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Product Review: Littlelife Arc-3 Travel Cot

Product Review: Littlelife Arc-3 Travel Cot


Overall: five-cheerios

We bought this product a few years ago when I was pregnant with our oldest and we saw it on sale in a climbing store here in Utah. We call it a baby cage and love it. How much your baby or toddler will love it also depends on them. Our first had to  be held 24-7 and thus she wasn’t a fan. Our other two loved it and used it all the time. Now all three of our kids like getting in there together (Ages 4, 2 and 9 months). We’ve actually had 5 kids and a dog in there once because they thought it was so much fun and wanted to see if they could all fit.

For some reason  they don’t manufacture the Arc-3 anymore (perhaps due to low demand for being more expensive and an unnecessary advancement of the Arc 2, I don’t know) but I hope this product review can still help you find something similar. We didn’t even know about the Arc 2 when we bought it. The Arc-2 is still out there  but seems to be a hard find in the US. These cots are all over the UK so if your traveling there or if you see a used one for sale here than I recommend buying fast!

This isn’t just for climbing, its for camping, hiking, picnics, beaches, travels, playing – any indoor and outdoor activity really. Its for playing and sleeping.

There is a sun shade that you can buy for it. We’ve used other things to block the sun when necessary but the sun shade for this one is only like $8 so I plan on getting one and you should too. Why not?


The padded bottom is perfect. It allows you to set up basically anywhere outside, rocks included, and have your little one safe and willing to nap. The cushion is what fills up the bag, everything else is tiny.



It packs into its own easy to carry and super light weight bag. Because it is so light, anyone can carry it in addition to a back pack that they might already be carrying. Really, you’ll be shocked at how light it is. The poles are aluminum so they are super light.

Its durable – we’ve used it for three kids over the past 5 years and its still going strong, nothing broken as of yet.

We call it a baby cage because the zippers only open and close from the outside which believe me is a must. It might be the best feature. The reason is because it keeps your little one safe as well as keeps you from having to put them back into the tent every two seconds.

Its all mesh screen so you can see your baby, they still feel like they are outside, and they don’t feel like they are far from you so its not just for sleeping but for playing.

You can zip up the top for extra protection or leave it open so they can stand and stick their head out which my 9-month old currently loves. Its a game.

You can stake in the sides for extra stability. When stakes won’t go into the ground, I’ve used large rocks over the straps so that I can know it won’t accidentally topple from my very daring and adventurous kids – it hasn’t happened yet and I’ve had older kids climb out and in the top.


We were conflicted because of the price when we first bought it, it was about a $150 at the time, but it has held up for years for multiple kids and has proved in indispensable item. Everyone who has ever seen us with it fall in love. Worth it. For sure.

Product Review: Petzl Picchu Climbing Helmet – Kids’

Product Review: Petzl Picchu Climbing Helmet – Kids’



We bought this helmet a few years ago for our oldest and later bought a second for our next when we saw it brand new for $20 at an auction. At that point, we knew it was an amazing helmet and we were not going to pass up an opportunity to grab another at that price.


Its well cushioned and ventilated. It fits snuggly and doesn’t jostle which I think adds to the comfort as well. Make sure you tinker with the straps in having it pulled back and down in the right spot as well as have the piece around the head ratcheted snug. This will ensure the helmet is in the right place and not blocking your child’s view or a choking hazard.

My 4 year old and her older cousins have all said it was comfortable. Since, I haven’t had it on my head thats really all I can say…


It says this helmet is adjustable for ages 3-8 but our two year old has worn it too. I seems to adjust smaller than a lot of its counter brands.

It also meets the US standards for biking which makes it so you don’t have to own a different helmet for every occasion.

We’ve had ours for years and they have been used for both climbing and biking and are still in excellent condition. Clearly, very durable.


It can be found from $45-59. It is pricey but I would give it 5 cheerios easily because it is so adjustable you are not going to have to buy another helmet for quite some time and you don’t have to also buy a biking helmet.


Product Review: Petzl Simba Full-Body Climbing Harness – Kids’

Product Review: Petzl Simba Full-Body Climbing Harness – Kids’


Overall: four-cheerios

Because my kids are still small I’ve preferred using a full-body harness. This harness says it can fit children up to age 10 and while it is super adjustable, after taking a lot of cousins climbing, I really think your probably only looking at up to age 8. Also, you are probably going to want to transition from a full-body harness to a sit harness around age 6 anyways.


I can only give this harness three cheerios in this area because of its complete lack of padding, none whatsoever. For that reason, I make sure that my girls aren’t wearing a tank top so that there is at least a shirt between the buckle and their skin.

Practical: five-cheerios

This harness is super adjustable and can get really small. We bought it in a store and was told by the merchant that this would definitely be the harness we would want  for our littles and so he ordered it for us. However, it isn’t really made to be worn for kids under the age of 4. On our 2 year old it fits too high and squeezes the face.

With how fast kids are growing and if you are going climbing with a group of kids this is a great harness that will fit many sizes.

This harness is also super easy to use. My 4 year old can put it on by herself without a problem and it fits her fine.


You can find this harness anywhere from $47-59 which is worth it for how long it can fit your child, though pads people, come on.

Product Review: La Sportiva Stickit FriXion RS Climbing Shoe – Kids’

Product Review: La Sportiva Stickit FriXion RS Climbing Shoe – Kids’


Overall: four-cheerios

We bought these shoes about three months ago for our 2 year old. We already had the Mad Rock Mad Monkey 2.0 shoes for our 4 year old. These La Sportiva shoes were the only ones stocked by REI at the time in the right size. Overall, this shoe only got a rating of four cheerios because while it will work as a fine climbing shoe for any kid there are a few things that would keep my from recommending it as my first choice.

Comfort: five-cheerios

Kid’s shoes do not need to be super aggressive and stiff. These shoes are going to provide your child with the extra help they need to climb better but remain comfortable so they still enjoy having them on.


We have not had an issue with these shoes as of yet since they are relatively new, but the strap laces seem like they are likely to give out far before the shoes are done.  I have heard of this happening from others who bought the shoe.

They are easy to put on. Our two-year old can do it on her own which is a big plus.

The shoes are somewhat adjustable in size which is extremely helpful for young kids with fast growing feet. The laces on the top allow you to adjust for tightness and width of the foot and the lace over the soft heel allow you to adjust a little for length.

The the lizard theme is definitely loved by my daughter. She calls it her frog shoes which means that while she climbs she repeatedly says F***, which may have made the purchase worth it in and of itself.


These shoes generally seem to run $48.00. This is far better than the adult prices we see between $140 and $190 but a little more than some other climbing shoes that offer the same value. If the laces do end up lasting then it will be more worth the price considering it can be passed onto your next child after the first grows out of them. Time will tell.

Product Review: Mad Rock Mad Monkey 2.0 Climbing Shoe – Kids’

Product Review: Mad Rock Mad Monkey 2.0 Climbing Shoe – Kids’



We bought these shoe’s about a year ago for my 4 year olds birthday. She has been climbing on them quite a bit, indoor and out, and they  have held up great. They are my favorite kids climbing shoe thus far and I would highly recommend them to other parents.


Kids shoes do not need to be super aggressive and stiff. These shoes are going to provide your child with the extra help they need to climb better but remain comfortable so they still enjoy having them on. I have heard zero complaints from my daughter about the comfort of the shoe and she leaves them on for long periods of time between climbs too.


The shoes are easy to put on with one big velcro strap which means that even your littlest can probably do it on their own.

The shoes are also adjustable for growing feet which is great. The large velcro on top cinches it tighter and the two small velcro straps on the heel allows you to adjust, lengthen, or tighten the shoe as well.

Thus far, the shoe has proven durable and the design seems like it will continue to hold up. I plan on passing it on to our next after she grows out of hers.

The monkey theme of course is loved by kids.

Cost: five-cheerios

These shoes can generally be found for $38 which is obviously a great price for climbing shoes but specifically also a competitive price for kid’s climbing shoes. Even more so because these shoes seem like they can last for more than one child.

Product Review: Mountain Momma by Mad Rock – Climbing Harness for Pregnancy

Product Review: Mountain Momma by Mad Rock – Climbing Harness for Pregnancy


In 2012 (at least I think that’s when it was) Mad Rock worked with Mountain Mama to come out with a climbing harness made specifically for PREGNANT women to continue top-rope climbing. Though there have been other full-body harness alternatives used by pregnant women, specifically Petzl’s, this was the first geared specifically for pregnancy. I’ve now used it for two of my pregnancies and while it is not perfect, it has been worth it and I would still recommend it. However, let me give you a better understanding of what you are getting yourself into.


This is a major question out there I’m sure but let’s be honest here – is anything really comfortable when your pregnant!!?! No, I didn’t think so. With that in mind, let me try to answer. Though I should say the answer of comfort really does change depending on the day of your pregnancy and how you’ve adjusted the harness. Alright, clearly I’m being to noncommittal.

What is definitely not comfortable are the buckles on your collarbones by your neck. You can put a pad cover yourself but it really would be nice if it came done for you.

In all, the harness is comfortable but only if it’s adjusted correctly. You need to readjust this harness every time you put it on for two reasons: (1) Your body is constantly changing; (2) The quick release buckles loosen over time requiring readjustment.

Tip: It is helpful to sit in the harness before doing a complete route so you know how it will feel when you’re being lowered and then readjust accordingly to find the right fit. It’s hard to know if you have it synched correctly when you are standing with the straps falling loose rather than sitting in it with the straps being pulled upward. That might be a reason that it is uncomfortable.


Practical in that it gets the job done and you get to keep climbing.1235948_10153259363630327_978871123_n copy

NOT practical with only ONE gear loop. First, this gear loop is near the front and on only one side, which can make for some awkward cleanup of routes. Second, one gear loop is nowhere near enough when cleaning a route. I’ve truly come off some routes looking like a pregnant Rambo, clipping gear everywhere and anywhere on the harness since they can’t fit on my one little tiny loop.

Annoying is the loose extra section of the straps when the harness is synched tight that get in your way. I’ve used Velcro to clean it up and strap them down to avoid the annoyance myself.

Also, rappelling and belaying a lead climber can be a little rough because the device ends up right at face level because it is a full-body harness and you connect in on a left and right loop pulled together over your chest


$120.00 (last I checked) is definitely pricier than other harnesses but it does seem to currently be the best option out there. Still, with that price tag you would think they could include buckle covers for comfort, more gear loops, and clips to hold the excess strap. There are definitely improvements that should be made and I must say that I’m a little disappointed that it hasn’t happened in these past years. I’m waiting for an upgrade.

Nonetheless, it was worth it for me. I started using it going into my second trimester of two pregnancies and used it while full term, basically just days before delivery. It’s still in great shape and I will use it for my future pregnancies as well.

Something to keep in mind is that it can be HARD TO GET. I was on a waiting list for months before I got mine because they don’t always seem to be in stock. So if you want it, act fast.