Rock climbing is an extremely thrilling and edgy activity, but also very dangerous. There are many perils upon the rocks whether you know they are coming or not, especially with the great heights and the nature of the climb. Climbing on rocks disturbs the area, causing debris and rocks to fall, and there can be times when a fall is possible. When climbing mountains covered in ice, there can also be ice that will easily fall, even without disruption. For these reasons, it is imperative that you utilize a top quality certified rock climbing helmet in order to keep your head safe.
What is a Rock Climbing Helmet?
A rock climbing helmet is a build in compliance with specific safety standards from one of various accrediting agencies including:
• American Society for Testing and Materials, or ASTM
• Community European, or CE
• Union Internationale des Associations d’ Alpinisme, or ASTM
Depending on the actual brand chosen, the typical rock climbing helmet can be found made of several types of materials used for impact absorption and comfort fitting including:
• Polycarbonate shell
• Hard plastic
The inner part of the helmet will contain a foal liner with or without a full harness system, ensuring appropriate fit, proper security on the head, and appropriate protection of the skull.
Why Should You Wear a Rock Climbing Helmet?
Although you may not see many rock climbing gyms requiring the use of a helmet, any type of rock climbing on rock or ice outdoors, cave climbing, or rappelling should involve the use of a certified helmet. This is to ensure that the head is protected in the most appropriate way. There can be different helmets found that are more appropriate for a specific activity such as:
• Rock climbing
• Wall climbing
• Face protection
• Ice climbing
• Cave climbing
The particular sport you choose will require the need for a different type of protection depending on the actual environment you are within. If you are requiring some sort of face protection, there can be some helmets found that offer this feature. There are also others that are made to absorb falling objects, punctures, and even the impact of a long-distance fall.
What to Look For
You definitely do not want to choose blindly when it comes to a rock climbing helmet. This piece of equipment is going to serve the purpose of possibly saving your life and offering a barrier between your head and impact of any kind. Getting the best quality means finding that which is appropriate to the sport you are participating in and that which is constructed of a top quality material. You definitely want to ensure that the helmet is certified in compliance with standards set by one of the various regulating agencies, which serves as a safety rating for these helmets. These standards are set to ensure the safest helmet possible and should be followed by the helmet you choose.
Types of Rock Climbing Helmets
There are several different types of rock climbing helmets that are created with different purposes and styles. There are those that are used for work and those that can be used for sport, offering a different design and look, as well as capability. Such helmets include:
• CAMP USA Starlight: ultra light and very low-profile and made of thin polycarbonate shell featuring headlamp clip for use at night or within caves.
• Rock Star: basic rock climbing helmet, lightweight and ideal for all levels and made with polyethylene and nylon with chin strap padding for use in the cold.
• Petzl Elios: lightweight at 8.3oz, offering one of the lightest options for a rock climbing helmet, ventilated with 16 separate vents with ultra light plastic and a closed-cell foam shell for those hot days.
Finding the helmet that is right for you can range between as low as $33 to as much as a few hundred, depending on features and brand.
It is definitely a must to have a rock climbing helmet for any outside rock climbing no matter what level or environment. Even if you feel you know what you are doing, a helmet can mean the difference between a great day and a head injury.