The concept is simple – reduce the need for gear by making two pieces in one.
In practice, it takes a little bit more effort than that. But it's effort Mammut happily put forth in the creation of their new Realisation climbing pants, a lightweight, respectable-looking set of pants – with a climbing harness integrated beneath the normal-looking outer layer.
Mammut Climbing Equipment Product Manager Fritz Schäfer knows something about the challenges they faced in making them – not only did he work on the project, he's wearing them as I'm speaking to him. "Originally, the concept was that the fabric itself would be load-bearing," says Fritz. "We found fabrics that could take the load, but overall, it just didn't work. The fabric would be too stiff."
Thus the concept of the concealed harness was born, and the Realisation pants were realised. Mammut's high-end, lightweight Zephir harness was integrated into the inside of the pants - while two loops stayed outside for the connection. A stretch insert on the back allows for more freedom of movement.
How well do they work? "Mammut climbing athlete Jakob Schubert has already won seven competitions in them," says Fritz. "The athletes say they offer more freedom of movement." And yes – they're rated just as high as a normal climbing harness.
The Realisation is now available as shorts, and the long-legged pants version will be avallable in 2014.