Harnesses are clearly an essential part of every climber’s kit but as a woman, finding the right features and fit can still be a challenge. Those tested here are designed only for rock and the gym. Many manufacturers make two or more women’s models, but few make them versatile enough for ice climbing.
We found some to be thoughtfully constructed and well featured; four gear loops, adjustable leg loops, contoured waist and leg webbing. None tested here had ice clipper loops. It seems we’re all destined to own at least two harnesses if you climb all facets.
We tested these women’s specific harnesses on different body types, single and multi pitch climbs, and in the gym. We set out to test lightweight versions but ended up with a variety of different weights. While fit and comfort are first and foremost in a harness, especially for multi pitch climbing, features like two gear loops per side and adjustable leg loops were important toward our overall ratings.