Table Of Contents

We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!
With the introduction of climbing into the [rescheduled] 2021 Summer Olympics, indoor and outdoor climbing has seen substantial growth. Having been a climber for the last decade, it is great to see an influx of new understanding and appreciation for a sport that has shaped and influenced most of my adult life.
When getting started in climbing, there are a few essential items you will need. The first one is a willingness to be absolutely humbled by your first few sessions at the climbing gym or local climbing area (crag). The other pieces you’ll need are gear: climbing shoes and a harness. There is a discipline of climbing called bouldering where you climb shorter walls without a rope, which means there’s no need for a harness, but most beginners enjoy the security of the rope and harness combo.
For this review, we will be looking at some “all-around” harnesses that are perfect for new climbers just getting started or for experienced climbers looking for a new harness.

What Makes A Harness?

The main components of a harness are the waist belt and leg loops, a belay loop, and the gear loops that are attached to the waist belt. When wearing a harness, the waist belt and leg loops will be what is in contact with your body so you want them to be comfortable and breathable, depending on your climbing environment.
PRO TIP: Before buying any harness, if it is possible to hang in them at the store, it is worth the extra time. Some stores like REI and the Canadian equivalent MEC have hanging stations in their climbing departments so you can try on the harness and sit in it while off the ground. Without question, this is a worthwhile test before purchasing.
The belay loop is crucial, especially for the person you are belaying, as it is reinforced to handle falls and hold the weight equivalent of two climbers in the case of a fall. Finally, the gear loops are what will be holding your gear while you are on the wall, including quickdraws, slings, and belay devices to name a few.
With the variety of climbing styles from sport climbing, traditional climbing, and then into alpine and ice climbing, some harnesses are made to accommodate each style. This article will cover harnesses that are made mainly for sport climbing and indoor climbing. There will be some that can serve double duty and would handle a traditional climbing rack well or be able to handle an ice climbing set up.
Without further adieu, let’s talk about harnesses!

Climbing Harnesses Review 2020

 

Our Top Picks

Edelrid SenderoBest All-Around Climbing Harness of 2020

Arcteryx AR 395ABest Harness for Mountaineering

Mammut Ophir 3 SlideBest Beginner Harness of 2020

Black Diamond SolutionBest Sport Climbing Harness of 2020

Climbing Harnesses Review: Edelrid Sendero - Gear Hacker
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Hanging Comfort 80% 80%
  • Gear Loops 80% 80%
  • Versatility 100% 100%

Pros

Just About Everything

Cons

Having Five Gear Loops Is Starting To Show Off

Weight: 315g

Gear Loops: 5 

Ice Loops: 2 

Leg Loops: Adjustable

Climbing Harnesses Review: Arc'Teryx 395A - Gear Hacker
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Hanging Comfort 50% 50%
  • Gear Loops 100% 100%
  • Versatility 80% 80%

Pros

Built For The Alpine, Lots Of Features

Cons

Price And Leg Loop Comfort While Hanging

Weight: 395g

Gear Loops: 4 

Ice Loops: 4 

Leg Loops: Adjustable

Climbing Harnesses Review: Mammut Ophir 3 Slide - Gear Hacker
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Hanging Comfort 70% 70%
  • Gear Loops 80% 80%
  • Versatility 70% 70%

Pros

Plastic Protection For The Lower Tie In

Cons

Overall comfort

Weight: 420g

Gear Loops: 4 

Ice Loops: 0 

Leg Loops: Adjustable

Climbing Harnesses Review: Black Diamond Solution - Gear Hacker
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Hanging Comfort 80% 80%
  • Gear Loops 70% 70%
  • Versatility 60% 60%

Pros

Comfortable

Cons

Limited leg adjustment length

Weight: 330g

Gear Loops: 4 

Ice Loops: 0 

Leg Loops: Fixed

Climbing Harnesses Review: Petzl Sitta - Gear Hacker
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Hanging Comfort 60% 60%
  • Gear Loops 90% 90%
  • Versatility 80% 80%

Pros

Lightweight

Cons

Price

Weight: 300g

Gear Loops: 4 

Ice Loops: 2 

Leg Loops: Fixed 

Climbing Harnesses Review: Edelrid Jay and Jayne III - Gear Hacker
  • Comfort 60% 60%
  • Hanging Comfort 70% 70%
  • Gear Loops 70% 70%
  • Versatility 70% 70%

Pros

Sliding Waist Belt To Keep Loops Centered

Cons

Overall Comfort

Weight: 368g

Gear Loops: 4 

Ice Loops: 2 

Leg Loops: Adjustable

Climbing Harnesses Review: Black Diamond Momentum - Gear Hacker
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Hanging Comfort 60% 60%
  • Gear Loops 60% 60%
  • Versatility 50% 50%

Pros

Comfortable

Cons

Limited Leg Adjustment Length

Weight: 302g

Gear Loops: 4 

Ice Loops: 0 

Leg Loops: Adjustable

Climbing Harnesses Review: Petzl Corax - Gear Hacker
  • Comfort 60% 60%
  • Hanging Comfort 60% 60%
  • Gear Loops 50% 50%
  • Versatility 60% 60%

Pros

Double Waist Buckle Is Very Adjustable

Cons

Waist Buckles Can Take A Long Time To Get Perfect

Weight: 540g

Gear Loops: 4 

Ice Loops: 0 

Leg Loops: Adjustable

Climbing Harnesses Review: Petzl Aquila - Gear Hacker
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Hanging Comfort 80% 80%
  • Gear Loops 80% 80%
  • Versatility 80% 80%

Pros

Comfort Of The Larger Waist And Leg Loops

Cons

Ice Clipper Loops Are In The Way Of The Front Gear Loop

Weight: 345g

Gear Loops: 4 

Ice Loops: 2 

Leg Loops: Adjustable

Climbing Harnesses Review: Mammut Sender - Gear Hacker
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Hanging Comfort 90% 90%
  • Gear Loops 90% 90%
  • Versatility 70% 70%

Pros

Lightweight And Plastic Lower Tie In Protection

Cons

One Color Option

Weight: 320g

Gear Loops: 4 

Ice Loops: 4 

Leg Loops: Fixed

Edelrid Sendero

Climbing Harnesses Review: Edelrid Sendero - Gear Hacker

Best All-Around Climbing Harness of 2020

  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Hanging Comfort 80% 80%
  • Gear Loops 80% 80%
  • Versatility 100% 100%
Weight: 315g

Gear Loops: 5

Ice Loops: 2

Leg Loops: Adjustable

Price: $85

What We Like: Just about everything

What We Don’t: Having five gear loops is starting to show off

Our top pick for the best all-around climbing harness of 2020. The Sendero comes with a perfect combination of features that improve the versatility while keeping the harness light and comfortable. The price tag of only $85 makes it a nice bargain as well for getting out to the local gym or climbing area. The 5th rear gear loop is a nice cherry on top of this over-performing harness, allowing everything to have its place while you climb and having some room to spare.

Arcteryx AR 395A

Climbing Harnesses Review: Arc'Teryx 395A - Gear Hacker

Best Harness for Mountaineering

 

  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Hanging Comfort 50% 50%
  • Gear Loops 100% 100%
  • Versatility 80% 80%
Weight: 395g

Gear Loops: 4

Ice Loops: 4

Leg Loops: Adjustable

Price: $200

What We Like: Built for the alpine, lots of features

What We Don’t: Price and leg loop comfort while hanging

 

Not to use a car analogy, but the Arc’teryx AR 395a is like a Ferrari when, most of the time, you just want a Jeep. It is burly but not too flashy. It is a great harness with a lot of versatile features. Unfortunately, they seemed to miss the mark when it comes to the hanging and belaying comfort of the leg loops. The thin fabric digs into the leg and rides up while wearing. This is a great harness for alpine adventures but misses the mark in the sport or trad climbing departments, and this is why we named it the Best Harness for Mountaineering in 2020.

Mammut Ophir 3 Slide

Climbing Harnesses Review: Mammut Ophir 3 Slide - Gear Hacker

Best Beginner Harness of 2020

  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Hanging Comfort 70% 70%
  • Gear Loops 80% 80%
  • Versatility 70% 70%
Weight: 420g

Gear Loops: 4

Ice Loops: 0

Leg Loops: Adjustable

Price: $65

What We Like: Plastic protection for the lower tie in

What We Don’t: Overall comfort

One of the better beginner’s harnesses on the list. The Mammut Ophir 3 Slide is a fully adjustable harness that comes with four gear loops, a protective plastic covering on the lower tie in, and indicator stitching on the webbing. All of these are great for beginners to enhance the service life of the harness while remaining very affordable and still quite comfortable. These are a few of the reasons we named it the Best Beginner Harness of 2020.

Black Diamond Solution

Climbing Harnesses Review: Black Diamond Solution - Gear Hacker

Best Sport Climbing Harness of 2020

 

  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Hanging Comfort 80% 80%
  • Gear Loops 70% 70%
  • Versatility 60% 60%
Weight: 330g

Gear Loops: 4

Ice Loops: 0

Leg Loops: Fixed

Price: $75

What We Like: Lightweight and comfortable belays

What We Don’t: Limited versatility

One of the cleanest looking harnesses on the market. Thin, lightweight, and ready to tackle some hard sport climbing. The Solution is Black Diamond’s performance sport climbing harness. With four stiff gear loops, fixed leg loops, and impressively low weight, the Solution is a favorite in the sport climbing world. This is why we named it the Best Sport Climbing Harness of 2020.

Other Harnesses

Petzl Sitta

Climbing Harnesses Review: Petzl Sitta - Gear Hacker
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Hanging Comfort 60% 60%
  • Gear Loops 90% 90%
  • Versatility 80% 80%
Weight: 300g

Gear Loops: 4

Ice Loops: 2

Leg Loops: Fixed

Price: $200

What We Like: Lightweight

What We Don’t: Price

This is the harness that you see in all of the pro climbing videos, as it is likely the best sport climbing harness on the market. However, for the price, we could not name it the best sport climbing harness of 2020. It is lightweight, has slots for an ice screw clipper, and comes in a very attractive bright orange. If you have been climbing for a long time and want a harness that can keep up with your 14a climbing project, the Sitta is the harness for you. It is easily one of the highest performing harnesses on the market, but the price tag kept it from the top of our list.

Edelrid Jay and Jayne III

Climbing Harnesses Review: Edelrid Jay and Jayne III - Gear Hacker
  • Comfort 60% 60%
  • Hanging Comfort 70% 70%
  • Gear Loops 70% 70%
  • Versatility 70% 70%
Weight: 368g

Gear Loops: 4

Ice Loops: 3

Leg Loops: Adjustable

Price: $65

What We Like: Sliding waist belt to keep loops centered

What We Don’t: Overall comfort

Edelrid’s entry-level harness is something that all climbers can find comfort in. The Jay and female-specific Jayne are both excellent all arounders at a reasonable price. The harness was made to comfortably fit all body types and also keep the gear loops centered with a sliding waist belt. The leg loops are also adjustable and have long bases so that the waist belt can comfortably sit above the hips at all times—a great comfort feature. It doesn’t have the most comfortable waist belt, but it would be a great starting harness for someone trying out the sport.

Black Diamond Momentum

Climbing Harnesses Review: Black Diamond Momentum - Gear Hacker
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Hanging Comfort 60% 60%
  • Gear Loops 60% 60%
  • Versatility 50% 50%
Weight: 302g

Gear Loops: 4

Ice Loops: 0

Leg Loops: Adjustable

Price: $60

What We Like: Lightweight

What We Don’t: Limited leg adjustment length

Black Diamond’s entry-level and all-around harness is a good starting point for climbers beginning their journey. A bull horn-shaped waist belt with Dual Core Construction for added comfort will work for most body shapes. The trakFIT leg loop adjustment is super easy to use and holds well throughout a day at the crag. This is a great harness if you enjoy dialing in the perfect fit before spending your day on a hanging belay.

Petzl Corax

Climbing Harnesses Review: Petzl Corax - Gear Hacker
  • Comfort 60% 60%
  • Hanging Comfort 60% 60%
  • Gear Loops 50% 50%
  • Versatility 60% 60%
Weight: 540g

Gear Loops: 4

Ice Loops: 0

Leg Loops: Adjustable

Price: $60

What We Like: Double waist buckle is very adjustable

What We Don’t: Waist buckles can take a long time to get perfect

Petzl is a big name in the harness and vertical safety world. They produce high-quality gear and the Corax is no exception. With fully adjustable waist and leg loops, the Corax is super comfortable and will work over different body types or clothing layers. The front gear loops are rigid while the rear gear loops are soft to fit more comfortably beneath a backpack for long days on the wall or in the mountains. The harness itself does not come with loops for ice clippers, but this harness is compatible with over-the-harness clippers available on the market.

Petzl Aquila

Climbing Harnesses Review: Petzl Aquila - Gear Hacker
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Hanging Comfort 80% 80%
  • Gear Loops 80% 80%
  • Versatility 80% 80%
Weight: 345g

Gear Loops: 4

Ice Loops: 2

Leg Loops: Adjustable

Price: $135

What We Like: Comfort of the larger waist and leg loops

What We Don’t: Ice clipper loops are in the way of the front gear loop

A rock climbing-specific harness that is built to perform. The Aquila has four gear loops that are off-center of each other on the harness for easy organization and access while on the wall. The leg loops are thick and adjustable for comfort while sitting in a hanging belay. Petzl used their FuseFrame technology for the Aquila to provide maximum comfort while managing the overall weight to help you hit those higher grades.

Mammut Sender

Climbing Harnesses Review: Mammut Sender - Gear Hacker
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Hanging Comfort 90% 90%
  • Gear Loops 90% 90%
  • Versatility 70% 70%
Weight: 320g

Gear Loops: 4

Ice Loops: 4

Leg Loops: Fixed

Price: $100

What We Like: Lightweight and plastic lower tie in protection

What We Don’t: One color option

A new harness on the market by Mammut, the Sender is their performance sport climbing harness. Equipped with plastic protection on the lower tie in and indicator stitching, there are a lot of things to like on the new Sender. At only $100, we wouldn’t call it a starter harness, but if you are an experienced climber looking for a tailored harness for sport climbing, this is the one. There are four loops compatible with ice tool clippers so it is also versatile.
We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!