Gear Review: Black Diamond Equipment Vapor Helmet

Stay protected without being weighed down wearing this ultralight helmet from Black Diamond Equipment.

[ultralight helmet]

It may look like Swiss cheese, but this lid protects like a tank, thanks to Kevlar and carbon rods stuck between layers of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam. Our tester rocked it on climbs at Shelf Road, Colorado, and says, “It’s incredibly light on my head; I didn’t notice it, ever.”

It’s not the absolute lightest helmet on the market, but the extra grams are justified: The Vapor sports a durability-increasing polycarbonate shell and a stiff ratcheting internal suspension system, which is easy to put on, fully adjustable, and tucks away inside the helmet. Twenty vents on the sides and rear make it highly breathable for hot-weather climbing. $140; 6.6 oz. (S/M size); two sizes;