YXGood Climbing Harness $60: is this crap?

Bob Bob

Well-Known Member
#2
If you don't let him use it you better develop a clear written policy of what brands and minimum gear rating standards you will allow a student to bring/supply/use. Just because you haven't heard of the brand doesn't mean it's dangerous or junk. A good question would be to ask does the harness have any certification labels or is the manufacturer red flagged by any safety organizations. Reviewing the product data sheet/instructions could help with this. I'm not a certification expert but un-certified equipment isn't necessarily dangerous it just maybe untested by or not have an expensive piece of paper proving it's fitness for duty. A homemade webbing/rope saddle wouldn't carry any certification but could easily keep you up and alive while swimming in a gravity sea.
 

JeffGu

Well-Known Member
#4
They make tons of other harnesses for zip line and rock climbing. Some of them have CE and EN numbers, some don't. The Chinese are actually pretty good at making this stuff out of the same materials a lot of big name companies do, so unless you require specific certification, I'm not sure why you would want to ban them. The reviews of their products are always good... of course, the price almost guarantees that most people will like them.
 

cerviarborist

Well-Known Member
#5
The amazon page comments show it being delivered in a bag intended for an entirely different fall-arrest system. Other Amazon comments reflect that the rings aren't marked or rated. Further questions posted to the seller (who also appears to be the manufacturer) indicate that YXGOOD doesn't want anybody over 220 lb. climbing in their saddle.
 
#6
My first red flag was that the saddle does not have an ANSI label. To respond to Bob Bob, we do have a written policy in that we comply with all ANSI standards and supply all safety equipment with some exceptions to those purchasing their own equipment under my approval. But, that being said, I am interested in this harness specifically. Because I have had no experience with it, or its manufacture, I would like to know if anyone has. Is YXGood a legit manufacture of safety equipment? Inexpensive false cambium saver rings flooded the market some years ago and led to accidents. Here is a tempting saddle selling for $60. Is this a safe "working" saddle or are we as an industry going to have problems with it? I will not be the only person examining this saddle for safety qualifications going forward because new climbers will want to buy it for its entry level price.
 

JeffGu

Well-Known Member
#7
I agree with you about the lack of ANSI labels. If that's a requirement, then I understand why you wouldn't want the students using them. Otherwise, you're pretty much stuck with looking the thing over and deciding for yourself if it is safe... at least to the extent that any saddle is safe. I don't have this particular harness, but I had two of their other ones, that I bought to help a couple of beginners get started. I modified both of them a little, first. Hardware that lacks rating markings can be replaced. The materials and stitching are clearly up to the task, from what I can tell. The weight limits they give seem reasonable for the products. There are $500 harnesses out there with similar ratings, so I suspect that they are conservative ratings, but that wasn't an issue in my case. Both of the beginners weighed under 160 lbs.

Buying cheap has its drawbacks, that's for sure. There are, however, products out there that are very inexpensive and are still safe. I also have a Buckingham harness that I use for tower climbing that only cost $140 new. It certainly isn't unsafe... I suspect that it will last longer than some much more expensive ones I've tried. Maybe these budget harnesses will turn out to be unsafe, but I suspect that they're fine. They certainly won't be terribly comfortable or have any bells and whistles, but they seem quite well made. Like some of the Amazon reviewers who have better saddles... I was surprised at how similar the construction was, and the quality of the materials, compared to lots pricier saddles. They seem like a good starting place for a beginner, and a few hardware changes will probably make them as good as most lightweight saddles out there, as far as whether it's safe to climb in.

Meeting ANSI standards is expensive... it's quite possible that recovering those costs would jack the price up considerably, and that's the motivation for not doing it. Right now, they've got quite the niche market pretty much cornered.
 
#8
The harness does look to be made well. I agree that my first impression was that if the rings and bridge were replaced with Petzl's then it would be quite nice. They look safe with good stitching patters and material. As an example of a known company with good products not ANSI rating their harnesses, New Tribe doesn't label their saddles unless asked. That may have changed but it use to be the case. If part of my job description wasn't department safety officer then I wouldn't mind. But responding to the liability concerns of a 18 climber program has with it some increased sensitivity to such things. Perhaps I will include a personal equipment waiver into the program and be done with it. I'll have to think about that.
 

JeffGu

Well-Known Member
#9
Yeah, cover your own and company's ass, either way... maybe a waiver and the stipulation that you look the harness over to make sure it isn't outright goofy-stupid-you-gotta-be-kidding-me unsafe.
 

FreeFallin

Well-Known Member
#11
As a newby rec climber, it's hard to come up with $1,000 for equipment, even harder to convince your wife that this is all a great idea. Sometimes these cheap knockoffs are the only way to get things started and learn the ropes (so to speak ;^). I started a few months ago with this for $55 - https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0184ZPC8C/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1484351919&sr=1-2&refinements=p_89:Oumers&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&dpPl=1&dpID=51m3AtYq3GL&ref=plSrch

Sure it's crap, but it's sturdy made crap with an ANSI cert, I had to do some basic mods to make it more tree friendly, the balancing point was real low out of the box so hanging from the tie in, felt just like hanging vertical from the D rings, not pleasant. Eventually I know my skills will pass the crap level and I will need to drop some money on some snazzy tech like a monkey-beaver, but for now when I am staying low and slow, this thing is getting me off the ground.
 

JeffGu

Well-Known Member
#12
You'll get no arguments from me. I have a Petzl big wall harness, heavily modified for tree work, that I use a lot.... in fact, more than any other harness... because it's very lightweight. It's a $100 saddle. If I'm not going to be up there for very long, or if I'm not taking much more than a tophandle saw, or if I'm only taking a handsaw, then this is the one I use. I have no idea what it is or is not certified for, and don't care.
 

FreeFallin

Well-Known Member
#13
I've done a fair amount of Comercial sewing, so I was mindful of not disrupting the existing integrity or adding side strain to the system. I was able to add 2 small paw plates and a floating bridge with some Samson line and a swivel. It shifted the load down to balance much better between the leg and waist straps. Still couldn't use it for a full time gig, but now I can actually hang for 20 minutes without having a biner jabbing me in the gut the whole time. Not bad for $55.
 

FreeFallin

Well-Known Member
#15
Agreed, that's why it's important to note that the harness itself is certified, the rope bridge is Samson true blue, and the paw connector plates are also rated. That being said, there is always risk in modifying equipment, that might be a deal breaker in a class environment, or any environment if you are unsure of the skill and workmanship involved.
 

JeffGu

Well-Known Member
#18
Unless you're able to test the materials how do you know what they are capable of doing...or not doing?
All you can do is keep your modifications limited to components already in use on saddles or life support products that are certified. Or, stuff with ridiculously higher ratings than needed. For example, would you be worried about using ISC stamped, steel rigging rings on a harness? Swapping out 23 kN aluminum rings for 70 kN steel ones? That would be serious overkill, my point only being that there is plenty of hardware and bridge materials out there being used on current, expensive saddles that you can buy for a lot less than the cost of the more expensive harness. If you're starting out with a harness that meets life support standards, whether certified for your particular climbing use or not, the odds are pretty good that it has been tested using the exact same methods and equipment. A quick call or email to the OEM will usually tell you that. In my case, the response was that a big wall rock climber has just as much right to file a lawsuit as an arborist.. there was a difference in harness configurations across their product line, but they all will hold a person within the weight limits of the harness just fine. Some saddles don't meet OSHA requirements only because they weren't certified for a certain industry or industries. That's the OEM's decision not to seek certification for an entity that isn't involved with the primary market for the product. It doesn't mean the product is unsafe for other uses, only that it isn't certified for that use.

Tree harnesses, like all of them, get more specialized over time... usually to meet requirements that have little or nothing to do with the basic integrity of the harness, but how workers like to work, and what their storage and comfort needs are. Usually, there are tradeoffs with weight and ease of use. Many tower climbing harnesses are fully certified for all work at height industries... but they lack the comfort arborists demand, and have features (like fall arrest) that aren't required for tree work. I know of one tree service company who issues them to all of their workers who will not be on the ground. Perfectly safe equipment, just not what most tree climbers prefer.
 

Jimmycrackcorn

Well-Known Member
#19
Has everyone forgotten what happened when uncertified rings were used on a bridge?

How about when the wrong fibers were used for rope bridges?

Unless you're able to test the materials how do you know what they are capable of doing...or not doing?
I'm going to quote Tom here but this question goes to a few posts I've read within the thread..

One post mentions if it didn't have ANSI rating trash it..

Tom's post touches on things that have happened in the past using un-rated hardware..

With these things said..
What about the the DMM Oval I'm holding in my hand that has no ANSI stamp. What about the $4-$5 ISC & Omega Pacific Rap Rings on my counter that i want to run on my bridge, neither have any official Certs on them at all, just MBS.. How about the New tribe I'm putting in a few hours.. None if these items I've mentioned have the ANSI "Stamp".. Obviously I'm not going to throw them all out, im currently using then for primary support... So where do you draw the line? If it's an ANSI Stamp I'm in a heap of trouble.

With that said, i know these companies are legit & I'm by no means being a smart ass or argumentative by pointing all that out, but what about the company you've never heard of that's Stamping with CE certs.. is that acceptable? When you've only been using this stuff for a short period & just coming up on the aerial side of the trade, do you just pass up on the stuff that is half the price of the big names or is there a way to know?

For example, let's say XYGOOD TIME LONGTIME China Corp or whoever it is, is saying their hardware is rated by ANSI.. Who's to say they aren't just fraudulently putting it on there?? When it's some warehouse manufacturer over seas, who's keeping them from doing so & in the end how do guys like me weed the junk out without losing out..? Do I just not shop on amazon period?

Also, when I'm looking at climbing hardware that's going to be used for primary support, what's the minimum MBS I want to shoot for. I've been trying to stick with over 20kn. Im basing that off of knowing most biners I'd support my life on are rated somewhere around there..

Like i mentioned earlier, not being inflammatory pointing that out.. just thought they were good examples & the rest is an honest question for someone still a bit green with his feet leaving the ground & broke after buying name brand..

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
#20
ANSI sets standards. No testing or certifying. The company or an independent test company certifies that the gear meets whatever standard is applicable

There's no requirement, as far as I know, that mandates marking gear with ratings or certs
 
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