Opinions on harnesses? (edited)

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Opinions on harnesses? (edited)

Postby alfred1 » Nov 5, 2015 7:49 pm

Hello all,

been browsing amazon website and my eye caught on some inexpensive sit harnesses, probably made in China or other asian countries (almost everything is today though, so I don't know if that quality stigma still bites).

What are your thoughts on them? Seems rated to 15kN minimum.

Image
Image

Hopefully not going too off-topic, are asian 25kN steel carabiners again offered on that website worth or not?


Thank you :waving:
Last edited by alfred1 on Nov 7, 2015 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Opinions on (probably) made in China sit harness?

Postby caverdan » Nov 6, 2015 11:53 am

Though colorful.......the bar tacking looks cheesy and it's attach point is too high for frogging. If you really are into vertical caving........get you a harness that's made for the sport........from a reputable manufacturer. Do you want to trust your life to cheap Chinese junk?

Same goes with carabiners.

I hope your not the supplier of this gear.
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Re: Opinions on (probably) made in China sit harness?

Postby alfred1 » Nov 6, 2015 12:07 pm

Thanks for your suggestions.

caverdan wrote:I hope your not the supplier of this gear.


Surely not, otherwise I'd have included some links or other not-so-hidden advertisement spam. :big grin:

I wanted to hear your thoughts since as far as I can't test different equipment myself, I have to trust what's written on a tag or a brand, may it be overpriced or not.
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Re: Opinions on (probably) made in China sit harness?

Postby gindling » Nov 7, 2015 12:31 pm

I wouldn't trust that bar stitching either. You want a good V stitch over an overlap of 1.5 to 2 times the width of the webbing to be the strongest. And seeing how everything is attached to your harness, I'd go for the strongest.

Yup, and that attachment point is way to high.
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Re: Opinions on (probably) made in China sit harness?

Postby alfred1 » Nov 7, 2015 3:31 pm

I see, thank you.

What about those two harnesses?

This one is made by Camp and it's about $36, while this other one is made by Petzl and about $96
ImageImage

Is there a lot of difference between them? Should I just go with Petzl because of the brand?

I know there's the Petzl Superavanti (lower picture) specially crafted for caving but at $77 I'd have preferred to just spend $20 more and get a full body harness which seems safer to me rather than have that at $77 just to get a lower attachment point and so (I guess) only a longer stroke while frogging up.
Image

Any comments warmly welcomed :waving:

Thank you
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Re: Opinions on harnesses? (edited)

Postby snoboy » Nov 7, 2015 11:25 pm

Judging by your comments, I would have to guess that you have little to no experience frogging? Those full body harnesses will simply not work. Even if they did, the extra straps and stuff will give you fits in a cave.

Please, see if you can get out with someone to show you, and maybe try their equipment a bit before you make your choice. It's very hard to tell if a harness will be comfortable with out hanging in it for a bit, and different brands and models all have their quirks of fit. Not that caving harnesses are the most comfortable rigs anyways. :-/
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Re: Opinions on (probably) made in China sit harness?

Postby caverdan » Nov 8, 2015 11:09 am

alfred1 wrote:Thanks for your suggestions.

caverdan wrote:I hope your not the supplier of this gear.


Surely not, otherwise I'd have included some links or other not-so-hidden advertisement spam. :big grin:

I wanted to hear your thoughts since as far as I can't test different equipment myself, I have to trust what's written on a tag or a brand, may it be overpriced or not.


Glad to hear it and I apologize for doubting your intentions. This was your first post and I'm enjoying reading your post's since. Could you tell us a little more about yourself and where your from. I highly suggest you try and hook up with a group or club near you and try and find a vertical mentor to " teach you the ropes". It sounds like your on the East side of the pond, where there is a wealth of caves, information and caving clubs that love to teach new people the proper techniques. I've had the pleasure of caving with several European cavers, along with Russian and Polish cavers. They take there caving seriously over there. :cavingrocks:

Back to the original topic.........Snoboy's right, those full body harnesses do not work for caving. I actually do use the Petzl Superadvante for my frog set up. The $20 dollars you will save will quickly be spent on other gear to complete your set up.
Check out this web site and the different harnesses they offer. I know the owners of this company and them.....like most any other caving specific vender........will help you obtain the proper gear. http://innermountainoutfitters.com/
Here's a link to the frog system they sell http://www.innermountainoutfitters.com/ ... ascenders/

There is equipment and lights made over in Europe that are really hard to obtain in the USA....... and visa versa. Try googling cave vendors in your area and then look up frog ascending system on Utube to get a visual on what components it takes in a frog system. Good luck.
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Re: Opinions on harnesses? (edited)

Postby alfred1 » Nov 8, 2015 6:23 pm

Thank you both for your replies.

I can understand the initial skepticism and indeed probabilities of somebody spamming here and there unfortunately isn't even remote, so there's no need to apologize.

I'm from Italy and surely not a pro speleologist. Most of my explorations aren't technical and don't involve bottomless pits but I've tackled a 20 meters-shy vertical passage.
I hooked up with a caving group but ended up that social relation pretty soon because things weren't as I expected.
My serious (but at times purposely funny) thread on cave naming may shed some light on this. To cut it short while competent, they're not the kind of people I'd hook out or get into an argument with, specially if they'd be rigging what I should descend from.
Money were literally thrown out of the window and it was like a constant advertisement of what I should buy next.
I'm not against safe caving and while slow I've explored on my own using a climbing harness plus a 2-inches webbing tied one and three separate klemheist loops.

My formation was exotic to them and theirs looked obsolete to me but I may attribute this to their limit of reading books which have been translated ages after being published in their original language.

My standard of living isn't half as good as that of most of those people so their trips, dinners, lunches and caving-unrelated activities would have been gladly avoided or planned otherwise.
Also I've got a wife who doesn't mind letting me go out in the weekend or even go with me, but digging new passages for free in an effort to find something new with the rest of the group was something I'd comprensibly see in her eyes as stupid if money matters.
There wasn't a single meeting which could be agreed at earlier morning hours since, as stereotypicial as this can again be, all appeared like lazy alcoholic-cigarette dependant-hippie brunchers whose morning starts at 10 a.m. while I've always preferred to reach caves myself as soon as the sun rose.

Most of them would still like to go with carbide lamps (due to their warmth) while I couldn't be happier with zoomable LEDs and even if there were some academicals between them, my talkings on calories, energy and CO2 from burning acetylene released inside the cave didn't seem to weaken that sentimentality, nor could they (probably) stand my insistence (as a newbie, on top of that) on using figure-9 instead of figure-8, triple fishermen's instead of doubles and 4-knotted independant cowstails instead of their usual 3-knotted center-dependant cowstails.

[end of personal stuff]

Thanks for the links, indeed stuff available here is difficult to obtain there and vice versa.
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Re: Opinions on harnesses? (edited)

Postby GroundquestMSA » Nov 8, 2015 7:51 pm

A guy climbing with Klemheists is calling other cavers obsolete? :tonguecheek:

A lot of people don't fit in with caving clubs (myself included) for lots of reasons. I share much of your disinterest in a caving culture that often features overdrink and afternoon starts. However if "Money were literally thrown out of the window" by US caving clubs, I might just volunteer to bring up the rear in grotto convoys...

Vertical caving is often standardized, ostensibly as a safety measure (if everything is done the same way, it's easy to spot potential hazards), but I think anyone should be free to use whatever functional rig that they (through preference or financial situation) wish, no matter how exotic. If you have a climbing harness and some Prusiks (or Klemheists or whatever your preferred friction hitch) you can be safely equipped to get up and down. As you wish or can afford it, add an ascender or two or three, and a caving harness. A Texas system (I assume you've read about it) is one of the cheapest, simplest, lightest ways to climb rope, and works with any sort of harness. SRT can be self-taught, with care and practice, but don't reject every convention just for individualities' sake. I've done so, and it slowed down my progress. I guess that if you learn how "it's done" first, you'll be able to really understand what you want to change and why. Trying to reinvent SRT will take you down a long and frustrating path that will eventually end very near where everyone else tried to start you.

I guess you've looked at Alp Design?
GGG make good frogging harnesses for about the best price you can find in the US, dunno what international shipping would cost.
My brother just sewed his own harness, which is another option.
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Re: Opinions on harnesses? (edited)

Postby alfred1 » Nov 8, 2015 8:46 pm

Yeah, that ascending system is the most obsolete thing I'm using but it's there just as a minimal safety means to let me get into the hobby when I feel like and have time, without having to find reason for any significant money out of my pocket. :tonguecheek:

I can understand your feeling on not fitting in alcohol-easy caving clubs (which helped leading me towards securing that almost funny but not so stereotypical image as written in my other thread, since I've met more than one club and all invariably came out of the same CNC mill).
About throwing money out of the window, if you've got a restaurant with a cafè or even just a saloon near a karst location, your incomes will mostly come from these kind of people.
Showcases in sport stores are also a magnet, so if you can manage to put up it all together or near where "headquarters" are (to discuss about where member will go in the weekend), you can manage to sell quicklinks by weight as if they're first-choice beef meat. Just throw a cool alloy name on it, like SpaceShipZ.
On the other hand, expect to stay open until reeeeally late, like 3 a.m.

Again it's not that I'm against doing things right, it's just that if I go out caving twice a month not even all months and I can't foresee for how long (I'd always get enough of this or have even less spare time to get lost in the mountains on weekends, used equipment of any kind is practically unsellable here), it's easier to justify spending (moral ethics here, no wife involved) a smallish amount of money on new rope and webbing than it is to buy 3 ascenders, 2 racks, a croll, HMS 'biners and a new harness costing the triple of something still safe and working even if awkward.

I'm not here to talk about my condition or beg for something, I'm grateful for your opinions and thoughts but when I'm asked why I'm doing some thing like that, I can do nothing but explain myself to not sound as crazy.

I was already keeping an eye on the links you gave me, still waiting for replies by one of them. Looking how Petzl and Beal are literally on the other side of Alps I might have some luck to find competitive prices on some French online stores.
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Re: Opinions on harnesses? (edited)

Postby trogman » Nov 9, 2015 4:48 am

alfred1 wrote:There wasn't a single meeting which could be agreed at earlier morning hours since, as stereotypicial as this can again be, all appeared like lazy alcoholic-cigarette dependant-hippie brunchers whose morning starts at 10 a.m. while I've always preferred to reach caves myself as soon as the sun rose.



Alfred- too bad you live in Italy; if you lived in my part of the world I'd be looking to go caving with you. :big grin:

I have clear memories of a grotto event where I was leading a trip to a cave. I was chastised severely for "starting so ^$^%#&$ early, and at least one or two folks skipped going that day because of it. My "too early" starting time? 9 AM! Since we were camping about 20 minutes away, that meant leaving camp by 8:30 AM. Imagine asking folks to get up that early! What was I thinking???

Ridgewalking is especially better done at the crack of dawn, when the temps are usually colder and the sun isn't so high in the sky. My favorite time of day!

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Re: Opinions on harnesses? (edited)

Postby alfred1 » Nov 9, 2015 12:27 pm

trogman wrote:
alfred1 wrote:There wasn't a single meeting which could be agreed at earlier morning hours since, as stereotypicial as this can again be, all appeared like lazy alcoholic-cigarette dependant-hippie brunchers whose morning starts at 10 a.m. while I've always preferred to reach caves myself as soon as the sun rose.



Alfred- too bad you live in Italy; if you lived in my part of the world I'd be looking to go caving with you. :big grin:

I have clear memories of a grotto event where I was leading a trip to a cave. I was chastised severely for "starting so ^$^%#&$ early, and at least one or two folks skipped going that day because of it. My "too early" starting time? 9 AM! Since we were camping about 20 minutes away, that meant leaving camp by 8:30 AM. Imagine asking folks to get up that early! What was I thinking???

Ridgewalking is especially better done at the crack of dawn, when the temps are usually colder and the sun isn't so high in the sky. My favorite time of day!

Trogman :helmet:


Yeah too bad Stephen, I guess those like you (and others in this board) are either too rare worldwide or just completely absent in Italy :laughing:
Here in the caving groups you'd have a hard time finding grown men having hairs shorter than shoulder-length and getting up earlier than 10 a.m.
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Re: Opinions on harnesses? (edited)

Postby caverdan » Nov 11, 2015 10:16 am

Thanks for filling us in on your very unfortunate circumstances. Maybe you can find a friend or two to go with. The area I cave in is on private property and one of our requirements to get cave keys, is that we need a minimum of three people on a trip. One to stay with a hurt person while the other one goes for help. A Helmet, three sources of light, food, water, and a pee bottle are also required items to cave safely on their property. Just some food for thought.

At our NSS conventions we have a rope climbing competition and one of the catagories is using knots to climb the rope. Nothing at all wrong with using them, especially on really muddy ropes. Sometimes it's the only thing that works. NCRC teaches their use in rescue situations.

Knowing your using knots instead of mechanical ascenders should get you a better answer on what climbing harness to buy. I've never climbed on knots so I have no clue if a higher attach point works better or worse for your set up. If your using a Croll as one of your ascenders between your harness and chest harness, then yes, you need that ascender as low as possible to get good efficient movement up the rope. Hopefully someone will jump in here and help you with your original question.

But......when your looking at harnesses, really look at how they are sewn and the bar tacking in particular. I do see other harnesses on Amazon in that same price range that appear to have a much better bar tack design. I'd also steer clear of padded harnesses. They soak up water and are all but impossible to clean the mud out of them. This makes them stiffen up or become hard, when they dry.


Edited to add........Look at the two body harnesses in the picture you posted. The Camp is made in many pieces that are sewn together and the Petzl uses more of a one piece of webbing design. The Petzl design looks safer to me......but not as stylish. :big grin:
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Re: Opinions on harnesses? (edited)

Postby alfred1 » Nov 11, 2015 4:00 pm

Thanks for your reply. You've been very kind to read my posts and address some topics all in one message so I shouldn't have such doubts but I'd still ask this, just for curiosity:

was this intended pejoratively or sarcastically?
caverdan wrote:Thanks for filling us in on your very unfortunate circumstances.

Again if not, forgive my doubt, it's just I'm not a native speaker.

Thanks again :waving:
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Re: Opinions on harnesses? (edited)

Postby caverdan » Nov 11, 2015 7:35 pm

I truly do feel for you and the lack of people to go caving with. I'm not a drinker at all and I like to get an early start on my day. In the states there are a lot of different clubs to choose from and not all are partying clubs. I sure didn't mean my comment to come off as negative or sarcastic. :cave softly:
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