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More Helmet Facts

When climbing, safety is everything. And for that, you not only need a belaying device, you also need a good climbing helmet. And this needs to fit you well and guard you well. There are different kinds with their advantages and disadvantages, depending on how they are constructed and what other features they bring. 

Why use a helmet when climbing?

Why do you need a helmet? It’s simple, nature can be quite dangerous. When you are out and about on rock walls, it can happen that small pieces of rocks or also bigger ones get loose and fall down. This should obviously not be the every-day thing, but it does happen. And of course, there are different kinds of rocks, but better safe than sorry!

But it is not only nature that can be a danger. It is also fellow climbers. Because if someone is climbing above you, he could trigger stones to fall down, and land straight on your head. And that is not all, he could also drop a carabiner, quickdraws or other tools by mistake.

And of course, the helmet also protects you from injuries when falling. Generally, it is not very likely that you land on your head when falling while climbing. But there is other possibilities to get injured. For example when falling uncontrolled, you could start swinging, which could bump your head into the walls.

And last but not least, the helmet also protects you from strong sun and rain, but then again – you will probably have other worries if it starts raining while in a wall!

Construction and features of your climbing helmet

Generally, there are two types of climbing helmets. Hardshell ones, and in-molds ones. And there are hybrid helmets that give you the best of both worlds.

The hardshell helmet is the classic one. It has a very durable and robust outer shell made of synthetic material. On the inside, the helmet is cushioned to make it fit nicely. It is for sure the cheaper option, but the weight is a bit higher.

In-mold helmets have a rigid foam shell and a thin plastic layer on top. They are usually more expensive, but they weigh less. That is why they are very popular with climbers that would get head aches by heavier helmets. But these helmets are also a bit more vulnerable to denting.

Therefore, one important aspect is the weight. The lighter, the more comfortable it is to wear. 

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 There are two types of climbing helmets - hardshell ones, and in-molds ones

And ventilation. On climbing helmets, there are holes in the back and on the sides. Obviously you can not have them on top like on a bike helmet due to falling small rocks. And there are climbing helmets with predesigned fixation for head lamps.

By the way, the design is pretty relevant too. Of course, the color will not change its capabilities. But if you like the look of your helmet, you are way more likely to wear it whenever possible, so make sure you pick one that you like! Also, bright colors can be seen more easily! 

Fit of the climbing helmet

What is most important, is that the helmet fits you well. Because if it doesn’t, it will not be able to do what it is supposed to do properly, and it will probably also cause quite a head ache.

Helmets come in different sizes and most of the time, you can then adjust them more precisely with custom fit systems in the back. Also, there are one-size helmets, where the range of sizing is larger.

No matter what type of climbing you are doing, be it a via ferrata, alpine or sports climbing or ice climbing, on the mountain or inside – you need a helmet for protection when you climb! Also, you will obviously also need additional equipment: harnesses, belaying devices, climbing shoes, rope and other essentials.

Read more regarding climbing helmets

Climbing Essentials: All you need to know

Get vertical with the right pair of climbing shoes

Safe on the mountain and in the climbing hall: Everything you need to know about ropes

Climbing ABC: The most popular types of climbing


©Climbing helmet when sport climbing by Sam Bie & Petzl  ©Climbing helmet by Simon Gietl 

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