5. Black Diamond Half Dome
Another popular beginner’s helmet to stand alongside the Petzl Boreo is this updated Black Diamond Half Dome. But at about the same price, this model is a little heavier, and a little less durable than the Boreo. The Half Dome weighs in at 11.6 ounces for a S/M size, which wouldn’t qualify as lightweight, but it is still solidly constructed, allowing for effective full head protection. The updated Half Dome model has even shaved off some weight of its predecessor and added some new features.
Constructed of EPS foam with an ABS hard shell, this helmet will get the job done. The heavy ABS plastic shell can absorb great impact, taking all the force while the soft EPS foam is left undamaged. Many other lighter and less durable polycarbonate shelled-models cannot stand up to this level of durability. This is essential for a beginner who is still learning the ropes. It may not have EPP foam for extra protection, as does the Boreo, but this good, sturdy helmet will do the trick.
This streamlined helmet also features lightweight headlamp clips if you are up for a nighttime climbing adventure.
Some things the Half Dome does have over the Boreo are the low-profile suspension system, the updated adjustment dial, and an easily adjustable chin strap. The click-wheel adjustment system on the back of the head makes it easy to use with one hand. These useful features make things just a little less complicated when you are learning a sport like climbing. Simplicity is the best.
We consider hardshell helmets like the Half Dome and the Boreo to be excellent choices for cragging. A lot of people leave their helmets at home on these single-pitch climbs. They regret it later when they get their leg caught in the rope while climbing a crag, and swing headfirst into a wall. Safety is essential in these types of situations. Since you’ll be taking your helmet off when you aren’t climbing, you can opt for one of these cheaper models.
We value the durability of this model and think that it could even last you a lifetime. This helmet provides safe, long-lasting protection, but because of its weight, it may not be as comfortable as some other models. You may not want to wear it for extended periods, which is usually ok with beginners. There are not as many ventilation holes as other models. However, the raised design still allows for airflow to cool a hothead.
There are two sizes available, and a few attractive colors to choose from. There is even an updated women’s version that features more vents, as well as space for a ponytail.
This quality-made Black Diamond Half Dome is affordable, reliable, and safe. With climbing becoming increasingly popular, there is a big market for entry-level helmets. This model can suit all of the beginner’s needs. Though it may not be the most innovative, comfortable, or lightest of our selections, the extra cash left in your pocket will make up for it.