Today we’ve got a review of DMM’s Puma 2 women’s harness from friend of Crux Crush and multi-faceted climber and teacher, Bev Wolf. Here’s what she thinks:
Fit and comfort are everything to me, so I never buy a harness without trying it on first. Additionally, it has to be multi-functional because I sport climb, trad climb, and can be found hanging in a harness bolting routes when I’m not guiding. I also teach rock climbing at a college so it’s fair to say that I spend A LOT of time in a harness. Needless to say, I was a bit anxious to be buying a harness without having ever tried it on or even seen it in person. However, I can happily say that it was the best decision ever!
Fit: The DMM Puma 2 is a women’s specific harness in a cheery purple. Having watched the video of this harness on their website, I decided to take a chance and I couldn’t be happier with my choice. The floating waistband is an awesome feature that I find an amazing addition. The waistband sits on top of the padding and slides through much like a belt slides through your belt loops on pants. What makes this feature awesome? It means that no matter how much or how little I’m wearing underneath the harness the belay loop is always centered. I don’t have to fuss with twisting the entire harness around if I’m wearing bulky layers to get the belay loop centered. Finally, one harness for all seasons! Adjustable leg loops means I can adjust them depending on what I’m up to on the wall. This harness is perfect, whether I’m trying to on-sight or I’m hanging for long stretches while bolting. The Puma 2’s light weight keeps me from feeling weighed down no matter what I’m up to.
Form: The harness fits exactly the way it should. Honestly, I’ve never really noticed a huge difference between men’s and women’s specific harnesses, but the Puma 2 fits like a dream on me (I’m 5’3” and have an average build for an athlete). As I mentioned, the women’s comes in a cheery purple, but if that’s not your thing, the men’s version comes in orange. The harness is sculpted to fit a women’s body type, thinner around the waist and thicker in the back for support. The open cell foam construction means it is well ventilated so no uncomfortable sweating under the harness during the summer.
Function: One of the best things about the Puma 2 is the sheer number of features on this harness. The harness has slide lock buckles on both the waist and legs for easy on/off and adjusting (no need to double back). The excess from the waistband is neatly tucked into a keeper. Sizes in XS and S have five gear loops, but I ordered the medium because it has a whooping seven (yes, seven!) gear loops. The gear loops are hardy and the front two on either side are sewn at an angle to prevent gear from sliding forward and hitting my legs or groin. This feature comes in handy for slabbing or when on a particularly interesting trad route. The Puma 2 also has four ice clipper attachment points. DMM constructed the harness with a particularly thinner belay loop to accommodate smaller biners, but I will admit the thin belay loop caused me to pause initially, but it’s rated at 25kn, so I quickly got over the thinness and have come to appreciate it. When I’m cleaning a route, the thinner belay loop keeps my cleaning gear and climbing rope from getting a bit crowded. It has two release buckles in the back for when nature calls, but these seem like they would be a bit small, especially when wearing gloves. I haven’t used this feature on a big wall yet so it’s hard to say.
Finances: Where to buy? That’s the big question. My local store doesn’t carry the harness, but can order it. I ended up ordering mine online. MSRP is $99.95, which is a bit pricey, but well worth it when you consider it’s a harness for all seasons. I think this harness would be very popular with American climbers, so hopefully DMM will expand their number of retailers in the U.S.
Crush Status: I’m completely crushing over this harness. It’s the most comfortable harness I’ve ever owned. For the record, I’ve owned Black Diamond, Wild Country, and Mammut harnesses so I think that’s saying something. If the harness was available in a variety of colors, it would be perfect, but I think it comes pretty close now.
Bev Wolf is a certified instructor in Single Pitch and Climbing Wall through AMGA. When she’s not climbing outside or at her local climbing gym, she teaches Rock Climbing as a P.E. Elective at a local college. She loves spending time at her cabin and climbing at the Red when she’s not teaching.