No matter if you are looking for your first or your fifth climbing harness, knowing all the essential points will help you find the perfect harness. Apart from being essential in the safety of a climber, harnesses offer different levels of comfort, fit, organization, and weight.
But, as you surf the internet to see that there are many harnesses with different characteristics, brands, and styles, which can cause you to get bored and choose the first one you see, then you realize that it was not the best option.
It is for this reason, we have put this buying guide on the best climbing harnesses together. We have found the best options in the market, and we bring them to you.
In addition, we have highlighted the models with the best performance in each discipline, including sport, traditional, alpine, ice, and gym climbing.
|Product||Waist (Inch)||Leg Loops||Weight (g)||Building||Adjustment Mechanism|
|Petzl Adjama Sling Harness||30-33 (Medium)||Adjustable||460||Foam rubber and split straps||Double Buckle|
|Black Diamond Primrose||30-33 (Medium)||Adjustable||350||Foam rubber and split straps||Single Pull Tab|
|Black Diamond Momentum||30-33 (Medium)||Adjustable||350||Foam rubber and split straps||Single Pull Tab|
|Petzl Corax||25.6-37.8/ 29.9-42.1||Adjustable||490||Foam rubber and split straps||Double Buckle|
|Mammut Ophir 3 Slide||28.5-33.5 (Medium)||Adjustable||370||Foam rubber and split straps||Single Pull Tab|
- #1 Petzl Adjama Sling Harness
- #2 Black Diamond Primrose
- #3 Black Diamond Momentum
- #4 Petzl Corax
- #5 Mammut Ophir 3 Slide
- Buying advice for a climbing harness
- How does a harness have to fit?
- When is a climbing harness suitable for children?
- What properties does a good children’s climbing harness need?
- What can a climbing harness withstand?
- What size do I need for the harness?
- Can climbing harness be used for roof work and tree care?
- How to maintain and clean a harness?
- How long should you use your harness?
#1 Petzl Adjama Sling Harness
It is designed for intense climbing such as multi-pitch and traditional climbing; this harness will withstand the most challenging climbs. It is inarguably the best climbing harness on sale.
Thanks to its comfortable belt with padded Endoframe technology, you can easily spend several hours or even days on it. The equalization points are made with Dyneema; this makes it more resistant to the friction of the rope and, therefore, more durable.
Adjustable legs provide greater customization and comfort. In fact, they are one of the most comfortable on our list. Finally, five giant material carriers, two rigid, two flexible, and one in the back. The latter will be very useful for hanging insurers, shoes, jackets, anchor tools, or any additional equipment you need to carry.
For all the points mentioned above, quality, and a reasonable price, Petzl Adjama is ranked the top harness on our list.
- Super comfortable to hang and descend
- Heavy and bulky
#2 Black Diamond Primrose
We know that there are not a lot of harnesses for women, that is why Black Diamond designed this model exclusively for them. It is the best climbing harness for women.
The Primrose is designed to be flexible enough no matter what type of body you have, so you can enjoy climbing with perfect comfort. In addition, it has slightly higher legs and a more adjustable belt.
The TrakFit system allows you to adjust the legs easily and effectively, and the Speed Adjust to adjust the belt. Open Air technology in the waist and legs offer greater airflow, making it lighter and less bulky.
It includes four medium material carriers and a back loop to transport larger things. This is a very versatile and affordable harness, ideal for an adventurous woman, the perfect companion for your way to the top.
- Various sizes and colors
- Fits any shape
- It is not as durable as other models
#3 Black Diamond Momentum
The Black Diamond Momentum is perhaps not the most comfortable, the most innovative, or the best quality harness on our list, but its price and versatility make it the best harness for beginner climbers looking for their favorite type of climbing. If you are looking for the best harness for value on sale, then you should consider the Black Diamond Momentum.
It works well for training in the gym, sports climbing, and can even be a very useful traditional climbing harness if necessary. The product comes with a very light design, TrakFit for the legs and Speeds Adjust for easy adjustment, a rear drag loop, and four material carriers.
For more than a good price, you get a well designed and durable harness For some time, the Momentum has been the best harness for beginner climbers of all disciplines.
- Good price
- Not very durable
- The belt goes up a little while you hang
#4 Petzl Corax
The Petzl Corax combines maximum adjustability with incredible versatility at a very reasonable price. This harness, in addition to having adjustable legs, has double buckles at the waist, which allow you to modify the fit perfectly, keeping the securing loop and the material holders centered. It remains inarguably the best climbing harness for a wide range of sizes.
The Corax also has four large material carriers, offering ample space to store the necessary equipment for any route. For beginners, price, adjustability, versatility, and comfort are the highest priority when considering which harness to choose.
- Good price
- Heavy and bulky
#5 Mammut Ophir 3 Slide
This Mammut model is a very solid and versatile harness. With a folding buckle, four material holders, and a 4 (kn) back loop, adjustable and breathable legs to reduce that sticky and sweaty feeling on the hottest days.
It is a perfect companion for your sports and traditional climbs. On the other hand, it is lightweight, although not as much as other models on our list, and has a size small enough to be packable.
The Ophir has less foam rubber, although this allows you more freedom of movement and breathability, it means less comfort when hanging, thus earning it the best climbing harness for versatility.
Finally, and perhaps what we like most, Mammut added abrasion indicators for users to know the right time to remove the harness. Overall, for its entry-level price, the Ophir is a high-performance option for light and fast climbers.
- Not very durable
Buying advice for a climbing harness
Type of climbing
What kind of climbing are you going to practice? This is the first question you should ask yourself before buying your harness. Usually, each harness is manufactured for a specific form of climbing. Although sometimes you can run into a crossover (sports and traditional gym and sports, for example), it is best to choose it according to the climbing practices to be engaged in.
In case you are just starting in this world, the best option is to choose a versatile harness, you can use it with several climbing classes, while you find the one you like best.
Used or new
Beginners in particular often consider whether buying a new harness is worthwhile at all or whether it can also be bought used. The most important factor here is how often you want to use the belt and how old the used model is. Used belts can show signs of wear. The belts must be checked accordingly.
An important point when buying is material. Basically, there is no rope harness. It is always made from wide, well-padded, and extremely resilient band elements. Pay attention to both the resilience and the care of the materials. For example, it is helpful if you can wash the belt.
Explicitly inquire about the resilience of each belt. This is given either in kg or kN. There may be differences between sizes and models. Do not choose the resilience too tightly, but leave a small buffer here.
It is important that you can put on the climbing harness correctly and that it then fits perfectly. So take your time to choose the size and take a close look at brands like the Singing Rock harness, because there may be differences between manufacturers.
how are the straps padded? The upholstery remains an important quality feature for the climbing harnesses and must, therefore, be taken into account when making the selection. The upholstery should be pleasantly soft so that there are no uncomfortable pressure points.
Take a look at how the harness can be adjusted to your body. Here, too, there are differences between the models. The more adjustment options you have, the better you can align the strap on your body.
Don’t forget the design of the harness. This also plays a role in the selection. Common designs are available in black, brown, and gray. Models for children and women are also available in pink.
Choosing a good harness is by no means easy. Take a close look at the target group for which the manufacturers offer the harness. In the trade, there are not only straps for people, but also for dogs.
Before you make your final purchase, make sure that the accessories and belt meet the generally applicable safety standards. This is noted accordingly by the manufacturers in the operating instructions.
Climbing harness model types
The lay belt or hip belt is usually referred to as the “climbing harness.” It has two leg loops and a hip loop. There is also a rope loop for the climbing rope. One or more material loops for climbing accessories are attached to the hip ring. With the seat belt, the rope-in point is always in front of the body, approximately at the center of gravity of the body. This enables comfortable hanging in an almost seated position and less tense abdominal muscles. In addition, the climber has a relatively large freedom of movement.
Full belt is also known as a combination belt, it has an arm and leg loop and two high-lying safety loops in the chest area. The harness is easy to put on, and only the safety loops have to be connected to the climbing rope to tie in. A complete harness is often used as a child’s climbing harness due to its easy handling. But even inexperienced people or beginners like to use it.
A chest strap is not a climbing harness in the strict sense, as it is normally used in conjunction with the seat belt or waist belt. The exclusive use of a chest strap is strongly discouraged, as the bodyweight-only affects the armpits when hanging. This can lead to a hanging trauma with severe effects on the cardiovascular system. The chest band (made of a rope) is used, for example, by the fire brigade in emergencies.
For safe climbing, whether alpine with heavy equipment or in the climbing hall only with a hip belt, there is no alternative to a safe climbing harness. The advantages are obvious: they prevent a fall and serious, quickly life-threatening injuries. We therefore strongly recommend always climbing with a harness.
How does a harness have to fit?
Most of all, convenient. There should still be reserves on the adjustment strap so that it can be continued. With children, in particular, it is important to check every season whether it is still sitting properly; otherwise, it must be replaced.
The leg loops should be as tight as necessary but should be adjusted as loosely as possible. So they should offer support without slipping, but still, allow enough freedom of movement. Nothing should pinch or push – otherwise, in the event of a fall from the climbing harness itself, further injuries can occur.
When is a climbing harness suitable for children?
As soon as a child tries a climbing wall in the hall, or you take the child on a climbing tour, you need a harness. Even on a mountain hike, a climbing harness can be useful for children, as there can already be dangerous areas. There is hardly a child age limit – even for toddlers, there are already safe climbing harnesses.
It is important for adults that the harness fits well and is adapted to the weight and size of the child. Since children are still growing, you have to check them here very often and, if in doubt, buy a new child’s climbing harness – usually every season. You can find detailed information about the recommended body size and maximum bodyweight in the product description of the respective climbing harness.
A complete climbing harness is always recommended for small children, even if this restricts the freedom of movement somewhat, but overall it is safer.
What properties does a good children’s climbing harness need?
The most important thing is good upholstery, which ensures a comfortable and secure hold. Young people tend to have the center of gravity in the back area, which is why toddlers tend to tip back in the belt. This can be avoided with a complete climbing harness; the integrated chest strap prevents tipping. A hip belt is then recommended for older, more active children. When exactly, this makes sense – there is no fixed rule for this; it is, therefore, advisable to have professional advice tailored to the child!
What can a climbing harness withstand?
A climbing harness is intended to absorb the bodyweight of an adult in the event of a fall and to carry and distribute the body weight when roping down and abseiling. Huge forces and loads can arise, which have to be distributed and absorbed in the best possible way by good climbing harnesses. Consequently, robust and tear-resistant materials are used and with normal, occasional use, a harness can last up to 7 years, after which it should be replaced.
For safety reasons, frequent climbers change their harness after three years. After soaking or extreme loads, there may be small cracks in the material – you have to check the climbing harness after each tour; for safety reasons, the climbing harness must be replaced if there is the slightest sign of material wear or fatigue!
What size do I need for the harness?
The waist size is decisive for the correct size of a climbing harness. The circumference of the thigh also plays an important role.
- Measure waist circumference correctly: place tape measure at the narrowest part of the waist, stand loosely and relaxed, measure directly on the skin.
- Measure the thigh circumference correctly: Place measuring tape around the thigh, approx. 2 hands wide below the crotch, and measure.
Can climbing harness be used for roof work and tree care?
A good harness can also be used for gardening. However, additional equipment may be required for use on the roof. For tree care, there are still special harnesses with suitable accessories, as well as the possibility to take tools up with you.
How to maintain and clean a harness?
In order to ensure the safety of a climbing harness for a long time, there are a few important tips for care and cleaning that you should absolutely observe:
- In principle, do not buy used equipment (you do not know the condition and history) and do not expose your equipment to direct sunlight where possible – Materials can become brittle, regularly check for weak spots wash out the harness ONLY with warm water without detergent and let it dry in the shade.
- Don’t use it wet.
- Avoid laying the harness on the floor in the parking lot – battery acid, oil, and other chemical substances could not adversely affect the material belt in the blazing sun in the car
- Do not store the harness unprotected in the trunk – always use a bag to avoid wear and tear
- Never take your eyes off climbing gear.
How long should you use your harness?
How long is a climbing harness durable, and how long should you use it – a safety-relevant question! The durability of a climbing harness depends on how often it is used and how heavily it is loaded. A rule of thumb is (as a rough guideline) to replace a belt that you often use after about three years.
If you only use the climbing harness a few times a month, it is enough to replace it after seven years. Important: If there are any signs of wear – especially quickly recognizable on the leg loops – please replace the harness immediately!
As long as you want to embark on your climbing adventure, you will certainly get used to making use of harnesses. Aside from protecting you, this equipment also allows you to enjoy a comfortable climbing experience.
The role of the harness in climbing cannot be sidelined, hence, there is a need for you to carefully review and select the best harness that suits you. With this buying guide, it becomes easier for you to select the type of harness that suits you. Regardless of the type of climbing you want to embark on, with your harness, you can forever savor the experience.