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I've only been climbing a few months. I bought a harness and have been using it. I know they don't last forever.

How do I know when to stop using it and buy a new one?

(How should I check climbing equipment to tell whether it is still safe to use? doesn't talk about harnesses)

  • 2
    Look up the fallout from Todd Skinners accident, where his belay loop failed. – user5330 Jul 17 '17 at 6:46
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    Manufacturers' websites could be useful here: for instance, this Black Diamond page has a harness inspection checklist, and discussion of the accident @mattnz mentioned. – Pont Jul 17 '17 at 7:08
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  • When it's beyond the lifetime recommended by the manufacturer.
  • When you see abrasion or damage that is more than superficial on any of the load-bearing components. This means you have to inspect your harness regularly.
  • When it has been in contact with a number of strongly corrosive substances.
  • When there is discoloration (indicates excessive exposure to sunlight, which can weaken Nylon).

Here's an article that goes into some more detail: https://www.backcountry.com/explore/when-to-replace-your-rock-climbing-harness

  • Well I've only used it a few times and it's already showing "abrasion". How much is too much? – endolith Jul 17 '17 at 13:28
  • @endolith Maybe you could add to your post a picture of the "abrasion" in your harness? Most of the times "a few months" (or "a few times") of normal use shouldn't show significant abrasion. – Roflo Jul 17 '17 at 15:57
  • Well it's not significant now, but I want to know how to identify when it is in the future. – endolith Jul 17 '17 at 17:09
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    Just a nit-pick: Nylon does not corrode, there are some specific chemicals which can dissolve it. Maybe acidic would be more suitable adjective to use. – imsodin Jul 17 '17 at 19:53
  • @imsodin: if you look at the chart, there are many substances listed with "D-Severe Effect" that are not acids. I'll just add a link to it. – Michael Borgwardt Jul 17 '17 at 21:09

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