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Best Climbing Helmet: an Expert Guide to the Perfect Product

Russell McCarty
Written by Russell McCarty

Climbing can be one of the most rewarding experiences out there! However,safety and protection are one of the most important factors to be considered when you climb, and your head is the most important area. For instance, you need to protect your head from any falling debris or from accidental slip-and-fall.

We may have a thick skull, but rocks are usually harder so the best climbing helmet will definitely make your adventure safer and, why not, more fun.

Woman Wearing Helmet

Anyone who enjoys rock climbing from beginners to experts should consider a rock-climbing helmet to be an essential part of their safety gear. Still, a helmet only works if you wear it, so make sure you choose one that will be comfortable for each and every climb.

Objective dangers like rocks falling can strike when you least expected and a helmet will allow you to care about your grip while still being safe.

Buying the right gear saves money, time and energy and owning a gear you’re confident in just makes for a better climbing experience.

Climbing Helmet

You should not only wear a helmet for single pitches at the crag but also for mountaineering, canyoneering, and multi-pitch rock/ice routes. You should also initiate wearing the helmet on the first day of your climbing journey and adopt it as a habit afterward, wearing it frequently.

Important Features to Consider Before You Purchase

There are a lot of available climbing helmets on the market, with different sizes and styles. Here are the most recommended features to make the search a lot easier for the buyers.

Ventilation

Lack of ventilation is a big reason why many people don’t wear a helmet while climbing. Helmet manufacturers add more and more ventilation in their helmets as technology improves.

Best Climbing Helmet

The more ventilation a helmet has the better. The lightweight foam helmets have a lot more openings in the shell, and therefore much better ventilation than hardshell helmets.

Weight

When it comes to climbing helmet, weight is very important depending on the type of climbing you’re doing. In other words, the lighter the helmet is, the less durable it is. That is true for all the climbing helmets on thelist below.

Orange Climbing Helmet

You may want to consider weight for climbs with really long approaches mountaineering or multi-pitch routes objectives. Lighter helmets are usually less noticeable, more comfortable and are more likely to be worn. Having a lighter helmet will drain much less energy when climbing and will allow you to climb higher and longer.

Comfort

The major factor is not wearing a helmet – it’s actually comfort. Also, if you don’t wear it, it won’t protect you. Having an uncomfortable helmet that irritates you will result in an uncomfortable climb and will only be a waste of money.

Climbing Helmet

It is advisable to look for a helmet that is easy to adjust and get in a perfect position that you may even forget that you wear a helmet.

Size

Helmets sizes are different depending on your head. All helmets offer some degree of sizing adjustability and there is some overlap between one size and another. A well-fitting helmet should feel snug before you clip the chin strap. The climbing helmet should fit comfortably, and shouldn’t bob around when you move your head.

Durability

Durability is also important as we are always looking to get the best value for our money. If your climbing helmet would be seeing lots of abuse then opt for a durable and more protective helmet.

Climber Red Helmet

Since you cannot determine the type of rock and items that may possibly fall, it is better to focus on having a very hard shell material that can withstand heavier impact, as more durable helmets can last for decades.

Adjustability

The biggest consideration for adjustability probably is just how intuitive it is and how easy it is to use. Sometimes in climbing, your helmet may move to an uncomfortable position and this may hinder you from looking up or even finding your next step so if you cannot easily adjust your helmet, it will not be a beneficial item to carry along. Having a helmet that is easy to adjust will give you a better climbing experience.

Headlamp

We strongly recommend that any helmet you buy has this feature. You never know when you might find yourself late on a climb and need the illumination.

2 Helmets

The headlamp will not only give you an extra free hand but will make your climbing experience smoother and you will always be able to see where you are going. Any helmet you buy should be headlamp compatible and also consider the system used for securing the headlamp before you make a purchase.

Reviews, purchasing advice, and useful info

Since we also know that the market is flooded with a wide range of products, this article will review the best climbing and mountaineering helmets on the market. Below, in our picks, we’ve also included detailed buying advice that breaks down the technical information and factors that differentiate one climbing helmet from another.

Black Diamond Half Dome Helmet

Weight: 0.8 ouncesBlack Diamond Half Dome

Dimensions: 9 x 9 x 9 inches

Design: Hybrid design with molded EPS foam

Best Use: Climbing

Black Diamond Half Dome Helmet offers great overall protection, with a large cap of polystyrene in the interior.

A custom-designed wheel adjuster is also added for quick, secure and precise adjustments with an improved fit and weight savings of more than 40 grams over the original design and it’s still the most durable helmet that Black Diamond offers.

If you like a rear click wheel adjustment, then this helmet is for you.

Other Important Features:

  • Suspension’s custom wheel adjuster allows for improved fine-tuning of fit
  • Large vents on the sides and back offers natural airflow without compromising integrity
  • Wheel adjuster accommodates a variety of hairstyles and head sizes while maintaining a specific fit
  • Tuck-away suspension allows for easier storage

Check the price on Amazon

Outdoor Sports Safety Helmet for Rock Climbing

Weight: 360grams

Dimensions: 21.65-24.02 inchOutdoor Sports Safety Helmet

Material (inner/outer): Polypropylene (PP) / polycarbonate (PC)

Special features: Adjustable buckle/strap to adjust length, softer inner material makes the helmet comfortable

Best Use: Climbing, Mountaineering

Outdoor Sports Safety Helmet for rock climbing is durable and light in weight with an air vent effective for ventilating and cooling.

It is a protective guard design to prevent the damage of your chin when a collision occurs. The softer inner material brings you comfortable feeling and comes in different size, color and suitable for women, men, and children.

Check the price on Amazon

Fusion Meka Work Climbing Helmet

Weight: 0.7 poundsFusion Meka Work Climbing Helmet

Dimensions: 6.25 x 8.25 x 10.25 inches

Special Features: 10 ventilation areas to keep user from overheating on a day, two slots are available for mounting hearing protectors, extremely durable

Best Use: Climbing, Mountaineering

Fusion Meka Work Climbing Helmet has Anti-Microbial foam padding that offers outstanding comfort and manages moisture. They have a single hand use to adjust the size and shape of the helmet.

The Meka gives a variety of adjustability and 10 spaces for air flow to stay the users head cool and relaxed all through actions. The Meka is the helmet for you.

Check the price on Amazon

Petzl Elios Climbing Helmet

Weight: 13.6 ouncesPetzl Elios Club Helmet

Dimensions: 11 x 9 x 6 inches

Material: ABS shell, polystyrene foam, expanded polystyrene liner

Special features: Sliding ventilation shutters, slidelock headband adjustment, headlamp compatible

Best Use: Climbing, Mountaineering

This new version of the Petzl Elios Climbing Helmet is excellent and inexpensive. Its lightweight ABS shell passes all the standard certifications for climbing, and the expanded polystyrene liner is ventilated and prevents the helmet from moving around on your head while you climb.

Petzl also integrated shutters over the vents so you can open or close the vents depending on your preference. PetzlEliosis more than just a foam helmet with a hard shell; it sets a new standard in helmet design – high performance and a great fit at the right price.

Check the price on Amazon

Mammut Wall Rider Chill Climbing Helmet

Weight: 195 gramsMammut Wall Helmet

Dimensions: 11 x 9 x 6 inches

Material: EPP core combined with a hard shell to offer maximum impact-absorbing properties

Special features: Large ventilation for heat discharge and good air circulation, ergonomic interior with comfortable padding, ultra-lightweight, minimalist adjustment system, chin strap for ideal fit, headlamp

Best Use: Climbing, Mountaineering

Mammut Wall Rider Chill Climbing Helmet is a hard shell helmet, durable and not heavy. The Wall Rider has an adjustable suspension system, which makes use of thin webbing straps to lock it down on your head.

To help climbers keep a cool head when solving the next crux section, the Wall Rider is equipped with numerous ventilation openings. Weight is also kept to a minimum by the use of EPP in the foam construction.

The Wall Rider is able to save on weight without compromising its ability to tackle more robust conditions. Mammut Wall Rider Chill climbing helmet is great for both ice cragging and climbing in the sun.

Check the price on Amazon

Black Diamond Vector Climbing Helmet

Weight: 2 poundsBlack Diamond Helmet

Dimensions: 14 x 8 x 7 inches

Material: Co-molded EPS foam with polycarbonate shell

Features: Ratchet adjuster with molded push buttons, large ventilation ports provide max airflow, tuck-away suspension makes for compact storage, in-mold headlamp clips for ultra-secure attachment

Best Use: Climbing

The Black Diamond Vector is a revolutionary helmet that’s ideal for long routes and other weight-sensitive missions; it combines lightweight protection, great ventilation, and comfort like never before.  The Black Diamond Vector is constructed from expanded polystyrene and covered by a thin polycarbonate shell with enclosed co-molded EPS foam for a versatile design that allows airflow without compromising protection.

Check the price on Amazon

Edelrid Shield Helmet

Weight: 0.55 poundsEDELRID Shield Helmet

Dimensions: 7 x 8.8 x 10.6 inches

Material: Lightweight In-Mold construction with expanded polystyrene foam core and tough polycarbonate shell

Features: Fully adjustable head and neck strap for the perfect fit, fully adjustable chin strap, ergonomically-shaped interior with removable padding, airflow system with large vents, 4 robust head torch clips, spare padding included

Best Use: Climbing

Edelrid Shield Helmet is profoundly lightweight and still provides robust protection from falling objects. Its In-Mold construction consists of a tough polycarbonate shell and expanded polystyrene foam that you can remove if you need more room.

The Wing-Fit system has a minimalist adjustment dial that lets you adjust the fit comfortably and easily.

Check the price on Amazon

Petzl Picchu Climbing Helmet

Weight: 310 gramsPetzl Kids Helmet

Dimensions: 38 x 14 x 14 inches

Material: Expanded polystyrene liner to absorb impacts

Features: Ratchet-back design for easy adjustability, hard-shell design increases durability, side openings permit good ventilation, adjustable chinstrap, headlamp attachment with 4 optimally placed clips, foam is removable and washable

Best Use: Climbing, Cycling

Petzl Picchu Climbing Helmet is designed for children who want to rock climb or cycle. It is very light in weight, comfortable and constructed for durability. It comes with three pages of stickers, with one reflective page, so that the helmet can be personalized and made more visible. Definitely recommend getting it, if your kids climb and cycle.

Check the price on Amazon

What we learned

You simply must have a helmet to ensure that you are eliminating every possible risk when you are climbing! After all, a helmet costs less than brain surgery and it should be considered a fundamental part of safety equipment. If you want to spend your money wisely, climbing helmets are the number one piece of equipment you should get.

Adjusting Helmet

Please keep in mind that the helmets we discussed today are specific to climbing and are meant to protect your head from falling objects. We hope that the reviews above will help you to choose the right type of helmet for your climbing needs, but if you know other producers and products, please let us know.

Of course, we can’t wait to hear your experience with a helmet and, how it may have saved your life. Until then, stay safe and continue climbing!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Russell McCarty
Russell McCarty

Russell considers backpacking one of his great passions in life. He actually managed to transform his passion into a living becoming a professional adventurer. Russell loves long-distance backpacking and he enriched his portfolio with famous trails like the Alaska-Yukon Expedition or the Appalachian Trail. With thousands of miles under his feet, Russell is the expert to consult when it comes to how to prepare for a successful outdoor adventure.

  • Lucy Marbury

    I use the Black Diamond Half Dome Helmet when I’m out climbing. The one-handed adjustment dial and spotlight grips work perfectly! Also as it says in the article, the air flow–and overall fit–with this particular helmet is very good.

  • Alicia Djuric

    Whichever hiking helmet you decide to go with, you have to literally trust with your life. I did a lot of research (as anyone should!) before buying mine, the Black Diamond Half Dome Helmet. It offers great protection, it’s light and it also looks really good, which can’t be said for other helmets I’ve worn!

  • Russell McCarty

    I love the look of this helmet, very streamlined and beautiful. Black diamond is a reliable brand and one look at its many features makes you glad you got one, right?The affordable price is great, too.

  • Russell McCarty

    I’m not surprised that the Black Diamond is a popular helmet. The quality is tops and you don’t have to worry about anything else. The price is perfect, too. What more can we ask, right?
    Thanks for dropping by Alicia!

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