climbing Travel

Petzl Sitta Harness | Blister Gear Review

Matt Zia reviews the Petzl Sitta Harness for Blister
Matt Zia reviews the Petzl Sitta Harness for Blister

Petzl Sitta Harness

Petzl Sitta

Said Weight: 240 g

Out there Sizes: S, M, L


  • Waist: 29” (73 cm)
  • Thigh circumference: 22” (56 cm)
  • Peak: 5’11”
  • Weight: 160 lbs

Measurement Examined: Small

Leg Loops: Fastened

Said Options:

  • Two very giant inflexible gear loops, movable separators optimize group
  • Two rear gear loops are versatile
  • Two slots for CARITOOL software holder
  • Rear loop for path line or for carrying belay station gear
  • Supplies: nylon, polyester, EVA, polyurethane, aluminum, high-modulus polyethylene

MSRP: $179.99

Check Places: Bozeman space, MT; Bugaboo Provincial Park, BC, Canada

Days Examined: ~40


The Petzl Sitta harness is an ultralight harness that weighs virtually as little as minimal glacier-travel harness. However in contrast to these different ultralight designs, the Sitta is designed to carry out throughout a variety of climbing disciplines, from sport climbing to alpinism. Whereas light-weight climbing gear is usually fascinating, within the case of harnesses, the trade-off in weight typically comes at the price of consolation, particularly whereas hanging for prolonged durations (e.g., a dangling belays on a multi-pitch or whereas projecting a sport route).

And when in comparison with different harnesses that retail within the vary of $60-$80, the Sitta is the harness equal of a Ferrari at $179.99. At that worth, my expectations have been sky-high for efficiency and luxury. So is it well worth the worth, and the way a lot (if any) consolation and performance does it sacrifice in trade for its low weight?

Weight and Comparisons

First, to get an concept of simply how mild the Sitta is, check out the said weights of another harnesses:

215 g Mammut Zephir Altitutde
224 g Black Diamond Imaginative and prescient
240 g Petzl Sitta
330 g Black Diamond Answer
340 g Arc’teryx SL-340
345 g Petzl Aquila
365 g Arc’teryx FL-365
376 g Black Diamond Technician
395 g Arc’teryx AR-395A
660 g Black Diamond Huge Gun

For reference, the Mammut Zephir Altitude is a really minimal glacier-travel harness, and the Black Diamond Imaginative and prescient is the one different harness on this record that comes near the load of the Sitta whereas additionally providing 4 gear loops and ice-clipper slots. And once you check out the load of a number of the different all-round harnesses on that record, you get an concept of simply how a lot weight Petzl managed to shave off with the Sitta. So how’d they do it?

Design and Supplies

Whereas trendy climbing harnesses just like the Sitta are beginning to seem like props from the set of a sci-fi film, the essential idea hasn’t modified since climbers first moved on from a bowline with the rope to a swami-belt webbing harness.

Most present climbing harnesses primarily include a loop of webbing across the waist that’s related to 2 extra loops across the legs. However this primary reality doesn’t cease corporations from regularly making an attempt to develop new methods to make harnesses extra snug and / or lighter.

The brand new designs which have hit the market comparatively just lately could be roughly cut up into two classes: harnesses utilizing a “split webbing” design and harnesses utilizing what I name a “load-bearing fibers” design. For what it’s value, each firm utilizing a “load bearing fibers” design calls the know-how one thing totally different, although the idea is identical (Arc’teryx calls it “Warp Strength Technology,” whereas Petzl calls it “Wireframe Technology”).

“Split webbing” designs usually use two unbiased items of webbing to distribute physique weight throughout a bigger floor space in comparison with a single piece of webbing. An instance of a “split webbing” harness is the Black Diamond Answer. “Load-bearing fiber” designs use some mixture of woven strands of a high-strength materials like Spectra throughout the whole width of the waist belt to realize the identical idea of weight distribution. Examples of “load-bearing fiber” designs embrace the Arc’teryx FL-365.

Matt Zia reviews the Petzl Sitta Harness for Blister

Matt Zia within the Petzl Sitta Harness on the crux pitch of Sendero Norte (5.12+, Grade IV), Snowpatch Spire, Bugaboo Provincial Park, BC. (photograph by Becky Switzer)

The Sitta is a “load-bearing fiber” design, using what Petzl’s Wireframe know-how, which is actually a collection of Excessive-Modulus Polyethylene (HMPE) strands operating alongside the waist and leg loops.

[Note: HMPE is the generic name for a family of materials commonly known as Spectra or Dyneema.]

One benefit of HMPE is that the fibers have a a lot larger strength-to-weight ratio than nylon, and this property permits the harness to be smaller and lighter than an equal harness that makes use of nylon webbing. The Sitta harness packs up almost as small as my glacier journey harness in my pack, a exceptional feat provided that the Sitta has much more options than super-minimal glacier harnesses.

Match and Consolation

With many harnesses, I occur to fall virtually precisely down the center of the dimensions cut up between a measurement Small and a measurement Medium, and Petzl sizing is not any totally different. I truly fall right into a measurement Small based mostly on waist measurement and a measurement Medium based mostly on thigh circumference. However given that a snug-fitting harness provides me the nice and cozy fuzzy feeling of safety, I typically go for the dimensions Small slightly than a Medium, which I did within the case of the Sitta.

Whereas hanging within the Sitta, I felt that the Spectra weave did an sufficient job of distributing strain throughout my legs and waist. I say sufficient as a result of no harness is completely snug to take a seat in for an prolonged interval, however I discover closely padded harnesses just like the Black Diamond Huge Gun or Misty Mountain Cadillac notably extra snug than light-weight harnesses just like the Sitta.

Matt Zia reviews the Petzl Sitta Harness for Blister

Matt Zia within the Petzl Sitta Harness at a dangling belay on Sunshine Crack, Snowpatch Spire, Bugaboo Provincial Park, BC. (photograph by Becky Switzer)

That stated, when in comparison with different light-weight harnesses just like the previous Arc’teryx SL-220 or the Black Diamond Answer, I assumed the Sitta was extra snug and I didn’t want to regulate my stance as typically to maintain my legs from going numb. Nonetheless, I might not need to take the Sitta as my harness if anticipating prolonged hanging belays.


Leg Loops

The leg loops on the Sitta are a hard and fast measurement with an elastic part permitting for a variety of match. My legs are literally previous the higher finish of the dimensions vary, however I nonetheless felt like I had an inch or two of room, and I didn’t really feel just like the leg loops have been overly pinching or in any other case hindering my legs. The leg loops are related to the waist loop by a pair of stretchy cords within the again. The twine does have a small buckle, permitting the consumer to drop the seat and…ehrm, do some enterprise…without having to take away the harness solely.

One word concerning the leg loops: though the Sitta is marketed as an all-around harness appropriate for alpine and mountaineering, the fastened leg loops imply one can’t put the harness on with each ft on the bottom. Moreover, the leg loops aren’t adjustable with a buckle and gained’t increase to simply match over a pair of crampons as soon as they’re in your ft. The straightforward answer to that is to all the time put your harness on first, however typically circumstances warrant crampons earlier than harness. In these instances, I’ve been capable of wiggle my crampon clad ft by way of the leg loops whereas sitting down, however it’s not one thing I’d need to try whereas standing. And since you’ll be able to’t put the harness on with out choosing up your ft, the Sitta isn’t the only option for a ski mountaineering harness.


There’s no worse feeling than pulling crux strikes a number of hundred ft off the bottom and questioning in case your harness continues to be cinched down. The Sitta has just one buckle on the waist loop — an auto-doubleback aluminum buckle just like that discovered on most trendy harnesses. In contrast to some harnesses I’ve used from different corporations, I by no means skilled the Sitta’s buckle loosening or slipping unexpectedly.

Ice Clipper Slots

The Sitta is provided with a pair of ice-clipper slots positioned simply contained in the rear of the entrance gear loops to simply accept an ice clipper just like the Petzl Caritool. Whereas I haven’t but had the prospect to check the harness whereas mountaineering, I climbed ice on September 22nd final yr in Montana, so it gained’t be lengthy till I get to swing ice instruments once more and I’ll replace this evaluate as needed.

Gear Loops

The Sitta has two outsized, semi-rigid gear loops that sit simply ahead of the midline, two smaller, versatile gear loops set on the again of the hips, and a single haul loop within the middle of the again. All of the gear loops and the haul loop are rated to a max load of 5 kilograms and will not be “load-bearing” (i.e., you shouldn’t hold your physique weight on them, that’s until you weigh lower than 5 kg…).

Probably the most notable function of the entrance gear loops is a small plastic divider that may slide ahead or again on the loop to separate the outsized loop into two separate smaller loops. Whereas the complete loop continues to be a singular piece, the divider permits for simpler group of drugs.

Once I’m outdoors climbing lengthy routes, I sometimes carry roughly a double rack of cams from fingers to huge palms (equal to a Black Diamond #.three or #.four to #three), plus a few small cams, and perhaps a much bigger piece or two, relying on the route. And that’s all along with at the very least a set of stoppers and a pile of alpine attracts. Add in my anchor package of a number of lockers, a belay system, a sling or two, and perhaps a bit of twine, and also you’ve obtained a reasonably substantial quantity of stuff to hold on the harness.

I discovered that the primary gear loops (the large ones) on the Sitta have been fairly near maxed out on area when carrying that measurement of a rack. My M.O. is to rack cams on my entrance gear loops and stoppers and attracts on my second gear loops, so the transition to racking each on the identical loop, albeit with the plastic divider, required a slight psychological adjustment on my half.

Matt Zia reviews the Petzl Sitta Harness for Blister

Petzl Sitta Harness

Usually talking, I used to be glad with the outcome. However one space of concern is just having that a lot weight hanging off a single loop of webbing. I’ve seen a number of companions lose a part of a rack to the bottom from a gear loop breaking, and so I’m a bit leery of counting on a single piece of skinny nylon and plastic to maintain my rack on my physique.

When absolutely loaded, I observed that the inflexible core of the gear loop seemed to be flattening away from the waist belt of the harness, leading to a noticeable mushy spot between the harness and the gear loop. A single set of cams racked on a single gear loop isn’t near the 5 kg working load restrict said within the Petzl tech guide for the harness, in order that weight shouldn’t trigger the gear loop to fail, however the thought has been behind my thoughts, particularly when main an extended pitch.

Apart from my considerations with load capability and sturdiness, my solely different gripe with the gear loops on the Sitta was the location relative to one another and relative to my hips. To me, the again gear loops felt like they have been too far again for straightforward entry. I like with the ability to attain to only behind my hip and entry no matter is on my again gear loop while not having to fumble or contort my physique into some superior yoga pose simply to get a locking carabiner. Particularly when sporting a pack (even a small one), I assumed the again gear loops have been much less accessible than I’d want. The place of the again gear loops additionally signifies that they’re shut to one another on the again of the harness and cramp the situation of the haul loop, making it simpler to tangle a tagline within the materials clipped to the loops.

Pack Compatibility

Once I’m climbing, I hate sporting a pack, however settle for it as a necessity on some lengthy routes (particularly within the alpine). I wore the Sitta whereas sporting all the things from a small Black Diamond Velocity 30 chief pack to my massive Wild Issues Andinista 70L pack. With a small pack on, all of the gear loops stayed accessible. Whereas sporting my 70L pack on a glacier, the rear gear loops flattened comfortably underneath the waist belt, however the entrance gear loops required some finagling to suit comfortably. Almost each harness has an identical problem although, so nothing stood out a method or one other concerning the Sitta when it got here to pack compatibility. Ethical of the story: if on a strictly glacier-travel journey or ski journey, contemplate bringing a harness just like the Black Diamond Couloir or Petzl Altitude as they sit rather more comfortably underneath a pack.


I’ll be the primary to confess — I don’t take too many whippers on my harnesses. So whereas a devoted sport climber might put on out the exhausting factors of a harness in a single season, I’ve but to need to retire a harness for that purpose. On the flip aspect, I do a good bit of groveling up chimneys, off-widths, and different blue-collar climbing. And whereas I won’t put on out the exhausting factors, I’ve core-shot a belay loop earlier than from scumming up a desert chimney.

Matt Zia reviews the Petzl Sitta Harness for Blister

Matt Zia within the Petzl Sitta Harness on South Howser Tower, Bugaboos, BC. (photograph by Becky Switzer)

So with that caveat, I’ve but to see any vital put on on the Sitta harness. Apart from my concern concerning the structural integrity of the gear loops, in addition to regular accumulation of dust and dirt, the Sitta appears model new after ~40 days of use. Using HDPE wrapping across the arduous factors and belay loop appears to be dwelling as much as their claims of accelerating sturdiness by decreasing put on from rope friction.

Backside Line

The Petzl Sitta is a wonderful light-weight harness that performs nicely throughout all climbing disciplines. Whereas I’ve some private preferences that the Sitta doesn’t completely align with (primarily within the configuration of the gear loops), these don’t detract from the consolation or the general efficiency of the harness.

However is the Sitta’s consolation, weight, and efficiency value an additional $100 when in comparison with finances harnesses? That’s a query that you simply’ll have to reply by taking a look at your private priorities. For me, $100 buys fuel from my home in Bozeman to the Bugaboos. Or two weeks of meals in Indian Creek. Or a well-constructed, high-performance, light-weight harness that may stand as much as heavy use throughout a variety of climbing disciplines. For me, I feel the Sitta’s value is justified because it provides me one harness to make use of for all my climbing pursuits, and it additionally occurs to be one of many lightest all-round harnesses available on the market.


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