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Petzl Simba Review

This full body harness is quick and easy to put on and performs well for a wide range of sizes
Petzl Simba
Photo: Petzl
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Price:  $60 List | $59.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Simple, quick to adjust
Cons:  Not comfortable, mainly just appropriate for toproping, expensive
Manufacturer:   Petzl
By Adam Paashaus ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 7, 2019
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54
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 10
  • Hanging Comfort - 40% 5
  • Standing Comfort and Mobility - 20% 6
  • Features - 20% 4
  • Versatility - 20% 7

Our Verdict

The Petzl Simba has proven itself to be a great all around beginner full body harness. It's advertised to work for kids ages 5-10 and support the weight of kids up to 40kg (88lbs). The flat webbing and auto locking buckles make it easy to use, and the kids love the mouse and cheese graphics. It's not fancy, but it will get the job done safely and without hassle. It's also one of the most simple harnesses available. It has easy to use auto-locking buckles to get a good fit quickly and has a seemingly unlimited adjustment range. Slightly older kids will have no problem throwing this on and getting it adjusted for themselves.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Petzl Simba
This Product
Petzl Simba
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  
Price $59.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$60 List$69.95 at Amazon$49.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$69.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Simple, quick to adjustDual adjust waist belt, large gear loops, kids can adjust easily, comfortableFully featured, comfortable, secure fitDual waist belt buckles, largest gear loops, high qualityUser-friendly, comfortable, lightweight
Cons Not comfortable, mainly just appropriate for toproping, expensiveNot the lightestNarrower size range, not the best for larger kidsHeaviestLimited uses
Bottom Line This fully adjustable harness not only fits a large variety of sizes, but it also makes getting it on and off quick and easyThis comfortable sit harness is ready for anything a kid crusher can throw at itThis feature packed harness not only has all the bells and whistles, its comfortable and has a secure fit to give parents peace of mindThis full featured harness is comfortable and would be a solid choice for almost any kid out thereThis extremely comfortable harness is super easy to get on and adjust for even little kids
Rating Categories Petzl Simba Mammut Ophir - Kid's Petzl Ouistiti Petzl Macchu Momentum Full-Body
Hanging Comfort (40%)
5
9
9
7
9
Standing Comfort And Mobility (20%)
6
9
9
9
9
Features (20%)
4
8
8
8
6
Versatility (20%)
7
9
8
9
6
Specs Petzl Simba Mammut Ophir - Kid's Petzl Ouistiti Petzl Macchu Momentum Full-Body
Designed for these disciplines Top Rope All Around / Sport Top Rope All Around / Sport Top Rope
Weight (size medium) 15.1 oz 10.6 oz 15.4 oz 11.4 oz 11.8 oz
Gear Loops 0 2 2 2 0
Adjustable Legs? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Self-locking buckle? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Waist Belt Construction Full Body Sit Full body Sit Full body
Waist Size Ranges (inches) N/A 20 - 26.7 in 23 - 28 in 21 - 25 in 14 - 25 in

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Simba doesn't have the most features or comfort, but there is no other harness that is this quick and easy to get on, adjust, and get climbing in.

Performance comparison


The Simba caused no issues even for more difficult climbs.
The Simba caused no issues even for more difficult climbs.

Hanging Comfort


The Simba is a basic webbing constructed full body harness with no padding whatsoever. The shoulder straps are 1 and ⅛" webbing and the leg loops are 1 and ¾" webbing to help distribute the weight a little better when hanging. Normally, one would think that a webbing harness would be uncomfortable, but the way the webbing wraps around the body keeps kids more than comfortable enough for the short period they spend hanging while being lowered. However, if the climbers spend much time hanging, things tend to get a bit uncomfortable.

Not a bad feel for a quick lower. But not the best choice for long...
Not a bad feel for a quick lower. But not the best choice for long term hanging.

Standing Comfort and Mobility


Since this harness is so simple, it would be easy for the kids to forget its on when just hanging around; however, because the tie in points don't stay together when they are not tied in, the shoulder straps tend to fall down. Otherwise, this is a comfortable harness to wear.


Features


Adjustability and ease are this simple harnesses main features. There's no gear loops or padded leg loops. No belay loops or haul loops. You may ask, does this harness even have loops at all?! Joking aside, this harness is exactly what a beginner kids harness should be, simple and easy to get on, adjust, and share with others. This also makes it a great option for adaptive climbers or those kids with special needs. It's a secure harness that will work for a wide range of kids.

Big, easy-to-use sliding buckles and big tie in points make this...
Big, easy-to-use sliding buckles and big tie in points make this harness easy to work with.

Versatility


The Simba is an extremely versatile harness if you weigh versatility by how many different climbers can use it. This is good for small children who may not have developed hips that keep them in seat harnesses if they were to flip upside down, special needs kids, gym rentals, or camp harnesses where many different kids need to use it. The auto-locking buckles are a breeze to operate, and all but the youngest of climbers will be able to slip into it and get it adjusted quickly.

Value


Value is in the eye of the beholder. This harness doesn't seem to have the best value unless you are looking for the most simple harness available for young kids. For the same price ($59.95) other options have more features, like the Petzl Ouistiti, with its gear loops and auxiliary tie in point, or the Black Diamond Momentum Full Body, and the amazing comfort that comes from its padded panels.

Conclusion


If you want a versatile harness to do basic tasks such as top roping at the gym or high ropes courses at camp, the Simba is a tested, tried and true harness that won't disappoint. This is one of the most popular children's harnesses and for a good reason. Petzl has a history producing some of the best climbing gear available; this is no exception.

Scoping out the headwall of a Joshua Tree moderate.
Scoping out the headwall of a Joshua Tree moderate.

Adam Paashaus