ProView – Trango Horizon Harness
I have been desperate to find a hybrid-style harness that works for years now, and when I saw the Trango Horizon harness come around I knew had to try it out. Thanks to the Horizon, no longer will I be hanging at trad belays wishing I had my sport harness and no longer will I be frustrated packing my bag for an alpine approach with a massive padded harness. The Horizon is literally the best of both worlds!
Trango Horizon Harness
Product Description: The Horizon is designed to function in a wide variety of climbing situations, providing a full range of movement for the most challenging leads, along with comfort on long hanging belays, big whips, and long days in the mountains. The harness includes ice clipper slots, a speed buckle waist, and adjustable leg loops to work on any route, in any season.
Offer price: MSRP: $79.95
The Trango Horizon treads the line between a padded sport harness and a minimalist alpine harness beautifully. Comfortable enough to wear all day, yet small and lightweight enough to pack away for a long approach.
- Wide range of uses (trad, alpine, sport, ice)
- Comfortable and moves well with your body
- Small gear loops
I am primarily an alpine and trad climber with sport climbing coming after that. As any alpine climber will tell you when you pack your gear the night before you are trying to shove everything into the smallest pack possible to be able to go light and fast. Sometimes this even means wearing things like your harness and helmet, even gear at times. And, as every alpine climber also knows, later that day while hanging on the route, laden with all your gear uncomfortable at the belay you wish you hadn’t reached for the smallest harness you own. So far the Horizon harness has blown me away in meeting the needs of a wide array of climbing disciplines without major compromises. It has come with me trad, sport, and ice climbing thus far, and at each step of the way it has performed fantastically with only one caveat which I’ll address later.
Throughout testing, the Trango Horizon performed admirably in every climbing discipline. Its first use was out ice climbing. The harness moved smoothly as I climbed and the adjustable leg loops allowed me to adjust them to the perfect fit for staying snug during large dynamic moves. The kicker though was the four ice clipper slots that Trango adorned on the Horizon harness. Too often do companies make “alpine” and “ice” harnesses with only two ice clippers slots which are generally inadequate. I am glad Trango had the foresight to not overlook this. After a day out on the ice, I headed to the South Platte to climb some burly granite cracks. After I racked up I fought, squeezed, wrestled, and jammed my way through climb after climb. At the end of it all, I was amazed that my harness was unscathed. The next test was to see how comfortable it was to hang in and crag in so we hit up Clear Creek Canyon in Golden to do some sport climbing. Now I can’t say I have taken any whips in the Horizon yet (emphasis on the ‘yet’) but after a long day of hanging in it, I was once again impressed by this hybrid harness. The Horizon harness really did take everything I could throw at it in stride!
The Horizon comes set with many of the standard features you see on alpine, trad, and sport harnesses such as a tag line loop on the back, adjustable leg loops, and ice clipper slots. However, the Horizon goes just a little further than “standard” because the adjustable leg loops are “drop” leg loops with speed buckles which is an added benefit so you can get in and out of the harness with crampons on. This also lets you drop your leg loops so that you can use the restroom without removing the entire harness, major plus! Also the fact that there are four ice clipper slots rather than two as I said earlier is a large upgrade from the standards of the market.
When I first unboxed the Horizon upon receiving it, I threw it on and the first thing I noticed was its superb fit. The adjustable elastic tabs in the back as well as the adjustable buckles on the leg loops allows you to really fine-tune your fit that will stay in place. The belay loop is also supple which doesn’t provide any resistance as you walk or climb in the harness. I am 6’ 1” 185lbs and the Medium fits me perfectly!
The Horizon has a classic yet striking color scheme of orange on black. It is trimmed down everywhere it needs to be and no where it shouldn’t to give you a sleek harness for fast and light missions as well as days at the crag. I really dig it.
The harness comes in at 384g aka .85lbs which is crazy! Having a fully featured harness with padding shouldn’t come in under a pound, but somehow Trango managed it. Obviously it doesn’t fit quite as well as an alpine harness into a pack, but it takes up just about exactly half way between a sport harness and a full on alpine harness when packing it.
So far the durability has been bomber! Sharp ice screws and tools, rough granite, and sharp gneiss haven’t even left a scratch. I foresee the Horizon serving me well for many many climbs to come.
Room for Improvement
Now for the caveat that I mentioned at the beginning. Literally, the only downside to this harness is the gear loops are small, like really small. They might be the smallest of any of the harnesses I have owned. It is definitely a tight fit to hold a doubles rack along with your other equipment. It can still be done, just not as ideal as having bigger gear loops. If the gear loops were larger this might be the BEST trad harness on the market, but Trango skimped on the gear loops so it’s a near miss. I really don’t understand why companies don’t try and maximize the size of the gear loops because there is plenty of free space on the Horizon to use. Other than that the Horizon is one of the best harnesses around.
The Final Word
The Trango Horizon Harness really is a perfect all-around climbing harness so if you are looking for a do it all harness, just getting into climbing, or looking for something a little more comfortable than an unpadded alpine harness then look no further than the Horizon! The Horizon is threatening all my other harnesses to become my go-to no matter the objective in the future.
About the Gear Tester
Zach is an aspiring alpinist, ski mountaineer, climber, and photographer. He is a Wilderness First Responder and frequently volunteers with the Colorado Mountain Club to help train future mountaineers. Zach works part-time as a marine biologist in Alaska and a wildlife biologist here in Colorado. You can catch him climbing around Golden where he lives today.