Rossignol Harness Pant

By MARK BEDENBENDER

With its renovated Harness Pant, Rossignol has developed a hybrid ski-mountaineering shell pant that, as the names alludes, hides a small climbing harness stitched into its seat. The convenience of the built-in harness, which adds mere ounces to the pant weight, makes these waterproof/breathable bottoms worth the money ($300) for backcountry types who need to rope up often in alpine environments.

Rossignol Harness Pant Photo.jpg

Rossignol Harness Pant, clip in and go

As a volunteer ski patrol and a member of search and rescue, I tested the pants this winter on multiple outings in and around Whistler, B.C. During ski-touring trips, my routes are often glaciated with hidden crevasses. This means I either wear a harness over my clothing — which can be uncomfortable — or I put it on as required on the snow, which takes time and is a hassle.

Time spent transitioning in and out of a harness can be a killer to progress. It’s simple math: A few 10 or 15 minute harness transitions over a trip means I can spend a couple hours standing still.

The Harness Pant has been a nice solution. In my test this winter, convenience was the most obvious advantage. The pant makes the decision to use a harness and a rope quick and easy.

Rossignol Harness Pants.jpg

Front and rear view

The harness’ design was good overall, including a single gear loop — no need for two loops as you’re not hauling a full rack of mountaineering protection — and a mostly comfortable fit. I didn’t feel like I was wearing a harness even after ten hours of continuous use.

The pants have a hook-and-eye closure in addition to the two snaps on the waistline. This is good, as there is no dreaded “popped snap” phenomenon on jump turns. Secondary zips and leg vents make pulling on the leg loops of the harness easier.

As for cons, the pant is missing an inside ski edge cuff for protection. It’s inevitable that you’ll run a freshly-sharpened ski edge over that spot and cut the pant cuff. Another design point: I wish the harness leg loop had some adjustment. The loops can get pretty snug if you wear expedition-weight fleece, and Rossignol does not give the option to open the fit. For me, the leg loops felt a tad tight when I was layered and dressed for the coldest days.

Rossignol Harness Pant Rope Photo.jpg

The author field testing the Rossignol Harness Pant

I was indifferent about the pants’ included Recco avalanche reflector. As a volunteer ski patroller, I find them almost useless. If you don’t agree ask your backcountry buddy or any ski patroller you meet for their Recco locator. (Hint: They may or may not have one.) I’ll stick with my trusted transceiver.

Overall, the Harness Pant is an admirable product. It made my rope time in the backcountry quicker. And while skiing, the pant functioned as a shell to protect against the snow and the elements on the slopes, backcountry or in bounds.

—Mark Bedenbender, a seasonal resident of Whistler, British Columbia, is a volunteer ski patrol with the Olympics and a member of search and rescue.

Posted by Lauren - 02/26/2010 04:20 PM

This guy is a hunk. Is he married? If not, I’d like to be harnessed up to him. Good model to show off this gear.

Posted by Pippi Chaud - 03/04/2010 08:09 AM

I agree Lauren! Also intelligent and loves the outdoors. Full package.

Posted by Stephanie - 06/14/2010 01:23 PM

I agree with Lauren. This guy is totally hot! I need to find a job in BC.

Posted by Sue - 07/28/2010 04:56 AM

Yes, Hunk.

Who is he?

Posted by Randy - 09/10/2010 06:44 PM

Does anyone know the weight limit for the pants? Are there accessory loops? How do you clip in?

Posted by Mark Bedenbender - 10/22/2010 11:06 AM

Randy,

I don’t have information on weight limit. This link may be of help: http://www.cilao.com/english/baud_oz22ultra.php

This is the harness that is incorporated into the pants.

Clip-in is straight forward. There is one strong point that extends from under the belt line.

Hope this helps,

Mark

PS – Lauren, Pipi, Stephanine and Sue. Sorry, my heart belongs to my wife, Roz.

Posted by magnus bjorsvik - 11/14/2012 03:09 PM

which size did you use? And, for comparison, what is your height/weight?

Posted by Romain - 05/27/2013 07:16 AM

Hi Randy,

No weight limit. It’s a harness, same limit than a clinbing harness.
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