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Things You Should Know Before Buying Climbing Helmet

By Matt GerholdLast update: 2024-01-09

Wearing a helmet while climbing is one of the ways to protect yourself before you are tied to a rope, especially your head.

Although mountain climbing is an outdoor or indoor sport that offers a high level of experience for humans, they still pose a danger to climbers. To limit this, you should equip a helmet for climbing trips such as canyon routes, mountain climbing and high-altitude rock or ice. Because helmets not only protect you in the event of a fall, but also from debris falling from above.

1. Types of climbing helmets

Hardshell climbing helmet

Things You Should Know Before Buying Climbing Helmet

Often these hats are built with a hard plastic shell, with fabric inside to help you fit the hat better. These are the most durable helmets, but they are heavier.

A foam helmet, on the other hand, won't withstand that impact as they don't provide much protection to the muzzle, moreover they're useful for deflecting rocks falling from above. Therefore, you should take long mixed routes or go backpacking.

Foam/Hybrid climbing helmet

Things You Should Know Before Buying Climbing Helmet

In general, these helmets are built in the same way as standard bicycle helmets, because they use EPS foam with an outer shell. By structure, they have rather thin outer shells, while some have thick and hard outer layers. Usually they will be lighter because the foam usually extends all the way to the brim and thus provides good protection from external impacts. If there is an impact, the foam collapses, absorbing energy but easily cracking the helmet. They are quite popular with sport climbers.

2. Fitting for climbing helmet

  • A secure fit of climbing helmet: As is common usage, you would place the helmet at an angled angle over your head, with the front brim straight across the forehead. After adjusting the fit, but before locking the chin strap, forcefully shake your head from side to side and tilt your head slightly back. To make sure they fit snugly on the head. Even from the time you buy it, you should try it on to see if it fits.
  • Adjust chin straps climbing helmet: Next step the hats are tied, take care not to sag and the front straps and make a Y around each ear.
  • Weight of climbing helmet: Helmets come in a variety of weights and sizes. However, if climbing at high altitude, consider choosing weights for this type of climbing, high-altitude routes.
  • Layering for climbing helmet: Considering the shape of the climbing helmet, choose wider helmet styles that may prevent you from using the hood over the shell or thermal layers. But when climbing in the fall and winter, it is advisable to increase the size or add a high-adjustable cardboard so you can cover with a balaclava or cushion underneath to protect the skin of your face and ears.

3. Helmets for climbing types

Things You Should Know Before Buying Climbing Helmet

  • Mountaineering and multi-pitch trad climbing: Wearing helmets for a long time, you should choose hats with low weight, wide ventilation system possible. Besides, you should also consider choosing foam helmets with shells, pay attention to choose a bright helmet color for climbing because this makes it easy for you to observe and find your friends if you are injured. out of their sight.
  • Ice climbing: During the climb you will have to fold some cases of falling rocks with a lot of debris, so it is advisable to look for a foam model with a shell with minimal ventilation area. Finally, you don't need much cooling either.
  • Warm-weather sport climbing: So foam models have a shell with the largest number of vents.
  • Cool-weather and single-pitch sport climbing: You can actually take off your helmet in the meantime while climbing, however you can opt for the comfort of the shelled foam model for the durability and affordability of a hard shell.
  • Belaying: Safety on high and avoiding the impact of rocks is something that climbers are all concerned with, so you need to equip a helmet to protect your head when moving.
  • Indoor climbing: It is known that some gyms require helmets when participating, so bringing a cool, lightweight foam helmet is a reasonable option.

4. Comfort

The comfort factor is probably the most important point when choosing a helmet. Most helmets are made of foam material, molded to a specific shape, and with adjustable straps that keep you fit during travel, you won't be able to change the helmet shape anymore. For the helmets are deep, elongated, while others are shallower or more rounded. Because each individual has a different head size, it is not possible to make the same frame and choose the right shape, so many manufacturers have created many helmets with diverse designs to make it easy for users to choose.

On the other hand, the pain system inside the helmet is a contributing factor to comfort. As it provides individually tailored adjustment methods, they also attach to the chin strap to keep the helmet on the head which can minimize movement. Although the harnesses are designed to be adjustable, sometimes moving back and forth has a negligible impact on comfort. In summary, a minimalist harness consisting of a belt loop is the most comfortable. Moreover, the plastic bands that wrap around the head must allow for reciprocating adjustment, and the tie can also lead to hairs getting stuck if you have long hair.

In addition to the fit and harness system, the helmets are all lined with removable padding or pads to provide cushioning between the head and the helmet foam. Often these pads are designed to absorb sweat and can be removed for washing. Many helmets from many insurance carriers come with two sets of pads.


Most climbing helmets are adjustable and come in a variety of sizes for you to choose from. But to better understand each of our characteristics, you should also read through our article on each type of helmet, the characteristics of weight, strap and even the type of climbing to suit them. A thorough investigation helps you insulate underneath your helmet for climbing in cold or ice weather. Thank you for watching and stay tuned at gearinstant.

"I'm Matt, love travelling, sports especially climbing. The more I climb, the more resilient I am, that's not only apply for my hobbies but also true for everything in my life. I'd love to be here, a part of Gearinstant to share my experience, guides, tips and especially any gears that work for you."

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