How to choose your climbing and mountaineering helmet


In the mountains, just like with many other sporting activities, helmets are essential for protecting your head.  Need help choosing one? Want to know the benefits of wearing a helmet?
Follow our recommendations to help you select the helmet that’s best for you!

Why wear a helmet?

There are so many good reasons to wear a helmet when climbing or mountaineering: falling stones, knocks against walls, or even the risk of falling.
Your helmet will protect you!
It's what we call a “safety” feature, so it can only be sold if it has obtained European certification: EN 12492.

Anatomy of a helmet 

Helmets have three main parts, and all three play a role in protecting your head! While the helmet as a whole is designed to cushion falls, some parts have a specific purpose.

How to choose your climbing and mountaineering helmet
How to choose your climbing and mountaineering helmet

The cap

outer part that reinforces the helmet’s ability to withstand penetration by outside objects

Anatomy of a helmet 


strap that fastens under the chin to make sure the helmet stays on your head

Anatomy of a helmet 

Adjustment system

inner part of the helmet that makes sure the helmet sits tightly on your head

Lastly, the helmet has air vents that evacuate heat, so it stays comfortable when climbing. There is even foam padding inside, for extra comfort! 

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.

Here’s a summary to help you choose the ideal helmet

  • How to choose your climbing and mountaineering helmet

    You are just getting into climbing

    you are looking for a robust helmet. Opt for a HARD SHELL helmet with an ABS cap 

  • How to choose your climbing and mountaineering helmet

    You are moving on to longer routes

    You need a more lightweight helmet that still offers a reassuring level of protection: opt for this
     IN-MOLD helmet made from polycarbonate

  • Here’s a summary to help you choose the ideal helmet

    You are notching up an impressive number of hikes and climbs 

    you are looking to boost your performance with a helmet that’s so comfortable you can forget you’re wearing it - opt for our most lightweight model.

How to choose your climbing and mountaineering helmet

Need a helmet for your kid?

Protect your kids with this fun helmet that offers great protection!

How to choose your climbing and mountaineering helmet

The en 12492 standard guarantees your safety! 

To obtain certification, helmets have to undergo a number of tests, to quantify their ability to reduce the impact of falling stones, or a fall involving the climber.
Impact absorption tests study the helmet’s performance over its entire surface area: frontal impact, vertical impact, rear impact and side impact.
The test of retention system strength confirms that the helmet stays on the head in the event of a forward or backward fall.
Penetration confirms that a 3 kg conical striker falling from a height of 1 metre does not pierce the cap of the helmet! That is the equivalent of a stone falling onto the helmet.
Lastly, the chinstrap test confirms the strength of the strap that fastens under the chin: it must not be deformed by more than 25 mm under a load of 50 kg.

Adjustment: a very important feature for comfort and safety

There are several types of adjustment. In all cases, the fit is adjusted at the back of the helmet:

If your helmet feels uncomfortable when you try it on, check that it is properly adjusted. You may need to adjust it to fit your head size. If you still feel uncomfortable, we recommend you try other models. A helmet has to protect you, but it shouldn’t bother you when you are climbing, especially since it is going to sit on your head for a long time!