Climb Gear Reviews

Top 6 Best Sport Climbing Harness

With the Olympics featuring sport climbing as a competitive sport now, it is no surprise that we may start to see a surge in people picking up sport climbing both indoors and outdoors in the coming months and years. If you are new to this sport and are starting on your belay classes or top rope lessons or sessions, you would start to see the need to invest in a pair of harness that is most suited for this form of climbing. From the comfort to the number of handles to the material of the leg loops, lets look at some of the best sport climbing harnesses that are designed for your best performance in your indoor gym or outdoor crag.

What is the Best Sport Climbing Harness?

To decide on the absolute best sport climbing harness, we have examined dozens of climbing harness for sport climbing and reviews left by real users who bought and used them. Based on what they geniunely shared and experienced, we have shortlisted the top 6 sport climbing harnesses for you to consider, including their most important features, in order for you to make an informed decision.

On top of that, to make it easier for you, we have also compiled a list of critical things and frequently asked questions (FAQs) to consider before purchasing climbing harness for sport climbing. You can find later further down in the article. So without further ado, here’s introducing the best sport climbing harness.

1. Black Diamond Mens Solution Guide Climbing Harness

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Number of Gear Loops: 4
Adjustable leg loops: Non-Adjustable
Weight of Harness: 0.86 lbs

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The Black Diamond Solution has been engineered to reduce all unnecessary features to minimalise weight while still providing enough to cope with trad climbing or multi-pitch routes which require a fair amount of gear. The gear loops are pressure molded to ensure that they retain a shape that allows quick and easy attachment and removal of gear and their duraility. The front loop is intuitively differently colored to help easily distinguish it from the rest of the harness. The leg loops are generously padded to maximise comfort, even when using for a long period of time.

Pros

  • Extremely durable construction.
  • Enough reinforced gear loops for trad climbing and long multi-pitch routes.
  • Comfortable and light enough to be worn all day without problems.

Cons

  • Towards the heavier end of the products on this list.
  • Leg loops are fixed and cannot be adjusted

2. 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

3. 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

4. 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

5. 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 comfort
  • Fully UIAA certified
  • Very 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

6. Mammut Men Ophir 3 Slide individuell

Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Number of Gear Loops: 4
Adjustable leg loops: Adjustable
Weight of Harness: 0.82 lbs

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The Mammut Ophir is another example of an all-around capable harness from a reputable name in the climbing community. While a little bulkier than other efforts, the modestly priced and lightweight harness provides everything you need from a harness for a long multi-pitch or trad climbing route. There is adequete space to store all of your gear, it is fully adjustable through three traditional buckles, and the breathable material helps to reduce sweat buildup for those long exposed granite slabs.

Pros

  • Surprisingly breathable for a harness.
  • Fully adjustable legs.
  • Four wide gear loops.
  • Synthetic abrasion protection on the tie-in loop

Cons

  • Monochromatic design makes it hard to distinguish features easily.
  • Relatively bulky in comparison to other products on this list

Following all the comparisons, research and information we have gathered about these top sport climbing harnesses, we can confidently say that Black Diamond Mens Solution Guide Climbing Harness is the best sport climbing harness out in the market.

However, if you are on a slightly tighter budget, you can also consider the PETZL – CORAX, Versatile and Adjustable Harness as an affordable alternative.

Lastly, if you are going all the best features with high quality materials and would like to consider all the premium options out there, we will strongly recommend the Arc’teryx AR-395a Harness Men’s. We look forward to hearing from you in the comments below what are some other models that you might have experienced that are even better!

What You Should Know Before Buying Sport Climbing Harnesses

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.

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). 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!

Questions and Answers About Sport Climbing Harnesses

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 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.

How much does a full trad rack cost?

The cost of a full trad rack can vary drastically depending on the quality of the equipment that you purchase. Never sacrifice quality for savings as you could ultimately pay with your life. You can expect to spend at least 500$ on your trad rack.

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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