C.A.M.P. Speed Helmet ReviewApril 7, 2013
- Lightweight. Lightest climbing helmet on the market.
- Well ventilated with 22 vent holes.
- Comfortable with ample, mesh padding.
- Quick and easy adjustment with ratchet wheel on rear of helmet.
- Impact absorbing foam offers great protection.
- Expensive. The most expensive helmet tested.
- Didn’t fit all head shapes as well as some helmets.
- Impact absorbing foam isn’t as durable.
The C.A.M.P. Speed is a helmet for climbers and ski mountaineers looking to shave every ounce from their load, regardless of price. The molded foam helmet offers a high degree of performance thanks to great ventilation and comfortable construction. As the lightest climbing helmet on the market, the Speed makes it easy to wear a helmet in all forms of climbing, although the helmet will take a beating quickly unless you take care of it.
The C.A.M.P. Speed proved to be remarkably comfortable by a majority of testers, although users with a narrow head found the helmet less comfortable due to its shallow fit. Our team appreciated the mesh nylon padding around the brim of the helmet and the comfortable padding on the top. The chinstraps were kept in a comfortable spot since they are separated in the back of the helmet by the rear adjustment piece, positioning them nicely around the ears. Felt padding on the chinstrap was a nice touch.
The Speed provides ventilation with 22 streamlined vent holes that are distributed along the sides and rear. Varying in size and shape, the vent holes performed well during testing to cool the head while climbing on warm days. On the inside of the helmet the foam is sculpted in a way that it rests on the top of your head but has large channels on the front, sides and rear to aid in airflow.
The Speed allows for easy and effective one-handed adjustment with a ratchet wheel on the rear of the helmet. The rear adjustment piece holds the chin straps and can be easily moved up and down to create a comfortable placement of the helmet. Sliding buckles help adjust the straps around the ears and the chin strap has an easy to use buckle although it can take more time to adjust because the padding gets in the way.
The Speed offers a great degree of protection thanks to impact absorbing foam that is injected into a light plastic shell. The Speed is contoured to help provide protection from side and rear impacts.
The Speed is advertised as the world’s lightest climbing helmet. At 7.4 ounces, it is an ounce lighter than the Petzl Meteor III+ and three to four ounces lighter than combination hard shell/foam helmets like the Singing Rock Kappa. Compared to traditional hard shell helmets like the Trango CPU or Petzl Ecrin Roc it represents a reduction in weight by more than 50 precent.
The Speed accommodates a headlamp with three plastic clips. The rear clip is particularly effective at holding a headlamp strap although it requires taking the helmet off and using both hands. The two front clips provide a simple and effective way of keeping the headlamp in place. A movable visor for ice climbing or ski mountaineering is easily attached with two snap-on attachment points on the side of the helmet.
As with any molded styrofoam helmet, the Speed isn’t as durable from everyday use and abuse as a traditional hard shell plastic helmet. The foam exposed on the exterior of the helmet creates a stylish-looking helmet but casts some doubt as to how it will hold up from the regular beating a helmet can take when strapped on the back of a back or being accidentally dropped. However, the plastic shell that the foam is injected into does appear to be more durable than other lightweight plastic shells used in similar helmets.
The Speed comes with a hefty price tag of $130, at least $20 more expensive than similar helmets tested. Some buyers will find the price justified considering the features offered by the Speed. Other climbers may seek out