Review: Petzl Aquila Climbing Harness

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“When you’re wearing a new harness and you forget that you have it on, you know it fits,” one tester explained after a grueling session at Smith Rock’s Lower Gorge. “It’s low-profile, supple, and moves with you as you climb.“ But the real performance chops were revealed when it came to hanging for long rests. The contoured waistbelt has an ergonomic cut that cradles the hips with extra width, but in the front it’s incredibly narrow so it won’t dig into your belly when hangdogging. Testers experienced zero hot spots, pressure points, rubbing, or chafing, even on first wear. Reinforced Dyneema at the tie-in points and belay loop adds enough durability for hundreds of falls while keeping overall weight low. Smaller rear gear loops decrease functionality slightly, making this ideal for sport climbs where testers only racked on the front two loops. Plus, the gear loops are designed to push everything forward, so it’s easy to snatch the last draw for desperate anchor clipping. Mesh-covered padding offered a lot of breathability for sweaty gym sessions, and it dried quickly when one tester got caught in a Pacific Northwest rainstorm.

Conclusion

Choose this for any bolt-clipping you might do, as well as gym climbing and redpointing single-pitch trad climbs. It’s not as minimalist as many sport-specific rigs, but it’s way easier to wear for long hours.

$125; 12.1 oz.; petzl.com

Further Reading
Review: Our top 5 Climbing Harnesses