“Sustainable” or “Eco” harnesses are challenging to find. The main reason for the lack of sustainable options is because harnesses are made of a mix of textile, foam, and metals. Foam and metal are materials do not currently have certifiably better options. There are 330+ harnesses available today, and less than 10 are technically certified bluesign® (click here to see all the bluesign® certified harnesses on WeighMyRack).

Bluesign® is the strictest 3rd party certifying body when it comes to evaluating the consumption of materials and energy, the production of wastewater and air emissions, and the handling of hazardous materials, along with worker and consumer health safety.

Harnesses are incredibly hard to certify as a bluesign® PRODUCT because to be certified only a small percentage of the product can be made of non-bluesign materials, and most foam and metals are not certified. Clothing, including jackets are much easier to certify, as the overall percentage of trims – like zippers, make up a smaller percentage of the overall materials. Fortunately, there are a handful of harnesses that use bluesign® APPROVED fabrics and one harness that is fully certified as a bluesign® PRODUCT.

Harnesses certified as a bluesign® PRODUCT

The worlds first bluesign® PRODUCT harness was the Edelrid Huascaran, which came out in 2015. This sustainability effort was (and is) so impressive that it won an Outdoor Industry award when it was first announced. Since then, Edelrid has been working hard to make all of their harnesses meet the strict criteria certification of a bluesign® PRODUCT.

Edelrid Huascaran sustainable climbing harness
Edelrid Huascaran, the first harness certified as a bluesign® PRODUCT.

Other bluesign® PRODUCT harnesses

In 2020, Edelrid’s updated Fraggle III (kid’s full body harness), and new harnesses the Autana, Sendero, and Sirana will all primarily use bluesign® APPROVED fabrics.

Harnesses where the primary fabrics are bluesign® APPROVED

If you’d like to dive into the details of the bluesign certifications, read this post.

Black Diamond*

*When we double checked in Nov 2019, Black Diamond is no longer listed as a bluesign® SYSTEMS PARTNER, which means, technically, their harnesses are no longer bluesign® certified.

Edelrid

Most of Edelrid’s harness line are fully Bluesign PRODUCTS, which is even more impressive!

Petzl

* In 2015 these select Petzl’s harnesses carried the bluesign® logo. Today, Petzl is no longer a bluesign® SYSTEM PARTNER, and can therefor no longer use the bluesign® logo. Although there have been no significant changes from the previous harness models to today’s models, there is no longer a 3rd party certifier involved.

Harness Retirement

The most sustainable harness is the harness never created or bought. Next best is using your harness until retirement, which includes any nicks to the structural webbing, significant worn areas, chemical spills, fire, etc. That said, when in doubt, retirement is better (and safer) than trying to push the length of your harness years. Unfortunately, due to the complicated construction and materials, it is virtually impossible to recycle a harness.

When retiring a harness, all climbing manufacturers suggest destroying retired harnesses by chopping them up, so they could never be used by another person. This is also why you won’t find any returned or lightly used harnesses at the REI Garage sales. Most shops that sell used climbing gear do not re-sell harnesses because it is incredibly hard to tell if there has been damage to webbing due to chemicals or other reasons.

Summary

Climbing harnesses are hard to make sustainable because they include foam and metals. Some companies are taking the extra step to use bluesign® APPROVED fabrics and right now Edelrid is the only company to have harnesses that are certified to the highest standard of bluesign® PRODCUT.

Click here to see all the bluesign® certified harnesses on WeighMyRack – this link will always be the most updated source.

It’s a lot easier to find clothing that uses bluesign® certified fabrics than harnesses. Arc’teryx, Black Diamond, Edelrid, La Sportiva, Mammut, Mountain Hardware, Outdoor Research, Patagonia, REI, and The North Face, all use bluesign® certified fabrics in their clothing.

If you are looking for more sustainable gear, check out this post showcasing sustainable climbing ropes.


This post is sponsored by REI as part of an Educational / Sustainability Series. This sponsorship means if there are specific products mentioned in the post, we’ll link them to REI’s product pages when possible. Also, if there is a relevant sale period, we'll talk about that too. All words are solely the authors and have in no way been altered because of the sponsored nature of the post.

Other sponsored posts you may find interesting:

  • Sustainable Climbing Ropes
  • Sustainable Climbing Shoes
  • Sustainable Climbing Slings
  • Sustainable Climbing Harnesses


  • And if you need new gear, you can possible save some bucks at REI
    REI Climbing deals bannerREI Climbing Outlet banner
    Share
    Alison Dennis

    Alison Dennis

    Alison (she/her) runs WeighMyRack from her 17' travel trailer. She is currently touring the US and would love if you contacted her to meet up to talk about climbing, climbing gear, or if you have any fun and/or ridiculous adventure in mind.

    All author posts