C.A.M.P Armour Helmet

Take a look at the in-depth UKC Helmet Article & Review for more info on helmets.


Ellu gettin' the gear in.  © TobyA
Ellu gettin' the gear in.
© TobyA
Many years ago I bought a Kevlar helmet, I think made by Snowdon mouldings. Kevlar is what they make bullet proof vests out of so sounds very reassuring. But what I liked best was that it a had a glitter paint job and basically looked like a disco ball on your head. How cool is that? If I remember correctly I first produced this from my rucksack at the base of Quartzvein Scoop on Beinn Udlaidh expecting to hear “ahhs” and “oohhs” from my companions. Instead they started sniggering as I put my pride and joy on. “What's so funny?” I demanded. “Toby”, Ed replied through his sniggers “it's purple! You have a sparkly purple helmet on your head!” At this point Ed and Olly collapsed in laughter at their schoolboy humour and, my dreams of coolness shattered, I snatched the gear and stormed off up the first pitch, purple helmet glinting in the sunshine. So what I have to say I like best about the CAMP Armour helmet is that it both looks pretty darn cool and – most importantly – isn't purple.

photo
The new Armour Helmet from C.A.M.P.
© CAMP

I know it's facile to worry about how a helmet looks, but you have to wear the thing for it to work, and we're all more likely to wear something that doesn't make you look a total plonker – if you will excuse the allusion. The two-tone design of the Armour has met with a number of approving comments from climbing partners already. But I guess we should discuss more serious issues. The Armour is hybrid design – a hard plastic shell with a lump of foam inside. It is very similar to the Petzl Elios, a well proven and liked helmet. This style of helmet isn't as light as the lightest all-foam helmets, but is lighter than the older shell-and-cradle designs – making it a jack of all trades if master of none. The Armour has better ventilation than the Elios, making it more pleasant on hot summer days, although it is still not as good as my normal summer helmet – a Petzl Meteor III. But then the Armour is stronger than foam helmets like the Meteor so better designed for winter or alpine climbing.

Inside the helmet is, both against the top of your head and on the headband, lined with a soft, absorbent, open-cell foam. This is cosy feeling, but my preference is actually for closed cell foam like in the Elios because I sweat so much, the absorbent foam just becomes soaked and will release sweat like a sponge if pushed – yuck! If you're not so sweaty or climb on bleak, cold moors and mountains all the time this is unlikely to be an issue. The helmet adjusts very well in seconds, just fiddle a wee bit with the chin strap and turn the wheel at the back. All very user friendly. I've used the helmet on my big head, my wife has used it on her middle sized head, and my four year-old son has worn it on his little head (incidentally declaring it to look “really cool, a bit like a teenage mutant ninja turtle, only red”) and all of us got it to fit securely and comfortably with no problems. My head is quite large and the helmet only just fits if I put it over one of my beanies – as I would for ice climbing. If know you have a particularly large hat size, and want the helmet for winter use, it might be best to check first that it will accommodate both your head and a hat.

So over all, a great all-rounder. Not the lightest but far from the heaviest; not the best ventilated but far from the worse; strong enough for the big mountains but still light enough for weekend cragging; and last but not least – it looks pretty cool and sells at a really good price. And of course, if you buy one in green, you'll look like a ninja turtle, and be a hit with four year olds everywhere.


What CAMP Say:

Camp logo "The new Armour delivers a precise fit, superior protection and a striking look all at great value. It has a new lightweight moulded thermoplastic shell with side ventilation. A fast and secure adjustment system with a ratcheted wheel system that makes the helmet ready to use. Available in five lively colours to suit all tastes. Headlamp compatible."


Details:
Price: £39.99
Weight: 340g
Colours: Red, Blue, Orange, Green, Grey

Armour Lady
A smaller version of the Armour with great patterns and colours designed specifically for women.

Armour Junior
A collection of lids for little climbers. Designed to fit and protect small heads with comfort and care.

CAMP products are distributed in the UK by Allcord Ltd, download a PDF of the UK consumer price list at www.allcord.co.uk


photo
Toby Archer
Toby Archer, based in Finland, works as a researcher specialising in terrorism and political Islam for an international affairs think-tank. "Climbing keeps me from getting too depressed by these sort of things." He blogs about both at Light from the North. He is part of the UKClimbing.com Gear Review Team.
BUY NOW from:
logo£50.00. Free UK Delivery!
See this product at the Outside Ltd shop


For more information visit Allcord UK


11 Jul, 2008
Very nice review, and the kit looks good as well. =)
11 Jul, 2008
^^^ditto, also TobyA (and anyone else that can help), just wondering if you have any experience of the ever popular petzl elios, which this appears to be a direct competitor of in terms of specs?I've used a friends elios for a while and i've been putting off buying a helmet for a while but now I want to buy my own, so I'm thinking of either going for something like the armour or the elios, or splashing out and going for a meteor 3, which would be your personal preference in terms of value, durability and weight?Bearing in mind that its main use will be single and multi pitch trad climbing, all help is much appreciated, cheers, John
14 Jul, 2008
Yep I have all three of those helmets now. My preference would be for the Meteor 3 if you don't do any ice climbing, it's lighter and less sweaty than either the Armour or Elios. Bothe the latter two are good helmets and I don't think there is much to choose between them, perhaps fit on your head, but the Meteor is nice for just rock climbing I reckon.