Climbing without a helmet seems like a bright and obvious enough idea, until you wake up in a hospital with a box of staples sewn into the back of your head and spend the rest of your life talking like Forrest Gump. A helmet is a wise investment and a well designed one will last you for years and could very well save your life. When you’re first getting into climbing the list of prerequisite gear can be intimidating, and it’s tempting to avoid some safety gear, especially a helmet, but given the risk of head injury associated with climbing, buying one should be a no brainer. Fortunately, the Petzl Elios Climbing Helmet has all the high performance features of top shelf head-gear without a steep price tag.
Your average hard shell helmets from the eighties and nineties fit like five gallon buckets and looked worse. Fortunately, form has met function and both are now available to the climber on a budget. Petzl designed the Elios with a combination of foam, hard shell exterior, and ergonomic straps to meet a balance of comfort and protection. The Elios offers the lightweight and small size of a foam helmet with the added durability of a hard outer shell constructed of thermoformed ABS plastic. This ensures superior durability while maintaining the low clearance necessary for a climbing helmet.
The liner consists of a headband and polystyrene liner. The polystyrene liner has been channeled to provide adequate ventilation. Nothing is worse than waiting in a pinch with the sun and sweat turning your helmet into a head-mounted sauna. Naturally, the liner is also designed to absorb impacts and protect your most vital organ. When you’re ready to tackle a night-climb or going spelunking Petzl included headlamp clips to easily attach a compatible headlamp.
Not all heads were created equal, so the Elios has an adjustable headband to ensure a comfortable and secure fit. The chinstrap has an easy-adjust clip on the left side similar to that found on many bike helmets. The practical designers at Petzl fitted this hard shell helmet with a nape-mounted adjustment dial easily operated with one hand to facilitate instant tightening or release, in case your head suddenly changes size in mid-ascent.
On the subject of sizing, the Elios comes in two sizes. Size one fits youth and other small heads with a circumference ranging from 18.9” – 22.05”. Size 2 fits heads 20.87” – 24.02”.
If you’re serious about climbing, don’t skimp on head protection, it never grows back, and when the list of possible injuries starts with a minor concussion, it pays to have a helmet. The Petzl Elios Climbing Helmet is an excellent investment for the beginner or cost-conscious climber looking to stay smart.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 at and is filed under Climbing Gear Reviews, Climbing Helmets. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.