When we check the WeighMyRack database for the most wanted and owned climbing helmets by WeighMyRack users we find the top 3 models in each category are…

Most Wanted Climbing Helmets

  1. Black Diamond Vapor
  2. Petzl Sirocco
  3. Black Diamond Vector

Most Owned Climbing Helmets (available today)

  1. Black Diamond Vector
  2. Black Diamond Vapor
  3. Black Diamond Half Dome

Below we dive into why these are the most wanted and owned climbing helmets from WeighMyRack users.

Black Diamond Vapor – #1 Most Wanted AND #2 Most Owned

Sitting in the top 5 lightest helmets currently available (and at #2 on the sexiest helmet survey list we did a while back), the Black Diamond Vapor has long been at the top of the most wanted list on WeighMyRack. With some of the most air vent holes of any helmet on the market, the Vapor does a great job at letting your head breathe, making it great for protecting your dome while you sweat it out on a hot day of trying hard at the crag.

Currently at $139.95 the price is a bit steep compared to other helmets in its class, owing at least partially to the use of a costly sheet of Kevlar in the crown to both minimize weight and mitigate punctures.

The Vapor also comes in a ‘women’s’ version which is actually the exact same helmet that only comes in S/M and in pink or Hazel Findlay signature Ice Blue.

The Vapor can last a long time when taken care of properly. If you throw this helmet in your bag under a trad rack, expect it to have some surface dings when it comes out. If you also sit on said helmet in a bag, under a rack, you could certainly risk puncturing the helmet with a nut tool or cam edge. All this to say: if you’d like to be able to toss your gear around wherever and whenever you’d like, you’d be much better off with the #3 Most Owned Half Dome.

Where to buy the Black Diamond Vapor

Where to buy the Black Diamond Vapor Women

IMG_9261 1

The Vapor sits low on the head which adds to it’s sleek look. It is rated as the one of best looking helmets out there whether you’re climbing in your home crag or high above the valleys of Potrero Chico, Mexico, as seen above.

Petzl Sirocco – #2 Most Wanted

At first we were surprised to see this as the 2nd most wanted helmet as typically, WeighMyRack users want the lightest products most. When we dig into the data deeper, we found that if you combine the number of wanted current Sirocco’s with the number of wanted retired Sirocco’s (the previous all orange version) this Sirocco family would be #1.

As it stands, the current model of the Sirocco sits at the top of the WeighMyRack sort order as the lightest climbing helmet available. It has held the Lightest Helmet title for years and is technically a full 15g lighter than the next lightest helmet, the Salewa Piuma 3.0.

The bulk of the Sirocco is made from mega-light (though less durable) EPS foam, with an internal puck of EPP and a partial polycarbonate cap. With this fairly revolutionary construction method, Petzl was able to make an extremely light and comfortable helmet without compromising its ability to absorb impacts and meet UIAA certification.

Buying Options for the Petzl Sirocco

The Petzl Sirocco helmet in action
The Petzl Sirocco keeping Andreas cool and protected while belaying in Croatia

It should be noted that with this light construction method, the Sirocco can easily be a “1 and done” impact helmet, that needs to be handled and stored more delicately than more ruggedly built models in similar price range like the Grivel Stealth that includes a polycarbonate shell and is 38 grams heavier.

Black Diamond Vector – #3 Most Wanted AND #1 Most Owned

Rounding out the most wanted list is the Black Diamond Vector. Even though it barely makes it in the 30 lightest helmets currently available, it has a lot going for it which means it ALSO tops the list as the most owned helmet by WeighMyRack users. When you compare it to other sub-$100 helmets, it is highly available and also quite good looking, making the bit of extra weight much less of an issue for many climbers.

Indeed when you compare the weight savings to its ultralight cousin the Black Diamond Vapor (#1 most wanted and #2 most owned), the $50 difference for a savings of 45g seems better spent elsewhere unless you’re seriously counting your grams over pennies.

Where to buy the Black Diamond Vector

The Black Diamond Vector looks good
The Vector is considered the best looking helmet from a survey of our users. Brad looks great rocking it in the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois. Osage, Quapaw, Myaamia, Očhéthi Šakówiŋ, Kaskaskia, and Kickapoo territories.

Its thin polycarbonate shell also offers a bit more durability than other mid-light, mid-priced models that forego this coverage for weight. All of this adds up to the Vector being very well balanced in price, weight, and longevity, so it’s no surprise to us that it sits on both of these lists of our discerning users.

Black Diamond Vapor – #2 Most Owned

Making a second appearance as the #2 most owned helmet is the Black Diamond Vapor. There really isn’t much more we can say about the Vapor that we haven’t said above, except to suggest that the reason it is second on this list is likely the price, and perhaps the fact that it is slightly less durable than the Vector.

Buying Options for the Black Diamond Vapor

Black Diamond Half Dome – #3 Most Owned (currently available)

Black Diamond has had a solid hold in the helmet market for a long time and one of the reasons is the price and availability of the Black Diamond Half Dome. This helmet is bomber for somebody who wants a helmet that will last. It can take multiple hits (as long as the shell isn’t cracked) and doesn’t care if you toss it on the ground or even if it happens to land on a pointy rock. Instead of denting like the Vapor or Vector, this helmet may scratch, but these scars are often worn pridefully and rarely compromising.

It is worth noting that the Half Dome Women’s version (their language not ours) is actually made differently. It has a different internal harness system to be able to accommodate a low ponytail. This harness system also means the one size fits all maxes out at 22.8″ (58 cm) versus the regular version which maxes out at 25″.

Buying Options for the Black Diamond Half Dome

The Half dome in action
The rugged Half Dome (the older version worn here in grey by the belayer) has long been the go-to for those looking for a durable, inexpensive brain container.

Bottom Line

The Most Wanted helmets tend to be lighter, like the Sirocco and Vapor and/or are some of the better looking helmets. The Most Owned helmets tend to be those that are readily available at all the climbing shops, like the Black Diamond collection which dominates this list.