On a recent trip to Thailand I took Petzl’s Selena Harness. Having tried it on at home I was happy with the initial sizing, but wary that it might not be comfortable enough for 3 weeks of constant sport climbing, I packed my old trusty too…just in case. After climbing for a few days and once I had blown away the cobwebs, I pulled it out of the bag and took it with me to a crag that had some short pumpy routes. I hadn’t had time to read any reviews of the harness before I left, so I had no idea if it was designed for sport/trad/big walls or how long it had been around for. I was excited to try it out.
Testing the Selena on ‘Lars and Lars’ F7a
© Rachael Garner
At first glance my particular harness looks very feminine; with lilac and white colouring. Not usually my style to be honest but it matched some quickdraws I recently bought and being a bit girly in that regard, I was pretty happy about that . My version has four gear loops, fixed leg loops and a pre-threaded double back waist buckle which I prefer, as it makes it easy and quick to put on and helps prevent any careless mishaps.
So how was it?
Well, first and foremost it is comfortable, very comfortable. Once you put the harness on you can easily forget you are wearing it. Belaying for an 80KG guy whilst he was hanging on the rope for minutes at a time was as comfy as I could have hoped for, as was redpointing my own sports projects. It allowed complete freedom of movement and didn’t in any way feel restrictive when climbing. The load is spread effectively and after long sessions there was no sign of any unwanted ‘digging in’ anywhere.
All of my previous harnesses from Petzl have been male fitting in a size small. This is my first women’s harness and the small fitted me perfectly at both the waist and the leg loops. With the leg loops being fixed I wouldn’t want to be gaining any weight anytime soon as they could quite easily become too tight, there was plenty of room to play around with at the waist however.
First route wearing the harness, ‘Langes Feschti’, F6b+. Super comfortable!
© Mark Hebberd
The weather in Thailand was hot and humid and the harness did an awesome of getting rid of sweat and maintaining breathability. The only thing that I have to say that doesn’t sing the harness’s praises was regarding the gear loops; they are well placed but the slightly angled shape means that the gear can end up slipping forwards. Although most of the routes in Thailand were overhanging, this didn’t pose too much of a concern, though on delicate slabs this could perhaps be an issue if the gear ends up getting in the way. Plus, the choice to make the belay loop a light colour could have been better thought through, mine is now more of a dirty shade of grey and I’m guessing before the years out it will end up black!
Selena front shot
© Rachael Garner
This is a great sport climbing harness. It is light, aesthetic, super comfortable, well made, and offers great freedom of movement. The fit and level of comfort has changed my perspective on women’s harnesses.
girlcrushrock’s climber Maddie Stocks is currently sat on the sofa in Dubai, waiting patiently (ish) for the weather to cool so she can go out there and crush! She’s hoping 2012 will be her best climbing season to date…watch this space!
The Petzl Selena Harness was provided by TRAKS – sole distributers for Petzl in the United Arab Emirates