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Top Picks

How we choose: The best harnesses highlighted here were selected based on 71 reviews of 38 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

How we test: Trailspace is powered entirely by our community of readers. The reviews posted here reflect the real-world experiences of outdoor enthusiasts just like you.

If you've used a harness that you think should be listed here, please share your experience.

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Top Sit Harness

Petzl Corax

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (6 reviews)

It's easy to fit it—two pull straps at the waist, a little tug, and voila the harness is locked in. Comfy too.

Reasons to Buy

  • Ease of getting the right fit
  • Light
  • Secure

Reasons to Avoid

  • Styling/color

I bought the Corax harness kit complete with a harness, belay device, carabiner, chalk bag and chalk.  Easy to put on and adjust to fit. Just step into the harness, pull each side of the waist belt, and voila a perfect fit with the harness perfectly centered. Great to get the added bonus of the belay, carabiner, chalk bag and chalk for just a bit more. I shopped online and got the kit for $74 minus a 10% discount. Light, the items in the kit are good quality. which means it won't weigh or wear you down on those treks to the rock wall.

Read more: Petzl Corax reviews (6)

Sit Harness

Petzl Adjama

user rating: 5 of 5 (4 reviews)

Light, pretty comfortable, good for trad and sport (I’m 165 pound male). I like the gear loops: combination of smaller rigid plastic and floppy but huge loops for the back two. It would have been more comfortable for me if I could have combined the waist belt off a small and the leg loops off a medium. The stitching is very clever - minimizes material but supportive. I like the auto double back buckles. Design of the back is much improved over the earlier version but still dumb. I don't understand their stubbornness over leaving out a haul loop.

Read more: Petzl Adjama reviews (4)

Sit Harness

Black Diamond Alpine Bod

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (3 reviews)

I bought two of these accidentally. I don't know if the retailer made the mistake or me but I am glad for the error.  I have five kids ranging in ages from 3-12.  The 12-yr-old is too old for this but the 3-, 5-, 7- and 10-yr-olds all can fit this harness fine. Two makes things faster because of less time spent swapping harnesses. The back padding is fleece which I thought was kinda cheesy but it actually does fine for the kiddos. They shipped two with different color padding so the kids claimed one as their own.  The fleece is kinda grabby so the little ones can't slip out with their narrow hips.

Read more: Black Diamond Alpine Bod reviews (3)

Sit Harness

Mammut Ophir Harness

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

Currently this is my favorite harness. This harness is very comfortable and it is very easy to put on and adjust. The gear loops are sturdy and easy to find and it includes a handy haul loop.

Reasons to Buy

  • Comortable
  • Good gear loops
  • Easy to put on

Reasons to Avoid

  • Non adjustable leg loops

This is my third harness and I have taken it from the gym to the red rocks of Moab and I love it. It does not have adjustable leg loops which are quite comfortable and make putting the harness on very quick and easy. The buckle does not need to be looped back through making the waist adjustment quicker and allows you to make minor adjustments with ease.  It has four coated gear loops that are easy to clip things on and off of them. It has a single haul loop in the back that works great.  The harness seems quite durable and over the two years I have had it I see very little wear. There is a wear indicator in the belay loop so you know when it's time to replace.

Read more: Mammut Ophir Harness review (1)

Sit Harness

Black Diamond Couloir

user rating: 4 of 5 (2 reviews)

The Black Diamond Couloir harness has all the features you need for a glacier travel or mountaineering, and none of the features you don't.

Reasons to Buy

  • Lightweight
  • Packs down to nothing
  • Low profile under backpack

Reasons to Avoid

  • Can be hard to double back

I have used this harness for about 40 days for glacier travel and mountaineering and it has held up to use and abuse well. The harness is lightweight with no padding, which is ideal for glacier travel and mountaineering when you only would need it for a rescue scenario. You'll be wearing it almost the whole time so you want it to be lightweight, low profile (so it fits under a backpack strap), and have it pack down small for when you don't need it. It can be uncomfortable hanging from this harness due to the lack of padding, but since you're not planning on hanging from this harness, the padding would just be extra weight/bulk.

Read more: Black Diamond Couloir reviews (2)

Sit Harness

Black Diamond Big Gun

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (2 reviews)

Just got done with the first climbs using the BD Big Gun. I tired on several harnesses after my Metolius finally started showing signs of wear. The Arc'Teryx proved to be very light by may cause broken ribs if you take a screamer.These harnesses are at very opposite extremes and I was somewhat suspect of the mobility of the Big Gun until I climbed with it. For all the padding the Big Gun does well on sport climbs and the gear loops are amazing for setting up your rack and very comfy two. This is not a sport cragers ideal harness but if you're looking to spending time on multi-pitch trad routes I would definitely recommend the Big Gun for its comfort, durability, and organization.

Read more: Black Diamond Big Gun reviews (2)

Sit Harness

Petzl Hirundos

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

This is a fantastic, extremely light, comfortable harness. Targeted originally for high end sport climbing (and still used for that), it has also gained popularity as an alpine harness, which is what I use it for in addition to all-day trad rock. Despite the absence of adjustable leg loops (which would increase the weight anyways), I find it works very well for any and all types of climbing. Petzl wisely put ice-clipper slots on the waist belt in anticipating the needs of the alpine/ice climber.

Read more: Petzl Hirundos review (1)

Sit Harness

Black Diamond Momentum AL

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (7 reviews)

First harness I ever bought and after all this time I still find myself going back to this harness.

Reasons to Buy

  • Durable
  • Simple
  • Best for indoor/sport climbing
  • Inexpensive

Reasons to Avoid

  • Double-backing

This harness works great! It's easy to take on and off and everything works just like it should. The four gear loops can store enough draws for a day of sport climbing or all your nuts, draws, and cams for trad.  The Momentum AL harness gives all climbers the comfort and durability that Black Diamond is known for. The harness has a traditional waistbelt buckle and adjustable leg loops, which uses a simple slide adjuster to provide a wide range of fit. From the Black Diamond website: "The waistbelt is built with our Dual Core Construction, which uses two slim bands of high-tensile webbing on the outer edges of the waistbelt and a venting OpenAir foam insert in the center to offer breathable, lightweight comfort without pressure points." And...

Read more: Black Diamond Momentum AL reviews (7)

Singing Rock Digger Cave Harness

user rating: 4 of 5 (2 reviews)

The Digger Cave Harness is a low-cost, no frills caving harness that does the job it is suppose to do. While it does not carry the marketing power of Petzl, there are several features that make this harness worth considering.

Reasons to Buy

  • Works well
  • Minimalist gear loops
  • “Idiot Proof” doubled-back tabs
  • Abrasion resistant covers

Reasons to Avoid

  • Lots of leftover tail

A Bit About Cave Harnesses The function of a cave harness necessitates a different design from a traditional climbing harness. While rock climbers are ascending a rock face, primarily relying on the harness to catch them in a fall, cavers are actually climbing the rope, being fully committed to the harness during the descent and return to the surface (See pic #1.). Pic 1: On the ascent, a caver is either “frogging” up a rope in a sit/stand motion, or sitting in the harness in a rope walker set up.

Read more: Singing Rock Digger Cave Harness reviews (2)

Sit Harness

Black Diamond Momentum SA

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

Fantastic, reasonably priced harness.

Reasons to Buy

  • Lightweight
  • Easily adjusted.
  • Can't buckle incorrectly

Reasons to Avoid

  • None that I can find

I was able to spend the day climbing at an indoor gym today with four of my students (12 & 13year olds) and another instructor.  Everyone used the Momentum SA harness. For first time climbers, the harness was straightforward.  It was easy to put on and adjust.  I have used several BD Bod harnesses for the past 15 years or so.  My latest version should have been retired last year, so when presented with the opportunity to try the SA, I jumped at the chance. The harness is very easy to put on.  The "Speed Buckle" at the waist is pre-threaded, meaning you can't un-do the belt portion of the harness, all you can do is tighten it.  The leg loops have these sliders attached to elastic webbing that are very easy to tighten, and loosen a...

Read more: Black Diamond Momentum SA review (1)

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