Petzl Sitta Harness | | $199.95 | ★★★★★
When fashion designer Rudi Gernreich invented the thong in 1974, it changed the world forever. Who knew so little material could be functional? Similarly, the Petzl Sitta looks barely there, but it is one of the lightest, most comfortable, full-featured harnesses ever made.
The Sitta weighs a feathery 8.5 ounces (size small). To achieve such lightweight, the harnesse’s waistbelt and leg loops (non-adjustable) use Spectra strands for strength—Petzl calls this Wireframe Technology. The Spectra strands spread pressure evenly and eliminate the need for foam padding. If this sounds leg-numbingly painful, think again. The Sitta is as comfy as some padded harnesses and more comfortable than others.
Also unique to the Sitta, the two front gear loops (ridged) each have a sliding cord divider. This keeps critical gear forward, and helps with organization. If you don’t like the feature, you can slide the dividers (with a little force) to the back and out of the way, or opt for a more permanent surgical procedure. Two smaller, soft gear loops—to make climbing with a pack easier—and a haul loop round out the back of the harness.
Ice climbers: The Sitta has a slot for ice clippers (Caritools) on each side. These are positioned inside the first gear loop and cause a jumble and gobble up gear-loop real estate, but function nonetheless.
For the business portion of the harness, the Sitta has a skinny, 100-percent Dyneema belay loop and Dyneema-reinforced tie-in points. These are lighter and can take more of a beating, abrasion-wise, than their nylon counterparts.
Despite the “high end” label, this harness isn’t just for die-hard sport climbers gunning for a redpoint. The Sitta is an ultralight all-arounder— excellent for sport, trad, water ice, mountaineering, and alpine. At $159.95, it’s expensive, but it’ll be the only harness you need until someone takes Gernreich’s lead one step further. Unikini anyone?
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