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Climbing Harnesses

Beal Ghost

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MSRP: $110

My criteria for reviewing a harness—or any gear for that matter—is that I really like it. Most harnesses are average, but I respect what Beal has done with their Ghost harness. For a year straight, climbing two to three times a week, I’ve been using it.

A harness is something you shouldn’t notice, i.e., if you notice it, something is usually wrong. For instance, saggy leg-loops. With the Beal Ghost, I don’t have that problem, courtesy of an alpine-harness-inspired design with two Dyneemas and an elastic sewn-in loop system. Simple. Effective. My leg loops haven’t sagged yet. As for buckling and unbuckling the thing—which can be really annoying—the Ghost stays perma-threaded, tight throughout a session and there are two convenient loops to keep the extra tail out of the way of your gear. Two ice clipper slots adorn each side.

I’m a low-end medium and high-side small, and the sizing is right on the money. If I shed a few more lbs to send the proj, I’d be a small. Where the Ghost might find its limitations are on big trad routes—i.e., hanging belays—since it is a padding minimalist, and it will dig into your hips after extended periods of hanging; on the other hand, a light harness on big days pays dividends as well, and the lack of bulkiness makes it all the more packable in the alpine. The belay loop, it is doubled-over Dyneema, which, unlike wide belay loops, makes it dexterous and optimal for small ’biners.

The front gear loops are rigid (plastic encased) while the rear ones are soft, which isn’t ideal when you’re carrying, say, a triple set of cams, but nice if you are wearing a pack—the rear loops don’t dig into th your hips.

Beal says the Ghost is for “expert climbing and mountaineering,” which I’m not so sure of. If by expert you mean a thoughtful, well-designed harness, then yes, but the Ghost is a fine entry-level harness as well as a project harness, when weight really matters. At 8.8 ounces, it is in the lightweight category, and yet after all the whips I’ve taken on it, it ranks high on my durability scale. There are less expensive harnesses out there, but there are more expensive ones. At $110, Ghost is very hard to beat.

Francis Sanzaro

Beal Ghost Harness

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