Designed for both rock and ice, the Arc’teryx AR-395a harness offers a versatile and lightweight package capable of dealing with most conditions and environments. Over the summer we have taken the AR-395a from the crag to glaciers to see how it performed.
Comfort & Fit
Arc’teryx have historically gone for a more minimal webbing, relying on surface area and design for comfort more so then padding. At 186cm/74kg a Medium size fits my frame very well, the single waist adjustment does up to a centre alignment and thankfully the belay loop is of a decent non-ball-crushing size.
With it’s ‘WST™ (Warp Strength Technology)‘- the harness does form around your body quite well (better then the other way around!) so overall the AR-395a is a comfortable harness, certainly not the best we’ve ever tested, but it is totally fine for a day out on a long multi-pitch route.
As with most Arc’teryx kit (and thankfully most harnesses…), the AR-395a is built to a very high standard, with excellent detail on all stitching and seams. It’s very low profile (i.e. little padding) creates less of a lip to catch on pointy things which makes the harness quite stealthy in terms of it’s profile on abrasion. Coupled with a hardy fabric, the 395a (still needs to be shorter) has stood up well to abuse over the test period.
Being an all-rounder, the 395a naturally is pretty jammed with features – all be it in quite a nice lightweight package… It feels like Arc’teryx have gone for a ‘so what do you actually need‘ spec. list instead of something mental ‘with it’s accordion attachment point, never leave your accordion behind again’. Anyway, the harness features:
- Wear safety markers on belay loop and tie-in points
- Four ice clipper slots
- Self locking buckles
- Stretchy mesh storage bag
- Rear haul loop
- Stainless steel quick hook on the rear leg elastic (for poo)
- Four gear loops
- Adjustable leg loops
Simple can be good, it can be great in fact. The AR-395a really hits the spot in terms of a stripped bare all-rounder, or to be less contradicting, a multi-use harness that hasn’t gone nuts in trying to add every bell and whistle. Because of this, it packs away into a tiny space whilst catering for both rock and ice very well. With above average comfort and excellent free movement when walking and climbing the only battle in our minds is the Arc’teryx price tag that comes with this overall excellent bit of kit.