Climbing helmets are an essential piece of equipment for any climber, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced climber. A climbing helmet can protect your head from falling rocks or other debris, as well as provide a barrier against head injuries from falls.
There are a wide variety of climbing helmets on the market, and it can be difficult to know which one to choose. Like most beginning climbers I remember feeling a bit overwhelmed when trying to decide what would be the best helmet for myself, even though the back then there wasn’t that many options available. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best climbing helmets available, and help you find the perfect one for your needs.
Our choice for best climbing helmet – Black Diamond Vision MIPS
The Black Diamond Vision MIPS Climbing Helmet is a well-designed and highly protective helmet that is suitable for a variety of climbing activities. This helmet is built with MIPS technology, which provides additional protection against rotational forces that can cause brain injuries. This is particularly important in climbing accidents where impacts can occur at awkward angles.
One of the standout features of the Black Diamond Vision MIPS helmet is its lightweight design. Weighing in at just 8.1 ounces (230 grams), this helmet is comfortable to wear for long periods of time and won’t weigh you down while climbing. The low profile design also allows for a full range of vision, which is important for staying aware of your surroundings and spotting potential hazards while climbing.
The helmet is designed with a durable and lightweight polycarbonate shell that provides excellent protection against impacts, and the EPS foam liner helps to absorb shock. The helmet also features a dial-adjustable fit system that allows for a customized fit, ensuring that the helmet stays securely in place while you climb.
One of the unique features of the Black Diamond Vision MIPS helmet is the integrated headlamp clips, which allow you to easily attach a headlamp for nighttime climbing or caving. The helmet also features a comfortable and breathable liner that helps to wick away moisture, keeping you cool and dry during long climbs.
Overall, the Black Diamond Vision MIPS Climbing Helmet is an excellent choice for climbers who prioritize both safety and comfort. The MIPS technology provides an additional level of protection against rotational forces, and the lightweight design and customizable fit make this helmet comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
The best prices for Vision MIPS:
The best value climbing helmet – Black Diamond Half Dome
The Black Diamond Half Dome Helmet is a popular choice among climbers, and for good reason. This helmet features a hybrid design that combines a durable shell with a comfortable foam liner. The Half Dome also has a low profile, making it easy to wear with a backpack or other gear. It also has an chin strap and headband that you can adjust, allowing you to customize the fit for maximum comfort. Our testers felt that this was one of the most adjustable helmets available.
The best prices for Black Diamond Half Dome:
Petzl Sirocco Climbing Helmet – The lightweight option
The Petzl Sirocco Helmet is a lightweight and comfortable option for climbers who value mobility. The Sirocco features a unique design that uses expanded polypropylene foam, which is both lightweight and durable. This helmet is also very breathable, with large vents that allow air to circulate better.
The best prices for Petzl Sirocco:
Mammut Wall Rider MIPS Helmet
The Mammut Wall Rider Helmet is another great choice for climbers who want a lightweight and comfortable helmet. This helmet features a hybrid design, with a hard plastic shell and a foam liner. It also has a low profile, making it easy to wear with other gear. The Wall Rider also has a unique adjustment system that allows you to adjust the fit with one hand, making it easy to get a perfect fit on the fly.
The best prices for Mammut Wall Rider MIPS:
Black Diamond Vapor Helmet
The Black Diamond Vapor Helmet is a great choice for climbers who want a helmet that is both lightweight and protective. This helmet features a unique design that uses a Kevlar and carbon fiber shell, making it both strong and lightweight. The Vapor also has large vents that keep your head cool, and a comfortable foam liner that conforms to your head for a perfect fit.
The best prices for Black Diamond Vapor:
Edelrid Shield II Climbing Helmet
The Edelrid Shield II Climbing Helmet is a versatile helmet that is perfect for a wide range of climbing activities. This helmet features a hard plastic shell with a foam liner, providing excellent protection and comfort. It also has a unique adjustment system that allows you to adjust the fit with one hand, making it easy to get a perfect fit.
The best prices for Edelrid Shield 2:
Choosing the right climbing helmet
Choosing the right climbing helmet is essential for your safety and comfort while climbing. The helmets listed above are all excellent options, and each one offers unique features and benefits. Consider your needs and preferences, and choose the helmet that will provide the best protection and comfort for your climbing activities.
MIPS climbing helmets
MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) is a technology that is becoming increasingly popular in climbing helmets. MIPS is a patented technology that was developed to reduce the rotational forces that can occur during an impact. These rotational forces can cause brain injuries, even if the impact itself was relatively minor.
MIPS works by allowing the helmet to rotate slightly on impact, which can reduce the rotational forces that are transferred to the brain. MIPS consists of a low-friction layer that sits between the helmet’s outer shell and its liner. This layer allows the helmet to rotate slightly in any direction, which can help to reduce the rotational forces that can cause brain injuries.
Several climbing helmet manufacturers have started to incorporate MIPS technology into their helmets. Some popular options include the Black Diamond Vision MIPS Helmet and the Petzl Wall Rider MIPS Helmet. These helmets use MIPS technology to provide additional protection against rotational forces, which can be especially important in climbing accidents where impacts can occur at awkward angles.
It’s worth noting that not all climbing helmets use MIPS technology, and there are many excellent helmets available that do not incorporate this technology. However, if you are looking for an extra level of protection against rotational forces, then a MIPS helmet may be worth considering. Just be aware that MIPS technology can add to the cost of a helmet, so you’ll need to weigh the benefits against the added expense.
Is MIPS technology worth-it for climbing?
MIPS helmets can be worth it for climbing, especially if you frequently engage in high-risk climbing activities such as trad climbing, ice climbing, or mountaineering. These activities involve a higher risk of falls and impacts, and a MIPS helmet can provide additional protection against rotational forces that can cause brain injuries.
That being said, the decision of whether a MIPS helmet is worth it for climbing ultimately depends on your personal preferences and priorities. If you prioritize safety and can afford the additional cost, a MIPS helmet may be a good investment for you. However, if you engage in lower-risk climbing activities or cost is a major consideration, a MIPS helmet may not be necessary. I usually opt for the MIPS option whether its for climbing, skiing/snowboarding or for MTB, because of the extra security I feel when wearing a helmet with it!
What to consider when choosing the best climbing helmet for you?
When picking the right helmet for you, there are several factors to consider:
Safety: The primary function of a climbing helmet is obviously to protect your head from impact. Look for a helmet that meets industry safety standards, such as those set by the UIAA or the CE.
Fit: A helmet that doesn’t fit properly won’t offer adequate protection. Look for a helmet with an adjustable fit system and try on several sizes to find the one that fits your head comfortably and securely.
Weight: A heavy helmet can be uncomfortable and make it harder to move your head freely while climbing. Look for a lightweight helmet that won’t weigh you down.
Ventilation: Climbing can be physically demanding, and a helmet with good ventilation can help keep you cool and comfortable while climbing.
Features: Different helmets come with different features, such as adjustable straps, integrated headlamp clips, or removable padding. Consider which features are important to you and whether they justify a higher price tag.
Type of climbing: The type of climbing you do will influence the type of helmet you need. For example, if you do a lot of ice climbing or mountaineering, you may want a helmet with a visor to protect your face from those ice chips that break off with every swing of the axe. Also wind and climbers above you on an alpine route can whip up a lot of ice and snow to your face.
Personal preference: Ultimately, the helmet you choose should be one that you feel comfortable wearing and that meets your personal preferences and needs.
When I am helping a client in choosing a climbing helmet I always consider these things before we get to actually fitting the helmet on. By taking these factors into account, you can choose a helmet that will offer you the best protection and comfort while climbing.
Price of the helmet
When it comes to buying a climbing helmet, price is an important consideration. Here are some factors to consider:
Safety: Your primary consideration when choosing a climbing helmet should be safety. Look for a helmet that meets industry safety standards, such as those set by the UIAA or the CE. While price is important, it’s not worth skimping on safety to save a few dollars.
Features: Different climbing helmets come with different features, such as adjustable straps, ventilation, or integrated headlamp clips. Consider which features are important to you and whether they justify a higher price tag.
Brand: Some brands are known for producing high-quality climbing helmets that are more expensive than other brands. While a brand name doesn’t always guarantee quality, it can be an indication of a well-designed and tested helmet.
Durability: A more expensive helmet may be more durable and able to withstand more wear and tear over time. Consider the materials used in the helmet’s construction and read reviews to get an idea of how well it holds up over time.
Personal preference: Ultimately, the price you pay for a climbing helmet will depend on your personal preferences and budget. Consider how often you plan to climb and how important a helmet is to your safety and comfort while climbing. If you plan to climb frequently or in high-risk environments, it may be worth investing in a higher-priced helmet.