The Petzl Sama is built for sport climbers who want a simple, comfortable and lightweight harness. One, easy to adjust buckle on the waist is complemented by elastic leg loops for a simple, user-friendly harness. That said, one tester had a hard time getting the right fit and would have preferred the adjustment offered by leg loop buckles.
Comfort The Petzl Sama was found by users to be one of the most comfortable harnesses tested. Petzl uses what they call EndoFrame construction to help distribute weight and create a comfortable fit. I used this harness during some protracted hang sessions while bolting new routes and rebolting old routes and found the harness to breath reasonably well and to distribute weight effectively. The stitching is also strategically stitched to prevent chafing and enhance comfort.
Adjustability/Smooth Buckle Testers loved the Sama’s smooth and easy to adjust buckle for the waist belt. Petzl calls their buckle the DoubleBack Light and it proved to be quick and easy to use, enabling users to get a snug fit around their waist. Further micro-adjustments were easy to make and helped create a comfortable fit for the Sama.
Leg Loops The Sama uses elastic in the front of their leg loops instead of buckles to create snug fitting leg loops. For most users, this worked out great and made for an easy to use harness because there were no leg loop buckles to deal with. At least one user had a hard time getting the right fit and would have preferred the adjustment offered by leg loop buckles.
Gear Loops The Sama offers four gear loops and drew some mixed reviews from testers. Testers loved the front loops, which are designed to be rigid and easy to clip and unclip gear from. Many testers found the rear loops to be hard to reach as they are positioned a good distance from the front loops. The rear loops are manufactured to be flexible to make for more comfortable carrying of a pack. Overall, many testers thought the gear loops were on the small side of things, even for a sport climbing harness, and would have preferred larger loops capable of carrying more quickdraws or other gear.
Weight The Sama, at 13 ounces, was one of the lighter harnesses tested and drew favorable feelings from testers for the light and minimal feel offered by the harness.
Other Features The Sama has a number of extra features to enhance its attractiveness. It has two slots for Petzl’s Caritool tool holder to give it some four-season functionality. There is a small haul loop on the rear of the harness, which wasn’t popular with testers. It proved to be hard to clip and unclip because of its small size and proximity to your shirt at the top of the harness. Also, the tie-in points are reinforced with Dyneema for extra durability. Finally, the Sama is the men’s version and Petzl also offers a women’s version, called the Selena.
Value At $69.95, the Sama represents a good value for climbers looking for a lightweight, comfortable sport climbing harness. There are a number of harnesses in the Sama’s price range. Considering how the Sama faired in terms of comfort and features, hence many testers found it to be a great value.