Best Rock Climbing Harness

Are you looking for the best rock climbing harness for you? This buying guide and review of our top five best rock climbing harness may be what you need. This article teaches you harness basics and highlights some of the best climbing harnesses in the market.

Seasoned rock climbers will agree with this statement: Rock climbing harnesses have come a long way.

Technological advancements mean that you can now get breathable mesh waist belt liners, padding, reinforced leg hoops, gear loops, along with other features. These changes indicate that you can now get more secure and comfortable harnesses than ever before.

Picking the right harness can be a challenge because we all have different body shapes. In this guide, we highlight its essential features. We will also share with you our top five best rock climbing harness, complete with an editor’s choice harness.

Buying guide

Before you go climbing

Inspect all your equipment, including the harness. It will involve taking safety training,

There are some features you should look out for when purchasing a safety harness

Waist belt and Leg Loops

There are two main elements to a harness: waist belt and leg loops

Waist belt

A comfortable fit should leave some room to fit a few fingers at most. If it is loose, it’ll ride up as you climb. When it’s too tight, you feel constricted in when standing or walking around. The belt should be just above the hip bones, and you shouldn’t be able to pull it down over your hips. For those with narrow hips, a full body harness is better.

Every waist belt comes with gear loops where you store your chalk bag, carabiners, quick draws and other equipment. They attached with a double backed strap that secures them. A well-fitted waist belt ensures that the belay and gear loops are centered, with both loops equidistant.

Leg loops

Depending on the brand, you can get a harness with adjustable leg loops. Some, however, do not offer this option. What you choose is a matter of preference- one-size-fits-all is just as good. If you’re starting out and don’t want to make a lot of personal adjustments that may affect your climb, the latter option works best.

On cold days where you have to wear thick pants, an adjustable strap would be better. You get to adjust them to relieve pressure on the legs. While this looks like an added advantage, the leg straps on the other type of harness stretch. Manufacturers have usually taken into account the size of the person and the clothes they’d wear.

The leg loops, when properly fitted, should both not slide down or hinder your movement.

Material

There are varying types of elements used by manufacturers today. Some of them have breathable mesh material, which means you get less back sweat. The disadvantage of it is that it contains less padding compared to its counterpart. When you fall, the harness won’t be comfortable against your back as compared to one with more stuffing.

Harnesses with more padding tend to be cheaper than breathable ones. Beginners are advised to take this option because they’ll likely fall more and the extra padding will provide them with much-needed comfort.

Comfort

A good harness allows you to walk around comfortably with no rubbing or significant restriction. The buckles should not dig in when seated. When it comes to comfort, the things to consider most is the resting period. It is when you’re hanging away from the rock wall for an extended period.

During your rest, a good harness will ensure that your legs do not go numb. When that happens, it means that circulation has been cut off, and you don’t want this before resuming your climb. To prevent this, try on the harness and hang for a few minutes to see if it’s comfortable for you.

Pricing

We tend to think that the more expensive something is, the better it is. It is not necessarily the case with rock climbing harnesses. Before the product gets released into the market, the manufacturers have to certify that they are safe. Therefore, low-end gear from well-established cannot be considered less reliable than a high-end brand.

The expensive brands tend to have extra non-safety features, which drive up the price. Whatever you go for is a matter of personal preference. Just make sure it’s a well-known, reputable brand.

Note: While tempting, do not get a second-hand harness. That is because you don’t know what type of care the previous owner gave it. It could likely prove fatal if you happen to overlook a problem with it.

Purchase location

When it comes to purchasing a harness, you have two options: an outdoor store or an online store.

At a physical store, prices tend to be higher than if you were to order the equipment online. It does, however, have its benefits, especially if there is knowledgeable staff to help you out. You can try different harnesses to find out which one is the most comfortable for rock climbing. The salespeople will also be able to explain and advise you on what to go for depending on what features matter to you.

When buying online, you have to rely on buying guides such as this one for more information. If pricing is a concern, it is the better purchase point, though it depends on the shipping costs.

What you do however need to be careful about is who you get your equipment. Take time to research the company and see what others have to say about them. Examples of reputable brands are Petzl, Black Diamond, Mammut, Edelrid, DMM, Arc’Teryx and Wild Country.

With an online store, you have to wait for shipping. For a physical store, you’re able to buy a harness and use it the same day. If you want the best of both options, you can first try different harnesses at a physical store. When you’ve selected your preferred brand, look for the exact one online. This approach can pose a moral dilemma to some, so it’s really up to you.

Harness care

Keep your harness from chemicals and direct sunlight. Before storing, confirm that it is dry and after that store at room temperature in a dark place. Should it get dirty, use a wild multipurpose detergent or rope cleaners available in the market. Do not put it out in the sun after, but instead place it in a warm room and give it time to dry completely.

 

Top 5 reviews

RankingBrand NameOne size fits all Rating
1Black Diamond Primrose Women’s HarnessYes4.7
2Black Diamond Momentum HarnessYes4.7
3Petzl Kids’ Macchu Climbing HarnessNo 4.5
4Black Diamond Vario Speed HarnessYes 4.4
5Oumers Safe Seat BeltsNo 4.3

 

Black Diamond Primrose Women’s Harness

This harness comes with a pre-threaded waist belt buckle with Speed Adjust. It is bull-horn shaped and built using Dual Core construction with an emphasis on comfort when hanging. Black Diamond has used their trakFit adjustment design which allows for better leg loop customization.

There is an adjustable rear elastic riser, along with four gear loops that have been pressure molded into the waist belt and a haul loops. It is specially designed for female climbers for all styles of climbing. Women spend less time adjusting the leg loops and waist belt with Primrose.

Pros

  • It is tailored toward women as they have a different body structure from men
  • It can apply for any climbing
  • You can adjust both the leg loops and waist belt

Cons

  • It is only suitable for women

 

View price on Amazon

 

Black Diamond Momentum Harness

With this harness, you get maximum comfort when at a hanging belay. It is primarily due to the Dual Core Construction used by Black Diamond for their bullhorn-shaped waist belts. You also get stable balance when hanging. The CLPE foam insert is encased within a durable, abrasion-resistant nylon for flexible performance

The waist belt buckle is pre-threaded Speed Adjust, making it easy to use. You also have their trakFit leg loops for easy adjustments. It comes with four gear loops and a haul loop. The former is pressure molded into the gear for maximum protection. It is suitable for multiple climbing disciplines.

Pros

  • It has adjustable leg and loops
  • Used for different types of climbing activities
  • It is flexible and can fit anyone

Cons

  • The waist belt doesn’t contain breathable fabric

 

View price on Amazon

 

Petzl Kids’ Macchu Climbing Harness

This brand uses Endoframe Technology construction which guarantees superb weight distribution that gives children optimal comfort. Both the waist belt and leg loops have double straps. The waist belt is wider on the side to account for different sized children.

For maximum protection, the harness contains two double back buckles. They offer precise centering for a perfect fit. The connection loop is colored for that quick visual check of the belayer’s connection point when you’re hanging during rest. The leg loops also adjust to suit the child and come with detachable elastics. The front has two rigid equipment loops and rear buckle where you can attach a chalk bag.

This rock climbing harness can be used by the child for some years as it adjusts to suit the growth difference.

Pros

  • Specifically tailored for children
  • It can use used for some years until the child outgrows it
  • It has double-strapped waist belt and leg loops
  • It has a colored connection loop

Cons

  • It has two gear loops
  • You have to attach the chalk bag to the rear buckle.

 

View price on Amazon

 

Black Diamond Vario Speed Harness

This material used to make this harness is nylon. It is a simple one-size-fits-all design that can fit both children and adults without causing a headache when making adjustments.

The waist belt has a large quick-adjust pre-threaded buckle that doesn’t require double backing. The leg loops also adjust quite as fast. The recommended use of this harness is the gym, but it is also sturdy enough for rock climbing and guide schools.

Pros

  • It’s a one-size-fits-all design
  • Suitable for both indoor and outdoor climbing
  • The buckle doesn’t require double backing to fit securely

Cons

  • Not a suitable fit for younger children

 

View price on Amazon

 

Oumers Safe Seat Belts

This harness is made from polyester and reinforced with tie-in point and stitching. The waist belt and leg loop have a breathable mesh liner. This breathable fabric means that your back doesn’t sweat during a climb. The waist belt has two double-back buckles that adjust for a pleasant and secure fit all at once.

It is suitable for rock and gym climbing, mountaineering, fire rescue, caving and working on high levels of a building.

 

Pros

  • It is multipurpose
  • It has two double-back buckles
  • The waist belt has a breathable mesh liner

Cons

  • It doesn’t contain padding

 

View price on Amazon

 

Comparison Table

BrandBlack Diamond Primrose Women’s HarnessBlack Diamond Momentum HarnessPetzl Kids’ Macchu Climbing HarnessBlack Diamond Vario Speed HarnessOumers Safe Seat Belts
Waist size (cm)All-aroundAll-around54-6458-10761-122
Leg size (cm)All-aroundAll-around34-4443-7141- 80
PurchaseBuy NowBuy NowBuy NowBuy NowBuy Now

 

Final verdict

Considering all the factors that make a good harness, our best pick is the Black Diamond Momentum Harness. The company, Black Diamond, is a reputable company. They specifically specialize in climbing, mountain and skiing gear, and have the technology to back it. Their TrakFit leg hoops technology has a pending patent, an induction the company takes their equipment advancements seriously. Another factor we considered was that one size fits all.

We are by no means saying this is the best equipment on the market, and we’re just letting you know what we prefer. All the harnesses on our list are guaranteed to keep you safe and comfortable during a climb. That said, all the best when selecting the best rock climbing harness for you!

Taylor
 

Taylor grew up near the mountainside. Rock climbing came naturally to him as they he would explore the countryside during the holidays with his little brother. As more tourists visited their area, Taylor saw the huge business potential in selling climbing gear. He opened a shop that has been catering to the climber's needs ever since. His passionate about what he does and he is always looking for a mountain to conquer. This has enabled him to travel to many countries across the world, where he has climbed some of the steepest mountains. Besides, rock climbing Taylor loves mentoring young men to make the better decisions in life.