Climb Gear Reviews

best petzl climbing helmets

Finding the right mountain climbing helmet can be tricky. There are so many different options and features to consider, and it’s difficult to know which one is best for you. The good news is that we’ve done all the research for you! Read on to learn about our favorite helmets and how they stack up against each other.

What are the Best Petzl Climbing Helmets?

To find the list of absolute Best Petzl Climbing Helmets, we have researched many climbing helmets from petzl and what people who bought and used them say about these products. Based on their experiences, we compiled for you the top 3 petzl climbing helmets.

Also, to make it easier for you to making the right choice, we also wrote a mini climbing helmets from petzl Buying Guide and frequently asked questions (FAQs). You will find it at the end of this article.

1. Petzl VERTEX VENT ANSI helmet Black

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 14.39 ounces/490g ounces
Colours: Black
Shell Material: ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), nylon, polycarbonate, high-strength polyester, polyethylene
Face Shield: Attachable
Hearing Protection: Attachable

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The Vertex Vent by Petzl comes with an adjustable CENTERFIT system that keeps the helmet on the center of your head, greatly increasing the comfort. The six-point webbing suspension allows the helmet to mold to the shape of your head and makes it great for climbers that struggle with fit issues. The vents have shutters, allowing you to control the amount of airflow and protect your head in cold weather.

This helmet can be used for workers needing head protection; it allows for a VIZIR visor, a PIXA headlamp and accepts hearing protection. Offering superior durability as a professional model designed for use in construction and other fields, the weight of 490g might make most experienced climbers hesitant to use it.

Pros

  • Sliding shutters across air vents can open in the heat and close in the cold
  • Six-point textile suspension fits the head snugly
  • Centrefit system keeps the helmet on the center of the head
  • Extremely durable

Cons

  • Heavy at 490g
  • Professional grade helmet that might be too excessive for experienced climbers

2. Petzl Boreo and Borea

Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)

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The Boreo and Borea helmets, for men and women respectively, are designed to be durable and versatile. The hybrid construction allows the product to be both low profile and to cover a large surface area for ultimate simultaneous visibility and protection. It has multiple points for adjusting the suspension cage to help fit the product perfectly to your head.

The helmet has a hard ABS shell and EPS foam creating a rigid, yet lightweight protective device. There are clips to attach headlamps to for when you are climbing after the sun has gone down.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Versatile
  • Hybrid construction allows for both low profile and to cover a large surface area

Cons

  • Helmets do not come with in-build headlamp

3. Petzl Pro Vertex Vent Helmet

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: Black, White, Yellow ounces
Colours: ABS Plastic
Shell Material: Attachable
Face Shield: Attachable

See it in your local store:

United States
United Kingdom
European Union
Canada
Australia

The Petzl Vertex Vent helmet is ideal for professional work and recreational climbing activities. It is significantly heavy at 640g compared to the competition and is not suitable for extended wear. However, the ABS outer shell meets EN 397 industrial standards and EN 12492 standards for shock absorption and impact resistance. It also features side vents with slide shutters that allow airflow in hot weather and can be closed for warmth in cold temperatures.

The Vertex Vent helmet features a 6-point textile headband with a CenterFit system that comprises two adjustment dials at both sides of the helmet. This system makes the helmet position on the center of your head for comfort, while the Flip and Fit system positions the headband low for a secure fit.

Another notable feature includes the chin strap that allows you to adjust the fit depending on the environment. The helmet is also compatible with several accessories such as an eye shield, headlamp, hearing protection, and nape protector, among others. While it features an impressive build quality with excellent safety features, the helmet may not be ideal for professional rock climbing due to its weight.

Pros

  • The suspension system provides a comfortable fit
  • High quality and durable construction
  • Adjustable ventilation system regulates airflow
  • Compatible with several accessories

Cons

  • Heavy construction for climbing
  • Premium Pricing

What You Should Know Before Buying Petzl Climbing Helmets

Climbing Helmets For Varying Types Of Climbing

There is a multitude of disciplines in climbing; indoor, tree climbing, outdoor sport, ice, traditional, mountaineering, and bouldering.Helmets are most frequently used in sport, traditional, mountaineering, ice, and multi-pitching. To pick a helmet for each activity, consider the length of time you will spend in it, and the ventilation features of the helmet.

The duration of wearing a sport climbing helmet is likely to be shorter than the duration of wearing a helmet on an all-day multi-pitch traditional climb or mountaineering adventure. A well-ventilated helmet meant for all-day sweaty climbs might not be suitable for wearing on an ice climb in sub-zero temperatures.

Precautions To Note

Wearing your helmet can start from the parking lot if there is a chance of rockfall. You don’t have to wait till you are at the base of the climb to put on your head protection. On the approach, a good practice would be to put your helmet on well before you reach the base of the climb.

Ensure your helmet fits snugly and won’t come loose during a climb by securely fastening all adjustable straps as tight as possible without being uncomfortable. Check all straps for structural integrity frequently and replace the helmet if the straps appear worn or have tears.

Check the helmet’s outer shell frequently for dents and dings, as well as the inner foam padding for tears. Replace the helmet immediately if it is dropped from a height.

Top And Side Protection Of A Climbing Helmet

Climbing helmets have reinforced protection that covers the top, side, and rear. Most of the structural strength is focused on the top of the helmet to protect from falling rocks and head first falls.

However, recent studies and experiences have led to the necessity of protecting the back and sides equally well. Hence, top and side protection was introduced by Petzl in 2018.

When a helmet has a top and side protection label, it means it meets the EN 12492 Standard and UIAA 106 Standard tests that deal mostly with the top of the helmet. To test for this standard, a 5kg load is dropped from the back, front, and sides of the helmet at a height of 50cm.

Helmet Sizes And Shapes

Helmet sizing is a tricky one, we all have heads of all shapes and sizes. The best and safest option is to try before you buy, especially if you have a uniquely shaped head or a smaller or bigger head than the average person.

Check the size and keep in mind you might need room for a beanie or hat. Use the adjustable straps to find the minimum and maximum range the helmet can accommodate.

The helmet should not wobble when you cinch everything in place. Ensure all the straps aren’t slack and the helmet will stay snugly fitted even in dynamic motion. Jump in place, wiggle your head from side to side, be as active as you can while fitting a helmet.

Features And Varying Uses

Climbing helmets are meant to protect the head from injury from the impact caused by falls or falling rocks. They come equipped with a tough exterior shell, headlamp clips to affix a light source in the dark, vents to allow for airflow, foam padding for comfort and impact absorption, and several adjustable straps to secure it onto your head.

A climbing helmet is designed to disperse the point of impact, for example, of a falling rock throughout the helmet. It is built to absorb and distribute impact from the sides, front and back. However, the toughest construction is at the top of the helmet to protect from headfirst falls and rock falls. Hence, it is not suitable to be used in other activities such as biking.

Some helmets receive dual ratings and can also be used in ski touring or ski mountaineering. It is safest to only use a helmet for whatever activity it is certified for.

Benefits And Advantages Of Wearing A Climbing Helmet

The helmet is an essential piece of climbing gear that every climber should have strapped permanently to their pack. Most experienced climbers know of at least one accident that could have been avoided should a helmet have been worn. Yet a lot of climbers choose not to wear helmets, endangering themselves as well as their climbing partners.

Helmets protect the head in the event of a bad fall headfirst into a rock face or lateral falls that could potentially injure the head. Rockfall and icefalls are common whether in crags or up high in the mountains. Getting brained by a stray rock and making your partner struggle on a rescue attempt isn’t going to make a very fun day out.

Even on sport climbs, helmets save lives. Getting your leg stuck in front of the rope will flip you upside down and send you plummeting headfirst onto the rock. Helmets save lives!

Questions and Answers About Petzl Climbing Helmets

Can You Wear A Climbing Helmet For Cycling?

No, climbing helmets cannot be used for cycling. A climbing helmet is structurally the strongest at the top while cycling helmets protect from all sides. A climbing helmet disperses the energy from impact all around the helmet while a cycling helmet protects the head by cracking and distributing the impact throughout the surface.

Can Climbing Helmets Be Used For Biking?

No, climbing helmets cannot be used for biking. A climbing helmet is designed to absorb the impact of falling rock and distribute it throughout the helmet and the rest of your skull. It will not protect your head from high-speed impact with immovable objects. A motocross helmet almost completely envelopes the head and is designed to protect from high-speed crashes.

How Long Do Climbing Helmets Last And Do They Expire?

According to reputable helmet maker brands like Petzl and outdoor retail giant REI, climbing helmets last typically ten years depending on the frequency of use. Regular climbers that climb several times a month should consider replacing their helmets every five years. Always check your helmet for any faults or damage and retire the helmet immediately after any significant impact such as a drop from a height.

Should You Wear A Helmet Bouldering?

Climbing helmets are built to protect the top of the head. Since boulders are short, the chances of rockfall are minimal. However, a helmet with side, front, and rear protection might be beneficial to boulderers and help protect the head in a tricky landing or awkward fall, especially if the landing zone has other rocks. If you feel safer bouldering in a helmet, by all means, wear one.

Are There Climbing Helmets With Lights?

No. Climbing helmets often come with headlamp clips that allow you to affix the straps of your headlamp onto the helmet for those pre-dawn or night climbs. Helmets typically have 4 clips, two in the front, two in the back, that hold the headlamp straps in place and secures it to your helmet. Some helmets have rear mounts to additionally secure the headlamp.

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