I see helmets as an essential piece of climbing equipment. However finding a good helmet has been difficult and the less I’ve liked my helmet the easier it is to convince myself I might not need it. Enter the Camp Speed helmet. It has been a great addition to my go to climbing equipment selection. Weighing in at a feather weight of 231g, the Speed is relatively unnoticeable while being worn. Its innocuous presence is a combination of impressive weight and a close to the head fit. This helps to avoid the constant upward movement helmet bumps that can come with a more bulbous fit. Although light and sleek are qualities which come with diminished durability, I have found that it holds up exceptionally well to the rigors of rough lifestyle and general abuse. I am not the most gentle person and have been known to store and pack my gear in less than careful fashion. However I have yet to see development of dents, cracks or other less serious damage to my own helmet. The days of the light and fast helmet that gets dented from sitting up against your Nalgine for too long in a tightly packed pack are over. In addition to durability in the more benign of situations the Speed is a UIAA certified dome piece, made of EPS foam that is capable of protecting you from more consequential hits. Many other light weight helmets on the market are purely CE rated. What’s the difference between UIAA and CE certifications? A UIAA-certified helmet meets a more stringent standard. Their EN 12492 standard requires that 20% less impact force get transmitted to the headform during lab testing than does CE certification using the same test method, so keep this in mind when comparing models.
Since it is a foam helmet it will need to be replaced if it receives a serious impact but the one time use is the standard trade off for light compact helmets. In addition to its durable and versatile construction it has ample ventilation for hot days or expeditions that call for heavy exertion. All helmets are going to be a bit warmer than an open breeze but with twenty-two ventilation holes I’ve been able to keep plenty comfortable. My one dissatisfaction has been from the headlamp clips. It has two in the front and one in the back at the center. I would prefer a four clip system or a larger center back clip. I have not found my head lamp as easy to set up as with some other helmets. Having said that its by no means a laborious task. Over all I’ve been very pleased by finding something to help sooth my aversion to having a block of foam strapped to my head and look forward to many safe and comfortable days in the mountains.