Recently, it seems like “high-end” sport climbing harnesses have flooded the scene, cutting grams and shaving weight to make the lightest harnesses possible.
But there’s only one problem … are they even comfortable? Sure, they weigh almost nothing, but what about hanging, whipping, and dogging your way up project routes? Will your hips ever forgive you?
I was on a mission to find out if the flyweight Wild Country Mosquito Harness sufficed for my sport climbing tactics.
In short: The Wild Country Mosquito Harness, despite being one of the lightest harnesses tested to date, was comfortable and had the features required for sport climbing. Whether dogging single-pitch projects or cruising multi-pitch bolted lines, the Mosquito had the goods without weighing our tester down.
Wild Country Mosquito Harness
- Verified weight 220 g (size XS)
- Gear loops 2 rigid front, 2 soft rear
- Available sizes XS-L (unisex)
- Leg loops Fixed
- Comfortable liner
- Wear indicator on the belay loop
- Odd sizing
- Rear gear loops can snag
- No ice clipper loops
- No women's specific model
First, the Wild Country Mosquito Harness comes in at a mind-blowingly light 220 grams (claimed for size XS). To compare, that is lighter than every other high-end lightweight sport climbing harness on the market, including the Black Diamond Airnet, Black Diamond Vision and the Petzl Sitta harness.
Wild Country equips the Mosquito with standard features for a sport climbing harness: elastic leg loops, an aluminum quick buckle closure system, two rigid front gear loops, and two soft flexible rear gear loops. Being a strict sport climbing harness, there are no slots for ice clipper attachments.
The inner material of the harness that sits against your skin is laminated mesh with an abrasion resistant covering designed to be quick drying and comfortable. Lastly, the tie-in points are constructed with a wear indicator that shows red threading when the harness needs to be replaced.
Testing the Wild Country Mosquito Harness
Although its feature set may be spartan, the Wild Country Mosquito Harness was the perfect contender for a sport climbing trip to sunny Spain this winter. Over the course of 3 weeks, I got a feel for how the harness performed while climbing, whipping, and hang-dogging my way up project routes in Chulilla, Spain. Additionally, I tested how the harness carried a full rack of gear while multipitch sport climbing in Riglos, Spain.
First Impressions and Review
Right out of the box, the first thing I noticed about the Wild Country Mosquito Harness was just how light it is. While it has about the same packed volume as a standard harness, it felt weightless. I was skeptical of how comfortable it would be, having owned other ultralight harnesses that dug into my sides during long sessions.
While climbing, the harness felt almost invisible. It was honestly a bit of a strange feeling how light it was. Despite the low weight, the Wild Country Mosquito was incredibly comfortable to hang and whip in. I never noticed any discomfort on big whips on 45-minute projecting sessions where most of the time was spent hanging in the harness.
Only during a 45-minute fully-hanging belay on the overhanging “Fiesta de los Bíceps” route in Riglos did I finally experience discomfort with the harness. However, I think almost any climbing harness would get uncomfortable in that amount of time.
The solid front gear loops were plenty big to rack up for long sport pitches. I was able to comfortably carry 20 draws just on the front loops, which was more than enough for 40-meter sport pitches or multi-pitch sport climbing.
The soft rear loops came in handy during our outing in Riglos while climbing a nine-pitch route carrying draws, anchor material, water, snacks and shoes. The rear soft loops were perfect for the occasional use, but I found them a bit too finicky for trad climbing. It was difficult to quickly grab gear or quickdraws off the back loops. This was mostly because they tended to catch on the nose of wire gate carabiners while removing them. That being said, for the intended sport climbing use, I thought all the gear loops on the Mosquito were just about perfect.
The best part, however, was the laminated mesh material used on the inside of the harness. Climbing shirtless, this material was extremely comfortable against the skin. Most ultralight harnesses I’ve used eventually dig into my side, and the material begins to abrade my hips and create sore spots.
The structural webbing of the Wild Country Mosquito distributed the load throughout the width of the harness and delivered an even, comfortable feel along the back. Combined with the mesh material, this created a soft, wide contact area that was noticeably more comfortable without adding significant bulk or weight.
Wild Country Mosquito Sizing
I found the sizing of the Wild Country Mosquito to be slightly different than what I am used to. For reference, I have a slim frame and a 30-inch waist, so typically I am a size small in Black Diamond and Arc’teryx harnesses. In my Arc’teryx harness, the waist belt is cinched all the way down for the correct fit.
The size small for the Wild Country Mosquito Harness was too small for my waist. The gear loops were uneven on each side of my body due to the asymmetrical fit of the extended waist belt. Instead, I found a size medium cinched all the way down was the best fit. However, the leg loops were slightly loose in the medium, but not to an annoying degree. Just be wary that you may need to size up depending on what brand harness you typically wear.
While the Wild Country Mosquito may not look like anything new, I think it strikes the perfect balance between lightness, features and comfort for an all-around sport climbing harness. It truly is the most comfortable sport climbing harness I’ve ever used, and the weight is unbeatable for its class.
Moreover, Mosquito comes in at $110, the lowest price point compared to any of its competitors. It would certainly be my first choice if I were in the market for a specialty sport climbing harness!