How To Choose a Climbing Harness

When picking out your first climbing harness, fit and comfort two of your main points of evaluation. However, there some other important features that you want to consider when making your choice. In this video, we have outlined some of these features as well as some tips to help you in making your choice:




Features to Consider

  • Speedbuckle - also known as an automatic locking buckle, is automatically doubled back. That means that the harness is secured and will stay closed without having to manually “double back” the closure
  • Leg loops - these come in two varieties - adjustable and fixed. This choice is left up to preference depending on fit and general comfort.
  • Gear loops - for a beginner’s harness you want at least 4 gear loops.

Tips on Fit

  • Try on several harnesses. The only way to determine your best fit and to learn your preference for certain features is to try on several different brands and models of harnesses.
  • Ask for a hang test. This is when you actually clip into something, usually a rope hanging from the ceiling, and hang in the harness. If the harness fits correctly, you should stay in a neutral, upright position. If you fall backwards or forwards, the harness does not fit and you should try a different model.

Inspecting your harness

It is critical to regularly inspect your personal protective equipment. While you will need to refer to your manufacturer’s documentation regarding your specific harness, here are some areas to inspect on your harness::
  • Belay loop - ensure that the webbing is intact and there are no frays. Look on the inside of the loop and spin it to be sure it is in complete working order.
  • Tie-in points - often a different color than the rest of the harness, the tie-in points are made of a special ballistics material designed to accommodate cloth-on-cloth rubbing. Look thoroughly to see if the material underneath the tie-in loops is not showing through. Once that material has shown through, it is an indication that it is time to replace your harness.


We are always happy to help get you fitted in the right gear to make sure your climbing experience is the most comfortable and enjoyable. Feel free to ask us any questions you have or drop by to check out some of the harnesses and other gear we offer.


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