Petzl Corax Review

Petzl Corax Review

Definitively, some of the best climbing harnesses have great stability, super comfort, and offer superb versatility. 

For the Petzl Corax climbing harness, we will look at all of these areas, plus a few more, to help you make the best and most informed decision on whether to add this harness to your collection or not.

It may not be your main climbing harness, you may want to just use it as a possible backup for your other ones. If you are a beginner who just needs to know the intimate details of your first climbing harness.

Whatever the reason you need to know more about the Petzl Corax climbing harness, this guide will give a great look into the finer details of this harness and hopefully help you make a well informed choice. 

In Depth Petzl Corax Review

Petzl Corax Review

Petzl Corax Climbing Harness Score

  • Versatility – 7 out of 10
  • Belaying Comfort – 6 out of 10
  • Features – 5 out of 10
  • Standing Comfort/Mobility – 5 out of 10
  • Hanging Comfort – 5 out of 10

How Well Does the Petzl Corax Climbing Harness Actually Perform?

Low comfort is somewhat of a problem when comparing the Petzl climbing harness to other brands of harnesses. 

It is in now way uncomfortable, it just doesn’t give the maximum amount of comfort that some other climbing harnesses, even in the Petzl catalogue, give. 

Obviously you will want to judge that level of comfort for yourselves, but this will give you a competitive idea before you do. 

Experience is sometimes the best teacher, however you will still want to go into your choice with an expectation of what you do and don’t want. That way, when it satisfies a specific need, you will know why and have a better understanding of your climb. 

And vice versa if it does not satisfy, or something feels off when you climb, you will have a much better idea of why it feels that way. 

Its Got Low Weight

A single, large piece of webbing provides all the comfort in the Corax. It is located in both the. Leg loops of the harness and at the waist. 

This lowers the cost actually a good bit, since there isn’t any fancy core weight distributing construction built into the harness. Even so, it’s pretty comfortable and compares to even higher priced harnesses. 

It Fits Your Body

No matter your weight, whether you are a larger climber who has problems finding a harness that won’t squeeze you constantly on your climb, or if you are much smaller and have trouble finding one that will actually stay on your slight frame, this is the climbing harness built just for you. 

Is the Petzl Corax Climbing Harness Comfortable When Hanging?

It’s Not Too Comfortable When Hanging

Hangin comfort isn’t really the Corax’s best feature. That being said, hanging comfort is a really tough factor for a climbing harness to score highly on. 

There is just not enough padding in the world to keep you as comfortable as you are going to want to be while hanging off the side of a cliff. So although the Corax isn’t super comfortable, most harnesses just aren’t. 

Not Much Padding in the Front

In the back of the waist, there is definitely a good amount of padding to give your lower back good comfort. However, there doesn’t seem to be very much padding at the front of the waist. 

This is slightly unusual as most climbing harnesses, whether they have thin or thick padding in their harnesses, usually have it pretty uniformly all the way around. This is because the double buckles preclude the webbing from being padded. 

Thin Padding in the Leg Loops 

Its leg loops are padded as well, but as you get to the outer edges of the loops, the padding lessens. And even though there is at least padding in the middle, it’s still pretty thin. It’s going to be lighter because of this, so you may like that fact. 

But you should definitely be aware of the amount of padding your harness is going to have before making the choice. This is especially important because your choice of climbing scenario will depend on the features of your harness.

It Rides Up

Also, like many other harnesses, it rides up a bit when climbing. However this is a real problem in most climbing harnesses, but also it is to be very expected. 

The main area holding you up while you are climbing is all centered around your kidney and sometimes your crotch area. It is to be expected that these areas will just reach a certain level of discomfort. 

Does the Petzl Corax Climbing Harness Let You Be Mobile?

You Can Be Mobile

The most mobile of the bulky climbing harnesses, the Corax surprisingly enough will allow a good range of motion. 

You will still not be nearly as mobile as you would be with a much lighter and thinner harness, but for the heavier construction, it has a lot of give. 

And since the leg loops have adjustability due to the double buckles, your mobility is increased. Most harnesses have a tough time with extra mobility because the leg loops either don’t have adjustable straps or the only amount of give comes from a certain amount of elastic in the loops. 

You can be sure that you will have a great fit in the Petzl Corax because of its buckles. 

Having A Large Rack Won’t Drag You Down

Even with a large rack the climbing harness is still comfortable and doesn’t drag when you are standing. Obviously if you layer your clothes it will be even more comfortable. 

Some harnesses actually don’t take to padded clothing very well, this harness does. The rack will probably get heavier as time goes on, but the Corax holds up pretty well even so. 

Also, if you are in colder weather, but not freezing cold, you don’t want your harness to add to much warmth to your clothing. If you wear just enough clothing to be warm without a harness, the harness is still going to add a good bit of protection from the elements. 

Comfort Doesn’t Stay

That comfort is probably going to go away quickly if you are planning to wear a pack while climbing, however. 

Since this climbing harness is bulky, it is going to interfere with the hip belt of your backpack, making it difficult to get a good fit with either your climbing backpack, which ideally should be light, and your harness. 

Does the Petzl Corax Climbing Harness Have Lots of Features?

It Doesn’t Have Many Features

Pretty much most styles of climbing will be compatible with the Petzl Corax climbing harness.

It doesn’t completely stand out from most other harnesses, it isn’t brilliantly comfortable and it doesn’t have unusually large gear loops, but it’s really solid in its main functions. 

It’s a great middle of the road harness and its features pretty much reflect that. 

The Buckles Are Tough

A note on the double buckles. You are going to have a little bit of a hard time fiddling with the buckles. 

Since they don’t put-lock like some other brands, you will have to fine tune the fit yourself. It is definitely a classic system and will keep you safe and comfortable for the most part, but it may take you a while to actually get the hang of it. 

Pretty Standard Gear Loops

Gear loops on the Corex are pretty standard as well. They aren’t oversized so you will be able to fit the normal amount of gear in them. 

The loops are pretty rigid so you won’t have to worry about your gear sliding around while on your climb. 

And since this harness doesn’t have a weight distribution build, you definitely like the fact that your gear won’t be the thing adding this lack of weight distribution. 

No Ice Clipper Slots

The only thing missing are the ice clipper slots. The slots provide for not just ice climbing but also alpine climbing, so you probably will not be able to either of these types of climbs. 

Is the Petzl Corax Climbing Harness Comfortable When Belaying?

Belaying is a Little Uncomfortable

As with most climbing harnesses, the thing that is going to save you from having an amount of pressure and strain while belaying is going to be directly linked to how comfortable or uncomfortable your leg loops on your harness are. Your stability and strength comes directly from your legs, and consequently your leg loops. 

Sparse Padding on the Leg Loops

There are a lot of parts of the leg loops and the waist of the Cortex that don’t have padding. This obviously adds to its lightweight factor, but it totally takes away from the comfort of your harness. 

After a little while of belaying you will definitely start to feel the pressure in the back of your thighs, especially in the parts that aren’t covered in padding. You may even feel it cutting into you more than some other harnesses. 

You can definitely still belay, but you are not going to be able to do it for very long. 

Is the Petzl Corax Climbing Harness Versatile?

You Can Do A Variety of Climbs

The Corax’s middle name is “versatile”. You can mountaineer in it, you can rock climb, you can do traditional climbs, almost any climb you want. 

Since its legs are super adjustable, you can go on long or short treks and still be pretty comfortable. 

You can also expand the amount of time and do multi-pitch climbs because you can carry a good bit of equipment with its goodly sized gear loops and the additional rear haul loop. 

No Ice Clippers

The problem obviously it’s that it doesn’t have an ice clipper, so you probably can’t go ice climbing or even alpine climbing with this harness. 

Does the Petzl Corax Climbing Harness Have Good Value?

It’s Pretty Affordable

Affordability is really great with this harness as well. The available features, the comfort, the versatility, all make this harness a good bang for your buck. There are a couple of harnesses that have a little more value for money, but the Petzl Corax is still a great buy.

Pros and Cons of the Petzl Corax Climbing Harness

Pros

  • Gear storage
  • Adjustable leg loops
  • Double-buckled waist 

Cons

  • Complex buckle
  • Heavy

What’s the Verdict on Petzl Corax Climbing Harness?

Overall, It’s Reliable 

If you are looking for a climbing harness that can be precisely adjusted, and also a harness that is very versatile to accompany you on all different kinds of climbs, check out the Petzl Corax climbing harness. 

It speeds past other harnesses in the adjustment department and it does so at a really great price. Adjustability is very high with the Corax, even though you may have to fiddle with it for a while before getting used to the double buckle. 

Adjustability is very high with the Corax, even though you may have to fiddle with it for a while before getting used to the double buckle. 

It’s Very Adjustable

The leg loops are so adjustable because they feature a double buckle cinching system. This allows you to achieve a much more precise fit on your legs and creates a safer climbing harness for you on your climb. 

The fit also affects how centered your belay loop and also your gear loops are when you are using them. You want them centered because your gear may be heavy, and even if it’s not that heavy, it’s going to at some point shift from side to side. 

You want those loops that hold your gear to be as centered as possible so that you are not off kilter regularly when you are climbing. Larger and smaller climbers, even at the extreme ends, will be super grateful for the ability to adjust as much as they need since the waist and legs have buckles. 

It Has Great Fit

This harness can provide you with a lot of versatility, especially if you are needing to let another climber use your harness and fit to their needs, or you have trouble finding a harness that fits you well, or if you are in a colder climbing environment and you are required to wear bulkier, warmer clothing that doesn’t fit other climbing harnesses. 

You Can Do Lots of Different Climbs

You can also use this harness to climb in a multitude of climbing scenarios. You might want to use it for sport climbing where efficiency and hardcore physical feats are paramount, or you can use it for gym climbing where you are more focused on practicing certain climbs, or if you are free or trad climbing. All these climbs can be done with the Petzl Corax.

However the Petzl isn’t the best climbing harness for either alpine climbs or ice climbing because it doesn’t have any ice clipper slots. 

Also, if you’re going to be hiking or mountaineering in this harness, you may find it too bulky and cumbersome, especially when paired with a backpack. 

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