The Beal Atlantis is a lightweight molded foam helmet with an easy-to-use magnetic chin strap buckle that was particularly popular with ice climbers. While ice climbers will enjoy the fit of this helmet, rock climbers will appreciate the fine tune adjustment and the easy to use headlamp attachment points.
Comfort In a time when helmets seem to be more comfortable than ever, the Atlantis is a far cry from the clunky helmets of old but was found by testers to be less comfortable than other helmets tested. The Atlantis features small, light padding on the brow and top of the helmet. The plastic suspension system utilizes thin pieces of plastic to maintain a low profile and stay out of the way but was more noticeable than other helmets tested. While the molded foam construction is light, the Atlantis felt bulkier than others and felt top heavy to testers.
Ventilation The Atlantis provides ventilation through 14 holes distributed along the sides and rear of the helmet. Oval-shaped vent holes along the side of the helmet provide decent ventilation in conjunction with the stylish, swooping vent holes in the rear of the helmet. Compared to many of the other helmets tested, the Atlantis has fewer vent holes with smaller size and hence, was found by testers to have less ventilation than other helmets tested.
Ease of Adjustment The Atlantis is adjusted with a small dial on the rear of the helmet’s suspension system that works in smaller increments than most other dial adjusters, allowing for a more fine tuned fit. The drawback to that small dial is that it was more difficult to use with gloves on. The chinstrap buckle has two straps running through it, creating a snug fit that didn’t loosen while in use but was a little harder to pull through and adjust.
Features The favorite feature for many users was the magnetic chinstrap buckle on the Atlantis. While not the first helmet to use a magnet for quick and secure closure of the chinstrap, this one is the favorite. The Atlantis’ chin strap buckle was super easy to click in because all you had to do was get the two close and in it goes, regardless of how off you are on the alignment of the buckle. This made it super easy to put on with gloves, which was popular with testers when ice climbing. The buckle was a little hard to unclip at times and took a bit of getting used to because of its unique sideways release. An advantage to the Atlantis’ magnetic chin strap is that is kept from getting “gunked up” with dirt and sand compared to that experienced at times with the magnetic strap on the Petzl Sirocco. To top it off, the Atlantis has four large headlamp attachment clips that proved to be easy to use and securely hold a headlamp in place.
Versatility The Atlantis was most popular with testers for sport climbing and ice climbing. The Atlantis was less favorable in terms of ventilation, which can deter climbers on long routes. The easy connection provided by the magnetic chin strap made it easy to throw on for a quick pitch or two at the sport crag and really stood out when ice climbing with gloves on. However, the greater difficulty adjusting the helmet was a drawback for ice climbers.
Weight At 240 grams (8.5 oz), the Atlantis is an ounce or two away from the lightest helmets on the market but still a long way away from the hard plastic shell helmets like the old Petzl Ecrin Roc (16.7 ounces).