Reviewed by our Gear Geeks:

The Best Climbing Harness in 2021


Our experts at work

We gave our Gear lovers one job:
Test 34 different Climbing Harness and write reviews of the best.

The result is 18 of the best Climbing Harness on the market today.

Anastasia Hamurari

Travel and Gear Writer
An ambitious writer with a thirst for content creation through storytelling.

torben lonne

Torben Lonne

Editor at
Torben is a dive nut, with a passion for traveling and gear.

You need a reliable climbing harness.

One that will make your climbing practice comfortable, efficient, and, most of all, safe.

A well-built climbing harness is designed to minimize the risks you are taking when venturing out in the hinterland. It anchors you to one steady point and doesn’t let you fall or slip.

It becomes your literal life-savior on substantial heights and during harsh weather conditions.

Regardless of the purpose of your climb, it is worth investing in one.

To spare you the time you would spend after work or on the weekends researching a reputable climbing harness, we took it upon ourselves to bring you the optimal guide comprising the best harnesses on the today’s market.

We took into consideration features like leg loops, belay devices, and ice clipper slots that play a defining role when choosing a suitable harness. Additionally, we evaluated the weight and the versatility of the harnesses to advise you on the best options out of the bunch.

So take a close look at our climbing harnesses selection and you might just find the one that suites your needs.

Top 10 Best Climbing Harnesses In 2021

See our quick top 10, or go further down and read our in-depth reviews.

Still unsure as to what climbing harness to choose? We have answered the most popular questions about the ropes in the last section of the guide.

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Beloved sports gear brand Petzl has nailed it yet again with Sama harness this time. Its denim-like pattern along with grey coloring is memorable – just like the upcoming climbing adventure of yours. You will feel your most comfortable wearing a safety cushion that has elasticized leg loops and a flexible waistband.

The EnfoGrame structure will add up to your level of comfort as it helps to distribute the weight accordingly. This universal climbing harness is exceptionally versatile – it is suitable for almost any type of rock climbing. Sport climbing, trad climbing or gym bouldering – you name it, the harness can be appropriated to any scenario.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Petzl Sama :
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: polyester, nylon, EVA, aluminum, polyurethane, and high-modulus polyethylene
  • Waist size: 30-33 inches
  • The number of gear loops: 4
  • Leg loop size: 20.5 – 22.4 inches
  • Weight: 385 grams
What we like:
  • Has a high level of comfort and a relatively low weight
  • The loops arrangement works great with almost any kind of rock climbing
  • Affordable
What we don’t like:
  • Not suitable for ice and mountaineering climbing
  • The waist belt has the tendency to slightly ride up when hanging

The abundance of front and back loops allows you to climb with no restrictions, which means that you will not be stopped in the face of your adversity by anything.

Standing for Fast and Light, this model of a climbing harness is a premium piece of gear that has a fair share of adorers. It feels like a second skin when you are wearing it, and we can vouch for this being essential when climbing tricky surfaces. The Warp Strength Technology enables the climber to disperse the load evenly throughout the entire waistbelt.

This means that you will be fully supported while also not feeling bulky equipment packed on your already tense body. The material is stretchy, the gear loops are of a perfect size, the leg loops snug every body shape, the ice clipper and the haul loop make the gear versatile – what else is there to wish for?

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Arc’teryx FL-365:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: Burly Double Weave (50% nylon, 43% polyester, 7% elastane)
  • Buckles: 7075-T6 aluminum, single self-locking waist
  • The number of gear loops: 4
  • Weight: 366 grams
  • Recommended use: professional climbing
What we like:
  • The construction is slim yet tough
  • The level of safety is particularly high
  • The material is of a top-grade quality
What we don’t like:
  • Considerably more expensive than other harnesses

Believe us when we say that aspiring climbers are able to achieve their ambitious goals with the help of this harness in no time.

Are you tired of climbing harnesses that do the trick but are unreasonably expensive? Here’s where the Jay III model by Edelrid comes to rescue. Not only is it affordable but it is also well-built and is highly adjustable. It fits so well you will forget to take it off when you are finished climbing that icy mountain.

The 3D mesh padding designed for this harness ensures the maximum comfort, while the ergonomic waistbelt secures your body and doesn’t let it slip. The belay loops are made to sit well down the center of your figure and not weigh you down.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Edelrid Jay :
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: Bluesign-certified fabric including Dyneema and polyester
  • Waist size: 27.6 – 37.4 inches
  • The number of gear loops: 4
  • Weight: 410 grams
  • Recommended use: climbing
What we like:
  • There is a female version of this harness
  • The materials meet the bluesign criteria, which makes the harness eco-friendly
  • One of the most adjustable climbing harnesses on the market
What we don’t like:
  • Not packable

The movable leg loops are useful for adjusting the fit of your feet and thus contribute to the overall climbing safety. No matter what body type you are, Jay III is created to properly fit you and prepare you for the anticipated climb.

Take a close look at this Arc’teryx FL-365 dupe – it will send shivers down your spine in the best way possible. The Solution released by Black Diamond costs a fraction of the FL-365 price but has a similar level of quality and sturdiness. How is that possible?

The company prioritized the highly qualitative construction of the climbing harness and stuck to giving it a cragg climbing specialization. As a result, a perfectly fitting gear that moves with your body was created. It has a Fusion Comfort Technology that allocates the weight proportionately and releasable elastic risers that ensure your contentment with your equipment.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Black Diamond Solution:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: Bluesign-certified fabric including foam and split webbing
  • Waist size: 30 – 33 inches
  • The number of gear loops: 4
  • Weight: 330 grams
  • Recommended use: entry-level climbing
What we like:
  • The comfort of this harness is undeniable
  • Affordable
What we don’t like:
  • Not versatile

Feel free to practice your climbing skills in the gym settings or in the rocks of the nearby park as long as you want – there are no limitations.

The brand’s most versatile climbing harness is hands down the Ophir 4 Slide. It holds the climber’s body well regardless of the weather conditions. Be it a freezing winter or a steaming hot summer – you will be secured in your Mammut harness.

The model incorporates a Split Webbing Technology that is responsible for reducing the harness’s weight that can easily transfer to your body weight and for increasing the overall ventilation. This eliminates the need for additional padding that might restrict your movement. And, let’s face it, that’s the last thing you need when the peak of the rock is 4 meters away from reach.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Mammut Ophir 4 Slide:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Buckles: Slide Bloc
  • Haul loop: 2 kN
  • The number of gear loops: 4
  • Weight: 397 grams
  • Recommended use: climbing
What we like:
  • The gear loops are sturdy and are thus bound to stay scratchless and faultless for a long period of time
  • The harness is totally adjustable, which is great for vertical versatility
  • Affordable
What we don’t like:
  • Heavier than some of the other climbing harnesses
  • The lack of sizing options

You will be able to use the harness for years as it has a built-in tie-in protector that prolongs the equipment’s life.

You won’t believe the support and comfort a harness that looks and feels so lightweight provides. We didn’t either, but then we tested it and became the believers. The Petzl built is superior, and this is backed by the harness’s WireFrame Technology.

This mechanism implies that the weight is distributed evenly due to the light and sturdy Spectra strands. They ensure your optimal comfort by dispersing the load among the leg loops and the waistbelt. This model didn’t even need to integrate some kind of a foam padding for the extra support – the aforementioned technology paired with two Caritool ice clippers is enough.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Petzl Sitta:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Buckles: single self-locking waist
  • The number of gear loops: 4
  • Weight: 269 grams
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Recommended use: climbing, mountaineering
What we like:
  • It is truly as lightweight as it gets in the world of climbing harnesses
  • The built is premium and long-lasting
What we don’t like:
  • One of the most expensive climbing harnesses on the market

You can gain this assurance yourself – check all the features of this harness and you will want to click the ‘add to cart’ button straight away.

Having researched and tested a big number of sports gear, we came to the realization that there is not enough equipment designed for women specifically. On this basis, we decided to give the Black Diamon’s Primrose a shot and, truth to be told, remained pleasantly surprised.

Women of all shapes and sizes will find it fitting as it is flexible enough to include an adjustable waist with leg loops located higher than usual. TrakFit technology is added to support this statement. This harness is also distinguished by its low weight that is especially handy for women that cannot bear wearing heavy equipment.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Black Diamond:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: synthetic
  • Buckle: adjustable
  • The number of gear loops: 4
  • Weight: 350 grams
  • Recommended use: climbing
What we like:
  • Its flexible construction attracts a wide female audience
  • Lightweight enough to not be a physical burden
What we don’t like:
  • Its durability is not the greatest

Indeed, it is good to know that nothing is going to weigh you down when performing those multi-pitch climbs.

Did you think 4 gear loops is a lot? Wait until you see that Petzel’s Adjama has 5 of them in total: 2 front loops for the ease of gear accessibility, 2 back loops for relieving tension, and 1 loop in the center for clipping either a belay device or a climbing accessory.

With such a wide array of loops, you are fully stacked for your next trad climb. The adjustable and padded leg loops ensure comfort during your climb, while the flexible waistbelt allows for the free body movements all throughout the climbing practice.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Petzl Adjama:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: nylon, polyester, EVA, polyurethane, aluminum, high-modulus polyethylene
  • Waist size: 30-33 inches
  • The number of gear loops: 5
  • Leg loop size: 20 – 24 inches
  • Weight: 485 grams
What we like:
  • The existence of the 5th gear loop makes it compatible with the Caritool too holder
  • The foam and split webbing ensure the maximum level of comfort
What we don’t like:
  • It is quite heavy compared to other Petzl models

The Petzl quality is hardly beatable – it is what made the brand become the ‘go-to’ sports gear for many generations of avid climbers. Who knows – you might fall in love with this climbing harness and join the community too.

This bulky number right here is great for 20+ pitch big wall climbing – we can attest to that. Its features are designed for holding you in and not letting you slip at any point of the climb. The waistbelt along with leg loops is heavily padded and can accommodate any kind of a climber.

You won’t be bored during your climb thanks to the 7 gear loops that come with the harness. Attach your favorite pair of shoes, a hefty bottle of water and a few more knickknacks, and you are set for a good while. If you are planning on sleeping during those long climbs, it is possible too.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Black Diamond :
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Waist size: 30-33 inches
  • The number of gear loops: 7
  • Leg loop size: 20 – 24 inches
  • Weight: 660 grams
  • Gender: unisex
What we like:
  • The most feature-rich climbing harness model available on today’s market
  • Extremely sturdy and long-lasting
What we don’t like:
  • The heaviest climbing harness out of the bunch

The Big Gun has detachable leg loops that can be taken off whenever you feel like taking a nap. Your level of comfort while sleeping with a harness on will strike high through the roof.

One of the company’s best-selling climbing harnesses has earned its sweet spot due to the enticing combination of quality and price. Novices practicing their climbing skills at the gym and experts embarking on long climbs have found Momentum to work well for them. You can tell straight away how comfortable it’s going to be – the cushioning on the leg loops and on the belt speak for themselves.

The leg loops also have a built-in TrakFit technology making them adjustable, while the waistbelt has a buckle that makes it match with the leg loops’ level of comfortability.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Black Diamond:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Buckles: Speed Adjust (self-locking)
  • The number of gear loops: 4
  • Leg loop mechanism: TrakFit
  • Weight: 340 grams
  • Recommended use: climbing
What we like:
  • The construction is able to accommodate every type of climber
  • The most affordable climbing harness on the market that often goes on sale
What we don’t like:
  • Runs small

Wear it during the boiling heat of the summer or in the icy winter – it’s all the same for this Black Diamond climbing harness. Just make sure to use the organizational haul loop that will surely add more flexibility to your training.

If you are a family of climbers, you are likely to take your kid with you whenever you head out for your climbing adventures. And, as a typical parent, you must be concerned with your child’s safety even more so than with your own.

This is when the Oustiti Full Body model developed by Petzl appears on the horizon. This climbing harness is designed for kids who weigh up to 30 kg – this gives you quite a bit of time stretch, especially if your kid is still small. As opposed to the adults’ harnesses, the Oustiti holds the kid’s entire body, and thus provides the maximum level of security.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Petzl Oustiti :
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: high-strength polyester webbing, closed-cell foam, polyester
  • Leg loop size: 12.6 – 16 inches
  • Waist size: 23 – 28 inches
  • Weight: 410 grams
  • Warranty: 3 years
What we like:
  • Extremely safe and comfortable for kids
  • Has a high level of durability
  • Adjusts easily
What we don’t like:
  • Does not suit older kids who weigh more than 30 kg (66 lbs)

Although the construction is sturdy, it is also quite comfortable so that your little one wouldn’t be complaining of the harness’s strings cinching his body too tight. The risk of hazards is minimized with the built-in double buckles located on the back of the harness. This means that your precious offspring will be safe at all times.

Having been sewing climbing equipment for well over 30 years now, Misty Mountain is the right choice for anyone looking to invest in reliable climbing gear and support the craftspeople. Despite the bulky look, Cadillac is favored by many climbers as it is built remarkably well and is rich with features.

You are able to perform multi-pitches in the harshest of conditions while staying comfortable – the harness is made from a Cordura fabric with foam padding and adjustable waist and leg loops. The six upturned gear loops allow you to store your belongings close to you, whereas the side slots for ice tools are able to give shelter to your wall gear.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Misty Mountain Cadillac:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: 500D Cordura nylon with foam
  • The number of gear loops: 6
  • Buckles: Double Pass
  • Weight: 530 grams
  • Recommended use: trad and big wall climbing
What we like:
  • Built with plenty of features necessary for climbing big walls in every weather
  • Made to last throughout the years
  • Handcrafted by the US workers
What we don’t like:
  • Some features might seem a little too old-fashioned
  • Looks and feels bulkier than other climbing harnesses

This number will definitely become your go-to companion on your next climbing adventure.

The webbing technology has become a hit feature that every other climbing gear brand is slowly incorporating into their products. Beal is not an exception – their Rebel Soft model is designed with the webbing pieces that are wrapped around your waist.

The two side buckles make the harness stay in the center and the gear loops hang on either one of the sides. The overall construction is reminiscent of the FL-365 model released by Arc’tyrex and thus poses a great competition to it.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Beal Rebel Soft :
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • The number of gear loops: 4
  • Buckles: Dynamic-Fit (Black Diamond license)
  • Weight: 325 grams
  • Recommended use: sport and alpine climbing
  • Warranty: 3 years
What we like:
  • A lightweight harness that is easy to carry on your waist
  • An affordable gear that won’t break your bank
What we don’t like:
  • The number of features is not high
  • The webbing mechanism embedded into this harness might dig into your hip area

If one omits the leg buckles that have the tendency to loosen over some period of frequent use and the lack of haul loop, this item might be a worthy piece of equipment to purchase.

Another review of the kids-oriented climbing harness is here to serve as an alternative option for a different target group of children. The same company named Petzl issued climbing gear that would suit kids of an older age who are willing to bring their climbing skills to the next level.

The Macchu harness is able to hold a kid whose weight reaches the 40 kg point – isn’t that impressive? Since children tend to grow at different paces, it is handy to invest in sports equipment that will last at least a few consecutive years.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Petzl Macchu Kid’s:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • The number of gear loops: 2
  • Leg loops: adjustable
  • Buckles: 2 double back
  • Weight: 85 grams
  • Recommended use: kids up to 40 kg
What we like:
  • A perfect transitioning piece for kids to move onto the adults’ harness
  • Suitable for kids up to 40 kg (88 lbs)
What we don’t like:
  • It takes time to adapt to the leg loops

Besides, it has shoulder straps that can be put on for additional protection. And, as with the Oustiti model, this harness disposes of the back buckles that won’t let your kid slip no matter what.

There is no other climbing harness in this guide that would come close to the safety level of the Safe Tech Deluxe. The same goes for the fit. Made from the thick foamy fabric with a fleece lining, this model by Metolius provides the ultimate level of comfort and freedom of movement.

That being said, its outside is rough enough to be suitable for trad and big wall climbing. The integrated adjustment system allows you to easily adjust the distance between the waist and the leg loops. The entire set of haul, gear and belay loops is designed to handle a heavy load up to 10 kN – the maximum possible impact force rating of a climbing harness.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Metolius Safe Tech Deluxe:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: webbing, fleece and foam
  • The number of gear loops: 4
  • Weight: 567 grams
  • Recommended use: climbing
  • Warranty: 1 year
What we like:
  • Bulletproof from every standpoint
  • Capable of holding a huge amount of load
What we don’t like:
  • Large and heavy

Being the only company on the market to create a harness of this strength, we don’t see why you wouldn’t want to give it fair chance.

As the name implies, the Vario Speed by Black Diamond is aimed at professional climbers whose goal is to achieve a high speed and movement mobility. This is possible due to the low weight of the harness and the leg buckles that are quickly adjustable. You won’t have to cinch them as they easily adjust to your desired leg position.

You could assume that the nylon webbing would feel flimsy, and you could not be further from the truth. This fabric merely makes the harness comfortable and flexible enough to move with the body at the climber’s preferred speed. Certainly, there is no additional padding that could potentially provide additional security, but that is not what this speedy harness is about.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Black Diamond:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: nylon webbing
  • Waist size: 23 – 42 inches
  • Leg loop size: 17 – 28 inches
  • Weight: 450 grams
  • Recommended use: climbing
What we like:
  • The quickly adjustable waist and leg loops are great for a speedy climber
  • Affordable
What we don’t like:
  • Can get uncomfortable when worn for a long time
  • Lacks loops and other attachments

Rather, it is made for thirsty for adventure climbers who are willing to compromise small details to acquire that high speed.

An all-around climbing harness named Corax will come in handy for those looking for a standard gear that will support them during their climbs. It has got all you would ever need for a comfortable climb – 4 gear loops, 2 DoubleBack buckles and an accessory loop located in the center.

You can adjust it according to your specific needs that might be affected by the clothes you are wearing or by the weather conditions. Carry all the tools you need for a good climbing session without worrying about the harness interfering with your backpack.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Petzl Corax:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Unisex
  • Waist size: 25.6 – 37.8 inches
  • Leg loop size: 19.1 – 23.2 inches
  • Weight: 490 grams
  • Recommended use: climbing
What we like:
  • A durable climbing harness that is going to last you a long period of time
  • Easily adjustable
What we don’t like:
  • Comes in 2 sizes only

Petzl has proved itself as a reputable brand over the years, so there is no point in doubting its greatness when it comes to sports equipment.

The Apollo by Grivel has managed to retain the features of a bulky harness and the weight of a lightweight harness – a not-that-often-met duo. It encompasses a waistbelt with 2 adjustment buckles, detachable rear elastic risers and large-sized gear loops.

This makes it at the very least an attractive option for climbers who are into alpine and trad climbing. Moreover, it comes at a price that is justified by such a wide array of features. Appolo does, however, lack in a few departments.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Grivel Apollo:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Buckles: 2
  • Construction: Web-Core technology
  • Additional features: Grivel Shield
  • Weight: 309 grams
  • Recommended use: alpine, trad, sport climbing
What we like:
  • Affordable harness that has all the essential features
What we don’t like:
  • The leg loops are not adjustable

The leg loops are not adjustable, which might be a turn off for some, and the gear loops seem to be unnecessarily bulky. Even so, in case this model does end up fitting your body shape, by all means, go for it.

Questions & Answers:

1. Do I need to purchase a climbing harness?

If you are planning on immersing yourself into climbing or are simply looking to upgrade your climbing harness, the natural answer to this question is ‘yes’. It makes perfect sense to invest in one as it is a crucial piece of gear that ensures your ultimate safety. And, as we are familiarized with precautions connected with extreme sports, safety should be on the first place of your priority list. By purchasing a climbing harness, you simultaneously procure a literal safety net that is going to protect you from potential injuries. This is why you must do your research beforehand and choose the climbing harness that is sturdy and durable. You want your climbing equipment to last you at least a few years before you retire it and upgrade to a new one. Another essential criterion is the level of comfort your harness provides. It is the case when the higher is the better. We call it a common-sense – you are bound to enjoy your climb a lot more when you feel comfortable and secure.

2. What type of climbing harness will suit me the best?

The more choice you have, the harder it is to choose. The same scenario applies to choosing a correctly fitting climbing harness that would satisfy all your gear needs. Are adjustable leg loops important to you? Do you often find yourself looking for more gear loops to attach your stuff? Are you planning on climbing in icy conditions? Manufacturers tend to create climbing harnesses that are designated for one or another type of climbing, which is why you should take every single little detail into consideration before buying one. Check the various types of climbing scenarios below, also check out climbing vs bouldering,  and pick your climbing harness accordingly.

– Sport Climbing
In this case, the low weight of your climbing gear is the feature you should be looking for. Your harness should be able to support your quick body movements and not restrict any motions. There is no need for heavy and bulky gear loops that would slow you down and add extra weight.

– Big Wall Climbing
It takes time to climb a big wall, which means that hefty and feature-rich climbing harnesses are what you should be looking for. They are usually padded for additional comfort, have an extensive amount of loops and have a look of the bulletproof vest. You might not be moving with the speed of light, but you will eventually conquer that massive rock.

– Trad Climbing
You will undergo multi-pitching often enough to need a climbing harness that is made from durable material that allows you to hang comfortably. It must have more features than the sport climbing harness, but not so many that would add to its weight. Basically, a wide and padded waistband made from foam with 4 gear loops and a centered haul loop will suffice.

– Mountaineering
There is generally no hanging or falling involved in mountaineering, so the focus should be made on your comfort more than on anything else. Your climbing harness must be quick and easy to put on and take off to the point where you feel comfortable walking with it. It would also be a nice touch if your harness was as lightweight as possible since your clothing already takes quite a bit of space.

– Alpine Climbing
The combination of light and fast is what alpine climbing implies. Your climbing harness has to do the seemingly impossible – feature large loops, be durable, packable and lightweight all at the same time. Ideally, it should also include ice clipper slots and adjustable leg loops for sufficient storage and leg comfort. Luckily, there are climbing harnesses like this on the market.

– Gym Climbing
Perhaps the least demanding climbing type calls for a simple but durable climbing harness that would, most of all, improve your climbing skills. No large loops or tech-savvy technologies are required as this would only add up to the harness’s price. And that is not what you should be looking for. Rather, your climbing harness should cost as little as possible, be comfortable and last you a good amount of time.

3. Is there a difference between the men’s and women’s climbing harnesses?

You’d like to think that sports gear brands are coming out with climbing harnesses that are targeted towards both men and women, but that’s not always the case. Whether the complications arise with developing the right sizing and shape or companies simply don’t bother to put an extra effort into developing two separate harnesses, it is what it is. With that said, you are not prohibited from using men’s harness if you are a woman and vice versa. It may even be that you’ll find men’s harness to be more comfortable than the one designed specifically for women or the other way around. If it fits you well, then there should be nothing stopping you from opting for it. And even though women-oriented climbing harnesses tend to have higher located leg loops while men-oriented ones are stiffer, it comes down to your personal preference.

4. Split webbing and foam – what is their use?

A long time ago climbing harnesses were considered to be a luxury for many climbers. They were constructed from cheap over-the-counter materials that didn’t ensure comfort. As the years went by and climbing started gaining momentum, brands from all over the world started investing in producing highly qualitative gear that resembled nothing like the old third-rate harnesses. It incorporated padding, gear and rear loops and other features that made climbing an exciting sport. The two prominent innovations include split-webbing and foam, both of which are used for distributing the load.

Foam is included in many climbing harnesses to provide the climber with additional comfort and a soft catch when hanging during the climb. It also helps to distribute the load evenly, especially in times when you decide to attach to your harness a lot of stuff. Even so, there are a few cons to the foam construction we have to mention. Some climbing harnesses end up weighing more due to the heaviness of the foam and the hindered airflow. The long lastingness of the foam’s initial shape is also questionable as it is observed to get worn out quite quickly. That is not to say that foam is of no use and you should stay away from it. Rather, brands like Beal and Edelrid have managed to add mesh or perforation to the foam with the aim to make it breathable and lightweight. If you are an entry-level climber whose practices mainly occur in gym settings, we would definitely recommend purchasing a harness with foam.

Split webbing, on the other hand, was an innovation released by the famed Arc’teryx that was looking to create an alternative to foam. What they essentially did was taking a piece of webbing and splitting it in width while also distributing the strands evenly throughout the waistbelt and leg loops. This new mechanism allowed climbers to move freely with the harness without feeling like it restricts movements due to its bulkiness and heaviness. Soon after other brands including Black Diamond and Petzl jumped on the bandwagon and released split webbing climbing harnesses of their own. The two technologies are not mutually exclusive, however, meaning that you will still find companies issuing climbing harnesses that integrate a thin layer of foam and split webbing in the harness. This makes the climbing equipment lightweight, durable and comfortable all at the same time.

5. Will I be safe when wearing a climbing harness?

As a rule, every piece of climbing gear in your possession must have a kilonewton (kN) classification that represents the equipment’s force. To not bore you with too many technicalities, generally speaking, a piece of equipment with a 1kN rate is able to hold around 100 kg (200 pounds) of static weight. As the fall’s force rises, the amount of weight the kN rating has in store diminishes. Since the climbing equipment’s usual rate ranges between 4 and 25kN, there is a 100% chance it will keep you safe. On top of that, the number might not matter as much as knowing what parts of your climbing harness actually are designed to withstand the most amount of pressure. Tie-in points along with the belay loop are the two features that handle the most force as they are the ones that attach to other climbing tools. Other than that, don’t rely on the other features of your climbing harness and use common sense when climbing, especially if it’s your first time in the wild.

6. For how long can I use my climbing harness before it’s time to throw it away?

Although a lot of tools in the climbing equipment are easily replaceable, the climbing harness is something that climbers rely on immensely. It has to be sturdy and long-lasting – this way your investment will pay off in a few months. For this reason, you better take care of it before it’s too late and the only option left is to splurge on another harness. After each climb, inspect your harness for fuzzy pieces or any signs of fraying, including the fabric attached to the belay loop. Do not ignore the care instructions provided by the manufacturer as they are developed specifically for prolonging the life of your climbing harness. Due to the construction of the climbing harness playing the most significant role in its longevity, it is crucial to choose the one that meets your requirements and doesn’t compromise any of them. This way you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of a climbing harness for longer. And remember, as soon as you notice server signs of wear and tear – retire it! It might not end up serving you the typical 7 years stated by the manufacturer, but it could potentially save your life.

If you already have a Climbing Harness or you just bought one, leave a comment in the comment section below and share your experience with it.


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