The Low Down:
Petzel Elia Helmet in Stone Grey (Update Feb 26/12: Colour discontinued)
$59 CAD at MEC (as of Aug 2011)
285g / fits 52cm – 58cm
Yays: Lightweight, Headlamp clips, Buckle placement on the side, Ponytail feature, Harness can retract for easier storage
Nays: None, get one and protect your brain.
As a gear lover I do admit even though you can sometimes share gear between activities, I would rather have the real deal. Which is why I seem to be starting a collection of helmets, which also in turn makes me wonder about my choice of helmet required activities.
After a slip down a snowfield where my unprotected head smacked a few times against hard packed snow I decided to buy a helmet that I could use for climbing and scrambling. Helmets can be replaced, my brain cannot. The Petzel Elia is a fantastic helmet for the price. It’s lightweight and comfortable enough to be worn all the time. I wore it on my first ice climbing outing and unknowingly had to hike for 3 hours to the glacier and 3 hours out on top of a few hours of climbing. The Elia was so comfortable I just left it on the entire trip and it’s roomy enough to wear a warm toque underneath.
A favourite feature is the helmet allows you to wear a ponytail – the adjustment system is designed so that when you wear your hair up the helmet won’t get in the way or feel awkward. It’s amazing! It really makes me wish all helmets have this feature – I’m sure the boys with their ponytails would appreciate it as well. The headlamp clips on the front and back ensures that your headlamp doesn’t slip off. Also the chin strap buckle is placed on the side instead of the middle – I usually have issues with the buckle irritating my skin around the chin/throat area so the side buckle saves me that grief.
You can find more information about the Petzl Elia on their website but really it’s a no brainer (ha!) to protect your noggin and the Elia does it very well with its price point.