Edelrid Jay Review 2019

A neat all round rock climbing harness from Edelrid has plenty of useful features including a floating waistbelt.

We’ve reviewed plenty of climbing harnesses here on CGR and if we’re honest climbing harnesses tend to be fine as they are such a crucial element of the safety chain. We’ve reviewed super light ski mo harness to fully fledged ice climbing harnesses and everything in between. One of the first Edelrid harness I personally reviewed was the Orion: a great harness if a little over engineered (something that Edelrid can often guilty of) but it worked great. This latest (2018) redesign of the Edelrid Jay sees the German company evolving their harness range into something a little more sophisticated.

The Jay is a fully featured harness suitable for rock climbing, summer Alpine and ice climbing. My personal use has been for rock climbing, both sport and trad. The Jay is an adjustable leg loop harness which means that you can adjust the size of the leg loops, this is useful if like me you often find fixed leg loops don’t fit your things but the waist belt does. It’s also super useful for using the harness for winter and ice climbing as it means you can adjust the legs loop to fit the extra clothing you need for these environments.

super comfortable for multi pitch belays.

These days I’m a medium size in climbing harnesses but over the years my legs have grown as I’ve done more running and mountaineering. The other benefit of adjustable leg loops is that they can be loosened when you need put more layers on. The back of the leg loops is kept snug by the single point elasticated retainers – I’ve spent plenty of time with clients explaining why these are useful. I found the single point adjustment really useful and the single buckle is great for those times when you need a toilet break on your tiny bivvy ledge. Also it’s great to re-clip back on: there’s nothing more annoying than fiddling about trying to re clip the retainers back on, especially with gloves on.

The waist belt has been super comfortable even in warmer summer conditions and I love the floating foam waist section. This means that I’ve always got the four gearloops centred how I like them and nothing is annoying further back than it needs to be. There are also two ice clipper slots for racking ice screws, these fitted my Petzl ice clippers snugly and it’s designed to fit the Edelrid SM ice clipper perfectly. The waistband is wide enough to be comfortable on long belays sessions and it’s been great for multi pitch climbing. It also has a nice lightweight feel to it and the cotton feel is great and looks very nice. The waistbelt is finished with a small pouch for a RFID chip for those that want to log the harness use.

The stated weight for the Edelrid Jay is 368g and my size Medium weighed in at 393g on the trusty CGR scales. These are arbitrary really as I have no idea what size harness has been weighed and how. I do know, however, that the Jay feels really light on and given that it’s an all rounder it’s very light and I’m more than happy using it for working and sending my sports climbing projects. 

The front loops held a full rack of quickdraws and plenty of trad kit.

The front gear loops are stiffened and shaped to hold a good amount of either trad kit or sport climbing quick draws. I tend to rack all my wires and cams on the front loops and then put a few quick draws on too. The front loops easily accommodated all my rack and I had room for three quick draws on either side. I could rack a couple more but I found that the rack was falling at the the front of my legs so I opted for my usual method of racking quickdraws on the rear loops. These are stiffened but not shaped so they lie flat against the harness which works great for sport climbing. There is a small loop on the back of the harness which is designed as a chalk bag attachment area. I’m not a fan of this but I do find them useful for racking emergency ab kit or a maillon for leaving in a bolt.

I’ve used the Jay all spring getting fit by sport climbing and it’s performed really well.

The waistbelt and leg loops are fastened by quick lock buckles and these worked well. I also liked the two elasticated retainer loops on both the waistbelt and the leg loops. These keep the spare tape tidy as there’s nothing more annoying than a waistbelt tape interfering with your rack. There is also two on the leg loops which has also been nice.  The new version of the Jay and Jayne sees the disappearance of the plastic tie in insert, which never really did much for the style and always had a feel of redundancy about it. The newer tie in is much more standard looking and has worked well, the floating waistbelt again ensuring that it’s always centred.

Finally the whole harness is bluesign certified which I have been really impressed with. In fact I feel that Edelrid are very much in the lead with bluesign climbing kit. Their ropes are bluesign certified and it’s good to see that it’s important for them and reason enough to buy it. For those who would like a little more information on bluesign certification there is a link here.

In conclusion I have really enjoyed using the new and redesigned  Edelrid Jay harness. It’s comfortable, versatile and has plenty of great features. I’ve used it for both trad and sport climbing and I can easily see it performing as well on planned ice trips this winter.

The Edelrid Jay comes in sizes S, M and L and there are two colour options and a specific women’s version the Edelrid Jayne which also comes in two colour options and sizes XS-L

SRP is £55 and it is available direct from Edelrid Europe from specialist retailers.

Disclaimer – CGR reviewers and writers are never paid to provide a review and the website does not take advertising or link to affiliate sales. We are a bunch of keen climbers and travellers that accept sample products and offer an honest and independent review of the item. The reviewer will often keep the sample after reviewing it for both hygiene and safety reasons and more often it’s in no fit state to return!

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