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Recommendation for Climbing Harness for a Beginner

I’m just getting into climbing and I’m interested to hear your thoughts on good beginner harnesses/beginner kits. I was looking at the Black Diamond Momentum kit but I’m not sure if it’s for me.

5 Replies

The Black Diamond Momentum Kit is literally the best thing you can buy for a beginner kit and was already on my mind before I read the rest of your post. It comes with a chalk bag, chalk, ATC (belay device), carabiner, and of course, climbing harness. If you are still on edge about the purchase, you can try one on at REI. Most REI's have a rope set up to their ceiling so you can attach it to your harness and get a good feel for it. Another alternative is the Petzl Corax Climbing Kit. Happy climbing!


Depends on what kind of climbing you want to do.

I use a petzl Sama and love it. BD momentum is a great gym harness. Look at outdoorgearlab for reviews based on the type of climbing you plan on doing.


 "BD momentum is a great gym harness. " Really?  I have been climbing in a Momentum, exclusively trad, for some time now.  Works great.  I concur with the recommendation to check out outdoorgear lab.  There they rate the momentum for trad and sport and it is their "best bang for the buck."

Now for a real traditional beginning, start with a single strand around the waist, secured with a bowline.  That's how we tied in during the late 50's... Then came the swami seat, tied with one inch tubular webbing - a vast improvement. Just about any of today's rigs are absolutely amazing, whatever the venue....

Have fun!!


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I had the Petzl Corax before the BD Momentum I use now... The BD is incredibly more comfortable, but what also made a big difference for me was getting climbing specific pants. Pants with a seat designed to accommodate a harness made a massive difference as well.


Hello Ian

As already mentioned either of the Corax or the Momentum kits would be a good starting point and both will give you a lot of value.  I know folks with climbing experience in both harnesses and which they prefer seems about evenly split.  Like Hikermor, I started with a tied rope harness in an Army mountaineering school back in the 1970s and can attest that modern harnesses have come a long way in the last 45 years.

If possible, a visit to a store that stocks both harnesses while wearing the clothes you expect to climb in will be very helpful.  It would also let you see if you have a preference for which harness has adjustments that suit you and which "just feels better".

I'm assuming that whichever type of climbing you are starting out with that, for now at least, you will be with more experienced folks and using their ropes, cordage and hardware for now.   If so that's a very good thing as you can learn some without feeling like you need to buy everything at once.

Other than a good basic helmet and a harness I'd advise holding off for now on any climbing specific stuff like shoes, clothes, ropes and hardware until you have a clear need to satisfy.  And try out various stuff along the way if you can.  That will give you a better chance of making solid choices and of knowing what and how you want to climb and what your level of financial commitment will be.

You can climb top roping or many sport climbs just fine with a fairly basic kit and a good rope or two or you can drop thousands of dollars in gear so waiting until you know for sure what and why you want to expand your gear collection can really cut down on the final cost while ensuring that you have what you really need.

Good luck and I wish you much enjoyment in your new adventure.


Best regards to all,