Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Guide Gear Review: Black Diamond Half Dome Helmet

Kevin Baines rocking his new Black Diamond Half Dome
Black Diamond has revised and updated their helmet line for 2012, including their stalwart, the Half Dome. The Half Dome has been my go-to helmet for years. It is dependable, sturdy, and comfy. You put it on and forget about it.
Helmets do not get much glory in the climbing world. You do not often hear people chatting about their “sweet new helmet.” In fact, some bozos don’t even bother with one at all. I like helmets however; because I like my face and the ability to use my brain. Whether I am trad climbing, clipping bolts, or belaying, I am always wearing a helmet.
Lots of color options in the sleek new Half Dome

There are two main things I am concerned with when looking for a helmet: safety and comfort. I want to protect my head but I also I want to put the helmet on and forget about it. The helmet should never interrupt what I’m doing. And that’s why I love my new Half Dome: great noggin coverage, simple and light, and built to last.

 Some improvements I have noticed in my updated Half Dome Helmet are:  
  • Slimmer design:  less bulk on the head, I don’t seem to hit my helmet on the rock as often now. Bonus for pinheads like me, it looks better too.
  • Lighter weight: less heft on your head and in your pack.
  • Better padding:  this means more comfortable.
  • Better adjustment wheel: no more loose and tilted helmet or headache-inducing tightness. You can dial in the fit perfectly.
  • Simpler strap system: the easily adjustable straps don’t hit my ears or my Adam’s apple. I can set it just right.
Bottom Line: If you want a “set it and forget it” helmet, I highly suggest the new Black Diamond Half Dome. Plus, it comes in lots of cool colors. Buy one and for crying out loud, wear it - every time you get after the rock or ice.

Kevin Bains
Operations Manager
Colorado Mountain School
Boulder Rock Club
AMGA SPI Certified

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