ProView – Wild Country Mission Harness
The first thing you notice about the Women’s Mission Harness is the color. Electric teal outlined by an orange so bright it looks like the long lost cousin of a traffic cone. This is not a jab at Wild Country, this is a compliment. I, like many other women in the outdoors, are tired of the standard pink and purple flowers that adorn so many ‘women’s specific’ outdoor gear. In this harness, Wild Country went with engineering anatomical differences in their men’s and women’s harnesses rather than aesthetic differences. Most notably, they have a wider and higher hip belt with extended leg loops to accommodate that booty.
I’ve been climbing for six years, and this season I took the Women’s Mission Harness out into the wild for a test run.
Wild Country Mission Harness
Product Description: Clean and close-fitting, the Mission women’s unique new V-Flex™ belt delivers unprecedented comfort and support. Ergonomic and articulated, our new construction delivers a figure-hugging fit like no other. Tuned by our female athletes it also features a different ratio between legs and waist and a longer rise. Light, flexible and breathable you’ll climb longer with less fatigue. A genuine, cross-season performer it’s beautifully finished with well thought out features: All new Ziplock 3d buckles; new 16 and 12mm webbings; Hi tenacity‘Dura-Weave’ fabric; five spacious, new, integrated gear loops; twin accessory loops and a haul loop. In sophisticated colourways and with subtle branding this is a perfect choice for the action woman all-rounder. Available in XS,S,M
Price: MSRP: $79.95
The harness is comfortable, lightweight and I dig the color scheme. The tiny buckles around the thighs and waist are a bit fiddly and the straps get twisted easily. Overall, a nice trad harness with lots of features and very little room for improvement.
- Wide hip loops and waistband for comfortable all-day use
- Square gear loops for easy racking, twin ‘accessory slots’ for ice clippers
- Women’s specific harness in a color other than burnt purple.
- Small waist and thigh straps are difficult to tighten
- Especially when fully racked up
The Women’s Mission Harness waistband is wide and padded against the hips for all day comfort, while also pinching down in the back to allow bending without folding the material. The leg loops are made in the same style, wide comfortable leg loops with narrow adjustable straps that won’t inhibit your flexibility.
This harness only has one belay loop, but 4 square shaped gear loops which make racking and gear management much easier. The back of the harness sports a wide haul loop, and nestled in between the gear loops are two ‘ice clipper slots’ just in case you decide to take this harness ice climbing.
I took this harness out climbing both at the crag and the gym to see how it felt, and it is definitely comfortable. The wide waistband is extremely comfortable, and their V-Flex shape is a game changer. When taking big sport whips or chilling at a hanging belay, I didn’t notice any pinching or tugging in places I wasn’t used to. Unfortunately, this harness hasn’t solved the problem of ‘thigh loops being the right size, but waistbands being too large’ for me. I had plenty of space pull away from my hips at hanging belays and I find myself trying to tighten and retighten the waist strap all day long, only to find it wont cinch down anymore.
When I first put on the Wild Country Women’s Mission harness I really did not like the feel of their ‘dura-weave’ abrasion resistant material. It felt stiff, and very strange under my finger tips. That being said, after pushing my body through a few squeeze chimneys and pouring a few days sweat into it, the material has softened and proven to be very durable. While the buckles and belay loop are showing signs of my abuse, the mesh shows no obvious signs of tearing or fraying.
Room for Improvement
The straps on this harness are the biggest issue for me. The waist strap in particular is very thin, and I spend a lot of time untwisting the belt loop so it will lie flat. I think if Wild Country had gone with a wider, flatter waist strap they could have achieved the same comfort but with added ease of use. The buckles are very small, which is again, fiddly and requires more frequent attention that I would like on my harness. Having to fiddle around with the small thin belt feels insecure and also frustrating if I need to take off my harness for a moment and then put it back on.
The harness weighs less than 1 pound (419 grams) and fits comfortably into any backpack or day bag.
The Final Word
The Women’s Mission Harness is a comfortable, stylish, and functional trad harness. It’s ergonomic design and durability make it a good choice for those trying to get into trad climbing, or those looking for something more comfortable for long days in the alpine.
With only slight hesitation about the thin waist strap, I would recommend this harness to anyone.
Kaya Lindsay is the social media coordinator for Yosemite Facelift. She is also a writer and photographer with a passion for rock climbing and the outdoors. In 2016 she converted a Sprinter Van into a tiny home and has been traveling around the US & Canada to pursue her passion for rock climbing ever since. You will most likely find her in a parking lot or coffee shop, camera in hand, planning her next grand adventure. Connect with her on Instagram @OneChickTravels