Climbing Grade And Bouldering Grade Conversion

Climbing Grade And Bouldering Grade Conversion

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Climbing is fun, and there’s no denying that. But by not paying attention to the rock climbing grade, you’re essentially risking your safety and that of others. 

Carelessness like these might lead you to life-threatening injuries or even death itself, and we’re not exaggerating.

Today we’re going to state the means of avoiding all these unfortunate possibilities explicitly. 

How? 

By showing you the proper way to assess, understand, and convert both climbing and bouldering grades. 

If you’re a fellow climber, stay with us till the end to get a better insight on the entire subject.

What Are Climbing Rating Systems and Why Do You Need Them?

Put merely, rating (or grading) systems are assessments of difficult or easy a particular climbing route is.

These grading systems provide climbers with a rough idea of what to expect before hitting the site.

Thanks to these grades, climbers don’t need to experiment at the risk of their lives to test a specific route.

Today, many grading systems are in practice all across the world. As a result, it can be quite tedious to understand which grade means what.

Lucky for you, we’ll be concisely discussing all the popular systems.

The purpose is to help you translate them, no matter which part of the world you are from.

Climbing Grade: Popular 5 Rating Systems you should know

Let’s say all the rock climbing routes went to school, and the teacher assessed them based on how difficult they were to climb. 

The marks that they’d get would be their climbing grade. Any guesses on who’s the teacher? 

You, I, and other fellow climbers who have attempted to climb that rock.

Here are some of the most popular grading systems that you must know as a sensible rock climber –

01. Yosemite Decimal System: 

Mountaineers widely use this system in North America. As you can tell from the name, its origins are from the hills of Yosemite. 

Grade 1-4 in this system stands for walks of various difficulties. 1 being the easiest and 4 hardest. The climbing starts when the scale hits 5.

Grade 5 divides into 15 sections, where 5.0 through 5.3 involves scrambling. If the decimal number rises, so does the difficulty. 

You can further divide 5.1-5.15 into four subsections, such as 5.2a, 5.2b, 5.2c, and 5.2d.

Anything below 5.8 is appropriate for beginners. Whereas 5.8 – 5.13 are for advanced climbers only. 

All other grades beyond the 5.13 margin on YDS are for the elite climbers in the game.

Other than that, there’s also an optional protection rating that reads from G, PG, PG13 all the way through R and X. 

Here, G and PG stand for adequate protection. A fall from PG13 might cause severe injuries. 

R refers to severe injuries, even if safety is present. Lastly, the worst-case scenario of falling from X is death.

02. UIAA Grade:

UIAA is one of the most famous European Climbing Grades, most popularly used by mountaineers from Germany and Italy. 

The International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation certifies this scale as their official grading method.

Grade 1 and 2 from the system refers to scrambling with a little steep climb, making it appropriate for beginners. 

Phase 3 is for the intermediate climbers, whereas the 4 is for advanced and experienced ones.

5 and 6 require technical and well-thought climbing as the routes start to become challenging. 

In grades 7 and 8, it’s just plain hard with very distant holds and minimal support. More often than not, you’ll find this grading in bolted routes.

03. British Trad Grade:

The British Trad (short for traditional) Grade comes into play to represent the overall climbing experience. 

It is, in fact, a tad bit different from the other grading systems out there. This grade fragments into two distinct portions, namely –

  • Adjectival Grade:

    As the name suggests, the adjectival grade is an adjective grading for all rock climbing factors.

    These factors include everything, such as rock texture, height, rigidity, and hold placement distance.

    The grades are as follows –

    1. Easy
    2. Moderate
    3. Difficult
    4. Very difficult
    5. Severe
    6. Very severe
    7. Hard very severe
    8. Extremely severe (ranging from E1 through E11)
  • Technical Grade:

    As a climber, you must be familiar with the term ‘crux’. It is the most challenging section of the entire route.

    Technical grades are grades for the crux and not the whole mountain. Climbers rate the crux commonly using a number from 1 through 6, where each number further divides into a, b, c, and d.

04. French Climbing Grades: 

Like UIAA, you’ll find this grade in almost all bolted routes in France and nearby nations. 

The system is relatively simple and only uses the combination of numbers and letters to represent difficulty.

In other words, the easiest difficulty is 1, and the higher the number, the more difficult it gets. 

Occasionally you will notice subsections of a, b, c, and d for increasing difficulties. 

Mountaineers will also use a plus (+) sign to indicate that the route is harder than the said grading. Example: 6b+, 4c etc.

05. Saxon Switzerland Grade

This grading reigns in East Germany/Czech. The entire grading is based more or less on the UIAA Grade. 

But the only difference is that it uses roman numerals to define difficulty.

However, this grading is counted as a different one because the rules of climbing for this are slightly different. 

For instance, you cannot use metal hooks and pickers as they will damage the sandstones. You can’t use chalks either; instead, you may use a cotton cloth to deal with the sweat.

Here, the most manageable grade is I, and as the Roman numeral progress to II, III, and IV, the climb starts to get harder. 

When the level hits VII, you can further divide them into a,b,c, and d. Currently, the most challenging route in Saxon Swiss Grading has a grading of XIc.

Bouldering Grades: Popular 2 Bouldering Difficulty Scale

Bouldering is the same as rock climbing, except now the rocks are smaller or artificial. Also, you’re not allowed to use ropes/harness.

It might sound a little intimidating at first, but many sportsmen deem bouldering as ‘more fun’ than traditional rope-climbing. Of course, this opinion may vary from climber to climber.

Now, all boulder grading out there are technical gradings. So, those are not the exclusive representation of the climb.

Instead, these grades will largely depend on how hard/comfortable the overall climbing experience was.

Here’s how the mountaineers grade bouldering routes across the world –

Hueco/V scale: 

This grading starts from VB, where B stands for beginners. Next comes V0, which gradually goes all the way up to V17. 

In most bouldering gyms, you will only notice routes going as much as up to V10. Anything after that is mostly outdoors.

The V in V scale stands for Vermin, the iconic boulderer John Sherman. That is because he and his folks were the first ones to term the grading on this scale. 

There are some optional additions to the V grading as well. For example, if you see V-fun or V-weird, it means that climbers cannot rate the route by the V scale.

However, you’re bound to come across the plus (+) and minus (-) signs. Simply put, V4 is harder than V4- but more straightforward than V4+. Again V5 is harder than V4+ and so on.

Bouldering Grade Rating System Infograph

Fontainebleau Boulder Grade (Font Scale): 

The Font scale is has been most popular in various parts of Asia and Europe since they first came into being. 

Today, this scale single-handedly dominates the bouldering grade scales alongside the V scale.

Like the V scale, the font scales are also rated by numbers such as 1,2,3 and so on. But when the Font scale hits 6, things get a little tricky. 

For instance, you’ll have to add A, B, and C to further divide the numbers according to difficulty. 

You may also add a plus, in the end, to further depict the extra complication of a level.

Climbing Grade Conversion and Comparison

By now, you must have realized that the plethora of options in terms of grading systems are vast. Well, that’s because different regions choose to grade their routes differently. Remember that no grade is ‘better’ than the other. Different grading will markup your terrain differently, and that’s what we may coin as normal.

But here’s the problem. If you are a climber or boulderer from the USA and just traveled to Northern Europe, you’re most likely to face some issues understanding the grading. This is where the grading conversions will come into play.

Here’s another example – Let’s say you’re used to the V scale, but now you’re here at the foot of a boulder that has Font Scale ratings. If you know the conversion, then you will quickly understand that the 6A+ written on the boulder means V3 from the V scale.

In other words, the conversion will allow you to translate scale to scale. As a result, you’ll be able to decide better whether the boulder or mountain is up to your ante or not. Here is the conversion table of the prominent climbing and bouldering scales for your reference –

Rise above Your Fear of Height

If you want to become a proficient climber, you must always start with learning the grades. Lastly, this step should always be shortly followed by practice and determination. Any climber that manages to dedicate their time to these two pointers is bound to succeed. Best of luck and happy climbing!

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The Complete Scarpa Origin review- Is It The Best Climbing Shoes?

scarpa origin review

The Complete Scarpa Origin Review

Comfort 89%
Durability 85%
Sensitivity 75%
Crack 68%
EDITORS RATING
4.3/5

Intro

Learning to climb can be a difficult task especially if you don’t have the right climbing shoes. You definitely do not want to slip and fall on the first go.

As a beginner, you would want shoes that give the right amount of adjustability, grip, and comfort.

In terms of comfort and adjustability, the SCARPA origin sounds very promising. The origin also comes with many other features that make it an ideal choice for beginner climbers.

So, stick with us as we go in-depth in our Scarpa origin review so you can decide whether you want this pair for your next climbing adventure.

Product Specification

Product Overview

The Italian manufacturing company, SCARPA has always come up with reliable climbing shoes. Even the Scarpa climbing boots got a lot of love because of their premium quality.

The origin is stated to be a part of their all-day performance category.

This flat profile shoe is amazing for getting beginners ease into the whole climbing routine. Perfect for a bouldering gym this pair easily fits even the larger feet and comfortably stays on the entire time.

Despite having a lot of cool features the origin comes at a very. decent price range. However, we do not recommend the origin for advanced climbers since it’s features are primarily ideal for the beginners.

What We Like

What We Dont Like

Feature & Benefit Of Scarpa Origin

To help you understand better, we are going to break down all of the cool features in our scarpa origin shoe review

Soles are one of the first things you will be looking for in a climbing shoe. You would want something that lasts long and provides a strong grip.

The SCARPA origin climbing shoes provide some amazing material when it comes to soles. The full outer sole is made of SCARPA’s very own 5mm thick proprietary vision rubber.

The ultra-thin 1.9mm flexan midsole is embedded in the shoe to provide support for the full foot without compromising any sensitivity.

The two soles create a perfect blend of durability and comfort for every beginner level climber.

You would want your climbing shoes to last a long time and take a beating while at it. 

It is true that The scarpa origin rock shoes are specialized for beginner climbers but the shoe is on par with advanced climbing shoes when it’s about durability.

The plus suede leather upper provides a long term fit and a velvety comfort.

La Sportiva Finale

A flat or neutral shoe will definitely feel nice and comfortable on the feet. This also makes the shoe a bit stiffer but very supportive. 

This feature comes especially handy for new climbers to get their feet used to climbing.The Origin-U’s flat profile provides all that and enough downturn to add precision to your climbing. 

The flat design also allows the feet to stay in a relaxed position so new climbers stay uncomfortable while climbing. The specialized  5mm thick vision rubber sole beneath the shoe is also there to handle any sort of discomfort.

Some people climb all day long. For that, the shoe has to be specially made to provide comfort. The Origin-U is part of SCARPA’s all-day performance category and it does not disappoint in terms of comfortability.

The Origin features a padded aero mesh tongue to provide all-day cushioning. On the outside, the shoe has passively charged rand ensures a cocoon-like snugness around your feet, so you can wear them all day and keep your feet relaxed.

Whether you are climbing, running, or walking the one thing that can ruin the entire experience is adjustability. This counts especially when it’s time for climbing. You don’t want to be adjusting or tuning your shoes in the middle of your climb.

Thanks to the velcro straps you wouldn’t have to worry about the adjustability. The Origin-U comes with two hook and loop straps which are also wide, so you can fine-tune your fit. 

Velcro straps are also super easy on and off which is especially great in a bouldering gym.

In the back, you will also find wider and taller heels that allow you to fit larger feet and still be easily adjustable.

FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

It is not that is why it is recommended that you buy the right size and not a smaller size with hopes that it will eventually stretch out. When it comes to the scarpa origin sizing it is best to downsize 0.5-1 size from the user’s street shoe size for better comfort.

Bottom Line

If you are a beginner and don’t want to spend a lot of money on your first pair of climbing shoes then the SCARPA origin might just be the best budget climbing shoe for you. 

Aside from the budget the hefty features we talked about earlier will also help you in your climbing endeavors. 

We do hope we were able to give you all the information you needed through our Scarpa origin review. Now, remember whatever brand or model you choose, make sure you look out for adjustability, grip, comfort, and durability. The right climbing shoe will truly make things much easier and enjoyable.

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05 Best Women’s Climbing Harnesses 2021 | In-depth Guide

best women's climbing harnesses

05 Best Women’s Climbing Harnesses 2021 | In-depth Guide

The complete guide to top class gym to big wall climbing harness including full in-depth review

Climbing.com

The La Dura Dura in Oliana might seem a little bit easier if you manage to hold on to the right harness (Not kidding though). A climbing harness will pack you up with comfort, essential gears and aid you in sending better.

If you are in a quest to find the best women’s climbing harnesses, you are in the right place. The models we reviewed have all sorts of features to support YOUR type of climbing, whether it’s a gym, trad, sport, big wall, or the alpine.

And… If you are a beginner climber, you could start from our “how we picked” section which is more like a buying guide. you can also check our best climbing harness for beginner article to get beginner friendly suggestion.

Without further ado, let’s get started!!

05 best climbing harnesses for women

Misty Mountain Cadillac
Top Pick

5/5
Climbing Type: Trad, Big wall
Weight: 18.7 oz.
Leg Loops: Adjustable
Haul Loops: Yes
Petzl Sitta
Most Lightweight

4.9/5
Read More
Climbing Type: Sport, Alpine
Weight: 9.7 oz.
Leg Loops: Adjustable
Haul Loops: Yes
Mammut Togir 3 Slide
Extremely Adjustable

4.6/5
Climbing Type: Alpine, sport, trad
Weight: 14.8 oz
Leg Loops: Adjustable
Hail Loops: Yes
Black Diamond Primrose
All Around

Black Diamond Primrose

4.4/5
Climbing Tpe: Trad, gym
Weight: 12 oz.
Leg Loops: Adjustable
Haul Loops: Yes
Petzl Selena
Shorter Rise

4/5
Climbing Type: Sport & Gym
Weight: 11.28 oz
Leg Loops: Adjustable
Haul Loops: Yes

Misty Mountain Cadillac
best trad harnesses

Our Top Pick

The Misty Mountain Cadillac is the most comfortable climbing harness for women looking to hang on belays for longer periods of time. The overall features make it perfect for trad and big walls and to some extent alpine climbing.

At 18.7 oz., this is the heaviest of all in this review but still lightweight compared to some of the other bulky women’s climbing harnesses in the market. There’s foam padding around the waist and adjustable leg loops. That’s the reason you can hang with total comfort— good for multi-pitch routes.

Misty Mountain Cadillac harness for women

PROS

CONS

The Waist belt is made extra wide and heavy. That’s justified when you have 6 gear loops for carrying the bulk of your trad gears. The addition of ice clippers slots does give you freedom on alpines, but the weight is a big disadvantage for that. Even then, beginners will love that for testing out what kind of climbing they want to pursue.

It has adjustable leg loops and waist. Despite being padded, it aids more mobility compared to other padded models. That’s a deal-breaker!!

Keep in mind, this women’s climbing harness is something that you don’t want to carry deep into mountains and use for steep bolt-clipping. If a big wall is your destination, then it shouldn’t be much of a problem.

The only thing that really puts us off is the design. It’s certainly not the most modern-looking climbing harness available, still effective by all means.

PETZL SITTA
best harness for women Professionals

Most Lightweight Climbing Harness

If you are on a hunt for the best women’s climbing harness for women for alpine and sport purposes, the Pretzl Sitta is just unbeatable when compared to every other one in the scene. That might sound like an overstatement, but rigorous testing by independent climbers has proven it all.

First up, it’s the lightest climbing harness in this review. That translates to superior comfort when standing or climbing! The Wireframe technology distributes the load equally and makes it robust. Despite being minimalist, Pretzl Sitta is durable.

PROS

CONS

Keep in mind, Sitta is not known for its versatility. There is no adjustable leg loops and gear loops are minimal— not favorable for mountaineering. Still, we loved the front gear loops having a sliding separator, which is helpful for putting anchors behind the draws.

In terms of hanging comfort, it doesn’t rate high. So, the Misty Mountain Cadillac would be a better option for specifically hanging belay.

When you are on the alpine routes or doing summer sport climbing, you will have the advantage of high mobility and breathability. The pricing is a little over the top, however, that’s justified considering the specific use of this climbing harness.

All in all, it’s a climbing harness for high-end women sport climbers. For beginners, it’s not the most ideal one partly because of the high price and lack of versatility. If that’s not a big deal for you, then definitely go for it.

mammut womens harness
best climbing harness for women

Extremely adjustable

The Mammut Togir is one of the most versatile and one of the best women’s climbing harnesses for women and rightly so. It’s moderately lightweight, extremely durable, and perfect as a women’s harness for almost all seasons.

It uses a split webbing construction that results in weight reduction and balanced load-bearing. The streamlined flat design makes room for mobility.

PROS

CONS

If you are one of those ladies, who love wearing higher on the waist, you would be satisfied with the Togir. The 3 slide Bloc buckles allow adjustability even when you wear layers of clothing. Longer routes become a breeze with the drop-seat buckles.

It doesn’t have a hell of a lot of padding. This makes hanging a bit hectic. Nevertheless, the climbing harness doesn’t pinch or squeeze into the legs. On top of that, the tie-in loops with plastic molding prevent abrasion and add durability.

And.. How does Togir become versatile? You get four reinforced gear loops along with two loops for holding four ice screw slippers. That means you can do sport, trad and alpine climbing altogether. For beginner lady climbers looking to test out different styles and terrains, this is just heavenly.

The only issue we could find was the loops had a rearward setting. But that can be an advantage for climbers who don’t want gears covering their front.

We wouldn’t term this as a super-light best women’s climbing harness, but it’s a lot more practical and keeps a balance between everything.

Black Diamond Primrose
best women's climbing harness

All Around Climbing Harness

If you have been searching for a budget-friendly women’s safety climbing harness that doesn’t compromise on quality & comfort and is still effective for trad and sport climbing, the Black Diamond Primrose is your only option.

It’s one of the fewer models that fit well for curvy women. With an appropriate size selection, you can get a tighter fit around the waist and the legs as well. The waist belt buckle uses a speed adjust system to fasten up tying. Keep in mind that it has just a single adjustable strap. So, you need to find the perfect fit from the start.

 

PROS

CONS

The waist belt is quite well padded and has dual-core construction that makes hanging on belays comfortable. Other than summertime, this is a great addition considering how lightweight the women’s climbing harness is. The adjustable leg loops with trak Fit offer both adjustability and security (just like fixed-leg loops).

It has gear loops with plastic covering. As the loops are more to the front of you, you can easily clip and unclip your gears. Together with the haul loop, you are more than ready for trades. However, Primrose loses points on versatility simply because it isn’t equipped with ice clipper loops.

PETZL Selena
best price woman's climbing harness

Best For Women with shorter rise

Petzl’s newer version of Selena has gone through an update. You will find Luna to be more comfortable than before but it lost some versatility in the process. If sport climbing is your thing, this should suit you.

The women’s climbing harness is moderately lightweight with gear loops at the front and back. The rear haul loops might be a bit hard to reach. This isn’t a big deal as the front gear loops can accommodate 6 draws. There’s a haul loop that can aid you during trad but not the strongest.

PROS

CONS

Selena is designed in a peculiar way. It’s peculiar because of the extra width around the hips. If you are one of the few women who like to wear it around the hips (not the waist), you will feel comfortable. If you decide to wear it around the waist, this is not the most ideal thing.

The adjustable leg loops have an elastic spreader that gives you room for different thigh sizes. If you have larger legs compared to your waist, you do have an alternative— Petzl Luna. It offers almost the same value as Selena but has adjustable leg loops.

It has decent padding around the waist. Semi-hanging belays or even hanging belays should be comfortable. It loses versatility as the newer version doesn’t have ice clipper slots.

The facts— Selena lacks breathability, not suitable to carry loads of gears, and comfortable padding. It’s a sports climbing harness perfect for cold conditions!!

Women’s Climbing Harness Guide

Ideal Characteristics of Women’s Climbing Harness

With a mammoth 30+ hours of research and analysis and more than 15 rock climbing harnesses in consideration, we finally got to the Best 5 women’s rock climbing harnesses. Independent testing is done by Wirecutter, OutdoorGearlab and UkClimbing certainly helped a lot to make a thorough decision.

All that was left was our own researchers and fellow climbers combining their experience and knowledge to filter out “the not so effective” ones.

Every brand has its own female version and individual definition of how a female climbing harness should be. But usually these climbing harnesses have few things in common:

  • The waist is smaller than the men’s version, keeping the adjustable leg loops the same size
  • The waist belt and the adjustable leg loops have more distance in between them. That means, in most cases, it will fit around the waist, rather than the hips.

As far as the pricing goes, we tried to keep it within $70-$200. So, beginners and experienced climbers can both find the best climbing harnesses for women in their budget.

Our review primarily focused on the following factors:

1. Nature of your climbing

The first thing to consider is the type of climbing you want to pursue. Depending on that, your decision will largely vary.

Trad climbers need to ensure the following things:

  • Fully featured with at least four gear loops with a haul loop
  • It should have good padding for extra comfort on hanging belays
  • Durable enough to encounter difficult chimneys

Best fit: Misty Mountain Cadillac, Black Diamond Primrose

Big wall climbing harnesses are usually highly padded and have lots of gear loops. These are not the most lightweight and you can expect them to be heavier than sport climbing harnesses.

Best fit: Misty Mountain Cadillac

For gym, you don’t need extra bells and whistles. What you need is something inexpensive, has enough padding, and is durable. Gear loops or ice clipper slots are not mandatory, however might be necessary, if you want to gain versatility.

Best fit: Black Diamond Primrose, Petzl Selena

Sport-climbing requires shedding off weight. So, preferably a lightweight model with walking comfort rather than hanging comfort is the best option. But these usually come at a higher price.

Best fit: Petzl Sitta, Petzl Selena

For alpine, you need a lightweight women’s climbing harness with the addition of adjustable leg loops and ice clipper slots. The gear and haul loops remain just as same as the trad harness.

Best fit: Mammut Togir, Petzl Sitta

2.Comfort: Standing vs. Hanging

Whether you need hanging comfort or standing comfort largely depends on your climbing type. If you are hanging most of the time on belays, you need more standing comfort. These climbing harnesses are generally lightweight.

Petzl Sitta is the clear winner standing, because of its minimalistic design and climbing comfort. The Petzl Selena is equally as comfortable as the Cadillac. The least comfortable model for standing is Misty Mountain Cadillac, just because of its enormous padding and extra weight.

When it comes to hanging comfort, the Cadillac beats them all. Black Diamond Primrose is the next best for this purpose but lacks versatility.

4. Loops: Gear and Haul

Gears loops are simply small plastic rings attached around the waist Belt. These rings help you to carry gears like quickdraws, cams, belay device, and so on.

The more difficult and challenging your route is, the more gear loops are needed. The Misty Mountain Cadillac has 6 gear loops, which makes it extremely handy for big walls.

For trad and alpine, four gear loops are enough. When you are doing sports or gym climbing, these loops become unnecessary.

The haul loop is an additional loop at the back needed to carry a haul line and shoes when trad/multi-pitch climbing. These loops are not designed to carry heavy stuff.

5. Durability

The durability of a climbing harness depends on the following things:

Thick belay loops

  • Abrasion-resistant fabric
  • Reinforced tie-in points
  • More stitching

Durability becomes a priority when you are doing trad climbing, alpine, and big wall climbing. For sport, this isn’t a big deal. In this review, we found Mammut Togir to be more durable than the others because of the reinforced tie-in loops.

6. Mobility

The climbing harnesses that aid mobility has a minimalistic and ultrathin design. This factor is important when you are on alpine routes where you would be hanging less and climbing more. The Petzl Sitta fits this criterion simply because of the lack of padding and lightweight design. Mammut Togir is also a great contender for mobility as it has a flat design and split webbing build.

7. Versatility

If you are already a seasoned rock climber, you shouldn’t care much about versatility. You only need a specific climbing harness for a specific type of climbing.

For those of you just starting out and don’t know what road to pursue, versatility becomes crucial. You might want to test out different terrains before you stick with a particular type of climbing.

The Mammut Togir is your ultimate option. It will support you year-round, whether it’s on ice or just a simple gym and sport climbing.

Final words....

Before you buy a women’s climbing harness, you must choose your climbing type as it will help you to niche down your considerations. Pinpointing a single best women’s climbing harness is tough and not the most effective way to analyze climbing accessories.

However, in terms of versatility and beginner-friendliness, the Mammut Togir beats others. Otherwise, the Misty Mountain Cadillac takes away all the credit with superior comfort and fully featured design.

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More Climbing Guide

Best Beginner Climbing Harness of 2021

Best Beginner Climbing Harness of 2021

Long gone are those days where a harness used to be a ‘just in case’ gear for climbers. Mountaineers and climbers are demanding more and more, and the brands are feeding them up accordingly. 

That brings us straight to the struggle of picking up the best beginner climbing harness that checks all the boxes. If chosen wrong, a bad harness can be the cause of a terrible loss of yours. But, out there in the market, you can find literally hundreds of models from dozens of brands ready to overwhelm you right away! 

So how would you put hands on the best harness for beginner climbers

Worry not. We’ve taken the mammoth task over for you. We’ve done a weeks-long research to filter out 7 of the top rated climbing harnesses for beginners, and listed them up. Throughout the unbiased, benefit-driven starter climbing harness review, you’re going to learn every single know-hows that does matter while you’re climbing wearing one of those. 

Best Climbing Harness for
beginner Review

Seems interesting? Let’s dig deep and find the right harness for beginners like you-

PETZL Sama
TOP PICK

PETZL Sama Climbing Harness

4.5/5
LEG LOOPS: Fixed
CONSTRUCTION: Foam
WEIGHT: 14.6 oz.
HAUL LOOPS: Yes
GEAR LOOPS: 4
Petzl Corax
Transition Harness
3.5/5
LEG LOOPS: Adjustable
CONSTRUCTION: Foam
WEIGHT: 17.28 oz.
HAUL LOOPS: Yes
GEAR LOOPS: 4
Black Diamond Momentum
Best For Sport

 

5/5
LEG LOOPS: Adjustable
CONSTRUCTION: Foam
WEIGHT: 10.7 oz.
HAUL LOOPS: Yes
Gear Loops: 4
EDELRID Jay III
Most Agressive

 

5/5
LEG LOOPS: Adjustable
CONSTRUCTION: Foam
WEIGHT: 14.5 oz.
HAUL LOOPS: No
GEAR LOOPS: 4
Mammut Ophir 3 Slide (women)
Best For Comfort

4/5
LEG LOOPS: Adjustable
CONSTRUCTION: Foam and split webbing
WEIGHT: 13 oz.
HAUL LOOPS: Yes
GEAR LOOPS: 4
Arc'teryx AR-395a
Best For Comfort

Arc'teryx AR-395a Harness

4/5
LEG LOOPS: Adjustable
CONSTRUCTION: Foam
WEIGHT: 13.9 oz
HAUL LOOPS: Yes
GEAR LOOPS: 4
Misty Mountain Cadillac (women)
Best For Comfort

4/5
LEG LOOPS: Adjustable
CONSTRUCTION: Foam
WEIGHT: 18.7 oz.
HAUL LOOPS: Yes
GEAR LOOPS: 6

PETZL Sama
best climbing harness for gym

The biggest selling point of the PETZL Sama Climbing Harness is its weight distribution capacity. Using the technology called ‘EndoFrame’, it distributes the weight around the waist and leg areas. So, you won’t have to deal with localized pinching or stress while you’re climbing high wearing the PETZL Sama. And that’s what makes it one of the best beginner rock climbing harnesses

Just like what good harnesses do, the PETZL Sama has got four size variations. The smallest one would fit waists of 71-77cm, where the largest one(XL) would grab waists within 92-100cm.

PETZL Sama Climbing Harness

What We Like

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For anything in between, there are two other sizes available. 

Just like the waist sizes, the leg sizes for these versions also range within a decent dimension range. As a matter of fact, these leg loops are made of elasticated material. So, you’re going to have a comfortable feel out there. These loops will also empower you with a complete freedom of movement, which is quite out of the range of those low cost harnesses out there in the market. 

To adjust these leg loops and the waist one, you have to spend almost no time. Through the DoubleBack light buckle, it’s quite easy and quick to do that. 

Now, everything isn’t sweet about this harness, we have to say. The first point of complaining is- it’s not got an adjustable leg loop, which might bother tall people. Secondly, it can pinch the grundle a bit if too much pressure is applied.

Petzl Corax
Best Climbing Harness For Transition

The next harness on the podium is the Petzl Corax Harness, a climbing harness for beginners made to fit waist sizes within 25-42 inches. With 4 gear loops and a perfect weight distribution scheme, this unisex climbing harness can be your next big break for climbing. 

Offering a decent weight distribution, there are two double back buckles that would help to center the weight. This would also give you a hand to connect the double back configuration as per your preference.

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Talking about adjustability, you’ve got a bit of those into the leg loops as well. For various body types, this always helps to set the harness with ample optimization. 

Do a beginner user gets to carry a number of stuff along while climbing? The good news is, there are four equipment loops(2 on the front and 2 on back) to keep your stuff safe. On top of that, the accessory loop located on the rear center will let you transport ice screws. Therefore, your hands are all-free to use on climbing only, all the way!

About the size variation, there are two of them, combined covering a waist range from 25.6 to 42.1 inches. Although this might be shallow for many, the four color variations can cover it up anyway.

Black Diamond Momentum
Best Sport Climbing Harness

Most Durable

Comfort and adjustability- these two had found their way in together in this harness called Petzl Corax Harness. Ask us how? Here you go- 

They call it the ‘dual core’ construction, where two bands go evenly across the waist belt with a spiral pattern. On top of that, there is an abrasion-resistant shell with breathable lining to make the constriction more rigid and supportive. In between, Black Diamond uses a CLPE foam insert to make the whole thing a comfort fit.

 

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So, if you ask us to rate the structural strength of this harness, we’d do a 9.5/10. 

It’s interesting how they’ve got names for every feature of this harness. However, the leg loops with a name of ‘TrakFIT’ is really a state of the art design. They are easily adjustable without any buckles or so. There is just a slide dusted that makes tightening or loosening them quite easy. No mis-threading and no dangling webbing- that’s for sure!

Do you think that’s the end of the good stuff? Wait till the size diversity comes up. 

There are six size variations of this harness, covering up a wide range of waists and legs. The smallest one covers waists of 24-27 inches, where the largest XX size covers waists of 40-45 inches. Besides, the leg size also varies accordingly. From six size variations, one can easily find the best suit right away.

EDELRID Jay III
Most Comfortable Climbing Harness

The primary material of this harness is Bluesign- a certified material in terms of quality and comfort. Dedicatedly made for men, the EDELRID Jay III Climbing Harness comes with utter comfort and usability. 

The mesh padding that this harness is got is called 3D mesh padding. It gets overlapped on the upper waist belt and creates an extra shade of comfort for the beginner user. These paddings are movable along with the gear loops which grants you an easy access to the gears and tools you’re carrying.

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Talking about the gear loop, let’s check out how many of them are there. For instance, we’ve found 4 gear loops distributed symmetrically around your waist area. Along with that, there is also a belay loop. 

The size diversity is decent. There are three sizes starting from 24.8 inches and ending at 41.3 inches. Following the waist size range, there are leg loops starting from 17.7 inches and ending at 25.6 inches. This covers anyone within a tiny body to a bulky one.

Mammut Ophir 3 Slide

Best For Comfort

Around the waist and legs, there is not only the consecutive loops like other models. Alongside this, there is a feature called slide-bloc. Its function is to let the beginner user do quick adjustments within seconds. While doing so, it won’t even bother the double-back configuration that it sports. 

All of the good brands seem to have something patented as they design their top-rated harnesses. In the same way, we’ve found the patented reinforcement technology right at the tie-point of this harness. As a consequence, there will be almost no abrasion effects while you’re climbing wearing it.

 

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To hold your stuff, there are 4 gear loops and a belay loop. Also, there is a haul loop on the backside. 

As a safety measure, there is a red indicator thread. Once the harness is reaching towards its limits, the red thread will show up and you can take actions instantly to save your life.

Arc'teryx AR-395a

Our Top Pick

Hands down to the crown-pick of this list- the Arc’teryx AR-395a. 

Throughout the construction process of this harness, Arc’teryx had used a couple of trademark technology built all by them. In together, the blend of strength, comfort, and aesthetics makes it worthy of the first position in this listing.  

Got a doubt? Wait a bit till we break things into bite-size chunks.

Arc'teryx AR-395a Harness

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The Warp Strength technology drives a firm pressure dispersion and makes sure the strength and weight distribution stay even. No matter whichever position you take while climbing, it will be holding your back to prevent any sort of accidental falls or so. 

Next on, it’s the Burly double weaving across the harness body to keep your climb slipping-free. The thing it does is- it absorbs all of the moisture(sweat, water, dew) and dries them off asap. Externally, it looks hard-wearing, but it is soft enough to forget about its existence right away. 

In terms of the number of gear loops, the Arc’teryx AR-395a is one of the top scorers on the list. There are 4 reversible gear loops along with a rear haul loop. Besides, there are 4 ice clipper slots as well. Carrying all of your essential gears along won’t be bothering you anymore.  

Are you likely to check down on the harness for its safety status? If positive, you’d be glad to have the Orange wear safety indicator right on the belay loop of it. Whenever you feel like inspecting it, just check for the visible orange marks. Got none? You’re as safe as a human is in the womb.

Misty Mountain Cadillac
Best Climbing Harness For Women

Our next harness might look a bit tangling, but it has got it’s set of USPs. With a good price, you get the good stuff- they say it. And the Misty Mountain Cadillac Harness stands there to prove it all the way. Misty mountain is one of the best climbing harness for women. 

The core material of this climbing harness is 500D Cordura Nylon, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea at first glance. But having the comfy foam and a very lightweight, any climber would consider it as a good fit for them.

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However, the best USP of this pick is it’s 6 different gear loops and an additional haul loop. We’re not sure that you’d need them all every time. But for heavy day-long climbing gigs, you’d thank Misty Mountain for having those loops at the right place at the right time. 

To make it a quick-to-adjust harness, you might see the threads across the straps. And this works for both waist buckle and leg buckles. This is, however, one of the convenient ways of providing adjustability to the climbers. 

From the 5 given size variations, you can find the right one without hassle. Just check out the waist diameter of yours and find the right range. The leg diameter is supposed to be adjusted accordingly.

Buyer’s Guide for the Best Beginner Harness

As we’ve been through the top rated climbing harness for beginners, it’s time to hone up your purchase decision. Before that, we’d like to share our points on what to consider and what to not as a buying consideration. 

Here goes the buying advices-

What Kind of Climbing You’re Up To?

There are a number of climbing chores that climbers are up to. And each of them comes with a specific demand from the harness of the climbers. For a beginner to find the match, here goes the details- 

  • Gym Climbing: The harness should be durable, comfortable and within a decent price point. No need to have bulky gear loops or packaging whatsoever when you’re looking for the best beginner indoor climbing harness.
  • Trad Climbing: Multi pitching goes hand to hand with this kind of climbing. Therefore, the harness should be as simple as possible. But it should also be more feature-rich than sports climbing harness or gym climbing ones. 
  • Sports Climbing: Lightweight and flexibility- these happen to be two core criteria of a good sports climbing harness.  
  • Mount/Rock Climbing: These two are siblings of each other, as climbing criteria are considered. The harness should be, however, very light weight, rich of gear/haul loop, easy to adjust, tight-fit leg loops etc.

The Structural Strength

For a serious climbing chore, there is no way you would go with a poorly built harness anyway. Starting from the foam, there is the webbing, padding and weight distribution that sport the overall structural quality of a harness. 

Therefore, look for these criterias within each of these departments to check the box of overall built quality of your next harness- 

  • The foam: Should be a single piece of layer that’s 1” or so in dimension. It can also be cushioned and padded for additional shades of comfort. 
  • The webbing: A good webbing happens to be a single-piece, splitted width-wise and able to distribute the weight evenly across the belt. 
  • The weight: Although it’s a rather passive fact about the construction, but lightweight is a sign or careful crafting. For extreme climbing events, this turns to be a more compulsory demand indeed.

Size Matters

If you’ve been through the entire review, you might have noticed how we broke down the size diversity of each of these picks, right? Well, that’s kind of essential for everyone out there who’s tending to get a good fit of harness. 

While picking the right size from whatever options a brand provides with, go for the ‘as close as possible’ fit for your waist and thighs. Measure your waist and thighs up, if you’re uncertain about that. 

Under each of the size variations, there are ranges of these dimensions. Therefore, look for an adjustability feature as well.

Look for Loops

A number of loop variations are found across harnesses from good brands. All of them make sense anyway, based on what kind of climbing you’re up to. 

The three kinds of loops found in climbing harnesses are- The gear loops, the haul loop and the belay loop. We’d explain what does what and you can decide if you need those in your next harness or not. 

The gear loop, just like as it sounds, holds the gears and accessories. These plastic rings are more imprative who’re climbing outdoors(alpine climbing, trad climbing, mountaineering etc.). Usually, there are 4-6 gear loops in climbing harnesses. 

Next on, it’s the haul loop, which can hold a haul line or the second rope for the sake of safety. If not, it can even help your shoes, but not the primary anchor that safeguards you while climbing. 

Finally, it’s the belay loop, which is not compulsory for everyone. If you have one though, you can hang your belay device for belaying.

The Price Point

Based on how serious kind of climbing you’re going to be in, the budget varies. Starting from entry level harnesses that cost a few ten dollars, there are models which might take a few hundred dollar bills from you. With higher price, the quality goes high. But make sure whatever you’re investing after is worthy of your purpose. That’s it!

FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

Not all the way, but unisex harnesses serve quite well. But if you’re looking more aesthetic and tighter fit, you might go with sex-specific models.

The most minimalist climbing harnesses use to weigh around 9 ounches. But if you’re looking for a feature-rich harness, you have to compromise the lightness of it.

With models like Mammut Ophir 3, there comes a safety indicator thread. Once it reaches it’s safe limits, the red fabric becomes visible and you should take respective actions immediately. And yeah, this is safe and accurate enough. 

The one word answer to the question is- Yes! If you look for the split-webbing technology in your next harness, it would check both of the boxes for you.

For entry level gym harnesses, you would be within $50-80. The pro-graded ones come with almost triple the price($150-200). There are a number of in-betweeners as well.

Bottom Line

Congratulations, pat your back. Because you’ve just read a 3000 words article reviewing the best beginner climbing harness for every price range. Keeping up the hope that you’ve already made a shortlist of yours, it’s time to come up with a decision. 

Alongside, look for the price-quality ratio and warranty policies before bringing your wallet out. Finally, double check the accessories and packagings that are often underlooked. 

Good luck for your thrilling climbing adventures! 

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