Every time I take my kids climbing, inevitably someone asks me what harness they use and if I would recommend it. Since I don’t like to recommend anything that I haven’t thoroughly tested, I hesitated. But now we’ve been using the Pretzl Macchu kids harness for six months now, and I can wholeheartedly say yes, I absolutely recommend this harness.
The Macchu harness has two parts, which you can either buy as a package or separately. The main part is a typical sit harness, which looks exactly like the adult version. The leg and waist buckles automatically doubleback, and there is a buckle on either side of the waist belt, which keeps everything centered and symmetrical, regardless of how much you have to adjust for size. There are two gear loops, which is great because even though my four-year-old isn’t going to be lead climbing any time soon, guess what? The Macchu harness is super adjustable.
That’s right! I bought the same one-size-fits-all harness for my four-year-old and seven-year-old, and it fits them both equally well. I do use the body chest harness on the four-year-old, though. This is crucial because children have shorter legs and a proportionally heavier upper body, which means they have a higher center of gravity. And that can lead to a child flipping upside down. True story: I’ve seen this happen–not to my own kids, thank goodness.
The price is also good. It goes for around $50 at REI, but I bought ours for $40 at Moosejaw. Or Backcountry. Honestly, I can’t remember which one, but I do remember being super happy about it. So check around and you can probably find a good deal.
FWIW (not much, probably), I asked both my daughters if they liked the harness and they both enthusiastically said yes. Why? Because it’s pink.
Please note that it also comes in orange, but I’m not sure either of them would vouch for that.