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Black Diamond Half Dome

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Black Diamond Half Dome climbing helmet

Another classic helmet. Great for the price.


  • Light
  • Durable
  • Easily adjustible for different conditions
  • Headlamp clip
  • Adequate ventilation


  • Bulky in the back

"Promise me Dad, that you won't get me a helmet like yours or my brother's."

She mostly meant that she didn't want an orange or red helmet but to be sure I ran the Half Dome by her first and after approval, placed the order.

This is the third helmet I have bought and, after two seasons of sport climbing and easy scrambling, we don't regret it.

Besides the Camp Rock Star, this is probably the most common helmet I see climbing. Since my oldest wanted a helmet that looked more modern, adjusted to accommodate her pony tail, and the price was right we gave it a go.

If all we ever did was sport climb in nice weather the adjustable suspension of this lid would be overkill.  However we also get into the mountains enough to need a few more features. For my daughter, who never wears her hair the same way twice and is just as likely to wear a beanie as not, easy adjustments are a must.  This lid has the ratcheting knob like most helmets designed this century and it makes adjustments a cinch. She also likes the color. The vents are bigger on the new model but she likes the clips for a headlamp which come in handy on alpine starts. 

The only issue, and it shows up in the pic below, is that the helmet has a lot of extra space in the back.  This may be because my daughter has it sized down for her head but it makes it bigger than it needs to and she dislikes the bulk. "It kinda makes my head look big" I think were her words. Maybe the M/L wasn't the best pick.

The one we bought was on clearance and BD changed the style the year after we bought ours but I suspect that some of these versions are still around.

You see in the pic below that it also hugs her forehead so she has good visibility while she climbs which is a requirement for a climbing helmet.

Luckily, we haven't given this helmet the ultimate test; I haven't dropped any rocks on her, yet. Girls frown on that sort of thing, but it's rated for climbing so I know it will provide a certain degree of protection from reasonable damage, should the need arise.

A good deal for the price.


On Kaleetan Peak, getting ready to summit.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $39

A classic helmet made to last a long time, that will keep you safe during your mountain activities. Surely it will not be the lightest or the most beautiful, but its cost-benefit ratio makes it one of the most used helmets.


  • Cheap
  • Resistant
  • 2 different sizes
  • Durable
  • Adjustment system


  • Heavy
  • Not so breathable

If you are looking for a climbing helmet for long time, this is the one.
Its hard plastic casing will allow you to abuse it in all circumstances without fear of breaking.

In my case, I use it for mountaineering activities, where it goes for long periods on the outside of the backpack hitting everything that is found, to use it in a few moments where it is necessary.

If you are an elite climber and want an ultra-lightweight climbing helmet, this is probably not the one for you.


1) Ease of Use:  Everything in it works as expected. Its chin strap is extremely comfortable and has a variety of regulations to adjust it to each user. Inside it has foam pads to make it more comfortable, which is appreciated when wearing it for long periods.

2) Features:  With its adjustment system through a wheel at the nape, it allows you to adjust it to different head measurements quickly.

Available in two sizes:

  • [S / M] 50-58 cm (19.7-23 in)
  • [M / L] 56-63 cm (22-25 in)

Also, the locks for the flashlight allow us to use it at night without inconvenience and without our headlamp moving.

adjustment system


3) Construction & Durability: A helmet made to last, where everything in it gives us the confidence that it will not abandon us when we need it most.


Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 54 EUR

Lightweight helmet with an awesome fit.


  • Great fit
  • Adjustable sizing
  • Lightweight


  • None

I have a larger head and ordered the M/L Half Dome and couldn't be happier with it. The fit is perfect. The dial on the back truly gives me a custom-feeling fit that isn't too tight but is very form fitting. The chin strap and buckles are placed just right so that nothing rubs uncomfortably on my face, jaw, chin, etc.

I can't guarantee this helmet would work equally well for every user, but wearing this makes me feel like I got a custom-fitted brain bucket for an off-the-rack price.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $60

Very comfortable and durable helmet. Great quality for use on rock and ice.


  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • Adjustable

I've used this helmet on rock and ice, and it has definitely held up well and done its job.

While looking at helmet options, I had debated the options for weights, but I went with this durable helmet over other lightweight options.  This helmet isn't much heavier, but I prefer the extra protection the Half Dome provides.

The sizing has been easy to adjust, and it feels very comfortable. I have the blue color, and it looks great.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $55

Light, comfortable, good value. Great light and packable helmet for general climbing,


  • Light
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to use

I like this helmet for its simplicity and functionality. It's lighter than stated. I weighed mine using a high quality digital scale, tarred and calibrated, and it was 340 gm.

The adjustment dial and buckle work with ease and can be operated with gloves on. The headlamp strap holders are also simple and effective. It vents well and is quite comfortable, even on my shaved head. Just the right amount of padding in the right places. 

Very good buy.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $62

I like this helmet because it is light and unobtrusive: you forget you're wearing it (mine is 2-3 years old). The classic design has good coverage for temples and back of the head. The slots hold a headlamp well.

At first I didn't like the velcro adjustment at the back of the head, but now that I'm used to it and have it fitted, it's much better than the ratchet type and foam screws on some Petzls etc.

Overall a great product!

I have used this a dozen times rock climbing over the past 2 months. It is really lightweight and easily adjustable. I use it while lead climbing as well as belaying. Winter hats fit under it well and it can quickly be adjusted between climbers.

It's not a suspension helmet so I don't know how well it protects you from falling objects. However, if you're looking for a lightweight, versatile helmet, this is it.

Price Paid: $60

This is a great low cost lightweight climbing helmet. Good if you casually use a helmet. There are better (Petzl) helmets, but you can't beat the price!

Price Paid: $45-ish

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Price MSRP: $54.95
Current Retail: $47.96-$59.95
Historic Range: $26.98-$64.95
Reviewers Paid: $39.00-$62.00
Weight 330 g / 11.6 oz 350 g / 12.3 oz
Size Range 50-58 cm / 19.7-23 in 56-63 cm / 22-25 in
Materials EPS impact foam and durable ABS shell
Price MSRP: $54.95
Current Retail: $59.95
Historic Range: $38.97-$64.95
Weight 330 g / 11.6 oz
Size Range 50-58 cm / 19.7-22.8 in
Materials EPS impact foam and durable ABS shell / women’s-specific fit
Product Details from Black Diamond »