4 Best Climbing Harness for Beginners in 2024 | LydiaScapes

Best Climbing Harness for Beginners

Starting out on rock climbing can be both a fun and daunting process. When you have gone for a couple of climbing sessions and decided this is the sport for you, the next step is to invest in your 1st pair of rock climbing harness and rock climbing shoes. We as long term climbers have been asked this frequently by our readers and friends – should you get something cheap for a beginner harness, or start looking at all the endless features and designs and brands? Well, we can actually have the best of both worlds. Here’s kicking off a useful guide for beginners to top rope and sport climbing how to select your very first rock climbing harness.

Best Climbing Harness for Beginners

What is the Best Climbing Harness for Beginners?

Below you’ll find the list of the top 4 Best Climbing Harness for Beginners. We compiled this list from climbing harnesses for beginners we have used, asked others about, and researched further to give you the best possible roundup. With many years of experience with beginner climbing harnesses you can be assured that this article will give you what you’re looking for.

We also wrote a buying guide and answered some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) at the end of this article.

1. Black Diamond Momentum Harness

Black Diamond Momentum Harness
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 1.43 pounds (0.65 kg)
Number of Gear Loops: 4
Adjustable leg loops: Yes
User Weight Capacity: 264 lbs

The Black Diamond Momentum Harness is the company’s most popular all-around harness. It is designed to be effective across multiple situations, both indoor and outdoor, and for standard multi-pitch and sport routes. The harness comes with TrakFit leg loops and Dual Core Construction webbing, which together spread the pressure evenly throughout the product. There are four sturdy pressure-molded gear loops to ensure there are enough places to store all the gear you could need during a day of multi-pitch climbing.

The harness comes equipped with a pre-threaded Speed Adjust WaistBelt Buckle, which reduces the time you spend adjusting difficult features. The front loop is colored differently from the rest of the product around it, making it quickly and easily identified which minimizes the risk of clipping equipment unsafely into a different part of the harness.


  • Adjustable legs for perfect fit.
  • Brightly colored front loops quick and easy to identify
  • Pressure molded gear loops that will not loose their shape
  • Well padded for a comfortable full day of climbing


  • Some female climbers find the fit is not ideal.
  • Hard to find the correct size

2. Black Diamond Momentum Harness Package

Black Diamond Momentum Harness Package
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 1.43 pounds (0.65 kg)
Number of Gear Loops: 4
Adjustable leg loops: Yes
User Weight Capacity: 264 lbs

The Black Diamond Momentum harness is a great entry-level harness that’s affordable and can be purchased in a bundle with high-quality black diamond chalk, a chalk bag, and a belay device. Given that it’s comfortable, light, and easy to adjust, we think this harness does the basics well. While it is not super comfortable to hang in for long periods, isn’t equipped for alpine or ice climbing, and doesn’t have extensive kit carrying capacity, this is a great purchase for a novice sport or gym climber.


  • Affordable,
  • Can be purchased in a ‘beginners bundle’,
  • Comfortable and lightweight


  • Not great lumbar support,
  • No ice clipper slots,
  • Smaller than average gear loops

3. Mammut Men Ophir 3 Climbing Harness

Mammut Men Ophir 3 Climbing Harness
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 1.81 pounds (0.82 kg)
Number of Gear Loops: 4
Adjustable leg loops: Yes

An all-around capable harness, the Mammut Ophir is modestly priced and a lightweight harness, providing everything you need from a rock climbing harness for a long outdoor multi-pitch or trad climbing route. There is sufficient room store all of your gear, it is fully adjustable with 3 traditional buckles.


  • 4 wide gear loops.
  • Synthetic abrasion protection
  • Surprisingly breathable for a harness.
  • Fully adjustable legs.


  • Relatively bulky in size
  • Design is monochromatic

4. PETZL – Mens SAMA Climbing Harness

PETZL - Mens SAMA Climbing Harness
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 1.1 pounds (0.5 kg)
Number of Gear Loops: 4
Adjustable leg loops: No
User Weight Capacity: 310 lbs

The Petzl Sama is a versatile rock climbing harness that won’t break the bank. With its large gear loops and a rated haul loop, the Sama is a good choice for trad cragging, sports climbing and multi-pitching. The high-tech Endoframe technology of the waist belt and leg loops means this harness is super comfortable even when you’re hanging about for long periods! With a variety of different gear loops, both reinforced and not, there is enough space to store all of the gear you need. The thick padding does make the product a little bulkier, however it is comfortable to use and weight is evenly distributed throughout the wasitband and leg loops to make those long falls feel a little softer for both the belayer and climber.It’s not equipped for ice or alpine-style climbing though and has no ice clipper slots. Lastly, the leg loops are also non – adjustable, so you’ll struggle to get it on over your winter layers.


  • Large carrying capacity,
  • Thick padding across entire harness maximises comfort
  • Fully UIAA certified
  • Very lightweight


  • Non – adjustable leg loops,
  • Not equipped for ice or alpine climbing
  • Thick and bulky im comparison to other products on this list. Front loop is harder to intuitively spot against the rest of the harness


Based on all of our experience with beginner climbing harnesses, we found that Black Diamond Momentum Harness is the best climbing harness for beginners available today.

Our Premium Option is Black Diamond Momentum Harness Package with all the best features and high-quality materials, but that’s only if you have more money to spend.

However, if you are on a slightly tighter budget, you can also consider the Black Diamond Momentum Harness as an affordable alternative.

Our other reviews you may find useful in your research:

What You Should Know Before Buying climbing harnesses for beginners

Caring For Your Harness

Like all rock climbing gear you use, a climbing harnesses must be treated with care and protected from damages and the elements. Suppliers are obligated to include information on how to clean and store your harness on purchase (usually in the form of an information tag). This information can also be accessed on the supplier’s website. Regardless of the brand, some key behaviors remain the same: your harness should always be stored dry, steer away from direct sunlight, and safe from any chemicals or corrosive agents (e.g. bleach). If your harness comes into contact with sea water, washing it with warm clean water will do.

Suspension and Shock-Absorption

Suspension and shock absorption are incredibly important in any harness. With wide waist belts and leg loops, tree climbing harnesses are designed for maximum comfort of tree climbers that spend long periods in suspension. A comfortable climbing harness is necessary to prevent Suspension Trauma that can occur when climbers are suspended with little to no movement for long periods. In addition, some climbing harnesses are not designed to be shock loaded so its a feature to be mindful of. When the need ever arises and there is an accident, climbers must be equipped to self-rescue or be rescued after a fall is arrested. When that happens, an additional shoulder harness is necessary to upgrade the harness to a fall arrest harness.

Questions and Answers About climbing harnesses for beginners

How much weight can a climbing harness hold?

Though it ultimately depends on the model, most climbing harnesses can hold up to 310 pounds. If you’re heavier than that, you may want to consider looking into more durable full-body harnesses that can carry more weight.

Which is the best climbing harness for big guys?

Big guys love to climb too, and there are lots of harness options out there for you! Our favorite is the PETZL Sama, which is fully adjustable, but really any harness on this list can be adjusted to accommodate larger body sizes. If you’re concerned, you can always opt for a full-body harness that accommodates heavier individuals.

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