Harbinger was founded in 1988 by an inventor named David McCrane, who at the time teamed up with 8-time Mr. Olympia, Lee Haney. Initially, these two worked together to create lifting wrist assists and gloves to enhance a lifter’s performance. Since, Harbinger has became a well-known name inside a lot of gyms, now creating a wide variety of lift aids such as weightlifting belts, straps, gloves, assists, and much more. 

The Harbinger Padded Cotton Lifting Strap is a single loop lifting strap. This cotton padded strap is different than normal cotton straps due to the added pad for comfort. Most cotton straps take time to break in, which usually involves a couple sweaty gym sessions. Excited to see how the added pad felt compared to normal cotton straps, I put them through a variety of tests a normal lifter would use them for, these included the deadlift, row, clean, and snatch.

Feel

Right off the bat, I could tell these were different than your standard cotton strap. Often times cotton straps need a few workouts to break in, and this usually entails a week or two of sweaty gym sessions. If you’ve never used a cotton lifting strap, a typical cotton strap can cause a little chafing of the wrist due to the brand new cotton rubbing on sensitive skin. The cotton pad in the Harbinger’s provided a comfortable feeling from the first use.

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Much like normal cotton straps, the Harbinger’s absorbed sweat well. A fear I had before using these straps was the cotton pad deflecting sweat instead of absorbing, but I found no issue with lack of absorption.

One issue I did find, however, was the cotton strap moving a little bit as I got progressively more heavy in my movements. This could be an issue when it comes to bar security when performing close to maximal lifts with straps.

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Durability

In comparison to normal single loop straps I’ve tried, the Harbingers were your standard single loop strap. The cotton is durable and has heavy duty stitching to support lack of ripping from lifting. The cotton pad itself is Harbinger’s Neotek technology and is constructed to be durable, while comfortable.

On top of the Neotek cotton pad, the straps have merrowed end tabs. This is unique to this strap; some straps don’t specifically merrow the ends, which can lead to fraying. The merrowed ends provide an increased durable feeling and should help prevent early fraying of the cotton overtime.

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A possible issue I could see arise is the wear and tear of the cotton pad within the strap. If someone is performing a lot of dynamic, power oriented movements, they may find the pad come loose or possibly rip off. While I didn’t experience this, it’s an issue I could see happening with a lot of heavy strap use.

Material

The material is a heavy duty cotton, but doesn’t feel rough on the skin, which was a nice surprise. From the first use, there was no feeling of stiffness in the cotton and the pad wrapped around the wrist well. As stated above, the pad itself is Harbingers’ Neotek technology, which offered enough pad to comfort the wrist, but not enough where you couldn’t feel the strap on the wrist.

Like stated above, the only issue I could see arising with this strap is the cotton pad becoming worn on one strap or both. If the pad came undone or wore out on one side, it could cause an imbalanced feeling.

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Sizing

The sizing of this strap could be taken as a really great thing, but also a potential downside. If you’re someone who likes the feel of strap on the bar, you’ll like this Harbinger wrist strap. The strap is 1 ½ inches thick to allow enough strap to fully grip the bar with strap. In addition, the strap is made extra long to allow a lifter to wrap the strap around a bar multiple times.

On the flip side, if you’re someone who doesn’t want a lot of extra strap and still wants the bar feeling, then you may shy away from this strap. While this strap can be great for a newer lifter because it provides ample material to assist with lifts, it can turn off someone who wants a no frill, small strap.

Pricing

For what it’s worth, the Harbinger Padded Cotton Lifting Strap has a great price: a little under ten dollars at $8.99. I thought this was a great price for a durable strap that promises extra length, plus a cotton pad for comfort. When compared to most single loop straps, this strap sides on the lower end of pricing. This makes it a great pick for anyone who wants a reliable, standard single loop, name brand strap.

Versatility

The single loop straps are known for their ability to be used in a versatile manner to assist a lifter throughout multiple lifts. These Harbinger straps performed well through slow tempo and power oriented movements. They weren’t the most secure straps I’ve tried, but they held the bar securely in all of my tests. There was only one issue I could foresee with the bar security in power movements with these straps, and that’s the cotton pad becoming worn or tearing.

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Rating 1-5 (5 being best)

Feeling: 4

Durability: 4

Material: 4

Pricing: 4

Sizing: 3.8

Final Word

All in all, the Harbinger Padded Cotton Lifting Strap was a solid standard single loop strap. I enjoyed their feeling from my first use and they’re fairly priced when compared to other straps on the market. While I didn’t personally experience this, I could foresee the cotton pad itself potentially having wear and tear issues. Apart from that issue, these straps felt secure through all of the movements I tested them with and absorbed sweat well.

If you’re someone who wants a standard single loop strap for a fair price, then I would recommend giving the Harbinger Cotton Padded Lifting Strap a try.

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