Petzl Sama Review: Great Beginners Climbing Harness

Petzl’s 2018 redesign of their massively popular Sama climbing harness elevated the gear into “elite” status in the eyes of many climbers. The Petzl Sama is consistently ranked one of the top climbing harnesses in all of rock climbing for its features and functionality.

I decided to put the harness to the test to see what the hype was all about. In this post, I’ll detail my findings and share with you some key information regarding the Petzl Sama. Specifically, I’ll look at both the good and the not-so-good to give you a fair look at this popular climbing harness.

Wondering if the Petzl Sama is right for you? Keep reading to find out!

A Brief Look at the Petzl Sama

2018 saw a significant step forward for Petzl and their flagship harness: Sama. At the end of the year, the company unveiled its reimagined look, complete with new, innovative technology and features that were meant to keep the Petzl Sama best in class for the coming years.

Even before the release of this newer model, the Petzl Sama boasted a reputation quite unmatched in climbing sports. Now, however, the harness is arguably the most desired in all of men’s climbing. For this reason, it’s worth taking a look at what exactly makes this harness so valuable—and what, if anything, detracts from its worth.

For this reason, let’s take a look at some pros and cons commonly associated with the Petzl Sama.

Pros

Ask anyone who’s ever tried it and you’ll likely get the same answer: the Petzl Sama blows away the competition both in and out of its price range. But what is it about this harness that allows it to lead the pack? Here are just a few of my observations:

  • Ultimate Comfort

The redesigned Sama harness sees the introduction of Petzl’s EndoFrame technology. This innovative technology is specifically designed to optimally distribute weight and provide climbers with the ultimate in comfort.

And man, does it work. The webbed waist padding and thick waist belt make this a superior option in terms of usability. Unlike other harnesses, it’s hard to imagine ever getting chafed with the Petzl Sama. Whether you’re hanging, belaying, or climbing, this is one harness that ensures maximum comfort and breathability.

  • Features

But it’s not just the comfort of this harness that distinguishes it as a world-class option. The Petzl Sama also comes equipped with some of the hottest features to make your climb as easy as possible. The harness comes with a whopping four equipment loops so that you can achieve both flexibility and versatility in your climb.

These loops are conveniently located on the front and rear so that you can get the most out of your harness without any undue pressure. What’s more, with DoubleBelt Light buckles, you can adjust your waist belt at any time with absolutely no issue.

As if this weren’t enough, the tie-ins on this product are incredibly durable and can withstand large amounts of rope friction. This makes the Petzl Sama one of the most distinguished harnesses of its class—and a must have for anyone looking for the ultimate in harness functionality.

  • Mobility

The Petzl Sama has a few things working in its favor here. For starters, it’s designed with fitted elastic leg loops that make it easy to walk and climb even the toughest of routes. Unlike other harnesses, you never have to worry about friction, chafing, or hindered movement. In the opinion of this reviewer, this fact alone elevates the harness above the competition.

But that’s not all. With an incredible lightweight design, you’ll never feel as if this harness is keeping you down. Rather, you’ll find that climbing with the Petzl Sama is about as natural as it comes.

  • Price

If you looked at price alone, you would never know that the Petzl Sama is one of the best climbing harnesses on the market. That’s because Petzl is selling this incredible harness for what could truly be considered discount rates. At its current price, the model far outcompetes both harnesses inside and outside its price range.

For this reason, the Petzl Sama should be the go-to option for anyone looking for that perfect climb. With several high-performance features to boot, the model boasts one of the best all around experiences on the market.

Cons

Finding cons for the Petzl Sama isn’t an easy job. In fact, it’s downright hard. Simply put, the harness does all you can ask for and more. Still, I did notice one area where the harness could potentially improve in the future.

  • Limited

Don’t get me wrong—the Petzl Sama is an incredibly versatile option. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that it’s one of the most versatile harnesses on the market and is certainly one of the best I’ve ever tried. That being said, many of the harness’s benefits are limited to traditional rock climbing.

This means that the Sama can’t be used with the same degree of effectiveness with mountaineering, ice climbing, or alpine mixed climbing. In fact, the harness doesn’t even come with ice clipper slots, one of the very few disappointments I noted with the model.

Final Thoughts on the Petzl Sama

So how does the Petzl Sama stack up overall?

In truth, there likely aren’t enough superlatives to describe this piece. “Best-in-class” perhaps comes the closest to how I feel about this amazing harness. To recap, the Petzl Sama is not only one of the most comfortable harnesses I’ve ever worn, but it also offers some of the greatest mobility I’ve ever experienced.

Overall, the Petzl Sama should be the harness of choice for anyone wishing to break into rock climbing. With a price affordable to all consumers, it’s the perfect option for beginners. Still, this doesn’t mean that the model is limited to inexperienced climbers.

Climbers of all experience levels use this piece—and for good reason. Whether you are just starting out or are a pro, you could benefit from the comfort, reliability, and functionality of this high-powered option.

Climbing Blogger

Zealous boulderer, gear geek and editor. Typically has more flappers than fingers on his hands. Occasionally enjoys the feeling of being scared of heights. Mostly prevents looking down too much, though, and cheers at the invention of climbing chalk.

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