helmets for people who hate helmets


Original Post
Seth Jones · · New Lenox, IL · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 25

I hate helmets. Seriously, I hate them. They are hot, they itch, and they are uncomfortable. Oh yeah, and they make me look like a penis. The only time I've ever worn one was for hockey because it was required but I know I should really start wearing one when I'm climbing or at least when I'm leading trad. The idea of flipping upside down and smacking my head on a rock doesn't sound fun.

What would be your pick for a lightweight, comfortable helmet if ventilation is the most important factor?

I've been looking at the BD Vapor, Singing Rock Penta, Petzl Meteor, ect but don't have the opportunity to try on or handle most of them so I'm gonna have to order on faith and return it if it doesn't work out.

Abram Herman · · Golden, CO · Joined May 2009 · Points: 20

Love my petzl meteor, I often forget that I'm wearing it. The new version of the petzl sirocco looks like it might be good, doesn't come out until this fall though.

John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,053

Meteor II, you will forget you have it on. Bell is making some light skate helmets if you want more % of coverage at low weight (and half the price) as well. JB

Here you go, get it before I do...... ebay.com/itm/Petzl-Meteor-H...

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 478

I'm a sweaty bastard who hates helmets. The white vapor is awesome. It has more ventilation holes than the meteor, doesn't seem to shift much, and is low profile (nice with hoods at a belay).
As a bonus, I didn't protect above a slab and tumbled backwards in a fall, smacked the back of my head on the rock something fierce. The shell bent and foam cracked on my first vapor, I had a very minor concussion. Would likely have been dead w/o a helmet. It works.

Detrick Snyder · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 145

I also recommend the Petzl Meteor (III). I did a lot of research and it turned out to be the best helmet I've owned. Rated for cycling and climbing, super lightweight and ventilated, full range of motion & visibility, comfortable, durable, etc. Unfortunately it was so good that somebody decided to lift it off my bike, curses...

climberboy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 10
Abram Herman wrote:Love my petzl meteor, I often forget that I'm wearing it. The new version of the petzl sirocco looks like it might be good, doesn't come out until this fall though.
Yeah, I would go with the new Sirocco. It's a little pricey though so the Meteor is a good/cheaper alternative.
BigB · · Red Rock, NV · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 340

I really like my vapor but it does ding easy :/

Seth Jones · · New Lenox, IL · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 25
BigB wrote:I really like my vapor but it does ding easy :/
That's a common complaint with the high end BD helmets. I'd rather have something more durable. That being said, I understand there is a hand-off between weight/comfort and durability.

Anyone have experience with the Penta?
George W · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 8
Seth Jones wrote: That's a common complaint with the high end BD helmets. I'd rather have something more durable. That being said, I understand there is a hand-off between weight/comfort and durability. Anyone have experience with the Penta?
The integrity of the helmet isn't damaged by the dings--they're battle scars, like scratches on cams. I had the Meteor and the fit was huge in proportion to my already huge head. I was like a shiny super penis. The BD one is much more flattering as it fits much better and closer to my skull. Go try them on and check yourself out in the mirror!
Nick Howell · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 0

I'm onto my second Vapor and they are fantastic. Super light weight, I barely notice it is there. My first one died after I took it off at the top of the cliff, sat it beside me and a slight puff of wind blew it off the edge. This was never a problem with the old heavy plastic bucket style. Lesson learned.

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 650

I have a vapor. I have not had any durability problems at all - there are small dings from falling ice and smashing my head on the rock during mantles, but nothing really noticeable or alarming. I definitely do not baby mine, but it is always the last item into the pack (on top of everything else).

Matt N · · Santa Barbara, CA · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 273

Any of the lightweight EPS ones with a plastic "shell" coating.
Look for 9oz max weight.

For sweaty heads, I recommend a Buff - blocks most of the sun on my neck and keeps the sweat from running in my eyes. While you might not feel a breeze as you would without one, they breathe well (look for ones w/ coolmax or whatever fabric) and trapping the sweat when hot enough to run down your face, I've found is well worth wearing one.

Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 246

The Petzls make your head look like a penis still.

Check out the BD Vapor or Vector. They both sit really nicely on the head and don't wobble or shift too much. They also don't make your head look like a penis.

cdec · · SLC, UT · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 460

Vapor! I've driven home with it still on my head. I'm not that smart though

Jameshew12 Hewitt · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 150

Mammut wallrider. I have tried on and worn around 10 helmets and this one is pure gold. I usually wear it on the approach it is so comfy and light. Strong too.

Don Ferris · · Eldorado Springs · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 175

I have a black BD vector (or is it vapor?) that I'd be willing to let go for a reasonable price. Worn maybe a dozen times.

Roamin' Buffalo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 50
George W wrote: The integrity of the helmet isn't damaged by the dings
Going to have to disagree with you there- the way eps works to absorb force is twofold: by the individual expanded beads collapsing, and by the bonds between the beads breaking. Both of these are permanent changes in the composition of the material. Any time eps material deforms- by any amount- it means that one of those two irreversible things is happening, and the overall strength of that portion of the structure is compromised by *some* amount.
Is the eps protected by plastic? Yes.
Are some 'dings' small enough to be considered negligible? Probably.
Do 'dings' involving visible deformation of the abs/eps affect the structural integrity of a helmet? Yes. Yes. Yes.

That said, I love my vector, dings and all.
Nick Niebuhr · · Telluride, CO · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 465

I have the BD Vector and it's the first piece of headwear I've ever worn that I haven't wanted to take off, and it's cheaper than the Vapor. And it saved me from becoming a vegetable once. But chances are your head's shaped different than mine so it's best to try some on

t.farrell · · New York, NY · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 60
Jameshew12 wrote:Mammut wallrider. I have tried on and worn around 10 helmets and this one is pure gold. I usually wear it on the approach it is so comfy and light. Strong too.
Mammut's definitely look the least awkward having tried on 10 different helmets...at least on me anyway. Fit is especially good if you have a big head or lots of hair. I've been happy with mine.
Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,712

I love my Red BD Vapor... ultralight but def not durable. Like I worry about breaking it stuffing it in my sack.

I dont know I heard bad things about the white ones though... Also told that the grey ones are a bit shady.

Seth Jones · · New Lenox, IL · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 25
Don Ferris wrote:I have a black BD vector (or is it vapor?) that I'd be willing to let go for a reasonable price. Worn maybe a dozen times.
If it weren't black I would be interested. Trying to avoid dark colors that soak up heat. Thanks though.

Anyone know why the Vapor isn't UIAA certified but the Vector is? They basically look like the same helmet but the vapor has more vents. I thought the cert was all about how much force the neck took in a rock-fall like scenario, no?

Thanks for all the info guys, much appreciated.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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