Singing Rock Kappa Helmet ReviewJune 27, 2013
- A number of effective adjustment options
- Foam helps absorb impacts from above
- Durable hard shell plastic
- Adequate ventilation
- Minimal padding makes it less comfortable than other helmets
- More expensive than similar helmets on the market
The Singing Rock Kappa is great for rock and ice climbers looking for a helmet that has the protection of impact absorbing foam with the durability of a hard plastic shell. The wide variety of adjustment options allow the helmet to fit a variety of head sizes and shapes. Adequate ventilation helps the helmet work in a wider range of seasons.
The Singing Rock Kappa drew a mix of reviews from testers for comfort. On the upside, the Kappa has many, effective adjustment options that help create a good, appropriate fit on a wide range of head sizes and shapes. However, the Kappa falls a bit short compared with other helmets due to the type and amount of padding used on the interior of the helmet.
It has a small amount of padding on the top, so your head is largely in contact with the impact absorbing foam. The suspension system has padding on the front but lacks padding in the rear. The padding used throughout the helmet is a plastic foam that can become uncomfortable when it gets hot and sweaty compared to other helmets that make use of synthetic fibers. The chin strap also lacks padding whereas most helmets tested benefitted from a padded chin strap.
Eight contoured ventilation holes along the side of the helmet help provide adequate ventilation. There is ample space around the side of the head to aid in ventilation. However, the Kappa lacks some of the features of other helmets such as channels in the foam to create better airflow.
The Kappa drew rave reviews for its ease and variety of adjustment options. A rotating wheel on the rear of the helmet makes for quick and easy adjustment around the head. The chinstraps are separated in the rear of the helmet, running through the rear adjustment piece, which helps bring the straps around the ears for a more comfortable fit. Flip lock buckles allow for easy and effective adjustment around the ears.
The Kappa offers more protection from impacts from above than traditional hard shell plastic helmets thanks to impact absorbing foam on the top. The contoured shape of the helmet also helps keep the ears free while covering as much of the back of the head as possible.
At 11.6 ounces, the Kappa is of average weight compared to similar helmets on the market. It is slightly lighter than other helmets like the C.A.M.P. Armour, but heavier than the Petzl Elios. Compared to traditional hard shell helmets such as the Trango CPU, it offers significant weight savings, but is 2 to 3 ounces heavier than the lightweight foam helmets such as the C.A.M.P. Speed.
The Kappa’s hard shell plastic is more durable than all foam helmets. A headlamp can easily be added thanks to four effective attachment points around the perimeter of the helmet.
At $80, the Kappa is more expensive than other combination foam and hard shell plastic helmets. The Kappa has some nice features to justify its price, but it is $20 more than the C.A.M.P. Armour and $10 more than the Mammut El Cap.