How to Choose a Climbing Harness

How to Choose a Climbing Harness
Choosing a climbing harness can be challenging if you are new to climbing or you are acquiring your first harness. A few simple steps will make your shopping experience more enjoyable and satisfying.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Choose the best harness for your needs

Things You’ll Need:
  • Education about climbing harnesses A place to try out a harness
  • Education about climbing harnesses
  • A place to try out a harness
Step 1
Learn about climbing harnesses. Do you know the belay loop from the gear loops? Are adjustable leg straps important to you? Before you can decide which climbing harness is the best for you, learn about the various parts and components of a climbing harness. Look up information on-line or consult an experienced climber friend. Take an entry-level class on climbing where the instructor teaches parts of the harness, how to tie in, as well as how to climb.
Step 2
Decide what you will use the harness for most often. This will affect which features are most important to you. Beginner climbers will be best matched with a multipurpose harness designed for comfort and great for sport or indoor climbing. Extreme climbers will opt for a lighter weight (and thus less padded) model. Determine your level and intent before choosing a harness.
Step 3
Pick the features that are most important to you. Once you know the parts of a harness and have narrowed down your intent for it, you should be able to select the features that are most important. Are you interested in comfort or in light gear? Will you wear the harness all day for multiple climbs or just for short periods? Once you know the features that are most important to you, you can compare like models.
Step 4
Try out your top selections. Once you narrow your choices, try them. Find a store that carries the harnesses and preferably has a wall or rope that you can tie into and try it out. Sit in the harness and see how it fits. Make sure it is comfortable around your legs and groin area.
Step 5
Compare the prices of your top three selections. If all three harness were comfortable during the last test, check the prices and make your final selection. Once you know your size in the harness, you can shop on-line for harnesses to get the best deal possible.

Tips & Warnings

Never buy a used climbing harness unless it is from a friend and you know the history of the harness. Used harnesses can be compromised and unsafe.

Article Written By Jessica Linnell

Jessica Linnell is a published author, blogger and freelance writer in the Atlanta area. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications and has been writing for 10 years. She has been published in Atlanta magazine, Cherokee Living, and North Fulton Living, as well as on numerous websites.

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