by Jullie

February 23, 2021

Best Black Diamond Climbing Helmets
Editor's Choice

Black Diamond Half Dome Climbing Helmet

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

The half dome climbing helmet checks what I think are the three most important boxes: lightness, thickness, and fit. That said, many users say that it sits quite high on the head. It is about 2.5mm thick on top and a little thinner down the sides.

Black Diamond Vector Climbing Helmet

Overall Rating: 5/5

Black Diamond Vector Helmet is rated as one of the best climbing helmets out there. Let me explain why. First of all, it is super light. The last thing you need on a climb or hike is a lead weight on your head, so this is an excellent piece of gear for extended excursions.

Black Diamond Vapor Climbing Helmet

Overall Rating: 5/5

If you're looking for something that you can wear with a thin hat underneath, then look no further. Black Diamond Vapor climbing helmet seems to be built for larger heads, but it will fit rather snugly on an average-sized head too. You will hardly feel it on your head. 

You should never hit the trail without something durable, protecting your head from potential concussions or skull fractures. Having a Black Diamond climbing helmet is one way to ensure your safety while climbing and hiking your way up rocky trails. 

It's hard to argue with the company's solid track record when it comes to making rappelling gear and helmets that actually keep the ol' noggin safe. To that end, here is a list of some of the best Black Diamond climbing helmets you can buy.

We have done the heavy product research, read all the reviews, and gathered them up in a neat list of Black Diamond's climbing helmet product reviews.

List of the 5 Best Black Diamond Climbing Helmets

#1 Black Diamond Half Dome Climbing Helmet

The half dome climbing helmet checks what I think are the three most important boxes: lightness, thickness, and fit. That said, many users say that it sits quite high on the head. 

Quick Facts:

Part of that is because it is about 2.5mm thick on top (even without the foam padding) and a little thinner down the sides. That's what you need when protecting your head from falling rocks, however, so it's not exactly a bad thing.

Besides, there is thick foam padding inside the top of the helmet, so you'll barely notice it if you hit your head against a rock. Just make sure the rocks are falling from up above-side protection, as I've mentioned, is ample but not impenetrable.

On the upside, no matter the size of your noggin, you can rest assured that this helmet fits snugly and comfortably. I particularly like the webbed harness. It looks and feels much stronger, plus the rear fit adjustment mechanism allows you to tinker with it until you get perfect comfort.

You might look a little dorky with the bright orange color option, but that's the price of decent head protection these days. Luckily, you're not restricted to that shouting orange color. Only there are slate grey, blue, and white color options as well.

Black Diamond half dome climbing helmet is also available in women's variant.

Pros:

  • Lightweight;
  • Comfortable and secure fit;
  • Durable harness;
  • Thick exterior.

Cons:

  • Sits a little too high on the head.

#2 Black Diamond Vector Climbing Helmet

Black Diamond Vector Helmet is rated as one of the best climbing helmets out there. Let me explain why. First of all, it is super light. The last thing you need on a climb or hike is a lead weight on your head, so this is an excellent piece of gear for extended excursions.

Quick Facts:

Secondly, the ventilation on this helmet pretty much exceeds everyone's expectations. We don't often think about hiking, climbing, or skiing in hot weather, but if you happen to be doing any of those things in 30F temperature, then this helmet is worth your consideration.

The Vector helmet is also suitable for smaller heads. We have the highly adjustable straps to thank for that. If you've been stuck with child-size helmets, this is your chance to rock something made for adults. 

Whether it's the comfort, fit, or lightness that you're looking for, this is as good as it gets. The reasonable price tag and stylish design definitely sweeten the deal.

Pros:

  • Well ventilated;
  • Lightweight;
  • Highly adjustable straps;
  • Extremely comfortable wit.

Cons:

  • Some users feel like it digs into the scalp a bit too much.

#3 Black Diamond Vapor Climbing Helmet

If you're looking for something that you can wear with a thin hat underneath, then look no further. Black Diamond Vapor climbing helmet seems to be built for larger heads, but it will fit rather snugly on an average-sized head too.

Quick Facts:

Despite its ample size, you will hardly feel it on your head. That's because, like most Black Diamond helmets, it is incredibly lightweight. However, don't mistake its lightness for weakness-this helmet has saved many noggins from cracking open against hard surfaces.

This helmet features a decent amount of padding, excellent ventilation, and a secure fit. Not only does it feel comfortable, but it also stays put, which is reassuring when you're halfway up a hundred-foot climb with both hands occupied.

It comes with removable headlamp clips if you want to go for cave exploration, which is a nice touch. The only issue you might have with this helmet, and you should really pay attention to this, is that the surface gets scratched up a bit too quickly. It's quite ironic since the helmet is otherwise quite durable.

Pros:

  • Suitable for large heads;
  • Excellent ventilation;
  • Comfortable fit;
  • Features headlamp clips.

Cons:

  • A bit pricey (but it worth each dollar). 

#4 Black Diamond Tracer Climbing Helmet

Offering a decent amount of protection, a stylish design, and a snug fit that won't feel loose on small heads, the Black Diamond Tracer is a good option for amateur climbers and hikers. 

Quick Facts:

I like that it's easy to adjust with one hand, which is something that might come in handy when you're struggling to hold on to your position on a steep climb.

The build quality is decent; expect nothing less from Black Diamond helmets. There's plenty of vents for air circulation, and they're all covered with mesh. That means you can stay cool without getting leaves, twigs, and bugs stuck in your helmet.

At just 6.72 ounces, the Tracer helmet is probably lighter than your beach hat. That and the fact that it fits snugly on your head makes it almost unnoticeable after a while. 

Each helmet also comes with a sticker pack if you feel the need for custom graphics, which undoubtedly reduces the dorkiness factor and minimizes the possibility of being the butt of the joke. That, in itself, is enough reason to buy this helmet.

Pros:

  • Cool graphic sticker pack included;
  • Lightweight build;
  • Comfortably padded;
  • Ample ventilation slots.

Cons:

  • Harness feels uncomfortable on the side of the head.

#5 Black Diamond Vision Rock Climbing Helmet

The vision helmet is touted as the most durable Black Diamond foam helmet around-a big claim, but it seems warranted. Right off the bat, the low-profile helmet feels reliable and secure. 

Quick Facts:

It's hard to believe that it's made from a combination of EPP and EPS foam only. Having a helmet that's pure foam does have its perks. For starters, it weighs just 215 grams. It's also nice to see that the sides and back have been adjusted to increase coverage as per UIAA requirements.

There's plenty of ventilation slots as well, so the air keeps flowing to keep you cool in hot temperatures. It features two security mechanisms: a suspension system and a rugged chin strap. They don't stick out, so the helmet won't easily snag on shoulder slings and clothing. 

The icing on the cake is the headlamp holder. The clips are built right into the helmet, and while that may mean that they never come off, it also means that they're supremely durable. That's always a good thing.

Pros:

  • Very light;
  • It comes with inbuilt headlamp attachments;
  • Stylish design;
  • Well ventilated.

Cons:

  • Sizing could be slighly inaccurate.

Best Black Diamond Climbing Helmets FAQs

Let's answer the most common frequently asked questions regarding some of the best black diamond climbing helmets.

FAQ #1: Black Diamond Climbing Helmet Half Dome vs Petzl Vertex Helmet, Which is Better?

The Half Dome climbing helmet wins this one simply because it is lighter and therefore more maneuverable. Having a heavy helmet eventually takes a significant toll on the body, and although they're perfectly durable, Vertex helmet are just too heavy for most climbers.

In fact, the extended use of Vertex helmets has been known to cause neck and shoulder pain. So, if you want protection minus the hassle of carrying a lead weight on your head, go with the Half Dome climbing helmet.

FAQ #2: Black Diamond Vapor vs Petzel Climbing Helmet: Which is Better?

Generally speaking, some of Petzl's helmets are a bit superior because they seem to be a little bit more durable. The Vapor helmet is infamous for getting dented and cracking much faster. It also lacks UIAA certification, which is actually a big deal for severe climbers that need reliable protection.

Therefore, consider going with Petzl if safety is a considerable concern, especially if you're exploring caves with loose rocks or climbing an unstable rock face.

Best Black Diamond Helmets

FAQ #3: Petzl Elia Climbing Helmet vs Black Diamond Half Dome Helmet for Women: Which is Better?

Petzl Elia helmets are uniquely designed for women. That means that they are accurately modeled after women's heads and may provide a better fit.

Most other helmets, including the Half Dome helmet, are basically men's helmets with "feminine" colors. Unfortunately, that's the case with most other helmets too.

FAQ #4: Black Diamond Climbing Helmet Size Chart

To measure your helmet size, measure the largest part of your head. This is typically about one inch above the eyebrows.

The size chart for Black Diamond helmets is as follows:

  • Small/Medium
  • Medium/Large

Size (range)

  • 19 - 22.5 inches
  • 48 - 57cm
  • 22 - 24 inches
  • 55 - 61.5cm

Weight

  • 11 ounces
  • 310 grams
  • 12 ounces
  • 340 grams

FAQ #5: Can Guys Fit in Black Diamond's Vector Climbing Helmet for Women?

Yes. It all depends on the size of your head. In fact, you might find women's Vector helmets to be a better fit if your head is too small for the male version. All that matters is that it feels comfortable and fits securely.

Conclusion

Helmets are pretty essential pieces of gear for climbers. Anything can happen, so when the worst comes to pass, it's best to have something between your fragile skull and the hard, unforgiving rocks pelting it.

If you're still unsure which of these excellent helmets you should buy, Black Diamond's Vector climbing helmet is a solid choice for first-time buyers. It is inexpensive, yet it looks and feels premium, plus it is lightweight, tough as nails, and has plenty of ventilation. You can't go wrong with this nifty piece of headgear. 

Our #1 Product Recommendation in the Best Black Diamond Helmets Category

The rankings on rappellingequipment.com are curated to save you time by aggregating the best reviewed products from the most reputable companies. We may receive a commission if you buy something using a link on this page.

About the author 

Jullie

Jullie is a professional indoor climber. She loves speed climbing competitions. This style makes her feel like she's flying. Maybe because her other passion is flying airplanes. Obviously, high speeds are her thing.

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