How To Choose a Climbing Harness

Trying a Harness On
Climbing harnesses are made in different sizes and shapes with different amounts of padding. It's worth going to your local shop and trying some on rather than ordering online.

Select a few harnesses that fit correctly, then hang in them. Good shops will have a facility for you to do this.

The leg loops should hold most of your weight, with the waist belt supporting your upper body so you don’t tip upside-down.

measure climbing harnesses

Leg Loops
Harnesses either have fixed size or adjustable leg loops. They should fit closely around your thighs without hindering movement. Adjustable leg loops are useful if you plan to climb in cold environments where you'll need to wear thicker pants, or if the fixed size options just don't quite fit.

Waist Belt
The waist belt should fit around the smallest part of your waist, above your hips. It needs to adjust small enough to fit tight over a t-shirt, with enough adjustment to get it on easily or wear a jacket underneath too.

The Rise
The rise is the distance between the waist belt and leg loops. Think of it as the measurement between your belly button and crotch. Women's harnesses tend to have a bigger rise, to fit women's body shapes better.

If the rise is too short, you won't be able to get the waist belt all the way up to the smallest part of your waist.

Woman measures climbing harness rise for rock climbing

Related Articles