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Archive for October, 2018

Review of the Petzl Avao Sit Fast versus Petzl Astro Sit Fast (when used with the Petzl Top Croll)

Following our comparison of the old versus new version of the Petzl Avao last week, we thought it would be good to look at the new Petzl Avao versus the Petzl Astro.

Petzl Avao Sit Fast versus Petzl Astro Sit Fast

Petzl Avao v Astro Harness Comparison

Petzl Avao Sit Fast and Petzl Astro Sit Fast – similarities

• Waistbelt equipped with self-locking Doubleback buckles for quick and easy adjustment

• Leg loops equipped with Fast LT buckles for quick and easy opening and fastening without the need to readjust them, even while wearing gloves
• Narrow front leg-loop webbing (from the ventral attachment point)
• Six pre-shaped equipment loops with protective sheath
• Two slots for Caritool tool holder
• Four slots for Toolbag tool pouch

Petzl Avao Sit Fast and Petzl Astro Sit Fast – differences

• Fixed ventral D ring on the Avao v ‘Openable’ ventral D ring on the Astro
• Metal Side Ds on the Avao v Textile reinforced with plastic on the Astro
• Lightweight mesh back and leg webbing on the Avao v Padded webbing on the Astro
• Deeper waistbelt on the Avao than on the Astro

Petzl Top Croll

Also worth noting are the differences between the Petzl Top Croll L and the Petzl Top Croll S:

Petzl Top Croll S v Top Croll L

Petzl Top Croll – features

Petzl Top Croll L

  • Large Croll chest ascender on the Top Croll L – suitable for rope diameter 10mm-13mm
  • Y Shaped design with single attachment point on the Top Croll L
  • Metal sternal attachment point on the Top Croll L

Petzl Top Croll S

  • Small Croll chest ascender on the Top Croll S – suitable for rope diameter 10mm-11mm
  • X shaped double attachment point on the Top Croll S
  • Soft webbing sternal attachment point on the Top Croll S

Note that whilst the Top Croll S is compatible with all the Petzl Falcon harnesses, it is only compatible with the 2018 onwards versions of the Avao Sit harnesses (due to previous versions not having the small loops on the rear of the waist belt to attach the mini maillons to).

Old Petzl Avao harness versus New Petzl Avao harness

Petzl Avao Harness comparison

During 2018, Petzl changed their AVAO (European) range of harnesses. They stripping out much of the comfort padding and made some other fundamental changes; which we think are well worth highlighting.

When paired with a TOP CROLL, the old AVAO SIT and AVAO SIT FAST were used by some for rope access; as the design was similar to the old NAVAHO’s Y shaped single attachment of the rear of the top section to the waistbelt (as opposed to the X-shape on the old AVAO). However, the new AVAO SIT and AVAO SIT FAST are a different design to the old versions and as they have less comfort padding, they are not primarily designed with rope access in mind. Most importantly, having limited / no padding, a deep waistbelt and less hardwearing material on the rear section of the leg loops.

New Petzl Avao Bod Fast
Petzl Avao Bod Fast C071BA0x

The go-to rope access harnesses in the Petzl range are the ASTRO BOD FAST and the ASTRO SIT FAST (used with a TOP CROLL L or Top Croll S chest harness).

Differences between the old and new Petzl AVAO harness


Old Petzl Avao Sit C79AFAx and new Petzl Avao Sit Fast C079BA0x
  • The waist-belt has increased in height and depth
  • There is considerably less comfort padding in the waistbelt and leg loops. It’s now just a see-through mesh

These changes mean that the new Petzl Avao harnesses are less comfortable while working in suspension.

  •  All metal attachment points are now H cross-section construction, ensuring an improved strength to weight ratio
  • The front leg-loop webbing (from the ventral attachment point) is narrower
  • The mesh on the outer section of the leg-loops is more susceptible to damage by abrasion

AVAO BOD / AVAO BOD FAST harnesses:Old Petzl Avao Bod Fast C79AFA0x and the new Petzl Avao Bod Fast C071BA0x

  • Each shoulder strap on the AVAO BOD and BOD AVAO FAST includes MGO connector holders, which will release the parked connectors at a force of 5kg
  • The karabiner above the ventral attachment point is now an H cross-section Petzl OK screw-lock with CAPTIV bar
  • The old X-shaped dorsal construction is no more. It is now a single webbing attachment to the rear of the waist-belt
  • The buckles on the FAST versions include Petzl’s new FAST LT buckles

In view of the above, we would advise customers to use a Petzl ASTRO, not the new versions of the AVAO for rope access.

The European AVAO BOD CROLL has been discontinued. The International version is still available with a CROLL and the new ASTRO BOD includes a large CROLL

For further information on Petzl harnesses, please visit


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