If you have a big head, a hair style that increases your head size, or climb in colder temps and want to add a layer, your helmet choices shrink drastically. After scouring the WeighMyRack database, it’s clear that most helmets max out between 24 – 24.4 inches (61-62 centimeters), and a select few go up to 25″ (63.5 cm).

Out of 125 helmets currently available in the world, 64% fit heads 24.1″ (61 cm) or more, 35.2% fit heads 24.5″ (62 cm) or more, and only 7% fit heads up to 25″ (63.5 cm).

We have a filter on WeighMyRack where you can choose to see the helmets that will fit heads that are larger (or smaller) than the most common helmet size available.

At WeighMyRack we catalog every helmet we can find the stats for, which is 200+ helmets available worldwide.

WeighMyRack is updated daily and is the best place to check for new helmet details (and deals, as we list current sales too).

The largest diameter helmet was the Grivel Salamander XL at 26″ (66 cm) but sadly, they discontinued this larger size. Grivel has replaced it with the “one size fits all” Salamander 2.0 with a max diameter of 24.4″ (62 cm).

Continuing to tease you with products that are not currently produced but perhaps you can find used, the next biggest helmet size was 25.2″ (64 cm). Both the Edelrid Tagra and LACD’s Protector Light are now also retired.

Now, there are 5 helmet models plus 2 variations that max out at 25″ (63.5 cm) all made by Black Diamond. (Wild Country’s larger helmets are now retired as well.)

The Largest Helmets Are

the helmets that max out at 25″ (63.5 cm), alphabetically

Black Diamond Capitan

The Capitan comes in two sizes, make sure to get the M/L. We think of the Capitan as the upgrade to the Half Dome – it’s slicker looking and still burly. And it’s a mere 25 cents per gram of weight savings compared to the Half Dome. It also has more side and back protection compared to most of BD’s other helmets. Watch a video with more Capitan details.

MIPS is the technology that you see in many bike helmets. It adds a Multidirectional Impact Protection layer that allows the helmet to react better to off-center impacts.

Black Diamond Half Dome

The Half Dome is one size fits all. This is one of the OG helmets. It’s the easiest going helmet in that it can take abuse. You don’t have to baby this helmet like you do the Vapor and Vector. This helmet is fine being tossed in a bag next to cams or on a route where you constantly hit your head against the rock (accidentally or purposefully). Watch a video with more Half Dome details.

The Half Dome women’s version, does NOT go up to 25″. It has a different strap system that includes a ponytail cutout and maxes out at 22.8″ (58 cm).

Black Diamond Vapor

The Vapor comes in two sizes, you’ll want the M/L size. The Vapor is Black Diamond’s most premium helmet. It’s incredibly light (top 5 lightest helmet). It sits low on the head and looks good, consistently winning best looks contests. Likely, one big hit to the helmet and the helmet should be retired. This is a fragile helmet. If you aren’t careful with gear (like you might sit on your pack, with your helmet in your pack), then we don’t recommend the Vapor.

The Vapor Women helmet only comes in S/M, which maxes out at 23″ (58.5 cm). The Vapor Women S/M and Vapor S/M models are exactly the same, other than the color.

Black Diamond Vector

The Vector comes in two sizes, you’ll want the M/L size. It’s the slightly less sexy (sits slightly higher on the head) and slightly heavier (44 grams) than the Vapor. Basically, the choice here is, is it worth saving a dollar per gram vs buying the Vapor or Vision helmet? Otherwise this helmet is quite similar to the Vapor and is fragile and scratches easily. Do not throw this helmet around with abandon.

The Vector Women helmet only comes in S/M, which maxes out at 23″ (58.5 cm). The Vector Women S/M and Vector S/M models are exactly the same, other than the color.

Black Diamond Vision

The Vision comes in two sizes, so make sure to order the M/L version. The Vision is BD’s most durable foam helmet (vs hardshell). So it can get knocked around slightly more than the Vapor/Vector. BD did a great job combing the majority of the things into this model. It’s pretty light, it’s under $100 (barely), it looks good and sits low on the head, has nice adjustability + removable pads, and it also has more back/side protection. In my opinion, this helmet is the best deal BD has going on (unless you want more durability, then go for the heavier Capitan). Watch a video for more Vision details.

MIPS is the technology that you see in many bike helmets. It adds a Multidirectional Impact Protection layer that allows the helmet to react better to off-center impacts.

Even though there aren’t that many options, and they’re all from one company, the good news is, many of these options qualify for the Top 10 Best Looking Helmets list.

 

Petzl Helmet Note

Since Petzl is one of the other most wanted or owned helmet brands (along with Black Diamond), here are their head diameter stats for reference:

Summary

The best news is that the subset of large helmets includes some of the best looking helmet models, so your advanced cranium can be covered in style.

Often the bike and ski market have more options for larger helmets. Wearing a bike (or ski) helmet is better than nothing, although it’s definitely not ideal. The requirements and testing for climbing helmets is different and focuses more on impacts from above, like rockfall. We wrote a whole blog post explaining the differences in climbing vs skiing helmets.

To make it easier to find all these models, WeighMyRack.com/helmet even includes a filter where you can select larger (or smaller) helmet sizes so you can see all the helmets that will fit your large head properly.

Share
Alison Dennis

Alison Dennis

Alison (she/her) runs WeighMyRack from her 17' travel trailer. She is currently touring the US and would love if you contacted her to meet up to talk about climbing, climbing gear, or if you have any fun and/or ridiculous adventure in mind.

All author posts

We’re @weighmyrack

 

Get Climbing Gear News

You can expect 0 – 52 updates per year.


About Us

We’re a bunch of gear nerds who set out to level the playing field. Screw the media bias of marketing budgets, we treat all brands equally. You won’t find elitist or gatekeeping writing here, we welcome all climbers.

 

When we write specific place names we will give a land acknowledgement.
To avoid assumptions we’ll ask to share gender pronouns.
#BlackLivesMatter
#StopAAPIhate

Our Location

We’re often mobile. Do inquire for a current shipping address.

Our business address is:
30 N Gould St
Suite 23131
Sheridan, Wyoming 82801

Instead of featuring distracting ads or creating a paywall to monetize our site, Weigh My Rack LLC links to relevent products via affiliate marketing (if you click a link and then buy, we get a commission). Weigh My Rack LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Weigh My Rack LLC also participates in affiliate programs with Avantlink, AWIN, Bergfruende, CJ, FlexOffers, Webgains, and other sites.