Harness comparison 2018

Purchase advice for climbing harness comparison or test 2018

  • Climbing harnesses are part of the personal protective equipment for climbers: Together with the climbing rope they can, thanks to their cushioning properties, protect the human body in crashes from serious injury.
  • There are three basic types of climbing harnesses that can be distinguished: hip, thoracic and complete harnesses. A combination of hip and chest strap can be worn while climbing.
  • All models available on the market must be certified to the European standard EN 12277 and endure under laboratory conditions a certain force, measured in kilonewtons (kN).

Harness comparison 2018: 2018

1. Harnesses - Protective equipment for climbers

Building a climbing harness

The structure of climbing harnesses differs depending on the type. However, whether you choose a chest, hip or full strap, each strap is made up of several loops (eg, loops for carabiners), which are often in their own Scope are adjustable and so, for example, to the hip circumference and the general dimensions of the climber can be adjusted.

Anyone who wants to go on a climbing tour in the mountains is well advised not only to use climbing shoes and climbing ropes, but also to use a good climbing harness. He is Part of the personal protective equipment for climbers (PSA category III) and is used outside of mountaineering even in fall-prone activities such as tree care or industrial climbing use.

His main task is to cushion the loads that occur in the event of a fall and to reduce these to a tolerable level similar to a rope suitable for climbing with good elongation properties. In addition, the harness, also known as a harness or harness, distributes the forces acting on multiple body sites to minimize the likelihood of serious injury.

Harness comparison 2018: harness

Climbing harness and climbing rope should be included in every outdoor climbing tour.

As a rule, a climbing harness must withstand the greatest possible safety to withstand at least twice the forces normally encountered during a fall. Depending on the belt category the static load capacity must be 10 or 15 kN.It indicates how big the power of a rope hanging on the climbing rope may be.

  • For climbing rope comparison

So that you do not lose sight of the essentials in the thicket of the numerous brands and manufacturers, we have carried out our comparison of our harness 2018, in which we best climbing harnesses have examined for you. We'll tell you what types of harnesses are different, what the European safety standard EN 12277 is and why you should consider the fit when buying.

2. Climbing harness types at a glance

With the hip, the complete and the chest belt, three different types of climbing harnesses are distinguished from each other in climbing harness tests and comparisons, which we would like to present to you in the following table:

constructionStructure and special features / advantages and disadvantages
chest strap

Harness comparison 2018: comparison

  1. over the shoulders running cord loops
  2. loops
  3. Anseilstellen
  • The chest strap should only in combination with a hip belt be used.
  • The sole securing with a chest strap is extremely dangerous and can have dangerous effects on the cardiovascular system in a fall and even be fatal.
  • After a fall, it is impossible for the person concerned to extricate themselves from this situation.
hip belt

Harness comparison 2018: climbing

  1. belay loop
  2. waist loop
  3. Size adjustment of the hip loop
  4. leg loops
  5. Size adjustment of the leg loops
  6. loops
  7. Strap for leg loops
  8. Crotch loop
  9. Central fixation of the leg loop connection
  • The roping point is in front of the body, what a comfortable hanging in a sitting position allowed.
  • The freedom of movement is very high in hip belts, which is especially beneficial for outdoor sport climbing and climbing in the hall.
  • Is to expect as in the Alpinklettern with falls from high altitude, hip belts are not recommended because of the higher risk of injury.
  • For children hip belts are basically not suitable because of the relatively weak hip muscles.
Full body

Harness comparison 2018: harness

  1. leg loops
  2. Back connection of leg loops
  3. Anseilringe
  4. loops
  5. Back cross of the chest belt
  6. Size adjustment of the chest strap
  7. Size adjustment of the leg loops
  • A complete harness is a type of harness set that is made from a tightly sewnCombination of chest and hip belt consists.
  • The hanging position is relatively upright, even when unconscious.
  • Since the legs can hardly be moved when hanging, They are not suitable for activities where longer hanging is necessary.
  • Complete harnesses are in conjunction with a via ferrata set on via ferrata (with steel ropes and ladders secured climbing routes) ideal and especially for children, inexperienced and beginners well suited.
  • A special form is the Kleinkörpergurt for people weighing less than 40 kilograms.
The safest variant is a combination of chest and hip beltwhich can be connected by means of a piece of hose band. It should always be used when backpacks are worn and unexpected falls from high altitudes are to be expected (eg crevasse falls at full speed).

3. Purchase advice for climbing harnesses: You must pay attention to this

You can find a climbing harness test winner especially in the category of hip and complete harnesses. However, for which type of collateral you ultimately decide, you should primarily depend on your project.

3.1. Type of climbing tour

Climbing gyms test

Those who only climb indoor, could be interested in the climbing gym test of Stiftung Warentest (issue 09/2004). In the test: 20 climbing gyms from all over Germany.

High tour in the mountains:

If you prefer demanding high mountain tours where unexpected crashes from high altitude are likely, You should use a combination of chest and hip belt.

Sport Climbing:

Harness comparison 2018: 2018

Classic bouldering on a low wall eliminates climbing harnesses and climbing ropes.

Sport climbers who are on the inside and outside on climbing and mountain walls, on the other hand, need a lot of freedom of movement, so especially hip straps are offered here. Basically, hip belts are true all-rounders, which are also used in other disciplines (eg via ferrata).


On the occasion of the ascent of via ferrata are however Complete straps and waist straps are recommended.Especially beginners, inexperienced and children should resort to appropriate tours for reasons of handling, however, especially on complete belt models.

Fully optimized: Basically, most climbing harnesses today are in some ways all-rounders, so they cover almost all the areas of sport climbing, high-altitude touring and via ferrata. However, children should never climb with a hip belt, as they could fall head over heels out of the belt.

3.2. Safety standards according to EN 12277

Harness comparison 2018: climbing

In addition to EN 12277, the Petzl Corax hipbelt meets the requirements of the UIAA standard, which defines further safety standards that go beyond those of the EU standard.

Even if you want to buy a cheap climbing harness, you can do so without hesitation, as all harnesses on the market have to meet the same safety standards as an important part of personal climbing equipment. The European standard EN 12277 states that harnesses have a certain static load capacity:

  • Load capacity of the complete belt (type A) at least 15 kN
  • Resilience of the small body belt (type B) at least 10 kN
  • Resilience of the hip belt (type C) at least 15 kN
  • Resilience of the chest strap (type D) at least 10 kN

UIAA: The International Union of Mountaineering Associations (UIAA) is a transnational umbrella organization of various alpinist associations, which has set itself the task of defining strict safety standards for the equipment of climbers and mountaineers. Against this background, the so-called UIAA standard was developed, whose standards, while strongly based on EU safety standards, are based on the EU's EN standards. But they may differ slightly from these, or even go beyond them.

3.3. Size and fit

In addition to standardized safety, size and fit are the decisive criteria when choosing the best harness. Crucial here is not that the straps are extremely close to the body, but that the distances between loops and body parts are chosen so that a flat hand can easily fit in between.

For hip and complete straps, it is also important that the strap is above the pelvic bone, This prevents overhead lintels from slipping out of the seat belt.

Harness-size table: To find the perfect fit harness among the numerous models for women, men and children, You do not necessarily have to try it on.

Various brands and manufacturers such as Arc'teryx, Mammut or Petzl offer online special size charts indicating both the required waist circumference and the circumference of the leg loops.

Both values ​​can be easily measured at home before making a purchase decision. Incidentally, models with adjustable leg loops are particularly pleasant. These are much more flexible and can be better adapted to your own physique.

Harness comparison 2018: comparison

4. Questions and answers about climbing harnesses

4.1. Which important brands and manufacturers are there?

Among the best-known brands and manufacturers in the field of climbing harnesses whose products are assessed in various climbing harness tests include u. a. Black Diamond, Mammoth, Petzl or Edelrid, All these companies also specialize in the production of climbing gear, such as climbing helmets, climbing shoes or carabiners. According to the company, Edelrid pays special attention to sustainable production methods, which it even officially identifies as an important corporate goal on its homepage as part of its corporate environmental policy.

Other manufacturers and brands can be found in the following overview:

  • Alpidex
  • Arc'teryx
  • Black Diamond
  • Climbing Technology
  • edelrid
  • Elliot ST
  • mammoth
  • Ocun
  • Petzl
  • salewa
  • Singing Rock
  • TreeUp

4.2. How long does a harness last?

Harness comparison 2018: climbing

On average, every five years you should get a new harness.

The durability of climbing harnesses essentially depends from very different factors.Quality of wearing parts (eg roping points), life span specified by the manufacturer, material, duration of use and intensity, but also weather influences are just some of the points that should be mentioned here.

To ensure sufficient safety, The German Alpine Club (DAV) has meanwhile set the average service life for harnesses at five years. However, you should not stiffen on this recommendation and check your harness as a precaution before each climb for damage.

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