(4 out of 5)
The Petzl Sama harness is a solid all-around harness for sport climbing and multi-pitch climbing but works well for trad climbing as well. It offers up good comfort and updated features like low profile gear loops and padded leg loops. Overall, this is a solid choice for anyone in the market for a new harness looking for a good all-around option.
We had been wearing a Black Diamond Momentum harness for 8 years before wondering if it was time to invest in a new harness. The Momentum had served us well over the years. It comes in at a very affordable price and does the trick for sport and gym climbing but the amount of wear and age of the harness was starting to creep into the brain more than one would like. Rather than continue to ask if it was still safe, we decided to make the small investment to put our brain at ease and upgrade to a new harness.
It had been years since we had looked into the options on the harness market. Starting our search for a new harness quickly became overwhelming so we opted to head to the local outdoor store and try on different options. Some were sleek and lightweight but lacked comfort while others felt overbuilt and bulky. While we had been recommended the Petzl Adjama by a few friends, the Petzl Sama ended up fitting our need based on comfort, all-around capabilities, and price.
If you’re looking for a new harness, we recommend trying on as many as possible, one of which should be the Petzl Sama. We found it to be the best fit for our sport climbing needs, with the occasional trad or multi-pitch route.
A harness should be first and foremost comfortable. If you don’t like the fit of your harness, you’re not going to like climbing and you’re really not going to like falling on lead or sitting in it during multi-pitch climbs. The Sama has nice padding around the waist without being bulky. It’s padded enough but doesn’t skimp or overdue it in terms of padding.
There are two gear loops on each side of the harness, which is standard. The first gear loop on each side is rigid, making it easy to pull gear on and off the harness. The rear loops on each side or not rigid and hang under the first gear loop, providing a sleeker design while still remaining easy to take gear on and off the loops. There is also a small webbing gear loop on the back of the harness for trailing a line or clipping a pair of shoes on a multi-pitch climb.
The leg loops are wide enough that they don’t bite into your legs while being lowered or sitting in the harness. They are also padded for added comfort. This design was one of the main differences we noticed when upgrading from the Black Diamond Momentum harness.
Not that it’s overly hard to cinch down any harness but some are easier than others. The webbing on buckles on the Sama make it easy to cinch down while still holding nicely while you are climbing.
The Petzl Sama comes in at a reasonable price, just slightly higher than entry level designs from other brands, which is well warranted given the comfort and design.
Rappelling off of the Red Wall in the Petzl Sama
While it’s nice not having to worry about adjusting leg loops or have extra buckles on the harness, the leg loops do feel snug especially given our skinny chicken legs. I can’t imagine how they would feel with a bulkier leg than ours. Overall, it’s a small complaint but something that we have noticed while wearing the harness.
If you’re in the market for a new sport climbing or gym harness you should at the very least try on the Petzl Sama given it’s all-around performance and price. We’ve used it mainly for sport climbing but also for trad and multi-pitch climbing and have found it to be a great option.