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When climbing, everyone should wear a helmet, but that will sadly never happen.  Many climbers avoid using a helmet because helmets are bulky, heavy, and generally somewhat cumbersome. But the Petzl Sirocco is proving that doesn’t need to be true. With the Sirocco you can wear a helmet and forget it’s even there.

Petzl-Sirocco-Helmet

I previously had a Petzl Picchu for 4 years and, while it kept me safe, the ultralight Sirocco has been a huge step up from the clunky and cumbersome Picchu. If you are looking to move up to an ultralight helmet there are a few others you will want to consider along with the Sirocco. The main competitors to the Sirocco are the Black Diamond Vapor, Edelrid Salathe, Mammut Wall Rider, and the soon to be released (Sept. 2019) Grivel Duetto. The Mammut Wall Rider comes in a MIPS certified version ($179.95)  for skiing and the Grivel Duetto and Petzl Sirocco also hold a ski certification. The Petzl Sirocco has Outdoor Gear Lab’s Editors Choice Award and in my opinion, the Petzl Sirocco is the best helmet out there.

Comparison of Ultralight Helmets

Helmet Weight
(Size Small)
Price
(USD)
Skiing Certifications
Petzl Sirocco 160g (5.6oz) $139.95 CE Ski Touring
Black Diamond Vapor 186g (6.6oz) $139.95 None
Edelrid Salathe 210g (7.4oz) $119.95 None
Mammut Wall Rider 195g (6.7oz) $119.95 MIPS Version ($179.95)
Grivel Duetto 195g (6.8oz) $149.95 CE Ski Touring
BD Half Dome (Men)
BD Half Dome (Women)
328g (11.6oz) $59.95 None

*Black Diamond Half Dome starter helmet included for comparison purposes.

petzl-sirocco-helmet-ice-climbing

petzl-sirocco-helmet-trad-climbing
When choosing a helmet it is important to go to your local gear shop, gym, or REI and try them on. A helmet is only safe if it is properly fitted and secured to your head. Talk to a climbing gear expert to get a helmet properly fit. Weight might not be a concern to a beginner top-roping in a single pitch setting, but as you get more advanced and take on longer routes the weight and bulk of a helmet can become a hindrance. Many climbers worry about the durability of ultra-light foam helmets, compared to an entry-level hard shell helmet. However, hardshell helmets can be easily damaged by a rock denting it, whereas a foam helmet can absorb the impact without damage.

The durability of the Sirocco’s Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) has been superb. When I first felt the helmet it kinda felt like styrofoam, so I was worried it could chip and be damaged easily. After using it for over a year and a half in rock climbing, ice climbing, and skiing, you can barely see any signs of wear. The polycarbonate crown has a few scratches but nothing bad.
The Petzl Sirocco also has the ability to hold a headlamp and ski goggles. Although, when using ski goggles, they push up on the helmet making it a bit cumbersome, but I have gotten used to it. Petzl also sells a visor that you can put on the Sirocco, with a category 2 UV rating. This would be excellent for choss piles, ice climbing, bolting, and skiing. I have also found that the helmet attaches to my Blue Ice backpacks with ease using their helmet holder.

Petzl Sirocco Helmet Pros

  • The weight. Only 160g (5.6 oz).
  • The magnetic buckle. It’s cooler than you would expect.
  • Fast adjustment• Extremely comfortable, due to it’s light weight.
  • Includes a storage bag to keep it looking new.
  • Swappable foam (It comes with an extra set).
  • Compatible with a visor or ski goggles.
  • The colors: Black and White. Thank god they got rid of the full orange.

petzl-sirocco-magnetic-buckle

The Petzl Sirocco’s magnetic buckle.

My Petzl Sirocco proudly on display.

Petzl Sirocco Helmet Cons

  • The Price.
  • The headlamp clips and elastic do not hold a Petzl Tikka well. But other headlamps would likely be just fine.
  • Using ski goggles can be cumbersome.
petzl-sirocco-helmet-on-blue-ice-bag

The Blue Ice bag conveniently stores the Petzl Sirocco helmet.

To sum it up, the Petzl Sirocco is the best helmet you can purchase. It’s expensive, but the price is well worth the weight savings and safety of the helmet. I truly don’t know if I could ever go back to using a regular old heavy helmet again. Seriously, you should buy it!

Petzl Sirocco Helmet

Petzl-Sirocco-Helmet

View Lowest Prices: Petzl Sirocco

Is the Sirocco over kill for your climbing? Take a look at the Black Diamond Half Dome.

Black-Diamond-Half-Dome-Womens

View Lowest Prices: Black Diamond Half Dome