How Long Do Climbing Harnesses Last?
Climbing harnesses are designed to provide the utmost safety for climbers. It is important to keep an eye out for any signs of wear and tear!
For anyone who enjoys scaling walls at their local indoor rock climbing gym or summiting peaks in the great outdoors, having a reliable climbing harness is essential. But how long do these harnesses actually last? The answer isn't as simple as you might think. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the factors that affect a climbing harness's lifespan so that you can make an informed decision about when it's time to invest in a new one.
One of the most important factors affecting how long your climbing harness will last is the material it's made from. Leather, for example, is a very durable material that can withstand years of use with proper care; however, it does require some upkeep (i.e., regular conditioning) to prevent it from drying out and becoming brittle. Nylon, on the other hand, is a synthetic fabric that's cheaper and easier to care for but not quite as rugged as leather. As such, you can expect a nylon harness to have a shorter lifespan than a leather one.
Storage counts, too
Another factor to consider is how you store your climbing harness when you're not using it. If you simply toss it in a corner of your garage or closet, it's likely to develop wrinkles, creases, and other signs of wear much sooner than if you hang it up on a hook or peg. The same goes for exposure to sunlight and other harsh elements; climbing gear that's kept in a cool, dark place will last longer than gear that's constantly exposed to the elements.
Finally, keep an eye on the webbing
The webbing is the part of the harness that actually attaches you to the rope (or anchor), so it's imperative that this component be in good working order at all times. Inspect your harness's webbing regularly for signs of fraying, cutting, or other damage; if any damage is found, retire the harness immediately as continuing to use it could be hazardous.
With proper care and storage, a quality climbing harness should last anywhere from several years to a decade or more. However, if you notice any signs of wear and tear (e.g., frayed webbing), retirement is always the best course of action—better safe than sorry! And while cheaper nylon harnesses may not last as long as higher-end leather models, they're still an excellent option for climbers who are just starting out.
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