I have a small head and buying hats and helmets that fit is always a complete nightmare for me. Which is ultimately the reason why I bought the Black Diamond Half Dome Climbing Helmet, a few years back. Not only does it fit well, but it also has an easy to use size adjustment system that makes it simple to change the fit when I need to wear a warm hat underneath it for ice climbing.
Shown here, the adjustment system is a small knob on the back of the helmet that tightens a plastic headband that runs around the circumference of your head, but is surrounded by lightweight foam for comfort.
The helmet shell doesn’t actually touch your head, but is attached to a hard foam liner which rests on the adjustable headband. If, god forbid, a rock or piece of ice were to hit your helmet, the half dome suspension system prevents the helmet shell from smashing into your head, instead distributing the force of the object into the helmet suspension system. Think of it as a crumple zone, like on a car, designed to absorb an impact, and not transfer its full force to the driver.
Although I’ve started to use my Half Dome for Ice Climbing, I originally bought it for climbing in Aruba a few years ago on vacation. I wanted a lightweight helmet that had good ventilation under hot sun and had a low profile. That pretty well describes the Half Dome which is 12.2 oz on my scale and light enough that I can forget I’m wearing it and move naturally.
My only beef with the Half Dome is the chin strap which was a little difficult to adjust when I first got it, again because I don’t have a big head. But once I got the strap the way I liked it, I could forget about it. I don’t share my helmet, so there no need to undo the strap setting ever.
All in all, this is a solid climbing helmet that isn’t outrageously expensive. The hornet stickers are mine.
Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.
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