If you are seeking for the ideal climbing harness that can seriously do it all, appear no additional than Arc’teryx AR-395A(Male)/AR-385A(Female). I can not inform you why Arc’teryx chose to give their ideal harness a serial quantity as an alternative of a catchy name. That remains a mystery. But, its higher adjustability, light weight, durability, gear loops, top quality components, and comfort make this poorly named piece of gear worth the investment.

A fantastic climbing harness does not give up on you. When you want to hang on the wall visualizing the moves when a line types beneath you, it is there—keeping you comfy and telling you it’ll catch you if you fall. When you lean back on your anchor and belay your brave pal up the sketchy runout pitch, it is there—holding you tight when you fake self-assurance in them and your self. When you are lowering off the top rated following a extended day, it is there—saying fantastic job and thanks for the view.

A harness keeps you protected as it holds you tight in its comfy, safe embrace. Getting a fantastic-top quality harness that fits you—and the style of climbing you like best—is significant. I searched the marketplace and identified for you the ideal climbing harnesses to take with you up a major wall, alpine route, or single-pitch adventure.

I’ll start off by saying that just about every harness I’ve chosen for my list of the 10 ideal climbing harnesses is protected. I do not want you hundreds of feet up, a tiny also far from your final clip for comfort, pondering: “Man, I should really have gone with the quantity 1 for security as an alternative of ‘Best on a Price range.’” These harnesses are all protected, some just come with a handful of additional bells and whistles.


When picking out a harness, you want to appear at a quantity of variables, with the largest consideration becoming comfort. Harnesses are not specifically recognized for providing you spa-like sensation—let’s just say you will not be tempted to sleep in it.  You should really, nonetheless, get a harness that fits your physique properly, so you are not causing your self additional discomfort than vital.


As far as sizing your harness and generating certain it is comfy, you will ideally want to attempt it on. It should really match snug, but not also tight, and shouldn’t result in any pinching or discomfort. For additional specifics on how to size your harness, see the FAQs (which you will come across following the top rated 10 list).

Most harnesses are quite adjustable, so as extended as you get the common size appropriate you can tailor it to match your physique. That stated, some harnesses do not come with adjustable leg loops, so this is a priority if you need to have the solution to adjust for warm clothes or you have further-thick gams.


You also need to have to take into account the kind of climbing you typically devote your time to, as properly as the quantity of funds you are prepared to devote.

Initially, take into account material. Most harnesses use foam, which gives comfort each for hanging and falling. It is also heavy, bulky, and—well—sweaty. Organizations have compensated for this by adding components such as mesh to give the harness additional breathability, but as the foam degrades (which it does somewhat rapidly), the harness becomes significantly less comfy and will need to have to be replaced.

If you are a newer climber and just want some thing affordable, a foam harness will be fine. But if you are going to be utilizing your harness often, take into account investing in a larger-top quality option.

Split webbing, pioneered by Arc’teryx and adopted by a quantity of other organizations, is a larger-top quality option to foam. By spreading the webbing horizontally, the climber’s weight is additional evenly distributed without the need of stress points. It is lighter, additional breathable, additional sturdy and—you guessed it—more costly.


Subsequent, you have a handful of loops to take into account. Namely, a belay loop, haul loop, and gear loops.

All harnesses come with a belay loop that you use to connect your belay device, as properly as your leg loops to your waist. Your selection comes down to thickness: pick a thinner belay loop if you are additional into sport, alpine, or ice climbing to shave down some weight and bulk. Decide on a thicker loop (or far better but, a double belay loop) if you are trad climbing or into major-wall stuff, considering that you will need to have your harness to be further sturdy.

If your harness has a haul loop, it will be straight centered in the back, amongst your back two gear loops (additional on that later). It is utilized to attach a second rope, haul line, footwear, and so on. for the duration of a multi-pitch climb. Some harnesses do not come with this function, so make it a priority if you can not get sufficient of multi pitching. If you enjoy fitness center climbing or brief sport climbs, although, this is not a will have to.

Ultimately, gear loops. Gear loops are the function to concentrate on when picking out a harness. It is quite simple: the additional gear you use, the additional loops you need to have. If you climb at the fitness center, or do shorter sport climbs exactly where you just need to have a spot for your quickdraws, a couple of gear loops will do the trick. If you are a trad climber or devote days or weeks on the wall, make certain to have at least 4 gear loops and a haul loop.

Bottom Line

To sum issues up: Decide on a harness that fits your physique, spending budget, and preferred kind of climbing. Take some falls, hang, belay, get outdoors, keep inside—do what brings you joy. Take care of your harness! And, in return, it will take care of you.


I kept a handful of issues in thoughts when generating my top rated picks for the ideal climbing harnesses. A mixture of these components goes a extended way to an general strong harness, but if you like to do 1 particular kind of climbing only, you should really prioritize particular attributes to come across the harness that functions ideal for you.

Weight: In contrast to with your climbing helmet, when you minimize weight you typically minimize comfort as properly. This presents a double-edged sword: a lightweight harness is additional perfect for apparent factors, but is it worth sacrificing that cushy foam? If you devote a lot of time sitting in your harness, do not have extended approaches, and do not have the spending budget for a split-webbing model, you could want ignore weight altogether. For the rest of us, I took a lighter-is-far better strategy.

Comfort: Comfort is a bit of a balancing act as properly. A lot more comfort typically indicates additional weight to haul to the crag and up the wall, and a typically additional restrictive harness. I looked for harnesses that have been some balance amongst these. That stated, if you just do brief sport climbs and do not hang a great deal, prioritize a lightweight, thinner harness more than comfort. And, a harness that fits will usually be additional comfy.

Price tag: I think investing in a larger top quality split-webbing model is worth the further dollars, as it will final you longer and maintain you additional comfy. That stated, I recognize this is not usually an solution for every person, and if you maintain racking up early birthday/vacation presents you will regret it on the actual day when you are sad, alone, and empty handed. Is this an unrelatable aside for all the actual adults reading this? Sorry. Anyway, I picked some inexpensive selections as properly, which will maintain you just as safe in the finish.

Durability: The additional sturdy the far better, suitable? Nicely, that depends. Durability comes in the type of a thicker, bulkier, heavier harness. Entirely worth it when you are trad or major-wall climbing, exactly where it is your harness versus the rock most days. If you are just sport or fitness center climbing, nonetheless, a thinner, “less durable” harness is additional than okay. And, as I stated prior to, harnesses that do not use foam (or use significantly less foam) final longer.

Added Characteristics: Once more, this comes down to what you need to have. If you are fitness center/sport climbing, you seriously do not need to have a lot of further loops. But you will want to prioritize further attributes if you have a lot of gear to carry.

How Can I Be Confident My Harness Will Catch Me?

Though there’s no legislated typical for climbing harnesses in the U.S., these brands make sure they meet or exceed the typical set by the European Committee for Standardization. Organizations 1st test the raw components prior to the harness is constructed, and then test the harness itself.

The harness is attached to a dummy, which undergoes 15 kilonewtons (kN) of force in two intervals. A single kN is about 220 lbs of force—so that is a lot of weight. If it maintains its structure and does not budge additional than 20 mm, it passes the test.

“What if I’m a major boy or girl and take a enormous whipper, exerting an epic quantity of force they didn’t believe to test for?” you ask. The human physique can’t physically manage 15kN of force. So if you somehow handle to stir up that a great deal force, the word is in all probability becoming absorbed into the space time continuum, and your harness is the least of your worries.

How Must I Size My Climbing Harness?

To attempt on your harness, loosen the straps on the leg loops and waist belt. Make certain the harness is not twisted in any way, step in, and pull the harness up to about your belly button. It should really be above your hips—you do not want to slip out if you are accidentally turned upside down. Tighten the straps till it fits quite tight, with no additional than two fingers amongst your waist and the material.

In contrast to the waist belt, the leg loops are a matter of private preference and comfort, rather than security. Loose leg loops will let you additional mobility on the wall, but will be significantly less comfy when you are hanging.

After you have produced certain all the buckles are double backed, you can (ideally) test your harness. A lot of outside-sports shops have a rock wall or station exactly where you can test out how the harness (or harnesses) you are thinking of feels in use.

With your weight in the harness, you should really be in a position to sit upright without the need of utilizing your abs also a great deal, or experiencing pinching, discomfort, or stress. It is not going to really feel like you are sitting in a bean bag chair, but it also shouldn’t really feel like “The Rack” from the Saw franchise. In other words, if you notice stress points, you will want to attempt a diverse harness.

How Must I Take Care of My Harness?

Initially of all, you shouldn’t let your dog use your harness as a chew toy—but I’m guessing this 1 is apparent.  You should really usually let your harness to dry prior to storing it, and do not retailer it in intense temperatures or direct sunlight. If you have a drawer filled with overflowing harsh chemical compounds, do not retailer it there.

To clean your harness, rinse it with water. If you nonetheless notice stubborn dirt that is not washing off, hand wash it with a mild soap. Enable your harness to air dry. Recall: Do not use bleach. And do not leave it to dry in the sun.

When transporting your harness, make certain to usually use a harness bag of some sort and maintain it separate from sharp objects (i.e. ice screw, crampons, your PB&J knife).

When Must I Replace My Harness?

A fantastic rule of thumb is that you should really replace your harness just about every five-7 years at a minimum, even if you by no means put on it. The components start off to degrade more than time, so as opposed to your 1st sweetheart who just necessary time to “figure it out,” it does not get far better with age.

That stated, if you use your harness a lot, you will probably want to replace it prior to then. Make certain to usually verify for put on and tear. If you notice fraying or discoloration, it is far better to replace your climbing than to test your luck.

Possibly you are a mountain guide, or possibly you are just a dirtbag—either way, if you are climbing complete time, you should really replace your harness annually. And, if you take a substantial fall, replace it right away.

Is There a Distinction Amongst Men’s and Women’s Climbing Harnesses?

Yes. Women’s harnesses have a larger rise, smaller sized leg-to-waist ratio, a shaped waist belt, and are typically cuter and far better at listening (kidding!). In all seriousness, men’s and women’s bodies are normally shaped differently—especially when it comes to the hips. Women’s harnesses are tailored to match the female type.

You will want to pick a harness that fits your physique and subsequent traits. If that indicates you are a man who fits ideal in a women’s harness, or a lady who fits far better in a man’s harness, it does not matter. Just get what fits you ideal. And make certain to attempt it on 1st.

RAVE Recommends

Ahead of you go, take a appear at a handful of additional pieces of climbing gear that have earned the RAVE seal of approval:

  • Gold Coast Gear Harness Bag: Most harnesses come with their personal bag. Get this 1 if you have lost it, or your harness came sans bag. This will support you sustain your harness’s situation. You can also use an old pillow case if becoming classy is not specifically your point.
  • Petzl Grigri two: This is my belay device of option since it is quick to use and delivers assisted braking. Some people today will judge me for this, but I really feel safer with a Gri.
  • Petzl Shunt: It is no secret that a lot of accidents occur when repelling. Use this device to back up your repels without the need of friction.
  • WINNER OUTFITTERS Camping Hammock: Use this transportable hammock to loosen up a sore butt that is been hanging in a harness also extended. Remind your self that hanging can be enjoyable!