The Alpinist Mountain Standards reviews apply Alpinist's tradition of excellence and authenticity to gear reviews by providing unbiased, candid feedback and anecdotal commentary to equipment tested (hard) in the field. Our panel is comprised of climbers who use the gear every day as part of their work and play. Only the gear they would actually buy themselves, at retail price, qualifies for the Alpinist Mountain Standards award. The five-star rating system is as follows:
One Star = Piece of junk.
Two Stars = Has one or more significant flaws, with some redeeming qualities.
Three Stars = Average. This solid piece of gear is middle-of-the-road on the current market.
Four Stars = Better than most comparable gear on the market. It has one or two drawbacks, but still 90% positive.
Five Stars = Is there such thing as perfection? An Alpinist Mountain Standards award-winner.
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Petzl Luna Harness: Everything a Woman Wants
Posted on: August 27, 2007
Weight: 425 grams (women's medium)
In the midst of searching for the right lightweight alpine harness for this season, Alpinist's call to review the Petzl Luna couldn't have come at a better time. Out of the slick mesh bag it comes packed in, my first critical look quickly revealed that the harness had the features I desired: lightweight and compact; four gear loops that would be compatible with wearing a pack; adjustable leg loops; a full-strength loop in the back for a tag line; and mesh construction that offers enhanced breathability. I've had the harness for over a month and used it for typical guiding days in the Tetons, where its lightness and breathability is an asset.
My search for the right harness was primarily for later in the season for long routes in the Cascades and preparing for my AMGA Alpine Exam. From the pitches I've gotten in it so far, I can tell it's going to be the right harness for the job. I have always been impressed with Petzl's harnesses, which have led the pack for nearly a decade with their patented buckle system, and this one steps up to provide a lightweight, compact model that alpinists need.
That the Luna is women's specific is a total bonus. The Luna is the women's equivalent to Petzl's new and improved men's Adjama. They've increased the rise and added more support in the back for the feminine physique. It feels as good as it looks sexy. Petzl has blended a woven polyester 3D mesh with more rigid polyethylene/EVA foam and perforated closed cell foam to make a rigid system that combines support and breathability.
Their patented double-back buckle system is relatively easy to undo completely when you may need to put the harness on while wearing skis. They've made the belay loop green to clearly identify it as the strongest point on the harness and the correct point to attach the belay or rappel device. Additionally they've added a slot on each side of the harness to accept their Caritool ice screw/tool clips, which is awesome. Overall, the Luna feels good on, is comfortable to hang in, is small when it has to go in the pack and feels like the right harness for long routes in the mountains, where every ounce counts.
The only downside I can find so far is the placement of the gear loops. They are situated farther back on the harness than I like, but the materials used to make them compatible with wearing a pack make up for it. At $79.95 retail, this harness is a great value. Although it will excel as a lightweight alpine harness, it has all the features to make it versatile enough for sport climbing and trad as well.
Pros: Women-specific and comfortable fit; easy buckle system; compactable and lightweight for the alpine; great value
Cons: Gear loops are placed relatively far back for my liking