Price Paid: $82.50
I've been in the market for a climbing helmet for quite some time. My problem is that I have a small melon. Kid's size even! I've tried a variety of small helmets. Some fit OK but were "kid colored" or decorated with "cool" or "rad" graphics. Some adult helmets, like the Petzl Elios, are available in a small size too, but the fit just wasn't right. The regular size (size 2) was too large, and the small (size 1) looked like I had a 2 lb. margarine tub on my head! Not enough coverage.
I found the Grivel Salamander (size small) online and decided to give it a try.
Pros: This helmet fits great. It's really light and offers full coverage of the top and back of my head without limiting mobility of, or rubbing, my neck. Even though I got the small, there are still a number clicks left in the adjustment band allowing me to wear a helmet liner, or even a wool cap. The suspension system is a lot more comfortable than the Petzl Elios, and it's less complicated too. There is a clear or smoke colored visor available for this helmet to protect your eyes from ice, dust and small debris while on belay.
Cons: The headlamp retention system could use some beefing up - front and rear elastic cords only, no side clips. Adequate, but minimal. The decals that come on the Salamander are a bit much, but they came off easily and cleanly
This helmet is not currently available at REI as this site states. I got mine at http://www.mountaingear.com/pages/product/product.asp/imanf/Grivel/idesc/Salamander+Helmet/Store/MG/item/210189/N/0
More info at www.grivel.com
Price Paid: $50
I used the helmet less then a dozen times before the suspension in the helmet broke in the back.
I don't recommend buying from Grivel in North America anymore. I took it back to the shop so they could get it warrantied, but there is no longer a distributor in North America so you cannot get it warrantied without sending it to France.
Where to Buy
Here's what other sites are saying:
The Grivel Salamander Helmet seamlessly transitions from rock to ice and alpine realms. Unlike traditional helmets, this one features a wrap-around design for a close fit and side protection.
Free Shipping. Grivel Salamander Helmet DECENT FEATURES of the Grivel Salamander Helmet Extremely efficient air circulation Light weight
Keep your most precious appendage - your head - safe in the the Salamander helmet from Grivel. Tougher than its tail-shedding namesake, this helmet will keep your cranium safe with a hard ABS plastic shell and an inner layer of shock-absorbing polystyrene foam cushioning.
- Mountain Gear
A classically built helmet for alpine, rock, and ice climbing. The ABS shell resists sharp object penetration, and is lined with shock-absorbing polystyrene foam. The standoff created by the foam and the well-vented shell allows good air circulation. The Regular size is adjustable to accommodate head sizes between 54 and 62 (European).
- Altrec Outdoors