Best Climbing Harness: What Features To Look For
Choosing climbing gear can be a challenging task. You need to be careful when you choose a climbing harness because your life, quite literally, hangs in the balance. Knowing what to look for in a climber's harness can help you protect yourself and anyone else you climb with. In this article, we look at the features we need to consider when selecting a climbing harness. Then we take a look at the five best climbing harnesses on sale online.
But first, let’s address one important aspect of climbing gear – what is the difference between a rappelling and a climbing harness?
Rappelling Harness vs. Climbing Harness
Both rappelling and climbing harnesses are climbing gear that allow climbers to easily and safely scale vertical rock faces. But, the core functionality of each harness is different.
The climbing harness allows climbers to climb up the rock face to reach the summit, while a rappelling harness is what climbers use to come back down (or rappel down) back to the ground after they’ve climbed to the top.
Harnesses are made to function as both, all you need to do is readjust the harness’s settings, and you’re good to go.
Six Tips for Selecting a Climbing Safety Harness
· Check the size
Climbing harness sizes are usually available from XS to XXL. A few new-age companies are making larger sizes as well. It’s important to find a harness that is not too snug, nor too loose, as either extreme can make for an unsafe climbing experience.
· Choose based on body shape or gender
While most companies make unisex climbing safety harnesses today, some do still have gender-specific harnesses. If you prefer such a brand, it’s important to select a harness that is shaped to your body. For women, the harness will be smaller and higher at the waist but bigger at the thighs. For men, it will be lower and wider at the waist with smaller leg loops.
· Select based on the nature of climbing
Climbing and rappelling can happen at multiple venues:
- Gyms/sporting arenas
- Rock climbing walls
- Hills, mountains, and cliff faces
The climbing harness features will differ based on the type of climbing you do. For example, the harness functionality & safety requirements in a gym are significantly lesser than those for the mountains. You’ll need more padding, back support, larger leg loops, adjustable belts, and additional features as the complexity of your climb increases.
· Check if the harness meets the required regulatory standards
Each locale will have its own specific regulations when it comes to climbing gear safety. It’s important that you check if the climbing harness you’re buying meets these requirements or not. You can usually find what these standards are at the local rock-climbing club.
· Verify if the climbing harness has all the parts you need
A harness has multiple parts put together to help a climber climb up or rappel down. These parts include the waist belt, buckles, leg loops, gear loops, haul loops, belay loops, tie-in points, and elastic straps. Make sure that yours has all these elements – more if you need them.
· Use the age of the climber as a guide
Finally, choose climbing harnesses based on the age of the climber. Most adults can make do with the traditional waist harness. But if you have a small body size or you’re buying the harness for a child, it’s best to choose a full-body harness. It’s safer.
Top 5 climbing Harnesses to Consider When Buying Climbing Gear
This harness is part of the Black Diamond Momentum Package, which comes with a men’s Momentum harness, Rocklock Screwgate locking carabiner, ATC-XP belay, white gold chalk, and chalk bag.
This is the women’s version of the Momentum harness, and comes with specialized trakFIT leg-loops that are highly adjustable. The comfortable straps, belts, and loops make it perfect for women on a climbing mission.
The Fraggle III full-body climbing harness comes with 3D mesh padding, stitched ends, tie-in loops, and gilder buckles to keep your little ones safe while they scale rock faces. This is the perfect training harness for beginners.
This Alpine climbing safety harness is made for complicated climbs. The soft frame design makes it very comfortable to use when you’re climbing overnight or for hours at a stretch. There are lots of brackets available to attach other climbing gear like quickdraws and ice screws. The reinforced rope loop ensures the rope doesn’t cut through easily due to friction. The 20mm strap buckle makes it easy for climbers to remove their harness when they have crampons/skis on.
Another premium climbing harness for alpine use is Corax. This harness comes with double back buckles that make it easier to control and center the harness mid-climb. This harness comes with high-capacity equipment loops in the back and rigid front equipment loops in the front, allowing you to carry all you need on long or solo climbs. The cutting-edge FRAME Technology enables seamless weight distribution ensuring no single part of the harness is overburdened at a time. The high-strength polyester webbing offers immense support, while the fabric lining on stress points prevents skin scraping.
What Should a Good Climbing Harness be like?
When choosing your climbing harness, you should consider core climbing harness features:
- Your harness’s waistbelt shouldn’t move excessively.
- It shouldn’t be too tight or too loose.
- It should feel comfortable and useable when weighted.
- It should allow you to sit up straight without putting too much effort into your core.
- It should be in good condition and must be known to be durable.
At Skuxs, we have a wide range of premium-quality, durable climbing harnesses on sale, browse our selection here. All of our products meet global safety standards.