Helmets are annoying. There, I said it. Ski helmets are nearly always heavy (compared to a hat, anyhow) and usually too darn warm for ski touring.
Possible solution, the Black Diamond Vapor to protect your noggin’ — a lightweight, low profile climbing helmet well suited for mountaineering of the skiing persuasion.
(Safety caveat: Most climbing helmets will not protect your head as well as a full blown ski helmet. This review is intended to focus on the Vapor as an option for mountaineering for those times and places when a ski helmet is not practical. And yes, there are a few “dual rated” helmets out there. In this case I’m sticking with a climbing helmet. It’s a review.)
At less than seven ounces my helmet may no longer be my heaviest head layer. The Black Diamond Vapor helmet offers a climbing helmet that you can forget you ever put on.
Co-molded foam with a polycarbonate shell makes the BD Vapor. . .wait, sorry, never mind, none of us have any idea what any of that means, but I like whatever it does.
Along with the weight, a few more thoughts:
(Disclosure from WildSnow.com: While this isn’t what we’d call a “sponsored content,” Alex does have his Black Diamond gear on long-term loan and we doubt BD will want his stinky old helmet back once he’s done coating it with unmentionable hair products from lengthy stints on far Alaskan glaciers. So, yes, he gets a helmet out of the deal.)
Dr. Alex Lee lives in Anchorage, Alaska. Alex is a professor at Alaska Pacific University, teaching philosophy and environmental studies. He also works as a sometimes guide, naturalist, writer, and photographer.