The Best New Helmets From OutDoor 2015

For the past few years, the focus of helmet design has been in producing lighter, well-ventilated models that prioritise the comfort of the user. This has lead to some fantastic advances in helmet technology with the average weight of a helmet reducing significantly in the last decade. However it has, at times, also come at the cost of the helmet's robustness and ability to withstand multiple impacts. While having a very light helmet is a great advantage, having to be overly concerned with how it is transported or having to retire it after a single impact is not. Happily, things seem to be changing and the best new designs we saw at OutDoor 2015 were those that managed to offer both lightweight breathability and hardy durability. 

The Mammut Wall Rider is a clear blend of old and new. Its EPP shell with large ventilation cut-outs allows the helmet to save on weight, while a tough hard-shell on its upper portion offers greater protection from rockfall. Ideal for those climbing in alpine or big wall environments, the Wall Rider would also suit trad climbers unwilling to settle for a less hard-wearing helmet, but who still want to save on weight.

Salewa Vayu

Coming in at just 180 grams, the Salewa Vayu is among the lightest helmets on the market. Similarly to the Mammut Wall Rider, the Vayu uses an EPP shell encased in a more robust cover. Unlike the Wall Rider however, the Vayu's casing covers the full surface of the helmet meaning that despite numerous cut-outs, the Vayu is less well ventilated than the Wall Rider. However, the full covering also means that the Vayu feels more robust than the Wall Rider and can be knocked about a little in a bag or on the wall with less concern that this will require the helmet to be retired immediately. Set for release in Spring/Summer 2016, we expect the Vayu to prove very popular thanks to its excellent blend of improved durability with lightweight construction.

To see more of the best products from OutDoor 2015, head on over to our event series page.

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