Cragmama "Not all who wander are lost…" JRR Tolkien

Petzl MACCHU + BODY = Perfect Climbing Harness for Growing Kids (and GIVEAWAY!)

It’s been a little over a year since Big C began to “for real” climb on our family outings.  While he’s still a little hit or miss in the outdoor realm (sometimes there’s not a suitable route for him to try, other times it’s more fun to dig in the dirt than put his harness on), I’ve made it a point to try and get him to the climbing gym at least once a week.  We don’t stay long – usually no more than 45 minutes or so, and that includes gearing up and down, and getting Baby Z situated on her blanket with a great view (and a carabiner in her mouth, usually.)

So when Petzl contacted us wanting to know if Big C wanted to be one of the first kidcrushers to try out their brand new kid’s harness system, you can imagine how excited he was.  “Is that harness like yours and Daddy’s, Mommy?” he asked anxiously as he peered over my shoulder to get a look inside the box.  When we put it on him, he was all smiles, and couldn’t wait to take it for a test spin.

It only took a quick afternoon sesh at Inner Peaks Climbing Center for me to see that this innovative product was top notch.  And although it’s often hard to get wordy gear comparisons out of a 4 and 1/2 year old, Big C seemed to enjoy it.  For the record, when I asked what he liked most about the new harness, he thought for a minute before concluding, “I like that it’s orange.”  When I asked him whether he liked the new harness better, worse, or the same as his old harness, he quickly responded, “the same.”


However, as the parent who buys gear for this child who never stops growing, there are plenty of other features for me to appreciate.  Namely, the versatility.  The MACCHU harness is a sit harness, and by itself would be a great option for older children.  It’s got all the specs you’d expect out of an adult harness in a pint-sized package.  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 sturdy gear loops, perfect for the young gun transitioning from toproping, to following, to eventually lead climbing.

But it’s when paired with the BODY chest harness that the MACCHU really starts to shine.  Together this harness system creates a full-body setup – a necessary safety precaution for younger children (see this post for an explanation.)

The beauty of the MACCHU + BODY combo is that they are two separate pieces of gear.  That means one harness for the full body stage and initial sit harness stage (which could last a few years.)  It also means that families with multiple kidcrushers could potentially get away with buying only one harness to share – even if one needs a full body and the other is ready for a sit! The separate pieces also allow for a lot more adjustability with regards to torso length.


Big C has proudly been strutting his (orange) stuff both at the gym as well as the local crags.  And soon he won’t be the only one – Petzl has graciously agreed to give away a MACCHU + BODY combo to one lucky reader!  Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below – you’ll get one entry for commenting, and additional entries for following along with our adventures via social media.  Contest will run through midnight of January 17, when a winner will randomly be chosen and announced via social media.  Good luck!

NOTE: The MACCHU + BODY is not available for purchase quite yet, but is scheduled to be released the week of January 27th. Big C received his for free for purposes of this review, but as always, all of my (and his!) opinions are unbiased and honest.

AND ANOTHER THING…For more about full body harnesses, check out my review of the Trango Junior here.  For more on Petzl’s line of children’s products , check out my review of the kid’s PICCHU helmet here.  For more on finding a balance of family climb time, check out this post.

C18AC-Body_LowRes C15AC-Macchu_LowRes

a Rafflecopter giveaway


30 Responses to “Petzl MACCHU + BODY = Perfect Climbing Harness for Growing Kids (and GIVEAWAY!)”

  1. Zala

    We have twin kidcrushers that were up until now only climbing horizontally (they are only 10 months old). This week they’ve began to climb stairs so we started to look for helmets and harnesses for them :D. We will probably need one that adapts quickly and easily so that we will not loose time switching. We are looking for a full body system which would be safe and comfortable enough from a toddler up to an eager teenager (we hope). Thanks for drawing our attention to Macchu!


  2. Elizabeth Paashaus

    this harness looks perfect! What patent doesn’t want something that grows with their kid? I love that it is almost fully featured like and adult harness with gear loops. Even if not leading, little followers are going to need somewhere to put gear. Fingers crossed for winning this one!!


  3. Christopher Sorel

    I look for one my son can put on himself and I know is secure once he does


  4. Patricia

    Just entered to win! Can’t wait for my little girl to be able to do real climb! One feature I have been seeking in a harness is a back loop to connect a type to help with lowering the little ones. I couldn’t tell I’d this harness had that, but it did look like it in the photo.


    • Erica

      Patricia – there is not a haul loop in the back, however we haven’t felt like we needed it in this harness.

  5. Amelia

    To be honest, I don’t know WHAT to look for in a kids’ harness, but I am all about something that grows with them as they grow 🙂 We are getting into climbing as a family and having a harness of our own would help so much!!


  6. Megan

    That harness looks great for growing kids!


  7. Josh Scheutzow

    Love the orange!


  8. Abby

    I have been using the Edelrid Fraggle harness for my 20 month old son. I love it and so does he since it is super adjustable and has a loop to hook the rope on the back to help tug them down on low angle climbs. this new petzl seems like it would be a great thing to use once he outgrows this.


  9. sarah

    I love this!


  10. Paige

    Love! My nephew wears the Edelrid Fraggle which also seems to work well but it’s always exciting to see some variety in the market. I haven’t visited the Petzl site yet but I’m curious how the two pieces fit together when you want to use the full body harness? Do you just put on the sit harness and top part and then loop the rope through both somehow? My daughter turns 1 in May. I’m thinking we won’t need a harness until next Christmas or her 2nd birthday? When did Big C start? So many questions, sorry!


    • Erica

      Paige – It’s easy to rig up full body style! You put on both pieces, and the rope ends up running through the sit harness the same way it would for an adult harness, then up through two loops on the chest harness – one on either side. Then you tie a normal figure 8.As far as when to start, we got Big C a harness when he was 15 months old, but he just used it to dangle and swing around. He didn’t start actually trying to climb until he was almost 2, and even then didn’t start doing it consistently until 3. He started with the CAMP Bambino, b/c it was the only one that would fit him. When I signed on with Trango we switched to the Trango Junior harness, and it was substantially better and more comfortable for him than the CAMP one. I would recommend that one for toddlers, especially if your child is on the small side, as Big C is almost 5 and this one is tightened down all the way.

  11. Kara B

    Safety and comfort are top priorities. Having the ability to transform through different growth stages is wonderful! Also, including features that are like parents’ harnesses can make kids very excited.


  12. Katie

    When picking my kids’ harnesses, I look for something that has all the necessary safety features and is going to last through as many growth spurts as possible. For myself, comfort is pretty big!


  13. Heather

    Although our little one is just pushing a year….looking forward to his first climbs and with all of our purchases for him the more use we can get out of it the better! Love the versatility of this harness in that the chest piece is not attached …also a trusted name like Petzl is something we look for.


  14. Amanda Bean

    Looks great!


  15. Jess

    We want something to grow with our kids!


  16. Allison Williams

    Our “kids” harness right now is a youth harness that has been tweaked a little bit. I think our little one would really get into a harness like this one. We are just getting to the point where he is interested in roping up.


  17. I’ve yet to buy a kids harness but what I do look for in an adult harness is adjustable leg loops and the ability to layer under the harness. I hate being cold!


  18. I thought I looked for the right stuff, but since buying one that is too big, I am looking for something versatile that will work for two youngs kids of different ages. I love that this one comes with a body harness for extra security! For an adult harness, fit is most important. Since I haven’t climbed much, I am not sure what loops are most important to have, but just asked at the store for something versatile that would work for a beginner or intermediate climber.


  19. Alicia

    I love the idea of it being so versatile and I won’t have to keep buying more gear as the kids grow. Well, more harnesses, anyway. Now we need some climbing shoes that will grow with their feet!!


    • Erica

      Alicia – Now THAT is the million dollar idea!!!! 🙂

  20. May

    I really like that this one grows with the child! And it looks like it would be comfy. One thing that has bugged me looking at kids’ harnesses is that it’s hard to tell from the product specs what’s the smallest size it would fit. A lot have weight/height max but not min. My kiddo is only 14 months right now but I’m planning ahead 🙂


  21. Jennifer A.

    This makes me so excited for our little one to begin climbing! How wonderful to have a harness that can grow with them!


  22. Tara

    This looks like an amazing upgrade to the kids harness!


  23. Liz

    With 3 kids (and one more on the way!), we’re always looking for versatile outdoor gear. This looks great!!


  24. Curt Bougher

    I look for something that they can use and grow with. It should also of course be very safe!!


  25. Richard Ferron

    I SOOOO want this! My kids are 3.5 and 4.5 and have already taken them bouldering. Can’t wait to have them climb!


  26. Kristin

    Hi, I am curious what you are using now? I am trying to decide between the petzl machu and a one piece body harness for my 6 year old like the DMM tomkitten. She is only starting to climb.


    • Erica

      Hey Kristin, wow sorry for the delay – my this comment was caught in my spam filter. 🙁 I’m sure you already got something by now…but just in case it helps, my son is now 9 and STILL using the Petzl Machu, but just with the regular waist harness.

Leave a Comment Life is in the conversation.


Your email will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

“Not all who wander are lost.” —JRR TOLKIEN