Misty Mountain Sonic ReviewJanuary 9, 2012
- Supportive, comfortable padding
- Easy to adjust/smooth-to-operate waist belt and adjustable leg loops
- Material is smooth next to bare skin
- Medium/heavy weight
- Easy-to-use drop seat feature
- Crescent-moon style gear loops don’t keep gear organized
- Rear gear loops are too far back to access easily
- Right gear loop, the side of the buckle is on, is further back on the harness making it harder to reach
- Bulky rear haul loop
- Rigid belay loop area
- Waist belt slack is hard to tuck into the sheath
More expensive than many other harnesses in its class, and a bit bulkier, the Sonic is best for beginner to intermediate ice, cragging, multi-pitch, and big-wall climbers who don’t plan on overloading their gear loops. Hanging comfort is excellent, but gear organization is poor.
The Sonic is a traditionally built harness with four crescent-moon shaped gear loops, a bulky full-strength haul loop (in 20 years of climbing I, like all other testers who helped with this review, have never needed to use a big, beefy full-strength haul loop). The waist belt and adjustable leg loops are very smooth to adjust. The rear drop seat release clip is very large. The Sonic, like the Wild Country Elite, has completely removable leg loops.
The Sonic doesn’t have ergonomically designed gear loops. The gear loops sag in the middle like the Petzl Adjama (which has more rigid loops than the Sonic) and Metolius Safe Tech instead of being tilted forward, like the Wild Country Elite, or horizontal like the Black Diamond Momentum. Additionally, it has a bulky and stiff intersection where the belay loop meets. The strap beneath the haul loop/leg loop juncture is hard to see and to feed the rope through when tying in. Finally, the leg loops and belay loop are wider than many other harnesses in this review.
When it came to climbing, lowering from the anchors or hanging in the lab suspended by a climbing rope, the Sonic excelled regarding overall support and kept my body upright instead of making me lean backwards. The chunky front section on the harness was not noticeable when suspending from it in the lab, or when on the rock.
The gear loops on the Misty, like the Metolius Safe Tech can easily be overloaded. They take a lot of gear but don’t stay as organized, since ‘biners tend to fold over each other.
I had two choices when utilizing the rear gear loops: blindly feel for gear, or twist my back like a Yoga position in order to reach it. I had to remember which pieces I placed on which rear gear loops if I wanted to use them while on lead. The right side gear loop is further back than left making it harder to access.
On a positive note, the waist belt and leg loops on the Sonic were some of the most comfortable for hanging in for prolonged periods. The waist belt gives even support between it and the leg loops. The harness didn’t rise when hanging in as much as the others. Extremely smooth-to-operate buckles, comfortable leg loops and waist belt.
Comfort (1-10): 7
Adjustability/Smooth Buckles (1-10): 7
Gear Loops (1-10): 3
Leg Loops (1-10): 6
Haul Loop (1-10): 3
Note: The non adjustable and lighter Misty Turbo is $10 more. The Turbo doesn’t have adjustable leg loops and is therefore more suitable for offwidth and chimney climbing because there are no buckles to get in the way when shoving your legs into wide cracks.