The Edelrid Finn III is an all-around kid's sit harness. It provides a comfortable seat to hang in, and the buckles are so easy to use that even many smaller climbers can put it on and cinch it up without much assistance. While this harness may not be the most technical in our test nor does it have the most advanced construction, it does offer all the essential features and will do most of what any kid climber needs it too. The new version has been updated and now has stronger and larger gear loops to please the more advanced kids.
Edelrid Finn III Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Easy to adjust, simple yet functional design, comfortable to hang in
Cons: small gear loops
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The field of kids sit harnesses has gotten pretty competitive. Last year the Finn II fell short in a couple of ways, but all the shortcomings of that model have been addressed in this new version. Now, this harness should do the trick for most kid climbers regardless of skill or experience level.
The new Fin III has a new design that has increased the overall comfort. A few changes that led to a slightly more comfortable hang include a wider main waistbelt strap, slightly less-stiff padding, new leg risers that are easier to adjust and now have a buckle that can be unclipped, and now the lower tie in point is connected to the leg loops via a perpendicular strap that keeps the leg loops in a better, more comfortable position.
While the new design addresses a few of the hanging comfort issues it had in the past, the hanging comfort was only improved marginally. The main improvements address other metrics to a larger degree, such as standing comfort and mobility, and features.
Standing Comfort and Mobility
With the updated Finn III comes softer, less rigid, waist-belt and leg loops. Now the stiffness of the straps isn't an issue for wearing it around the base of the climbs, whereas before the stiff padding was bulky, cumbersome and less than ideal. While this harness is still not the most comfortable in this metric, now, this harness better compares with the rest of the competition.
This harness offers a great variety of basic usable features. The buckles glide smoothly, making it easy for kids to use. The waist belt only has a single buckle for adjustment, but since the waist padding slides independently on the waist strap, it is easy to get snugged up while also centering the gear loops for easy access. Edelrid also increased the size of the gear loops (2), allowing them to hold more gear than in the past while also increasing their strength for added safety.
The elastic risers have also been updated to do a better job of keeping the leg loops in place. The previous editions risers were less "finished" and tended to slip, but now with a normal buckle adjustment, they won't slip and can be unclipped easily.
The tie-in-points are wrapped in an abrasion-resistant material to increase the durability of the high use areas, and the belay loop has hidden red stitching, that once worn, will alert the climber that its time for retirement.
Whether you are looking for a harness for a growing kid to use casually at the climbing gym or they are learning to lead outside, this harness has the features and comfort needed to do so. The size range left a little to be desired, but all in all, fit pretty well on a decent range of kids. If the climber intends to start leading or following longer, more gear-intensive pitches, they may consider looking into a more advanced harness with larger or additional gear loops.
Parents who want to be slightly more hands-off will love that most kids can use this harness by themselves. Of course, a final safety check should always happen before anyone leaves the ground, but this harness saves the hassle of having to help the child every time they get in and out of it. It can accommodate comfortable top roping as well as holding enough gear for a sport lead or even following some multi-pitch trad routes.
With most of the sit harnesses retailing for roughly the same price, it makes evaluating value more about personal preference. For example, does this harness tick all the boxes of a harness you need? If hanging comfort and ease of operation are the top priorities, then this may hold the most value to you. If more advanced climbing is in the cards, a more technical harness like the Petzl Macchu may hold more value. In general, however, we wouldn't hesitate to recommend this harness to others.
With all the similar options available for kids sit harnesses, there are a couple of nice things that set this harness apart from the crowd. For one, the buckles slide and release super smoothly for use by even the smallest hands. And two, for hanging, it is one of the two most comfortable available.
Overall, the improvements made to this harness this year have brought it up to speed with the rest of the competition, making it a good choice for all but the most dedicated kid climbers.
— Adam Paashaus