Top Gear #23 - Petzl Altitude Harness
Petzl has always been an innovator and, with the exception of a couple of design blips along the way, we love their products. The Altitude harness is another example of their ability to bring new ideas to fruition. It is the first harness to incorporate Dyneema into a full strength harness and, by using such ultralight materials, it is (as far as I know) the world’s lightest harness at only 150 grams.
The Altitude was created for ski mountaineering, high altitude climbing or fast and light mountaineering and has a full feature set. A full strength belay loop, speed buckle, gear loops (although they are simple tape loops and gear is best racked Yosemite style), it has great adjustability and has handy features like a couple of ice screw immobilisers.
The stats and features are impressive, but it is actually the way such a light harness can offer such incredible comfort and superb performance that makes the Altitiude stand out. The ultra thin unpadded Dyneema waist belt and leg loops look like they would be uncomfortable, but infact they are great. The Dyneema is also stiff enough to keep its shape and they are broad enough to spread the load. The thin tape also means the harness sits unnoticeably under a rucksack. The low absorbent fabric also ensures the harness absorbs minimal water which is perfect in winter conditions, it is easy to get on or off when wearing crampons and it packs up (storage bag supplied) really small. It has everything really!
The Altitude is a superb product and Petzl definitely deserve full marks. It retails for around £60 and the video below gives a clear view of its many features.
Posted by Paul
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