What Is The Difference Between Men’s And Women’s Climbing Harnesses

mens and womens climbing harness difference

When I was first looking at gearing up for climbing, I had to learn real quick about harnesses – and since I’m a woman, I wanted to know the difference between mens’ and women’s harnesses. I did a little bit of research online to figure out which was best for me, but I quickly found a lot of conflicting information.

Hopefully, this article will walk you through the difference between the two, so that you can confidently choose the right one for your needs!

Need recommendations?  Check out these best women’s climbing harness options.

How Are They The Same?

I wanted to get this point right out of the way in the beginning. They are the same in the way they work – they just fit different sized bodies.

Comparing Each Type Of Harness

mens climbing harness

  • Men’s – This is the harness that most men start with as they enter climbing. They will often have a large range of sizes available to accommodate various body types. The waistband on these harnesses, when properly adjusted, will fit like a belt around your waist, and they’ll have gear loops sewn onto them for you to hang your carabiners from so you can properly secure your rope.
  • Women’s – This is the harness that most women start with as they enter climbing. They will often have a smaller range of sizes available for women to accommodate various body types.

What Is The Difference Between Them?

womens climbing harnessFor the most part, they are almost the same with just a few small differences:

  • The space between the leg loops and waistline is a bit longer in a harness made for females. This allows for the curvature of your hips to fit into it a bit more comfortably.
  • Men’s harnesses are also generally larger in size to accommodate for the larger build of most men compared to women.
  • The gear loops on men’s harnesses tend to be at an angle where they’ll hang a little in front of you, while the loops on women’s harnesses tend to be perpendicular and hang straight down.
  • Leg loops are usually larger on the women’s harness because females are sometimes curvy.
  • Most women’s options (if not all that I have seen) also include a clever way for ladies to relieve themselves without having to take the entire harness off. Basically, it is a release system that easily disconnects the leg loops from the waist band.

Can Women Use A Men’s Climbing Harness?

I would recommend that you use a women’s harness if you are a female. If you are looking for equipment to use while climbing, I would suggest that women use the gear that is designed for them.

It’s up to you! I am not going to tell you what type of harness to buy or which one is the best – there isn’t a best for everyone.

I will say that if I were a petite woman with curves, it doesn’t seem like I would feel as comfortable in something made for men.

What’s Your Take?

Leave me a comment on your experiences with these harnesses!

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