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Life expectancy of a harness
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campo


Sep 5, 2007, 12:21 PM
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Life expectancy of a harness
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So, I have had my Petzl Hirundo now for about four years. It has caught many a fall and has served me well.
My question is what is a harness's life expectancy? Should I retire it after ten falls? Twenty falls?
Any and all advice appreciated!


majid_sabet


Sep 5, 2007, 12:32 PM
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Re: [campo] Life expectancy of a harness [In reply to]
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check the expiration date inside the belay loop


campo


Sep 5, 2007, 12:40 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Life expectancy of a harness [In reply to]
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Nice one Majid...but seriously now...Cool
majid_sabet wrote:
check the expiration date inside the belay loop


(This post was edited by campo on Sep 5, 2007, 12:44 PM)


coastal_climber


Sep 5, 2007, 12:43 PM
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Re: [campo] Life expectancy of a harness [In reply to]
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FOur years of climbing, I'd say retire, I've had the one I have now for abotu 2+ years, I use it 4+ times a week, so I am getting a new one in the fall. Check the belay loop, the tie in points and the webbing on the waist belt for excessive wear.

>Cam


ja1484


Sep 5, 2007, 12:47 PM
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Re: [campo] Life expectancy of a harness [In reply to]
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Things to consider:

- Even in storage, nylon depletes about 2% strength per year.

- With usage, especially high frequency cyclical usage (such as working a project or hanging on rappel), strength decreases further still.

- If there are obvious signs of wear which render the harness in questionable condition, retire it. When in doubt, play it safe.

- I personally retire all soft goods within 5 years, or when wear and tear dictate, just to be safe. It may be a little cush as a safety margin, but would you really want to test those waters?


From what you've mentioned about age and usage, I'd go ahead and pick up a new harness. The fall number isn't an issue so much as the factor of the falls in question. I may well retire a harness after a single fall if it was gnarly enough, but my current couple of harnesses have seen more falls than I can count - of a very very low factor (most of them less than FF .2)

I would mainly say to check the manufacturer's guidelines and use your own judgement.


campo


Sep 5, 2007, 1:27 PM
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Thanks for the advice everyone...I just ordered a Petzl Sama. We will see how it compares to the Hirundo soon enough.


overlord


Sep 5, 2007, 11:54 PM
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Re: [campo] Life expectancy of a harness [In reply to]
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well, i have had mine for about 4 or 5 years now and its going into retirement as soon as the new line of arcteryx harnesses arrives in europe.


majid_sabet


Sep 6, 2007, 12:17 AM
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Re: [campo] Life expectancy of a harness [In reply to]
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campo wrote:
Nice one Majid...but seriously now...Cool
majid_sabet wrote:
check the expiration date inside the belay loop

retire all nylons after 10 years in service. Harness, I would say 5-7 years.


microbarn


Sep 6, 2007, 3:38 AM
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Re: [ja1484] Life expectancy of a harness [In reply to]
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ja1484 wrote:
- With usage, especially high frequency cyclical usage (such as working a project or hanging on rappel), strength decreases further still.

You are the first person I ever heard calling something below a Hertz "high frequency", but otherwise your post sounds pretty good.

I retire mine after 4 years.


azrockclimber


Sep 6, 2007, 3:38 AM
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Re: [campo] Life expectancy of a harness [In reply to]
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4 years is too long you need to retire that.

I would say 2 years is about max for safety. seriously ...75 bucks every two years and you have a secure life saving device.... shell out the cash...

Obviously it depends on a shitload of factors which I am sure someone else will list here.

Whoa... I just read all the posts.... how many times a week do you guys climb?? 20 minutes a week??? I don't know how you could expect to use a harness for four, five, or six years!!!!...mine would have fallen apart by four. I guess sp[ort climbers may last a little longer....I rub and slide and squeeze alot...ha...that makes it wear quite a bit on the edges.


(This post was edited by azrockclimber on Sep 6, 2007, 3:42 AM)


overlord


Sep 6, 2007, 4:07 AM
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Re: [azrockclimber] Life expectancy of a harness [In reply to]
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azrockclimber wrote:
4 years is too long you need to retire that.

I would say 2 years is about max for safety. seriously ...75 bucks every two years and you have a secure life saving device.... shell out the cash...

Obviously it depends on a shitload of factors which I am sure someone else will list here.

Whoa... I just read all the posts.... how many times a week do you guys climb?? 20 minutes a week??? I don't know how you could expect to use a harness for four, five, or six years!!!!...mine would have fallen apart by four. I guess sp[ort climbers may last a little longer....I rub and slide and squeeze alot...ha...that makes it wear quite a bit on the edges.

it obviously depends on the frequency and type of climbing you do roped up. if you do a lot of pitches like you described each week, then youll obviously need to replace your harness more often.

mine is just starting to show signs of wear at the tie-in points and i really hope it will last until the arcteryx harnesses arrive. then its definitely going out. as for roped up climbing... i do most of my roped up stuff during weekends as i do not need to rope up on plasticWink


markc


Sep 6, 2007, 6:52 AM
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Re: [campo] Life expectancy of a harness [In reply to]
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As the trend of the thread may show, I'd base it more on wear than on a set date or number of falls. That differs from advice from manufacturers. I know Petzl suggests retirement after 5 years, and I seem to recall similar numbers from other companies.

I still have my original harness that I'll throw on someone for a day of toproping. It's definitely older, but it hasn't been my primary harness for a number of years. There aren't many signs of wear, and it's not seeing high fall forces.

I recently replaced my primary harness because the webbing for the leg loops was looking pretty worn. The main belt and the belay loop were still in pretty good shape, and I'd wear it again in a pinch without any great concern.


ja1484


Sep 6, 2007, 12:00 PM
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Re: [azrockclimber] Life expectancy of a harness [In reply to]
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azrockclimber wrote:
Whoa... I just read all the posts.... how many times a week do you guys climb?? 20 minutes a week??? I don't know how you could expect to use a harness for four, five, or six years!!!!...mine would have fallen apart by four. I guess sp[ort climbers may last a little longer....I rub and slide and squeeze alot...ha...that makes it wear quite a bit on the edges.


This has so many absuridities I have no idea where to start. I think the most entertaining assertion is that a sport specialist's ("climber" is the wrong term for anyone who focuses only on one style) harness should last *longer* than someone who focuses somewhere else.


campo


Sep 6, 2007, 12:03 PM
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Re: [ja1484] Life expectancy of a harness [In reply to]
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In reply to:
This has so many absuridities I have no idea where to start. I think the most entertaining assertion is that a sport specialist's ("climber" is the wrong term for anyone who focuses only on one style) harness should last *longer* than someone who focuses somewhere else.

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing, minus the specialists part! Wink


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