View Full Version : Multi-purpose helmet?

03-28-2006, 10:55 PM
Hi, I'm in the market to buy a mountaineering helmet, pretty much have the Black Diamond Half Dome in mind.

But since there are other sports that I'm into also require (or recommend) helmet such as white water kayaking, rock climbing, snow boarding and rollerblading (not too important), I'm wondering is there a multi purpose helmet that can be use for all the activities that I'm into?

Is BD Half Dome acceptable for river kayak? or will I be better off buy a kayaking helmet and use that for climbing?


03-28-2006, 11:22 PM
My opinion...
The primary function of a mountaineering helmet is to protect the top of your head from falling rock. The BD half-dome does this very well. Kayaking helmets need to be full coverage to protect you from those nasty river rocks :eek: but they are overkill for climbing...and don't have the most important feature for a mountaineering helmet...headlamp clips!! I would recommend getting both.

03-29-2006, 02:54 AM
I use a Petzel Ecrin for mountaineering, a Bell for mountain biking, and a Pro-Tec Ace for kayaking. The Black Diamond Half Dome. from what I've heard is cross between a biking and mountaineering helmet. They are made of a foam like a bike helmet and crack easily, so you might want to look at some other types since there are reports of them cracking from being jammed into packs with gear. There doesn't seem to be a one for all helmet out there since each of these sports has it's own sets of requirements for protection and comfort.

03-29-2006, 08:29 AM
Like medicclimber mentioned... mountaineering/climbing helmets are made with the same intent as bike helmets- they have a weaker shell designed to collapse under a heavy impact. Kayaking helmets are harder and meant to sustain constant lesser impacts
I'd say get one helmet for mountaineering/climbing/biking and another for kayaking.
The Petzl Meteor is a good all around, very lightweight helmet for the first three. But since I already had a Bell for biking, I just got another one for the other activities.

Jay H
03-29-2006, 08:39 AM
I have a Petzl Ecrin for mountaineering, however I wouldn't want to use that thing for biking, at least in the summer. Just to hot, it looks like your head would cook in something like that. I already cook in most bike helmets! Besides, for the most part, there is enough of a market for bike goods that you can usually find them fairly inexpensive... unlike say a mountaineering or kayaking helmet.


03-29-2006, 09:06 AM
Near as I know, the Kong Scarab is still the only helmet currently certified for climbing, mountain biking, kayaking and equestrian (in Europe). It's popular with adventure racers.

According to their website, it's certified as follows:
EN 12492 and U.I.A.A. 106 for climbing on rock and ice
EN 1078 for cycling, mountain bike, skate board
EN 1385 for kayaking, canoeing, hydro-speed
EN 1384 for horse riding

03-29-2006, 09:09 AM
If you get a replay of Mike Myers and Kim Basinger on SNL, you can see he had a helmet and a harness. I'd bet if you asked real nice, they'd tell you what it was! I hear it comes with a free Hertz Doughnut.

Good luck,


[Imagine the appropriate winky icon here.]

Mad Townie
03-29-2006, 09:42 AM
Sure am glad we don't have anyone in the house who plays hockey or football--enough helmets, already!


But I'm just a natural risk-taker, so I don't use one for paddling my canoe or crossing the street.

Like everything these days, helmets are specialized for each particular activity, and you void the warranty if you use it for something else. :rolleyes:

03-29-2006, 09:25 PM
Hey thanks for all the responses. Thanks el-bagr here is the Kong Scarab (http://www.arequip.com/Products/Kong%20Scarab.htm) in case anyone is interested. Here is the review (http://www.climbing.com/equipment/kongs/) on Kong Scarab and other helmets. Too bad the price tag is a bit :eek:

And this: http://www.helmets.org/multi.htm

I guess I'll buy a mountaineering helmet and continue to borrow the kayaking one from friends. Thanks again!

03-30-2006, 03:23 PM
I read a public annoucement about helmets in listserv@cpsc.gov yesterday. The belief being that every sport has its own needs and requirements, buy a helmet for what you are doing.

03-30-2006, 03:39 PM
A mountaineering helmet is not really designed to protect from blows to the side of the head, they're mostly to protect from falling rock and ice (i.e. blows to the top of the head.)

A kayaking helmet usually has a wider brim, especially in the front to protect better on the sides.

I use the Petzl Ecrin Roc for climbing, and I love it, but after reading the info on the Scarb, I think I'd have been better off getting one of them.

However, I prefer the webbing suspension and adjustable head band to be able to use a liner under it in the winter (and because I have a huge head...)

03-31-2006, 12:10 PM
Here is the web site for the cpsc and their pamphlet on appropriate helmets for which sports.

CPSC's "Which Helmet for Which Activity" guide is a free publication and
can be ordered by calling CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772. An on-line
version of the guide (pdf) can be found at

Please cut and paste since I am tech challenged and couldn't figure out how to do the link.

03-31-2006, 12:13 PM
I guess it worked after all!