Best Beginner Climbing Helmet: A Review of the Black Diamond Half Dome

black diamond half dome helmet

black diamond half home helmetOne of the first bits of kit a newbie trad climber will buy is a lid. Gotta protect the melon.

As with most climbing gear, it’s very easy to spend a lot of money on a helmet. On the market, you can find an overwhelming amount of designs, materials, colors and fancy adjustment mechanisms. I myself have a particular Mammut lightweight lid on my wishlist (keyword: wish). However, for many people out there; beginner climbers, students, weekend warriors, or anyone on a budget, really, these things are unnecessary.

What we want is an affordable, comfortable, durable, simple-to-use helmet that looks alright, too. Many of these words depend on where you stand: how much is affordable, comfort is personal, etc.; however, I believe I can suggest a solution that is worth everyone’s consideration.

Enter the Half Dome Helmet from Black Diamond … a model that’s been around for a while, and has seen consistent improvement with each update. Nothing about this helmet is a fad, super fancy, or unnecessary.

Its features include:

  • A solid shell that looks surprisingly good
  • A few vents for breathability
  • A variety color options
  • An idiot proof wheel adjustment system
  • Comfortable fit
  • Headlamp clips
  • Considerably lightweight (just 10 or 11oz, depending on size)
  • Cheap!
black diamond half home helmet
black diamond half home helmet

So we have a lid that has everything you need, and nothing you don’t—all for the cost of a pub meal for two. A quick internet search finds it in the range of about $40-50, so obviously, it’s worth at least considering.

As for not being female specific: once you’ve been around climbing gear for a while, you realize that there is very minimal distinction. For some brands “female specific” means pink, for others, it means a ponytail hole that some might view as unnecessary or unfavorable for the fit.

half dome helmetNote: yes, I’m a bloke. No, I don’t have ponytail. Yes, I’ve climbed with women. In fact, I work with a few. All of whom steer clear of the women’s helmets because they claim to never fit. One of the aforementioned female outdoor professionals just this week tried on my lid and then bought her own.

My lid has been with me for at least three years so other than a few scuff marks, it’s in perfect working condition. I’ve used it for trad climbing, sport climbing, scrambling, winter mountaineering (it fits over a wooly hat), teaching, and has been shoved in many bags, car boots, and even dropped a time or two. It will still keep the gray gooey stuff where it’s meant to be.

So there we have it, the Black Diamond Half Dome: a helmet worth considering, whoever you are.

Black Diamond Half Dome



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Best Beginner Climbing Helmet: A Review of the Black Diamond Half Dome

One of the first bits of kit a newbie trad climber will...
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