Climbing Helmets 2013 - It's all about the Black Diamond Vector this year
Lightweight foam "cycle type" helmets seem to have got a lot more popular over the last two years. The advantages are obvious, they weigh less and are much less noticeable on the head, which in many cases is the difference between wearing a helmet and not bothering, particularly if it is hot. They also offer much better side impact protection than traditional hard shell helmets.
The downside is that they are not as robust as a hard shell and do not offer as much protection against top down impacts. They do however offer significantly better protection than the hot and heavy hard shell which you have left in the boot of the car because the sun is out.
Last year I was selling a lot of the Petzl Meteor III+, they are great helmets and the Meteor range has always been popular since the first version.
The Vapor is very, very light, it is in fact mainly holes, which accounts for a lot of the weight saving! However it is now almost halfway though the year and none have so far made it to the UK. Besides when they do finally turn up they will be a whopping £120, so it will never be a main stream helmet.
At only 165g the Sirocco is an amazing feat of engineering, it is however hideously ugly and I just can not see it being as popular as the Vector.
In my opinion the Vector is going to be this years helmet. It is competing directly against the Meteor, but comes a lot lower at the back for a more secure fit, a bit like a snowboard helmet. Unlike the Meteor it also comes in two sizes which further helps you get a snug fit.
Equally as important it comes in a choice of cool colours and it just looks a lot better than the Meteor! After all the safest helmet is the one you want to wear!
I could make this a lot longer and more techie, but in my experience very few people will care that the Sirocco has a magnetic chin strap, or that the Vapor has a Kevlar lining. When most people buy helmets they want something that fits well and does not look too atrocious. The Vector fits both these criteria which is why I believe it will be the helmet of 2013.
|Black Diamond Vapor||Later this year||£120||199g||White, Red, Grey|
|Black Diamond Vector||Now||£75||231g||Black, Brown/Blue, Orange/Grey, White/Green|
|Petzl Sirocco||Now||£75||165g||Orange (A very bright orange!)|
|Petzl Meteor||Now||£73||235g||Orange, Grey/Violet, Grey/Blue|