The new 2013 Sama Harness is the full package and looks awesome to boot! Not only is it affordable, coming in at a very reasonable suggested retail price of $69.95 Canadian, but it is super comfortable, lightweight, and comes with the signature Petzl harness bag.
Disclaimer, I might be slightly bias towards Petzl products because I am sponsored athlete but I strongly believe they are the best products on the market.
I have had the pleasure of using this harness for a month or so now. I am currently working a sport route which puts the 2013 Sama through the normal tests such as: hang dogging, boing-ing, taking big whippers, and long belays. The comfort and weight make it feel like it's not even there. This comfort comes from the contoured waist belt, dubbed EndoFrame Construction. The waist belt is wider on the sides and narrower on the front and back. They claim this helps distribute your weight more evenly for greater comfort and I second that claim.
The DoubleBack Light buckle is easy to use and gets the harness as tight as you want it with little effort. One nice features is the waist belt strap holder, a little piece of material that holds the tightened strap and keeps it from getting in the way of your gear loop. You might be thinking how could that be an important feature? Well, I have had countless harness over my 18 year climbing career and this seems to be challenging for some companies to master. Either the strap slot or holder is too tight, making it a far greater effort than it's worth to get the webbing into holder, or it's very loose and the strap falls out and gets in the way of your gear. The last thing I want when I am pumped silly and reaching for a cam, is to get hung up in the waist belt strap. This is actually a pet peeve of mine. I was very happy to find that the Sama's version of the strap holder works very well. It's easy to fit the webbing into the holder and it holds it until you open your harness at the end of the day.
Although, Petzl claims the Sama to be a 'Sport Climbing' harness I found it worked great for gear climbing as well. With 4 large gear loops there is plenty of room for large amounts of gear for those long splitter cracks in Indian Creek or long pitches up the Stawamus Chief in Squamish.
I have been using an Arc'Teryx M-275 LT Harness (or similar version) for the past few years. This harness is lighter, weighing in at 280 g but I found it not as comfortable as the new Petzl Sama. And of course there is the price difference! Arc'Teryx M-275 LT retails for $130, that is a whopping $60 more than the Sama!
- Very comfortable
- Looks great and lets be honest that makes a difference
- Reasonably priced
- Lots of room for gear
- The colour, if you are not a fan of standing out at the crag then you might want to get a different less flashy harness.
- What to do with the little bag it comes in? I am far to lazy to put it away in the bag after every use.
If you are looking for a new harness this climbing season that is comfortable, lightweight, and priced very competitively, then look no more! I who highly recommend the new 2013 Petzl Sama and hope you find my review useful in your decision.
Here are some specs:
- Colour - bright eye catching red
- Size Tested - medium
- Weight - 370 g
- 4 Gear Loops
- Elastic Leg Loops
- Rear Haul Loop
- Endoframe - contoured waist belt
For more information click here: Petzl Sama 2013