These season’s new helmets destroy the notion that head protection has to be heavy and bulky. The three models reviewed here deliver shockingly low weights with sleek profiles eliminating the most common excuses for not wearing a helmet.
While it’s the most conventional-looking helmet in the review, the Rock Rider still delivers exceptional performance and protection. The helmet has 16 vents which help keep the climber cool during warm conditions while the easily adjustable retention system provides a secure fit and tucks into the helmet when not in use. Climbers will also appreciate the low profile shape of this EPS foam/micro shell helmet.
The new Sirocco demonstrates that there are still ways to improve established products by using innovative an unconventional materials. The Sirocco is made from expanded polypropylene foam instead of the normal expanded polystyrene foam (EPS). This material delivers all the impact protection and low weight of EPS but is significantly less susceptible to damage from accidental bumps. The result is that Petzl can eliminate the shell found on most EPS helmets for even greater weight savings. In fact, the expanded polypropylene foam is so durable that Petzl had climbers standing on Sirocco to demonstrate the helmet’s strength. A minimalist webbing adjustment system with a magnetic buckle further reduces weight and bulk.
By sandwiching a sheet of Kevlar with carbon rods between layers of co-molded EPS foam and then covering all this with a polycarbonate shell, Black Diamond has created an incredible light helmet that still provides excellent protection. This unique construction also allows Black Diamond to add large venting holes ensuring comfort even during hot climbing conditions. A ratcheting adjustment system offers a secure fit for almost any climber.