Helmet Weight

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Helmet Weight

Postby hunter » Oct 17, 2008 4:16 pm

Hey All,
After a few to many 18+ hour days of caving I decided to see if I could lighten my helmet rig because it gives me a headache and can get in the way when I'm crawling. I weighed my Petxl Explorer helmet without the carbide but with the AAs in place. It came out at 740 grams.
I then got a sz large Hugh Banner composite helmet (which unfortunately isn't made anymore) and put a Sten with the normal battery on it. This came in at 640 grams.

I'm curious, how much does your rig weigh in full caving mode (with all the batteries in but with the mud cleaned off)?

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Re: Helmet Weight

Postby NZcaver » Oct 17, 2008 6:01 pm

Wow, I must be a bored gear junkie. :laughing:

My current setup is my old faithful HB Olympus helmet with a PT Apex and either a Fenix L1D on the side or a Zebralight H50-Q5 on its headband. (Each of those backup lights weighs about the same when configured on my helmet).

Total weight with batteries (but no mud) is about 760 grams.

I remember many years ago an old helmet with a carbide caplamp used to give me really bad headaches. The extra weight on the front and the cheap helmet with a poor harness system probably did it. My current setup is pretty comfortable for me.
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Re: Helmet Weight

Postby Ralph E. Powers » Oct 17, 2008 6:24 pm

My helmet probably weighs a good 3 pounds or more (dunno how many grams that is)... My primary light is the old Petzl Mega Belt with the battery pack mounted to the rear and usually contains 3 C cells... then I have one of those inexpensive 3 AAA 6 bulb Energizer LED lights on the front just below the lamp of the Mega and a 2 AA sized 3 watt LED mini-mag conversion on the side. Oh and there are two AA batteries in a package mounted under the top of the helmet... those go to the red LED flashing lights that I have on the rear of the helmet (just for kicks).
Yeah a lot of weight but I've grown accustomed to it. I wouldn't mind going lighter if I can afford the newer but more powerful lamps that are out there... but for the time being... it's what I got. At least I got 3 sources of light directly on to my head.
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Re: Helmet Weight

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Oct 17, 2008 7:19 pm

Jeez Ralph, a Petzl Mega? You may not think you could afford a new light but seriously, you can't afford to NOT get rid of that thing! Do you have LEDs in it or the old orange halogen?

I used to cave with either a Petzl Aceto or Autolite cap lamp :carbide: and a Mega mounted on a Joe Brown helmet. = very heavy

I then went to a Corona and a Yukon on the Joe Brown = moderately heavy

Two years ago I went to a Petzl Vertex vent helmet. I now have a Sten and a Tikka xp on it. It is probably half the weight of my previous setup. Sorry James, I don't know how much the whole thing weighs. The helmet weighs 465g and then add the Sten and Tikka. I get much less of a headache problem than I used to. The new setup is also much cooler, with better ventilation than the Joe Brown. The Sten is not the lightest light in the world but I figure never having to carry extra batteries makes up for it.
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Re: Helmet Weight

Postby Rick Brinkman » Oct 17, 2008 8:01 pm

My total: 850 grams = 30 ounces = 1.875 pounds

Ecrin Roc
PT Apex
3 watt led Mini Maglite
zip ties to hold it all on
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Re: Helmet Weight

Postby ek » Oct 17, 2008 11:27 pm

I wear a Petzl Spelios, which is the Elios with the Fixo Duo LED 14 factory-mounted (535g without batteries). My secondary light is a Princeton Tec Eos (105g without batteries). I use alkaline, NiMH rechargeable, or Lithium batteries (or some combination thereof...though not in the same light!), depending on the situation and whether or not I happen to have misplaced my NiMH rechargeables and charger. Going by the figures on Wikipedia for AA and AAA, the mass added is about:

  • 127g with alkalines,
  • 83g with lithiums, and
  • 169g with NiMH rechargeables.
So the total mass is:

  • 767g with alkalines,
  • 723g with lithiums, and
  • 809g with rechargeables.
When I am wearing my Meander Criou cave suit, I usually keep my trash bag (which I always carry as a vapor barrier) in its pocket. Otherwise, I keep it in my helmet, which adds weight...probably not very much, though.

When the issue is neck strain, it is relevant that I wear my third light around my neck. It's either a Princeton Tec Eos (105g) or Princeton Tec Quad (96g). Add to that the mass of three AAA batteries (rounding up, as I did before: 35g for alkalines, 23g for lithiums, and 45g for NiMH rechargeables).
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Re: Helmet Weight

Postby Ralph E. Powers » Oct 17, 2008 11:29 pm

jaa45993 wrote:Jeez Ralph, a Petzl Mega? You may not think you could afford a new light but seriously, you can't afford to NOT get rid of that thing! Do you have LEDs in it or the old orange halogen?

I

Heh, ya I'm probably one of the few cavers left on the planet that still uses the old Mega.. But it's all I can afford at the moment PLUS it's been on A LOT of caving trips with me, I've had it for going on 12-13 years now or more. Changed the halogen bulbs maybe three or four times since. It's a good light and while it pales in comparison to whats out there today... :shrug: I like it.
When things get better for me then I'll upgrade. Not sure about a sten but something pretty good.
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Re: Helmet Weight

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Oct 18, 2008 8:15 am

That's cool Ralph, I was just giving you a hard time. If you like the Mega then go for it. The fact that it has worked for 13 years is something to be said for it right there. I got a Mega in 1998 as my first "real" electric caving lamp. I was pretty impressed with it at the time. Over time I felt like a "slave to the orange dot" as I've heard it said. At that time I moved on to a PT Yukon hybrid that is smaller, lighter, and gives brighter light and better efficiency.

Anyway, if you do want to save weight, I would lose the mini mag and the Mega. If you're happy with the weight, it sounds like what you've got works just fine. I was actually just surprised that you still use a Mega, as it sounds like you do a lot of caving. :caving:
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Re: Helmet Weight

Postby Ralph E. Powers » Oct 18, 2008 4:35 pm

jaa45993 wrote:That's cool Ralph, I was just giving you a hard time. If you like the Mega then go for it. The fact that it has worked for 13 years is something to be said for it right there. I got a Mega in 1998 as my first "real" electric caving lamp. I was pretty impressed with it at the time. Over time I felt like a "slave to the orange dot" as I've heard it said. At that time I moved on to a PT Yukon hybrid that is smaller, lighter, and gives brighter light and better efficiency.

Anyway, if you do want to save weight, I would lose the mini mag and the Mega. If you're happy with the weight, it sounds like what you've got works just fine. I was actually just surprised that you still use a Mega, as it sounds like you do a lot of caving. :caving:

Not as much as I'd like... but then again who really does? Life gets in the way more often than not.
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Re: Helmet Weight

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Oct 19, 2008 8:05 am

I guess one cool thing about the Mega Belt that is along the lines of the original topic is that you can run it on AA's instead of C's to save weight.
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Re: Helmet Weight

Postby hunter » Oct 20, 2008 10:48 am

Cool, thanks for the info guys! I guess 640 is about as good as I'm going to get. The only improvement I can see is to run the Sten off a 9V lithium but that would get expensive fast. I was thinking about adding this thing: http://www.madrockclimbing.com/sequoiaheadlamp.aspx as an ultralight backup and sketching light but haven't decided yet. I definitely like the price better than on the Petzl eLite.

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Re: Helmet Weight

Postby ek » Oct 20, 2008 12:27 pm

Well, if you're willing to go for a helmet that is not entirely perfect for caving (but rated for climbing, and thus probably acceptable), here's a possibility:

Petzl Meteor III ultralight climbing helmet - 235g
Stenlight S7 - 127g
Stenlight Head Strap
Stenlight 1m Extender Cable (comes in the Accessory Kit package)

You could mount the Stenlight on the Meteor III with the Head Strap (since it might be hard to install a mounting bracket on the Meteor III, and also, the Head Strap with the 3M Dual Lock battery fastener removed probably weighs less than the mounting bracket). Put the battery on your belt (hence the 1m Extender Cable). The total weight on your head of this setup would be 362g plus the weight of the head strap and part of the weight of the extender cable. Substantially less than 640g.
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Re: Helmet Weight

Postby JNT Exploration1 » Oct 20, 2008 1:58 pm

Well I must be the minority in this regard cause for the longest time I did not wear a helmet of any kind, just an ole boonie hat and bandanna. Heck I still just wear cammos to cave in with the leg pockets removed so they do not get hung up. Recently I purchased a petzel helmet but it is still in the pack....
course this probably is not the brightest thing to do seeing as how there is a high chance for head injury...but...oh well.
As to weight.....seems to me that after a while any weight would cause a headache...god bless tylenol.
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Re: Helmet Weight

Postby ek » Oct 20, 2008 2:29 pm

Seems to me that wearing an appropriately fitting and comfortable helmet beats both life-ruining head injury and unnecessary chronic drug use.
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Re: Helmet Weight

Postby Ralph E. Powers » Oct 20, 2008 2:31 pm

JNT Exploration1 wrote:Well I must be the minority in this regard cause for the longest time I did not wear a helmet of any kind, just an ole boonie hat and bandanna. Heck I still just wear cammos to cave in with the leg pockets removed so they do not get hung up. Recently I purchased a petzel helmet but it is still in the pack....
course this probably is not the brightest thing to do seeing as how there is a high chance for head injury...but...oh well.
As to weight.....seems to me that after a while any weight would cause a headache...god bless tylenol.
Jason :big grin:

The use of a helmet is just common sense. There have been a number of fatalities due to the lack of a helmet. Case in point... A scout master was leading a group of ventures into Logan Cave. They reached a section where there is a 12 (+/-) foot free climb. The scout master climbed up roughly 6 feet, slipped and fell back to the floor on his head and stomach... he was killed instantly... rescuers say that if he had been wearing a helmet he'd most likely have survived.
We suggest certain pieces of gear out of long experience and numerous rescues due to lack thereof. A single issue of American Caving Accidents will show that.
For a long time I caved with just a UIAA approved construction helmet that had been modified with a chinstrap... saved my money on tylenol. That at least is better than nothing. A photo of me about 14 years ago.
Image
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