When it comes to rock climbing gear, you need equipment you can rely on. This starts with the most vital part of your body – your head – so a quality rock climbing helmet is essential. The right helmet design will be comfortable, give you confidence, but most importantly protect you from falling rocks and wall impacts. At Mountain Designs, we stock climbing gear from specialist climbing brands that know safety and quality in a rock climbing helmet are non-negotiable.
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What is a climbing helmet?
A rock climbing helmet is a fundamental piece of protective equipment for anyone climbing outdoors. It provides protection if rocks fall from above, as well as from the impact from bumping your head against the rock wall or the ground. Using a specialist climbing helmet, rather than just improvising with a bike helmet or other headgear, is important as the helmet design will take greater impact from above if there are falling rocks. The best climbing helmets are lightweight, have padding for comfort, and are adjustable so you can fit it correctly. They may even have a GoPro mount so you can capture the action from a first-person vantage point.
When do you need a climbing helmet?
If you are rock climbing in the outdoors, you should wear a climbing helmet for safety. It will protect you from falling rocks from above, or bumping your head against the rock wall if you lose your hold. If you are rock climbing indoors, you don't necessarily need a helmet, as the rock wall is artificial with a ceiling above it, and the gym should have floor padding.
What to look for when buying a climbing helmet?
The best climbing helmets are lightweight, with a strong outer shell typically made from polycarbonate, and soft EPS foam padding on the inside for comfort. They will have a low, streamline profile that wraps the curve of the head, and often have small vents for air flow. The helmet design of some women's styles even allow for a ponytail to sit comfortably at the back without impeding the fit. A quality rock climbing helmet should have an adjustable chin strap and a dial tightener at the back for fitting and security. Also look for headlamp clips for a climbing helmet light, or a GoPro mount for fitting a sports camera. And if you want to protect your climbing helmet in between adventures, get yourself a climbing helmet bag. If you're unsure, read some gear reviews to help you decide which helmet is best for you.
How do you measure your head for a climbing helmet?
The simplest way to measure your head for a rock climbing helmet is to use a sewing tape measure. Wrap the tape around your head, positioning it just above your ears and about one inch above your eyebrows. Make sure that it is flat and level all the way around. Having someone else do the measuring is much easier, and do it three times for accuracy. Once you've determined your head circumference, you can start to look at which helmet design and size will fit best.
How much does a rock climbing helmet cost?
Typically a rock climbing helmet will cost somewhere between $50 and $200. As with all outdoor gear, the price increase usually comes as the quality increases. This will be in the form of a more durable and strong shell construction, greater range and construction of the adjustability clips or dials, lighter weight of materials, enhanced moulded foam padding, or functional features such as headlamp clips or camera mounts.
Where do I buy a rock climbing helmet?
Because of the physical nature of rock climbing and the need for quality protective climbing gear, it's best to purchase your helmet from an outdoor gear specialist. Look for brands that specialise in manufacturing climbing gear, as they will most likely design fit-for-purpose helmets with the best protection, comfort and functionality. Their helmets will meet certain safety specifications and will have been tried and tested in both a workshop setting and the outdoors, so you know they are reliable. This applies whether you are buying an adult's climbing helmet or a children's climbing helmet.