Helmet Question

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Helmet Question

Postby danegarreau » Apr 20, 2014 10:41 am

Would a helmet used for lacrosse be suitable for caving? Seems that they are a good bit cheaper than rock climbing helmets.
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Re: Helmet Question

Postby tamarmole » Apr 20, 2014 12:22 pm

Two questions

(1) Ask yourself why a climbing spec helmet is more expensive.
(2) Ask yourself how much your head is worth.

Cutting corners on safety critical gear (which a helmet is) really is a false economy.
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Re: Helmet Question

Postby LukeM » Apr 20, 2014 2:00 pm

Is $38 cheap enough?


I'd encourage you to support caving vendors, but you can cave safely on a budget.
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Re: Helmet Question

Postby caverdan » Apr 20, 2014 3:23 pm

Googling lacrosse helmet.....I'm seeing them starting at around $100 and going up from there. I'm sure they would work OK for caving. They are meant to protect you from players swinging sticks around the old noggin. I would think the full face guard would be a little annoying, but maybe you can take that off. They remind me of a hockey goalie helmet. I'd say it's a little over kill for caving. I've caved in a moto cross helmet before. :big grin: You see people in construction helmets all the time. They are about as cheesy as it gets. At least your thinking of wearing a helmet. :kewl:

I think you could find a caving helmet cheaper, and it would be more comfortable. They are made to hold headlights on them, same as most climbing helmets do. Caves tend to scratch the hell out of a helmet. That might be a deciding factor if you don't want to ruin your lacrosse helmet.
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Re: Helmet Question

Postby danegarreau » Apr 21, 2014 2:00 pm

Absolutely, I am going to get a helmet.

It just seems that lacrosse and hockey helmets are much cheaper used than rock climbing helmets.
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Re: Helmet Question

Postby rlboyce » Apr 21, 2014 4:24 pm

You want a helmet that is impact rated for the top of the head and the side of the head. The helmet should also employ some means of staying on your head (four point chin straps are often used) in case a force of some kind tries to push the helmet off the head. You don't want a helmet that has experienced an impact load in the past which has structurally compromised it. These things are what I consider essential; all else is a creature comfort.

A good helmet has nothing to do with how much it costs, nor does it have to say "Petzl" or "Elderid" on it (contrary to popular opinion). However, I will say that the common climbing helmet usually meets all the above criteria at the cheapest price you will find. As an additional selling point, they usually have the lightest form factor and slimmest profiles. There is a reason most cavers use these for head protection. : )

If you go with a hard hat, only use a Type II as the Type I is not side impact rated, and therefore inadequate.
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Re: Helmet Question

Postby Extremeophile » Apr 21, 2014 5:00 pm

I did my first couple cave trips with a bike helmet and survived; however, if you're not sure whether you're interested in caving then borrow gear - such as from a grotto. But if you're sure you're going to go more than a couple times, then investing in a good helmet and headlamp just makes sense. Ryan is exactly right ... choose a UIAA rated climbing helmet because it's more comfortable, easier to mount a headlamp, more durable, and safer. Unless you have caves in your back yard, you'll be spending more money on gas than you will on fundamental gear requirements.
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