If you have any experience climbing at all you probably know that the climbing harness connects body and the climbing rope. But, you may not know all of the parts of the climbing harness that you’re using.
These parts include straps, buckles, and loops. In this article we give you a complete breakdown of the pieces that make up a climbing harness so you will know what you are looking for if at all you need a new climbing harness or you’re grabbing a loaner at your local climbing gym.
Now, it’s important to note that you won’t find each of these pieces on all types of harnesses. For example, a sport harness is going to much more basic than an ice climbing harness will be.
We’ve written up a detailed review of the common types of harnesses you should read through if you’re curious about that!
So, without further delay….
Climbing Harness Parts
The Waist Belt
The waist belt is a slab of material which is used to wrap around the waist. It is designed to be comfortable even during long climbs where one may hang for extended periods of time.
This might be the most varied piece of a harness depending on it’s use, alpine climbing have belts are normally very low weight, where a mountaineering harness will probably be thicker and heavier.
Your Leg Loops
Leg loops are, as you probably guessed, used to encase upper thighs. They are the two padded loops that hang from the waist belt. Leg loops give you the ability to tighten or loosen how tightly you legs are enclosed, this is normally done with a standard buckle.
The leg loops are attached to the waist belt near where the belay loop is found, and can be adjusted as it straps in the back of the waist belt. There is a cross piece which attaches the leg loops to one another in the front of the Harness.
The combination of the leg loops and the waist belt is important in helping to distribute weight between the legs and pelvis in case one falls during climbing. In doing so, the effect of the fall can be reduced. It is important to have your leg loops adjusted correctly to make sure only small injuries will occur from a fall.
The Waist Buckles
A climbing harness can have one or two buckles which are located in the front of waistline. The buckles are normally made of a strong, lightweight metal. Webbing around the waist ensures that the buckle is not undone due to weighting during the climbing process.
The buckle is very important so we always advise the harness be double-backed to the buckle before engaging in the climbing process. Some climbing Harness can also have double buckles which are pre-threaded. They help to ensure that one can loosen or tighten the climbing harness belt easily.
The Tie-In Loop
A tie-in loop is a robust and rigid webbing attached to the front of the waist belt. The buckle is attached to the belay loop to ensure that the buckle is secure.
The Tie-in loop is significant as the rope used in tying the Climbing harness goes through the leg loop then into the tie-in loop. In this case, the tie-in loop helps secure the rope in the two parts of harness and also helps distribute wait in case one falls or hang on the rope.
The Belay Loop
Belay loop is a webbing loop which plays the role of attaching leg loops to the waistline. The belaying loop is also essential for locking carabiners used during belaying or rappelling is appended to this loop.
The fact that the belaying loop is so strong helps it in withstanding forces during climbing as well as severe falls. However, the belay loop may fail especially when it is old or worn out, so it is advisable to check it well to ensure safety before engaging in climbing.
The Gear Loop
Gear loops can be soft or rigid loops normally attached to the waist belt. Gear loop is an important part of the climbing Harness as is used to store the climbing gear, nuts, cams and quick-draws in the process of climbing.
The climbing harness can have two or four gear loops, but it depends on the weight the harness is designed to support. Small Harness normally supports smaller weights for children and women hence has two gear loops while big harness to support greater weights have four gear loops.
Four gear loop climbing harnesses are recommended since it is safer unless one is in sports climbing. These should never have much weight on them, they are not strong enough to support anything more than small accessory items.
The Haul Loop
Haul loop is a loop webbed on the back of the waist belt and a good haul loop should be fairly strong. Haul loop is used to haul a second rope in the case of high climbing or big walls.
One thing to look for on cheaper harnesses is poor quality or weak haul loops might not be strong enough, stay away from anything made of plastic attached unto the waist belt. Such haul loops only play the role of attaching things like chalk bag and other gears on the back of the waist belt.
If you haven’t already, check out our area where we review most popular harnesses so you’re guaranteed to find a good one!
The Leg-Loop Crosspiece
Leg loop cross piece is a webbing length which plays the role of connecting the two leg loops at the front of the harness. It is normally made in a way that it can be adjusted attached to a buckle. The climbing rope is attached to this part together with the tie-in in loop.
There you have it! The basic parts of a climbing harness. If you have any questions please leave them down below and we will reply or update the article to cover that topic!