring up at a stemming dihedral loaded with a rack of thin cams in preparation. This harness is affordable and presents a good value for those who want an adjustable and versatile harness.

Conclusion


The Mammut Ophir 4 Slide is remarkable because it has two waist buckles that allow for maximum adjustability while keeping the harness perfectly centered. It is an affordable option that is versatile enough for many styles of climbing, but unless you need its added adjustability, it is not the first recommendation that we would make.

Embarking on yet another long face climb at Smith Rock, exactly what...
Embarking on yet another long face climb at Smith Rock, exactly what it is known for, while wearing the highly adjustable Ophir 4 harness.

Andy Wellman