Climbing harnesses are probably the most important of all safety equipment. The belay loop is just a small band of (heavily reinforced!) material but it's always a crucial component in the rope system, and the fit and style of harness will go a long way towards determining how comfortable you are when on belay for long periods, how you sit when rappelling or on a hanging belay, and how clean and painless your falls are. Nobody who has taken a fall in an old-fashioned, early model sit harness ever wants to let go of their lightweight, modern, comfortable one. A climbing harness is usually the second piece of gear a novice climber buys and there might be no need to worry about upgrading for years to come. It takes far longer for a harness to wear out than a pair of shoes, which may go at the toes within a season or two if you climb frequently. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't change your harness every two or three years at least. Like all soft goods they will weaken over time. If yours looks battered and the belay loop is fluffy it's time to invest in a new one.
Petzl America Corax Climbing Kit K30ES
Black Diamond Equipment Primrose SA Climbing Harness - Womens 651052
Petzl America Elios Climbing Helmet A42A
Black Diamond Equipment Momentum SA Climbing Harness 651051
Petzl America Sama Climbing Harness C21
Black Diamond Equipment Aspect Climbing Harness 651058
Black Diamond Equipment Alpine Bod w/Gear Loop 650026
Black Diamond Equipment Primrose SA Harness Package 651042
Black Diamond Equipment Focus Climbing Harness 651057
Black Diamond Equipment Momentum SA Harness Package 651041
Petzl America Fractio Caving Harness PETZLC16
Black Diamond Equipment Momentum AL Climbing Harness 651053
Black Diamond Equipment Vector Climbing Helmet 620213
Petzl America Luna Womens Climbing Harness C35
Some climbers don't wear helmets, but this category is largely populated by indoor climbers and maybe a few sports climbers. If you're going to climb without bolts you definitely need a helmet to protect against rocks and fall injuries, and helmets are also strongly recommended for sports climbing, especially if you plan to push your grades. They're absolutely essential for ice routes. Modern climbing helmets are strong, adjustable, and lightweight - the Petzl Meteor III and Black Diamond Tracer come in at just over 230g each. They won't interfere with your climbing and might just save your life.