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How to Buy a Climbing Harness - Next Adventure

How to Buy a Climbing Harness

Guide To Buying a Climbing Harness

Rock climbing demands proper equipment to ensure safety. Before going climbing you should have 3 things, much like the “phone, wallet, keys” checklist, there are 3 essential pieces of gear needed for climbing, “shoes, harness, chalk bag”. A climbing harness plays a vital role in securing climbers to the rope, providing safety and comfort during ascent and descent. This article serves as a guide to help you choose the right harness for your next rock-climbing adventures.

Basics of Climbing Harnesses:

Before delving into the purchasing process, it's crucial to understand the basic components of a climbing harness. A typical harness consists of a waist belt, leg loops, belay loop, gear loops, and fasteners. Harnesses are designed to distribute force evenly across the waist and legs in the event of a fall.

a person in climbing harness equipment

Matching Your Climbing Style:

Consider your climbing style, preferences, and intended use to choose a climbing harness that suits your needs. Different types of climbing, such as sport climbing, trad climbing, or alpine climbing, may require specific features in a harness. Additionally, consider factors like the duration and frequency of your climbing sessions.

Prioritizing Safety Standards:

Safety should always be the top priority when purchasing climbing equipment. Look for climbing harnesses that meet relevant safety standards such as UIAA (International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation) or CE (Conformité Européene) certifications. These certifications ensure that the harness has undergone rigorous testing for strength and durability.

Finding Comfort and Fit:

Comfort is crucial for long climbing sessions, so finding a climbing harness that fits well is essential. If possible, try on several harnesses to determine the right size and fit for your body type. The waist belt should sit snugly around your waist, and the leg loops should provide a comfortable yet secure fit. Adjustable leg loops are beneficial, especially if you plan to layer clothing for winter climbing conditions.

a man with rock climbing equipment

Exploring Gear Loops and Features:

Consider the number and placement of gear loops on the harness. Gear loops are used to carry climbing equipment such as quickdraws, cams or other essential gear. Depending on your climbing style, you may require more gear loops for easy access to equipment. Additional features to consider include ice clipper slots, haul loops, or gear loops designed specifically for trad climbing if that’s what you need.

Considering Weight and Packability:

If you're a multi-pitch climber or someone who travels frequently, consider the weight and packability of the harness. Lightweight harnesses are ideal for minimizing bulk and weight during long approaches. Additionally, look for climbing harnesses that can be easily folded or compressed for convenient storage and transportation.

someone climbing up a rock face in climbing equipment

Leveraging Reviews and Recommendations:

Before making a final decision, read user reviews and seek recommendations from experienced climbers. Online climbing forums, gear review websites, local climbing retailers, and local climbing communities can provide valuable insights into the performance and durability of different harness models.

Investing in a high-quality climbing harness is a crucial step towards enjoying a safe and comfortable rock-climbing experience. By understanding your climbing style, safety standards, fit, and features, you can make an informed decision when purchasing a harness. Remember to prioritize safety, comfort, and durability, and don't hesitate to seek advice from fellow climbers or professionals when needed. Climb on!

woman climbing up a rock face in climbing equipment
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