Choosing the best climbing helmet for your head
Rock climbing is a very fun hobby but it can also be very dangerous. Wearing a helmet when you climb can be a life saver, but it is important
that you make sure that you are wearing the right helmet both for the
activity you are performing and for your head.
When it comes to selecting the right type of helmet there are two main types to choose from, suspension and sponge. The suspension helmets are very similar to a construction helmet, its a hard shell with a netting on the inside.
These are really great for vertical dropping objects but they tend to be a little heavy. The other type of helmets are the foam helmets. These ones are made out of a lighter-weight polystyrene or polypropylene foam with a hard shell over it. It works by absorbing the energy of the of the falling object in the plastic and will deform the foam permanently. The durability of the helmet depends on the thickness of the shell, but because the impact on the helmet permanently damages the helmet it may not be very effective for extensive use.
After you have chosen the type of helmet that you will be using, its time to head into making sure that you have the right fit for your helmet. Keep in mind that you
will be more likely to use a helmet that fits correctly and is comfortable, before buying you should test out the helmet like you do with a pair of shoes. Many of the top climbing stores will allow you to try on and test out the helmet to make sure that it fits properly.
There are two main features that you have to pay attention to when trying on and picking out the right fitting helmet, they are adjustability and the chin strap. You start by placing the helmet on your head with it straight on your head making sure that you don’t tilt the helmet because you have to keep your forehead protected. Next you want to shake your head from side to side, does the helmet move? If it does then you want to either look for a different size helmet or if you can adjust the straps on the inside of the helmet so that it fits snugly. Then buckle the chin strap, it should fit snugly on your chin and form a Y shape
around your ears. There should not be any slack in the straps and if you
wear a pack make sure that you can lift your head to look up while
wearing the helmet.
A few side notes to keep in mind when considering the helmet you want to get. If you are going to be climbing in a very hot or very cold climate when you buy the helmet make sure to take your headscarf or hat with you so that you get a helmet that fits with them underneath. Where you are going to be climbing can also have an impact on the helmet that you will buy, if you are going to be
climbing in a cold climate that has ice you will want to get a solid helmet that will protect you from falling debris, while if you are going to be climbing in a warmer climate you will want to get a helmet that has air vents to allow for air circulation.
on Jan 16, 2014 | Rock & Ice Climbing