Best kids Climbing harness
The importance of choosing the correct climbing harness can become quite clear when you are on a rock or ice face. Your type of climbing will determine of right harness for you.
Our video walks you through the basic considerations:
Parts of a Climbing Harness
If you’re new to climbing, your first step is to understand the parts of a harness.
- Waistbelt (aka swami belt): Most seek to provide some combination of comfort with the minimum amount of weight. One or 2 buckles help to adjust the belt.
- Buckles: These consist of 1 or 2 pieces of metal to allow for manual double–back or automatic double–back respectively. The buckle is usually a bit off–center to avoid conflict with rope tie–in. A harness must have a buckle for the waistbelt but does not necessarily need buckles on the leg loops.
- Leg loops: Padded for comfort; adjustable to allow clothing changes while staying tied in. Made from a variety of materials.
- Gear loops: Designed to carry equipment such as quickdraws and cams. Most harnesses have 4 gear loops, but specialized belts have additional loops to carry even more gear. Gear loops are commonly made from plastic and/or webbing. Some harnesses even have removable plastic gear loops that allow for the ultimate in customization. Warning: These loops are never intended to be clipped into as a piece of protection at an anchor.
- Haul loop: Located on the back of the harness, this loop of stitched webbing is used to attach a second rope or haul line. Warning: It’s not intended to be load bearing or clipped into for a piece of protection. Similarly, never use this loop to attempt a forward or Australian–style rappel.
- Belay loop: This is the strongest point on the harness and the only part that is load tested. Anything hard should attach to the belay loop (e.g., a locking carabiner while belaying or rappelling). Warning: You should not tie anything around the belay loop, including a daisy chain or sling. The belay loop will wear through quicker and is not designed to be used in this fashion. Belay loops are made of nylon webbing.
- Tie–in points: These are the 2 loops connected to the belay loop. While not strength tested, they are quite strong. Independent studies show tie–in points breaking around 12–14 kiloNewtons (2, 700–3, 100 lbs.). Any cord, rope or webbing should be attached through both the lower and upper tie–in points. This distributes the wear and adds redundancy to your system. Warning: Do not belay or rappel with your carabiner attached through the 2 tie–in points—this weakens the strength of the carabiner; use the belay loop instead.
- Rise/elastic straps: The rise is the distance between the 2 leg loops and the waistbelt. It is connected with thin webbing or elastic straps. If the straps are removable from the waistbelt, the harness is considered a drop–seat harness. Many alpine and trad harnesses are drop–seat harnesses and allow a climber to take off the leg loops without untying, when nature calls. Many sport and gym harnesses have permanent straps that cannot be temporarily removed. These straps can be adjusted up and down, altering the shape of the harness and affecting how it feels when you hang in it.