“Most helmets are created equal” is a sentiment that I often find myself voicing when giving advice about climbing gear. And for the most part, it’s true. However, once you start to get a little more serious about climbing and find yourself wearing a helmet for several hours, all the little details and nuances begin to add up. The C.A.M.P Armour Helmet is a great all-around, comfortable, durable, and inexpensive helmet. Ranging from about $45 to $60 full retail, I have found that this helmet works great for all types of climbing, from glacier mountaineering to traditional climbing.
This “hard top” helmet – as opposed to foam helmets which are comparable to bike helmets in overall feel – is also one of the more comfortable helmets I have worn. Although it’s comparable to the Petzl Elios and the Black Diamond Half Dome [two slightly more popular and well known helmets] in both price and overall style, I found that I liked the feel and fit of the Armour much more.
Unlike other helmets, the Armour has foam padding on top, around the edges, and even on the chinstrap. Although this helmet is the heavier of the two other comparable helmets (by about one half ounce), due to its comfortable, streamlined design, it feels very lightweight. However, one thing that I have noticed, especially looking back at photos of myself wearing it, is that it tends to slide back on my head, like a stylish beret, leaving my forehead exposed.
This helmet comes in a wide variety of fun colors, ensuring your status as the hippest climber at the crag. It is also very durable; I have been hit in the head with rocks, tree branches, slammed into cliffs, and have dropped this helmet many a time, but it still has very few signs of wear and tear besides a few small scratches.
When performing the oh-so-professional squeeze test [where one compresses the helmet between their hands], it flexes but does not break. It’s lightweight without feeling flimsy and weak. I recommend this helmet to climbers of all levels who are interested in protecting their noggins.