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Best Climbing Harnesses for Beginner Climbers

If you are new to climbing and looking for a climbing harness, it can be a little overwhelming to see all the different styles and features.  Choosing an all-around harness is the best bet for beginners.  These mutli-purpose harnesses perform well in the gym and when top roping and lead climbing outside.

It is very important to find a climbing harness that fits you well.  If the harness is too tight it will be uncomfortable and inhibit your movement during climbing and if it is too loose it won’t protect you adequately in a fall.

When choosing your first harness, it is important to try on the harness wearing the types of clothing you will typically be climbing in.  The waistbelt should sit above your hipbones and fit snug.  In no way should the waistbelt pull down over your hips, no matter how hard you tug on it.  Once the waistbelt buckle has been secured, if you don’t have at least 3 inches of webbing coming out of the buckle try a larger size. Leg loops should also be snug, but not too tight with at least an extra 2 inches of webbing hanging out of the buckle.

Each harness will fit differently so it is best to try on a few and determine the one that fits your body shape the best.  Different brand harnesses may secure differently so it is important to read the manufacture’s instructions to learn how to buckle your harness correctly.  If not buckled correctly, your harness won’t adequately protect you during a fall.

New to climbing and looking for a harness? Here are four great all around climbing harnesses perfect for beginner climbers:

Black Diamond Momentum AL Climbing Harness Package

If you are just getting started in rock climbing, the Black Diamond Momentum AL Harness Package has almost everything you need to get started.  The package includes the Black Diamond Momentum AL Harness, a fully adjustable and ergonomically designed harness with four gear loops and a dedicated belay loop.

The Black Diamond harness package also includes a Black Diamond anodized ATC belay device and a locking carabiner for smooth rappels on 8mm to 11mm ropes.  A Black Diamond chalk bags and 100g of White Gold chalk tops off the package so you can chalk up those hands for your first ascents.

The Black Diamond Primrose AL Harness Package includes all the great gear items as the Momentum package, but with the women’s specific Primrose harness.

Where you can find on:
Backcountry: $99.95
Amazon: $99

Metolius Safe Tech Deluxe Improved Men’s/Women’s Harness

Metolus designed the Safe Tech Deluxe Harness for safety pure and simple.  It is not that the other harnesses are unsafe, it is that Metolius made this harness as error-proof as possible.  To reduce basic mistakes, the waistbelt shows a color pattern change when correctly double backed while the waist buckle shows “DANGER” if not correctly double backed.

Each component (gear loops, haul loops, leg loops, and belay loops) of the Metolius harness has been engineered to withstand a fall of up to 2250 lbf.  The patented Metolius 3-D system adjusts both rise length and leg size to keep your upright during a fall.  Plus four gear loops provide plenty of room for your gear.

You would think that with all these added safety features the harness would feel bulky and cumbersome but it is actually pretty lightweight.  The Metolius Safe is available in both men’s and women’s versions from extra small to large so you should be able to find a size that fits you perfectly.

Where you can find on:

Amazon: $94.95 (Men’s) & 94.95 (Women’s)
Backcountry: $94.95 (Men’s) & 94.95 (Women’s)

Petzl Adjama Climbing Harness

The Petzl Adjama is a great all around harness for beginner climbers with big aspirations.  Beginners to expert climbers love the comfort and agility of the Petzl Adjama.  Also perfect for ice climbing and mountaineering, easily adjustable leg loops lets you put the harness on while wearing crampons or heavy boots.

A great four-season harness, the Adjama’s unique mesh design will keep you cooler and drier during long climbing sessions.  Plus a woven polyester lining wicks moisture and speeds up drying in rainy conditions. DoubleBack buckles let you easily adjust the harness with a single pull, and two molded gear loops on the side and two soft gear loops on the back hold all your trad or sport gear,

Where you can find on:
Amazon: $85.95
REI: $85.95
Backcountry: $85.95

Petzl Luna Women’s Climbing Harness

The women’s version of the Petzl Adjama, the Luna Climbing Harness is specifically designed to fit the unique contours of the female body.  The waist-to-leg loop size has been reduced and the waistbelt is shaped to fit a woman’s waist and lower back.

Do I really need a woman’s harness?  Well a women’s specific climbing harness is not necessarily for all women, but the shorter waist-to-leg ratio, longer rise, and women’s specific waistbelt fit many women better than a men’s or unisex harness.  I suggest that women try on both types of harnesses and choose the best fit.

The Petzl Luna Women’s Climbing Harness is easy to adjust, lightweight, comfy, and breathable with all the same features as the Petzl Adjama reviewed above.

Where you can find on:
Backcountry: $85.95
REI: $85.95
Amazon: $85.95