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Child's harness
8:55:52 AM

Does anybody have any experience with a Petzl Simba or Ouistiti kids harness? Looking for something for my 4 year old. While on this - is a full body harness the way forward for a child?


10:45:20 AM
Climbing Anchors also sell 2 other brands of child's full body harnesses. If I where you I'd get in contact with Steve (at Climbing Anchors) and ask him. I've seen Steve's little fella Jake swinging around in his full body harness plenty of times. Looked pretty safe to me.

Full body harnesses are definitely the way to go for small children as the clip in point is high and there is no chance of them inverting. When they get older there are a few choices in sit harnesses designed for children but for a 4 year old a full body rig is the go.

Hope this helps.

12:08:52 PM
Hi Kimbyl,

I picked up a Petzl Simba harness for my 2.5 year old and she loves it, especially when I hang her from the tree swing I've set up out the back (Rockranga thanks for the rope). It takes a little bit of experimenting to get the harness adjusted properly otherwise the attachment loops can ride up and rub in their face (a tad annoying, though not painful). My 3 nieces and nephews also like to play on the rope swing and if not adjusted correctly the leg loops can be uncomfortable. In saying that, once you have the harness adjusted properly it's good to go!

I'm happy to answer any other questions you may have. In my limited experience a full bod harness is the only way to go for little people...



1:41:16 PM
My 4 year old has the Ouistiti which I would highly recommend. I havent seen any other brands. As others have said I think full body is the way to go with little kids.
10:04:44 PM
My daughter climbed in an Oustiti until just recently (she's now 11).

The full body gives a lot more reassurance, I'm not sure I'm convinced of the argument that young kids can't use sit harnesses but I'm sure I don't want to test it ..

1:56:19 AM
I also have an Oustiti for my 5yo and I'm pretty happy with it. At the moment the arm adjustment buckles sit on top of her shoulders, which means that when the harness is weighted they tend to pinch together on her neck a bit. With careful arrangement of her shirt as padding it's fine, and as she gets bigger the buckles will move down the front so the problem will go away, but it's one of the minor annoyances that tend to bother kids more than adults.

Regarding full body harness - definitely the way to go. In addition to being less likely to invert, if they do invert they won't fall out, unlike a waist harness (which relies on narrow waist / wide hip bones to keep you in - two things kids don't have until they're older).
9:26:42 AM
Another vote for the O., and full body in general for the littlies.

10:59:17 AM
Climbing Anchors have a full body kids harness for $89.
12:21:36 PM
Only 30 bucks off the US price. To bad it won't fit me. Looks like a good buy.

2:23:35 PM
My 4 1/2 year old daughter uses a Rock Empire Apache full body harness on our home woody (3.6m high). She loves it and I strongly suspect the full body harness is very reassuring for young kids. Seems to be very comfortable.


9:01:46 PM
I did a bit of research recently when I wanted to buy a harness for my nearly 7yo. I take her to the climbing gym every week or so (at her request!) so I was looking for a good one that would also last a while. She is a tall, strong kid for her age, and is over 30kg already. I was worried she would grow out of a full body harness too fast. But after reading that (a) children have longer bodies and shorter legs compared to adults, so they are top heavy and therefore more likely to invert in a fall than adults, and (b) they have poorly defined hips compared to adults and are therefore more likely to slip out when inverted, I got her a Petzl Simba. She loves it.

There is plenty of room for extension in the shoulder straps, so she should get a good run in it.

Note the Petzl Ouistiti has an elastic strap between the shoulder straps. If the child is short, this can sit uncomfortably over the back of the neck.

10:14:05 PM
Thanks to all of you for you help. Full body it is.
12:43:38 PM
2 kids so far with the Ouistiti. Great harness make sure you have the krab tightly screwed up so they cant get it undone. I clip the gyms krab directly into the loops. On real climbs eg Arachnus I have tied the kids in directly! see pic of Mike's first Araps conquest!

2:23:42 PM
Too cool jrc. He's a little rockstar! I'm excited to get my little one onto real rock!
5:26:28 PM
Got a Grommit harness from Steve last year for my then 7yo kid, still happy with it.

5:38:56 PM
On the subject of kids climbing, anyone got any really good recommendations for climbs at Araps for 3-5 year olds. So far we've tackled Sunny Gully at Dec Crag. The biggest problem I have found is underestimating the height factor. Some climbs which seem like a staircase to an adult or older kid can be really hard for a 3 or 4 year old because the jugs which would be at my chest height are just out of reach for a little tacker.
5:43:22 PM
I think Bushrangers Bluff is the best for little kids. Big holds everywhere, north side is sunny, south side is shady, good for any weather.
10:48:43 PM
Miguel 01 has enjoyed:
Several routes ar Dec Crag.
Some of the boulders esp S of the Pines.
Bushrangers definitely esp left end eg Revolver, Bullet Buttress etc and round the back
Alis (yes they love the chains)
Conifer Crack if he is feeling confident.
Dracula (needed a hand at the start)
TTR - mike liked it so much he made me do it twice in successive days! Also enjoyed being 'lowered' down the WT abseil.
Mitre rock has some great low grade stuff that is good 'kid scale'
Heaps more at Araps than the Blue Mtns I think because there are those absolutely hold-filled crags!

1:39:02 PM
For 3-5 yo Conifer crack might be a little too exposed. Sunny side of bushrangers is great for really small kids. Very juggy, easy access etc

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