Petzl Meteor III
When it comes to climbing helmets, one word comes to mind: bothersome. They are bulky to pack, heavy to wear, and hot. The upside to wearing a helmet is that you will be better protected from an unexpected rock fall that can be dangerous or even fatal for both the climber and the belayer. Whatever ultimately shapes your decision on whether to purchase a climbing helmet, it is useless unless you use it both belaying and climbing. We chose the Petzl Meteor III based on weight, fit, ventilation and durability.
The Meteor is one of the lightest helmets on the market. You can feel the difference when you put it on your head. We hardly notice it and rarely think of taking it off in between climbs, even in the sweaty tropics of Thailand. The tech specs put it at 235 grams (8.3 oz) which is a noticeable improvement over other heavier helmets we have tried. This helmet definitely won’t slow you down.
This helmet is incredibly comfortable and fits perfectly. It has the right amount of padding to balance the weight and comfort. The harness system keeps your head from making unnecessary contact and promotes air circulation. The adjustment is best done off your head with two hands but quick one handed tightening and loosening adjustments are possible on the fly. One handed chin strap adjustments are quick and easy as well. Unlike other helmets I’ve tried this one stays put on your head as you crane your neck to see your next hold.
With 17 air vents it provides ample ventilation even in the hottest weather. Even climbing in Thailand where temperatures were averaging 90 degrees I seldom felt like my helmet was cooking my brain. This is as good as it gets for something you put on your head.
The Meteor helmet isn’t as durable as some of the hard molded helmets available. We haven’t taken any rocks to the head, but we have some dents as a result of stuffing it in backpacks full of climbing gear and throwing it on airplanes. This is due in part to its lightweight design. You sacrifice a hard durable shell for extra grams. In the end this is the only point of concern and requires extra caution when handling and packing for travel.
Overall I give the Petzl Meteor III a 10 out of 10. Of all the helmets I have tried this is the one I knew I would wear. It was more expensive but worth it. There is no point in dragging a helmet around with you to let it sit at the bottom of the crag just to save a few bucks.
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