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What is more ideal than having support where you need it with all the freedom you want to move the way you want to? 

Just reading over these words and we realize Manera’s description of the brand’s kiteboarding harnesses is pretty much what every human needs in just about every aspect of life.

This article, though, is not about life.  In this article, we look at the defining characteristics of the Manera brand and highlight for you one of their most popular harness options, the Exo. 

If you’re looking for a Manera Exo harness review, you might appreciate our quick comparison between the Exo and Manera’s Eclipse: two similar kite harnesses that create two distinctly different sensory experiences for riders that define comfort in this way.

Manera: A French family’s approach to pleasure in the ocean

Manera is a French family-owned business specializing in high quality water sports gear and equipment. 

Founded by F-ONE Kites CEO in 2011, Manera has been owned and managed by the same family since their inception.

Harnessing innovation and creation, Manera puts their developer’s spirit to work in service of pleasure in the ocean. 

Their mission: to help you make the most of your time on the water without getting cold or uncomfortable.

The driving characteristics behind the Manera brand are high quality and loyalty. 

Honoring these prized characteristics, Manera only produces high-end gear and only works with a network of trusted shops. 

In recent years, some distributors have also begun offering Manera products, including the Exo harness, through online forums such as Amazon.

The Exo harness outline and design concept

The Exo harness concept developed after extensive research and development efforts and Manaera’s collaboration with a human kinetic movement lab. 

In conjunction with some of the world’s best kitesurfers, Manera developers engineered a harness that provides optimal pressure distribution  and stays in place, addressing the problem of harness ride up that has plagued riders since the sport first began. 

Not only did this partnership improve the fit achieved in the Exo harness, the study and research led Exo developers to optimize load distribution and prevent misplaced pressure points, such as on the floating ribs or lower back. 

The Exo harness instead guides pressure across the sacrum and iliac crest, parts of the body much better suited to carrying this load.

The manufacturing process behind the Exo harness is a key reason this harness is so comfortable for riders.

Manera developers studied the natural curve of the back to better understand the movements of a rider’s body while riding. 

This attention to kinesthetic detail helped Manera create a preformed ergonomic shape and a manufacturing process that imposes this preformed shape on each layer of material to ensure the Exo harness finds its natural place around a rider’s back, fitting so naturally that riders forget it is even there once they are out on the water. 

Manera’s manufacturing process is a new mode of manufacturing. 

The Coon concept in manufacturing places the entire thickness of the harness, including all of the proactive foams, between the brand’s Energy Dispersion Frame and the rider’s body. 

The entire foam thickness promotes rider comfort by reducing and absorbing energy because it’s placement keeps the kite’s traction forces on the outside to protect a rider’s back beneath.

Construction specs of the Exo harness

The key technologies integrated into the Exo harness include the brand’s Energy Dispersion Frame and Down Hold System. 

Innovative materials and shaping come together in the Exo to perfectly balance comfort and support for kitesurfers.

Manera’s Energy Dispersion Frame is the core of the Exo harness. 

This single unit frame takes the load of pressure and energy that is transferred through the spreader bar and distributes it over a much wider area of a rider’s back. 

The EDF frame features a hexagonal structure incorporating varying degrees of thickness  to protect riders and prevent concentration of the load that occurs with kite traction from buildinging up over small areas of the back. 

The EDF frame connects directly to the spreader bar through a network of straps and buckles to ensure this element of the harness takes 100% of the kite’s traction, further preventing injury and minimizing unwanted avoiding unwanted muscular effort rider’s often resort to in an effort to offset the pressure and tension caused by concentrated or misplaced kite traction.

Any rider who’s experienced the discomfort of a harness that rides up while riding knows the value of a harness that actually stays in place. 

The Down hold system integrated into the Exo harness is an asymmetrical attachment that distributes forces downward. 

Aided by tuck flaps that insert into the harness at the ends of the spreader bar, the Down Hold System keeps the Exo in place so riders can enjoy longer, more comfortable sessions on the water. 

Responsible for stiffening the connection between the harness and buckle, tuck flaps are an innovative design element.

The Exo is constructed of Ballistic nylon.  Ballistic nylon was originally developed for Royal Air Force pilots and engineered for integration into body armor. 

Made of thick nylon threads assembled in a very tight weave, Ballistic nylon extends the life of the Exo harness, dramatically improving both abrasion resistance and durability.

Finding your best fit

The Exo harness is available in six different sizes, ranging from XS to XXL.  The XS option works best for smaller and youth riders. 

This harness is suggested for riders weighing about 130 pounds and measuring between 5’2” – 5’6” in height. 

Riders on the other end of the spectrum, heavier or taller riders, will appreciate the XXL’s fit. 

The XXL harness is recommended for riders weighing in the neighborhood of 200 pounds and measuring more than 6 feet in height. 

For Manera’s guidance on selecting the right harness size, check out the brand’s size charts here

Manera has partnered with ZATFITS, utilizing this technology to take your measurements and calculate the best for you based on your unique numbers in Manera’s range of products.  

If you’re new to measuring yourself for a harness or if your local gear shops aren’t offering the option to try merchandise on in the store, this information from Manera can be very helpful as you take your measurements to make a more informed choice.

Exo vs. Eclipse: Which Manera harness is best for you?

Manera offers two kitesurfing harness options, each with distinct advantages and a unique feel that riders need to consider when selecting the best harness for their body, riding style, and what generally feels best to them.

While the Exo harness creates a snugger fit on riders, the Eclipse sits lower and is more narrow than the Exo‘s outline. 

This translates to more range of movement with the Eclipse. 

The EXO is made with a lightweight waterproof foam material while the Eclipse’s gel construction focuses on comfort and shock absorption. 

The Exo’s waist belt is elastic for maximum flexibility.

The Eclipse has a neoprene waist belt for closer contact with the harness.  

The Exo feels snug but its construction allows a great degree of flexibility. 

The Eclipse is made to sit lower on a rider to maximize range of movement but it’s waist belt and construction create close contact without as much flexibility. 

Some riders will have strong reasons for favoring one over the other, but the sensory experience of a snug harness versus the sensory experience of a lower-riding and less flexible harness – this is a big factor for a lot of riders.

Manera Exo Harness Review: What you can expect from the 2021 lineup

2020 was a challenging year for most and maybe that’s why Manera developers were so eager to look ahead to the possibilities of 2021. 

At Manera, the 2021 product lineup is already available and offers water sport enthusiasts a range of high quality gear to increase time on the water.

For 2021, Manera describes their harnesses as supportive yet adaptable. 

Both the Exo 2.0 and The Eclipse harnesses feature an adaptive shell stiffness. 

You can see the difference between these two harnesses here, and will quickly notice that the Exo is a much stiffer harness option designed to provide more support to riders. 

Adaptive Shell technology is hard in the center of the harness and fades softer at the harness edges. 

The stiff center belt keeps the harness from folding in on your body under pressure while providing riders with a little extra lumbar support. 

The softer outline at the harness edges, on the other hand, protects intuitive mobility and responsiveness and makes the Exo an adaptable harness.

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