Four Great Climbing Helmets

Whether you’re climbing, zip-lining, caving, or doing something even more extreme, you want to be sure that you’re properly protected through it all. A climbing helmet is essential. Whether you want something lightweight or heavy-duty and durable, budget-friendly or totally comfortable, there’s a climbing helmet that will fit your needs while providing safety. Check out these four options.
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Most Versatile

PETZL Picchu Climbing Helmet

PETZL Picchu Climbing Helmet

PETZL Picchu Climbing Helmet

Fits All Sizes.  Couple the harness and helmet and you get Macchu Picchu—ingenious!

What We Liked

The Picchu has a big size range, and tiny testers with bigger melons liked this helmet. It comes with a set of stickers so your little ripper can customize it. Parents loved that it meets safety standards for both climbing and cycling, so it’s essentially two helmets in one. And if you talk your kiddo into an alpine start, it has headlamp clips.  Get Yours on Amazon.

Most Durable

Black Diamond Half Dome Climbing Helmet

Durable Design. A pioneering hybrid design, the Black Diamond Half Dome offers great overall protection, with a large cap of polystyrene in the interior. 

What We Liked

The cinching, hook-and-latch adjustment system is a bit dated, however, and doesn’t measure up to the fit delivered by other hybrid models. Ventilation is also an issue: heat — and sweat vapor — like to rise, not go out the sides, which is where the Half Dome’s vents are located. Headlamp compatibility is excellent, with the four simple latches built into the vents, providing solid retention.  Pick Up One at Amazon.

Pros: Durable; full coverage; accommodates headlamps well.

Cons: Dated adjustment system; limited ventilation.

Most Lightweight

Mammut - Wall Rider Ultra Lightweight Climbing Helmet

Light and Easy to Adjust. The Wall Rider sits low on the head, which came in handy in tight squeezes, and the larger size (56–61cm) only weighs 6.9 ounces

What We Liked

“Never have I had so many people compliment me on my helmet,” one tester said after wearing it in two countries and at a half-dozen climbing areas. The real weight savings comes from the webbing-only harness that “conformed to my head, never irritated my skin, and held the lid solidly in place for all-day routes.” It’s easy to adjust in the rear and under the chin thanks to the doubled-up material that’s effortless to grab and pull. An expanded polypropylene (EPP) core and a partial hard shell on top combine the lightweight of a foam helmet with the added protection and increased durability of a traditional helmet with plastic covering.  Buy on Amazon.

Great Value

EDELRID - Ultralight Hardshell Helmet

Great Value.  The Edelrid Ultralight has been a staple in the climbing-helmet market for well over a decade.

What We Liked

The Edelrid Ultralight is light, comfortable, well-ventilated (for a suspended-shell lid), and won’t wallop your wallet. The suspension cinches down with a minimum of effort and is well padded. Comfort should be even better this year, as Edelrid has added more padding. Unlike many longstanding designs, the Ultralight’s hook retention system works quite well with most headlamps.  Available at Amazon.

Pros: Comfortable; light; accommodates headlamps well.

Cons:  Some people think the design should be updated.