So what is a bandolier, and more importantly, why might you need one?
The first part of the question is easy: it’s a padded sling, worn over the head and shoulder, and designed to carry your rack. But why might you choose to use one?
Well that’s a slightly longer story, but here goes:
The Bandolier is both an alternative and a supplement to the conventional harness racking system. Some climbers use them exclusively, while others mix and match, racking gear on both the harness gear loops and the Bandolier.
If you think about it, there are some distinct advantages; on constricted crack or groove pitches the rack can be swept out of the way, allowing you to continue squirming upwards without the hassle of snagging.
It allows for quick change-overs if you are swinging leads on a multi-pitch route. It also can be jettisoned in an emergency – for example if you are swept into the sea by a rogue wave while traversing the base of a sea cliff.
The additional gear loops allow you to distribute and organise your rack. In fact the bandolier is an excellent way of storing your rack, both at home and in your rucsac.
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