Rock climbing is a very versatile activity; it can be enjoyed in many different venues, and several different forms of rock climbing depend on the terrain and climbing style. However, there is a significant similarity between the different types of rock climbing: the equipment that is used.
Equipment doesn't change over rock climbing disciplines, and there is a piece of gear that is often overlooked by rock climbers when investing in their kit. We are talking about your rock climbing harness. Over the course of today's article, we will be going over five models that will compete for the title of the best climbing harness.
A harness is one of the most crucial pieces of gear that you can bring with you on a rock climbing trip; it may be responsible for your safety and even your life. It is for this reason that you will want to put some thought into the purchase of your rock climbing harness. Our reviews should help you choose the best model.
If you are going to be climbing indoors, you will not need a different harness than an outdoor climber, so you can use the same model even if you tend to switch between disciplines. While you can rent a climbing harness, you will find that the rental costs will add up every time you go for a climb.
Renting a harness is also a subpar option because there is no guarantee that it will fit you well. Various harnesses will fit differently so it will be difficult to find one that will be able to support you perfectly. It can usually take a good deal of time and adjustment to get a harness to fit well.
Opting for a rental harness means that you will have to deal with constant discomfort and a poor fit. Purchasing your own harness, on the other hand, means that you will be able to save money on the rental and it will be adjusted to the perfect size for you. A properly adjusted harness means that you will deal with less chafing and irritation.
Being more comfortable in your harness also means that you will be able to climb better. You will find it much more difficult to climb in a harness that restricts your movements. An overly restrictive climbing harness can even make it more difficult for you to develop proper climbing technique due to it holding you back.
If you would like to ensure that you get the best rock climbing harness available, we are here to help. Now that we have made sure that all of our readers understand the importance of the best climbing harness, we can move on to our climbing harness reviews.
Best Climbing Harness
Best Women’s Climbing Harness
Best Climbing Harness
Winner - Black Diamond Momentum Harness
If you are looking for the best sport climbing harness around, few models can compete with the Momentum harness from Black Diamond. This harness is designed to be minimal, but it is also meant to provide exceptional comfort and superior performance than much of the competition.
This harness is relatively affordable, as it usually retails for around 50 dollars, but when on sale, the price can drop to about 40 dollars. While there are more affordable harnesses on the market, you will find few models that can compete with the Momentum harness when it comes to value for your money.
Comfort is the main aspect that is emphasized by this harness’ design. The use of trakFIT leg loops means that you can make adjustments wherever you are to ensure that your harness does not start cutting off circulation or otherwise irritating your legs. The loops will also not loosen or tighten unexpectedly, like on some other models.
If you expect to be doing a lot of belaying or hanging, you will find that this is an ideal harness thanks to the amount of padding that you will find in the leg loops and on the belt. The waistbelt features a pre-threaded buckle that makes it much easier for you to tie yourself in at the beginning of a climb.
The inclusion of four gear loops means that you will have enough room to mount almost anything to this harness, and they will not end up breaking since they are pressure molded. The choice of two colors allows you to choose a harness that will match your climbing clothing but otherwise has no advantages.
One of the more impressive parts of this harness is the dual core construction of the harness itself. Dual core construction helps ensure that your harness is as breathable as possible without sacrificing light weight and durability, these are all aspects that are needed in a climbing harness.
Runner Up - Oumers Thicken Wider Safety Climbing Harness
If you would prefer the best climbing harness with a less minimalist design, this model from Oumers is an excellent option. You can purchase this harness for around 50 dollars, so it is no cheaper than the Black Diamond harness that we just reviewed, but it is far more substantial.
While this harness may be relatively heavy, it will provide a good deal of support. The Oumers climbing harness is meant to withstand over 6 KN of impact force, so you don’t have to worry about the harness failing on you while it is in use. In fact, this is one of the most resilient harnesses we have seen.
The inclusion of two large equipment loops allows you to bring what you need with you on your climb, though they could be a little bit lighter. The harness widens on the back, so the pressure is distributed more evenly when you are hanging on it, making this model much more comfortable than other options.
DoubleBack buckles on the waistbelt of this harness ensure that it is easy to adjust and put on in one quick movement. Since you can get this harness on so fast, you will be ready to start climbing faster when you are using it. Tying this harness in before a climb is simple enough, even though it is so substantial.
The use of breathable mesh on the interior of the legs and the waistbelt means that this harness is an ideal choice for those who like to climb in warmer climates. Though the full-size design makes it a little hotter than the competition, we would argue that this is one of the best large harnesses for warmer temperatures.
Frame construction helps ensure that you are comfortable in this harness thanks to improved weight distribution. Far too many harness models distribute weight poorly and so it ends up feeling like all of your weight is concentrated on a single strap, thankfully, that is not the case with this product.
Alternative 1 - Black Diamond Aspect Harness
If you want the most comfortable climbing harness, few products can match the Aspect harness from Black Diamond. This harness is designed to be used in a variety of conditions and perform admirably in all of them. Just a quick look at the harness can give you some hints that it is designed for more than summer use.
For example, four slots can be coupled with the Black Diamond Ice Clipper, in case you need ice screw compatibility in your harness. The lightweight design of this harness means that you won't have any issues if you should decide to use it during the summer with a pair of shorts, however.
The speed adjust buckles on the leg loops of this harness can be undone so you can get it on with skis or particularly bulky legwear during the winter. These buckles also allow you to adjust your leg loops with ease, and they will not slip while you are in the middle of a climb, so there are no worries in that regard.
Gear loops are always an excellent feature to include in a climbing harness since they improve versatility to such a large extent. The four pressure molded gear loops that you will find on this harness are strong enough to carry whatever you need, and they don't get in the way when they are not being used.
The leg loops are not the only part of this harness that features a speed adjust buckle. You will also find one of these buckles on the waistbelt itself, so it will be much easier to adjust than some other harnesses you may come across. If you ever need to adjust your waist belt one-handed, you will have no difficulties with this product.
Dual Core construction ensures that this harness can provide ideal weight distribution while remaining durable. In fact, durability is one of this harness' strong points. For example, the use of a nylon shell ensures that gradual wear and tear won't affect any of the internals of this harness.
Alternative 2 - YXGOOD Climbing Harness
This climbing harness from YXGOOD is the best beginner climbing harness on this list thanks to the combination of a reasonable price point and decent build quality. If you don’t want to spend too much on your first climbing harness, you will find few products that can compete with the YXGOOD harness.
The size of your climbing harness is always an important consideration, and this model will fit most climbers, and it is capable of supporting climbers who weigh up to 330 pounds.
This harness is surprisingly comfortable for such an affordable model, and it features adequate padding around the legs and waist.
If you are planning on going climbing during the summer, this harness would not be a bad choice since it features mesh on the inside of the waistbelt and the leg loops.
The mesh also makes the harness more comfortable, adding to the padding that is already present in the waistbelt and leg loops.
This harness features excellent weight distribution thanks to its full-sized design. If you expect to be hanging for an extended period of time, this is an excellent choice of harness. The frame construction means that you can barely even feel this harness, even when your full weight is being held by it.
The widened straps that are used on the waistbelt and leg loops of this harness ensure that there will not be too much pressure placed on any single point of your body. A feature which helps immensely improve comfort is the waistbelt getting progressively wider as it moves further towards the back.
This is the best climbing harness for anyone that is looking to get into the hobby without spending too much money. While you will find flashier harnesses on the market, this product is reliable enough to keep you safe, which is what most people want out of a harness in the end.
Best Women’s Climbing Harness
Winner - Petzl Luna Women’s Climbing Harness
Petzl is one of the better-known names in rock climbing, and with good reason. The Luna is one of their most popular harnesses that is explicitly designed for use by women. In fact, we would argue that this is the best womens climbing harness by far. Let's take a look at exactly why this is the case.
While this harness may feature a lightweight design, you will find that it still carries a premium price. This harness usually retails for about 75 dollars, which is more than you would expect (until you wear it, that is). Once you put this harness on, you understand why it is so much more than similar models.
First off, the EndoFrame design means that the waistbelt is wider on the sides than on the front and back, which results in much more comfortable weight distribution across your waist. The waistbelt is also designed without any crossing seams to eliminate the possibility of any chafing, regardless of how you move.
You will find DoubleBack buckles present on the leg loops and the waistbelt, which allows for quick, simple adjustment of the fit. Since the leg loops are adjustable, this harness is ideal for ice climbing, where you may have to wear snow pants and other bulky climbing gear that may not fit.
One of the more impressive features that we noticed on this climbing harness was the wear and tear indicator that lets you know when to replace it. Many other harnesses don’t give you an indication that it is unsafe to continue using them, so you may end up putting yourself in danger without knowing it.
Many other features make this harness ideal for use in ice climbing. The durable outer lining of this harness ensures that it will be able to dry off quickly and won't sustain any damage from ice friction. This harness also features mounting points for tool holders (that are sold separately).
Why You Should Choose Your Climbing Harness Carefully
You may be wondering why you should put so much care into your purchase of a climbing harness. The most crucial reason for investing in the best mountaineering harness possible is that it will be responsible for your safety. You will want to ensure that you get the best product possible if you are going to be trusting it with your life.
Climbing can be a dangerous activity, and it is dangerous enough when you have gear that you can trust. If you have to climb with the nagging doubt in your mind that your equipment can fail at any moment, it is almost guaranteed that you won't have a pleasant experience.
The best climbing harness can even end up saving you money. Some high quality harness models will last for several years, depending on how often you climb. You may find that you have to go through several cheaper harness models in the span of a few years, and you may end up wasting more money on them.
On What To Pay Attention When Choosing Your Climbing Harness
Of course, the size of your climbing harness is the most important consideration since you won’t be able to use a climbing harness that doesn’t fit you. The best climbing harness will fit tightly but comfortably. You don’t want a harness that is either too loose or too tight as either one can be dangerous.
The material that your harness is made out of can affect many other parts of its construction. For example, a nylon climbing harness will be much more durable than a harness that is made of an inferior synthetic material. Most harnesses are made out of synthetics for their improved convenience.
You will also want your harness to be as comfortable as possible. A harness that is more comfortable is one that will give you superior freedom of movement while you climb. If you are trying to climb as efficiently as possible, you will find that comfort helps more than you would expect.
This aspect ties into how well your harness fits. A harness that can be adjusted in several different ways will be more likely to fit in a range of different scenarios, regardless of whether it is summer or winter.
As you can see, finding the best climbing harness is not as challenging as you would expect. We hope that our reviews have been able to help you find the best product for your needs.