Pros and Cons
Filed under:Climbing & Mountaineering, Gear reviews, Harnesses, climbing harness, Petzl Fly review
Will Harris puts Petzl’s lightest ever harness through its paces
The newly-released Fly is Petzl’s lightest harness, designed to be light enough for racing uphill on skis whilst maintaining the versatility to also be used on more technical alpine climbing ground. It weighs in at just 130g in a size medium, with padding that can be removed to bring that down to 100g. When you first pick it up the featherweight feel is really surprising!
Petzl have managed to strip the weight right back by removing all metal parts, and to do this whilst maintaining adjustable waist and leg loops they’ve come up with some innovative solutions. The non-weight bearing elasticated strap that keeps the harness up when you’re not tied to a rope has a neat plastic toggle system, and the leg loops are connected by a larkfooted cord system. Both systems are simple and effective, allowing the harness to be put on without taking your feet off the floor.
To our knowledge the Fly is the lightest harness on the market that has enough gear loops to make it a functional harness for both ski touring and glacial mountaineering. There are some lighter models that weigh as little as 80g, but these are all extremely specialised pieces of kit for ski-mo racing. As with all super-lightweight gear, there are inevitable trade-offs, with some functionality stripped to save weight. The Fly does what it’s designed for incredibly well, but it’s not designed for steep climbing and its lack of padding becomes immediately obvious when abseiling. We won’t be using this harness for steeper alpine routes where hanging belays and multiple abseils are likely, but for less technical routes and ski mountaineering objectives it works as well as any of its heavier competitors.
More info: www.petzl.com