If you’ve recently discovered the magic of climbing, and you’re ready to rope up, you’ll need a few key pieces of gear to get started. A harness is one of the most important items every climber needs, as it’s a crucial part of your safety system. You’ll use your harness to both climb and belay, so you want to make sure you pick the right one for you. Here at The Adventure Junkies, we’ll help you choose the best beginner climbing harness to get you off the ground and onto the wall.

For more of our top climbing gear recommendations, check out the Best Climbing Harnesses

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Quick Answer - The Best Climbing Harnesses for Beginners

  1. Black Diamond Momentum
  2. Edelrid Jay
  3. Edelrid Jayne
  4. Petzl Corax
  5. Misty Mountain Intrepid
  6. Mammut Ophir 3 Slide
  7. Black Diamond Solution
  8. Petzl Sama
  9. Singing Rock Garnet
  10. Singing Rock Pearl

 

Comparison Table - Best Climbing Harness for Beginners

PictureNameWaistLeg LoopsAdjustment MechanismPriceRating
Black Diamond Momentum30-33 in (Medium)AdjustableSingle Pull Tab$4.9
Edelrid Jay27.6-37.4 in (Medium)AdjustableSingle Pull Tab$4.0
Edelrid Jayne27.6-37.4 in (Medium)AdjustableSingle Pull Tab$4.2
Petzl Corax(Size 1) 25.6-37.8 in, (Size 2) 29.9-42.1 inAdjustableDouble Buckle$4.6
Misty Mountain Intrepid29-32 in (Medium)AdjustableSingle Pull Tab$$$4.4
Mammut Ophir 3 Slide28.5-33.5 in (Medium)AdjustableSingle Pull Tab$$4.5
Black Diamond Solution30-33 in (Medium)FixedSingle Pull Tab$$4.6
Petzl Sama30-33 in (Medium)FixedSingle Pull Tab$$4.7
Singing Rock Garnet29.5-35.5 in (Medium)AdjustableSingle Quick Release Buckle$4.1
Singing Rock Pearl27.5-31.5 in (Medium)AdjustableSingle Quick Release Buckle$$4.3
PictureNameWaistLeg LoopsAdjustment MechanismPriceRating

 

 

Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Beginner Climbing Harnesses

Black Diamond Momentum


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Leg Loops: Adjustable
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Single Pull Tab
  • Waist: 30-33 in (Medium)
  • Gear Loops: 4
Features
  • Easily Adjustable Leg Loops
  • Thick, Padded Waist Belt
  • Adjustable Riser (for comfortable hanging)

BEST FOR: VALUE

The Momentum is an excellent harness for your introduction to climbing and will take you from the gym to the crag with no problem. It is very lightweight and super comfortable, thanks to thick padding in the waist belt and leg loops. The proprietary trakFit  system also makes the leg loops extremely easy to adjust, which makes for a great fit for a variety of body types, and is nice during cold weather when you’re wearing extra layers. It also features four gear loops which is great as you’re getting into climbing and expanding the equipment you have on your harness, from belay devices to quickdraws.

Edelrid Jay

Specs
  • Leg Loops: Adjustable
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Single Pull Tab
  • Waist: 27.6-37.4 in (Medium)
  • Gear Loops: 4
Features
  • Breathable Mesh
  • Moveable Foam Waist Padding
  • Abrasion-resistant Tie-in Point (for durability)

BEST FOR: ALL-AROUND USE FOR MEN

The Jay is a fantastic beginner harness, featuring easy adjustments of the waist belt and the waist padding. The 3D mesh padding is extremely breathable, and also extends over the edge of the waist belt for extra comfort when you’re hanging on the wall or belaying your partner while they’re working a hard climb.

The tie-in point is reinforced with plastic to stand up to lots of wear, which is useful for a newly-obsessed beginner climber who wants to climb all the time. Plus, the four gear loops give you room to grow your rack of equipment as you get further into climbing.

Edelrid Jayne

Specs
  • Leg Loops: Adjustable
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Single Pull Tab
  • Waist: 27.6-37.4 in (Medium)
  • Gear Loops: 4
Features
  • Women’s Sizing
  • Bright Colors
  • Abrasion-resistant Tie-in Point (for durability)

BEST FOR: ALL AROUND USE FOR WOMEN

Similar to Jay, but designed with a women’s fit (including an XS option), the Jayne is an excellent choice for a beginner harness, especially if you like bright colors. The eye-catching blues and greens that this harness comes in will definitely stand out at the gym or the crag.

In terms of fit and comfort, the waist belt has padding that extends over the edge to make it extra comfortable, as well as a special adjustment to keep the belay loop and gear loops centered, which is a nice touch so you’re not fiddling with the harness while trying to find things that you need quickly.

Petzl Corax

Specs
  • Leg Loops: Adjustable
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Double Buckle
  • Waist: (Size 1) 25.6-37.8 in, (Size 2) 29.9-42.1 in
  • Gear Loops: 4
Features
  • Two Sizes For Maximum Adjustability
  • Comfort-lined Pressure Points
  • Double Waist Buckles

BEST FOR: WIDE RANGE OF SIZES

Unlike many climbing harnesses, the Corax only comes in two sizes, However, this actually makes it a highly customizable harness since each size offers a much wider range than traditional sizes. The Corax also has double waist buckles, which offers much better adjustability for centering the harness on your hips than the normal single buckle which pulls everything to one side.

The Corax is lightweight and fairly minimalist, which makes it a great beginner harness as you figure out your needs and grow as a climber. However, it’s still comfortable, with excellent weight distribution between the waist belt and leg loops and fabric lining at any pressure points.

Misty Mountain Intrepid

Specs
  • Leg Loops: Adjustable
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Single Pull Tab
  • Waist: 29-32 in (Medium)
  • Gear Loops: 4
Features
  • Durable Nylon Shell (for lifetime durability)
  • Wide Waist & Leg Loops (for comfort)
  • Quick Adjust Buckles (for easy sizing and adjustability)

BEST FOR: QUALITY

Equally at home at the crag or in the gym, the Intrepid is great for beginner climbers looking for a harness that will last as they progress. A wide waist belt and leg loops which are both foam-cushioned provide lots of comfort on the wall, and the outer shell is extra durable to stand up to whatever surface you’re climbing in the gym or outside.

Made in a specialized textile facility in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, this harness is on the pricier side, but the construction is impeccable. Plus, Misty Mountain is an American small business with a reputation for amazing quality in climbing gear.

Mammut Ophir 3 Slide


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Leg Loops: Adjustable
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Single Pull Tab
  • Waist: 28.5-33.5 in (Medium)
  • Gear Loops: 4
Features
  • Reinforced Tie-in Points (for durability)
  • Wear Indicator On Belay Loop (to know when to replace)
  • Quick Adjustment Buckles (for easy sizing and adjustability)

BEST FOR: DURABILITY

With reinforced tie-in points and and a wear indicator on the belay loop, the Ophir is designed for durability. The wear indicator features a red thread that you will only see if wear has caused abrasion to the belay loop, which lets you know that it is time to replace the harness for safety.

The harness is also easily adjustable on the fly thanks to the Slide-Bloc buckle system on both the waist and leg loops. The risers (straps connecting the waist belt to the leg loops) are also adjustable to ensure proper fit of the leg loops, and can be released if you need a quick bathroom break.

Black Diamond Solution


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Leg Loops: Fixed
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Single Pull Tab
  • Waist: 30-33 in (Medium)
  • Gear Loops: 4
Features
  • Comfort Webbing (to distribute weight evenly)
  • Releasable Riser (for easy fit adjustment and comfortable hanging)
  • Breathable

BEST FOR: ALL-DAY COMFORT

The Solution is made to minimize pressure points with special webbing in the waist and legs, so you’ll be comfortable in your harness for a whole day of climbing and belaying. The padding is also extremely breathable, which is nice if you tend to overheat and sweat when you get warm while working hard on a climb.

The women’s version of the harness is designed to sit higher on your torso to fit a woman’s body better. However, be aware that the leg loops on both the men’s and women’s version are not adjustable, so make sure to check the sizing to be certain they’ll fit you properly.

Petzl Sama

Specs
  • Leg Loops: Fixed
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Single Pull Tab
  • Waist: 30-33 in (Medium)
  • Gear Loops: 4
Features
  • Elastic Leg Loops For Comfort
  • Breathable
  • Individual Riser Attachments (for maximum adjustability and comfortable hanging)

BEST FOR: VERSATILITY

The Petzl Sama is a comfortable harness for both climbing and belaying, thanks to its EndoFrame construction which provides even weight distribution. The waist is a little thinner than some others, which gives you more range of motion yet should still be comfortable thanks to breathable padding.

An important consideration is that the leg loops are elasticized, but they are not adjustable, which limits the fit. If they don’t fit your body properly, you’ll be uncomfortable, and should choose a different harness. Also, if you plan to take this harness outdoors, you should consider whether the leg loops will stretch enough to allow you to layer warm clothing under them.

Singing Rock Garnet

Specs
  • Leg Loops: Adjustable
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Single Quick Release Buckle
  • Waist: 29.5-35.5 in (Medium)
  • Gear Loops: 4
Features
  • Proprietary Adjustment System (for easy sizing and adjustment)
  • Self-locking Buckles (to keep you safe and secure)
  • Abrasion-resistant Fabric (for long-lasting durability)

BEST FOR: ADJUSTABILITY

Normally, when you adjust a harness to a smaller size, you’ll end up pulling through extra material that can get in your way. But the Garnet features a unique adjustment system, which helps to keep the free end of the waist belt padding out of the way after you’ve tightened it to fit. The Rock&Lock buckle system allows you to quickly completely release the buckles on the harness, making it easy and fast to take the harness completely on and off. The harness is made of durable material all-around, including on the four gear loops, so it will stand up to a lot of climbing.

Singing Rock Pearl

Specs
  • Leg Loops: Adjustable
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Single Quick Release Buckle
  • Waist: 27.5-31.5 in (Medium)
  • Gear Loops: 4
Features
  • Women-Specific Fit
  • Foam Padded Waist & Legs (for all-day comfort)
  • Easy Adjust Buckles (for superior adjustability)

BEST FOR: WOMEN’S FIT

The Pearl is specifically designed for a woman’s body. Not only is the sizing range different than the men’s Garnet harness, but the Pearl has a specially contoured waist along with a longer loop between the waist belt and the legs to properly fit a woman’s torso. The thick foam padding in the waist and legs just adds to the comfort.

The adjustable leg loops also make it easy to customize the fit to your specific body, and you’re not limited by what you can layer underneath if you get cold easily when you’re heading outside (or even in an air-conditioned gym).

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A BEGINNER CLIMBING HARNESS

You don’t need a lot of bells and whistles on a beginner climbing harness, but you definitely want to make sure it fits and adjusts well to your body type. Here are some tips from REI on how to fit a climbing harness properly. You can feel secure about your safety in any of the harnesses reviewed here, as all certified climbing harnesses adhere to rigorous safety standards.

FIT

Fit is the most important factor in a harness for both comfort and safety. You don’t need to guess at the proper size, since manufacturers list the size range of the waist in inches. You can measure your own waist to compare before buying to ensure you get the right size.

Leg loops also are a key part of the fit of a harness. Some harnesses have adjustable leg loops while others have fixed leg loops. The fixed ones are great if they fit your body, but the adjustable ones offer more flexibility in a broader range of sizes.

 

COMFORT

A harness is the first thing you put on when you go climbing, and you’ll be wearing it pretty much the whole time. Hopefully, it will feel like an extension of your body, and you’ll barely even notice you have it on. Breathable padding helps keep you comfortable without getting sweaty. Look for a harness that boasts a padded waist and leg loops, especially if you’re planning long days at the crag or multi-hour gym sessions.

 

DURABILITY

Because you’ll be wearing your harness so much, you want it to be durable and stand up to the abrasive surfaces of walls and rock. Reinforced tie-in points are a nice feature to handle lots of days of roping up. A wear indicator on the belay loop, like on the Mammut Ophir 3 Slide, gives you a heads up when it’s time to replace your harness.

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

ADJUSTABLE VS FIXED LEG LOOPS

Adjustable leg loops have buckles to loosen or tighten, while the size of fixed leg loops cannot be changed.

GEAR LOOPS

The loops on the sides of the harness designed for holding quickdraws, carabiners, belay devices, and other gear.

TIE-IN POINTS

The two points through which you thread your climbing rope when tying in to climb.

BELAY LOOP

The loop where you attach your belay device with a carabiner. Should only be used for metal such as carabiners, not soft goods like rope or slings.

RISERS

The thin straps connecting the leg loops to the waist belt. They adjust the length the leg loops hang down from the waist, and some are releasable to allow you to drop the leg loops completely when you need to go to the bathroom or get out of the harness.

 

 

READ MORE

For more of our top climbing gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: 

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Belay Carabiners | Women’s Climbing Harnesses

Kids Climbing Harnesses | Sport Climbing Harnesses

The Ultimate Sport Climbing Gear List

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