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Climbing Harnesses

C.A.M.P. Quartz

The C.A.M.P. Quartz is a four-gear-loop, all-around harness that is comfortable and versatile.

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camp-Quartz-0310-08.jpgC.A.M.P. Quartz $69.95
★★★★ 15 ounces

A beefy four millimeters of EVA foam in the waist belt form the backbone of this harness, making it nice to sit in during hanging belays, dogging sessions or while you belay a hangdogging partner. The foam, however, became sweaty throughout the day, especially if I went shirtless. On cooler days it was great.

The Quartz has perhaps the best leg loops of any harness I’ve worn, thanks to the Auto Fit leg-loop design. Instead of using buckles, or a fixed leg-loop width, the Auto Fit has two sliding loops that hitch around your thighs like tie-offs, allowing an inch or so of give and take. The result is a leg loop that is loose and unobtrusive when you’re standing around, but when the harness is weighted the loop cinches the perfect amount around your thigh.

The elastic strips that attach the leg loops to the back of the waist belt affix to two separate points, which seems to greatly help in keeping the leg loops in place and working well. Adjusting the elastic strip is a bit difficult while the harness is on, but that’s no big deal, as you theoretically only need to adjust it once. I also thought the gear loops were flimsy, and prefer loops that stay in place, as it makes taking draws on and off easier.

Another interesting feature on all C.A.M.P. harnesses is the No Twist belay loop, where a tiny slit has been constructed between the belay loop’s bar tacks to thread your belay/rappel locking biner. You clip through the slit and the loop grips your carabiner, preventing it from cross-loading. In theory, anyway. I found it so difficult to thread a biner through the slit I eventually quit using it.

The Quartz uses pre-threaded webbing to cinch down the waist belt (yes!)—its action is very smooth and easy, but the tail of the webbing is too long. The Quartz comes in a fully adjustable version (Quartz CR), and a women’s version (Jade). The Quartz CR is heavier (17 ounces) because of its adjustable leg loops and two waist belt buckles (why?). Getting the adjustable leg loops sacrifices the super-cool Auto Fit design on the regular Quartz, but maybe you like having buckles on your legs.