Gear Review: Misty Mountain Cadillac Quick Adjust Climbing Harness
Value Rating: 8
Durability Rating: 10
Overall Rating: 9.5
Location of Test: Local Portland Crags (Broughton, Ozone, Beacon Rock) & Squamish, BC
Duration of Test: 5 months
Product Name: Cadillac Quick Adjust Harness
Product Brand: Misty Mountain
Best Use: Trad, Multipitch, Big Wall, Aid
The Full Review:
As my harness reached the point when it was almost old enough for the Next Adventure vintage displays, I started looking into a new harness to invest in. I’m primarily a trad climber so naturally, I investigated getting a trad harness (i.e. a harness with extra gear loops). I asked co-workers, looked online, and tried some on, and came to the understanding that the Misty Mountain Cadillac Harness is known as THE harness when it comes to big wall/multipitch/trad. I wasn’t surprised to hear this, with comfortable construction and lots of adjustability it seemed like a no-brainer, for me the only hold up was the price. Over $100 sounded like far too much for a harness, considering my last one had cost me $40, but I wanted to buy the thing that best fit my needs and new that nothing did it better than the Cadillac. So, I took the plunge and boy have I been happy I did.
After many trips to crags around Oregon and Washington and a week up in Squamish, I’ve been so happy with how the Cadillac has performed. I’ve found most harnesses to feel quite bulky and over padded, but the Cadillac is ultra-comfortable and feels like a second skin, which is even more important when you’re spending whole days in it (not to mention hanging belays). On single pitch routes, the rated haul loop has allowed me to feel secure when tying myself to the ground while belaying climbers much heavier than myself, and of course serves as an awesome haul loop on big walls. The double buckles and adjustable leg loops keep the harness positioned on my body perfectly, and it gets small enough for my waist (something which has been a problem for me in the past). Another awesome thing about this harness too is that it’s Misty Mountain brand so it's made right here in the U S of A, North Carolina to be exact.
Nearly everything - the Cadillac is comfy as heck, highly adjustable, beautifully designed for trad/big wall/multipitch/aid with 6 gear loops and American made. There’s a reason it’s THE harness for big wall, it’s made just for it: it allows for maximum gear organization, comes with a rated haul loop, and allows for many days of hanging belays in comfort. A fantastic feature of it is the double buckles on the waist, allowing you to better center the harness on your body. I’ve also found the Quick Adjust buckles to be pleasantly easy, and they make me feel more confident when letting newbie friends of mine borrow the harness at the crag (no risk of them forgetting to double back). Since this is my only harness I’ve also used it sport cragging and though that’s not it’s intended use (it’s at the very least heavier than many sport climbing harnesses) it did just dandy.
Once upon a time, my coworker told me that instead of getting a harness with two extra loops, just stop placing so much gear. Fair enough, and as time has gone on I see his argument. I love my harness, 6 gear loops included, but it’s certainly taken a second to get used to them. Compared to old harnesses of mine, the gear loops are placed farther back and with so many of them, I’ve found that when I’m pushing my limit and need to chuck a piece of gear back on my harness urgently, sometimes I get them muddled up. I reckon this is purely an adjustment thing, I’m very used to my old harness after all. Also, I must admit I’m kinda bummed it doesn’t have fun and bright colors, especially because that’s useful for monitoring wear, but the rainbow of a trad rack certainly makes up for it. The biggest downside to this harness is really the price, but that is to be expected with USA made items.
The Bottom Line:
Do you climb trad? Multi-pitch? Big walls? Aid? Well, I have THE harness for you! It’s highly adjustable, adorned with 6 (count ‘em 6!) gear loops and a rated haul loop and best of all is comfy as can be. If you’re willing to splurge to get the best thing, this is definitely the way to go.