It’s important to have the right climbing harness for your needs. Climbing harnesses come in different types and have different features that make them more or less suitable for certain activities. The type of harness you need will depend on the type of climbing you’re doing, and how often you’ll be using it. You’ll also want to consider the number of gear loops, ice clipper slots, adjustability, weight capacity, and materials when choosing a climbing harness.
To help you choose the best climbing harness for your needs, we’ve put together a list of the most important factors to consider:
- Type of Climbing: The first thing to consider is the type of climbing you’ll be doing. If you’re mostly climbing indoors, you won’t need a harness with as many features as someone who’s climbing outdoors.
- Number of Gear Loops: Gear loops are important for carrying all of your gear. Climbing harnesses typically have between 4 and 8 gear loops. If you’re mostly climbing indoors, you can get away with fewer gear loops.
- Ice Clipper Slots: Ice clipper slots are helpful for clipping your ice axe to your harness. If you’re planning on doing any ice climbing, make sure your harness has at least 2 ice clipper slots.
- Adjustability: Many Climbing harnesses have adjustable leg loops, which can be helpful if you’re switching between different types of shoes or clothing. Fixed leg loops can be more comfortable for long days of climbing.
- Weight Capacity: Climbing harnesses have a weight capacity that is determined by the strength of the materials used. Make sure to choose a harness that can hold your weight, plus any gear you’ll be carrying.
- Materials and Construction: Climbing harnesses are typically made from durable nylon webbing. Some higher-end models may also have Kevlar or Dyneema reinforcement. If you’re looking for a light-weight option, consider a harness made with Dyneema.
- How to Care for Your Harness: Nylon Climbing harnesses can be machine washed on a gentle cycle. Hang your harness to dry, and avoid storing it in direct sunlight.
Now that you know what to look for, here are our picks for the best climbing harnesses:
- Black Diamond Chaos Harness: Best for all-around climbing, this harness has 4 gear loops and 2 ice clipper slots. It’s also lightweight and adjustable, making it a good choice for climbers who want a do-it-all harness.
- Mammut Ophir 3 Slide Climbing Harness: Best for sport climbing, this harness has 4 gear loops and 2 ice clipper slots. It’s also adjustable, so you can customize the fit.
- Petzl Corax Climbing Harness: Best for trad climbing, this harness has 5 gear loops and 2 ice clipper slots. It’s also adjustable, so you can get a perfect fit.
- Black Diamond Momentum Climbing Harness: Best for gym climbing, this harness has 4 gear loops and is adjustable. It’s also lightweight and has breathable mesh panels, making it comfortable for long days of climbing.
No matter what type of climbing you’re doing, there’s a harness out there that’s perfect for you. With so many great options to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect one for your needs.