Best Overall Climbing Helmet
The Editors' Choice Award goes to the Petzl Meteor
, which scored highly in all of our test areas. It earns top scores in comfort and ventilation while being the third lightest helmet of the bunch. This helmet has all of the needed adjustments and a magnetic buckle which allows for one handed closure, and also integrates fore/aft adjustment with chin strap closure. Its headlamp clips are both quick to use and secure. The most current version of this helmet now comes in two sizes, which better fits women, kids, and small-headed men than the single size of the previous model. We recommend the Meteor for any type of climbing, from steep sport at the Red River Gorge to steep snow in the Alaska Range.
Best Bang for the Buck
Black Diamond Half Dome
This is at least the third iteration of the Black Diamond Half Dome
helmet, and it is certainly the best version yet. This fully loaded helmet has easy to use headlamp clips and a click wheel which allows for one-handed adjustment of the rear band. It is also the most durable helmet we've found. At just $60 it is an easy choice for our the Best Buy. This is an excellent choice for new climbers and climbers on a budget looking to get a helmet that will last a long time for minimal coin.
Top Pick for an Ultralight Helmet
Our Top Pick Award goes to the super ultralight Petzl Sirocco for being the lightest helmet for climbing currently available. It is also one of the most comfortable helmets we tested, so comfortable in fact, that we sometimes forgot we were wearing it. This helmet is constructed of a single layer of expanded polypropylene rather than polystyrene, and has no outer shell. This, along with it's minimal all textile harness, shave weight but at the expense of durability. This helmet should be reserved for climbers and alpinists looking to shave every possible gram since it does not make a very long-lasting every day helmet.