Climb Gear Reviews

Best Climbing Harness

Let’s face it, the last thing we want to be doing as a climber is questioning the safety and quality of our harness as we set off up a route. Whether you’re a seasoned alpinist, or just starting out top-roping in the gym – it’s worth investing in a reliable and high-quality rock-climbing harness to keep you secure on the rope while ascending the rocks.

What is the Best Climbing Harness?

To find the list of absolute Best Climbing Harness, we have researched many climber harnesses and what people who bought and used them say about these products. Based on their experiences, we compiled for you the top 9 climbing harnesses.

Also, to make it easier for you to making the right choice, we also wrote a mini climber harnesses Buying Guide and frequently asked questions (FAQs). You will find it at the end of this article.

1. PETZL – CORAX, Versatile and Adjustable Harness

Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)

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The Petzl CORAX is a highly versatile and affordable harness that’s best suited to single pitch crag days or gym climbing. Thanks to the double buckled waist belt, it’s highly adjustable so could easily be worn over your winter layers. However, with its bulkier build and missing ice clipper slots, it wouldn’t be our pick for a big mountain multi-pitch or alpine style day. On top of this, it’s not the most comfortable harness to hang about in.

Pros

  • Double buckled waist loop and highly adjustable leg loops,
  • Affordable,
  • Lots of gear storage potential

Cons

  • Quite a bulky harness,
  • Ice clipper slots are missing,
  • Not comfortable to sit/hang in for long periods

2. Black Diamond Primrose Women’s Harness

Specs
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The Black Diamond Primrose is another great beginners’ harness – it’s sturdy, affordable and the waist belt couldn’t be easier to adjust, which means less faff, more climbing! It’s also a comfortable option – the leg loops are made of high tensile nylon, meaning they’re specially designed to maximize support. Remember to check the sizing though, and don’t be afraid to size up – these guys are notorious for running small. Best suited for single pitch crag days and the climbing gym – you’ll be hard-pressed to get those tight leg loops on over your winter layers.

Pros

  • The waist belt comes pre-threaded – you can simply tighten it like a belt,
  • Comfortable leg loops,
  • Affordable

Cons

  • This harness is known to run small,
  • The waist and leg loops don’t adjust a great deal

3. Arc’teryx AR-395a Harness Men’s

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)

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This is an expensive and specialized harness that’s perfect for adventurous all-rounders. Whatever the climbing discipline, the Arc’teryx AR-395a can do it. This multifunctionality is supported by XL gear loops, a haul loop at the rear, and four ice clipper slots. We love how comfortable the waist belt is on this harness – the extra thick band succeeds in distributing your weight. On the downside, it’s probably a bit too pricey for beginners or casual climbers… it is Arc’teryx after all! There are also some issues with hanging comfort – the leg loops can bite into your upper thighs. This may not be as much of an issue if you’re layered up for the mountains, but it compromises comfort if worn over lighter layers.

Pros

  • Versatile and multifunctional,
  • Thick waist belt for lumbar support,
  • Lightweight and streamlined

Cons

  • One of the most expensive items listed,
  • Leg loops bite into your upper thighs,
  • Not too comfortable to sit in for long periods

4. EDELRID Sendero Climbing Harness

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)

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The Edelrid Sendero is a Jack of all trades and a master of all of them! Although primarily marketed as an alpine harness, we think this ticks all the boxes for a great all-rounder. This is supported by five XL gear loops for maximum gear carrying capacity, as well as ice clipper slots and a haul loop. It’s also such a comfortable harness. The waist belt and leg loops are fitted with strips of webbing and are padded with 3d mesh. The result is excellent weight distribution and a truly comfortable harness for climbing or hanging in. It’s probably a bit higher tech than a beginner would require, and can get a little uncomfortable if you’re belaying for long periods, but otherwise, it’s a truly great product.

Pros

  • Top marks for comfort,
  • Versatile and multifunctional,
  • Large carrying capacity

Cons

  • Belaying for long periods can get uncomfortable,
  • An expensive option

5. Wild Country Mission Women’s Climbing Harness

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)

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We think the Wild Country Mission is a great and aesthetically pleasing harness! The larger waist belt and unique ‘V-shaped flex’ lends itself to a comfortable fit. Further, it’s kitted out with ice clipper slots, a rear haul loop, and spacious gear loops – so it’s a real all-rounder. The mission suffers from only one minor design drawback with its tricky to adjust leg loops. This is especially true when the harness is fully racked up. It’s also slightly on the bulky side. That being said, we love that Wild Country has acknowledged the variety in women’s body types by making both the waist and leg loops so adjustable.

Pros

  • Comfortable design for climbing and hanging in,
  • Multifunctional,
  • Highly adjustable, We love the teal and orange colour scheme

Cons

  • Leg loops are difficult to adjust,
  • Quite a bulky harness

6. Black Diamond Momentum Harness Package

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)

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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.

Pros

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

Cons

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

7. Mad Rock Venus Climbing Harness Package

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)

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The Mad Rock Venus gets the job done: it’s affordable and easy to use – and excellent value if purchased with the extra accessories (a chalk bag, chalk, and belay device)! It is undoubtedly a beginner’s harness though. While it does have good kit carrying capacity, the stiff waist belt and uncomfortable leg loops mean you certainly wouldn’t want to be spending all day working out the beta to your sport project in the Mad Rock Venus!

Pros

  • An affordable option,
  • Spacious gear loops and has a rear haul loop,
  • Can be purchased in a ‘beginners bundle’

Cons

  • Poor lumbar support,
  • Leg loops bite into your upper thighs

8. PETZL – Mens SAMA Climbing Harness

Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Number of Gear Loops: 4
Adjustable leg loops: Non-Adjustable
Weight of Harness: 0.5 lbs

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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.

Pros

  • Large carrying capacity,
  • Thick padding across entire harness maximises comfortFully UIAA certifiedVery lightweight

Cons

  • 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

9. KAILAS Airo Lightweight Climbing Harness

Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)

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A budget option from a lesser-known brand, Kailas, this harness boasts to be for more than just rock climbing. While it is UIAA certified, we are still inclined to trust this a little less, simply because it’s not from one of the rock-climbing brands we’ve had lots of experience with. Nonetheless, this is a comfortable and lightweight harness with lots of functionality for outdoor use (lots of gear storage potential and a rear haul loop). Kailas may well be onto something!

Pros

  • A budget option,
  • Super lightweight,
  • Comfortable,
  • Multifunctional

Cons

  • Kailas isn’t a well-known brand

Verdict

After all of our long research about the best climbing harness, we found that PETZL – CORAX, Versatile and Adjustable Harness is the best climbing harness available today.

There’s also a Premium Option with all the best features and high-quality materials if you have more money to spend, namely Arc’teryx AR-395a Harness Men’s.

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

Our other reviews you may find useful in your research:

What You Should Know Before Buying Climbing Harnesses

Key Features Of Your Climbing Harness

It is essential that you know your way around your harness – understanding the different features and what they are (or aren’t!) used for will keep you safe and happy on the wall. Thankfully, rock climbing harnesses tend to follow a standard design.

Any harness on the market will likely comprise of an adjustable waist belt and two leg loops all linked together by an elasticated cord. At the front, connecting the waist and leg loops is a loop of thick cord known as the belay loop. At the top and bottom of the belay loops are two smaller loops of material – these are known as the tie in points. These tie-in points and the belay loop are the parts of the harness that are rated –or built to withstand force. Thus, they are usually the point at which you are attached to the system.

Other features on a rock-climbing harness will vary. Some harnesses will be built to be ultra-lightweight, while some will be heavier and more geared towards comfort and support (ideal for long days in the mountains multi pitch climbing). Almost all harnesses will have gear loops – for helping you transport your quickdraws, trad rack, or just belay device – but the number and size will also depend on the harness’s intended use.

Caring For Your Harness

Like all climbing personal protective equipment (PPE), climbing harnesses must be treated with care and protected from damage. Suppliers are legally obliged 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, away from direct sunlight, and safe from any chemicals or corrosive agents (e.g. bleach). If your harness comes into contact with seawater, you’ll need to wash it: a gentle spin with NO cleaning agents does the trick. Oh, and NEVER modify your harness in any way!

How To Use And Wear A Climbing Harness

Climbing harnesses should be tightened to fit snugly around the waist (above the hips). The leg loops tend to be left slightly looser around the legs. Make sure the gear loops point downwards and the leg loops are the right way around – I can’t believe how many people I’ve seen wearing upside down or tangled harnesses at my gym! If in doubt – ask another climber for assistance.

When tying in, the rope should be fed through both the attachment points and the belay device should be attached to the belay loop. Remember – the belay loops and tie in points tend to be the only parts of the harness that are rated to withstand force – so make sure you’re tying in and belaying from the right points! Again, a buddy-check with your climbing partner before you set off should be a regular part of your routine.

Trad Climbing Vs Sport Climbing Whats The Difference

The main difference between sports climbing and trad climbing is the placing of protective equipment. On a sports route, you can expect to find secure bolts every couple of meters, into which you can place quick-draws and then follow with the rope. In trad climbing, these bolts are few and far between, if they exist at all, and climbers are expected to place their own protective gear, such as cams and slings, to ensure that they survive the climb.

Questions and Answers About Climbing Harnesses

How should a climbing harness fit?

Your climbing harness should fit snugly around the waist and legs. A well-fitting waist strap is most important. A good rule of thumb is that you should still be able to fit two fingers under the waist belt when it’s tightened, but NOT a fist.

What size harness do I need for climbing?

Suppliers will have information on the waist and leg loop circumferences on their website, so check this against your own measurements. Even so, it’s always a safer option to try a harness on before you buy.

How much weight can a climbing harness hold?

This really depends on the make and model, and the information will be on your supplier’s website. In general, most standard climbing harnesses will safely carry up to 310lbs/140.6kgs. If you’re heavier than that you’re best investing in a full-body harness.

How do you tighten a climbing harness?

This is different for different makes/models, but most harnesses will tighten with a single buckle at the front, which is tightened A double buckle can be a little bit more finicky but is the exact same in practice – just tighten one side at a time.

When should I replace my climbing harness?

A well cared-for harness that is always stored dry and isn’t exposed to damaging agents can last years (up to seven years is a general rule). Most would advise that you start carefully assessing your harness after three years of use. Any loose threads, fraying or tears are a clear sign that your harness is no longer safe to use. The belay loop being fuzzy is also a sign that you should be buying a new harness ASAP. Contact with any corrosive agents (e.g. bleach) constitutes an instant retiral. Bear in mind that continued exposure to saltwater will shorten the lifespan as well.

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