Due to a long break from trad climbing exploits, I had neglected to update my helmet as well as my ancient non-anodised rack for quite some time. A rather sorry looking, heavily dented, first generation Petzl Meteor helmet with the twisty buttons that gave you a terrible headache wasn’t ideal for the trad comeback.


The Petzl Sirocco is incredibly light and comfortable with a nifty magnetic chin strap closure (which takes a bit of practice to do with one hand) and a simple single pull tab adjustment on the back of the head to adjust the internal webbing cradle. I’ve not tried it with gloves on which I imagine to be a bit fiddly due to the tiny tab. The helmet features the fancy EPP foam, which recovers from minor bumps and compression instead of fracturing and weighs next to nothing, making it feel like you aren’t wearing anything which is great (Note from the editor; We think Rich might be a closet naturist).


The only downside is when putting it down to sort your kit out it can tend to blow away in a light breeze, so take care to keep it tucked away. Storing it when not wearing it should still be done with care as you would with any lighter weight soft shell helmet (on the outside of your pack or on top of the kit inside of it) and throwing your pack down with it in or on is not recommended if your lid is to enjoy a decent lifespan.


It sits well on the head and doesn’t seem to slide in any direction when looking about and makes wearing a helmet a lot more enjoyable than it used to be. It’s a bit lower in profile than the first generation of Sirocco, so fits well under most jacket hoods and doesn’t look quite so ridiculous! I’ve worn it for quick evening hits in the pass and out all day climbing and scrambling in the Lakes in rare scorching temps and didn’t notice it was there.


There are two sizes and two colours available. I went for black due to the sleeker look but I imagine white would be a sensible choice if you climb in hot, sunny destinations (think Morocco or Spain rather than Cloggy). If the Sirocco isn’t for you, I’d have a look at the Mammut Wall Rider and the new Petzl Meteor for slightly cheaper lightweight options.


- Rich


Image: Rich on the Needles, Wasdale.