/ child harness and helmet

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bignige - on 22 Aug 2012
Have taken my god daughter indoor climbing a few times now, she is very good. She now wants to go outdoors.

Can anyone recommend a harness and helmet? Or better still got one free to a good home;)

I am based in cheshire what crags/routes am happy to travel to North Wales.

Howardw1968 - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to bignige:

Depends on age how old is she?

highclimber - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Howardw1968:
> (In reply to bignige)
>
> Depends on age how old is she?

no it doesn't, it depends on how big they are!
Howardw1968 - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to highclimber:
your right but the two are kind of related.....

bignige - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to bignige: sorry thought I had put that she is 8 about average height and a bit on the thin side
In reply to bignige: I've got the Rock Empire full body kids model ("Apache" maybe?) for my kids. My older son who is 8 will soon be too big for it but has used it since he was 3. They've never complained about it being uncomfy. BUT if you are going to be swapping the harness between kids, I would definitely look for zip-lock style buckles like on the DMM one. Thread back buckles are a huge hassle when dealing with a squirming 5 year old who just wants to climb.

I've found many adult helmets fit kids perfectly well, so you might well have something already. The lighter the better though, so my kids like the foam helmets best.
Howardw1968 - on 23 Aug 2012
In reply to TobyA:

I think for an average 8 year old (i was out with one on monday but bouldering so no harness) that it would be worth taking them to a shop as they are heading towards the top end of full body harnesses and may be better off with a childs sit harness. The DMM tomcat has a waist size of 50-75 cm how does that size up? according to their website. also wild country superkids vision does waist 58-74 but can come in girl friendly purple!

I've used both the Tom Kitten and the Wild country kids full body and the differences are small (shoulder padding and an extra clip) and an average 8 year old would still fit according to my chart (26kg and 122 cm tall) but as she has already climbed at a wall what is she sing is that comfortable for her?


I agree on a small adult helmet though as it would have more growth space but worth checking out the picchu if she might use it for a bike as well
H
In reply to Howardw1968: Yep, I actually missed where Nige said what age the young lady is - but for an 8 year old I would also look at a kids sit harness. We're about to buy one as my 8 yr old will grow out of the full body one soon.
winhill - on 23 Aug 2012
In reply to Howardw1968:
> (In reply to TobyA)
>
> I agree on a small adult helmet though as it would have more growth space but worth checking out the picchu if she might use it for a bike as well

The picchu might be a bit small, they are aimed up to age 8.

OTOH Why not just use their pushbike helmet (assuming they have one), the pisspot style climbing helmets only offer protection from above, if you're top roping somewhere stable then a bike helmet can be better.

bignige - on 23 Aug 2012
In reply to bignige: thanks for the advice, she is tall and thin so a sit in may be better, that's what we have used inside.

Never thought about the bike helmet, I know they aren't up to the relevant specs, has anyone else used one, what do you think.
Howardw1968 - on 23 Aug 2012
In reply to bignige:

I tend to be a right tool for the job persons so would get a proper climbing helmet rather than one designed for another pursuit cause even stable rock can sometimes through stones off or dirt.
It may be that you could borrow one from a friend or someone at the wall raher than buying one up front as if she doesn't use one at the wall it wont get any where near as much use as the harness
In reply to winhill:

> OTOH Why not just use their pushbike helmet (assuming they have one), the pisspot style climbing helmets only offer protection from above, if you're top roping somewhere stable then a bike helmet can be better.

Is that a perhaps fair assumption or do you actually have evidence? I'm genuinely interested as I'm writing about helmets currently and side impact is something I've been looking into.

winhill - on 23 Aug 2012
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to winhill)
>
> Is that a perhaps fair assumption or do you actually have evidence? I'm genuinely interested as I'm writing about helmets currently and side impact is something I've been looking into.

Even better, it's logic!

I've been looking at helmets too, as my youngest started leading and I thought it's best if he (nearly) always wears a helmet, my oldest never did but he was a much more competent climber before he started leading.

I think I asked the question on Dan Middleton's helmet thread? Or I meant to.

In that thread there was a climbing club who said their members always wore helmets, showed them using pisspots (the sit on your head stylee ones) at Stanage. I wondered (a) what was going to fall on top of you top roping at Stanage? (Bird shit and paragliders, maybe) and (b) if the danger is side and back of the head strikes, what protection do the pisspots really offer and do they engender a false feeling of security?

More recently I reviewed our helmet options, which were two pisspots (Rockstar and HB), my own HB carbon and kids cycling helmets,including one of those skateboard type ones which is actually by far the best as it offers deep side and back protection but has a sort of petal air vents on the top.

Weighing them on the scales though, the skate one weighed over 500 grams, so I thought it was a bit OTT, and I hadn't occured to me that my HB was the lightest, and it made much more sense to let them wear that, while I wore the heavy (568g fibreglass!) HB one for belaying.

I checked policy at one wall, where again the danger of death from above is minute, as they nearly always make kids wear centre style pisspots leading (if instructed, if under parental it's different) and they had no policy on type of helmet that could be used but agreed the skate/off road ones were the best protection without me mentioning it to them.

Helmet tests that include ice axe strikes seem fairly irrelevant in this scenario.

IME kids hate wearing helmets, they're hot, heavy and never fit well and can make the difference between doing another route or not, so if you use cheap, light, comfortable, effective pushbike helmets it may enhance the experience all round.

I'm trying to engender my kids with the ethos helmets aren't compulsory but asking yourself if you need one is. Unfortunately they hardly ever decide yes. This despite the fact someone did once manage to drop a 50M rope on one of them from a great height (he was leading at the time, too), luckily I saw it in time and shouted to cling on, after it clattered off his helmet I shouted up 'See, I bet your glad you're wearing a helmet now', I pointed out the route was Helmet or Not Helmet and they saw the funny side. Eventually.

I can see from a professional POV that uncertified, polystrene helmets that are difficult to detect damage in, would be unsuitable, but none of those concerns are directly relevant to an independent user. (Although this isn't an argument in favour of bike helmets, more an argument against pisspots).

I can also see centres being unhappy to replace dozens of pisspots for thousands of pounds worth of short life polystyrene but indoors, some sport, top roping they seem to offer better protection for the particular situation.
In reply to winhill:

> Even better, it's logic!

As I don't know enough about why bike helmets are designed the way they are, I'm not ready to agree that this is logic. I do agree that many climbing helmets are primarily designed to protect from things falling, rather than to protect the person wearing it when falling, but not all are. I was emailing with Dan about this yesterday - and in particular he recommended the Wild Country 360 if you don't want to buy a pure foam helmet like the WC Rock Lite or Petzl Meteor which also give better fall/swing protection than most hybrid and cradle designs. I think WC deserve kudos for designing a helmet with falling climbers in mind as much as falling rocks, and then for bringing one to market that is cheap, pretty light and looks just fine too.
In reply to winhill:
> for thousands of pounds worth of short life polystyrene but indoors, some sport, top roping they seem to offer better protection for the particular situation.

Again, if you mean cycle helmets not foam climbing helmets, I don't think you really know if they offer "better protection". They might but I don't think you know enough to be categorical on that.
winhill - on 23 Aug 2012
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to winhill)
>
> Again, if you mean cycle helmets not foam climbing helmets, I don't think you really know if they offer "better protection". They might but I don't think you know enough to be categorical on that.

I thought by putting 'seem' in it might indicate it was an opinion, not based on a peer reviewed comparative test?

If you strap a thimble on your head it may offer very strong penetrative resistance but compared to a pisspot you may feel that the larger size of the pisspot seems to offer better protection and go with that.

In the cycling helmets I've seen and got, they offer a larger area of side and back of the head protection, the Bell style skate helmets even more, than pisspots and even some hybrid climbing helmets. So better protection assumes that more protection is better, unless for some reason the protection is malfunctioning.

AFAIK there is no part of the test, for either type of helmet that specifies the area that must be protected (ie lower down the sides or back).
In reply to winhill:

> unless for some reason the protection is malfunctioning.

...or if that protection isn't designed to protect against the type of blow a climber faces in a fall. You could cover all the back of your head in bubble wrap and you would have more coverage of protection than from a climbing helmet, but probably not a greater degree of protection. Like I said, you may well be right - but I don't know if cycling helmet is designed to protect against the same type, direction and force of impact as you get in a climbing fall.

p.s.you seem very attached to the term "pisspot"! Oddly, I've never looked at my helmet and though of taking a tinkle in it - but different strokes... ;)
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Howardw1968 - on 23 Aug 2012
In reply to TobyA:

I think the use of the term 'pisspot' was chosen deliberately and emotionally to support the posters POV.
I of course use a toilet as a pisspot seems to me to be the right tool for that job ;)

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