MTB Training

      Best Kids Climbing Harnesses of 2022

      Updated on October 1, 2020

      We completely understand the call of the crag and wanting to get out there to crush a few routes or hit the gym and work on that project. But a couple mini-yous may need attention. Never fear! We’ve picked out the best kids climbing harnesses on the market so your kids can start tackling their first crux.

      Even if you are new to climbing too, we’ve included the most important features and buying considerations to make sure you get the best kids climbing harness possible. From standard sit to full-body, adjustable to one-size, and size information to weight limits, we’ve packed all the information you need into this one article so you can make an informed decision and get back on the wall with your mini-me’s in tow!

      For more of our top climbing gear recommendations, check out the Best Climbing Harnesses. 

       

      Quick Answer The Best Kids Climbing Harness of 2019

      Black Diamond MomentumView at REIPetzl MacchuView at REIEDELRID Finn IIView at REIBlack Diamond Momentum Full BodyView at REIPetzl Simba Full-BodyView at Backcountry

       

      Comparison Table Best Kids Climbing Harnesses

      For the best experience turn your device horizontally

      Name Weight Limit Weight Age Type Price Rating Review
      Black Diamond Momentum N/A 8.5 oz Toddler – Early Teen Standard Sit $$ 4.5 Read Review
      Petzl Macchu 88 lbs 11.8 oz Toddler – Early Teen Standard Sit $$ 4.5 Read Review
      EDELRID Finn II N/A 9.5 oz Pre-Teen – Early Teen Standard Sit $$$ 4.8 Read Review
      Black Diamond Momentum Full Body 88 lbs 11.1 oz Toddler Full Body $$$ 4.8 Read Review
      Petzl Simba Full-Body 88 lbs 13.75 oz Toddler Full Body $$$ 4.0 Read Review
      Name Weight Limit Weight Age Type Price Rating Review

      Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

      Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

      Reviews The Best Climbing Harnesses for Kids

      Black Diamond Momentum

      Specs

      Type: Standard SitWeight: 8.5 ozWeight Limit: N/AAge: Toddler – Early Teen

      Features

      2 Gear Loops Breathable And Padded Straps For Comfort Excellent Size Adjustment – Can Adjust To Your Child As They Grow

      BEST FOR: COMFORT AND SUPPORT

      Black Diamond has a long tradition of excellence when it comes to climbing gear, and that high-quality approach is evident in this harness. The durable design and padded back work in tandem to provide the gold-standard in comfort and support to make sure your child is as safe and comfortable as possible on the wall.

      Both the legs loops and waist are adjustable (leg: 16 – 20in and waist: 22 – 27in), meaning that the harness will be able to adjust with your little climber as they grow into a route crusher over time. The harness also includes two gear loops, or small cord loops covered in soft plastic tubing for carrying additional equipment. While these are not at all required for children just starting out, they can be handy for starting to teach the basics of gear safety and handling. We highly recommend this harness for parents looking for high quality construction, thoughtful features, and supreme comfort and support to make it one of the best kids climbing harnesses.

      View at REIView at Backcountry

      Petzl Macchu

      Specs

      Type: Standard SitWeight: 11.8 ozWeight Limit: 88 lbsAge: Toddler – Early Teen

      Features

      2 Gear Loops Can Be Paired With Macchu Shoulder Straps (for a full-body harness to fit smaller / lighter weight children)Outward-facing Stitching On The Waist And Leg Loops (to prevent uncomfortable chafing)

      BEST FOR: TRANSITIONING FROM FULL-BODY TO STANDARD/SIT HARNESS

      Petzl is a household name in the world of rock climbing thanks to their  reliable and long-lasting equipment. The Macchu kid’s climbing harness continues this tradition of excellence by acting as a reliable bridge between two of the most pivotal stages in a child’s climbing career – full-body and standard sit harness climbing.

      If your child is too small for a standard sit harness (under the age of 5 or less than 90 lbs), then you can combine the Macchu sit harness with the Macchu Shoulder Harness for a full-body climbing harness. This will provide more stability for your child, and keep them upright on the wall at all times. When the time comes for them to graduate up to the standard sit option, simply remove the shoulder harness and you’re ready to go!

      The standard sit harness features excellent durability and two gear loops. This harness is a solid option to help your child find his/her first few crimps and start making vertical progress. The harness offers adjustable leg (13.25 – 17.25in) and waist (21.25 – 25.2in) straps which tighten down more than other models to accommodate smaller children.

      A harness that rubs and chafes is a sure avenue to a ruined climbing session and vocal protests from your children that could cut your crag day short. Petzl has thoughtfully placed the stitching for this harness on the outward facing side, which drastically reduces chafing from rough stitching rubbing against the climber’s body and increases your child’s comfort. No need to worry about complaints of discomfort with this harness!

      View at REIView at Backcountry

      EDELRID Finn II

      Specs

      Type: Standard SitWeight: 9.5 ozWeight Limit: N/AAge: Pre-Teen – Early Teen

      Features

      2 Gear Loops Soft Mesh Padding For Comfort Produced Sustainably Packaging Doubles as a Gym Bag

      BEST FOR: EARLY TEENS

      The Finn from Edelrid is specifically designed to stay with your child through those pre- and early-teen growth spurts. With some of the largest adjustable ranges for the waist (19.6 – 27.5in) and legs (13.7 – 17.7in), this harness is sure to keep your child safe and comfortable for the long-run.

      The additional safety of this harness is due in part to Edelrid’s ‘Slide Block’ buckles that are easy to secure in place and won’t loosen over time during a long climbing session. These buckles combine with a tough abrasion-protected rope tie-in point to make sure the most critical point on the harness – where the rope attaches – remains strong in the face of constant use.

      The comfort aspect is achieved by a plush mesh padding for smooth climbing all day long. All these items working together easily makes the Finn our top recommendation for early teen climbers polishing their climbing skills.

      View at REI

      Black Diamond Momentum Full Body

      Specs

      Type: Full BodyWeight: 11.1 ozWeight Limit: 88 lbsAge: Toddler

      Features

      Chest Buckle (to keep harness in place between climbs) High Tie-in Point (for keeping kids upright while climbing)Adjustable Shoulder Straps (for superior comfort)

      BEST FOR: BUDDING CLIMBING PROTEGES- HEAVY DUTY USE

      Black Diamond once again makes our list with their Full-Body Momentum harness for younger or smaller children who aren’t quite ready for a standard sit harness. This addition to our list features a tie-in point at the chest that will keep your child upright in all circumstances.

      If your child falls in love with climbing and never wants to leave the wall, this harness is comfortable enough for all-day wear. Black Diamond constructed this comfy kid’s harness with a breathable mesh padding surrounded by high-strength support material. The cushy padding and the durable support material work in tandem in the shoulder and waist straps to provide lasting comfort and durability for near constant use.

      We are also particularly fond of the chest buckle to keep the harness firmly in position while your little climber scopes out their next route. All this comfort, adjustability, and durable material combine to easily make this one of the best kids climbing harnesses if you suspect your child will be spending a lot of time at the wall.

      View at REI

      Petzl Simba Full-Body

      Specs

      Type: Full BodyWeight: 13.75 ozWeight Limit: 88 lbsAge: Toddler

      Features

      Adjustable Leg and Shoulder StrapsDual-Color Webbing Makes It Easy To Put On Fun Graphics on Straps to Delight Young Climbers

      BEST FOR: EXCEPTIONALLY YOUNG CLIMBERS

      Our final member of the best kids climbing harnesses club is the Simba from Petzl. Both the shoulder and leg straps are adjustable (Shoulder: 13.8 – 23.5 in and Leg: 20 in max.), which allow the harness to be cinched down nice and tight for exceptionally tiny climbers. What’s more, the straps are covered in colorful and fun graphics because all climbers love tricked out gear – right?

      These graphics are also only on one side, making it easier for your little powerhouse to figure out their strapping up process. This harness doesn’t feature the padded straps that other models include which can decrease comfort, but for adjustability this harness beats the rest! It’s for that exact reason that we recommend the Simba for very young climbers who still have a lot of growing to do.

      View at Backcountry

       

       

      THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A CLIMBING HARNESS FOR YOUR KID

      SIZING

      Like any other piece of gear for wearing, one of the first items to consider when buying a kids’ harness is sizing. In this case, look closely at the published sizes for the kids’ harness that you’re considering and make sure that they will be suitable for your child.

      The published sizes will always include leg diameter as leg loops are a universal aspect of every climbing harness. If you are considering a standard sit harness, then the next item to consider is the waist size. In the case of a full-body harness, take a close look at the chest size to ensure a secure and comfortable fit.

      Lastly, the overall size of your child should be the deciding factor between selecting a full-body or standard harness, as we will now discuss.

       

      STANDARD SIT VS FULL BODY

      The standard harness is the typical ‘sitting’ harness that most adult climbers use. This is anchored on the fact that an adult’s center of gravity (COG) is typically located near the top of the hips or lower back.

      Children have a significantly higher COG than adults because their head-to-torso ratio is larger. A proportionally larger, heavier head means that children are more top-heavy, making them more susceptible to tipping over headfirst or flipping upside down in their harness when they come off the wall.

      This means that if a child were to slip off the wall at some point, there is a much higher chance that they’ll become inverted (fall upside down) as their COG causes a tipping motion. This is where the full-body harness comes into play. The full-body harness includes a tie-in point for the rope that’s higher on the chest. This higher tie-in point is more in line with the child’s COG, which eliminates the possibility of an inversion – as REI explains here.

      Therefore, younger children who have a larger head-to-torso ratio are much more suited for a full-body harness as well as kids who still have slimmer hips that may not yet be suited for a sitting harness. Keep in mind that most full-body harnesses have a weight limit of 88 lbs, and after that limit you’ll need to move your child up to a standard sit harness.

       

      FIT

      One of the most important aspects of buying a climbing harness for yourself or your child is to find the right fit. You want the harness to be snug enough, but not pinching. You also want the harness to make your child feel very secure, but not restrict their movement. Our best advice is to review this fitting guide from Rock and Ice.

       

       

      FEATURES EXPLAINED

      ADJUSTABILITY

      Kids grow, which can definitely be a pain when buying gear. Having a climbing harness with a decent range of adjustability is, therefore, absolutely necessary so it can grow with your mini-climber.

      Many leg, waist, and shoulder straps include an easy-to-use buckle system so you can smoothly adjust and tighten them, perfect for a growing athlete! Be sure to look closely at the reviews for all the best kids climbing harnesses above for specific sizing restrictions or adjustable ranges.

      PADDING

      Spending hours and days in a climbing harness may not be the most comfortable affair. For that, we have padded straps. A breathable mesh padding can work wonders to keep your child comfortable on the wall and hopefully limit any complaining! Make sure to keep an eye on the features above for padded straps that can offer additional comfort.

      GEAR LOOPS

      In the long run your little climber is going to need to learn how to use gear as they start getting after bigger and badder crags. To that end, some of the best kids climbing harnesses feature one or two gear loops. These are looped cords attached to the sides of the harness that are covered in soft plastic tubing.

      Adult climbers typically use these loops to clip handy gear to their harness while they’re climbing, such as belay devices, quick draws, and traditional protection like cams and nuts. Buying a kids’ harness with gear loops is the perfect way to help your little one start learning their way around quick draws or belay devices, and ultimately help them start crushing.

      READ MORE

      For more of our top climbing gear recommendations, check out these popular buyer’s guides:

      Climbing Harnesses

      Climbing Ropes

      Carabiners

      Climbing Helmets

      Climbing Shoes

      Approach Shoes

      Belay Devices

      Bouldering Crash Pads

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