There is a vast array of harnesses available for every facet of mountaineering and climbing. To help find the right one for you, we provide a fitting service. We highly recommend taking advantage of this, as harnesses are Personal Protective Equipment, and therefore we cannot accept returns, which means you want to know the harness fits before you buy!
Differences in harness design are governed by the different requirements for your chosen use, be that: Alpine, High Altitude, Winter, Big Walling, Trad or Sport climbing. The fit of harnesses also varies from ladies to gents and from stick legged sports climbers to muscular mountaineers.
If you are looking for a harness for a child, there are two basic types- sit and full body. Younger and smaller kids, particularly those that haven't developed hips yet, should definitely climb in a full body harness. Kids are top heavy, and a lot more inclined to flip upside down if they fall. We recommend the Edelrid Fraggle, DMM Tom Kitten, Petzl Oustiti and Petzl Simba. The Petzl choices have fun cartoons on them, while the Tom Kitten has a bit more of a grown-up look. For older kids, look at the soft padded and very adjustable DMM Tomcat sit harness, Petzl Macchu, Beal Rookie or Edelrid Finn III. If you need help choosing the right one for your child, don't hesitate to get in touch, and remember not to let your kids climb or abseil without a helmet.
Most harnesses will be fine for indoor use, but don't be fooled into thinking that a less padded harness will do for the gym- most climbers take more falls indoors, where it's easier to manage the risks involved in pushing your grade, than outdoors. For beginners (and everyone else, actually), we recommend the Ocun Twist Tech for men and women, the Petzl Corax or the Edelrid Jay or Jayne. They are all well equiped with padding for comfort and autolocking buckles you don't have to double back. They are also good choices for outdoor sport and traditional (trad) climbing, with plenty of gear loops.
Hardcore sport climbers after the lightest, quickest and neatest option should look no further than the Mammut Sender, a lightweight harness that removes even the need for a chalk belt, as you can clip your Sender or Comfort bag right into the Harness, perfect for those gram-conscious sport afficianados!
Multi- or single-pitch the one constant of British trad climbing is gear. Lots of it. For this you want plenty of gear loops, to rack your gear so it is visible and easy to get at. Adjustable leg-loops are a bonus, to account for the varying climate of our fair islands. The Petzl Corax and Ocun Quattro are two of the best and most adjustable, so you can layer up with warm clothes when you want to go ice climbing, or the weather on the crag isn't as warm as, say, Mallorca on a balmy summer day. They have two buckles at the waist, so you can keep the gear loops and padding symmetric when you change layers. The Corax has four well-sized gear loops, whereas the Quattro has six, for those who love organisation as well as volume of gear. For women, consider the DMM Puma II or the Petzl Luna, hosting between 5 and 7 gear loops depending upon the size.
If you're going big walling or mountaineering (you lucky thing), the Wild Country Elite Syncro has more gear loops than you could ever want, and is very adjustable, very well padded, and has a fully rated haul loop. Aid climbers love it too.
Alpine climbers are always conscious of weight. The DMM Alpine and Black Diamond Alpine Bod are examples of a light, unpadded alpine harness. The DMM Super Couloir and Black Diamond Bod have waist padding, which make them a bit more comfortable. All of these have a good array of gear loops.
For outdoor centres and groups, our favourite harness is the DMM Centre Alpine. It is highly durable, simple to put on, and very adjustable. The tie-in point is high, which means more stability for beginners. Some groups will also want to look at full-body harnesses for small kids (see above), and the 8003 Adult Full Body harness, which is a good choice for less able climbers.
Fully adjustable (ie adjustable leg loops and dual buckled or sliding belay waist belts) all-rounder harnesses often have plenty of padding and offer the best options for mail order and eShop all-round users. They are more likely to fit, and give a good level of comfort. The Petzl Corax and Beal Shadow Soft are good examples.
Women’s climbing harness. Extremeley comfortable and adjustable with laminated construction15mm slide block buckles on waist and leg loops 4 symmetric fixed gear loops 2 attachment options for ice screw clips Chalk bag loop