Comfortable—one of the most comfortable harnesses tested
Easy to clip and unclip gear loops with asymmetric design
Durable, reinforced tie-in point
Attachment options for ice screw holders
Smooth and easy to adjust speed buckles on waist loop and leg loops
The most expensive harness tested
Difficult to use haul loop that is hard to find, clip and unclip
Skinny waist belt strap that some users found uncomfortable
The Edelrid Orion is attractive for multi-pitch trad climbers looking for a harness packed with features that has a mix of comfort, durability and lightweight. The Orion was the most comfortable harness tested but some larger testers didn’t like the skinny waist belt since the waist belt padding didn’t cover the entire strap. The Orion is great for extended hang sessions with plenty of room on gear loops.
Comfort The Edelrid Orion was the most comfortable harness tested. Most testers found it very comfortable thanks to the wide waist belt and leg loops. Some testers didn’t like the skinny waist belt strap if their waist was big enough that the waist belt padding didn’t cover all of the strap. The Orion uses their 3-D Vent Technology to provide comfort and breathability. During long climbing sessions, such as hanging for hours while rebolting steep, overhanging routes, the Orion did prove to be comfortable and reasonably breathable because of its construction.
Adjustability/Smooth Buckles The Orion has adjustable buckles on the waist belt as well as the leg loops. Testers found the buckles to work smoothly and to easily adjust. The leg loops have handy plastic clips that did an effective job of keeping the excess tail strap out of the way. For the waist belt strap, there is also a plastic clip but the excess tail had no where to go after that. Typically there was a few inches of excess tail which ended up in the front gear loop and got in the way of clipping and unclipping.
Leg Loops Wide leg loops with a triangular suspension system at the attachment point with the belay loop did an effective job of providing comfort. The leg loop connection to the belay loop is protected by a thick, hard plastic piece for incredible durability. Some testers thought it was overkill but many appreciated the feature because it also helped keep the belay loop and leg loops in place.
Gear Loops Four wide asymmetrical, protruding gear loops were popular with testers for their easy clipping and unclipping. The waist belt strap got in the way of the front loops and was a drawback for many testers, as mentioned previously. Testers also appreciated the ease of using the rear gear loops.
Weight The Orion, at 14.6 ounces, is advertised as a lightweight harness but is a few ounces heavier than many of the other harnesses tested. Considering the features, such as the wide waist belt and leg loops, and the reinforced tie-in point, some of our test team considered it lightweight.
Other Features – including Haul Loops, Ice clippers, etc. The Edelrid Orion has a number of extra features. There are two attachment points for Edelrid’s SM Clip that can be used for ice screws, tools and other racking purposes. The Orion has a skinny belay loop, which some testers thought was odd when paired with the hard, plastic piece reinforcing the tie-in point. At times, some of the test team members felt the Orion was a harness that had a hard time deciding what it was going to be, slim and lightweight or beefy and durable. Others appreciated the many features and thoroughly enjoyed the harness for its function and performance. The Orion has a haul loop but it is really small and hard to clip and unclip.
Value The Orion comes with a hefty price tag of $114.95. The features and comfort of the harness justify the price, particularly considering that a harness is one of the most important pieces of equipment climbers own.