Helmet Technology

Discuss caving lights, packs, helmets, clothing, etc.
For rope and vertical equipment, go to the On Rope! forum.
Cave electronics enthusiasts can also visit the Communications and Electronics Section forum.

Moderator: Moderators

Helmet Technology

Postby ohiocaver » Mar 31, 2013 1:49 pm

Since "forever" cavers have favored the 4-point, suspension liner helmet. Now the new, solid core climbing and caving lids are hitting the market (not the cheapo foam bike helmets, but UIAA-rated helmets). Cost is similar. Has anyone seen or done any research on how they perform in caving situations vs. the traditional suspension liners: 1- for minor head bumps on low ceilings? 2- for falling rocks from above? 3- for longevity (of the lid, not caver)? 4- comfort (are they hot due to less ventilation) and weight? 5- balance on the head when multiple lights are attached to the helmet? Thanks!
User avatar
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
Posts: 428
Joined: Mar 5, 2009 6:34 pm
Location: Ohio
Name: curt harler
NSS #: 22735RCLFe
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Cleveland Grotto MAKC

Re: Helmet Technology

Postby NZcaver » Mar 31, 2013 4:24 pm

There was discussion about some of these factors a few years ago in this topic. Using our forum search engine, I was a little surprised to find the 'new' Petzl Elios foam core helmets date back to at least 2005. I suspect there might be some cavers out there who have been using one for almost a decade.
User avatar
Global Moderator
Posts: 6365
Joined: Sep 7, 2005 2:05 am
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Name: Jansen
NSS #: 50665RL

Re: Helmet Technology

Postby firemedic1015 » Mar 31, 2013 5:55 pm

I've been using a Petzl Eilos for about a year now, It is a huge improvement over the Petzl Ecrin (original, not Roc) that I had used for years. The new helmet is much lighter and lower profile than the older one. I don't have to take the new one off nearly as often in tight squeezes. To answer your questions:
1. Can't tell a difference
2. Don't know, haven't been hit by a large rock...thankfully.
3. Seems to be holding up well.
4. Much more comfortable than my old one, the best thing is, it doesn't tip forward all the time. If it's warmer, I don't really notice it, but I don't cave in any particularly warm caves. Everything around here is in the low 50's.
5. I'm using a Stenlight with the regular battery and a Zebra light H51 on it and couldn't be happier about the balance front to back.
Occasional Poster
Posts: 45
Joined: Jul 29, 2007 8:36 pm
Location: Harrisonburg VA
Name: Zeb Lilly
NSS #: 56382
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Cave Diving Section

Re: Helmet Technology

Postby trogman » Apr 1, 2013 9:16 am

I have been using a Petzl Elios for a couple of years now, and it has its' good and bad points; as far as comparing it to other style helmets, I have no point of reference, since prior to that I used a hardhat. I have not had a serious rockfall on it, so no comment there. It does seem somewhat warmer than my old hats, probably because I wear it both in and out of cave (ridgewalking). One drawback is, for those who like to store emergency supplies in their helmet, you won't be able to do so. It seems to balance just fine.
Like I said, I've had mine maybe 2 or 3 years, and it has held up fine so far.

Trogman :helmet:
User avatar
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
Posts: 1017
Joined: May 2, 2008 8:35 am
Location: North Alabama
Name: Stephen Brewer
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Gadsden Grotto

Re: Helmet Technology

Postby Mugger » May 23, 2013 10:16 am

I have both the Petzl Ecrin Roc (suspension helmet) and Petzl Elios (solid core helmet) and have caved in both for a number of years. The Elios was one of my first "real" cave helmets, I bought the Ecrin Roc just a few years ago.

1.For minor head bumps on low ceilings? I haven't been able to tell a difference between the two.

2.For falling rocks from above? Other than some pea gravel sized rocks I've never had anything fall on me.... knock on wood!

3.For longevity (of the lid, not caver)? The Elios was bought around 2007 and the Ecrin Roc was bought in 2011. Other than a few scuffs, both are holding up quite well.

4.Comfort (are they hot due to less ventilation) and weight? First a little disclaimer: I use a foam core bicycle helmet and use a full face ATV/motorcycle helmet, both used in warmer climates. That said.... I find the Elios to be warmer than the Ecrin Roc, but still comfortable. The Elios is lighter and has a much lower profile.

5.Balance on the head when multiple lights are attached to the helmet? I typically have two lights mounted to my helmets. On the Elios: a Petzl MYO RXP and a Petzl Tikka Plus; on the Ecrin Roc: a Petzl MYO RXP and a 3 watt led Mini Maglite. Both helmets seem to balance well. The Ecrin Roc is much easier to attach multiple lights to due to the placement of the side vents.
User avatar
Occasional Poster
Posts: 41
Joined: Sep 20, 2009 10:40 am
Location: California
Name: Hans
NSS #: 61554
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Shasta Area Grotto

Re: Helmet Technology

Postby wyandottecaver » May 23, 2013 5:13 pm

I found the elios to be much warmer than my Roc. I used the roc in dry caves and elios in water caves. You also cant dig with a elios very well :)

The elios had better vision and was quite light....so light it blew out of my truck bed driving down the highway which my Roc has never even begun to try :)
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
User avatar
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
Posts: 2902
Joined: Aug 24, 2007 8:44 pm
Location: Indiana

Return to Equipment Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot]