Chicks Gear Review: Petzl Elia Helmet

Petzl EliaPerhaps one of the most important gear buying decisions you can make is the climbing helmet. When it comes to choosing a helmet, there are a many options available, but really there are only two types of helmets: light weight foam (like your bike helmet) and hardshell options. Since I’m pretty tough on my gear, I prefer a hardshell helmet like the Petzl Elia. Not only is it the most comfortable hardshell helmet I’ve worn, it’s durably constructed and dare I say stylish. It’s a great all around helmet, perfect for rock and ice climbing.
Here is why:
Comfort & Fit: For a hardshell helmet, the Elia is fairly light weight and comfortable. It has removable padding inside along the forehead area, so you can keep it clean. The easy to adjust suspension system keeps the helmet centered on my head. There’s nothing worse than an ill fitting helmet that slides too far back exposing your frontal cortex, or perhaps even worse, slides off to this side making you look ridiculous in your summit selfie. For those of you with longer locks, the harness system that sits on the back of your head has a nice horseshoe shape that can easily accommodate a ponytail without compromising fit and proper placement on your head.
Durability: The Elia’s hard shell construction consists of an ABS plastic covering over a polystyrene foam.  This makes the helmet ever so slightly heavier but tough enough that I don’t have to worry about any denting or dinging it up. I don’t stress too much if I shove it into the bottom of my pack or put into in my checked baggage if there’s no room for it in my carry-on.  
Style points: Call me vain but I don’t want to look like a bobble head doll. I know, the whole point is to protect your dome-piece, but if it doesn’t make me look hideous I’m more likely to wear it. Look good, climb good I say! The Elia comes in a couple of colors, white for those who aren’t afraid to wear it after Labor Day, and the latest colors of the season: celery green and red apple.

Written by: Chicks co-owner and guide, Elaina Arenz. Elaina is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide, is in the instructor pool as an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Provider and a Warrior’s Way Trainer.