You are here

Kat Dierickx | 03.27.2017

Mountain Mama Climbing Harness by Mad Rock


  • Full-body adjustable harness
  • "X"-Strap design at mid-back that supports and cradles the torso 
  • Open design through the midsection accommodates a growing belly without bunching or squeezing

Why I Love It

  • It's the only maternity climbing harness currently on the market
  • Grows with you during your pregnancy 
  • Really comfortable when adjusted properly 

Where I Typically Use It

  • I've used this harness both in the climbing gym and for ice climbing

Areas For Improvement

  • Straps loosen easy and often need to be tightened 
  • Lack of gear loops
  • Could use more padding on the leg loops

Where To Get It

Mountain Mama: $120.00

Tied in and ready to go with the Mountain Mama by Mad Rock Climbing Harness. Photo by Kat Dierickx.

Ice climbing while pregnant? Sure! Mountain Mama makes climbing while pregnant not only doable, but enjoyable. They are one of the only companies designing product with the active mom in mind and have become by go-to for outdoor products during this stage of my life. When you become pregnant, you don't want to stop doing all the things you did previously, but you definitely have a new perspective on what your body can handle and how your gear works for or against your new and ever-changing figure. Mountain Mama not only collaborated with Mad Rock on the first-ever maternity climbing harness, they also offer maternity base layers, hiking pants, tees, tanks, and a few outdoor lifestyle items - all designed to accommodate pregnancy and beyond.

The climbing harness takes a few minutes to figure out and adjust properly. During my first few climbs the straps were a little loose, and most of the pressure was on my ribs and back. I didn't feel quite secure when being lowered even though I knew there was no way to "fall out" of the harness. Once the shoulder and chest straps were tightened as snug as they could be, the harness was much more comfortable and the leg loops functioned how they should. I'd recommend spending some time adjusting and hanging in the harness until you find the fit that makes you feel secure without added pressure in unwanted areas. 

Belaying with this harness can take a little getting used to as well because the belay loops are higher than in a typical harness. The belay device wanted to move to the side or rotate sideways. I didn't try it with a grigri, but I have read that can help with this issue.

All in all, this product makes it possible to climb throughout pregnancy and I'm thankful for that. Any of the minor issues can be improved with an extra gear sling or carabiners. This is a harness for a temporary state and will not likely be used to the same degree or duration as your regular gear.

A few tips for climbing while pregnant:

  1. Be sure to talk to your doctor and ensure it's safe for you and your pregnancy because every situation is different. If you want to do some of your own research, this is an interesting study I read recently.
  2. Know your body. If something doesn't feel right, you probably shouldn't be doing it. If you're feeling good, just remember to take breaks and stay hydrated. 
  3. Get the right gear. The Mountain Mama by Mad Rock Maternity Harness makes climbing possible as your belly grows. Having the proper equipment for the state you're in is important for safety and comfort. You may need to revisit your shoe situation as your feet start to swell (finally an excuse to get into some bigger shoes!).
  4. Forget the numbers. Your abilities may change and the types of climbs you were once doing may not be realistic during pregnancy. Forget about the route rating and use the time to focus on technique. 
  5. Find comfort in your community, or get to know others who have been in your situation. Cragmama has some great tips for various pregnancy symptoms and how to handle them on, and off, the rock.


Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.