How to Choose Climbing Helmets

Climbing has a bit of thrill to it. There is nothing like conquering the mountain.  This is a wonderful exercise as well. Keeping safe is important while climbing. You should have the proper gear and shouldn’t just start climbing up rocks without a plan on how you are going to get down safely as well.

When choosing a helmet for climbing the most important thing to seek out is one that is comfortable for you. You want your helmet to fit but also stay put and not get in your way of climbing. There are two types of helmets out there hardshell construction and hybrid construction.

The hard shell construction is similar to a hard hat that you might see in construction. It has a hard shell with webbing on the inside that will fit your head perfectly. If you climb in an area where there are rock s constantly hitting your head, this is the helmet you will want to go with.

This helmet is sturdy and will last a lot longer than a hybrid helmet. These will work even with a few dings and scratches. Our advice is to choose a climbing helmet from REI.

Hybrid Construction Helmet

The hybrid construction helmets are similar to what you see bicyclists wearing. It has a harder outside with a foam insert. These are much lighter than the hard hat style which is nice during climbing. The foam typically extends past the sides which gives it a side impact protection as well. These are great in the event of a fall as they will absorb the impact within the foam.

However, they do stand up well to constant rock showers. These are great for those that have relatively short climbs as if you crack it, you don’t have far to go.

You want your helmet comfortable. If it isn’t you will less likely want to wear it. And, if it gets into your line of vision or becomes too heavy, you are not going to like it either. Think about how long you will be wearing it, to determine what is a good weight. Longer periods of time will want a lighter version. You should be able to shake your head up and down and side to side without the helmet moving. It is important that it is fit squarely on the head and seated 1/2 way down the forehead for proper protection.

To start the fitting, you will need a soft measuring tape, one that is used for sewing, to measure around your head. This is similar to what you would do if you were looking to be fitted for a fitted baseball hat. You should be able to put the helmet on alone without any issues and without strapping it should stay put. Of course, you will want to strap it on, but a well-fitted helmet will stay out without straps.

As with all equipment, your helmet will not last forever, so be sure to scan it for signs of too much wear.  If your straps start to wear out or if the foam looks pretty poor, you should think about looking into a new one.


I have been camping and going outdoors for over 15 years! My first experience was when I joined the scouts. There I learned a lot. From building a campfire to set up a really big tent. Then I know this is awesome. Around 2005 I also started Geocaching. This is a lot of fun. And every time we go camping we look at the map to see if there are some nice caches around.

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