Arc'teryx I340a Harness
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A very lightweight harness that is useful for a broad…
Source: bought via a "pro deal"
A very lightweight harness that is useful for a broad range of activities.
- Small pack size
- Fifth gear loop
- Sloppy gear loops
- Loose ice clipper slots (fixed in latest model)
I've had a I 340a harness for two years now. It's been my go-to for a lot of different activities. I've used it for pretty much every alpine style climb I've been on. From days climbing ice at the crag around Canmore, to big multiday glacier ski mountaineering trips across the Wapta, mountaineering trips up neve gullies on Mt. Matier, to alpine rock on Bugaboo Spire this harness has seen it all.
Its chief success is that it is very lightweight and packable. The whole harness fits down into a bag that is less than a litre of volume, making it just a tad bigger then a specialty ultralight harness. Despite this it is a robust harness that shows only minor signs of wear despite its significant use. The soft inner material feels good and breathes well in summer, and I've never had a problem of saturation in winter.
The dual buckles are easy to get into, and take apart easily so that you can put the harness on simply without lifting your legs. A handy feature for sure. I like that it also has a rear gear loop. I use this to rack all my non-climbing pieces, so spare cord, rescue pulleys, prussiks, and the anchor building material.
But I do have a few gripes. The new AR harnesses have solved my first one which is that the dice clipper slots were too loose. However the new harnesses still have the slots too far forward on the harness, just above your thigh. I find that screws racked there tend to snag on my pants and cause rips.
My second issue is something with all Arc'teryx harnesses. The gear loops dont work well with a full trad rack. The weight keeps the floppy loops tighter against the body, and the angle of the plastic loops slides gear forward making it a challenge to remove individual pieces at they are being weighed down by all the pieces behind it. For ice and stuff where I am carrying an alpine rack this doesn't make much of a difference, but for any proper ttad climb I leave his fellow home.
Lastly, I am a very skinny guy. Moving, and climbing I generally find this harness comfortable. Hanging in it though is a pain. Hanging belays are the worst. I actually got scars from one very long day out. The theory that the surface area means less pressure in any one spot works, if you are wider hipped. If you have narrow protruding boney hips, then all the pressure sits on the protrusion.
Someone at Arc'teryx propagates this false idea. It's in all their packs too. I've talked to reps about it. Many of my customers will not buy Arc'teryx for exactly this reason.