10 Best Climbing Harnesses (2022)

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Vital to the safety of every climber, choosing the right harness is a big decision. But with so many climbing harnesses on the market it can be hard to choose. That’s why we have made it our mission to help you find the best climbing harness for your climbing style so that you can climb in maximum comfort and safety.

To complete your climbing gear kit, make sure to also check out our articles on the best climbing shoes, ropes, quickdraws, and helmets.

Comparison Table of the Best Climbing Harnesses

Below is a list of the best rock climbing harnesses. Click on the name to read reviews and check prices.

What to Look for in a Good Climbing Harness

Here is a list of everything you need to think about before purchasing your new rock climbing harness…

1. Type of Climbing Harness

a. Alpine Rock

These have all the features of a trad harness while being lightweight and packable. Alpine rock harnesses are durable with large gear loops, a haul loop, and maybe ice clipper slots.

b. Big Wall

These tend to be pricier because they have all the bells and whistles. You’ll need to be able to spend a significant amount of time in this harness, so it will have more padding for aid pitches and long-hanging belays. These usually have a bunch of gear loops, a load-bearing haul loop, and maybe even double belay loops.

c. Gym

These harnesses are comfortable, durable, and inexpensive. You won’t need a bunch of fancy features like numerous gear loops and ice clipper slots. Padding is most important with these because you’ll probably be doing a lot of hanging and falling.

d. Mountaineering

These minimalistic harnesses will be lightweight and easy to get on and off. They should also be more comfortable for walking than for climbing as you should be doing a lot of hanging or falling.

e. Sport

These tend to be minimalistic and allow for a lot of freedom of movement. The comfort should be focused primarily on climbing and not on hanging. Smaller gear loops are okay because you’ll really only need to carry slings and quickdraws.

f. Trad

Almost synonymous with multi-pitching, these are more full-featured harnesses. It should have a least four gear loops and a rear haul loop along with a wide waist belt and leg loops. Comfort should be focused on hanging or semi-hanging belays.

2. Buckle System

Most harnesses you’ll see with have speed-adjust buckles, but the one main thing to decide is whether you prefer one or two buckles. Having one buckle makes the harness more simple, streamlined, and lighter. However, two buckles enables you to keep loops centered regardless of the tightness of the harness.

3. Comfort

A harness is no good if it’s uncomfortable. Lighter harnesses have a reputation for being less comfortable because they typically weigh less due to less padding. However, with split-webbing technology comfort and low weight are not mutually exclusive. When considering comfort, it’s important to also consider mobility as well as comfort while hanging, standing, and belaying. Many harnesses will have fits for both men and women, but there’s no clear difference across the board. While you may be on the lookout for the best women’s climbing harness, you may actually find a men’s harness which fits you perfectly.

4. Construction

When considering the construction of a harness, you’ll choose between foam and split webbing, and some harnesses will even combine the two.

a. Foam

Foam tends to be the most popular construction material, but like everything, it has its positives and negatives. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money or you’re a novice climber, a foam harness will be fine. Some of the issues are that foam harnesses tend to be bulkier and heavier, which isn’t ideal if you’re trying to converse weight in your backpack or you’re focused on moving quickly. Foam also loses its padding after a while which creates pressure points and makes the harness uncomfortable.

b. Split Webbing

Split webbing will distribute the load more evenly. It’s more breathable, lasts longer, and is thought to be more comfortable. All of those positives will be reflected in the price tag, but for those who are more experienced or frequent climbers, split webbing is often the preference.

5. Fixed or Adjustable Leg Loops

Adjustable leg loops allow you more freedom to customize the fit. If you climb in all four seasons, sometimes wearing a lot of layers and sometimes wearing only one, then you’ll probably appreciate the versatility. However, they are heavier, they can slip overtime, and they require more adjustment. On the flip side, fixed leg loops are simple, they are lighter and they have an elastic band instead of a buckle, so you’ll still have some flexibility.

6. Gear Loops

These rings run across the waist belt and this is where you’ll place all of your gear. Four is the standard number of gear loops. Generally, more technical climbers go for more gear loops while gym and sport climbers may only need two. If you’re a trad climber then you’ll need to make sure your rack will fit on the loops. Gear loops vary by construction, shape, and size, so be sure to pay attention to that before purchasing a harness.

7. Haul Loops

Haul loops are convenient, but not always necessary. If a harness has a haul loop then it’s located on the rear of the harness between two gear loops. You can use them to attach a second rope, haul line, or even shoes, but they’re not meant to hang anything heavy or rated to take a fall.

8. Ice Clipper Slots

These are only necessary if you plan to ice climb because you’ll need a specialized racking system for ice screws. The good news is that they’re pretty noticeable when you’re not using them.

Best Climbing Harness Reviews

Now that you know what to look for, here are some of our favorite climbing harnesses.

Black Diamond Momentum

Black Diamond Momentum Harness

Best uses: Gym, sport, trad
Weight: 12 oz.
Construction: Foam
Adjustable legs: Yes

The Black Diamond Momentum is the least expensive harness on this list. It is super comfy and great for both beginners and seasoned climbers. Its design makes it easy to adjust and it has a dual-core construction, bullhorn-shaped waist belt to maximize comfort, especially on hanging belays. To help reduce error and guarantee a secure and quick fit, the waist belt buckle is pre-threaded. The trakFIT adjustment lets you easily adjust your leg loops and its adjustable rear elastic riser sits close to your body. This harness features four pressure-molded gear loops and a haul loop for your cams, draws, and belay devices. The all-around padding makes the harness feel almost non-existent, and all of this comes in a harness that only weighs around 12 ounces. The Black Diamond Momentum is an ideal harness to climb confidently and safely.

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Arc’teryx FL-365

Arc’teryx FL-365 Harness

Best uses: Sport, trad, alpine
Weight: 12.9 oz.
Construction: Split webbing
Adjustable legs: No

Its versatility, high performance, and light weight are what make the Arc’teryx FL-365 the best all-around climbing harness. Designed for both climbing and alpinism, this harness allows for efficient movement and protection no matter where you are. The Warp Strength Technology offers fantastic weight distribution as well as dependable strength so you can be comfortable while climbing. It includes additional convenient features like self-locking buckles, four ice clipper slots, four gear loops, and more. The leg loops are adjustable and there’s also a quick hook on the rear leg elastic that will allow you to use the bathroom without removing the harness. For a small, light, and effective harness that won’t hinder your warm-up movements, go with the Arc’teryx FL-365.

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Black Diamond Solution

Black Diamond Solution Harness

Best uses: Gym, sport
Weight: 11 oz.
Construction: Foam and split webbing
Adjustable legs: No

This men’s harness is designed to fit body contours and banish pressure points to help with comfort, support, and easy movement. The harness weighs less than a pound and can fit waist sizes ranging from 27” – 39”. The load is distributed evenly thanks to the Fusion Comfort Technology™ which uses strands of low-profile webbing in the fixed leg loops. The Black Diamond Solution has adjustable and releasable elastic risers as well as four pressure-molded gear loops. For those who value sustainability, the primary fabric is bluesign® approved. Keep in mind though that the gear loops are somewhat small, so it won’t be the best harness for traditional climbing, but it is an ideal sport climbing harness.

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Edelrid Jay II

Edelrid Jay II Harness

Best uses: Gym, sport, trad
Weight: 14.6 oz.
Construction: Foam
Adjustable legs: Yes

The Edelrid Jay II is the perfect all-around climbing harness. It’s been designed with optimal support and comfort in mind by equipping the harness with overlapping 3D mesh padding at the upper edge. There’s moveable waist padding which allows for the gear loops and tie-in point to be aligned and centered. The tie-in point also features an abrasion protector for extra durability. The leg loops are adjustable and allow for elastic mesh inserts for the most comfortable fit and flexibility. This harness also has two attachment options for ice screw clips and a chalk bag loop for convenience. With everything it offers, the Edelrid Jay II is a good rock climbing harness for everyone from beginners to experts.

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Petzl Sitta Harness

Petzl Sitta Harness

Best uses: Sport, alpine
Weight: 9.5 oz.
Construction: Split webbing
Adjustable legs: No

PETZL has successfully created the best climbing harness for professionals. The harness is highly technical, but it gives climbers total freedom of movement. This high-end harness is geared toward mountaineering and climbing, and it offers maximum comfort and compactness in a lightweight package. The Sitta allows for optimal load distribution without the use of foam because Spectra strands are used in the leg loops and waist belts. The harness design is super sleek and has a focus on compactness. The bonded fabric helps to avoid pressure points and offers optimal wear resistance. Wearers love this harness because the lack of through stitching can eliminate chafing. The tie-points on this harness are reinforced to help resist the wear from rope friction. For a minimal harness that functions just like a full-featured one, go with Petzl’s Sitta harness.

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Black Diamond Big Gun

Black Diamond Big Gun Harness

Best uses: Big wall
Weight: 23 oz.
Construction: Foam
Adjustable legs: Yes

Built for taking on the big walls of the world, the Black Diamond Big Gun is among the best rock climbing harness choices on the market. The construction is super solid and very comfortable thanks to the extra padding. It has seven color-coded customizable gear loops, which makes it a great harness for multi-pitch climbs, and it also has two color-coded belay loops. It comes in four different size options and can fit waist sizes 27” – 39”. It has left or right holster slots and has an included hammer holster. Perfect for epic belays and long routes, you can’t go wrong with the Black Diamond Big Gun.

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Black Diamond Chaos

Black Diamond Chaos Harness

Best uses: Sport, trad, alpine
Weight: 12.5 oz.
Construction: Foam and split webbing
Adjustable legs: No

If you’re into high-output, multi-pitch free climbing and trad cragging then the Black Diamond Chaos is the harness for you. It offers abrasion resistance, premium padding, and even weight distribution thanks to crystal polymer replacing traditional webbing. This harness can be operated quickly and with only one hand thanks to the pre-threaded Speed Adjust buckle. There are four gear loops to hold cams, slings, and on-route accessories, and the two front ones are oversized for optimized racking. While most lightweight harnesses become uncomfortable or begin to wear at the tie-points, the Black Diamond Chaos is immune to those issues and remains super comfortable even after it’s broken in. For a harness that remains comfortable and needs minimal adjustment even after long climbing sessions, go with the Black Diamond Chaos.

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Misty Mountain Cadillac

Misty Mountain Cadillac Harness

Best uses: Trad, big wall
Weight: 18.7 oz.
Construction: Foam
Adjustable legs: Yes

This no-slip harness is known for its quality construction and smooth ride. It features double pass aluminum buckles and nylon waist belt webbing. The ice clipper slots make it a great harness for winter weather adventures, and there are also six large gear loops. The harness is lightweight and has 500D Cordura nylon fabric in high wear areas to increase durability. The Misty Mountain Cadillac is also equipped with closed cell crosslinked polyethylene foam padding. This harness is ideal for everything from route setting to distributing a full trad rack, so if you’re looking for a versatile and lightweight harness, be sure to check out the Misty Mountain Cadillac.

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Mammut Ophir 3-Slide

Mammut Ophir 3-Slide Harness

Best uses: Gym, trad, alpine
Weight: 13 oz.
Construction: Foam and split webbing
Adjustable legs: Yes

This all-around climbing harness can be used on an alpine peak, at the crag, or in the gym. Not only is it lightweight, but it has adjustable leg loops and a comfy design. Comfort and breathability are enhanced because of the two-part webbing construction on the waist and legs. The four gear loops can hold your necessary gear, and the dropseat leg loops make it easy to go to the bathroom. There is patented reinforcement at the tie-in points to limit the effects of abrasion, but the belay loop will show red if an abrasion causes critical damage. The Mammut Ophir 3-Slide comes in five different sizes and fits waists ranging from 26” to 42”. This easily adjustable harness is one that climbers of all skill levels can enjoy.

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Petzl Adjama

Petzl Adjama Harnes

Best uses: Gym, trad
Weight: 17.1 oz.
Construction: Foam and split webbing
Adjustable legs: Yes

Petzl’s Adjama is beloved by more experienced climbers who climb throughout all four seasons. It’s designed for technical mountaineering along with trad and multi-pitch climbing. The waist belt is wider on the sides to help maximize comfort and evenly distribute weight. It has five gear loops, including a rear loop for hauling a rope. The loops are designed so that the front two are rigid for easy access to your gear, the two rear ones are flexible to avoid pack pressure points, and the rear center one can carry belay station gear or shoes. It even comes with its own carrying bag for protection, and it’s compatible with Caritool tool holders. For a comfortable harness that won’t restrict your movement, you should definitely consider the Adjama.

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All of these harnesses are top quality and can help you to have the best climbing experience possible. Hopefully this article has taken a lot of stress off of your shoulders when it comes to choosing your climbing harness, so now all you have to do is focus on having fun on your next climb.


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