Types of Rock Climbing Harnesses

Types of Rock Climbing Harnesses
To decide on the purchase of a rock climbing harness, it is best to first understand the different types of harness that there are to choose from. There are three different types of harnesses and each type is used for a different purpose. Gear access, comfort, weight and moveability all come into play when deciding between these three models.


The seat, or waist, harness is basically a belt around the waist with extension loops attached to put your legs through. By having the support around the waist and legs, a climber can sit while hanging from a rope line. This can give a climber the opportunity to rest, but is mainly designed for the purpose of support and safety. It allows movement and is a favorite among rock and sport climbers.



The chest harness goes around the chest and arms. Its purpose is stability. When wearing such a harness, it is difficult to flip upside down and is recommended when having to wear a heavy pack while climbing. This is a good harness to use when mountaineering and is normally used in combination with a seat harness.


The full body harness is pretty much the same as a seat and chest harness combined. It has the same stabilization as a chest harness in that it keeps a climber from flipping. It is perfect for kids that might be insecure or those worried about turning upside down. It doesn't however give the climber as much flexibility as the separate chest and waist harness.


Article Written By Tara Dooley

Tara Dooley has written for various websites since 2008. She has worked as an accountant, after-school director and retail manager in various locations. Dooley holds a Bachelor of Science in business management and finance.

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