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Petzl Sitta Harness Review

Dave Wetmore is such a man stud, I mean really good climber. But for realz, with all his studly prowess, Dave was able to complete a new line at Magic Wood in New Hampshire’s Pawtuckaway State Park call Lost Nation (V11).  “Good looks really help you climb hard boulder problems,” Wetmore didn’t say ever. “I am really proud of this boulder problem and the good looks it took to get to the top.” Backmattress Media was there to catch it all on film. The outtakes are amazing. Nice work fellas.
www.boulderingonline.pl Rock climbing and bouldering pictures and news petzl-sittaSecond only to climbing shoes, a light and comfortable harness is probably the piece of gear I value the most. An ill-fitting harness means you’ll be uncomfortable all day long, from belaying and taking falls to hanging out at belays on multipitch routes. And while I’m less concerned with how much it weighs, the less space it takes up in my pack, the better.
With all this in mind, I was instantly intrigued by the Petzl Sitta. Promising to be lightweight, comfortable and svelte, it seemed too good to be true. And looking at it, it was hard to imagine where the comfort would come from. There was minimal material, and it looked rather flimsy. So how did Petzl pull it off?
The magic is made possible by the Wireframe construction, which uses thin bands of Spectra in the waistbelt and leg loops, and eliminates the need for bulky and heavy foam. It also serves to distribute the weight evenly, and I’ve been shocked by how comfortable it is around my bony hips, expecting it to dig in given it’s small profile. Other’s have said the same, and consensus seems to be that in spite of it’s size it ranks near the top of the comfort category when compared to all the harnesses currently on the market.
The tie in points and belay loop are Dyneema, and so far are showing little wear. For those who want to use this for ice or alpine climbing, there are two ice clipper slots, though as noted elsewhere their position is a bit strange. The leg loops are held up by small elastic bands, and there is even a haul loop on the back.

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I’ve used this rig for sport climbing as well as bolting routes, and for both I was happily comfortable. It’s so minimal it takes up little space in your pack, and leaves room for more fun things, like better snacks, fizzy waters, etc. The gear loop organizer thingies feel superfluous, though maybe the alpine crowd has a use for them? I know some people have just cut them off, but they are also easy to push out of the way if they bother you. If only we could get rid of annoying politicians so easily.

I’ve spent a couple days ice climbing in it, which is one of the main uses it was designed for. With all that extra clothing on, the comfort is as a good as it gets, though personally I prefer bigger gear loops when I’m wearing gloves and have reduced dexterity. The mixed climbers out there will probably love it though. I haven’t done any trad climbing with it, and I can’t speak to how durable it is for scumming up corners and more blue collar climbing situations.
My only complaint is that for me the non-adjustable leg loops on my size medium are too big, and I feel I have pretty normal “climber” legs. For what it’s worth, a friend who has the same harness thought the leg loops too small, but he is a beast of a man with forearms the size of my quads, so maybe he’s the anomaly? Regardless, it’s something to take into account, as sometimes lowering a climber that was equal in weight or heavier than I would cause the loops to dig into my inner thigh/groin area uncomfortably.
If you can get past the high price, a stout $159.95, this is one of the best harness currently available. And if the top combination of lightweight and comfort is high on your priority list, then the Petzl Sitta is certainly worth a look.
Retail: $159.95
Weight: 9.5 oz (Size M)
Sizes: S-L
Ideal use: Sport climbing, alpinism, mixed climbing
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