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Ah, the climbing harness. The central colonnade on which any successful and enjoyable climbing adventure is built. There’s no denying that it’s crucial to find the absolute best climbing harness for your climbing escapades in terms of safety, comfort, and convenience. But as you begin researching, you’ll find tens of hundreds of different options out there. But what separates the best climbing harnesses from the ‘also-rans’?

Well, crag crushers, that’s why we’re here. To weed through the plethora of options on the market and present the absolute best climbing harnesses for you to choose from. So strap in, check your knots, and let’s get moving.

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Quick Answer - The Best Climbing Harnesses

  1. Petzl Sitta
  2. Black Diamond Solution
  3. Edelrid Jay III
  4. Mammut Ophir 3 Slide
  5. Petzl Adjama
  6. Black Diamond Big Gun
  7. Arc’teryx FL-365
  8. Black Diamond Chaos
  9. Petzl Corax
  10. Edelrid Orion

 

Comparison Table - Best Climbing Harness

PictureNameLeg LoopsWeightGear LoopsPriceRating
Petzl SittaFixed9.5 oz4$$$$4.8
Black Diamond SolutionFixed11 oz4$4.7
Edelrid Jay IIIAdjustable14.5oz4 + 2 Ice Screw Attachment Points (For Ice Climbing)$4.6
Mammut Ophir 3 SlideAdjustable10 oz4 + 1 Haul Loop$4.8
Petzl AdjamaAdjustable17.1 oz5 + 1 Haul Loop$4.8
Black Diamond Big GunAdjustable23.2 oz7$$4.5
Arc’teryx FL-365Fixed12.9 oz4 + 1 Haul Or Extra Gear Loop$$$4.9
Black Diamond ChaosFixed12.6 oz4 + 1 Haul Loop$$4.7
Petzl CoraxAdjustable17.3 oz4 + 1 Haul Loop$$4.6
Edelrid OrionAdjustable15.4 oz4 + 2 Ice Screw Clip Point (For Ice Climbing)$$4.5
PictureNameLeg LoopsWeightGear LoopsPriceRating
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 Harnesses for Climbing

Petzl Sitta

Specs
  • Leg Loops: Fixed
  • Weight: 9.5 oz
  • Gear Loops: 4
Features
  • Very Lightweight for Intense Climbs
  • Durable Construction
  • Excellent Weight Distribution for Comfort
  • Half of the Gear Loops Have Separators For Gear Organization

BEST FOR: LIGHTWEIGHT MOUNTAINEERING

When every ounce counts in high alpine or intense lead situations, we have the Petzl Sitta. This harness weighs in at only 9.5oz, making it absolutely ideal to keep bulky weight to a minimum. But at such a low weight, you may be questioning the harness’s overall strength. Never fear! Petzl’s WireFrame technology adds superb strength that distributes weight throughout the entire harness body.

This weight distribution furthermore improves the Sitta’s overall comfort, making it easy to spend a day on the wall without that classic tight hip syndrome. These three features – comfort, strength, and weight – therefore work together to make the Sitta our top recommendation for you mountaineers out there, and certainly one of the best climbing harnesses on the market.

Black Diamond Solution

Specs
  • Leg Loops: Fixed
  • Weight: 11 oz
  • Gear Loops: 4
Features
  • Excellent Comfort
  • Breathable And Quick-Drying Mesh
  • Moves Easily With Your Body

BEST FOR: COMFORT ON THE CRAG 

Nothing quite ruins a climbing day than constantly having to readjust your harness because it’s pinching here, or chaffing there, or scratching God knows where. Well, we have a solution for this, as well as a penchant for puns. The Black Diamond Solution features a soft mesh lining that works in tandem with three internal bands of webbing – high strength fabric – to evenly distribute weight for a comfortable climb. 

The mesh is additionally quick drying and breathable, further adding to the Solution’s comfort level. What’s more, the whole harness is designed to move naturally with your body. Because we all know that fighting both gravity and your harness while reaching for a tough clip falls firmly within the ‘things we’d rather avoid’ category. For climbers who are on the hunt for an incredibly comfortable harness, the Black Diamond Solution is for you.

Edelrid Jay III

Specs
  • Leg Loops: Adjustable
  • Weight: 14.5oz
  • Gear Loops: 4 + 2 Ice Screw Attachment Points (For Ice Climbing)
Features
  • Very Adjustable Design
  • Durable and Long Lasting
  • Budget Friendly Price

BEST FOR: BUDGET CONSCIENCE CLIMBERS & ICE CLIMBERS

Edelrid – a German climbing company – has been making climbing gear for over 150 years. All those years of experience and expertise shine through their products, and the Jay III is certainly no exception. The harness boasts an exceptionally durable construction making it a long-lasting investment. That initial investment is very low, a definite breath of fresh air for budget conscience climbers. 

The Jay III also features fully adjustable leg loops. This will allow you to cinch the harness down to exactly the right fit, and so you’re not bound by a set leg diameter. While it’s certainly not a lightweight or low-profile harness, it still gets the job done from the gym to traditional climbing and everything in between!

Mammut Ophir 3 Slide

Specs
  • Leg Loops: Adjustable
  • Weight: 10 oz
  • Gear Loops: 4 + 1 Haul Loop
Features
  • Excellent Mesh Breathability
  • Comfortable Mesh Padding
  • Includes Haul Loop For Hauling A Second Rope When Needed

BEST FOR: OUTDOOR BEGINNERS

When you’re first hitting the crags outdoors, you’ll be looking for a rock solid harness that has everything needed to hone your skills and stay comfortable for those inevitable falls. The Ophir 3 Slide from Mammut fits perfectly into this niche with its comfortable foam leg and waist padding along with a solid and durable design.

These padded leg straps are also adjustable, to get that perfect fit for your first few climbs, and breathable to cut down on that sticky sweaty feeling on hotter days. The Ophir 3 Slide is certainly one of the best climbing harnesses out there for beginners tackling their first outdoor routes.

Petzl Adjama

Specs
  • Leg Loops: Adjustable
  • Weight: 17.1 oz
  • Gear Loops: 5 + 1 Haul Loop
Features
  • Durable Design
  • Additional Gear Loop For Shoes Or Water
  • Includes Haul Loop For Hauling A Second Rope When Needed

BEST FOR: VERSATILITY  

Petzl once again makes our list thanks to their incredible quality and construction, this time in the form of the Adjama harness. This beast of a harness, weighing in at more than 17oz, is a powerhouse that can handle just about everything you can throw at it. 

Designed for intense multi-pitch climbing where you’ll be climbing multiple rope lengths or for hardcore mountaineering, this harness will hold up to the toughest of climbs. It’s also exceptionally comfortable so you can easily spend several hours or even days in it, and the harness even includes a fifth gear loop for shoes, water, or any additional gear you may need to carry. While on the heavier side, the Adjama is also functional for gym or sport climbing, making it one of the best climbing harnesses for all-round versatility.

Black Diamond Big Gun

Specs
  • Leg Loops: Adjustable
  • Weight: 23.2 oz
  • Gear Loops: 7
Features
  • Extra Gear Loops For Plenty of Tools
  • Excellent Padding For Long Days
  • Very Durable

BEST FOR: TECHNICAL AND BIG WALL CLIMBING   

When your climbing begins taking you to big walls where you need big gear racks, big tools, and big ambition; you’ll need to bring out the big guns. Black Diamond has supplied just that with this harness. Two layers of gear loops – 7 total – ensure that you have plenty of room for each and every item you’ll need to tackle your biggest climb yet. 

Big wall climbing means spending hours or days sitting in your harness, and Black Diamond has allowed for that with an excellent plush padding system to keep you comfortable for your entire adventure. All this combined with superior durability easily makes this one of the best climbing harnesses on the market, albeit a very heavy one.

Arc’teryx FL-365

Specs
  • Leg Loops: Fixed
  • Weight: 12.9 oz
  • Gear Loops: 4 + 1 Haul Or Extra Gear Loop
Features
  • Excellent Weight Distribution
  • Leg Loops Fit A Variety Of Sizes
  • Includes Extra Loop for Carrying Extra Gear or Hauling a Second Rope

BEST FOR: LOW PROFILE CLIMBING 

Arc’teryx has a reputation for providing top-notch gear for nearly every niche of adventurers out there. In the climbing harness department, this is the FL-365. This harness is very comfortable thanks to Warp Strength Technology that evenly distributes your weight throughout the entire harness and durable to keep you safe and on the wall for as long as possible. 

This comfort and durability comes wrapped in a high-performance and slim construction that easily moves with you through every move you need to make on the wall. The harness is also fairly lightweight – weighing in at just under 13oz –  which makes it an easy choice for nearly any type of climbing. Arc’teryx has once again hit a homerun with this product, and it easily earns its title of one of the best climbing harnesses.

Black Diamond Chaos

Specs
  • Leg Loops: Fixed
  • Weight: 12.6 oz
  • Gear Loops: 4 + 1 Haul Loop
Features
  • Thick Padding For Comfort
  • Very Supportive
  • Includes Haul Loop For Hauling A Second Rope When Needed

BEST FOR: LONG DAYS ON THE WALL  

Black Diamond has once again produced one of the best climbing harnesses with their Chaos. This particular item zeros in on comfort and support with a Kinetic Core Construction to flawlessly distribute your weight for best comfort, and adding a plush layer of mesh padding on top of this. These two features work in tandem to make this an incredibly supportive and comfortable option whether you’re climbing, belaying, setting, or just taking in the views. 

The rest of the harnesses includes all the usual refinements that make the best climbing harnesses on the market. Four gear loops for everything you need on the wall, plus a 12kN rated (AKA very strong) haul loop, along with a lightweight design to keep you climbing flawlessly on every crag!

Petzl Corax

Specs
  • Leg Loops: Adjustable
  • Weight: 17.3 oz
  • Gear Loops: 4 + 1 Haul Loop
Features
  • Plenty Of Adjustability
  • Very Comfortable
  • Durable Design
  • Includes Haul Loop For Hauling A Second Rope When Needed

BEST FOR: CLIMBING BEGINNERS  

For you climbing beginners out there, adjustability and comfort are most likely your highest priority when considering which harness to choose. You want a harness that you’ll be able to tweak, adjust, and fine-tune to fit just the way you want, and comfort to make that fit a pinch-free experience. Well friends, the Corax from Petzl is just what you need. With two adjustable waist buckles plus adjustable leg loops, you’ll be at no loss for adjustability so you can keep your mind on the wall for those first few climbs. 

The mesh padding furthermore helps eliminate pressure points and pinching. This comfort and adjustability make this harness a pleasure to wear every once in awhile as you find your feet, and then just about every day as you join the climber ranks! Easily the best climbing harness for you beginners, so get started!

Edelrid Orion

Specs
  • Leg Loops: Adjustable
  • Weight: 15.4 oz
  • Gear Loops: 4 + 2 Ice Screw Clip Point (For Ice Climbing)
Features
  • Very Breathable Mesh
  • Good Weight Distribution
  • Includes Two Ice Screw Clip Points For Ice Climbing

BEST FOR: HOT WEATHER OR DESERT CLIMBING 

Ever take off your harness and have those unsightly bands of sweat in your clothing? Or have the nasty feeling of sweat building up in your harness while you’re on the wall? If you do a lot of climbing in hot destinations, this can definitely temper your fun. Edelrid, however, has designed the Orion and its 3D Vent Technology just for you! 

The entire harness is exceptionally breathable to promote constant airflow and drying, keeping you nice and cool on the wall. The mesh padding and load distribution are also top quality for a comfortable and chaff-less experience. This is undoubtedly one of the best climbing harnesses for those looking to stay cool as a cucumber on the crag. Just be aware, however, that the sleek design with exposed webbing may result in premature wear-and-tear.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A CLIMBING HARNESS

DURABILITY

Buying a shiny new climbing harness only to see it deteriorate and become a safety hazard is about as disappointing as dropping your favorite carabiner off a cliff. The best climbing harnesses will therefore use high-quality materials and construction methods to ensure their products retain optimum strength for as long as possible.

We highly recommend you look for harnesses from well established and reputed manufacturers that will last the longest. Alas, all harnesses must be retired at some point. To know when that is, run an eye over this useful article from Rock and Ice.

 

FIT AND COMFORT

Like wetsuits to a diver and running shoes to a runner, we climbers tend to spend a lot of time in our harnesses. To make that as pleasant an experience as possible, please ensure that you purchase a harness that properly fits you!

Take the time to look at the manufacturers sizing charts, especially in the case of non-adjusting leg loops. Also pay attention to the harness’s comfort when trying it on. Because, once again, you’ll be spending a lot of time in it and it pays to find a comfy harness that you can tolerate wearing for hours on end. Check out REI’s guide to properly fitting and checking a harness to make sure you get the best fit possible!

 

WEIGHT

While this won’t pertain too much to strictly gym climbers, we recommend that everyone glance at the weight of the harness you’re considering. Some harnesses are built with bulk and extreme use in mind, while others go the minimalist route to trim all extraneous frills and weight. Both types can certainly be considered amongst the best climbing harnesses out there, but be aware of the type of climbing you have in mind.

If you have a long hike into the crag for some sport climbing, then a particularly bulky harness with all the bells and whistles may not be for you. On the other hand, if you’re jumping on multi-pitch trad climbs then extra gear loops, padding, and a haul loop may be just what you’re looking for. Therefore friends, always consider your particular needs before buying a harness.

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

ADJUSTABILITY

In the world of climbing harnesses, the leg loops will sometimes feature adjustable webbing so you can tighten and loosen as needed and sometimes they won’t. The adjustable leg loops allow to you perfectly fine tune the fit to just what you need while the non-adjustable versions will feature more supple/stretchy material to provide a very secure fit for your legs.

In the end, whether you choose adjustable or non-adjustable leg loops will often come down to personal preference as you find the system that works for you. However, we recommend that beginners opt for an adjustable version simply so you can hone in on the type of fit you want. Regardless of your choice, always look at the sizing chart to make sure you’ll get a size that fits!

GEAR AND HAUL LOOPS

Unless you’re taking those first exciting steps into climbing, you’ll likely be needing some gear on the wall. This can be anything from quick-draws and webbing, to a PAS (Personal Anchor System), to a belay device, and more! To hold this gear, manufacturers will include gear loops on their harnesses where you can clip carabiners to hold your climbing equipment.

The number and quality of these gear loops vary from harness to harness. Therefore, if this is an important aspect to your climbing life, be sure to check our reviews and manufacturer information to ensure you’re satisfied with the gear toting capabilities of your new harness.

You may also see some harnesses that feature a haul loop, which is an additional loop on the back of the harness that can be used to clip in another rope for hauling gear up long or technical routes.

WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION

This refers to how evenly the harness spreads out the force/weight of your body when you’re dangling in mid-air during a climb or while belaying. The best climbing harnesses will feature their own proprietary methods/technology to evenly distribute this force throughout the whole harness, and therefore eliminate painful or uncomfortable pressure points where your entire weight would otherwise be concentrated.

READ MORE

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2 Responses

  1. Ashna sharma

    Hi Kim, I am a adventure lover and I love your post very much. All ideas and equipment are very useful and helpful for me during my adventure tour. For a adventure travel you have to ensure about safety issues.Thanks for this post and Keep sharing

    • Kim House

      Hi Ashna! Thanks for the feedback, we’re glad you’re finding the gear guides helpful. Good luck with your adventuring!

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