The Fun Is In The Climb

A Guide to Buying Climbing Harnesses

The climbing harness is an important piece in a safe climbing adventure. There are different types of climbing harnesses available for a variety of climbing experiences. There are sports harnesses, which are lightweight and does not entail too much gear. There are traditional harnesses which take advantage of space and have more gear loops required for sports climbing.

There are winter harnesses which provide lightweight flexibility with their waist loop and clip buckle system and then mixed climbing harnesses which are built to deal with chilly conditions.

Harnesses are made for a variety of climbing and sports, traditional and mixed activities so they can be brought about to take in a range of needs. Hence it is important that you know more about the functions of the best climbing harness.

Parts of a Climbing Harness

The rock climbing harness is composed of a waist belt and two leg loops with optional parts like belay loops, gear loops and rear haul loops. The materials employed for making a harness range from nylon, polyester, elastomer and even Kevlar. It is crucial that climbers know the standard construction of a harness before buying one.

Waist belt

The waist belt is the chief part of a harness. It is made of a selection of materials and can come in different designs to accommodate different weights and comfort levels. The waistband fastens with 1-2 aluminum buckles positioned off center in the front to take in the rope tie-in.

The waist belt must fit securely without significant chafing and pinching. The waist belt must fit on top of the hipbones and should not disrupt breathing. The tightness of the fit can be tested by repeatedly trying to drag it down above the hips.

However, people and children with narrower hips are better off with a full body harness as opposed to a traditional one for extra security and comfort.

Shoulder straps

A standard harness does not include shoulder straps but there are available shoulder harnesses which can be bought and worn individually from the waist belt. It can also be on hand with a built-in design. The straps can be positioned to the waist belt or be removable, based on the product. The straps have a variety of padding and there are models available which have adjustments to its belt attachment.

Leg loops

The legs’ support straps are composed of a selection of materials and it has differing quantities of cushioning or padding. It comes in non-adjustable and adjustable forms. The leg loops fasten to the waist belt with the belay loop positioned in front and the elastic straps at the back.

On some models, the back straps and the belays are removable to make changing clothes easier. There are companies who retail leg loops and waist belts individually, as well, to offer users a more customized fit. There are also models available which have removable leg loops.

Belay loop

The belay loop is a tiny sphere of nylon webbing which fastens the leg loops and the waist belt. The webbing can take in hundreds of pounds of weight and is the most reinforced part of the harness. The belay device’s point of attachment is the loop and it bears the total load in the event of a fall or while rappelling. Belay loops are always tested and provided with strong ratings.

Tying into the belay is possible, however, many experts and companies suggest that threading to the waist and the leg is the way to go since they are cushioned and will further stop chafing and scratches.

This part takes in the impact of climbing significantly and should be inspected thoroughly for indications of damage following each use of the harness. In fact, some companies provide their products with wear indicators so users can easily examine the item for issues.

Buckles

Harness buckles are typically made from carbon steel and aluminum. The majority are double-backed for additional reinforcement while some have automatic locking closure setups. The automatic buckles facilitate faster modifications even when wearing gloves but this kind of buckle slackens by accident at times.

Buckles that can be threaded manually have fewer tendencies to slip but adjusting them is a tad more challenging and should be inspected each time, following every use of the harness. When purchasing a harness, the user should examine the buckles’ condition for signs of damage.

Gear loops

Two to four gear loops are advised by experts, based on the kind of climbing the user is into. Those who do sports climbing typically require only two gear loops since they need to save bulk and weight. Traditional rock climbing often involves longer routes so climbers need more gear.

Fear loops are often made with molded plastic, are rigid and make the whole deal of clipping and unclipping easier. These loops function as parts to carry equipment and they are not meant as a spot to tie an anchor.

Haul loop

The haul loop is located in the back of the harness. It is there so users can clip on rope, shoes or jackets. However, it should not be used as a clip for heavier loads.

How to Fit a Harness

It is important that the best climbing harness should fit your body properly. Here are some tips for fitting a harness the proper way.

When it comes to the waist belt, the part should lie just on top of the hip bones and it must not be dragged down on the user’s hips. For people with narrow hips, the full body harness is recommended.

It is also important to note that the harness should not hamper the user’s breathing. As soon as the waist belt is fastened, make sure to inspect if there are about three inches of webbing left from its buckle. This guarantees that the user has the right fit.

For the leg loops, it is also crucial to remember that the parts should be secure but not too restrictive so users can still move their legs when climbing. The loops must meet halfway between not being capable of slipping around and not inhibiting movement.

For maintenance, the harness should be washed in mild soapy water to get rid of the accumulated dirt and sweat. It is advised that climbers should replace the harness once every five years or before it displays any sign of damage. Store it in a clean, dry spot and do not expose it to direct sunlight so it will maintain its integrity.

If you tend to get into winter climbing expeditions, you should check out styles with closed cell foam because they are more durable and can be used in wet and snowy conditions.

You can purchase the best climbing harness at a sports store or any store that specializes in climbing and mountaineering gear. These stores often have a good selection of climbing equipment. It is also suggested that it’s best if you can try out a harness before buying one so you can make sure that you will get the right fit.

Furthermore, make sure that the store has a very knowledgeable staff that is familiar with their products and its functions. Try out a variety of harnesses and check which is the most comfortable. There are stores that allow their customers to get strapped in so they can handle the product and check their comfort level.

A good staff will offer suggestions depending on the kind of climbing you do and your concerns. Checking products online can be a bit of a challenge since you will only be provided with the product descriptions and a few pictures.

However, if you are pretty familiar with certain products because you have used them for a while, you can opt instead to order a harness online.

The staff of a store will also share why several harnesses in their store have higher prices compared to other products. You can compare those products on top of one another and scrutinize their distinctions. You can then settle whether you want to invest in a high-end product or go for something more affordable.

Excellent online stores often retail outdoor equipment at a lower price because they do not have to pay higher costs due to managing a physical store. However, you have to guarantee that the online store has a great reputation and have the major brands in their supply. Also, do not forget to go over the store’s return policies.

Image

Product

Price

Rating

   Oumers Climbing Harness  $  4.4/5
   Petzl Corax Climbing Harness  $$  4.8/5
   Fusion Climb Centaur Half Body Harness  $  4.1/5
   kissloves Full Body Safety Harness Outdoor Climbing Momentum Harness  $$$  4.5/5
   Oumers Kids’ Climbing Harness  $$$  4.8/5
   Black Diamond Momentum Harness  $$  4.5/5
   GHB Climbing Harness  $  4.4/5
   YXGOOD Treestand Harness  $$  4.2/5
   EDELRID – Jay II Climbing Harness  $$  4.7/5
   ROSY CLOUDS Climbing Harness  $  5.0/5

5 Suggested Climbing Harnesses

You now know more about the product, and it’s time to make some recommendations. Here are five climbing harnesses which have gathered positive reviews online.

Oumers Climbing Harness

Finding the right climbing harness for the type of climbing you undertake can be a challenging job. But if you know what you want and are quite familiar with the workings of the item, you can easily find one that fits and does the job. The Oumers Climbing Harness is a product that is a guaranteed must-try for climbers due to its stable and excellent construction.

It comes with double-back buckles which let users adjust and secure the ensemble with just one movement. The harness does not include any padding though, which makes it a true alpine harness. But then again it comes with a drop seat and a gear loop. The leg loops and the waistband are composed of breathable mesh to reduce chafing when climbing during hotter days.

Pro

  • Has double-back buckles
  • Includes gear loop and drop seat
  • Affordable model
  • Waistband and leg loops come with breathable mesh material

Con

  • Does not have cushioning
  • Does not include haul loop

Petzl Corax Climbing Harness

The Petzl Corax climbing harness is a product that is ultra-comfortable and light. It comes with four buckles and four gear loops but it does not include a haul loop so if you often partner up with other climbers or have plans to do the activity with an additional load on your back, this might not suit your needs.

It has Frame technology which evenly distributes weight between the waist and leg loops for a truly comfortable fit. The harness’s pressure points are lined with a soft yet hardwearing fabric to guarantee overall comfort. This can be had in several sizes and colors plus it also comes at a reasonable price.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Includes 4 gear loops and 4 buckles
  • Comes with affordable price
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • On hand in several sizes and color

Con

  • Does not include haul loop
  • Can take a bit of time to wear and take off

Fusion Climb Centaur Half Body Harness

The Fusion Climb Centaur comes with a reasonable price but has proven to be quite effective when it comes to improving climbing skills. It is available in a good range of colors and it a versatile harness due to its lightweight properties. It is comfortable, a breeze to adjust and hardwearing as well.

The belt that comes with it has three adjustment features which means it can fit the majority of varying body types. In addition, it also includes two-piece adjuster buckles which can be customized easily and is threaded.

It has 5000LB test mil spec webbing with stitches and a strengthened tie in to guarantee better durability. It is strong enough to take in different weights and it is recommended for indoor climbing, as an outdoor guide and for rope courses.

Pro

  • Has 3 buckles
  • Comes in a number of sizes
  • Includes reinforced belay loop
  • Has reasonable price

Cons

  • Does not have padding
  • Does not include haul and gear loops

Kissloves Full Body Safety Harness

The Full Body Safety Harness from Kissloves will suit 27.5 to 47.2 inch waists and 19.6 to 23.6 inch legs. This means the product has a universal fit and can accommodate the majority of body types. It has a weight limit of 450 lbs. and comes with comfort cushioning for the legs, shoulders and back.

It has a sturdy frame which provides uniform weight distribution for better comfort. The leg loops and waist belt have double straps and also come with breathable mesh. It has a traditional harness and buckle design as well. This product is recommended for use in activities and occupations that call for safety at elevated locations.

Pros

  • Great quality and fit
  • Waist and legs can accommodate bigger body builds
  • Has wide, cushioned webbing for comfort
  • Comes with lots of safety loops, rings and utility
  • Has sturdy, hardwearing design

Cons

  • Did not display any at the moment

Kids’ Climbing Harness, Full Body Harness, Oumers

The Kids’ Climbing Harness, Full Body Harness, Oumers come with 4 adjustable buckles. One can be found on the leg loops and two located in front of the waistband. Due to the inclusion of 4 buckles, users can further customize the harness to better fit their body shape.

However it only comes with 2 gear loops and it lacks a haul loop so this is not ideal for climbers who often do the activity with other people. Due to the minimal inclusion of gear loops and the lack of a haul loop, most recommend it as a sport or gym harness.

However it has excellent padding—the waist belt for one is cushioned sufficiently which means it was able to give terrific lumbar support.

Pros

  • Gives superior lumbar support
  • Comes with affordable price
  • Has 4 buckles

Cons

  • Only comes in one size
  • Does not include haul loop
  • Needs more gear loops
  • Might be too hefty for some

Conclusion

There are many climbing harnesses available in the market now. It is important to know that there are different kinds of the item, each with its own features meant to accommodate a certain climbing style.

In case you do not know what you are hunting for in a climbing harness, you can think of the kind of gear you want to carry along, the amount of the gear required for the climb and the frequency of your climbing expeditions. Those inquiries will give you an idea of what kind of climbing harness will accommodate your needs.

You may also want to take into account the kind of climbing style you want to undertake. This will help you make worthwhile buying decisions later on. It is also suggested that you test out a variety of harnesses before settling on one. You have to make sure that it is comfortable since you will be spending hours in it.

It should be tight enough but not too constricting that it will hamper normal movement. The harness should fit you like a glove without leading to scratches, chafing or breathing difficulties.

While it is recommended that you look for a harness in a physical store, if you are already familiar with some products and have worn them previously, you can go ahead and try ordering one online.

If you are going to purchase one online though, make sure that the store is reputable, includes the major brands in their selections and has a return policy that you agree with.

Hopefully this article has helped you a lot and will lead you to the best climbing harness.