If all helmets offer identical protection, what sets them apart?
As with most climbing products, weight is the key factor when selecting the right helmet. The level of protection is always guaranteed by the European standard.
Differences in weight result primarily from the material used for the outer shell of the helmet:
HARD SHELL helmets are made from a robust material called ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene). This material is used for all kinds of helmets because it is able to withstand certain impacts that are likely to pierce the helmet, as well as scratches. Easily moulded, it is often used on entry-level products which have a thicker, and therefore heavier, shell.
IN-MOLD helmets are made from a material called polycarbonate. This is a polymer found in many everyday objects.
Lastly, the most innovative helmets are known as “HYBRIDS”: the cap is made from expanded polystyrene, while a polycarbonate shell provides extra protection for the top of the head. The result is an even more lightweight helmet that offers exactly the same protection as heavier models.