Neo were the first to introduce a lightweight harness with thigh-high geometery when they launched the original String back in 2013. This is the third version and while the basic geometry stays much the same the materials and cut of the harness have evolved to reduce weight and provide more comfort.
The harness comes in a compact drawstring bag, which easily fits in your hand. Getting the harness out it looks suitably high-tech, being made mainly in white ripstop Dyneema cloth – Neo’s trademark. At first glance, contrasting suspension points in black look like the only structural additions. Look closer though and you will see that the structure of the harness is made from grey flat webbing. This is made from high modulus polyethalene (HMPE), which has a very high strength-to-weight ratio. The leg loops are also stiffened and Neo say they are cut to fit the body well.
The materials have allowed Neo to get the weight down to 250g for the large size, and it feels like it is made to last.
Getting in is simple. You just put the elasticated shoulder straps on then pull the combined chest and leg straps up between your legs and clip them into the main colour-coded karabiners. Two clips and you’re ready to go.
The harness is delivered with rubber holders to stop the main karabiners rotating in the loops. These stop any danger of you ending up hanging on the gate if the karabiner turns on launch.
The harness allows good freedom of movement on the ground. The non-load bearing shoulder straps are just there to keep the harness in place so have a good amount of give when you bend over to check lines etc.
Taking to the air, the move to a sitting position is completely smooth and natural. In flight the harness is very comfortable; I didn’t find any pressure points at all. The load is spread evenly, and I would be happy to fly it for extended periods.
The existing Neo airbag will fit to this version if you want extra protection. In the air the harness gives enough stability to make flying a comfortable experience and you will be happy thermalling with this harness, even if it lacks the precision of a seatboard. There are ceramic rings for routing the lines from a speedbar through, so you have that functionality.
All in all this is another well-finished quality product the likes of which we have come to expect from the team at Neo.
Use: Ultralight hike-and-fly
Materials: Ripstop Dyneema, HMPE webbing, Hypalon, PE foam
Sizes: S, M, L
Weight (g): 230, 240, 250
Protection: Optional airbag
Published in issue 228 (April 2022)