Wider is Better...OR is it? (5 min read)
Every now and then, I'm asked which is the better option: A three inch or two inch harness? Of course there's more to choosing a harness than just the belt's width, but when drivers are shopping for a new harness, this seems to get brought up the most.
The theoretical idea most drivers have, is that the wider the belt, the better. Why better, you imply? It's no one's fault really, as we Americans have long been used to the old Simpson and Crow-style belts...chunky. To some degree, this may be true. If you're a hefty fella pushing the limits on that Sparco Evo, then perhaps a little extra weave in the belt's width couldn't hurt. But, just like anything else in the modern era, technology has come a long way via testing and the availability of better materials.
Although a three inch belt spreads the energy better than a two inch, it's only most effective when spreading the load on a flat surface. Unless you're built like Spongebob with square proportions, there's a good chance your belts aren't sitting flush across your shoulders and pelvis. Next time you strap in (if you have a three inch belt), check to see how much surface area actually touches your body. Some belts tend to fold upward when improperly seated.
A two inch belt is more effective in two ways:
- It sits better within the nooks and crannies of your shoulders and pelvic region, compared to a three inch, allowing for greater tightening.
- Because most sanctioning bodies require a head and neck restraint, the two inch belt accommodates these devices better, preventing material overlap or even slippage. (Side note: Necksgen actually allows up to a three inch belt on their devices)
Some belts offer a "two-into-three" style, which means the harness is two inches along the shoulder and hip areas, and gets wider toward the locking mechanism. Variations of this style differ between brands and models.
If you're looking for a good quality harness that won't break the bank too much, I'd recommend looking into the Schroth Profi-II. For just under 400 bucks, you can't go wrong. The hardware is better than most in it's price range, the pull handles are nice, and the lap belt can be configured to either pull-up or pull-down style. Lastly, the camlock system is smooth, with reassuring firmness when locked. Check out the Schroth Profi-II here!