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Our top pick? The Half Dome Climbing Helmet by Black Diamond

It might look cool to forego wearing a helmet while climbing, but I'll tell you what definitely doesn't look cool: lying in a hospital bed with a severe concussion (or God forbid, worse). Okay, that's not exactly a pleasant thought, but I hope you get my point. A helmet is an absolutely essential piece of equipment no matter how experienced you think you are, because ultimately, gravity is not your friend. I don't want to get too scientific on you, but the kinetic energy equation (KE = 0.5*m*v^2) really doesn't work in your favour if you're on the receiving end of even just a tiny rock or bit of debris falling from above - it'll deliver a serious thumping! But anyway, you get the gist.

What we have for you today is a comprehensive guide outlining the 10 best climbing helmets, ordered based on their price, protection, comfortability, adjustability, and most importantly, whether they have been officially certified for climbing (as there are a disconcerting amount out there that aren't!). Enjoy!

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Half Dome Climbing Helmet by Black Diamond, Best rock climbing helmet.

#1 — Half Dome Climbing Helmet by Black Diamond

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Best rock climbing helmet.

What makes it special? As the Rolls Royce of climbing equipment, Black Diamond make several appearances in this top 10 list. They consistently deliver exceptional quality gear for any and every climbing need, and their helmets are no exception. Their half dome helmet boasts EPS (expanded polystyrene) impact foam and a durable ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) shell, as well as a low-profile suspension system, headlamp clips, an adjustment dial, and an adjustable chin strap. What’s not to like?

Well, honestly, there really aren’t any negatives here, and this sentiment is well and truly echoed by the 100s of rave reviews online. At a push, you could argue this helmet is on the pricier side, but for its quality the price is very much justified.

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Adult Hiking/Climbing/Caving Helmet by Tontron, One of the best climbing helmets.

#2 — Adult Climbing Helmet by Tontron

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

One of the best climbing helmets.

What makes it special? Another model of helmet featuring a high impact ABS shell and high-density EPS liner (the industry gold standard for climbing helmets), Tontron offers a quality competitor to Black Diamond’s entry. It also boasts an adjustable sizing dial, as well as headlamp buckles and chin strap.

Our only qualm with it is that it can feel rather uncomfortable when worn for extended periods of time. This is easily remedied with a bandana or thin hat under the helmet, but the point still stands, and it’s why it’s not quite #1 in our books!

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Unisex Boreo Climbing Helmet By Petzl, Best helmet for bouldering or mountaineering.

#3 — Unisex Boreo Climbing Helmet By Petzl

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Best helmet for bouldering or mountaineering.

What makes it special? Yep, another entry from Petzl! This time it’s for an extremely durable EPS/ABS helmet, designed to protect from lateral, front, and rear impacts, making it ideal for caving, mountaineering, bouldering, and other outdoor climbing activities. It also boasts ventilation holes for comfort, and fits snugly yet comfortably. Our only qualm is that it doesn’t have quite the same modularity as it’s sister products, but it is still perfectly possible to mount things such as a headlamp or Go-Pro with a typical elastic band/strap.

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Womens Half Dome Helmet by Black Diamond, Best women’s climbing helmet.

#4 — Womens Half Dome Helmet by Black Diamond

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Best women’s climbing helmet.

What makes it special? Here it is! The second Black Diamond product in this list - and to be fair, it is essentially just the same product as #1, which automatically renders it as something special in our eyes. However, the improved fit and over 40 grams of weight savings over the original make it one of - if not the - best women’s climbing helmets available on the market. It is ideal for every activity from cragging to alpine expeditions, and also boasts a very healthy number of five star reviews (allow us to add yet another one!).

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Vertex Vent Helmet by Petzl, Best modular climbing helmet.

#5 — Vertex Vent Helmet by Petzl

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Best modular climbing helmet.

What makes it special? If you thought #1 had a lot of rave reviews, wait until you see them for this one! The two biggest points that we see in favour of this one are it’s light weight, and the well-designed cooling vents, both granting inimitable comfortability for extended periods of use. It is also incredibly modular, meaning that you can attach other Petzl accessories such as a lamp or protective visor depending on your needs. We’ve heard great things from arborists, rock climbers, and construction workers alike!

It is a bit more on the pricey side (marginally holding it back from claiming the top spot in our eyes), but if you’re in the market for one of the highest quality climbing helmets, this is oh so worth the price.

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Sirocco Ultra-Light Weight Climbing Helmet by Petzl, Best lightweight climbing helmet.

#6 — Sirocco Ultra-Light Weight Climbing Helmet by Petzl

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Best lightweight climbing helmet.

What makes it special? One of the main excuses people use to try to explain why they don’t want to wear a helmet is that they don’t want a heavy thing on their head impeding their climb. Now, I sort of get where they’re coming from, but when Petzl offers a helmet that clocks in at just a mere 170 grams, it really is just no excuse. This helmet boasts a hybrid EPP/EPS foam build, offering optimal protection against impact without the additional weight cost. Just as with almost all of the other products in this top 10, it also has ventilation holes, an adjustable headband, and chin strap.

If you’re looking for a lightweight climbing helmet, look no further!

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Vapor Helmet by Black Diamond, Best high-end climbing helmet.

#7 — Vapor Helmet by Black Diamond

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Best high-end climbing helmet.

What makes it special? Providing ultralight, low-profile protection, unparalleled ventilation and a secure and super-comfortable fit, the Black Diamond vapor helmet is a go-anywhere cragging lid that proves helmets aren't just for multi-pitch trad climbs and big alpine faces. It will set you back a considerable amount more money relative to other options, but this one really is the creme de la creme of climbing helmets, and absolutely worth every dime.

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Meka II Climbing Safety Protection Helmet by Fusion, Best protective climbing helmet.

#8 — Meka II Climbing Safety Protection Helmet by Fusion

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Best protective climbing helmet.

What makes it special? If you just need a helmet for work that is solid and not too flashy, Fusion have got you covered. With 22 years in the industry, Fusion designs and manufactures some of the highest quality fall protection equipment and outdoor adventure gear around. They not only test their products, but also go above and beyond, ensuring they meet their strict product safety standards. This extremely durable, lightweight helmet will not serve you wrong.

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H1-CH Safety Helmet Hard Hat by Defender Safety, Best safety helmet.

#9 — H1-CH Safety Helmet Hard Hat by Defender Safety

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Best safety helmet.

What makes it special? ANSI Z89.1-2014 OSHA approved, Defender Safety deliver sleek, lightweight, high-density polyethylene hard hats to give you and your company the best ANSI Type I head protection. The high visibility design, sliding breathable vent system, headlamp, face shield, visor, and earmuff attachment points ensure that this helmet delivers everything you could possibly need for dangerous, arduous work.

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ANSI Approved Safety Hard Hat by LOHASWORK, Best tree climbing helmet.

#10 — ANSI Approved Safety Hard Hat by LOHASWORK

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Best tree climbing helmet.

What makes it special? LW-A3 is perfect for high-risk environments such as construction, mining, oil & gas, arborists, and energy companies. The visor shield provides enhanced protection to prevent scrach and dust from entering our eyes, meanwhile, this eye shield provides a clear and lasting vision even when you wear sunglasses or reading glasses underneath. With durable quality and excellent protection, this is a must have for anybody working in high-risk working conditions.

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