Petzl released the latest version of the Meteor helmet in January of this year; the big news was the CE certification for ski touring, the first for a climbing helmet. We tested the Meteor during a week of both trad and sport climbing in the Gunnison area of Colorado.
The Petzl Meteor is a durable, lightweight, and well-ventilated climbing helmet that checks all the boxes for all forms of climbing (and is CE and UIAA rated for climbing). The Meteor also has an in-house certification for protection from impacts from all directions, not just the top. The ski touring certification is a bonus.
Petzl Meteor Features
The newest Meteor features extended coverage and protection down the back of the head compared to the prior version, and it now offers Petzl’s Top and Side Protection rating. Helmets for climbing are traditionally tested and certified for impacts on the top. Petzl carries proprietary testing, consisting of dropping a 5 kg weight from 50 cm on the sides, front, and rear of the helmet for its “Top and Side Protection” label. The vents have are also expanded on this current Meteor.
A rigid polycarbonate shell covers the EPS liner’s exterior surface, including the bottom edge. The rear retention strap is adjustable in height and width, while the chin strap buckle uses magnets to engage closure. There are headlamp clips on the front, and a headlamp/ski goggle strap retaining bungee cord on the back.
The Meteor comes in S/M and M/L sizes, and our M/L sample weighs a verified 8.7 ounces. The Meteor is ski goggle compatible and accepts Petzl’s Vizion and Skreen eye shields, and comes in gray, red/orange, and violet colorways.
MSRP for the Petzl Meteor is $100.
The Meteor in the Field
The Meteor survived transport in a duffel bag full of climbing hardware without dinging, something that commonly afflicts many modern lightweight climbing helmets. I found the Meteor the most ding resistant “soft shell” (not a molded hard ABS shell) helmet I have tested to date.
My head shape is on the oval side, and I found the fit to be great. I didn’t any part of my head pressing into the liner, and the easily adjustable rear retention strap created a secure fit without undue tension. The magnetic chin strap buckle did effortlessly close and released without difficulty with bare hands. But the release tabs are tiny, which could be an issue with gloved hands. One other concern would be contamination of the buckle with magnetic dirt, but it wasn’t an issue ever during the testing period.
The generous venting on the sides and the two ports on the front generated perceptible airflow and I never felt overheated even in direct sun with temperatures in the 80s. Even the relatively low speed of rappelling produced enough air movement to be noticeable, which bodes well for ski touring in the Meteor.
The headlamp clips and rear bungee strap did a standout job of securing a headlamp while remaining low profile when unused.
I also noticed I wasn’t worried about incidentally the helmet denting while at the cliff, as I do with some of the newer, super light EPP helmets, like Petzl’s own Sirocco. The same-sized Sirocco weighs a verified 2.3 ounces less, but I practice extreme care putting it down, packing it, and during transport.
The Petzl Meteor is a great performing all-around climbing helmet. It is durable, well ventilated, easy to adjust, and for an EPS helmet with a shell, lightweight. This helmet would be a great everyday choice for all vertical pursuits, from rock climbing to mountaineering and is better suited than lighter “soft shell” EPP helmets to survive the rigors of an extended road trip or remote travel. The CE ski touring certification is just a nice extra feature.