by Roger

April 2, 2020

Rappelling Harness vs. Climbing Harness

Figuring out the rappelling harness vs climbing harness debate? Well, rock climbing and rappelling are really two different sides of the same coin, but they are not the same thing.

Rappelling involves going down the cliff, whereas rock climbing involves going up. However, there is a bit more to it than that, and you really cannot do one of these things without knowing how to do the other.

Let’s first talk about what rock climbing is and what rappelling is, and then we can figure out this whole rappelling harness vs climbing harness issue.

Just to provide you with a little hint here, there might in fact not be any difference between the two at all! In case you are wondering which harness to buy - the one for climbing or the one for rappelling.

What Climbing Harness Should I Buy?

So, there you have it, there is actually not a single difference between rappelling harness vs climbing harness.

The only difference is that rappelling is going down while climbing is going up. Just ensure that you have a high-quality harness that fits right and is in good condition.

ROCK CLIMBING

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is of course a sport that involves climbing up a rock face or cliff, but also involves climbing down on occasion. It is a very demanding sport.

This is true physically, because to rock climb you have to be in peak physical condition, and it requires a whole lot of mental toughness. There are actually about a dozen different types or styles of rock climbing. 

There is also the fact of that of these rock climbing types, the vast majority use a climbing harness. Some people do free climbing, but of course, this is extremely risky.

TOP 3 Climbing and Rappelling Harnesses

TOP Harnesses

Product

Buy Strings

Rating


PETZL - CORAX, Versatile and Adjustable Harness
X XBEN Rock Climbing Harness
Black Diamond Momentum Harness

Rappelling

Rappelling, unlike rock climbing, is the downward motion off a cliff, or in other words, you are lowering yourself down a rock face.

Most rock climbers who get to the top also need to come down, and for this, most will just use the climbing harness. Now, let’s go over a very important point here. There is no difference between the rappelling and climbing harness.

Yes, they are the exact same thing, with the only difference being whether you are going up or down. Ok, so the fact of the matter is that the rappelling harness vs climbing harness debate is indeed pointless because they are the same thing.

However, with that said, to ensure that you are safe and secure, you still want to get the right harness for the job.

1) Black Diamond Momentum Harness

If you prefer simplicity, then the Momentum harness from Black Diamond is surely a candidate in the category of the best climbing harness, with the added benefit of it being made by a manufacturer with a track record of producing quality climbing equipment for over 60 years.

Black Diamond Momentum Harness

Getting the Right Climbing and Rappelling Harness

So, let’s talk about some of the most important considerations to keep in mind when purchasing a climbing or rappelling harness.

These are factors that you will want to pay close attention to when debating the rappelling harness vs climbing harness.

More Product Reviews

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We review three climbing harnesses specifically design for men.

2

We review three climbing harnesses specifically design for kids.

The Material

First, you want to pay attention to what the harness is made of. It absolutely needs to be made of very strong and durable materials.

The best and most commonly used material for climbing and rappelling harnesses is nylon, as it is super tough, nearly impossible to rip, and is the most reliable option to go with in general. 

It also does not absorb water or get damaged if it gets wet. Another good choice to go with is polyester, although most would recommend nylon.

The Size

Another very important thing to keep in mind before making a purchase is the size of the harness. One that is too small won’t fit right and will crush your legs and private parts.

Rappelling harness vs. Climbing harness

On the other hand, one that is too large will not hold you securely and may cause you to slip through it.

For the best support, the climbing or rappelling harness needs to fit snugly over your iliac crest and it should be very snug so it cannot be pulled down.

If the buckle is at the max, pick a larger size, and if it is at its minimum, go with something smaller. They do come in one-size-fits-all models, but this is not recommended.

Its Condition

The other thing that you always want to pay attention to is the condition of the harness. Never buy a cheap secondhand harness and always make sure you buy a quality one.

Even the smallest of frays mean that your harness is no longer usable. This is meant for safety, so only harnesses in the best of best conditions can be used.

Rappelling Harness vs Climbing Harness: Conclusion

So, there you have it, there is actually not a single difference between rappelling harness vs climbing harness

The only difference is that rappelling is going down while climbing is going up. Just ensure that you have a high-quality harness that fits right and is in good condition.

Rappelling Harness vs Climbing Harness

The rankings on rappellingequipment.com are curated to save you time by aggregating the best reviewed products from the most reputable companies. We may receive a commission if you buy something using a link on this page.

About the author 

Roger

Roger was born into a family of climbers. As the youngest of his siblings, he was also the most ardent climber of them. Small and agile, he practiced climbing all day. Today, Roger teaches children how to climb the large rock walls safely.

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