2022’s Best Climbing Harnesses for Every Type of Rock Climbing

Whether you're climbing inverted off-widths or hanging tufas, we've found the harness for you.
Best Rock Climbing Harnesses Of 2020

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Top Picks in Each Harness Category: 

Editor’s Pick Best All-Around: Petzl Aquila
Beginners: BD Momentum/Mammut Ophir 3
Expert’s Harness: BD Vision
Women’s Harness: Petzl Luna
Men’s Harness: Arc’teryx AR-395a
Indoor-Gym: BD airNet
Sport Climbing Harness: BD Zone
Most Comfortable Climbing Harness: Petzl Adjama
Multi-Pitch: BD Solution Guide
Big Wall: BD Big Gun
Trad: Petzl Sitta & Arc’teryx AR-395a
• Alpine Climbing: BD Vision
 Ski & Mountaineering: Petzl Fly
Kid’s Sit-Style: Petzl Macchu
Kid’s Full-Body Harness: Petzl Ouistiti
Adult Full-Body Harness: Petzl 8003
Dog Harness: Ruffwear Doubleback

Looking for the best climbing harness for your style of rock climbing?

Look no further! Whether you are a beginner or an expert, we’ve created the most extensive list of the top-performing harnesses in each climbing category. 

If you aren’t sure what type of harness you need or how to choose a climbing harness, we’ve covered that in-depth in a previous article.

Take a look then come back here to quickly find what you’re looking for. 

Maybe you want a quick answer?

Check out our top picks below, or use the table of contents for more detail on each of the best rock climbing harnesses in each category as well as the runners up.

Remember to check out the best outdoor gear websites before purchasing to find possible deals on the harness you want. Or, to easily search deals from 40+ gear websites and ensure you are getting the best possible price, check out the Deal Finder.

The Best Rock Climbing Harnesses In 2022

The best climbing harness will keep you comfortable while helping you perform at your best with confidence. Like a pair of shoes or a helmet, they also have to be the best for you in fit and function.

We’ve chosen the best harnesses based on comfort, adjustability (where appropriate), gear carrying capabilities, weight, and value. 

The most important factor, however, is intended use. We worked hard to find the right harness for every possible type of climbing.

There is a bit of overlap in the results but that is to be expected in such a varied sport. 

Now, let’s jump in, check our double-backs, and get vertical!

A Few Names Dominate The Pack

While there are a number of climbing harness manufacturers out there, a few names dominate the pack. This is for good reason.

Reputable manufacturers like Edelrid, Petzl, Arc’Teryx, and Black Diamond (BD) have been at the forefront of climbing gear since its creation.

All of these companies were born out of a passion for climbing excellence that can still be seen today.

In fact, after the invention of nylon in the late 1930s, Edelrid invented the first ‘Kernmantel’ rope.

Kernmantel refers to an inner core surrounded by a sheath. This is the type of rope used today in all dynamic rock climbing ropes.

Black Diamond, or more so Yvon Chouinard, have helped shape the climbing industry from the start. First with pitons, then passive gear, then cams and performance clothing. 

Petzl was started by a caver named Fernand Petzl in the 1970’s.

Arc’teryx started with the pursuit of a minimalist harness in the late 80s. Today they remain a homegrown Canadian company that designs and manufactures in Vancouver, Canada. 

All this to say; although results may seem biased towards certain companies, it’s because they’ve earned it. 

So without spraying you with more historical trivia; here they are! The best climbing harnesses in each climbing category. 

And the Crux Range Editor’s pick goes to…

Editor’s Pick For Best All-Around Harness

An all-around harness needs to be easily adjustable, lightweight, comfortable enough to wear on a multi-pitch with hanging belays, have enough gear storage to accommodate both a slew of quickdraws and gear for a wandering full-rope-length pitch, have ice-clipper slots, and of course, look really cool. 

That may seem like a lot to ask of a climbing harness, but here are a few that meet the challenge head-on.

Petzl Aquila

The Aquila is a well designed Unisex harness from one of the most reliable names in the game, Petzl’s Aquila can do it all. Comfortable from the get go, the low profile front waist belt stays out of the way while climbing. Large gear loops, re-inforced hardpoints, and adjustability to the max. A solid all around choice for every level of climber.

• 365g
• 4 XL gear loops
• Contoured waist belt

• FUSEFRAME webbing technology
• Adjustable leg loops
Available at Backcountry, Amazon

Best All Around Harness Petzl Aquila

BD Technician

Built with Black Diamond’s new Fusion Comfort Construction, the Technician is lightweight without skimping on the necessities. Comfortable, adjustable, ready for any environment.

• 376g
• 4 gear loops
• Large 5th loop/haul loop

• Fusion Comfort Construction
• Adjustable leg loops
Available at Backcountry, BD

Best All-Around Harness BD Technician

Best Climbing Harness For Beginners

When you’re just starting out don’t go for the fanciest or lightest harness. Get something that is the most comfortable you can possibly find. Hey, you might not even end up liking rock climbing, right?

Not likely, but I guess anything is possible.

Whether learning at the gym or the crag, you are going to spend a lot of time hanging while you figure out how to do new moves.

Then when you start lead climbing you are probably going to be taking falls often or riding some big whippers. 

What you need to start isn’t the most technical harness but the one that fits you best and is comfortable to hang in. Try the Mammut Ophir 3.

They have what you need, are comfortable, and are both well-made harnesses at a reasonable price.

Mammut Ophir 3

The Ophir 3 was edged out for best all-around harness but it is still an incredible value for what you get. Mammut’s Ophir 3 is comfortable, technical, and adjustable with a padded waist belt for long belays, plenty of gear loops, adjustable leg straps and reinforced haul loop, and a tie-in protector. At about $70, the Ophir 3 is one of the best harnesses for the price that is still ready for any type of climbing.

• 370g
• 4 gear loops
• Split webbing for back support

• Adjustable leg loops
• Ice clipper loops
Available at Backcountry

Mammut Ophir 3 Beginner Climbing Harness

Black Diamond Momentum

Black Diamond’s Momentum harness is a simple harness that can do it all. Built with a bullhorn shaped Dual Core Construction waist belt, adjustable leg loops, four gear loops, and sleek style; the Momentum is just as comfortable and capable on a long red point as it is hunkered down at a hanging belay. At a usual price of $65 it is the most affordable and the best climbing harness for beginners.

• 302g
• 4 gear loops
• trakFIT easy adjust leg loops

• Dual Core bullhorn shaped waist
• Adjustable leg loops
Available at Backcountry, REI

Black Diamond Momentum Beginner Harness

Best Climbing Harnesses For Experts

Once you get to a certain level of climbing, every ounce, movement, and placement matters. 

For the highest level climbers, you probably already know what you like; but two new harnesses are worth mentioning: 

The Black Diamond Vision and the Arc’teryx AR-395a.

Black Diamond Vision

Named after the Avenger’s character? Maybe, either way this harness is just as indestructible and sleek as the comic book hero. Made from lightweight quick-drying material with one of the tiniest full-strength belay loops on the market, the Vision is made for expert climbers looking to shed unneeded ounces while sending some of the hardest lines on the planet.

• 224g
• 4 gear loops

• 5th large gear loop/haul loop
• Quick dry material
• 4 Ice-clipper slots
Available at Black Diamond, Backcountry

BD Vision Harness

Arc’teryx AR 395a

Arc’teryx was started with a harness and to this day they make some of the most comfortable-highest performing climbing harnesses available. With the AR-395a warp technology keeps you extra comfortable while a new leg loop shape allows better mobility with more comfort/space while hanging, and the color offers a welcome touch of class.

• 394g
• 4 Large gear loops
& rear haul loop
Warp Strength Technology
• 4 Ice-clipper slots
Available at REI, Amazon

Arcteryx AR 395a Expert Climbing Harness

Best Women’s Climbing Harness

As we’ve mentioned before there isn’t much difference between men’s and women’s climbing harnesses.

Some harnesses are made as unisex harnesses while other manufacturer’s choose to make separate models for men and women.

The main differences you will find are that women’s harnesses tend to ride higher on the waist, and the leg loops will be a bit larger in proportion to the waist as compared to a men’s harness. 

Both men’s and women’s harnesses are constructed the same and meet the same safety standards. There is no reason you can’t wear a harness meant for the opposite sex. 

Personally, I find women’s harnesses often fit me better anyway. 

Petzl goes beyond simply changing the color scheme with their Luna harness.

This climbing harness is shaped specifically for women with a longer rise to create better waist belt placement when weighted.

A nice bonus, the rise suspenders quickly clip on and off for easy access when nature calls. 

Petzl Luna

Designed to give women the most comfortable fit possible in a capable all-around harness. The Luna has what you need to go from gym to big wall and everything in between.

• 495g
• 5 Large gear loops
• Re-inforced hard points & belay loop
• Adjustable leg loops
• Women specific waist belt contour

Available at Backcountry, REI

Petzl Luna Women's Climbing Harness

Best Men’s Climbing Harness

The best men’s harness comes down to what you are going to be using it for.

But if you simply want the best all-around harness with the most comfort at a decent price, check out the Black Diamond Technician and the Petzl Hirundos.

Petzl Hirundos

The Hirundos has been through a number of color iterations and minor tweaks, but Petzl knows a good thing when they have one. Over the year the Hirundos has been one of the most visible harnesses on epic ascents (it’s the harness Sharma is always wearing). The Hirundos is compatible with CARITOOL EVO ice screw holders and features FUSEFRAME technology with closed-cell foam over a moisture wicking interior fabric that creates a comfortable waistband with smooth edges and uncompromising support over time. Coming in at a moderate price, the Hirundos is ultra-light, comfy, and versatile.

• 310g
• 4 gear loops & large haul loop
• Elastic leg loop webbing

• Easy clip leg loop risers
Available at Backcountry, Moosejaw

Petzl Hirundos Men's Climbing Harness

Black Diamond Technician

Built with Black Diamond’s new Fusion Comfort Construction, the Technician is lightweight without skimping on the necessities. Comfortable, adjustable, ready for any environment the BD Technician is the perfect all around harness for everything from the crag to the mountain.

• 376g
• 4 gear loops/4 ice clipper slots
• Large 5th loop/haul loop

• Fusion Comfort Construction
• Adjustable leg loops
Available at Backcountry

Black Diamond Technician Men's Climbing Harness

Best Harness For Indoor-Gym Climbing 

Indoor climbing or gym climbing requires the least amount of gear you could possibly need while rock climbing.

Most gyms have pre-clipped draws, so all you need is a harness, a rope, and a belay device. Not much to carry. 

As a result, you don’t need lots of gear loops or adjustable leg loops or even a haul loop. A minimalist harness will keep you light and agile so you can pull through that overhanging volume crux move with ease. 

The BD airNet was designed in collaboration with Adam Ondra specifically for competition and indoor climbing. This is perhaps the lightest-most extremely minimalist gym-specific harness ever made.

BD airNet

If Q from James Bond made a harness, this would be it. Constructed with airNet-dyneema technology the airNet is super strong while maintaining breathability and wearability. New patented seamless infinity belay loop included!
• 235g
• 4 gear loops/2 lightweight
• Large 5th loop/haul loop

• airNet technology dyneema construction
• Infinity belay loop
Available at Backcountry, Black Diamond

Best Sport Climbing Harness

A sport climbing specific harness should be light and still have a decent amount of gear storage and comfort. Chances are, however, you won’t need adjustable leg loops or a burly haul loop. 

One of the most comfortable as well as one of the lightest sport climbing harnesses currently on the market; the Black Diamond Zone will get you through the crux with ease and style. 

BD Zone

The Zone was made specifically with outdoor sport climbing in mind. Light, simple, and breathable the Zone has enough gear loops for even the longest sport routes.
• 307g
• 4 gear loops
• Fusion Comfort Construction
• Ice-clipper slots

Available at Backcountry, Black Diamond

Best Sport Climbing Harness BD Zone

Most Comfortable Harness

Petzl is a company committed to quality. Their Adjama harness as been around for a long time and the newest iteration is one of the best. 

While not the most stylish harness, the Adjama just might be the most comfortable harnesses ever created.

Its comfort holds up to full days hanging in the plush waist belt and the fabric, although appearing outdated, holds up to punishment like no other. 

The only drawback, it’s a bit on the heavy side compared to its peers. But you can easily make up for that small difference in other ways like carrying a smaller chalk bag or a lighter rope (or just pulling harder). 

Petzl Adjama

A timeless classic, the Petzl Adjama performs well in almost any situation. Being one of the heavier harness it may not perform well in Alpine or wet environments, but for hanging belays on exhausting multi-pitches the Adjama keeps you safe and ready for more.
• 485g
• 4 gear loops

• Re-inforced hardpoints & belay loop
Available at Backcountry, REI

Top Multi-Pitch Climbing Harness

There are a few factors that might differentiate a multi-pitch harness from other types of harnesses. 

Climbing pitch after pitch usually requires a lot of hang-time at the belays. Even at standing belays, you’ll often find yourself weighting the harness. For this reason, you want a comfortable harness. 

Still, on a long multi-pitches or big walls, you are going to be carrying a lot of gear and other extras like water and warm layers—every ounce counts. So you also want a lightweight harness. 

On top of those two requirements, you also need a lot of space to rack your gear and hang your water or your approach shoes for the descent.

You may also find yourself layering up in cold weather, in that case, you’ll also want adjustable leg loops. 

Finding the right balance isn’t easy. Lucky for us, harness manufacturers are on top of it. 

Two of the most comfortable-work built harnesses that pack in a tonne of storage space without sacrificing too much on weight are the Black Diamond Solution Guide, or for an adjustable leg loop option check out the Arc’teryx AR-395.

BD Solution Guide

Black Diamond made the solution with hard battle-style-trad climbing in mind. Constructed with the same Fusion Comfort Construction as the Zone, the Solution also features a near-indestructible abrasion-resistant fabric they call Super Fabric to increase durability. A stylish harness that performs well beyond expectations.
• 394g
• 4 gear loops

• 5th large gear loop/haul loop
• Contoured fit increases range of motion
• Ultra-durable Super Fabric construction
Available at Backcountry, Black Diamond

Arc’teryx AR-395

When you first pick up an Arc’teryx harness it feels too plush to trust. But don’t let their soft demeanor fool you. These harnesses are workhorses that stand up to any type of climbing. Check the video below to see how strong even an old Arc’teryx harness is.
• 395g
• 4 gear loops

• Adjustable leg loops
• Warp Strength Technology

Personally, I didn’t trust Arc’teryx’s new design when it debuted in 2015. It just seemed to soft and low profile to inspire confidence. But time has changed my view.

These are some of the most durable and comfortable harnesses you can find. Just check out these guys putting a beat up 3 years-old harness to the test.

The Best Big Wall Harnesses

If you want a cushy big wall harness with an excessive amount of gear loops and the possibility of two full-strength belay loops; take a look at the Wild Country Syncro or Black Diamond’s Big Gun. 

BD Big Gun

A big wall harness that takes everything great about big wall harnesses and puts them in one Big Gun. With 7 large gear loops, extra wide thermoformed webbing, 2 full strength color coded belay loops, a 12 kN haul loop, and left and right holster slots with 1 hammer holster included. You’ll be just as comfortable hanging from a belay all day as you are flying off your last RP.
• 660g
• 7 gear loops

• 2 full strength belay loops
• 12 kN haul loop
• Thermaformed waistbelt
Available at Black Diamond, Backcountry

Top Performing Trad Climbing Harness

You aren’t going to find a whole lot of difference between a ‘trad’ climbing harness and a ‘multi-pitch’ harness.

The only difference might be in leg loops. If you are trad-cragging, like you might do in Indian Creek for example, you don’t really need adjustable leg loops and can probably get away with a little less comfort. 

Of course, you are still going to need a lot of space for gear and some ice-clip slots just to keep your options open. 

For the ultimate in trad climbing performance check out the Petzl Sitta or the Black Diamond Solution Guide (see above).

Petzl Sitta

Petzl’s new Sitta harness was made with elite performance in mind. Similar to the BD’s airNet technology, Petzl uses their proprietary WIREFRAME dyneema cord tech to distribute load for comfort while keeping the Sitta light and strong.
• 270g
• 4 gear loops

• 2 XL gear loops with organizers
• Ice-clipper loops
• WIREFRAME construction
• Re-inforced hardpoints & belay loop
Available at Backcountry, MooseJaw

Here’s a closer look at the Sitta and the technology that makes it so cool!

Best Alpine Harness

To be the best Alpine climber or mountaineer, you have to be a jack-of-all-trades, same goes for your harness. 

Alpine climbing harnesses need to be lightweight while also maintaining durability and the ability to carry a full rack and then some. 

Black Diamond’s new Vision harness, coming in at a feather-light 224 grams, gives you everything you need to stay light and fast while shedding anything you don’t. 

A strong rival, the Petzl Sitta (above), is just as capable and only slightly heavier at 270 grams.

Black Diamond Vision

Named after the Avenger’s character? Maybe, either way, this harness is just as indestructible and sleek as the comic book hero. Made from lightweight quick-drying material with one of the tiniest full-strength belay loops on the market, the Vision is made for expert climbers looking to shed unneeded ounces while sending some of the hardest lines on the planet.

• 224g
• 4 gear loops

• 5th large gear loop/haul loop
• Quick dry material
• 4 Ice-clipper slots
Available at Black Diamond, Backcountry, EMS

Best Expert Climbing Harness Black Diamond Vision

Best Ski & Mountaineering Harnesses

As we discussed in more detail in a previous article, although the words alpine and mountaineering are often used interchangeably, there is a bit of difference when it comes to harnesses. 

Mountaineering harnesses are more suited for ski travel and/or snow travel, crossing glaciers, and moderate ice with minimal rappels. 

These harnesses will usually be ultra-low profile and minimalist with a longer rise for comfort while skinning up, post-holing across, or shredding down. 

Look for one that can be put on even when wearing skis or crampons. 

The Black Diamond Couloir and Petzl’s Altitude are two of the best in this category (if you can’t find the Altitude, the Petzl Fly is its beefier cousin). 

BD Couloir & Petzl Altitude

Low profile, packable, and easy on-off without lifting your feet; these two harnesses are ready for anything winter travel can throw at you.
BD Couloir: Black Diamond, Backcountry
Petzl Altitude: Backcountry, Amazon

Top Kid’s Rock Climbing Harness

As they say, “Children are the future.” So why not start them climbing early? 

For kids you have two options to choose from; full-body harnesses or the sit-style used for adults.

Which you choose really depends on the size of the kid and if they are strong enough to keep themselves upright. 

If using a sit-style harness instead of a full-body harness and your child lacks the core strength or coordination to stay upright when hanging or lowering, chances are they will end up inverted and in much more danger. 

Whether you opt for full-body or sit-style, fitting kids’ harnesses can be tricky.

To be honest, we wouldn’t recommend buying a kids’ harness online unless they have recently tried the exact one on in a shop or some other safe environment. 

Remember, full-body harnesses are usually for very small kids, ages 5-10 +/- and have a weight limit in the range of 60-80 lbs. Be sure to check the manufacturer details on each harness. 

Because kids body proportions can vary so widely, most kid’s harnesses are highly adjustable. Ensure that the one you choose is snug and fits to the proper specifications. 

Our favorite full-body harnesses are the Black Diamond Momentum Kid’s and the Petzl Ouistiti.

For a fully adjustable kid’s sit-style harness, check out the Petzl Macchu or Mammut’s Ophir Kids.

If you think your kid is going to progress quickly there is a two-piece option.

You can get a sit-style harness paired with an adjustable chest harness like the Petzl Voltige that integrates with the sit harness.

That way, once they get stronger you can wean them from the chest harness to only using the sit-style harness. 

Petzl Macchu Kids Sit-Style

Petzl Ouistiti

Petzl Kids Full Body Harness

Full Body Climbing Harnesses For Adults 

For whatever reason (pregnancy, disability, safety, etc.), you may want a full-body climbing harness for yourself or another adult.

Just remember, these are not the most comfortable things to hang in and for sure you don’t want to be taking any whippers-in a full-body climbing harness. 

A good example is the Petzl 8003 or again you can add a chest harness to work in conjunction with your sit-style harness. Take a look at Black Diamond’s Vario. 

Petzl 8003 Adult Full-Body

As far as a full-body harness for arborist or construction workers etc. we know there are lots of options out there but have zero experience with those types of harnesses.

We found this site, Tree Stuff, to be incredibly insightful for information in that niche.

Best Dog Harness

Last but not least, Fido. 

Although dog owners often take their dogs backpacking or camping, not many people take their dogs up to a port-a-ledge.

Still, it has been done and there are plenty of other situations when Fido might need to be tied in. 

The Doubleback Harness from Ruffwear is one of the burliest dog harnesses available. It features a test-rated (8.9 kN) tie-in point and complete support for stability and comfort when lifting or lowering your dog. 

Ruffwear Doubleback Dog Harness

Available at Ruffwear, Backcountry, Amazon

Summary

Whether you are climbing in the gym or up the side of K2, you need a harness that fits well and performs flawlessly to keep you safe and sending. 

Follow this guide or our previous guide about how to choose a harness, to find the right harness for your style of climbing. 

When possible, try on your prospective harness before buying.

There are plenty of options out there, choose the right one for you based on the type of climbing you do most, comfort, amount of gear loops, adjustability, and weight. 

And as always, never buy a harness that is not UIAA certified. 

Ultimately you may have to experiment with a few different styles or brands of harnesses before you find your perfect match. That’s ok, the main goal is safety anyway.

Once you’ve found your perfect harness, read this article to find out how long it should last and how to keep it clean and strong.

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