Which harnesses to wear while spelunking are best?

Rock climbing and spelunking can offer amazing cardio, enhance your flexibility, boost your strength and build your stamina while reducing stress and burning fat, but they can also be unsafe. 

It’s crucial to select the appropriate harness to wear while spelunking or climbing, learn the best techniques and follow the right safety protocol to keep yourself and your spelunking team as safe as possible. The Petzl Corax Climbing Harness offers amazing comfort while providing you with peace of mind.

What to know before you buy a harness to wear while spelunking


The fit is the most important consideration when selecting a harness, since a harness that limits your mobility will prevent you from performing your best while spelunking. Find a harness with adjustable leg loops and an adjustable waist belt, as well as an adjustable rise length, if possible. Buy a well-made harness that’s lightweight and comfortable and makes it easy for you to climb.

Safety components

You need a couple of safety components for your harness when you’re spelunking, including a screwgate carabiner and a wear indicator.

  • Screwgate carabiner: This component attaches to your belay loop, and your life depends on it not coming undone accidentally.
  • Wear indicator: Some harnesses have wear indicators, which is an orange or red layer under the outer surface. If you can see the wear indicator, it means you need to buy a new harness.

Waist belt

The waist belt is the portion of your harness that wraps around the waist. This belt must be lightweight, adjustable and durable and fasten around the iliac crest, which is the top of your hip bone, so the belt doesn’t slip down while you’re spelunking or climbing.

How to put on a harness

A harness can be difficult and confusing to put on with its multiple loops, particularly if some of the loops are tangled, but a harness easily slips on if you take the time to untangle it first. Just step into it the way you would into a pair of pants, with one leg at a time.

Step through the waist belt, then into the leg loops and make sure to keep the belay loop of the harness in the front. The waist belt should be above the iliac crest. Otherwise, the harness can slip down to a dangerous position when you climb.

What to look for in a quality harness to wear while spelunking

Leg loops

The leg loops are the only other two points of support and direct contact on the harness, aside from the waist belt. Some climbers like non-adjustable leg loops, since they’re lighter. But, if you have to pull the harness over your boots or you just want the right fit, you need adjustable leg loops. Padded leg loops are an excellent option for those who spend a lot of time resting while they’re spelunking or climbing.


Getting a harness with the right rise length is important for comfort and safety. The straps connect the belt to the leg loops and help offer comfort and safety. Some rise straps are elastic, while others are adjustable and still others are removable, meaning you can take them off quickly without unfastening them.

Belay loop

The belay loop is the strongest portion of the harness, and it’s designed to handle hard falls. The belay loop needs to show zero signs of wear. Nothing other than the gear, or screwgate carabiner, should ever be tied or fastened to the belay loop.

How much you can expect to spend on a harness to wear while spelunking

Harnesses to wear while you’re spelunking range in price from about $15-$50 or more. The most inexpensive harnesses go for $15-$25, while midrange harnesses vary in price from about $25-$50 and high-end harnesses cost $50 or more.

Harness to wear while spelunking FAQ

How long does a harness usually last?

A. Harnesses can last as little as just one climb if you take a particularly hard fall, but your harness can last up to 3 years if you take good care of it and only climb or go spelunking a few times per month. You might be able to get up to 7 years out of your harness if you only use it for a couple of climbs or spelunking excursions per year. Don’t arbitrarily use these numbers — always inspect the harness before each time you use it to figure out if it’s still safe to use.

Is there anything you can do to stay safe besides inspecting your harness?

A. Keep a safety log (a file or document) with the conditions, date and details of each climb or spelunking adventure you take. For example, log how far you fall if you fall during a climb. Log everything, including falls that might seem less severe.

What’s the best harness to wear while spelunking?

Top harness to wear while spelunking

Petzl Corax Climbing Harness

Petzl Corax Climbing Harness

What you need to know: This safe and strong harness offers amazing comfort while providing you with peace of mind.

What you’ll love: This product is simple to take off and put on, lightweight, created with double back buckles and it’s adjustable for the ultimate safety and comfort. The materials of the harness are top-quality and built for longevity, and the product is made of strong, durable and soft nylon.

What you should consider: This harness doesn’t come with a carrying case.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top harness to wear while spelunking for the money

X XBEN Climbing Harness

X XBEN Climbing Harness

What you need to know: This durable half-body harness provides incredible safety and security during your climb at a reasonable price. 

What you’ll love: You can use this harness in both casual and professional settings and both outdoors and indoors. It’s affordable without sacrificing any comfort or safety measures and includes a lightweight yet strong and thick material, especially around the waist. 

What you should consider: Some people find this harness hard to adjust.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Weanas Thicken Climbing Harness

Weanas Thicken Climbing Harness

What you need to know: This harness is worth considering if you’re looking for an inexpensive harness for minor climbs or basic use.

What you’ll love: This harness is a great option for indoor rock climbing, beginners and minor climbs. It features a wide waist belt for additional support, durable stitching, double back buckles and leg straps for weight distribution.

What you should consider: The fit of this harness is slightly uncomfortable for bigger individuals.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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