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Petzl Macchu Review

A fantastic option for almost any kid looking for a comfortable, and fully capable harness.
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $50 List | $49.95 at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Dual waist belt buckles, largest gear loops, high quality
Cons:  Heaviest
Manufacturer:   Petzl
By Adam Paashaus ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 7, 2019
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80
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 10
  • Hanging Comfort - 40% 7
  • Standing Comfort and Mobility - 20% 9
  • Features - 20% 8
  • Versatility - 20% 9

Our Verdict

All of the sit harnesses we tested resembled their adult versions in some way, but with the Petzl Macchu, the similarities are uncanny. It shares the same construction in the waist belt and leg loops, which do an excellent job of distributing the weight, upping the comfort. Similarly, the dual double-backed buckles on the waist belt, shared with the adult harnesses, make getting a good centered fit easy, which is nice for keeping the two large, rigid gear loops readily accessible. If this harness had two more gear loops, it would almost be indistinguishable from the adult version. A sport climbing kid crusher would be pleased with the features this harness offers and wouldn't likely be restricted by it unless they were to start trad climbing (which we know, not many kids do) when a little more racking room would be helpful.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Petzl Macchu
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award   
Price $49.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$59.95 at Amazon$41.21 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$59.95 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
$49.95 at Amazon
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Star Rating
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Pros Dual waist belt buckles, largest gear loops, high qualityFully featured, comfortable, secure fitDual adjust waist belt, large gear loops, kids can adjust easily, comfortableUser-friendly, comfortable, lightweightEasy to adjust, simple yet functional design, comfortable to hang in
Cons HeaviestNarrower size range, not the best for larger kidsNot the lightestLimited usesSmall gear loops
Bottom Line A fantastic option for almost any kid looking for a comfortable, and fully capable harness.This harness seems to have it all, comfort, security, and a plethora of features that can facilitate all types of climbing.This is a comfortable sit harness capable of any type of climbing.This harness is extremely easy to get on and off and is comfortable both on and off the wall.This simple harness is both comfortable and easy for kids to get on and adjust.
Rating Categories Petzl Macchu Petzl Ouistiti Mammut Ophir - Kid's Momentum Full-Body Edelrid Finn
Hanging Comfort (40%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
Standing Comfort And Mobility (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
Features (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
Versatility (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
6
10
0
7
Specs Petzl Macchu Petzl Ouistiti Mammut Ophir - Kid's Momentum Full-Body Edelrid Finn
Designed for these disciplines All Around / Sport Top Rope All Around / Sport Top Rope All Around / Sport
Weight (size medium) (ounces) 12 15.4 10.6 12.8 10.1
Gear Loops 2 2 2 0 2
Adjustable Legs? Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Self-locking buckle? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Waist Belt Construction Sit Full body Sit Full body Sit
Waist Size Ranges (inches) 21 - 25 in 23 - 28 in 20 - 26.7 in 14-25 15.5 - 24 in

Our Analysis and Test Results

In our testing, the Petzl Macchu didn't disappoint. The comfortable, soft straps made for a harness that was comfortable both for hanging in, scrambling around the base, or even for wearing while hiking to the climbs. With a full set of usable features, it hangs with adult harnesses in many ways.

Performance Comparison


Climbing limestone edges up in the Utah hills.
Climbing limestone edges up in the Utah hills.

Hanging Comfort


After long periods of hang time, we reluctantly gave this harness a slightly lower score than the others, but that's not to say this harness isn't comfortable to hang in.


It's actually quite the contrary, but they all can't be the best at everything. While it is the lowest scoring of the sit harnesses in this metric, it's still comfortable for everything except the longest of hangdog sessions.

Lowering off a great climb in Joshua Tree.
Lowering off a great climb in Joshua Tree.

The waist belt has wider panels on the sides to help offer support where it's needed, and while it and the leg loops don't have the most cushion, they successfully spread the weight pretty well, making for an overall comfortable seat. Thanks to a good set of adjustable elastic risers, the leg loops stay in position so when the rope gets weighted, everything is sitting where it's supposed to.

Black Rock climbing area near St. George was perfect for lots of harness time.
Black Rock climbing area near St. George was perfect for lots of harness time.

Standing Comfort and Mobility


One perk of having thinner padding is the harness has a softer more minimalistic feel, and even though, at 12 ounces, it's the heaviest of the sit harnesses in the test, our testers found this to be the most comfortable harness for wearing around the base and walking between routes or on an approach in a pinch.


Loaded up with gear, it didn't ride as well as the Edelrid Finn, but then again, it's the rigidity of the waist belt that gives it the added support around the waist, making it overall less comfortable to wear at the base. The Macchu has a soft wicking layer against the body and an airy layer of foam to allow air to pass through, keeping everything cool. Keeper straps help contain loose webbing ends so they stay out of the way.

Waiting for her sister to finish her turn.
Waiting for her sister to finish her turn.

Features


The Macchu has possibly the best combination of features of all the sit harnesses we tested. We like the wear indicator technology in the Mammut Ophir which adds some peace of mind, but it's just as easy to visually inspect harnesses for wear.


The double-backed sliding buckles have quite a bit of friction, making it a challenge for kids to use without feeding the webbing through from the back first. Otherwise, it nails it. The adjustable buckle for the elastic risers works well and is nice to have for when nature calls; you can also clip a chalk bag to the riser buckle strap which, located high, puts the chalk bag in a good spot - though we still recommend a webbing belt for the chalk bag.

Risers work well and can be released and adjusted.
Risers work well and can be released and adjusted.

The pair of gear loops are huge and can easily hold all the gear kids would need short of leading or following a 20 bolt sport pitch! They stand off the harness well, and due to the dual adjust waist buckles, sit square on the hips.

Dual buckle keep things centered and the gear loops were the best available.
Dual buckle keep things centered and the gear loops were the best available.

Color-coded tie in points and belay loops help facilitate a quick visual once over. This harness will work great for advanced climbers who'll be progressing in the sport at all.

Versatility


This is one of the most versatile harnesses available for kids. It can adjust quite small, and it can be used in conjunction with the Petzl Body chest harness for the youngest kids who need a higher tie in point to keep them from becoming inverted when lowering.


The dual waist belt buckles and adjustable leg loops give a lot of expansion room for growth, and the two wide gear loops hold a ton of gear, assuring the harness has room for racking draws, cams, or even a small stuffed toy for the younger kids. All the versatility this harness offers led us to awarding this harness our Top Pick for Versatility.

The gear loops are huge making sure no kid will be left asking for more space.
The gear loops are huge making sure no kid will be left asking for more space.

Best Applications


From top rope heroes to rope gun wizards, this harness will not disappoint. The comfortable fit and perfect set of functional features work well for everyone. Had it been slightly more comfortable to hang in, it might have been listed as our Editors' Choice. It works well for both small kids and youth until they are ready to move into adult harnesses.

Value


With all of its features and comfort, this harness presents a great value. It also has the highest quality appearance, as it's constructed in the same way as their adult harnesses. The abrasion resistant material used held up better than the other four sit harnesses we tested; there were no loose stitches, and the design simply inspires confidence.

Conclusion


Petzl knows how to make a great harness and this little harness checks all the boxes. Comfort should always be a major consideration, and this is comfortable both on and off the wall. It features everything they'll need for any type of climbing activity, including large color-coded belay loop and tie in points, to the largest available pair of gear loops in a youth harness. If you are looking for a kids harness that can do just about anything the child will ask of it, the Petzl Macchu should make the shortlist.

A tester enjoying another lap at Joshua Tree.
A tester enjoying another lap at Joshua Tree.


Adam Paashaus