Published on: 12/04/2022The Petzl Meteor is one of the most popular climbing helmets, and for a reason. It's affordable, comfortable, and versatile. But is it sturdy enough?
The Meteor’s polycarbonate shell and in-mold construction are specifically designed for the types of impact experienced by skiers on descent. In fact, it’s the first climbing helmet with a CE ski touring certification. However, this helmet is good for more than just its versatility. We were pleasantly surprised by how well it performed on larger climbing objectives where every gram counts.
If you’re looking for a climbing helmet with lots of versatility and weight is important in your search, the Meteor may just provide the best bang for your buck. Check out our full review below.
- First CE certified helmet of its kind that meets both mountaineering helmet standards as well as ski touring certification
- Both light and durable, a gold standard for climbing gear
- High marks for comfort, compatible with both a headlamp and ski goggles
- One of the most affordable and well-performing helmets in its weight range
- Magnetic chin strap buckle can get dirty quickly and won’t function as well
Helmets can sometimes be fickle to size, depending on your head shape. Overall, we were incredibly impressed with how the Meteor fit and felt on the head. It can be worn comfortably under or over a hood and even accommodates ski goggles with relative ease. The inner molding is made of expanded polystyrene. It’s been amply padded and doesn’t press too much into the forehead or temples.
The semi-rigid headband holds the helmet in place but doesn’t dig in, thanks to ergonomically placed padding. If we had any regrets about the comfort, it would be about the chin strap. Indeed, it lacks any sort of padding and can sometimes rub a bit. Some padding would add only a minuscule amount of weight and could even be removed for weight savings (we would probably keep it on, though).
One common complaint about climbing helmets is that they lack proper ventilation and can lead to a sweaty helmet. The meteor attempts to solve this problem with generous holes mapped around the sides and rear. While it doesn’t eliminate the problem of sweat entirely, it’s noticeably better than other types of climbing helmets when it comes to ventilation.
One potential drawback of the vents is that it can potentially get very cold. That’s especially true during fast descents on ski touring missions. You will need a well-thought-out layering system for your head to compensate.
Even though the Petzl Meteor has plenty of vents, it’s still designed in accordance with Petzl’s top and side protection label. This means that it will offer protection from various impacts. It’s good to know that the venting features don’t interfere with impact resistance. Also, the enhanced ridge on the top of the helmet will direct away small rock showers from a collision course with your head.
The most prominent adjustment on the meteor is at the back of the inner plastic headband. Two clips control the aperture and snug the helmet to your head. While this may not immediately be the easiest option (rotating wheels are easier for beginners), it’s reliable and easily adjustable with gloved hands. The chin strap is also easily adjustable. Also, the magnetic chin buckle makes it much easier to take off and put on the helmet while wearing gloves. The rear elastic band is compatible with both headlamps and ski goggle headbands, which makes this a great mountaineering helmet.
One gripe we had about the Meteor helmet was that the magnetic buckle seems to attract dirt and grime faster than more traditional styles. Most helmets feature a buckle with two components that are relatively open. Dirt can pass through easily, while the Petzl Meteor has a buckle in which one end is inserted into the other. This creates a space where dirt builds up over time. As a result, the buckle can become hard to close properly if you don’t clean it.
There’s a constant paradox in nearly all types of climbing gear. Weight and durability can never exist perfectly without compromising the other. Most modern helmets reflect a balance between the two, and the Petzl Meteor definitely reflects an industry consensus in this regard.
This helmet achieved a great symmetry of both durability and weight by starting with a sturdy polycarbonate shell with a foam liner injected inside. This construction offers optimal protection for both rock fall as well as climber falls (the type of impact that causes most head injuries while skiing).
The Petzl Meteor helmet is the first climbing helmet with a CE certification for ski touring. However, just because the Meteor adheres to the helmet standards for ski touring does not make it the ski mountaineering helmet. It is a good choice if you are looking for one helmet that can perform multiple jobs well instead of one job excellently. If you were looking for a pure alpine helmet, for example, the Petzl Sirocco might be a better choice.
As far as the helmet’s durability overall, the Meteor rates somewhere near the middle of the pack. There are other helmets that offer an amazingly low weight but are nowhere near as durable as the Petzl Meteor. However, compared to the old-school hard plastic ABS helmet design, the Meteor helmet is not as burly and will not last quite as long. It’s a good choice for you if you want a helmet that offers weight savings, a competitive price, and decent durability. If you want a workhorse helmet, an ABS design like the Black Diamond Half Dome or Petzl Boreal is a better choice.
The current generation of the Petzl Meteor helmet is a great improvement over previous versions. It works well as a vital piece of general climbing and mountaineering, and ski touring equipment. It is a pretty versatile lightweight helmet that rates well for durability. While it might not be great for skiing, it boasts CE certification and can be adjusted easily with gloves on. It works well in many different situations, which is probably why it’s such a favorite with people who love the outdoors.
The Petzl Meteor helmet is an excellent helmet, definitely one of the best in its price range. The latest version reflects years of engineering advancement for the alpine mainstay brand. Whether you’re a new climber looking for gear that will allow for lots of growth or an experienced alpinist needing extra protection on big mountain routes, this helmet has plenty of good to offer. Petzl has once again made a stand-out product in an already crowded field, a difficult task. Great for climbing chandelier ice, pulling hard moves on funny overhangs, and even descending a couloir in AT skis, this helmet is a true all-rounder made with superior quality.
|Weight||8.5 oz/240 g (M/L Model)|
|Sizing||S/M (18.9-22.8 in/48-58 cm), M/L (20.9-24 in/53-61 cm)|
|Material||Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam with Polycarbonate shell|
Where to Buy It?
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