Harness: Arc?Teryx r320 Harness
Every now ang again somebody in the climbing worked comes up with something truly revolutionary. Arc’Teryx have done just that with their WARP technology. It’s a simple concept, and one which has no doubt been tried before, but these guys have perfected it. Imagine a regular piece of webbing: it is made up of interwoven vertical and horizontal fibres. The vertical fibred are really only there to keep the horizontal ones in place, and give very little, if any, strength to the webbing. They have thus removed these vertical fibres, thus massively decreasing the volume and weight of the webbing, but more importantly, allowing the horizontal ones to be fanned out into a much broader and even thinner web. The whole things is then laminated with some clever bendy plastic and coated in a very thin layer of foam to create an extremely thin, lightweight, strong, and evenly loaded web which is the harness! Simple and effective.
Not content with such a ground breaking step they’ve added a few more features that make it without doubt the best harness ever built. The plastic gear loops are removable and reversible allowing you to rack your gear facing forwards or backwards. The buckles are extremely small, with a complete set of rounded edges to minimise wear, and very easy to use.
What’s it actually like to wear and use. Well there are plenty of reports that people have commented that it’s almost like wearing nothing, and it’s easy to see why. However this is no ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ story. It genuinely does weigh a mere 320g, and is barely noticeable. It’s very comfortable indeed, and really does spread the load evenly when weighted so there are no sore spots after hanging for a while in the same place. I’ve converted.
You may be interested to know that there are others in the range:
x350a (traditional climbing, 350g, adjustable leg loops)
r320 / r280 (mountaineering, 320g / 280g (men / women))
a300a (all-rounder, 300g, adjustable leg loops)
s240 (sport, 240g!)
Reviewed by Matt Heason on behalf of planetFear