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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Mammut Togir Light Harness: A Compact Compromise
Posted on: June 12, 2010
Weight: 350 grams
Mammut's new Togir Light is the most recent offering in a "new wave" of climbing harnesses that integrate foam and stretched webbing to form what is promised as a lighter and more comfortable design than harnesses of the past. The Togir Light joins similar offerings from Arc'Teryx and Black Diamond but features a suggested retail price of $80—a far cry from the $125-$145 you'd pay for models of the other two brands.
For its price tag, the Togir Light has a great set of features. The low-profile design allows for natural, unrestricted movement. No matter the terrain, from full-value days in the Black Canyon to overhanging clip-ups on the Front Range, the waist and leg loops fit well, never chaffing or digging in. It's light and compact even with four well-constructed gear loops (some similar models have only two).
Yet a few drawbacks are hard to ignore. While the four full-size gear loops are nice, they rest too far back to be very useful. I have a model that's the proper size, but I constantly have to crane my neck to see my gear. For sport climbing, I only need and use the two forward gear loops, and that alone almost convinces me to clip bolts more often. The Togir Light also has one characteristic that climbers won't find anywhere else: a patented U-shaped piece of plastic that prevents excessive wear of the lower tie-in point, where the leg loops connect. It prevents the rope and belay loop from rubbing on that webbing, but I found this stiff piece of plastic unnecessary—the harness already features a brightly colored wear indicator. At hanging belays and on falls, the rope would sometimes slide to one side of the "protector," weighting one leg awkwardly and uncomfortably.
The Mammut harness also weighs slightly more than its cousin, the Arc'Teryx R-320, by about 30 grams, or one wiregate 'biner. And in comparison, the Togir Light seemed slightly less comfortable when rappelling or enduring a hanging belay.
Like other models of similar construction, the Togir Light lends itself to long approaches. It's relatively comfortable to wear while hiking and easily compresses into a pack's last remaining nook. But while I like the Togir, for alpine days I can't bring myself to use it in place of my C.A.M.P. Air harness, a much-overlooked model that is far lighter and less expensive. As an all-around harness with some nice technology on display, the Togir Light is a smart alternative to pricier offerings. But for a dedicated cragging harness or an ultra-light alpine model, it does little to stand above the competition.
Pros: Lightweight; low profile; inexpensive compared to similar models by other brands; nice all-around harness but does not excel at any one discipline.
Cons: Gear loops sit too far back; not as comfortable as similar models for descending; tie-in protector is redundant and can be uncomfortable.