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Climbing

10 Best Climbing Harnesses in 2020

When you are climbing to unparalleled heights, using the best climbing harness is critical. There are different types of climbing harnesses, and picking the correct one will depend on the kind of climbing you are planning on doing. Whether you like to climb in your gym or in the great outdoors, you will want to invest in a high-quality climbing harness.

Climbing harnesses are rated for safety. This will help to clue you into what you need to ensure you come back down securely. Climbing can be a dangerous sport, so knowing what to buy in terms of climbing harnesses ensure that you will have the confidence you need to climb to new heights.

Size, style, structure, and materials all play a role in what will make the best climbing harness. These are all elements that need to be considered before you decide which you are going to purchase for all of your climbing adventures.

View The Best Climbing Harness Below

1. PETZL Sama Harness

PETZL Sama Harness

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The Petzl Sama sport harness comes in a variety of sizes and offers four gear loops. The leg loops are elasticized and slim. They stay in place and provide a decent level of comfort. The waistband is also flexible, giving you an improved range of motion while climbing. Petzl Sama uses EndoFrame construction for proper weight distribution.

This climbing harness by Petzl Sama, all rights reserved, is excellent for indoor and outdoor climbing. With gear loop options in front and on the back of the Petzl Sama climbing harness, make accessing your hooks and clips easier than ever.

Pros:
+ Simple & Sleek Design
+ Excellent for Sport Climbing
+ High-Quality Materials
+ Easy to Adjust

Why We Liked It – The Petzl Sama climbing harness is pretty basic, and that is why we love it. When you need an everyday climbing harness, this is one of the best. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles that are unneeded for your frequent climbs in the gym or in nature.


2. Petzl Sitta

Petzl Sitta

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The Petzl Sitta is an excellent choice for professional climbers. The Petzl Sitta uses WireFrame technology in its construction, which means you will be getting the best load distribution. The waist belt of the Petzl Sitta is quite thin, as are the loops for your legs. The sleek design makes this a great harness to travel with.

The fabric is bonded, which means you won’t have to worry about the material wearing down or causing pressure points on your skin. The Petzl Sitta is also very easy to adjust. On top of all that, the tie-in points have been improved. They won’t wear quickly from rope friction.

Pros:
+ Provides Great Freedom of Movement
+ Comfortable During Long Climbs
+ Excellent Weight Distribution
+ Won’t Cause Chafing

Why We Liked It – The comfort and durability of the Petzl Sitta are better than many other climbing harnesses. Looking at harnesses on the market today, you won’t easily find one that stays put, helps you avoid chafing, and allows you hours of comfortable wear during your preferred type of climbing.


3. Black Diamond Momentum Harness

Black Diamond Momentum Harness

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The Black Diamond Momentum Harness has a lot to offer. When you go with the Black Diamond Momentum Harness, you will get an adjustable waist and leg loops. The leg loops and waistband are padded for additional comfort. The buckle at the waist is pre-threaded, making putting your harness on more comfortable and faster than ever.

There are four gear loops to keep your cams, hooks, and hold draws at the ready. Whether you are just learning about rock climbing or you are well versed facing treacherous climbs, this is one of the best climbing harnesses around.

Pros:
+ Adjustable Elastic Rear Riser
+ trakFit = Simple to Adjust Leg Loops
+ Bullhorn Shaped Waistband = Extra Comfort
+ Error Reduction While Tieing In

Why We Liked It – The Black Diamond Momentum Harness is great for climbers of every skill level. The Black Diamond Momentum harness works well indoors or while climbing outside. The materials will hold up to the elements nicely.


4. Black Diamond Solution Climbing Harness

Black Diamond Solution Climbing Harness

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The Black Diamond Solution Climbing Harness is very comfortable even during long-wear. The leg loops are not adjustable on the Black Diamond Solution climbing harness. Many find the fixed leg of the Black Diamond Solution to be comfortable, and it does offer a bit of stretch.

You will easily make sure you have everything you need for your climb with four gear loops. You will be able to move around while wearing this harness freely. The risers of the Black Diamond Solution are adjustable, which also helps to improve the comfort of the Black Diamond Solution Climbing Harness.

Pros:
+ Fusion Comfort Technology
+ Includes Belay Loop
+ Padded Leg Loops & Waistband
+ Material Meets Bluesign Criteria

Why We Liked It – The Black Diamond Solution Climbing Harness is quick to use. You won’t have to mess with adjustable leg loops. Many find fixed leg loops to be much more convenient and comfortable. The Black Diamond Solution is also easy to get on and off.


5. Petzl Adjama Harness

Petzl Adjama Harness

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The Petzl Adjama Harness is made for trad climbing, technical mountaineering, and multi-pitch climbing. The Petzl brand is known for its excellent climbing gear. The Petzl Admama offers adjustable leg loops. The buckles that Petzl uses make adjusting the leg loops a breeze.

They are padded and exceptionally comfortable during extended use. You will find additional comfort with the EndoFram construction of the waistbelt. This climbing harness comes in a protective carrying bag, which makes packing it up for all of your adventures simple.

Pros:
+ 5 Gear Loops
+ Compatible with Caritool Holders
+ Rear Loop Designed for Carrying Rope
+ International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation Certified

Why We Liked It – When you are an experienced climber, facing your toughest challenges, you need a brand like Petzl. The Petzl brand makes some of the most reliable climbing harnesses on the market. They have been tried and tested by climbing enthusiasts across the globe.


6. Black Diamond Chaos

Black Diamond Chaos

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Part of the Mountain Trad series, the Black Diamond Chaos, is one of the best and most durable options in sport climbing harnesses. If you are searching for a trad climbing harness that will allow you to take the longest routes, this may be your best option.

The Black Diamond Chaos is excellent, whether you are in a cragging session or on a multi-pitch climb. The Black Diamond Chaos has Kinetic Core Construction, which replaces standard webbing. This webbing will distribute weight more evenly across your legs and waist, giving you a more comfortable climb.

Pros:
+ 4 Molded Gear Loops
+ Oversized Front Loops = Improved Racking
+Haul Loop is 12 KN-Rated
+ Abrasion-Resistant Shell & Leg Loops

Why We Liked It – The Black Mountain Chaos is a beloved trad harness. It is more comfortable and provides ample gear loops for all of your climbing needs. You will feel safe and secure in The black Diamond Chaos harness, no matter the type of climbing you get yourself into.


7. Arc’teryx FL-365 Harness

Arc'teryx FL-365 Harness

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The Arc’teryx FL-365 Harness offers gear loops and ice clipper slots. Besides, this Arc’teryx harness has a haul loop. The buckle of this harness is made of aluminum, and it is self-locking at the waist. Many climbers find the fit of this harness to be very comfortable.

The leg loops offer a decent amount of stretch to accommodate a variety of leg sizes. Many climbers feel this harness from Arc’teryx is the most comfortable on the market when you are looking for a harness to wear for a long day of climbing.

Pros:
+ Includes Mesh Storage Bag
+ Double-Weave Material
+ Includes Haul Loop

Why We Liked It – Arc’teryx uses Warp Strength technology to ensure that your weight is evenly distributed. This makes this a much more comfortable harness when compared to many others in the same category.


8. Edelrid Orion Climbing Harness

Edelrid Orion Climbing Harness

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The Edelrid Orion Is insanely comfortable. It offers 3D-Vent Technology, which will keep your climb well-padded yet breathable. Additionally, this construction is going to ensure that you don’t end up with uncomfortable pressure points.

There is an abrasion protector which gives you a more dependable tie-in point. You will have a secure fit with this harness that is easy to work with. It uses a slide buckle to accomplish these things. You also get four fixed gear loop options and two options for attaching your chalk bag and ice screw clips.

Pros:
+ Adjustable Leg Loops
+ Quite Flexible
+ Harness Offers Many Comfort Features
+ Perfect for Indoor Wall Use

Why We Liked It – This harness is one of the best because it is going to let you know if the material starts breaking down. You will notice a red indicator near the tie-in points and the belay look, which provides you with an early warning that your harness is starting to wear out.


9. EDELRID Jay III Climbing Harness

EDELRID Jay III Climbing Harness

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Whether you are into climbing or mountaineering, the Edelrid Jay III harness will suit your needs. The Edelrid Jay III features 3D mesh padding in the waistbelt, which provides you a comfortable fit. The padding is movable, making it easier to keep it centered.

The gear loop options are located at your hips. There is a polyester and Dyneema abrasion protector, which will make your tie-in point last longer. You will have access to 4 gear loops, and there are two attachment points. These points are perfect for your chalk bag and ice screws.

Pros:
+ Bluesign Certified Materials
+ Leg Loops are Dropable and Adjustable
+ Easy to Adjust
+ Waist Belt Pocket

Why We Liked It – The Edelrid Jay III climbing harness offers more adjustability than many other climbing harnesses. You will be able to accomplish optimal comfort levels on your longest climbs while wearing an Edelrid Jay III.


10. Black Diamond Big Gun Climbing Harness

Black Diamond Big Gun Climbing Harness

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The Black Diamond Big Gun Harness offers more than most. You will have access to 7 different gear loops. Additionally, there are two belay loop options. The Black Diamond Big Gun harness is sturdy and able to withstand frequent use.

This trad harness has a thermoformed waistbelt to improve your level of comfort. In addition, the leg loops are fully adjustable or removable. There are slots to add a holster on the left or right side of the Black Diamond Big Gun harness, and you will get a hammer holster with your purchase.

Pros:
+ Gear Loops are Color Coded
+ Bullhorn Shaped Waistbelt
+ Extra Padding = Improved Comfort Levels
+ Good Weight Distribution

Why We Liked It – The Black Diamond offers rock climbing gear that is a step above the rest. You will have simple access to all of the accessories you need for a successful and safe climb when you go with this option from black Diamond.


Climbing Harnesses Buyer’s Guide

If you are new to climbing or you have been at it for years, one of the first pieces of equipment you will need to buy is a climbing harness. These harnesses are made to keep you safe. Additionally, they will give you access to the other tools you need for a successful climb.

When you are working on finding the best harness for your climbing needs, you need to do some research. Look for things like the gear loops that are on the harness, the style, adjustability, materials, and brand before deciding to purchase anything. All of these factors can play a pretty massive role in how much you end up liking your harness for climbing.

Climbing harnesses are not all created equal. There are many different shapes, sizes, and structures available. Depending on what you like to climb will help you determine which type of harness you will need and what will work best for your individual needs.

Brand

Climbing Safety Belt. Mountaineering equipment

With many products in the market today, the brand doesn’t mean very much. In the world of climbing harnesses, it does. When you go with a trusted brand, you know you are going to be getting a harness that you can depend on. The best brands will have quite a lot in common. They will use the best materials and structures that have been tried and proven to be excellent. Additionally, they will ensure that all of the best safety features are included so you can accomplish any climb that you choose.

Petzl

The Petzl brand, all rights reserved, is trusted by millions of climbers across the globe. With more than 50-years of experience, you can trust that Petzl knows what they are doing when it comes to ascending or descending caves, mountains, radio towers, and more. Whether you are into sport climbing or you need a harness for a professional task, Petzl has you covered.

Some of the most popular harnesses offered are the Petzl Corax and the Petzl Sitta. The Petzl Sitta and the Petzl Corax are very durable harnesses. The Petzl Corax is very adjustable and gives excellent security so you can make sure you attain optimal safety no matter what you are climbing.

You will be making a bit of an investment when you go with a product from Petzl, but you will also be reassured that you are getting one of the best harnesses on the market. The Petzl brand makes other gear and equipment other than harnesses, including headlamps, pieces to build a climbing gym, and Canyoning gear, just to name a few.

Black Diamond

The Black Diamond Brand is known for producing some of the very best climbing gear, harnesses, and accessories around. When it comes to harnesses, you simply need to look at the Black Diamond Solution, Black Diamond Momentum, and the Black Diamond Chaos to see real versatility, comfort, and ease of use.

The quality of the materials and stitching in the Black Diamond Solution, Black Diamond Momentum, and the Black Diamond Chaos will allow you to use your Black Diamond harness for years to come. This brand is among the best because they know what it takes to make the best climbing harnesses.

When you are sport climbing, mountaineering, or in an elevated situation because of your job, you can trust that the gear from this company will keep you safe and sound for years to come. They pay attention to small things to ensure higher levels of comfort and easier access to your equipment. From the waist belt to the leg loops, each detail is precise and ready to help you work your way to the top.

Arc’teryx

The Arc’teryx brand makes much more than climbing harnesses. When you need to make sure you are ready for a variety of outdoor adventures, Arc’teryx has you covered. Arc’teryx offers clothing, footwear, accessories, comfortable harness options, and much more. You can purchase Arc’teryx products online, or they also have a few stores available.

Arc’teryx uses sustainable materials that are built to last and to keep you comfortable. Harnesses for sport climbing, professional climbing, or wear on the wall at your gym are not all created equal, and it takes a little something different for each type for climbing enthusiasts to consider them the best.

Many people trust this brand because they have tried their products and are always left impressed. Arc’teryx products are also a bit more affordable than many other of the best harness brands out there. Finding affordable, durable, and reliable harnesses can be complicated and this brand is here to make it a bit more comfortable for you and your budget.

Edelrid

Whether you are looking for ropes, carabiners, harnesses, or other climbing gear and accessories, Edelrid has you covered. Their harnesses are well-regarded in the rock climbing community. They actually have four different divisions in their company. They are sports, customer solutions, adventure parks, and safety. While each of these areas of their business is independent, they are all surrounding a common topic, mountain sports.

With decades of experience, the Edelrid brand knows what you need to achieve the most challenging climbs. They use proven technologies and top-of-the-line materials to ensure you are always satisfied with your harnesses. From the waist belt to the leg loops, you won’t find harnesses made at such a high standard. Consumers keep coming back to these harnesses because they don’t fail as quickly as others. While you will be spending a bit more when you choose this brand, you will also get exceptional longevity of use

Mammut

While none of the Mammut harnesses made it into the top ten pics of our guide, it doesn’t change the fact that they make better than average harness options and rock climbing gear. Consumers absolutely love the Mammut Ophir harness. You will get a lot of adjustabilities and a high level of comfort when you wear the Mammut Ophir on your next climb.

The Mammut Ophir is only one option in this brand’s harness line. You can purchase all of your sport climbing essentials with this brand. Additionally, they sell mountaineering equipment, ski apparel and accessories, climbing gear, and hiking gear. This brand offers stellar products, but they do come at fairly steep prices.

When you offer some of the best climbing harnesses and equipment, it makes sense that it is going to come with a higher price tag. If you can fit the Mammut brand into your budget, you will be pleased with the quality, versatility, design, and construction you see in their products.

Types of Climbing Harnesses

Climbing equipment in summer adventure park camp. Helmets and ha

There are a variety of different climbing styles, and each one of them comes with a specific type of harness that you should be using. Knowing the kind of harness that you should be using will provide you with optimal safety, weight distribution, and support during all of your climbing excursions.

Each type of harness is going to provide you with different features that are built-in for easy access to your tools and to help provide you with a high level of comfort. Padding is frequently used to help support your lumbar, which can become very achy when you are on a long climb. Additionally, you may see padding in the leg loops or in the strapping systems to try and ensure you don’t get pinched or end up with abrasions from coming in contact with the durable outer material.

If you are into a variety of different climbing activities, you may need to invest in a few different harness options. Knowing that there is a fairly significant amount of difference in these products will ensure that you don’t throw on your sport harness for a tough mountaineering adventure. These things are all important because they have to do with safety.

Climbing can be very dangerous, and make sure you have the correct equipment for the task at hand is imperative. Avoiding accidents while you enjoy climbing is easy enough to do as long as you invest the time in learning what you need. Additionally, you will need to invest the money into awesome gear. While that can be quite an investment, it will be worth it in the long run as you will get better longevity of use out of your equipment and the peace of mind that you will be safe on all of life’s excursions.

Gym or Sport Harnesses

Obviously, these are going to be the best climbing harnesses when you are in your local gym climbing the wall. Gym harnesses are stripped down and usually very light in weight. There are a variety of features that you will find on a harness of this style. The waist belt is generally made so that you can take it off and put it on very quickly. This is accomplished with the type of buckle used on these harnesses. You won’t see as many gear loops on these.

You don’t usually need as many gear loops because you don’t have much gear that you are using in the gym. The belay loops are traditionally thin on this type of harness to help keep the weight of it down. You also won’t find much adjustability in the leg loops on these types of harnesses. They really are very simple because that is all you are going to need when you head to the gym for a climbing session. Most climbers love the comfort level of these harnesses.

Traditional (Trad) Harnesses

Trad climbing is going to require a lot more gear, so a gym or a sport harness is not going to be able to handle the job. Trad harnesses are usually light in weight and quite flexible, but they offer more gear loops to accommodate your needs. They typically provide adjustable leg loops, a haul loop, gear loops, and one or two belay loop options. Most trad harness options will have at minimum four gear loops for all of your climbing accessories.

Many prefer the comfort in the waistbelt as they are typically padded heavily. This extra padding adds support to the lumbar area of your back. The extra padding is also suitable for hanging belays and multi-pitch climbing. Additionally, they are usually very good at distributing your weight and gear, so overall you will experience a more comfortable climb.

Ice Harnesses

Ice harnesses are very similar to traditional harness options, but they are made to withstand harsh cold climbs. They are best when scaling ice walls. You will typically see adjustable leg loops with this type of harness. Adjustability is very important with these types of harnesses, as you will likely be putting them over your winter clothes. This kind of harness is going to have several gear loops.

They are made to hold any winter gear you may require, including ice screws. They also usually sport ice clipper slots. Ice clipper slots will give you easy access to your ice tools. Not many harnesses offer ice clipper slots, but they are quite handy when climbing in icy conditions. If you are unfamiliar with ice clipper slots, you should try a harness that has the next time you go for a cold climb.

Once you have used ice clipper slots, you won’t have it any other way on your frigid adventures. Not only will you have ice clipper spaces, but they typically have an extra haul loop so you can carry more rope. This type of harness usually has extra padding in the lumbar area to improve your level of comfort. When you are comfortable climbing, you will be able to soar to new heights you never thought you could get to.

Mountaineering Harnesses

Mountaineering harnesses are also commonly referred to as Alpine Harnesses. They are the best when you like to climb in every season. You will typically get adjustable leg loops to accommodate any clothing you may be wearing. Additionally, the waistbelt is usually adjustable as well. This adjustability is going to make for a better fit on your leg and your waist.

The structure of the leg loops and waistbelt make this type of harness easy to put on and take off. You don’t usually need to carry as much gear because if you are mountaineering, you likely have a backpack with you full of the supplies you will need. Because of this, it is safe to expect that a mountaineering harness is going to have fewer gear loops. The best climbing harnesses in this class will use thing material.

This makes it easy to wear them under your pack while maintaining a high level of comfort. Additionally, the thin material will make it easy to store your harness if you don’t need to wear it the entire day. The haul loop, gear loops, and belay loop will also be made of thin material to keep the weight of the harness down and keep you more comfortable during long sessions.

While these are the main harness options that you will find on the market today, know that there are also specialty options out there. If you can’t figure out the best climbing harnesses for your preferred climbing style, it may be advantageous to talk to an instructor at your gym. They may be able to offer you guidance and help you choose the best climbing harnesses for your situation.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Best Climbing Harnesses

Close-up of climber with climbing equipment, tying knot on climbing harness, preparing for climbing.

What is the difference between loops on my rock climbing equipment?

Many people are confused when they start to hear about all the different loops that they find on their climbing equipment. Leg loops are going to be the loops that you put your legs though to help secure the harness to your body. The leg loops will play a role in your comfort and the ability for your harness to distribute weight evenly. A gear loop is going to give you space to attach your carabiners, cams, nuts, and quickdraws.

These gear loops are made from a variety of materials so they can support the weight of your gear as you climb. The gear loops material will vary based on the type of harness you are wearing and the type of equipment the gear loops will be toting. A haul loop is a piece of material at the back of the belt. The haul loop is sewn on and can support a decent amount of weight without sacrificing your comfort. You will use the haul loop to carry an extra rope with you on your climb.

There are a variety of reasons to keep an extra roe on your haul loop. In fact, most serious climbers won’t wear harnesses that don’t sport a haul loop for their extra rope. You may hear of other climbers using the haul loop for different accessories, but that is not the intended purpose of the haul loop. Some harness options will have two haul loop options, but that is not exceptionally common. These are the standard loops you will find on your harness.

Are there harness options for people who are overweight?

There are options out there for those that are struggling with their weight. You will be able to maintain a high level of comfort while you climb as long as you invest in the correct equipment. You may think that climbing won’t be comfortable if you are more significant than average, but that is simply untrue. You need to make sure to take your measurements and confirm that the chosen apparatus is rated to handle your weight. Once you have done that, you can start your climbing adventures.

Climbing can be a great way to build muscle and lose weight. It encourages your body to work hard, which will help you burn calories, gain muscle, and shed some of your extra weight. The more you stick with this sport, the more weight you will be able to lose. You may not feel the most comfortable when you start out, but as your weight dwindles, your confidence will sore, and your comfort levels will surely increase.

How frequently do you need to replace your harness?

This really depends on how often you are using it and where you are located during use. If you store it properly in a comfortable, temperature-controlled environment, you may not need to replace your harness for seven years. However, if you use it all the time and you expose it to the elements, you may need to replace it on a yearly basis to feel comfortable with the integrity of your harness. You should consider where you climb, the climbing conditions, and the durability of your gear.

These will all take part in helping you decipher when you need to replace your harness. Some brands offer material that will help you quickly realize when your gear needs to be replaced. They do this by adding color to the material that shows itself as the material breaks down. This feature provides comfort and peace of mind to users because they always know precisely when it is time to replace their fall gear.

How do I fit my harness so that it is safe and comfortable?

To put your harness on and ensure that it is going to keep you safe and comfortable, you will first need to loosen all of the adjustable straps. This includes the leg loops and the waistbelt. Next, you will step into it. You need to be cautious and double-check that the leg loops are not crossed. Additionally, you will want to check that the belay loop is flat and that the waistbelt is facing the correct position.

The waistbelt should sit near your belly-button, slightly above the hips. This ensures you won’t slip out of the harness if you find yourself inverted. Once you have the waistbelt in the correct position, you need to tighten it securely. It should not be so snug that it causes you significant discomfort. There should not be a space bigger than two fingers can slide into between your body and your harness.

Now that the waistbelt is situated, you can start to work on the leg loops. The exact placement of this part of the apparatus isn’t as critical as the placement of the waistbelt. It is more about comfort than positioning. They should not pinch or hurt you. Most people place them somewhat close to their groin and only allow a 2-finger gap between the loop and the leg.

When your leg loops are tight, the snug fit will enhance comfort levels while you are hanging. If you do, wear them tight, understand that it could negatively impact your range of motion. Lastly, you just need to double-check that all of your buckles are secure.

Conclusion

No matter what type of climbing you are set to participate in, having a quality harness is imperative. You want to stay safe and know that the harness you are wearing is going to keep you comfortable and distribute your weight evenly. Even weight distribution is critical in making sure you don’t have to combat painful pressure points and chaffing skin.

Sport climbing, mountaineering, and wall climbing will all require you to wear a harness to ensure you maintain high levels of safety. You will feel secure whether you are in a lightweight or heavy duty harness as long as you choose one of the best quality options available today. Choosing harnesses from top-rated brands will give you comfort and peace of mind the next time you head out for a climbing adventure.

Additionally, the best harnesses are going to allow you to take the gear you need and easily access that gear through the loops that are attached to the harness. Making sure to check these features out will enable you to make a great decision when it comes to the best climbing harnesses for your preferred type of climbing.

Editor’s Note

Many people don’t realize that there is a difference between different types of climbing and the harnesses that should be used with each. It is advantageous to make sure you understand the differences in climbing harnesses so you can stay safe and make it back to your family in one piece. Hopefully, this guide has enlightened you on climbing, harnesses, and accessories so you can make the best choice for your climbing needs.

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