- Waist belt: Waist belt that fits above your waist to secure harness
- Tie in loops: Two points that you tie your rope through.
- Belay loop: Loop at front of harness. Do not tie in here !!!
- Gear loops: Loops along the belt that you use to keep your gear on you.
- Leg Loops: Do what they say on the tin.
- Haul loop: This loop is locate at the back if the harness. It is used for attaching a rope when big wall climbing.
Fitting a Harness
- Make sure there are no twists in the harness: Pay particular attention to the leg loops as these are the most common places. If you cannot untwist, then detatch the leg loop elastics from the waist belt.
- Pull up above your hips and begin to tighten: This is the most important point. The harness needs to be above your hips. It is your hips that stop the harness from sliding down your waist.
- Adjust the leg loop: Do not over tighten the leg loops. The leg loops are there as a support. Leave enough space that you can slide your hand down between your leg and the harness
Tip: Never put your harness on with gear on it! In the future, you may see someone at the crag pull out a harness loaded with gear, they plop it on the floor and wiggle their way into it, tie in and climb. Please don’t do this.
When putting on a harness, you should make sure it is not weighted. The added weight will pull your harness down, and it may be difficult to tighten over your hips. Suddenly you’re 10 meters up with a harness slipping down your legs, not what you need.
What harness will best suit you?
While most harnesses may look the same, they are actually all designed for different purposes. The most common harnesses you will come across are those designed for sport climbing and those designed for trad climbing.
Sport climbing requires minimal hardware so they usually have smaller gear loops and are usually more lightweight. Harnesses designed for trad climbing will most often have larger or more gear loops.
What to buy?
If you are looking to buy a beginners harness then go with the Black Diamond Momentum. They are super cheap, sturdy and have nice sized gear loops. This guy will do you for both outdoors and indoors and will do you well until you figure out what direction you wish to go with your climbing.
You can pick up the kit for just over €60.