Welcome!  Sign In  |   Register

Harnesses & Helmets

By Category

Helmets & Climbing Harnesses

EMS has a great selection of climbing protection helmets for men, women, and kids. Find the right protective gear for you and have a climbing adventure! MOREMORE

Climbing Protection

Choose from a wide range of harnesses for men and women from EMS’ selection of climbing protection gear. Climb with security from EMS. MOREMORE

Climbing Protection For the Whole Family

EMS supplies harnesses and helmets equipment for men, women and children. Take the whole family for a rock climbing adventure with performance safety gear taking care of you. BACKBACK

 
 

How to Choose Climbing Harnesses

So you're fresh off your first climb...scraped knees, wind burn, natural high...you've been bitten! Time to get some basic rock climbng gear, but where to start? At the EMS Climbing School, guide Joe Campolatano would have started the day by fitting you with a harness. Read on for Joe's advice on how to buy the right climbing harness for you.

Begin by asking yourself a few questions

What type of climbing seams to peek your interests? Where, and when will that climbing take place? Also, if your skills improve, what might you think you may want to try?

If you're choosing your first harness, you'll want to look for a multi-purpose, all-around harness. You can use them out on the rock top-roping as well as sport and gym climbing.

Other harnesses tend to specialize in a specific type of climbing, and will mention "big wall," long alpine mountain trips, or climbing competitions. These harnesses have special features, like minimal padding to save weight or extra padding for hauling gear.

Padding means comfort

Padding is all but standard on your all-around harness these days. It is in your better interest to have padding. Simple as that. Even the least active climber ends up hanging out in his or her harness every now and again.

Cost of climbing harnesses

It has been my experience that the differences between a $40 harness and an $80 harness may be difficult to see. You do not need to break the bank to get a safe harness. However, harnesses are tough and should last a while, so durability is often the difference between expensive and moderately-priced harnesses. Consider that you may be climbing in this thing for a few years before jumping at that small price tag.

Harness gear loops

By now you might have noticed loops of plastic or nylon hanging off the waist belt of the harnesses. These play a vital role in storing the equipment necessary climb. Storing your gear around your waist distributes the weight of bulky climbing equipment around the entire belt of the harness. This eliminates pressure points and adds to the organization of your gear.

Harness buckle performance

There are many things that divide modern harnesses. Buckles are a big separating characteristic. Standard buckles require the user to thread the waist belt through the buckle and double it back through itself. This is very important; many climbers have been severely injured by forgetting to double back their buckles.

Enter the speed buckle. These ingenious buckles are pre-double backed and only require the user to loosen and tighten the straps of the harness. If speed buckles are not threaded properly they will not stay up around the users hips. This is a comforting feeling when approaching your limits on a climb.

When you want adjustability

Are you the type of person that takes off 100% into any climb, and can't stand not trying a new aspect of it? If so, go for "adjustable" leg loops that you can climb well into the fall in. Try to be in the middle of the adjustment range of your harness. That way you can try climbing ice in the winter, and still synch the harness down after a summer of sweating pounds off. For the waistbelt, secure and double back your buckle for a snug fit; the right size belt will have a few inches of webbing coming out of the buckle.

Types of climbing harnesses

Most harnesses fall into two basic categories: Seat harnesses and full-body harnesses. For an adult engaging in conventional rock and ice climbing; however, we are only concerned with the former. Seat harnesses have come a long way since the days that they were tied out of nylon webbing. The popular seat harness usually features a padded foam waist belt, threaded buckles, and leg loops joined together in front with a belay loop.

Eastern Mountain Sports also carries women's and kids' harnesses (a better fit means a more comfortable, safer climb). You'll also note the "chest" harness; this is designed for climbs on glaciers or rocks when you're turned upside down.

Selecting the right size

Most climbers first experience the mountains in the muggy confines of the summer, and often fall into the trap of sizing their new harness to small. Even though it fit over your faded cut-off jean shorts perfectly, making you look like the climbing hero you are, you forgot about how it will fit over more clothes when the weather turns cool.

Try on the most clothing you expect to wear climbing, and fit to the middle of the waist and leg loop size range. When you try on a harness, be sure it's not too small, or you won't be able to move. It needs to be snug enough, however, that it doesn't slide over your hips or up your ribcage. Snug, but not uncomfortable, is the rule.

Know you're safe

Harnesses, just like any other piece of climbing equipment, must pass rigorous testing before being let out into the market place. The two certifying agencies are the UIAA and CE. It is VERY important that your harness is tested by one of these agencies. Eastern Mountain Sports does not sell ANY harnesses that are not certified by one, or more often, both of these organizations. Bottom line, it's not hard to find a harness at EMS that will be safe.

What else to consider

As well as a harness, you'll need to own your own climbing shoes. Other starter gear will include a belay device, locking carabiner, and perhaps a chalk bag and a helmet.

But a harness is a huge start. Slip your new baby over your scraped knees, and prepare for the vertical world ahead. Your new harness is an extension of your body. I personally like to bathe in mine. You know just for that extra symbiosis that exists between a climber and his (or her) harness. Be safe!


PETZL Elios Climbing Helmet - Eastern Mountain Sports
PETZL Elios Climbing Helmet
PRICE: $64.95
SALE: $51.96
PETZL Corax Climbing Harness, Blue - Eastern Mountain Sports
PETZL Corax Climbing Harness, Blue
PRICE: $64.95
SALE: $51.96
PETZL Adjama Climbing Harness, 2013 - Eastern Mountain Sports
PETZL Adjama Climbing Harness, 2013
PRICE: $74.95
SALE: $59.96
PETZL Corax Climbing Harness, Yellow - Eastern Mountain Sports
PETZL Corax Climbing Harness, Yellow
PRICE: $64.95
SALE: $51.96
PETZL Sama Climbing Harness, 2013 - Eastern Mountain Sports
PETZL Sama Climbing Harness, 2013
PRICE: $64.95
SALE: $51.96
PETZL Corax Climbing Kit - Eastern Mountain Sports
PETZL Corax Climbing Kit
PRICE: $110.00
SALE: $88.00
PETZL Meteor Climbing Helmet - Eastern Mountain Sports
PETZL Meteor Climbing Helmet
PRICE: $99.95
SALE: $79.96
PETZL Calidris Climbing Harness - Eastern Mountain Sports
PETZL Calidris Climbing Harness
PRICE: $106.00
SALE: $84.80
BLACK DIAMOND Half Dome Climbing Helmet - Eastern Mountain Sports
BLACK DIAMOND Half Dome Climbing Helmet
PRICE: $59.95
SALE: $47.96
PETZL Women's Luna Climbing Harness, 2013 - Eastern Mountain Sports
PETZL Women's Luna Climbing Harness, 2013
PRICE: $74.95
SALE: $59.96
PETZL Kids' Simba Climbing Harness - Eastern Mountain Sports
PETZL Kids' Simba Climbing Harness
PRICE: $63.95
SALE: $51.16
PETZL Vizion Face Shield - Eastern Mountain Sports
PETZL Vizion Face Shield
PRICE: $54.95
SALE: $43.96
PETZL Sirocco Climbing Helmet - Eastern Mountain Sports
PETZL Sirocco Climbing Helmet
PRICE: $130.00
SALE: $104.00
CAMP Flint Climbing Kit - Eastern Mountain Sports
CAMP Flint Climbing Kit
PRICE: $87.95
PETZL Hirundos Climbing Harness - Eastern Mountain Sports
PETZL Hirundos Climbing Harness
PRICE: $84.95
SALE: $67.96
PETZL Women's Elia Climbing Helmet - Eastern Mountain Sports
PETZL Women's Elia Climbing Helmet
PRICE: $64.95
SALE: $51.96
SINGING ROCK Profi Worker Easy Lock Harness - Eastern Mountain Sports
SINGING ROCK Profi Worker Easy Lock Harness
PRICE: $219.95
PETZL Women's Selena Climbing Harness, 2013 - Eastern Mountain Sports
PETZL Women's Selena Climbing Harness, 2013
PRICE: $64.95
SALE: $51.96
CAMP Flint Climbing Harness - Eastern Mountain Sports
CAMP Flint Climbing Harness
PRICE: $54.95
SINGING ROCK Timber II Arbor Harness - Eastern Mountain Sports
SINGING ROCK Timber II Arbor Harness
PRICE: $299.95
CAMP Air CR Climbing Harness - Eastern Mountain Sports
CAMP Air CR Climbing Harness
PRICE: $84.95
PETZL Superavanti Caving Harness - Eastern Mountain Sports
PETZL Superavanti Caving Harness
PRICE: $94.95
SALE: $75.96
CAMP Armour Climbing Helmet - Eastern Mountain Sports
CAMP Armour Climbing Helmet
PRICE: $59.95
CAMP Jasper CR3 Climbing Harness - Eastern Mountain Sports
CAMP Jasper CR3 Climbing Harness
PRICE: $69.95
SINGING ROCK Technic Steel Speed NFPA Harness - Eastern Mountain Sports
SINGING ROCK Technic Steel Speed NFPA Harness
PRICE: $229.95
SINGING ROCK Tarzan Light Harness - Eastern Mountain Sports
SINGING ROCK Tarzan Light Harness
PRICE: $189.95
SINGING ROCK Expert II Easy Lock Harness - Eastern Mountain Sports
SINGING ROCK Expert II Easy Lock Harness
PRICE: $279.95
EDELWEISS Hercules Evo Full-Body Climbing Harness - Eastern Mountain Sports
EDELWEISS Hercules Evo Full-Body Climbing Harness
PRICE: $219.95
EDELWEISS Vulcain Jack Full-Body Harness - Eastern Mountain Sports
EDELWEISS Vulcain Jack Full-Body Harness
PRICE: $139.95
PETZL Fractio Caving Harness - Eastern Mountain Sports
PETZL Fractio Caving Harness
PRICE: $117.00
SALE: $93.60
BLACK DIAMOND Vector Climbing Helmet - Eastern Mountain Sports
BLACK DIAMOND Vector Climbing Helmet
PRICE: $99.95
SALE: $79.96
MAMMUT El Cap Climbing Helmet - Eastern Mountain Sports
MAMMUT El Cap Climbing Helmet
PRICE: $69.95
CAMP Harlequin Climbing Harness - Eastern Mountain Sports
CAMP Harlequin Climbing Harness
PRICE: $49.95
PETZL Ecrin Vent Plugs - Eastern Mountain Sports
PETZL Ecrin Vent Plugs
PRICE: $8.50
SALE: $6.80
BLACK DIAMOND Momentum AL Climbing Harness - Eastern Mountain Sports
BLACK DIAMOND Momentum AL Climbing Harness
PRICE: $45.95
SALE: $36.76
BLACK DIAMOND Women's Primrose AL Climbing Harness - Eastern Mountain Sports
BLACK DIAMOND Women's Primrose AL Climbing Harness
PRICE: $45.95
SALE: $36.76
BLACK DIAMOND Alpine Bod Climbing Harness - Eastern Mountain Sports
BLACK DIAMOND Alpine Bod Climbing Harness
PRICE: $39.95
SALE: $31.96
BLACK DIAMOND Momentum SA Climbing Harness - Eastern Mountain Sports
BLACK DIAMOND Momentum SA Climbing Harness
PRICE: $54.95
SALE: $43.96
MAMMUT Ophir 3 Slide Climbing Harness Crag Bag - Eastern Mountain Sports
MAMMUT Ophir 3 Slide Climbing Harness Crag Bag
PRICE: $89.95
BLACK DIAMOND Wiz Kid Climbing Harness - Eastern Mountain Sports
BLACK DIAMOND Wiz Kid Climbing Harness
PRICE: $44.95
SALE: $35.96

Sign-up for our email and get
special savings, advance sale
notice and more.

Can't decide what to buy?
Let them decide!

Buy Now

Choose from all brands
site wide: