Kasia Baldwin heads to the sunny Kalymnos sport climbs and the mountain crags of North Wales to put the new Wild Country Aurora Women’s Ziplock Harness. Read her verdict…
Wild Country say:
“Lightweight and superbly shaped, this all rounder has a figure hugging, flexible fit for comfort and performance on big days out.”
Due to go on holiday to Kalymnos for the first time, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to trial and test the Wild Country Aurora Women’s Ziplock harness. On first impressions, before even trying it on, I was impressed with how light it felt. Testing the small size (it only comes in XS, S and M) it weighs in at 385 grams. I was however slightly disappointed that it came in ‘cool grey’ and not something a bit brighter.
I’m a size 10/12 and the small fits both hips and thighs. The fact that the leg loops are Ziplock as well helps with this.
The harness itself certainly proved itself to be comfortable with its ‘Batwing’ belt shaping, having tested it sport climbing in Kalymnos and multi-pitch trad climbing in North Wales.
The harness has one Ziplock fastening on the right-hand side of the waist. This obviously helps reduce the weight and I must have had the right size for me as I never felt the harness and it’s gear loops were lopsided, which can sometimes happen with harnesses that can only be adjusted on one side. I did however definitely need two hands to tighten the harness as the 20mm webbing was quite stiff through the Ziplock.
Once you’ve tightened the harness there are two elasticated loops on the inside of the waist belt at the front for the ‘excess’ waist belt to be stored. This works fine until you weight the harness with some gear and hang around for a bit. After a while the ‘excess’ waist belt slips out and annoyingly hangs down. This didn’t happen all the time but made me question whether I should have got a bigger size so that I might have more excess waist belt to thread through the loops. I didn’t have a medium size so couldn’t compare. (Ed- Wild Country stated that they think Kasia would have been better with a Medium harness, this would have solved the issue she was having).
Looking at the moulded gear loops it was great to have five for once on a women’s harness, something I’ve never had on previous harnesses. Whilst I didn’t really need the fifth gear loop at the back whilst sport climbing it came in handy on the North Wales multi-pitch trad climbs, at least to store prusik loops, sling and belay plate. The harness also sports a haul loop at the back.
Another feature I also loved when caught short is the releasable leg loop fastening on the waist belt. This meant when I had to answer the call of nature I didn’t have to keep taking my harness off or try and overstretch the elasticated leg loop straps. It made things simpler, though re-attaching them can be a bit fiddly to begin with.
With regards to the leg loops, one thing that differed from my last harness was the fact that the webbing wasn’t sewn to all of the leg loop padding – about an inch of the padding is not attached on either side. Whilst this didn’t affect the performance of the harness, it felt a little unfinished, like the end of the waist belt that didn’t always sit snugly within the loops provided to keep it in place.
Overall the Wild Country Aurora Women’s Ziplock is a nice harness with some good features. Plus points for me are its comfort, provision of five gear loops and releasable leg loop straps. The only real negative is the end of the waist belt not staying in place and it would be nice to see a brighter colour.
- Price: £##.##