- Carabiner keeper on belay loop
- Great versatility
- Smaller, harder to use gear loops
- Less comfortable than other harnesses tested
- Harder to use adjustable buckles
The C.A.M.P. Air CR is a lightweight harness with the ability to move freely during long days in the mountains or moderate multi-pitch rock climbs. Safety conscious climbers will appreciate the No-Twist Belay Loop to prevent cross loading of the belay carabiner. Three ice clipper attachment points make the Air CR attractive for ice climbing but it lacks the comfort necessary for long hanging belays as well as a high strength haul loop for tagging a line or extra gear for really long routes.
The Air CR is constructed to be light and features perforated foam and breathable mesh to make it comfortable for long days in the mountains. The waistbelt and leg loops are contoured to be wide in the back and narrow in the front, cutting down on weight and making it more comfortable for movement. But, for extended hang sessions the Air CR didn’t rate as favorably with testers compared to other harnesses tested.
The Air CR features adjustable speed buckles on the waistbelt and leg loops, thus allowing the harness to be adjusted for a wide range of sizes for various users or situations. Compared to other speed buckles, testers found the Air CR’s buckles harder to adjust. They were harder to pull the harness tight and harder to release. However, no slippage was experienced with these buckles so they offered security in that regard. Part of what frustrated testers was the elastic straps that the Air CR uses to keep the nylon straps out of the way during climbing. The straps are very effective at keeping the straps out of the way but they are really small and it was hard to get the nylon webbing into these elastic straps and once in there, the elastic straps held tight to the nylon webbing and made them hard to release.
The Air CR features four gear loops to carry the load. All of the gear loops are of an average size and lack a contoured shape. Plastic is run over the nylon gear loops to help them protrude from the harness but they lay relatively flat compared to other gear loops tested and hence, were harder to use when clipping and unclipping gear. The rear gear loops in particular were sometimes hard to find because they lay so flat.
The Air CR features a unique slot for the carabiner on the belay loop that C.A.M.P. calls the No-Twist Belay Loop. This feature allows a carabiner to be held in place so it doesn’t move out of place and get cross loaded. Testers found it reasonably useful and nice although it’s limited to use primarily with smaller D-shaped carabiners as many of the larger locking pear-shaped carabiners wouldn’t fit. The Air CR lacks a haul loop and instead includes a small loop in the rear of the harness for a chalk bag. This small loop was hard to find once the harness was on and many testers would have preferred a larger loop with greater strength for tagging a trail line or hanging shoes or a water bottle.
The Air CR does an admirable job of offering good versatility for a variety of rock and ice climbing adventures. With its lightweight and breathable material it can handle long days in the mountains or on the rock with ease. The gear loops offer enough room for gear on multi-pitch climbs and the 3 ice clipper attachment points, called Hub racking biner attachment points by C.A.M.P., work suitably in the winter for ice climbing. The one area where the Air CR lacks in versatility is in multi-pitch rock climbs where you will be hanging or want a haul loop for tagging a rope.
At 350 grams (12.3 ounces), the Air CR was relatively in the middle of harnesses in terms of weight. It’s about 3 ounces heavier than the Petzl Sitta and very close in weight to the Beal Rebel and Singing Rock Onyx.
How We Tested It
The harnesses in this test were used for a minimum of 20 climbing days each while sport and trad climbing, both single and multi-pitch, in Western Colorado on limestone, granite, quartzite and a variety of sandstones. They were also used on objectives farther afield such as the Utah desert, Zion National Park, and more. They were also used for single and multi-pitch ice climbing.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
About the Author
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