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 4 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.
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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.
- Double buckled waist loop and highly adjustable leg loops,
- Lots of gear storage potential
- Quite a bulky harness,
- Ice clipper slots are missing,
- Not comfortable to sit/hang in for long periods
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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.
- Versatile and multifunctional,
- Thick waist belt for lumbar support,
- Lightweight and streamlined
- One of the most expensive items listed,
- Leg loops bite into your upper thighs,
- Not too comfortable to sit in for long periods
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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.
- Comfortable design for climbing and hanging in,
- Highly adjustable, We love the teal and orange colour scheme
- Leg loops are difficult to adjust,
- Quite a bulky harness
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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!
- An affordable option,
- Spacious gear loops and has a rear haul loop,
- Can be purchased in a ‘beginners bundle’
- Poor lumbar support,
- Leg loops bite into your upper thighs
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 PETZL – CORAX, Versatile and Adjustable Harness as an affordable alternative.
Our other reviews you may find useful in your research:
What You Should Know Before Buying climbing harnesses
How to use and wear a climbing harness
Climbing harnesses should be snugly fitted around the waist and above the hips. The leg loops tend to be left slightly looser around the thighs for more mobilty and comfort. Make sure the gear loops point downwards and the leg loops are the right way around, as it is a safety feature. 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.
Questions and Answers About climbing harnesses
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.