Mountaineering Harness vs. Climbing Harness (A Comprehensive Guide)

You’re probably wondering what the difference is between a mountaineering harness and a climbing harness, right? Well, there isn’t much difference between the two activities. Some of the notable differences include weight, packability, and adjustable leg loops.

You need to understand the difference between a mountaineering harness and a climbing harness so that when you are shopping for a piece of gear, you don’t end up making the wrong choice.

Let us learn the differences between these two harnesses. Also, the article gives examples of different harness features suitable for various activities.

Mountaineering Harness

Usually, mountaineering is more about mountain traveling than climbing. It includes snow, ice, and some climbing that doesn’t necessarily aim at reaching a summit. In this case, some of the gears you wear for other climbing activities might not be the ideal choice for a mountaineering adventure.

Mountaineering Harness

Mountaineering harnesses should have easy-to-operate features. It has four or fewer gear loops to enable climbers to carry backpacks with ease compared to other harnesses. This harness also is lightweight and has easy-to-use buckles, which allow leg loops to be fully detached.

Generally, mountaineering harnesses offer all-season versatility. However, before you purchase a mountaineering harness, always check your needs.

Here is a list of some harnesses designed for Mountaineering:

1. Black Diamond couloir

The couloir harness is highly comfortable for any climber. This harness has speed buckles that allow you to take it off quickly; thus, you don’t have to remove your skis or crampons from time to time.

One of the best features of Diamond couloir is that it’s made of hydrophobic fibers, which enable it not to absorb water in snow travel.

2. Petzl Sitta

When it comes to navigating fast in the mountains, Petzl Sitta is what you’ll need. This is because a medium size weighs about 9.7 oz, and you’ll not get tired wearing it all day long.

Having two gear loops, you have enough space to rack up. And with two ice clippers slots, you can put some clippers on the harness to hold your tools. Additionally, the waist belt of this harness is lightweight and very durable.

3. Petzl Altitude Orange

Altitude orange is one harness you can wear comfortably throughout the day because it is lightweight and thin. It has four gear loops that provide enough space for all the equipment you’ll require to reach your destination.

What makes it more suitable are clips on the leg loops to open and close it, saving you the pain of having to take your feet off the ground to wear it or take it off. And best of all, it is bright orange making it safe for snow travel.

4. C.A.M.P USA Alpine Flash

Everything you’d probably need for alpine and ice climbing fits on this harness. It has five gear loops that provide the perfect space you’ll need for your adventure tools.

Alpine Flash is made of hydrophobic webbing, which allows it to stay lighter and drier even on snowy ascents. When it comes to packability, it can fit in your pack perfectly because it is lightweight.

5. Grivel Poseidon

Grivel is suitable for climbing snowy and wet areas. This is because it prevents saturation in wet conditions to keep your layers dry.

This harness has adjustable leg loops and a waist with two buckles, making it the best option for ice climbing, a single pitch route. With four gear loops and two ice clippers, it might not handle a lot of tools or screws.

Climbing Harness

Climbing harnesses come in many categories that include gym harnesses, trad harnesses, ice sport harnesses, and so on. A good climbing harness at least has four gear loops, a haul loop at the back, and adjustable leg loops with a buckle.

Climbing Harness

Apart from allowing climbers to move swiftly with minimal weight, a climbing harness ensures safety for climbers venturing out in the hinterlands. When purchasing this protective equipment, make sure it is fitting to avoid slipping out during a fall.

Moreover, it’s important to choose the correct harness that can last for some years. Let’s take a look at some of the climbing harnesses:

1. Edelrid Jay III

The Jay III model by Edelrid is one of the most affordable climbing harnesses. It is well-built and can be adjusted easily to fit you well.

The design of this harness is unique- it has a 3D mesh padding, ergonomic waist belt, and belay loops- which ensures your body is secure and balanced.

2. Mammut Ophir 4 Slide

Whether it is freezing winter or steaming hot summer, you can rest assured that the Mammut harness will take your climbing adventure to another level.

This model has a split webbing technology that reduces the harness’s weight making it lighter and increasing ventilation. Therefore, you’ll not need additional padding that will slow down your movement.

3. Misty Mountain Cadillac

Misty Mountain is one of the most reliable climbing gears you can invest in. Apart from its bulky look, it is well-built with remarkable features.

The harness has foam padding, which makes it comfortable and adjustable waist and leg loops. It also has six upturned gear loops for storing personal things and side slots for keeping your wall gear.

4. Metolius Safe Tech Deluxe

This climbing harness is the best when it comes to safety. The same goes for comfort and freedom of movement, for it has a fleece lining.

Metolius has a rough outside that makes it suitable for big walls and trad climbing. With an integrated adjustment system, you can easily adjust the distance between your waist and the leg loops. Moreover, its haul, belay loops, and haul are designed to handle heavy loads.

5. Petzl Sama

Petzl Sama will be a good choice if you are looking for a climbing harness suitable for both sports and trad climbing, rock climbing, or even gym bouldering.

Its elasticized leg loops and flexible waistband not only provide safety but will give you comfort. Petzl Sama has many front and back loops that allow you to enjoy climbing with no restriction.

Wrap Up

If you’re in a family of climbers or planning to join one, it’s important to know the difference between climbing harnesses and mountaineering harnesses. Usually, each harness is designated for a different type of climbing. With the above information, you’ll never make a mistake when purchasing gear for your climbing activities.

Calvin Rivers

Hey, I’m Calvin Rivers, a climbing veteran with 10+ years on crags and walls around the world. I can’t wait for you to explore our site and fall in love with the outdoors just like I have.

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