Petzl Meteor Helmet — Multi Sport and Minimal

Post by blogger | April 26, 2019      

Shop for the Meteor Helmet

It's as light as a foam meteor. Literally.

As light as a foam meteor. Literally.

I needed a helmet I could wear the entire day, and use on the uphill without suffering a monsoon of sweat. The most protective hardhats, with their thick shells and minimal vents, do neither for me. So I compromised. The Petzl Meteor is certified to CE EN 12492, the mountaineering helmet standard. That’s without the addition of the snowsports standard. I’m ok with that, so long as the climbing helmet shields the back of my head and appears thick and well made.

Head girth adjustment is easy, a bit too easy.

Head girth adjustment is easy, too easy.

Meteor checks. Construction is the classic build of crushable foam laminated to a thin, semi-sacrificial shell. The exterior is strong enough to repel casual damage (though you’ll need to pack carefully in airline luggage). The uncomplicated harness system is appealing. You do the head girth adjustment with a click and slide band at the rear. This inadvertently cinched my scalp like DEA agent ratcheting a handcuff wire-tie — the resulting headache was one for the pill bottle. But the agent had confiscated it! The usual solution: Adjust, then add duct tape.

I'm told meteors can be magnetic. Part of this one is. The buckle.

I’m told meteors can be magnetic. Part of this one is. The buckle.

I overall like this helm, only comet-tail burning issue being the chin buckle. Meteor uses a clever magnetic assist buckle, but it’s not bi-directional. If you twist the chin strap and face one-half of the buckle backward it won’t engage correctly. Moreover, the buckle might do fake news with the magnet, which will lightly hold together if you don’t have much tension on it. Most helmets have bi-direction buckles that embed like a meteorite no matter what their trajectory. Why is this important? In the extreme, you will fiddle with buckles, perhaps in the dark, with gloves on, gnawed by the hoar frosted hounds of winter. This little magnetic toy helps not. Mods, you ask? The Meteor buckle is not easy to swap. I probably won’t. I’ll use the Meteor for most of my adventures, but would probably choose something else for journeys where gloved hands are life, such as Alaskan epics.

Weight: 246 grams, size M/L.
Color: A pleasant light gray, though with poor avalanche visibility. Add a sticker or two.
Goggle and headlamp mounting: The usual, bungee at the rear, pair of clips at the front.
Ventilation: Monster, carry a helmet cover for weather.

WildSnow summer bonus surfing: Did you know the biggest meteorite ever found, The Hoba, resides in Namibia and weighs about 60 tons? Ah, the joys of research. Apparently it’s some sort of cosmic foam that’s not exactly low mass.



15 Responses to “Petzl Meteor Helmet — Multi Sport and Minimal”

  1. Dj April 26th, 2019 10:18 am

    Petzl’s magnetic buckles suck and become downright dangerous when anywhere with iron in the rock, sand, dirt = the magnet/buckle gets contaminated with ferrous particles, won’t close fully, and next thing the helmet is falling off you head. A not safe piece of safety equipment.

    The mod is to remove the magnets from the buckles. It was easy on one side and so hard on the other that I broke the buckle. Petzl has a tech tip on their website how to remove the magnets and it involves softening the buckle in hot water first.

    Boggles the mind why agruably the best climbing helmets come with the worst buckles.

  2. jbo April 26th, 2019 1:05 pm

    Hi Lou, the interesting story with this helmet is the Ski Touring certification which Petzl is trying to make a thing. You should be writing about that!

  3. Travis April 26th, 2019 2:40 pm

    Agree with jbo! Also, how well does it interface with goggles? And does it offer more/less coverage than the Sirocco? Further, Petzl’s messaging around the touring certification gets confusing because they say the Meteor and Sirocco BOTH have the touring certification. Would love some clarity.

  4. Lou Dawson 2 April 26th, 2019 4:42 pm

    Travis, I found the goggle interfacing to be pretty average. I have one pair that mesh nicely with the helmet brim, which is horizontal. Another pair I have results in a small gap. Fine by me.

    As for all this “certifications” nonsense, until I see a governmental or industry standard on the books, it’s just talk. Industry folks spray all the time about making new standards. I do too. As for testing to your own standards, as Petzl does, that’s the norm rather than the exception. Any company that doesn’t want to end up sued to kingdom come has a testing program. That Petzl ostensibly tests to some higher mysterious standards, with some kind of mysterious test setup, and prints that on a PDF marketing sheet, is perhaps a nice thing but does not a useful standard make. More, the PDF I got says the helmet “meets the CE certification for ski touring.” As far as I know there is no such thing? Man oh man. Does someone know different?

    Further, if you do some googling you’ll find words from Petzl such as “…Petzl worked with a certification organization to introduce the first CE-certified helmet for ski touring by using…” So, what/which certification organization, and what do they actually mean by CE-certified? That would imply that the name of the mysterious “certification organization” is “CE.” Man oh man…. I guess I just blogged about it, and had sworn not to!

    Comment away you guys, especially JB, instead of scolding me (smile).

  5. Kristian April 26th, 2019 5:53 pm

    A popular carbon fiber helmet was disqualified for skimo races not too long ago.

    Possibly they meant ISMF – International Ski Mountaineering Federation for “ski touring”.

    Looks like these may be the 3 that are relevant:

    EN 12492 climbing certification (3kg conical striker dropped height of 1 meter)
    EN 1077/B skiing certification (Alpine ski impact – B has less head coverage than A)
    ISMF regulations (Basically requires the above 2 certifications)

  6. Peter April 27th, 2019 10:26 am

    I thought magnets around avalanche beacons were a no-no. If so, nix the buckle.

  7. Joe John April 27th, 2019 11:10 pm

    Lou, maybe you could take the Petzl Meteor to The Hoba, and test the durability by recording the number of wacks it could survive? Then again I guess that would be vandalism?

  8. Jim Milstein April 28th, 2019 9:01 am

    Here is what’s wrong with the Meteor helmet: Vents in front to fog parked goggles.

    Like the light weight, though. The Meteor is 21g lighter than the CAMP Speed 2.0, which I’ve been using uphill and down in all weathers. The Speed does not have vents in front. Maybe that is why it weighs 21g more. The Speed also adjusts securely with a dial, good for adjusting to wearing bareheaded or with thin hood under.

    You could, of course, cover the front vents with tape.

  9. Mike April 28th, 2019 11:14 pm

    I look forward to next week’s adjustable pole shootout

  10. Lou Dawson 2 April 29th, 2019 8:09 am

    Mike, I have to get done with the chapstick comparo first. Sorry about that. Lou

  11. frankieZ May 2nd, 2019 5:37 pm

    Has anyone tried the BD Vapor Helmet, Pricey but light, currently using a Grivel helmet looking for lighter alternative, not hearing a lot of love in the meteor comments!

  12. Jim Milstein May 2nd, 2019 9:17 pm

    I know. Lou, you’re busy testing chapsticks, but it is past time for an update on the state of the market for waxing corks. I recall your last update, and it was brilliant, but that was before the internet; so, I guess it’s no longer available. Our librarian responded with a blank look then turned away. Anyway, my cork is getting shaggy around the edges. Thinking about composting it and springing for a new one.

  13. See May 11th, 2019 7:57 am

    Shields the back of your head? Climbing helmets look to me like they place almost all of the foam on the top, this one included (see first photo in crampon post).

  14. William Garrity May 15th, 2019 4:21 am

    You might look into the Sweet Protection Ascender for 2019. Certified mountaineering AND skiing…low weight, low volume, very packable.

    Just a thought.

  15. Jim Milstein May 15th, 2019 9:10 am

    Sweet Protection Ascender is relatively heavy at 360g, 380g MIPS. The main vents are at the front of the helmet where goggles are parked. The perforated grid on top does not look like it would help ventilation much. Also, US$199!

    BD and CAMP have lighter, cheaper, better ventilated climbing/skiing helmets that won’t fog your goggles. True, good goggles will not fog, but still!

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