With improvements in fit and style and massive weight reductions, helmets are an increasingly common sight at the crag these days. Kasia Baldwin tests out the Zodiac Helmet from Edelrid…
A helmet is a personal thing and in my opinion if you get one that actually suits you it’s like winning the lottery. Okay so perhaps I shouldn’t go that far, and in truth whether you look good or not, that certainly isn’t the deciding factor on which one to get – though I still insist on a quick glance in the mirror when trying one on! As always your priorities when buying a helmet are that it fits and that it’s built for purpose. You can find out more here: https://www.thebmc.co.uk/new-helmet-guide-launched
Back to the Edelrid Zodiac helmet. This is the first Edelrid helmet I’ve tried and I love it. On first impressions it’s light and doesn’t feel too fragile, as though it will crack when stuffed in a rucksack with all my climbing kit – though of course you still need to be careful. The Zodiac is a hybrid helmet in that it’s made from an ABS shell outer and an expanded polystyrene foam inner shell. Plus it only weighs in at 359g (Edelrid’s Zodiac Lite weighs in at 335g). Whilst it’s not the lightest helmet on the market, at least I don’t feel like I’m carrying a brick on my head and I know it’s not going to blow away in the slightest of breezes – which I’ve witnessed can be a risk with some of the even lighter helmets that are now available.
So why do I love this helmet? For one it fits me and feels secure and comfortable, so that’s point one ticked off the check list. This is probably helped by the fact that the helmet has a ‘wing-fit’ system and an ergonomically-shaped interior with padding that can be removed if need be. I kept the relatively thin padding in and still have the spare padding it came with. This is very simple to remove and is simply held securely in place with small Velcro patches on the foam inner shell. The fit of the helmet is also really easy to adjust by simply turning the dial on the back of the cradle which sits neatly above the back of neck. This is where I’ll gripe a little in that it sits just wear my ponytail would usually be – but I get that with every helmet I’ve had so far and thus have to adjust my hair accordingly!
Time to tick off point two on my checklist – the hybrid element with an ABS outer means I can wear it climbing, ice-climbing and mountaineering – perfect. Edelrid also suggest this is a perfect helmet for those heading out to do a bit of Via Ferrata.
It currently comes in four colours; sahara, snow, icemint and oasis (orange, white, blue and green). I went for the classic ‘snow’ in order to keep cooler when used on summer days in the Alps. The helmet does also come with six vents for when things do heat up.
Other points to mention are that the chin strap is very easy to adjust but I did find the fastening could be stiff to undo at times, especially when wearing gloves in the winter where you can’t quite get the ‘pinch’ right first time. The cradle at the back of the helmet also sits nicely tucked into the main helmet shell when you’re packing it away. This means it doesn’t jut out and make it even more awkward to stuff in your pack. As for the head torch attachments – these are four fairly standard type clips which I’ve not had any trouble with so far.
It comes in one size to fit heads sized between 54cm to 62cm and of course it’s UIAA approved. Should I need to retire the Zodiac anytime soon during my adventures, I’ll certainly consider another one and think it is great value for money.
- RRP: £50
- Find out more from the Edelrid website.