The Best Climbing Helmets that Protect Your Dome to the Fullest

Isobel Becker
  Nov 27, 2022 12:58 AM

No matter if you’re heading to an indoor climbing center or you’re going to climb a real mountain as high as the Alpine, a climbing helmet should always be a staple. When climbing, especially outdoors, climbers may encounter numerous accidents, and having a helmet can decrease risk and protect your noggin. Looking for the best climbing helmets? We must say, that is the one on your head, but it may also depend on your preference of weight, look, and materials. Below, we list out the best climbing helmets on the market to make your buying journey easier. Let’s jump right in!

The Best Climbing Helmets that Protect your Dome to the Fullest

1. A jack-of-all-trades helmet that is sold at a reasonable price: Black Diamond Half Dome Climbing Helmet

Although Black Diamond Half Dome is a bit on the heavy side, it's super light on your wallet (only $60). Its new generation model has more ventilation, and adjustable straps to fit any shape and size of the head, whether small or large. Furthermore, the shell is pretty thick so climbers can be confident that it will efficiently resist penetration by pointy things.

Dimension: 22-24 inches (size M/L)

Color: Denim

Item Weight: 0.77 pounds

2. A must-have item for ladies or climbers with a small head: Black Diamond Women's Half Dome Helmet

Have you ever struggled to find a climbing helmet that is perfectly wrapped around your small head? We’ve got covered with this Black Diamond Women’s Half Dome Helmet! The sizing is ideal for someone who belongs to the “tiny head” department, so no more using a kid's helmet. Furthermore, there is a notch out for a ponytail - we believe the ladies will love this feature because they don’t have to sacrifice their high ponytails while wearing a helmet. The Caspian color is absolutely stylish, which will make it a classic staple for female climbers for years.

Dimension: ‎9.45 x 7.09 x 9.45 inches

Color: Caspian

Item Weight: ‎0.19 pounds

 

3. A durable climbing helmet for beginners: Petzl BOREO Men's Helmet

The Petzl BOREO Men’s Helmet delivers top-notch protection, despite being a little heavier than some other alternatives on this list. It is constructed with the sturdiest material (an ABS shell that comes with both EPS and EPP foam), making it super robust and you can “abuse” it for years without worrying it will lose its shape. The helmet’s strap system is simple and easy to operate, though we think there is room for improvement since it seems to entangle long hair climbers.  

Dimension: 10.24 x 8.27 x 6.3 inches

Color: Orange

Item Weight: ‎‎0.9 Pounds

 

4. An ultra lightweight climbing helmet that offers paramount comfort and ventilation: Petzl Sirocco

When first introduced, the Petzl Sirocco shocked the climbing gears’ market for being incredibly feathery light, yet still strictly serving its duty of comfort and protection. Plus, its large ventilation holes keep the helmet so airy that sometimes you will even forget that you are wearing it! Besides climbing, the Sirocco is also certified for ski mountaineering so it’s compatible with goggles and has a magnetic buckle that can be used while wearing gloves. A truly versatile climbing helmet! 

Dimension: ‎15 x 10 x 7 inches

Color: Black/Orange

Item Weight: ‎‎0.16 Pounds

 

5. A compact and practical diaper backpack that makes traveling a breeze:  Tontron Adult Climbing Helmet

If you are looking for a protective headgear for climbing, hiking or caving adventure, then this is the real deal! Equipped with a high impact ABS shell and high-density EPS liner that provides more protection, the Tontron Adult Climbing Helmet is solid enough just for any outdoors sport. The best part? It comes with a headlamp buckle that can accommodate universal lamp assembly, which will be a great assistant when you go on a night riding. 

Dimension: ‎9.84 x 7.48 x 7.87 inches

Color: Blue

Item Weight: ‎‎0.8 Pounds

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How to choose the right best climbing helmets for your dome

Here are a few important things you need to consider when choosing a climbing helmet for your dome’s safety:

1. Weight

Depending on the nature of your climbing adventure, weight can be an essential factor for equipment selection. Lighter and heavier helmets both have their unique pros and cons. While ultralight climbing helmets do not put much pressure on the neck and sit nicely on the head when we move, they seem less protective and sturdy in general. Meanwhile, heavier gears may look intimidating to bring along, but they provide extra safety with those weights. However, if you want to experience the best of both worlds, we have Petzl Sirocco on our list that can satisfy your requirements - lightweight and highly safe.

2. Comfort

There are 3 things you should consider to choose a helmet that provides excellent comfort: the shape, the strap system and inner pads. Firstly, you may not know this, but our heads are more uniquely-shaped than you think! That said, you should try on various styles to find the perfect cut-out. Secondly, a simple strap system will always be the best choice for climbers suffering from entanglement issues. Last but certainly not least, a removable liner pad that can hug your head impeccably will add extra comfort as well. 

3. Lifespan & Durability

We recommend choosing strong plastic shells over exposed foam, since we climbers often carelessly toss our helmets around and this may result in damages through time. Though a climbing helmet may last a lifetime if used properly, or it might have never been impacted, you should still give it up after 10 years of use, since UV rays from the sun can steadily deteriorate the outer materials. 

4. Ventilation

Let’s face it: we all get steamy and uncomfy at some point during our climbing time, so well-placed vents around the helmet are uncompromisable. While vents are designed to help us stay cool, too many at once means less protection for your noggin. We believe the best climbing helmet is the one that has just enough space for an airy feeling, yet still safe enough to prevent pointed objects from sneaking through.  

5. Types of climbing helmets

Climbing helmets can be categorized into 2 common types: hard shell and shelled foam. Hardshell helmets consist of an inner foam liner, a robust external shell and an adjustable harness system. On the other hand, shelled foam ones are generally lighter and can deflect impact energy for having a thick layer of polystyrene or polypropylene foam underneath.

FAQs

1. Are climbing helmets necessary?

The short answer is yes! A helmet serves excellent protection from  unexpected accidents that climbers may come across at the crag. We highly recommend using helmets, especially when you go on an outdoor climbing session.

2. Are there any structural differences between a “women’s” helmet and a normal one?

The sizing and the “ponytail-friendly” feature are what makes a women’s specific helmet. The former is obvious; climbing helmets for females often fit smaller heads better. The latter is a suspension system that helps women no longer have to cramp their high ponytail into the helmet. However, most climbing helmets are unisex and fit all different head sizes, shapes, and hairstyles.    

3. Which size of a climbing helmet should I choose? 

A helmet that ensures safety is the one that covers your forehead and perfectly hugs your head without feeling stuffy after buckling. To test if this is the right fit, simply look up - down and side to side to see if it sits stably on your head. Fortunately, helmets often come with adjustable straps so you can modify them to your heart’s content. 

4. Should I use one helmet for different types of weather?

You don’t have to but you should! When climbing in warm conditions, you should choose a soft-foam model with a lot of vents. On the contrary, for climbing in cold whether, opt for a hardshell so that you will be well-prepared in case of rockfalls. 

5. What is the safest climbing helmet?

We don’t intend any metaphor here: the one that sits on your head right now is the most secure. As technology advances, most models on the market are engineered to help alleviate injuries and damages. Remember to always bring a helmet with you on a climbing trip, and make sure it fits you properly. 

Final thoughts

By now, we hope you have already made up your mind about the most suitable climbing helmet for your demands and personal preference, as well as known what to keep in mind when picking a helmet as an entry-level climber. Novice climbers should prioritize pricing when looking for a helmet because protection is a given (all of the helmets we mentioned have the same safety certification). The good news is that the Black Diamond Half Dome Climbing Helmet, which costs $60, is not just one of the least expensive options here but also one of the toughest.  

For more information about other products, check out our related articles below to make your ideal deal.