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Petzl Sitta Review

The best harness money can buy, thanks to its versatility and great features
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Petzl Sitta Review (The Petzl Sitta mens climbing harness.)
The Petzl Sitta mens climbing harness.
Credit: Sam Willits
Price:  $175 List
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Manufacturer:   Petzl
By Jeff Dobronyi & Andy Wellman  ⋅  Dec 19, 2023
78
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 15
  • Hanging Comfort - 30% 6.0
  • Standing Comfort and Mobility - 25% 8.0
  • Features - 20% 9.0
  • Versatility - 15% 10.0
  • Adjustability - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Petzl Sitta combines excellent features, versatility, and lightweight performance into one compact (and expensive) package, earning our respect as the best harness on the market. Its minimalist design allows for unimpeded movement while climbing, and the thin waist belt and leg loops are surprisingly comfortable while hanging. It has huge gear loops that easily organize your rack while questing into the alpine, and ice clipper slots if you decide to mix it up in winter conditions. This harness can be used for all kinds of climbing, making it the most versatile harness on the market. The main downsides are the high price tag and the lack of hanging comfort compared to some other contenders. If you want a lightweight harness for rock, alpine, and mixed climbing, this is the harness for you. See it rated versus top competitors in our review of the best climbing harnesses.
REASONS TO BUY
Most versatile
Lightweight
Packs small
Highly mobile
REASONS TO AVOID
Expensive
Not as comfortable for prolonged hanging
Editor's Note: We updated this review on December 19, 2023, to adjust our rating metrics after retesting the Petzl Sitta.

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Bottom Line Surprisingly comfortable despite its lightweight construction, this harness excels in a variety of climbing stylesA 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 specialized harness that is the very best for ski mountaineering and glacier travel
Rating Categories Petzl Sitta Blue Ice Choucas Pro Black Diamond Solution Petzl Sama Blue Ice Choucas Light
Hanging Comfort (30%)
6.0
5.0
9.0
8.0
3.0
Standing Comfort and Mobility (25%)
8.0
10.0
8.0
6.0
10.0
Features (20%)
9.0
8.0
6.0
8.0
3.0
Versatility (15%)
10.0
8.0
5.0
7.0
3.0
Adjustability (10%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
3.0
Specs Petzl Sitta Blue Ice Choucas Pro Black Diamond Solution Petzl Sama Blue Ice Choucas Light
Weight (size Large) 10.0 oz 5.3 oz 13.3 oz 14.8 oz 3.3 oz
Number of Gear Loops 4 4 4 4 2
Haul Loop? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Adjustable Leg Loops? No, elastic No No, elastic No, elastic No
Self-Locking Buckle? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Ice Clipper Slots? Yes - 2 Yes - 4 No No Yes - 2
Waist Belt Construction WireFrame: support and weight distribution without use of foam Mesh Fusion Comfort: three bands of webbing, breathable mesh, EVA foam insert EndoFrame: wide waistband to reduce pressure points UHMW polyethylene, polyamide

Our Analysis and Test Results

Rarely do harnesses impress us as much as the Petzl Sitta. Where other harnesses make compromises or specialize for a particular use, this harness excels in every climbing activity, making it the best choice for most users.

Performance Comparison


petzl sitta - the petzl sitta is a high-end, lightweight harness that is ideal for...
The Petzl Sitta is a high-end, lightweight harness that is ideal for all climbing disciplines.
Credit: Andy Wellman

Hanging Comfort


Despite its thin waist and leg loops and lack of padding, the Sitta is surprisingly comfortable to hang in. The leg loops cut off circulation to our lower legs slightly more than most of the harnesses we tested — a problem common to all harnesses if you hang out long enough — but that's just about the only complaint we have. The Wireframe construction is very effective at spreading out the load, and we also find that the thin waist belt means that it doesn't ride up as high over our kidneys or lower ribs while hanging, so it's more comfortable than some of the fatter waist belts we tested.


The relative lack of hanging comfort dissuades us from reaching for this harness for long multi-pitch routes with tons of hanging belays. But this harness is plenty comfortable for more moderate climbs with nice belay stances. Harnesses with a fatter, more padded waist belt and leg loops are more comfortable to hang in. That said, you'll only notice the difference if you spend a lot of time hanging at belays or working sport routes.

petzl sitta - the sitta isn't the most comfortable harness to hang in, but if you...
The Sitta isn't the most comfortable harness to hang in, but if you have a nice belay ledge, it is comfortable enough for the weight savings that it provides.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Standing Comfort and Mobility


The Sitta is the most mobile of the fully-featured climbing harnesses on the market. Its lightweight and total lack of bulk translates directly into comfort and freedom of movement when climbing and on the ground, making it an ideal choice for alpine climbing, mountaineering, and redpoint attempts. Compared to many other harnesses, it is hard to notice that you are wearing anything at all. The waist belt is thin and sits flat against the body, and the rear gear loops are also flexible and rest against the body, ensuring comfort when worn with a pack.


The leg loops are not adjustable but have a very wide expansion range of elastic so that they are comfortable to wear regardless of how many layers of clothing one has on. For us, they feel far different and less noticeable (in a good way) than the snugger auto-cinching elastic leg loops on other fixed-loop harnesses. For hanging out around the crag, roped scrambling, or roped glacier travel, the comfort of the Sitta cannot be beaten.

petzl sitta - the minimalist sitta is barely noticeable when standing or climbing.
The minimalist Sitta is barely noticeable when standing or climbing.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Features


The Sitta ranks above the rest when it comes to the performance of its features. We love how there are three keeper loops for the tail end of the waist belt webbing so that no matter what your waist size, there is no tail dangling into your gear. We also like how the two front gear loops are rigid, easy to clip, very large, and have two moveable dividers that help you to sort gear more easily on your harness. For example, you can rack cams in front of the dividers and slings behind, making it easier to quickly grab the piece of gear you need without having them crowd on each other.


The Sitta has large, flexible rear gear loops that sit flat against the body, so they don't get in the way of wearing a pack, as well as a flat rear gear loop big enough for carrying shoes. It has two ice clipper slots, one on each side, to accommodate ice and alpine climbing. Our only critique is that the ice clipper slots are placed inside of the front gear loop, making for awkward clipping of ice screws.

petzl sitta - the sitta has plenty of space for a full rack of gear. the front...
The Sitta has plenty of space for a full rack of gear. The front gear loop has a unique spacer to divide gear and help you stay organized.
Credit: Andy Wellman

Versatility


This harness is the most versatile one we have ever tested. It is capable of everything that some larger and bulkier harnesses are but is far lighter, more mobile, and easier to carry, making it perfect for any demanding climb that requires a long approach. Its light weight and mobility also make it a great choice for sport climbing redpoints, and indeed we often see people sport climbing in this harness at the crag, though it is much more suited to climbing on the sharp end than belaying someone's project.


At 10 ounces for a size large, the Sitta is one of the lightest harnesses on the market, and certainly the lightest harness that includes a full set of features like large gear loops, ice clipper slots, and padding. With such a low weight and such great climbing performance, the Sitta quickly became our favorite harness when weight was a consideration, like for alpine climbing, hard redpoint attempts, and any climb with a long approach. The only compromise this harness makes for its low weight is diminished hanging comfort, which is rarely a concern but precludes us from bringing it on the steepest walls with lots of hanging belays. If you only want one harness that is an ideal choice for any style of climbing, the Sitta is a jack of all trades.

petzl sitta - trad, sport, alpine, ice, and mixed climbing are all possible with...
Trad, sport, alpine, ice, and mixed climbing are all possible with the Petzl Sitta.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Adjustability


The Sitta has a decent amount of adjustability, and plenty for most users. The waist belt offers a generous amount of length adjustment, making it easy to find the right size. The gear loops somehow manage to remain in the right place, no matter how tightly the waist belt is cinched.


One downside compared to other versatile options is the lack of adjustable leg loops. However, among the fixed-leg-loop harnesses we tested, this one has the largest range of stretch by far. We actually appreciate the weight and bulk savings by not having two extra buckles and webbing on our legs.

petzl sitta - the leg loops on this harness are fixed, but the elastic stretches...
The leg loops on this harness are fixed, but the elastic stretches more than any other in our test group. No matter how much clothing we were wearing, we never felt restricted.
Credit: Andy Wellman

Should You Buy the Petzl Sitta?


This harness retails for far more than any other harness in this review. But it is one of the only harnesses on the market that can be used for literally any climbing activity. So, while other harnesses cost less, users who participate in a wide range of climbing styles will actually save money by buying this versatile harness. If we had to recommend only one harness on the market to any given climber, the Sitta would be our choice. That said, if you're a fair-weather rock climber, you can find a more comfortable harness for less money that will suit you just fine.

petzl sitta - the petzl sitta is the perfect companion for alpine rock climbing.
The Petzl Sitta is the perfect companion for alpine rock climbing.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

What Other Climbing Harnesses Should You Consider?


The Petzl Sitta is the most versatile harness we have tested, largely due to its extremely low weight and amazing packability. However, the price tag will deter most users. If you are looking for an excellent harness that costs significantly less, the Petzl Sama is a downright bargain, but its use is limited to dry rock climbing. If you are looking for an even lighter-weight harness well-suited to all kinds of technical routes, the Blue Ice Choucas Pro is a great option for routes where hanging isn't part of the plan. And if you are looking for a super comfortable harness for the sport crag, the Black Diamond Solution is our favorite for sport and gym climbing and costs much less than the Sitta.

Jeff Dobronyi & Andy Wellman