05 Best Women’s Climbing Harnesses 2021 | In-depth Guide
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
best trad harnesses
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.
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.
best harness for women Professionals
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
best price woman's climbing harness
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.