Need advice on getting a helmet

Post here for all your gear questions, rants and raves. Ask about gear before you buy it and find out what others are using. NOTE: this forum is NOT for gear sales.

Post Reply
ildsarria
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:13 pm
Real Name: Iva Sarria

Need advice on getting a helmet

Post by ildsarria » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:17 pm

Hi

I'm going climbing outdoors and want to get a Helmut. I see there are the ones with the spongy inner (like the bicycle helmets have) and ones that are thinner less bulky without sponge ( I think the 2 I saw were both Petzl) , is the sponge inside going to save your life over the one without? But they would they make helmuts that are useless? The thinner one just appeals because its less bulky, but I would think the other one is more protective?

I'm going to be doing bolted roots and eventually soon some trad, if that information affects the helmut I should get

Thanks

User avatar
climbcityrock
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 8:59 am
Real Name: CityROCK Indoor Climbing Gym

Re: Need advice on getting a helmut

Post by climbcityrock » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:29 am

HI Iva

Wearing a helmet will always be better than not wearing a helmet. Out of the major climbing brands, none of them have made a helmet that is useless, they all have their own purpose.
Essentially their are two types of helmets - Hard shell Helmets and Shelled Foam Helmet
A Hard Shell helmet will be more durable because it has a harder outer shell that is often paired with a strap suspension system and a thin foam layer. The primary advantages to these helmets are they will have a longer lifespan, they can take a few bumps and they are cheaper but the down side is they are heavier than the Shelled foam.
A Shelled Foam helmet is lightweight and features a thick layer of impact absorbing polystyrene or foam which is protected by a thin plastic shell. If these take a significant impact it will be absorbed by the helmet deforming. The weight is its biggest advantage and the added ventilated is great for long days in the sun. Try not to pack this helmet in a bag that may get sat on:-)

Some examples of each helmet can be seen at the below links

Hard Shelled Helmet:
https://www.mountainmailorder.co.za/bla ... ?cat=13542

Shelled Helmet
https://www.mountainmailorder.co.za/mam ... ?cat=13542

If you need any more info just shout

regards
Richard
CityROCK Gearshop

Chris F
Posts: 785
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:45 pm
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland

Re: Need advice on getting a helmut

Post by Chris F » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:40 am

Try on as many as you can for feel, fit, comfort.

ildsarria
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:13 pm
Real Name: Iva Sarria

Re: Need advice on getting a helmut

Post by ildsarria » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:52 am

Thanks guys, Richard I am coming to CR this afternoon to try on some

Old Smelly
Posts: 651
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:21 pm

Re: Need advice on getting a helmut

Post by Old Smelly » Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:31 am

UIAA Hemet Tests.jpg
UIAA Hemet Tests.jpg (104.36 KiB) Viewed 997 times
Interestingly there have been quite a lot of complaints about the test methods for Climbing Helmets and the helmets are designed around these tests (which is why some people complain that the side protection is quite bad in some models)

The basic take is that a helmet is always better than none (sort of like seatbelts) but to get people to wear them they make the softer, lighter helmets and accept the compromise on durability (what Richard said) and a slight reduction on impact performance. However in terms of which to choose the previous comment is the most telling - just like with harnesses and climbing shoes - take the one that fits best...
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...

ildsarria
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:13 pm
Real Name: Iva Sarria

Re: Need advice on getting a helmet

Post by ildsarria » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:32 pm

Thank you, I bought a Wild country today, but I think I want to change to the black diamond vector I couldn't decide between the two and now not so sure about comfort, the Vector covers the forehead quite alot , is there any disadvantage with this?

JanoSA
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:59 am
Location: Bloemfontein
Contact:

Re: Need advice on getting a helmet

Post by JanoSA » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:05 pm

All know brands of climbing helmets will be safe enough. Don't over analyse.

1. If you are rough on gear, buy hard shell. If you are not rough on gear and value technical advanced gear and performance, buy light-weight foam.

2. Go out and FIT as many helmets as possible in your chosen category. Buy the one with the best fit for your head shape. Aim for secure non-moving fit with good coverage. If it's by a know/trusted brand and fits snug without moving around it will protect you well enough.


I happen to own a Black Diamond vector. Quite enjoy it. Only chose it as it was the only option than fit my large head well enough and not just sit on top of my head. Comfortable for all day wear. But be very careful with it! It damages very easily. Cosmetic damage I will add, but damage all the same

ildsarria
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:13 pm
Real Name: Iva Sarria

Re: Need advice on getting a helmet

Post by ildsarria » Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:16 am

Thanks!

Old Smelly
Posts: 651
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:21 pm

Re: Need advice on getting a helmet

Post by Old Smelly » Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:50 am

I also own a Vector - it works fine but as mentioned it is super soft.

A lot of people really like the Singing Rock Penta. I echo the above sentiment - buy for fit!
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...

Joshiva
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2015 11:10 am
Real Name: Joshua Butcher

Re: Need advice on getting a helmet

Post by Joshiva » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:44 pm

The Vector is great, I'm stoked with my Mammut Rockrider :) it's all about the fit

ildsarria
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:13 pm
Real Name: Iva Sarria

Re: Need advice on getting a helmet

Post by ildsarria » Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:48 am

Thanks I went back and got the Vector, and wore it for my first outdoor climb yesterday, I left it on the whole time we were at the site, 3 hours and it was comfortable the whole time, which I didn't expect. Got my first dents in it from bumping my head while climbing up, and a few stones coming down from a climber I belayed so I'm really happy I got it :)

Post Reply