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Climbing Harnesses

Edelrid Fraggle II

Which is more difficult, building a time machine that works, or unraveling and fitting a typical kid’s full-body harness?

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Edelrid Fraggle II | edelrid.de | $64.95 | ★★★★½

Which is more difficult, building a time machine that works, or unraveling and fitting a typical kid’s full-body harness? If you’re a parent, you know that getting a 4-year-old into a full-body harness is more vexing.

I have two young boys who love to climb, but taking them out is a drag. First I have to catch them, hold them down, calm them like frightened birds, then try to get them into one of those harnesses. It takes a lot of sweat and patience.

Edeldrid’s new Fraggle kid’s full-body harness is a godsend for me and any parents who wish to take their kneebiters to the crags. The Fraggle is padded and doesn’t tangle up when you shove it in a backpack. Young kids can easily get into it by themselves and, with only three adjustment buckles, the harness is quick to adjust, allowing it to be shared among children of different sizes/ages. Two tie-in points remain above the body’s center of gravity, ensuring that the child hangs vertically and won’t flip. An additional weight- bearing clip-in point in back works well when your child just wants to swing. I clip a biner to this point and use it to grab and help my younger kid up steep hikes.

The ease of use makes the Fraggle a standout among the other harnesses I’ve used, but I did wish that it was sized a little smaller. Edelrid claims that the XS Fraggle will work for kids that weigh up to 90 pounds. According to the CDC, that would equate to the size of an average 12-year-old. Most 12 year olds will have long since moved away from the full-body Fraggle and into a standard harness. My boys started climbing when they were 3 (30 pounds). However, the XS Fraggle didn’t really fit until they were 4, about 40 pounds. Parents, if your kid is under 40 pounds, consider buying the XXS (not tested). This is a great harness that allows impatient parents like you more time for inventing time machines and your own rock climbing.

ABOUT THE RATING: I gave the Fraggle 4.5 stars because it is competitively priced and so dang easy to use. I docked it half a star because the XS version doesn’t fit kids who weigh under 40 pounds but fits a 12-year-old.

—Jeff Jackson