Updated on October 19, 2021

Love climbing rock faces outdoors, but worried about protecting your most important asset – your head? Since time immemorial, climbers’ heads have come under threat from rockfall, or by being struck during an awkward sideways or upside down fall. There are a myriad of helmet options, but which one is the best climbing helmet for the type of climbing that interests you?

 One of our big goals here at The Adventure Junkies is to make your life easier when it comes to gearing up for climbing. Whether you’re after something light, durable, or inexpensive, we’ll walk you through a selection of the best products on the market and show you how to choose the best climbing helmet for you.

For more of our top climbing gear recommendations, check out the Best Climbing Tape.

 

Quick Answer - The Best Climbing Helmets

  1. Black Diamond Vision MIPS
  2. Black Diamond Half Dome
  3. Petzl Sirocco
  4. Black Diamond Vapor
  5. Petzl Boreo
  6. Black Diamond Vector
  7. Petzl Meteor
  8. Mammut Wall Rider
  9. Singing Rock Penta

 

Comparison Table - Best Climbing Helmet

For the best experience turn your device horizontally
NameWeightMaterialPriceRatingReview
Black Diamond Vision MIPS8.46 ozPolycarbonate, ABS$$$4.9Read Review
Black Diamond Half Dome11 ozEPS Foam with a Hard Plastic Shell$4.5Read Review
Petzl Sirocco5.8 ozEPP (Expanded Polypropylene) Foam$$$4.0Read Review
Black Diamond Vapor7 ozEPS Foam with Polycarbonate Shell$$$4.7Read Review
Petzl Boreo10.4 ozABS$4.4Read Review
Black Diamond Vector8.5 ozEPS Foam with Polycarbonate Shell$$4.6Read Review
Petzl Meteor7.9 ozEPS Foam with Polycarbonate Shell$$3.6Read Review
Mammut Wall Rider6.9 ozEPP Foam with Polycarbonate and Hard Plastic Shell$$5.0Read Review
Singing Rock Penta7.23 ozEPS Foam with a Polycarbonate Shell$4.5Read Review
NameWeightMaterialPriceRatingReview

Reviews - The Best Helmets for Climbing

Black Diamond Vision MIPS

Specs
  • Material: Polycarbonate, ABS
  • Weight: 8.46 oz
Features
  • MIPS reduces rotational impact from angled crashes
  • Large outer shell with EPS foam for added crown protection
  • EPP body resists breaking over multiple impacts
  • Low-profile headlamp clips
  • Adjustable suspension system and removable padding provide a secure fit

BEST OVERALL CLIMBING HELMET

PROS: Combination of EPS and EPP foam makes it more durable than comparable alternatives.

CONS: Under-ear strap is not adjustable.

Black Diamond Half Dome

Specs
  • Material: EPS Foam with a Hard Plastic Shell
  • Weight: 11 oz
Features
  • Internal headband adjustable with one hand via a single dial
  • Vents on sides and back
  • Headlamp clips

BEST FOR: CLIMBING WHERE THERE MIGHT BE ROCKFALL

PROS: Durable, great protection, cheap

CONS: Heavy, minimal ventilation, not the most comfortable

Petzl Sirocco

Specs
  • Material: EPP (Expanded Polypropylene) Foam
  • Weight: 5.8 oz
Features
  • Ventilation all around the shell
  • Magnetic chinstrap buckle that adjusts with one hand
  • Foam inner that is removable and washable
  • Clips for headlamp and a visor (not included)

BEST FOR: ALPINE AND BIG WALL CLIMBING

PROS: Lightest helmet on the market, comfortable, superb ventilation

CONS: Expensive, not as strong as a hard plastic shell, only available in bright orange

Black Diamond Vapor

Specs
  • Material: EPS Foam with Polycarbonate Shell
  • Weight: 7 oz
Features
  • Ventilation all around the shell
  • Molded push buttons
  • Ratchet adjuster to fine-tune fit
  • Clips for headlamp

BEST FOR: ALPINE AND BIG WALL CLIMBING

PROS: Great ventilation, comfort and adjustability without compromising on safety

CONS: Expensive, not as strong as a hard plastic shell

Petzl Boreo

Specs
  • Material: ABS
  • Weight: 10.4 oz
Features
  • Hybrid construction with thick ABS crown, EPP foam liner
  • Hard outer shell resists impact and abrasion, and offers reinforced protection against lateral, front and rear impacts
  • Optimized volume and wide ventilation holes
  • 4 clips offer secure headlamp attachment

BEST FOR: BEGINNER CLIMBERS

PROS: Lightweight for an entry-level helmet

CONS: Adjustability is seriously poor compared to the other options on this list

Black Diamond Vector

Specs
  • Material: EPS Foam with Polycarbonate Shell
  • Weight: 8.5 oz
Features
  • Ventilation all around the shell
  • Molded push buttons
  • Ratchet adjuster to fine-tune fit
  • Clips for headlamp

BEST FOR: ALL CLIMBING FROM CRAGGING TO THE ALPINE

PROS: Great ventilation, comfort and adjustability without compromising on safety

CONS: Not as strong as a hard plastic shell

Petzl Meteor

Specs
  • Material: EPS Foam with Polycarbonate Shell
  • Weight: 7.9 oz
Features
  • Ventilation all around the shell
  • Magnetic chinstrap buckle that adjusts with one hand
  • Breathable foam lining
  • Clips for headlamp

BEST FOR: ALL CLIMBING FROM CRAGGING TO THE ALPINE

PROS: Well-ventilated, comfortable, easily adjusted

CONS: Not as strong as a hard plastic shell

Mammut Wall Rider

Specs
  • Material: EPP Foam with Polycarbonate and Hard Plastic Shell
  • Weight: 6.9 oz
Features
  • Partial hard plastic shell for the front-center part of the head
  • Ventilation all around the shell
  • Adjustable chin and rear straps
  • Clips for headlamp

BEST FOR: ALL CLIMBING FROM CRAGGING TO THE ALPINE

PROS: Hard plastic protection in the vital, front area, ultralight and comfortable, great ventilation

CONS: Headlamp clips hard to open, not the easiest to adjust

Singing Rock Penta

Specs
  • Material: EPS Foam with a Polycarbonate Shell
  • Weight: 7.23 oz
Features
  • Large padded foam lining for comfort
  • Large ventilation holes
  • Headlamp clips
  • Adjustable straps for best fit

BEST FOR: ALPINE ROCK, BIG WALL CLIMBING, OR ICE CLIMBING

PROS: Ultralight, cheap, well-ventilated, easy-to-use headlamp clips

CONS: Not as strong as a hard plastic shell, not the easiest to adjust

 

 

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST CLIMBING HELMETS

PROTECTION

Rocks are solid, so helmets need to be made of suitable material to protect you from them. All helmets meet an industry standard of protection, with greater protection from overhead impact than from the side. Most helmets are usually made of a hard plastic shell, or a thick layer of lightweight foam with a polycarbonate shell. A plastic shell is considered to be more durable and longer lasting, but what it offers in safety, it compromises on weight and comfort.

 

WEIGHT AND COMFORT

Some like them thin and light. Some like them thick and heavy. Choosing the right climbing helmet for you will depend on your goals. If you’re developing new climbs in new areas, then a heavier, plastic-shell helmet will offer more protection from rockfall. A lighter helmet may be better if you’re climbing longer routes that are relatively well traveled, as rockfall is less likely.  If you’re new to climbing, a bit of weight difference isn’t going to matter all that much.

 

VENTILATION

Sometimes climbers will want to wear a helmet all day. Other times simply for an hour or two. Melting under a helmet with little ventilation in a hot, humid climbing area is no fun for anyone. But neither is alpine climbing in a frigid stratosphere in a helmet with more ventilation gaps than an open window. Pick the right amount of ventilation for the type of climb you’re most psyched on.

 

ADJUSTABILITY

Climbers traverse lots of variable terrain and climates, and sometimes wear woolen beanies of different thickness under their helmets. If you’re in an environment that may see you adjusting your helmet multiple times in a day, then it will make a great deal of difference to have one that is easy and intuitive to fine-tune.

 

READ MORE

For more of our top climbing gear recommendations, check out these popular buyer's guides:

Climbing Harnesses

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Climbing Helmets

Climbing Shoes

Approach Shoes

Belay Devices

Bouldering Crash Pads

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