MAMMUT MANA HARNESS $69.95
I liken Mammut’s new lightweight Mana harness to a reverse G-string—in front, you’ll notice the provocative and stringy cordage used for the belay and leg loops, while the back is all business: a functional and supportive swami belt that is wider than most. Shedding weight in all the right places, the Mana clocks in at 9.88 ounces, which weighs less than a small cup of coffee. Some lightweight harnesses, such as those made for “alpine” situations, are totally uncomfortable: the webbing is flat, thin and not ergonomically cut. Not so with the Mana. The swami belt widens to four inches at the small of the back, which makes belaying some hangdogging greenhorn, or taking a 30-footer because you didn’t clip the last bolt on your proj, a refreshingly comfortable experience.
My partner’s first reaction to the Mana was, “You’re going to belay me off that floss?” A half-inch-wide swath of Spectra comprises the belay loop. In fact, Spectra is stiff, durable and stronger than steel. Also, the belay loop is doubled up and longitudinally stitched together.
One thing to check out is the placement of the gear loops, which are positioned way back, right below your kidneys. If you’re the type who prefers gear to be back out of the way, this harness does the job. If you like your draws up front, this might not be the rig for you.
Mammut recommends the Mana as a sport or gym-climbing harness due to its light weight, but I would add that this makes it a great alpine or ice-climbing harness, too. Though the Mana doesn’t have adjustable leg loops, I’ve never needed to adjust the leg size for any situation, ever. While I wouldn’t bring the Mana up El Cap, it’s a great harness, worth its weight in gold. Mammut.com.