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Best Climbing Harnesses

Best for Beginners
HeeJo Thicken Climbing Harness
  • » Strengthened stitching will give an assurance of safety to the climber

Best for Comfort
Black Diamond Primrose Women's Harness
  • » Can be comfortably worn for a long time without pinching and chafing

Best for Durability
Sushiyi Adjustable Thickness Climbing Harness
  • » Can bear heavy loads while maintaining its flexibility

Written by James Cooper
Last Updated
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Climbing harnesses are used by sport climbing hobbyists when they are doing extreme sports, and by laborers who are required to wear harnesses for climbing high places as part of their work to guarantee their safety. Next to safety, comfort is the next priority of the climbers when choosing the right climbing harness.

There are specific harnesses preferred by climbers depending on the type of climbing they are into. Sport climbers usually pick a minimalistic harness where with sewn-on gear loops. Big wall climbers preferably use a padded leg loop and waist belt. Alpine climbers usually choose lightweight type harnesses, commonly with detachable leg loops.

The following are the best climbing harnesses option for people of all ages seeking the thrill of climbing great heights.

Also read:

Best Climbing Shoes
Best Carabiners
Best Quickdraws

  • 1

    HeeJo Thicken Climbing Harness

A beginner climber can be confident in climbing with this harness. Its sturdy, high quality double back metal buckles, and strengthened stitching will give an assurance of safety to the climber. Made from polyester material which made this harness strong but flexible at the same time.

The structure and the materials of the harness are designed to be comfortable. Because of the traditional buckles, the weight pressure of the climber is equally distributed. The waist belt and leg loops are finished with cushioning and breathable mesh that will provide the comfort and safety of the climber.

This climbing harness limits no age. A harness that is a one-size-fits-all type. It can accommodate waist size starting from 20 inches up to 53 inches. Leg loops start at 15 to 30 inches. It is light but can support up to 300 kilograms of weight. The breaking strength is up to 25KN.

This harness can be used in any type of climbing such as rock climbing, skiing, mountaineering, winter climbing, camping, outdoor training, and hiking. Workers can also utilize this harness for construction, fire rescue, welding, tree climbing, roofing, and aloft work.

PROS

Wide-range of uses

Best to use by any age of climbers

Inexpensive

CONS

Gear loop does not hold heavy equipment

  • 2

    Black Diamond Primrose Women's Harness

The Black Diamond Primrose is the most preferred harness by female climbers. What’s best about this harness is that there’s no need to waste time fiddling with fitting the waist belt and leg loops. This harness is designed with pre-threaded speed to adjust buckles to avoid errors when fastening; bullhorn-shaped waist belt built using Dual Core Construction, to keep the climber comfortable even while being at a hanging belay; trakFIT adjustment for effortless customization of the leg loops; 4 gear loops that are held out for the climber to easily clip and unclip gears; and four pressure-molded gear loops and haul loop to give the harness user many carrying options.

Beginner climbers will be inspired to keep climbing because this harness is ultra-comfortable. It has the best snug-fit, can be comfortably worn for a long time without pinching and chafing.

PROS

Adjustable and super comfortable

Best snug-fit

Great starter harness

CONS

Only has one adjustment strap for waist

  • 3

    Sushiyi Adjustable Thickness Climbing Harness

The Sushiyi adjustable thickness climbing harness is made from high-quality, strong polyester material. This harness can be used for lots of climbing for a period of time. It does not easily wear out, it has durable stitching, it can bear heavy loads while maintaining its flexibility.

The harness’s thickness makes it comfortable and fit. The wide waist ring help supports the climber’s lower back. It does not loosen even when moving about while being suspended. The gear loops are strong and handy. This half body harness has adjustable leg loops and a waist belt. Compared to other harnesses, this product has 3 adjustable buckles. This feature makes the harness suitable for rock climbing, mountaineering, fire rescue, caving, and high level working.

PROS

Durable, enforced with strong stitching

Comfortable

3 adjustable buckles on the waist belt and leg loops

CONS

Harness tag labels are in another language

The supported weight indicated on the tag is different from the product description

  • 4

    CroSight Climbing Harness

Climbing harnesses can be full-body or half body. Full-body harnesses have shoulder straps covering the shoulder down to the legs. Whereas, half body climbing harnesses only covers the waist down to the legs. The CroSight climbing harness is a full-body climbing harness that can be converted into a half body harness. Made from polyester material with strong stitching, forged and anodized steel for metal parts. The waist belt and the leg loops are lined with soft, quick-drying, and breathable fabric mesh which keeps the waist and leg area cool in a humid environment.

The harness frame construction is designed for balanced pressure and weight distribution. The hybrid shoulders, back, and legs are padded for comfort and safety. Applicable for any type of climbing such as rock climbing, gym climbing, ice climbing, tree climbing, construction, and repair work.

This climbing harness can accommodate a wide range of body sizes and can be shared by the whole family.

PROS

Inexpensive harness

Passed multiple safety certifications

Comfortable

CONS

Straps have a tendency to loosen

  • 5

    NewDoar Climbing Harness

The NewDoar harness is composed of quick-dry polyester textile, lined with breathable mesh, and padded with cotton. The polyester fabric is strengthened with tie-in point and stitching to ensure the longevity of usage. The waist belt and leg loop are designed to be comfortably worn even in warm temperatures. Ergonomic safety harness design, with cotton padding and thicker frame construction for best pressure and weight distribution that will keep the climbers comfortable when climbing.

One of the best features of this harness is the broadness and thickness of the waist belt and leg loop with double straps. Also equipped with 2 metal waist and leg loops adjustable buckles for single movement security adjustment.

Attached on the right side of this rock climbing harness is the gear loop. There are 2 tool rings to carry more tools such as chalk bag, climbing rope, belay device, grappling hook, rappelling gear, and tree climbing gear which made it best to be used by mountaineers, indoor and outdoor climbers, fire rescuers, rappelers, arborist, and tree climbers.

PROS

Reinforced tie-in point and stitching

Comfortable padding

Quick-drying polyester textile and breathable mesh

CONS

No recognizable safety standard certificate

  • 6

    HaoFst Climbing Harness

One of the best functions of whole-body harnesses is their ability to take some of the load from the waist belt and redistribute the weight to the shoulder area making it comfortable to wear. There are 2 adjustable slots at the rear of the waist belt and the straps are connected to the ventral attachment point.

Harnesses on the market are usually made from polyester webbing. This climbing harness is no different when it comes to its built and materials. The harness have also tie-in point and stitching and its metal components are formed using forged steel, anodized on the outside. The belay loop on the front center is made from a strong stainless steel alloy. This kind of built ensures the safety and comfortability of the harnesses.

The frame construction of this climbing harness guarantees the ability to hold and distribute weight accordingly. The waist belt is wider furnished with double back buckles for effortless adjustments; leg loops adjustable to the desired fit especially when one is wearing thick layers of clothing. The gear loop is movable to avoid being an obstruction when wearing a pack. Both the waist and leg loops have double straps for comfortable climbing.

This harness is widely used for high altitude operations and activities such as rock climbing, mountain climbing, trad climbing, ice climbing, tree climbing, and crayoning.

PROS

Ability to redistribute load from waist to shoulder

Strong built

Flexible gear loop

CONS

Not Petzl quality as advertised

  • 7

    AmazeFan Climbing Harness

These thicken climbing harnesses have comfortable lumbar support but still allow the climbers to move amply. The back strap is made with one of the best polyester mesh fabrics available in the market. The webbings and the connection are well-built, with reinforced stitching to ensure the safety of the climbers.

The bearing loop of the AmazeFan Climbing Harness-01 model is made with reinforced polyester and has a 1 gear loop. The AmazeFan Climbing Harness-02 model has 3 forged steel reinforced bearing loops and has 2 gear loops. The bearing loop should be the strongest point of any harnesses on the market. It is the only part that is load tested. Any hard tool and equipment such as a carabiner should be attached to the belay loop.

Designed for best weight distribution, this climbing harness can carry a maximum of 300 kilograms.

PROS

Flexible and provides comfortable positioning

Excellent weight distribution

Free size

CONS

Weak loop durability

  • 8

    Black Diamond Momentum Harness

The harnesses from Black Diamond brand is known to take pride in their Dual Core Construction Technology. This design provides the best balance and comfort to the climbers. An innovation made of 2 bands of webbing that split around the waist belt that enables the harness to distribute comfort and maximum support without pressure points.

Unlike other harnesses that use belt buckles for adjustments, the Black Diamond Momentum harness uses their trakFIT technology for adjusting leg loops. The best thing about this innovation is the slide adjuster for fast and easy fitting, this comes in handy to use during fall or summer on long multi-pitch climbing. This harness is the most popular all-rounder of the Black Diamond brand for its four pressure-molded gear loops and a haul loop.

The Black Diamond Momentum harness is best for beginner to experienced climbers.

PROS

Patent-pending trakFIT technology

Dual-core construction technology

Protected gear loops

CONS

Inaccurate sizing

  • 9

    Petzl Sama Harness

The Petzl Sama is a durable rock climbing harness with elastic leg loops which made it ideal for sport climbing. This harness has fixed leg loops. But since it’s elasticized, the climbers will still have the freedom to move around. Comfortable for climbing and belaying.

With its ENDOFRAME Technology, this harness is designed to provide optimal weight distribution around the waist and legs. The waist belt is easy and quick to adjust because of its double backlight buckle. Tie-in points are rope friction-resistant as its made of high-tenacity polyethylene.

PROS

Comfortable

Lightweight, best to be used by beginners

ENDOFRAME technology

CONS

Fixed leg loops - cannot be adjusted

  • 10

    Petzl Corax

Petzl best climbing harnesses are usually equipped with a FRAME technology design for optimal distribution of weight between the waist belt and leg loops. The Petzl Corax is fully equipped with 4 gear loops, 2 fixed loops in the front, and 2 high-capacity equipment loops in the back that will not obstruct the user’s backpack.

Unlike the Petzl Sama harness, the leg loops of this model are adjustable to accommodate different body sizes and clothing layers of the users. The two double back buckles equipped in this harness keep the loops in the best positions and provide the climbers the access to easily adjust and center their pressure points.

PROS

Adjustable leg loops

Comfortable

Double strap adjustment on each side

CONS

Buckles have a tendency to dig into the user's waist

  • 11

    Black Diamond Solution Climbing Harness

The Black Diamond Solution is purposely built as a sport climbing harness. It features Fusion Comfort Technology; a combination of three separate low-profile webbing strands in the fixed leg loops and in the waist to produce the best load distribution while reducing pressure points.

The Black Diamond Solution also features Fusion Comfort Technology designed to fit the climber’s body while ensuring comfort and safety. This technology allows the climber to move freely without compromising its performance, providing unrestricted motion as the climber climbs up any rocky surface.

The harness is built with 4 gear loops that are pressure-molded, ideal for transporting equipment, and for easy clipping and unclipping of carabiners.

PROS

Fit the contours of the user's body

Superior load distribution

Comfortable

CONS

Recommended only for rock climbing

  • 12

    Black Diamond Big Gun Climbing Harness

For a heavy-duty harness, the Black Diamond big gun is lightweight. This harness is wide and well-padded ensuring comfort even when hanging for a long period. Built with thermo-formed foam bull horn waist belt with trad buckle. Equipped with 2 color-coded belay loops and 12KN-rated haul loops.

PROS

The second belay loop comes in handy in connecting rappelling rig

Comfortable

Worth the price

CONS

Inaccurate with the sizing chart

  • 13

    Petzl Sitta Strap

When it comes to the best climbing harnesses, the Petzl brand always comes up. The Petzl Sitta is the best climbing harness for mountaineering and rock climbing but it can also be widely used for other climbing disciplines such as ice climbing, alpine climbing, sport climbing, and even single pitch trad climbing.

The Petzl Sitta harness is designed to provide optimal weight distribution with the feature they call Wireframe Technology; where the waist belt and leg loops are constructed with spectra strands.

Even though this harness is thin and lightweight, it is equipped with strong gear loops, waist and leg loops just like any other heavy-duty harnesses on the market. Also positioned in the first gear loop are ice clipper slots that may take up space but it comes in handy as well.

The price of this harness is high compared to other lightweight harnesses.

PROS

Lightweight but with strong gear loops, waist, and leg loops

Comes with ice clipper slots for ice climbing

Can be used in different climbing disciplines

CONS

Too thin and light for multi-pitch climbing

  • 14

    Weanas Thicken Climbing Harness

This product is a mountaineering harness. If you’re a beginner, this harness is certified for a climber like you. This is easy to wear and operate and can be used by all ages. Built with a traditional buckle, wider safety waist belt, comfortable cushioning, and strengthened stitching for safety and comfort.

Equipped with a durable bearing loop, strong webbings, and connections to bear your weight and ensure safety.

PROS

Inexpensive

Unisex

Comfortable

CONS

Not certified for indoor climbing

  • 15

    Oumers Safe Seatbelts

This is a basic harness but takes pride in its safe seat belts that are best to have for mountaineering and tree climbing. It is comfortable to wear and effortless to adjust. For safety features, it has reinforced stitching and the ends, sturdy buckles, and strengthened webbing.

Oumers harness is inexpensive but performs well to support the climber. It is durable even when used in wet and muddy situations.

PROS

Durable

Easy to wear

Inexpensive

CONS

Not suitable for small children

  • 16

    Oumers Thicken Wider

If you’re browsing for economical rock climbing harnesses, the Oumers brand offers inexpensive harnesses that can get the job done. The Thicken Wider frame construction ensures excellent weight dispensation.

Designed with double straps on the waist and leg loops for easy fit-sizing adjustment, breathable mesh fabric for comfort during warm weather climb.

Also intended to be utilized for mountaineering, fire rescue, outward band, and caving.

PROS

Comfortable

Double buckle straps for safety

Versatile

CONS

Inaccurate sizing

How to Choose the Best Climbing Harnesses

Familiarize with the Parts

The best climbing harness should be composed of the best functioning parts based on the type of climbing you are into. There are different loops attached to the harness with each own purpose.

Gear Loops

Most harnesses have 4 gear loops. But there are harnesses that enable customization for attaching more gear loops. This loop is used to carry equipment such as cams and quickdraws.

Haul Loop

A haul loop is made of a stitched webbing located at the back of the harness. It is used to attach a haul line or a second rope. It is not meant to be used to support the load. Therefore, the haul loop should not be used to hold your weight when doing abseiling.

Belay Loop

A belay loop is a loop that bears the load. It is the strongest point in the harness. Carabiners are attached to this loop.

Leg Loops

For someone who wears thick layers of clothing, a harness with adjustable leg loops is the right one for you. Fixed leg loops will not be able to adapt with different leg sizes. Since the leg loops are wrapped around the climber’s leg, the comfort and accurate size should be considered when choosing your harness.

Waist Belt

This part of the harness should be comfortable. Outdoor sports brands usually design this part with padding, breathable mesh, and quick-drying textile. All the loops are attached and connected to the waist belt.

Classifications of Climbing Harnesses to Use

All harnesses are not the same. The built and features may differ depending on the kind of climbing you’re going to do. The best climbing harness is a harness that can help you execute your climbing goals. Here are the kinds of climbing activities and the appropriate harnesses for each style.

Sport / Gym Harnesses

Compared to other harnesses, these are thin and lightweight. Depending on the equipment you will carry, you may opt to have 2 to 4 gear loops on this harness that classically made from nylon or plastic tubing.

Trad Harnesses

Trad or traditional harness usually consists of 4 or more gear loops, a haul loop for extra rope, thick padding for comfort, and extra lumbar padding for back support. Leg loops are adjustable. New trad harness models are lighter but still not as light compared to a sport harness.

Alpine/Ice Harnesses

This harness is exposed to frigid weather conditions. It is designed to have thinner padding for weight reduction and to avoid too much moisture absorption while in an icy mountain. The adjustable leg loops will allow you to fit over the thick layers of winter clothing. Equipped with 4 or more gear loops to hold your winter gears and ice clipper slots, and a haul loop.

Big Wall Harnesses

For a big wall with multi-pitch climbing, this harness is built with abundant padding to reduce pressure during hanging belays. It has sturdy gear loops intended to hold a lot of gears, and a strong loop in the back for attaching a haul line.

Materials and Built

Harnesses from Petzl and Black Diamond usually use patented technology on their harnesses to augment its features for comfort and safety. Other brands use standardized high quality on their products. Commonly, a harness is composed of polyester textile, padding, adjustment straps, buckles, and loops.

Padding

The padding ensures comfort on the waist and legs of the climber. Padded harnesses are usually the best to use especially when hanging belays. However, the thick padding contributes to the weight of the harness. A sport climbing harness has thin padding and narrow webbing to maintain its lightweight. Winter harnesses have traditionally minimal padding on the waist and no padding on the leg loops because of the cushioning of the winter attire.

Adjustment Straps

Not all harnesses feature waist strap adjustment and adjustable leg loops. These straps are used to fit a large range of sizes, equipped with buckle and webbing.

Frame, Fabric, and Stitching

Putting a harness together require strong materials to get the best quality. Harnesses are combined built of several, layered materials. Raw materials for constructing harnesses are colorful fabrics, webbing, thread, cords, and metal pieces. Based on the featured harnesses, these are the usual qualities Thick padding should have breathable mesh for comfort. Tie-in point and stitching strengthen the harnesses, while the webbing and stitches connect the harnesses together.

Testing

Product testing goes through 2 stages. The first stage would be testing the raw materials before constructing the actual harness. The suppliers submit test results of product testing. Once the results have been verified, harness production will begin.

Once the harness has been produced, it will go through strength and comfort testing. Harnesses are absolutely designed to withstand the allocated load. Correct usage and storage is a must to make the best of your harness.

Proficiency

The best harness for you will also be based on your ability next to your preference. If you’re a beginner, the best choice would be a harness for a beginner climb. Usually, a light and comfortable harness is suggested.

An advanced or expert climber would already have a preferred harness depending on the kind of climbing they are into. Based on product reviews, the Petzl and Black Diamond are usually preferred. But since the price of these brands is higher than other brands, some experienced climbers still explore the quality, capability, and comfort of different brands.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can I use a rock climbing harness for tree climbing?

Technically, yes. if you currently own a harness for rock climbing and will only temporarily use it for going up the trees, you may use your existing harness. However, there may be features on the harness that may not meet your needs such as sided rings and the comfort of the thick paddings of a tree saddle. So, if you’re working with trees frequently, it is best if you purchase a harness that will satisfy the requirement.

How long does a harness last?

A harness had a good run if it lasted three years given that it was properly used and stored. The life expectancy of a harness could be cut shorter depending on the frequency of usage and the conditions of the way were being used. If the harness has been kept away for 10 years, you should retire it even when it was stored properly.

Can you machine wash a harness?

Before washing the harness with a machine, you should hand wash it first. If machine washing, set it to a gentle cycle, do not use heavy cleaning detergents such as bleach and degreaser. It’s always best to check the labels, instructions, and tags for washing instructions.

Can you fall out of the harness?

If you properly put on and fit the harness, you will not fall out of it. To ensure that you’re correctly strapped in, pull down on the harness when you’re adjusting the waist strap to check that it is impossible to pull it over your hip.

Conclusion

Whether for business or pleasure, using a harness when doing a climb can save your life. To fully enjoy your work or hobby of climbing, always consider the durability, comfort, safety, price, and appropriation of the harness you will purchase and use. For beginners, an economical harness might be the best option. As you progress your ability to climb, exploring other brands that you will comfortable to climb with. Just remember the most important thing in working and playing at high altitude is your safety.