Home > Climbing

The Best Climbing Harnesses for Women in 2024

Whether you climb sport, trad, or alpine peaks, or love clipping draws in the gym, we've got you covered. Send your next project with one of the best women's climbing harnesses of 2024.

Best Climbing Harnesses for Women
Support us! GearJunkie may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

At first glance, harnesses may seem simple, but their specific components make a world of difference for a climber’s needs and preferences.

Rest assured, these top picks from our expert gear testers will help you feel safe and secure while also meeting your climbing objectives. We’re here to help you find the best climbing harness for your specific needs.

Our testers include an American Mountain Guides Association-certified rock guide, an intro-to-outdoor rock climbing guide, a former Yosemite Mountain Guide, and a skilled recreational climber. All told, we tested every major women-specific climbing harness on the market.

While testing, our team of experts carefully considered fit, features, durability, and overall value. These harnesses supported our cams, swings, rappels, belays, and rests on a range of North American rock from Canada to Colorado and all over California. Our final list of recommendations represents hundreds of pitches climbed, dozens of hours of hanging at multi-pitch belay stations, and countless after-work gym sessions.

Below, we outline our favorite climbing harnesses for women in a variety of unique categories. If you need more help deciding, check out our comparison chart and read our buyer’s guide for a full rundown of what to consider when purchasing a harness.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article on December 8, 2023 to include new insight into our testing process and in-depth information on climbing harness parts and features.

The Best Women’s Climbing Harnesses of 2024

The Best Climbing Harnesses for Women in 2024

Best Overall

Black Diamond Solution Harness


  • Weight 11 oz.
  • Best for All around climbing, gym climbing, beginners
  • Key features Fixed leg loops, simple no-frills design
Product Badge The Best Climbing Harnesses for Women in 2024


  • Good value
  • Versatile
  • Durable


  • Lacks specialty features
  • Not ideal for long hanging belays
Best Budget Harness

Black Diamond Momentum


  • Weight 10.7 oz.
  • Key features Adjustable leg loops, roomy gear loops, great price
  • Best for Sport, trad, gym climbing
The Best Climbing Harnesses for Women in 2024


  • Affordable
  • Large, durable gear loops
  • Simple, straightforward design


  • Could use more cushion on the lumbar
Best for Beginners

Petzl Luna


  • Weight 16.6 oz.
  • Key features Adjustable leg loops, plentiful gear capacity
  • Best for Sport and gym climbing
The Best Climbing Harnesses for Women in 2024


  • Easy to pull on with a nice, big waist buckle
  • Comfortable padding on waist and leg loops
  • Quick-release leg loops


  • Not the lightest harness
  • Small, cord-constructed gear loops more prone to abrasion
Best for Ice Climbing and Mountaineering

Petzl Sitta Harness


  • Weight 9 oz.
  • Key features Low total weight, easily packable, fixed leg loops
  • Best for Ice or sport climbing, mountaineering
The Best Climbing Harnesses for Women in 2024


  • Ultralight
  • Extremely packable
  • Large gear loops and slots for ice tools


  • Very expensive
  • Nonadjustable leg loops
  • Specialized
Best for Multipitch Climbing

Edelrid Helia


  • Weight 13.9 oz.
  • Key features Removable snack/phone storage bag, adjustable leg loops, well-padded and comfortable
  • Best for Trad, multipitch climbing
The Best Climbing Harnesses for Women in 2024


  • Strategic, comfortable padding placement
  • Haul loop is spacious and durable
  • Removable zippered bag for stashing essentials


  • Bulky, not a good choice for sport climbing
  • Front gear loops are slightly smaller than back gear loops
  • Padding of waist belt interferes with space on gear loops
  • Expensive
Best for Big Walls

Metolius Safe Tech Deluxe


  • Weight 1 lb., 4 oz.
  • Key features High strength gear and haul loops, wide padded hip belt, dual belay loops
  • Best for Trad, multipitch, big wall climbing
The Best Climbing Harnesses for Women in 2024


  • Every component has a strength rating of 10 kN
  • Double belay loop for less clutter belaying and rappelling
  • Comfortable padding
  • Made in the USA


  • Old-school, double-back buckle
  • Bulky
  • Heavy
Best of the Rest

Black Diamond Women’s airNET Harness


  • Weight 8 oz.
  • Key features Load distributing airNET technology, low weight, small gear loops, fixed leg loops
  • Best for High-end sport climbing
The Best Climbing Harnesses for Women in 2024


  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Freedom of movement and breathability
  • “Barely there” feeling


  • Expensive
  • Non-adjustable leg loops
  • Not comfortable for hanging in
  • Highly specialized

Mammut Ophir 3 Slide


  • Weight 12.3 ounces
  • Key features Adjustable leg loops, flexible gear loops, split-webbing construction
  • Best for Sport, trad, ice, and gym climbing
The Best Climbing Harnesses for Women in 2024


  • Extremely strong haul loop
  • Two-part webbing construction provides support and comfort
  • Fabric of tie-in points changes color when worn down


  • Could use more length in the height of the back padding for support

Petzl Selena


  • Weight 13.8 oz.
  • Key features Fixed leg loops, comfortable contoured waist belt
  • Best for Sport climbing, gym climbing
The Best Climbing Harnesses for Women in 2024


  • Light
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to use


  • Nonadjustable leg loops
  • Smaller gear loops than other models

Edelrid Autana


  • Weight 10.3 oz.
  • Key features Adjustable leg loops, five gear loops, ice screw clips, low weight
  • Best for Sport, gym, ice climbing
The Best Climbing Harnesses for Women in 2024


  • Made entirely with bluesign-certified materials
  • Adjustable leg loops
  • Five gear loops and two ice screw attachment points
  • Lightweight


  • Exterior of harness susceptible to abrasion over time
  • Cord-constructed gear loops also susceptible to abrasion

Edelrid Jayne


  • Weight 12.7 oz.
  • Key features Adjustable leg loops, movable waist padding
  • Best for Sport, gym climbing
The Best Climbing Harnesses for Women in 2024


  • Made with Bluesign-certified materials
  • Comfortable
  • Sliding waist belt for adjustability


  • Only four gear loops
  • Small haul loop with low strength rating
  • A bit bulky

Women’s Climbing Harness Comparison Chart

HarnessPriceWeightKey FeaturesBest for
Black Diamond Solution$8011.64 oz.Fixed leg loops, women’s specific rise and fitSport, trad, alpine climbing
Black Diamond Momentum $6510.7 oz.Adjustable leg loops, roomy gear loops, great priceSport, trad, gym climbing
Petzl Luna$9016.6 oz.Adjustable leg loops, plentiful gear capacitySport and gym climbing
Petzl Sitta$2009 oz.Low total weight, easily packable, fixed leg loopsIce or sport climbing, mountaineering
Edelrid Helia$14013.9 oz.Removable snack/phone storage bag, adjustable leg loops, well-padded and comfortableTrad climbing, multipitch climbing
Metolius Safe Tech Deluxe$1401 lb., 4 oz.High strength gear and haul loops, wide padded hip belt, dual belay loopsTrad, multipitch, big wall climbing
Black Diamond Women’s airNET Harness$1708 oz.Load distributing airNET technology, low weight, small gear loops, fixed leg loopsHigh-end sport climbing
Mammut Ophir 3 Slide$7012.3 oz.Adjustable leg loops, flexible gear loops, split-webbing constructionSport, trad, ice, and gym climbing
Petzl Selena$8013.8 oz.Fixed leg loops, comfortable contoured waist beltSport climbing, gym climbing
Edelrid Autana$9010.3 oz.Adjustable leg loops, five gear loops, ice screw clips, low weightSport, gym, ice climbing
Edelrid Jayne$7012.7 oz.Adjustable leg loops, movable waist paddingSport climbing, gym climbing
We put these harnesses through their paces in several dreamy destinations, including Ten Sleep, Wyo.; (photo/Miya Tsudome)

How We Tested Women’s Harnesses

Miya Tsudome is one of the primary gear testers of this review. A seasoned gear reviewer, she uses her decade of climbing experience and background as a climbing guide for the Yosemite Mountaineering School to help you make the most informed purchasing decisions for your climbing harness needs.

Living in Bishop, Calif., on the flanks of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Miya spends all of her free time in a harness — whether that be sport climbing in the Owens River Gorge, trad climbing in nearby Yosemite Valley, or alpine climbing in the High Sierra. Miya has world-class climbing of every stripe at her fingertips — the perfect proving ground to try every harness on the market and separate the wheat from the chaff.

She and the other testers on this review spent weeks assessing the comfort, adjustability, fit, weight, and features of all 11 harnesses in this review to help you make the most informed decision for your next climbing harness purchase. Overall, we’re confident these are the best climbing harnesses for women.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Climbing Harness

All body types are unique and have diverse proportions. One climber’s waist might be narrow or boxy while the same person’s quads are built-out or straight. Harnesses don’t come in “one size fits all,” especially the harnesses without adjustable leg loops. Therefore, it’s best to go to a store and try on a variety of harnesses before making your purchase, so you can be sure to find one that fits your body type best.

As you choose a harness, consider selecting one that’s fully adjustable like the Black Diamond Momentum, Petzl Luna, or the Metolius Safe Tech if you plan on climbing in various weather conditions and environments where you may want to add or subtract layers.

Sport climbers can get away with smaller gear loops, but you’ll need more space for a rack if you want to tackle long traditional climbs; (photo/Miya Tsudome)

Adjustable leg loops can help accommodate layers for cold-weather climbing, and also allow you to dial in the fit and feel of your harness to just the way you like it.

While some people might like snug leg loops, others will prefer them to be looser around their thighs for comfort and mobility. Again, this is all a matter of personal preference, so trying before you buy becomes that much more important.

What Makes a Climbing Harness Women’s-Specific?

Very often, women have uniquely different body shapes than men, which is why many harnesses mostly come in both women’s and men’s versions. Women’s waists tend to be narrower than their hips, with a longer rise between their waist and legs.

Men’s models tend to be geared toward straighter bodies, and those harnesses will sit closer to the hips as a result. The key to finding the right harness for you is to evaluate your body type. If you have a more narrow, straight torso, a men’s harness might actually fit you better. If your body type is more hourglass in shape, then a women’s harness is designed just for you.

Other features that make a harness more female-friendly are easily detachable leg loops, as found in the Petzl Luna, Sitta, and Selena, as well as the Edelrid Helia, Jayne, and Autana. With a quick-deploy buckle, you can detach the leg loops and take a squat to use the bathroom without having to take off your whole harness. This is especially nice when on a multipitch climb where taking off your harness is not an option for safety reasons.

Women’s waists tend to be narrower than men’s, while their thighs tend to be larger. This is another thing to consider when purchasing a harness, because harnesses without adjustable leg loops might fit great in the waist but be too small around the thighs, depending on your body type. This is another reason why it’s best to try before you buy.

Different Harnesses for Different Styles of Climbing

Another thing to consider before you buy a new harness is what style of climbing you will mostly participate in. Harnesses vary widely in their weight and features, making some more suitable for certain types of climbing than others.

A female climber in a lightweight sport climbing harness
A sport climbing harness needs to be comfortable. While hanging belays are uncommon, hanging around and working difficult routes is the M.O. for many climbers; (photo/Miya Tsudome)

Sport Climbing

If you are primarily a sport climber, then you will want a lighter, more minimalist harness, as you only need enough space on your gear loops for quick draws, and don’t want to be weighed down when you are going for your hard redpoint attempts.

The lightest harnesses we tested are the Black Diamond airNET and the Petzl Sitta, which are good choices for the most serious sport climbers. But the Black Diamond Solution, Petzl Selena, and Edelrid Autana are all great sport climbing harness options as well.

Trad Climbing

You will inevitably be carrying a lot more gear on your harness when trad climbing versus sport climbing, and therefore it is a good idea to get a harness with big, durable gear loops, with five loops instead of four being preferable, and a harness that is comfortable and supportive.

The Black Diamond Momentum is a great entry-level trad climbing harness, with its rigid, plastic-coated gear loops that are durable and abrasion-resistant. The Edelrid Helia and the Metolius Safe Tech are also excellent choices for the psyched multipitch trad climber, with the Helia having five gear loops for ultimate gear racking and a pouch for storing essentials on your waist.

The Safe Tech has all its components strength rated up to 10 kN, making it the safest harness in the lineup and therefore great for big wall trad or aid climbing.

Gym Climbing

If you find yourself more of an indoor plastic grabber, a beginner climber, or a top rope hero, then it’s best to buy a harness that is inexpensive and easy to use. You won’t need the frills of ice screw attachments, haul loops, or double belay loops. Instead, look for a comfortable, functional harness like the Black Diamond Momentum, Petzl Luna or Selena, or Edelrid Jayne.

These harnesses come at a lower price point, are comfortable, and are well-equipped to stay in the gym or go to the crag. Until you need a more specialized harness, any of the above options will do just the trick.

Ice Climbing or Mountaineering

Lastly, if you prefer cold-weather or big mountain pursuits, there are harnesses out there that might be better suited to your specialty than others. You want a harness that is lightweight and packable, as you will already be carrying and wearing more gear.

You also want a harness that has attachments for ice screws or loops for ice tools, a good haul loop for extra gear or a tagline, and a harness that is flexible enough to move well with your body when you are wearing bulky layers.

Petzl Sitta
The Petzl Sitta is a remarkably lightweight harness; (photo/Miya Tsudome)

The Petzl Sitta is our top choice in this category, as it meets all the above requirements, plus it’s light enough to also function as a great sport climbing harness, justifying its high price tag.

Parts of a Climbing Harness

The basic parts of every climbing harness are the waist loop, leg loops, belay loop, and gear loops. Every harness on our list includes these fundamental features, no matter which climbing discipline it’s designed for. Beyond the essentials, harnesses may also have additional features such as a haul loop and ice clipper slots.

Waist and Leg Loops

The waist loop of a climbing harness should fit snugly around your waist and sit just above your hip bones. Most waist loops can be adjusted using a system of webbing and buckles. Many harnesses come with a similar buckle adjustment system on each leg loop.

Harnesses with fixed leg loops are usually built for high-end sport climbing. It’s very important that your waist and leg loops fit properly, and we recommend trying a harness on before purchasing.

Belay Loop

The belay loop is made of very strong nylon or Dyneema webbing and connects the waist loop to the leg loops. While belaying or rappelling, this loop is used to attach yourself to the rope and the greater climbing system.

Lightweight harnesses for sport climbing or mountaineering will have thinner belay loops, while all-around and trad climbing harnesses will have thicker loops. Many big-wall harnesses, like the Metolius Safe Tech, include two belay loops for extra versatility. Because your belay loop is a key part of the climbing system, you should check it regularly for wear.

climbing harness
The joys of pristine limestone; (photo/Miya Tsudome)

Gear Loops

Every harness will include at least two gear loops where you can conveniently hang items including quickdraws, cams, a jacket, a water bottle, and so on. The more gear-intensive and technical the climbing, the more gear loops you’ll need.

A harness with fewer than four gear loops is a specialty item and is probably designed for high-end sport climbing or mountaineering. Most all-around and entry-level harnesses come with four gear loops, which is plenty for gym climbing and single-pitch climbing.

For multipitch climbing, the addition of a fifth gear loop or haul loop is often useful. Big-wall climbing requires lots of gear, and many big-wall harnesses have more than four gear loops.

Haul Loop

A haul loop is a small attachment point located at the back of a climbing harness. This feature is not necessary for gym climbing or single-pitch climbing.

For multipitch or big-wall climbing, look for a haul loop rated to full strength so you can use it to haul heavy loads. While actively climbing, a haul loop can be a convenient place to store an extra layer or a water bottle.

Ice Clipper Slots

Harnesses with ice clipper slots are specifically designed for ice climbing. They’re primarily used to carry ice screws.

coros vertix 2
Cams and gear racked on a well-worn harness; (photo/ Eric Phillips)

Materials and Construction

As of 2024, climbing harnesses have evolved into lightweight, comfortable, and exceptionally strong pieces of gear. Still, as new materials and technology come to the forefront, harnesses continue to improve. In today’s market, there are two primary types of harness construction: foam and split webbing.

Foam Harnesses

Foam harnesses are built on a single piece of high-strength webbing embedded in layers of cushy foam. While the webbing gives this kind of harness its load-bearing ability, the foam provides support and comfort.

A well-constructed foam harness effectively disperses your weight while falling or hanging. Foam offers ample padding, and it is still the standard for harnesses built for comfort, including most entry-level and big-wall harnesses. On this list, the Petzl Selena is a great foam harness.

However, foam and webbing construction does have some disadvantages. Foam is an insulator and does not breathe well. In warm weather, these harnesses can feel hot and sweaty.

Foam also wears out over time, and the more you climb in it, the less comfortable it will become. For experienced sport and trad climbers, foam harnesses are no longer the best option on the market.

Split Webbing Harnesses

Though foam and webbing harnesses have been the standard for several decades, more and more climbers are turning to split webbing harnesses.

Instead of a single piece of webbing covered by foam, split webbing harnesses feature a web-like matrix of high-strength materials. By spreading out the load-bearing materials, these harnesses are able to distribute pressure more evenly.

On split webbing harnesses, very little padding is required to create a comfortable fit. Split webbing harnesses tend to last longer than foam options, and many climbers find they offer a comfort advantage too.

The tradeoff is split webbing harnesses are considerably more expensive. However, split webbing is clearly the future of harness technology, and many of our favorite harnesses fit into this category. The Black Diamond airNET is a high-quality split webbing harness.

Harness Sizing

It’s very important that your climbing harness is properly fitted. Ultimately, the best way to find a good fit is to try a harness on before purchasing. Every harness and every person has a unique shape and dimensions, and the process of identifying the perfect match can involve some trial and error.

A properly fitted harness will feel snug and sit just above the hips. The harness should be tight but not uncomfortably so. It’s okay to be able to fit a finger or two between your body and the harness.

The leg loops should sit semi-snugly around your mid-thigh. It’s good to maintain a little wiggle room in your leg loops, as they can cut off circulation if they are too tight. While all harnesses include adjustable waist loops, not all include adjustable leg loops.

If you plan to climb in alpine conditions where you’ll need to change your lower body layers often, adjustable and/or removable leg loops are a must. Leg loops come with thin elastic straps that attach to the waist loop along the backside of the thighs. These are often releasable for easy bathroom breaks.


Depending on what kind of climbing you do — and how often you do it — a harness can last anywhere from a few months to multiple years. Because sport climbing tends to involve less contact between your harness and the rock, sport harnesses can be relatively thin.

Trad and aid climbing involve techniques such as offwidth and chimneying, which require direct contact between your body and the rock. Most trad and aid harnesses are made from burly materials. For example, the Black Diamond airNET is built with an extra abrasion-resistant outer material.

Though the ultralight innovations sweeping the climbing market are exciting, it’s important to remember lighter materials do generally come with a decrease in durability. If you choose to buy a super low-profile model, you should also be aware it probably won’t last as long as more robust options.

Climbing Harness Review
Testing harnesses in Colorado; (photo/Eric Phillips)

When to Retire Your Harness

Just like a climbing rope, a harness should be regularly inspected for signs of wear. Pay extra attention to the weight-bearing components, including the tie-in points, belay loop, waist loop, and leg loops. Look carefully for fraying, fuzziness, or any signs of abrasions. The belay loop or tie-in points are usually the first parts of a harness to wear out.

If you’re not sure whether your harness needs to be retired, look up the manufacturer’s instructions for care and maintenance. Generally, we advise conservative decisions regarding whether a harness is still safe to use. If you have doubts about the condition of your harness, purchase a replacement.


Whether you’re wearing it or hauling it in your pack, you’re going to spend a lot of time carrying your harness around. Lightweight harnesses are generally associated with increased performance.

For entry-level climbers, weight is not as important as comfort. However, for climbers working to push themselves and improve — especially in the sport climbing discipline — minimal weight is preferred.

Though lightweight harnesses work great for sport climbing and mountaineering, other disciplines call for something a little heavier. Big wall harnesses with their numerous gear loops and maximal comfort are rightfully heavy.

On this list, we’ve included incredibly light harnesses like the Black Diamond airNET, which weighs 9.2 ounces. On the other end of the spectrum, we also recommend the thick and burly Metolius Safe Tech Deluxe, which weighs well over a pound.


Climbing harnesses vary significantly in price, and it’s a good idea to determine your budget as you shop around. Generally, entry-level and all-around harnesses are the most affordable, and good options are available for around $60.

Mountaineering harnesses tend to be on the cheaper side too, as they’re minimal and don’t boast fancy features or elaborate construction. On the more expensive end of the spectrum, top-of-the-line sport climbing harnesses can cost well over $150.

men's and women's climbing harness
Women’s harnesses typically have a different shape than men’s harnesses; (photo/Austin Beck-Doss)


What is the difference between women’s and men’s harnesses?

Men and women have different body shapes and many harnesses are made to accommodate those differences. Women’s-specific harnesses will typically have a narrower waist belt and a longer distance between the waist belt and leg loops.

This allows the harness to sit higher on the waist, whereas a men’s harness will sit closer to the hips. Women’s-specific harnesses will also typically come in different color schemes than men’s-specific harnesses. Depending on your body type, you should buy a harness that fits you best, regardless of gender.

How should a climbing harness fit a woman?

A climbing harness should fit a woman snugly around the waist, above the hips. This is because women tend to have a lower center of gravity than men, and a harness is the safest and most secure when it fits well around the waist.

Leg loops should be snug but not overly loose or overly tight. This provides the most support and mobility for comfort and safety.

How do I know what size climbing harness to get?

The best way to determine what size climbing harness to get is to try one on in a store. Climbing harnesses come in all shapes and sizes, and one brand’s size small is not another brand’s size small. You can also look up the harness’s specs on each brand’s website, where measurements are typically listed.

Taking your own measurements into account, you will be able to determine what size you might want to buy. Another thing to consider is what type of climbing you will be doing. If you are doing any ice climbing or mountaineering, or climbing in variable weather or in different seasons, you might want to size up to accommodate extra layers.

Subscribe Now

Get adventure news and gear reviews in your inbox!

Join Our GearJunkie Newsletter

Get adventure news and gear reviews in your inbox!