Climbing is a sport that has some risks. There is always a chance of hitting your head on a wall or falling from a high place. That’s why buying the best helmet for rock climbing is always a good idea. Some might think comparing Top climbing helmets to a bike helmet would be interesting. Let us tell you that it’s always wise to wear gear for a specific job. So, we’re proud to give you this list of the best helmets for rock climbing. Yes, that includes the well-known Black Diamond helmet. Let’s jump right into the subject without much more ado.

Choosing the correct helmet requires three significant considerations:

  1. Type of helmet
  2. What kind of climbing do you do?
  3. Finding the Perfect Fit
Top Climbing Helmets

Top Climbing Helmets Type

There are two main kinds of helmets for climbers. Each type of helmet has its name, so pay attention to how it’s made, like how hard the shell is, how thick the foam is, and how many vents it has.

Hardshell Helmets

This traditional, long-lasting lid has an extra-hard shell made of ABS plastic, a strap suspension system, and a thin foam liner. These helmets are also called suspension helmets or hybrid helmets. This kind of helmet has two main benefits:

  • Price is low
  • Long lives

Shelled Foam Helmets

This light style has a thick layer of shock-absorbing polystyrene or polypropylene foam covered by a thin polycarbonate shell. Deformation is how impact forces are spread out. There are two(2) primary advantages to this type of helmet:

  • Little weight
  • Excellent ventilation


At first sight, helmets may seem relatively similar, but there are significant differences and characteristics to consider when purchasing a helmet. The first is to recognize that helmets are built for various impacts. All climbing helmets are certified for maximum impact since most climbing-related head injuries result from falling rocks and debris. Some opt for less side protection to minimize weight and promote ventilation, but others are certified for side and maximum impact. For example, the Petzl Boreo is rated on the top and sides for further protection.


The structure of climbing helmets is the next factor to examine. Although there are significant variances in climbing helmet design, for the user, it ultimately comes down to durability vs weight. The majority of helmets feature a strong polycarbonate shell with foam inside composed of either expanded polypropylene (EPP) or expanded polystyrene (EPS) (EPS). These helmets are rigid and built to last. They’re lovely for scraping up chimneys, bouncing about canyons, or simply chucking them in your gear bag without worrying too much. 

Instead of polycarbonate, the construction of these helmets is EPS or EPP foam, which is more akin to a cycling helmet. Sometimes they are merely foam, while others have a skinny partial or whole polycarbonate coating. This design is normally two-thirds lighter than a polycarbonate helmet, although alternative variants may be up to half the weight. They can withstand large, life-threatening crashes and heavier polycarbonate variants and have complete side and rear impact protection. 

However, little blows may cause them to decay over time, and you may have to retire a helmet even if it has not received a significant setback. The Grivel Stealth helmet has a thin polycarbonate shell layer merged with the foam. The Edelrid Salathe helmet has a polycarbonate shell covering just the top, leaving the rest of the helmet exposed to foam, an example of this type.


Next, think about what kind of adjuster you want. There are a few options. The most common ones are a dial or a slider, which are great for quick and easy adjustments. If you like a helmet that is as light as possible, the adjuster will be a strap that slides. It’s a little more challenging to use, but it’s worth it if you’re trying to lose some weight.

Most climbing helmets come in S/M and M/L sizes. Once you have chosen size to try on, adjust the helmet by loosening or tightening the circumference adjuster until the helmet fits snugly but is not too tight. The helmet must stay on whether you’re looking up or down. We think you should shake your head a few times to ensure it fits well. You shouldn’t be at the top of the size range for your helmet. 

But the middle of the helmet size gives you a little room to tighten or loosen the head harness, which can be very helpful. Consider whether you want to wear a beanie, balaclava, or hat under the helmet. 

This is particularly important for alpine climbers, so ensure you get the right size. Also, think about whether or not you might want a perm. If so, make sure the size offers you room to grow. Everything must fit comfortably beneath your helmet.

Choosing Helmets by Climbing Type

  • Mountaineering and trad climbing with more than one pitch

When you have to carry a lot of gear and wear a helmet for a long time, it’s essential that it’s light and has a lot of ventilation. So think about a foam helmet with a shell.

Choose a bright color for your helmet if you’re going mountaineering. There is always a chance of whiteout conditions, and you want your team to be able to find you.

  • Ice climbing

Because there will be a lot of falling objects, look for a shelled-foam model with little space for air to get in. You don’t need much cooling, and you don’t want a lot of holes in the roof to let in the rain.

  • Sport climbing in cool weather and on a single pitch

Because you can take off your helmet while you’re waiting to climb or belay, you can trade the comfort of a foam-shelled model for the durability and low cost of a hard shell.

  • Belaying

When belaying, wearing a helmet is also essential to protect yourself from falling rocks and gear. You don’t need a special helmet. Just wear the one you brought for climbing.

  • Climbing inside

Whether or not a helmet is needed will depend on the gym’s rules and liability waivers. Since rockfall isn’t a concern, it makes sense to wear a cool, lightweight-shelled foam helmet if you have to.

More to think about when buying a climbing helmet.

Now, almost every helmet has a clip for a headlamp, so it’s less critical. These clips are a must-have for long climbs that start before dawn or end after dark.

Climbing Helmet Fit

Even if your friends or reviewers say that one helmet is the best, it won’t be right for you if it doesn’t fit right. If the helmet you choose doesn’t work well, you need to try a different one. The best way to calculate if a helmet fits is to try it on at a store that sells climbing gear.

  • Make sure it fits well.

Begin by placing the helmet on your head squarely, with the front edge of the helmet straight across your forehead. Before fastening the chin strap, move your head from side to side and back and forth to ensure a snug fit. The helmet should stay in place well.

  • Check and make changes to chin straps.

When you buckle them, there shouldn’t be any extra strap, and the front and back straps should make a “Y” around each of your ears.

  • Check how easy it is to get used to.

Try out the adjustment system to see how easy it is to use and how well it fits you. In cold weather, the helmet must be easy to adjust because you need to change the fit to provide a skullcap under the helmet.

Climbing Helmet Lifespan

Put away any helmet with dents, cracks, or other damage, even if it’s just the straps. Even if your helmet doesn’t look damaged, you should get a new one after any accident that makes you think, “I would have been in a lot of trouble if not for my helmet.”

Check these things before every trip up a mountain:

  • Is there any damage on the outside that you can see? Minor dings are OK; significant dents are not.
  • Do the buckle and the rest of the hardware work?
  • Is the webbing in good condition, with no tears or frays?
  • Is the foam case safe inside the shell of the helmet?

Get a new helmet if the answer to these questions is “no.” Also, it would help if you kept your helmet in a climbing bag to keep it from hitting hard surfaces and chipping or cracking.

Top Climbing Helmets: 

Our Pick1
Petzl BOREO Men’s Helmet

Long-lasting – the strong ABS exterior is impact and scratch-resistant. Caving, canyoning, and climbing are all possible.

Top Pick2
EDELRID Shield II Climbing Helmet

The Interior has an ergonomic form and replaceable, washable cushioning (additional padding included)

Top Pick3
Black Diamond Equipment Half Dome Climbing Helmet

EPS foam co-moulded with a low-profile polycarbonate shell

Top Pick4
EDELRID Salathe Climbing Helmet

Ultra-light EPP (expanded polypropylene) core for excellent stress absorption and dimensional stability

Top Pick5
EDELRID Zodiac Climbing Helmet

The inner shell of expanded polystyrene foam for dependable shock absorption

Top Climbing Helmets: Petzl BOREO Men’s Helmet

The Petzl Boreo climbing helmet is the perfect mix of durable ABS shell helmets and full foam helmets that protect from impacts from the front, sides, and back as well as the top. Most of the time, you have to choose either durability or full-side protection. But now you can have both with the Petzl Boreo.

Traditional helmets with an ABS shell put all their impact protection on top to protect against falling rocks. Even though this is how most serious head injuries happen when climbing, it doesn’t happen every time. Sometimes, the impact can come from the back, front, or side because of a bad fall or rocks that hit the ground and bounce back. In the past, if you wanted protection from all sides, you had to get an “alpine” helmet, basically just foam all the way around. But these can get beat up when climbing, canyoning, or caving because they don’t have a tough shell.

Key Features:

  • Long-lasting – the strong ABS exterior is impact and scratch-resistant. Caving, canyoning, and climbing are all possible.
  • ABS shell, EPS foam, and EPP foam lining are used in a hybrid structure to defend against numerous degrees of impact.
  • For optimal protection, the foam liner goes down the back and sides of the helmet.
  • Great harness for gently but firmly holding it on the head for rock climbing, caving, canyoning, ice climbing, and mountaineering


  • Lightweight
  • Good breathability
  • Comfortable fit and easy to adjust


  • Not as durable as a plastic helmet

Top Climbing Helmets: EDELRID Shield II Climbing Helmet

The Edelrid Shield Helmet bridges the gap between rock climbing, alpine climbing, and mountaineering while protecting your head along the way. The Edelrid Shield II has an extended “in-mold” polystyrene core and a strong polycarbonate shell to provide optimum protection from side impact and maximum impact. The rear wing fit adjustable harness secures the helmet without digging in and offers a wide range of adjustments.

Key Features:

  • In-Mold lightweight design with expanded polystyrene foam core and durable polycarbonate shell
  • The chin strap is fully adjustable for added comfort, and the closing method is located beneath the ear.
  • Four strong head torch clips
  • The improved Wing-Fit mechanism and rear adjustment dial accommodate various head shapes.
  • The Interior has an ergonomic form and replaceable, washable cushioning (additional padding included)
  • The Oasis version is fluorescent and visible in the dark.


  • Durable outer shell
  • Quality foam
  • Stylish design
  • Lightweight


  • Not quick to adjust
  • Headlight fixtures can be a little tricky.

Top Climbing Helmets: Black Diamond Equipment Half Dome Climbing Helmet

It can use a well-known, tough climbing helmet for rock and alpine climbing. It has been updated to be even lighter and comes with a new low-profile suspension system. With a tough ABS shell that can take a lot of hits and a moulded EPS foam interior to absorb shocks in case of a big one, Around the head and under the chin, you can make the fit just right. The Half Dome has clips for your headlamp and comes in two sizes to find the best fit.

Key Features:

  • EPS foam co-moulded with a low-profile polycarbonate shell
  • The new, low-profile suspension system
  • Lightweight, streamlined headlamp clips
  • Dial for one-handed fit adjustment
  • The Chin strap is easily adjustable.


  • Super ventilation
  • Not heavy at all.
  • It almost feels like you shouldn’t wear a helmet, which is excellent for hot weather.


  • The top seems to be frail.
  • It cannot adjust the chin strap forwards.
  • Headlamp clips are easily removed and lost.
  • Abrasion resistance is low.

Top Climbing Helmets: EDELRID Salathe Climbing Helmet

The Edelrid Salathe helmet is a hybrid climbing helmet that is ultra-light and well-ventilated. The combination of a foam-injected EPP core and a partly ABS hard shell allows maximum safety while being lightweight. The perfect helmet for all applications requires the lightest possible weight. With a weight of 210 grams, there’s no reason not to wear a helmet when sport climbing, trad climbing, ice climbing, or mountaineering.

Key Features:

  • It performed EN 12492 side/front/back impact tests.
  • The chin strap is flexible and has a closing mechanism beneath the ear for added comfort.
  • Ultra-light EPP (expanded polypropylene) core for excellent stress absorption and dimensional stability
  • Robust, tough shell on the top and front areas for further protection, such as in the event of a rockfall
  • Harness straps that are easily adjusted for a snug fit, a small pack size, and good ventilation
  • Attachment for a headlamp with two clips in the front and an elastic strap in the rear
  • Large vents offer a steady flow of fresh air and heat dissipation.
  • It created the helmet form specifically for use with ski goggles.
  • The Interior has an ergonomic shape and replaceable, washable cushioning.


  • Simple to adjust
  • Excellent headlight clips that are simple to use
  • Perforations for ventilation function well


  • Under the chin, chinstrap buckles may be irritating.
  • Simple to overtighten

Top Climbing Helmets: EDELRID Zodiac Climbing Helmet

The Edelrid Zodiac helmet is strong and light at the same time. It is a good choice for climbers who need a helmet they can bang around in. The injected-moulded ABS shell can handle canyoning, rock climbing, ice climbing, and mountaineering. Therefore, if you get stuck, the expanded polystyrene foam will protect you.

Key Features:

  • Wing-Fit system with rear adjustment dial fits all sizes and provides excellent safety and comfort.
  • The inner shell of expanded polystyrene foam for dependable shock absorption
  • Large vents guarantee that fresh air is always available.
  • Cradle folds inside the helmet, reducing pack space significantly.
  • The chin strap is fully adjustable for added comfort, and the closing method is located beneath the ear.
  • Four strong head torch clips
  • ABS injection-moulded shell is tough and impact-resistant.
  • Padding is removable and washable (spare padding included)


  • Super lightweight
  • Stylish design
  • Well ventilated


  • Higher price tag
  • Air vents may allow snow and moisture to enter.

Final Thoughts

All climbing helmets are designed to protect your head as much as possible from being harmed or hurt on impact. The material from which climbing helmets are produced affects the helmet’s weight, durability, and price.


How long do helmets last for climbers?

Most climbing helmets last ten years, but each company that makes them says how long they should stay. Also, the climbing helmet should be thrown away and replaced if it shows signs of cracking or cracks from being hit.

How much do helmets for climbers cost?

They cost anywhere from $30 to $150, depending on the material, weight, ventilation, accessories, and brand and light helmets have good ventilation and can be customized with a visor or headlamps, usually costing more than $70.

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