Mammut’s innovative new helmet, the Wall Rider, features an Expanded polypropylene (EPP) foam body with a smallpolycarbonate cap on the top. This hybrid of exposed foam and hard-shell blends the features of two different helmet designs: the traditional lightweight in-mold helmet design and the super-light exposed foam design of the Sirocco (Petzl is upgrading the Sirocco with a similar composite design but I haven’t gotten my hands on one yet). With this blend of materials Mammut has harnessed many of the benefits of each while minimizing their weaknesses. Well that’s all theory anyway. I believe in using and abusing products in the mountains to really get a feel for them! So how did the Wallrider perform? Dam well actually, and it looks bad-ass in red and black to boot.
- Weight: 220g
- Materials: Expanded polypropylene body with polycarbonate cap
- Colors: Red & Black or Blue & Black
- Harness System: Nylon webbing with 3 adjustment points
- A small brim
- Headlamp clips (rear clip also works for goggles)
- Lots of venting
- Low profile fit
Construction & Materials:
The body of the Wall Rider is made of EPP, the same material that Petzl uses on the Sirocco helmet but different from the polystyrene that most light-weight climbing helmets are constructed from. The EPP has great energy absorption properties, is structurally quite strong and very lightweight. A great combination for a helmet!
A durable polycarbonate cap is centred over the top of the helmet covering the EPP. In contrast to the egg-shell thin layer utilized on lightweight in-mold climbing helmets the Wall Rider boasts a much more substantial protective layer. By only placing this armour on the top Mammut was able to reduce weight while still providing additional protection from falling rocks and ice where they’re most likely to hit. Now without any hard plastic along the sides I had worried the helmet would be a bit delicate. A needless worry as it turned out as the Wall Rider stood up extremely well to being stuffed in my pack, better than other helmets like the Meteor or Vapor. I’ve had the misfortune of damaging both of those helmets when treating them in a similar fashion, ie. hiking with them on the interior of my pack.
When compared to other lightweight helmets the Wallrider falls somewhere in the middle of the spectrum:
- Petzl Sirocco: 170g
- BD Vapor: 200g
- Singing Rock Penta: 205g
- Mammut Wall Rider: 220g
- Petzl Meteor: 220g
- BD Vector: 240g
- Mammut Rock Rider: 260g
- Camp Speed 2.0: 270g
Fit & Feel:
The fit of this helmet is simply great! Because of the hard plastic cap on the top Mammut was able to keep a low profile. As a result I found that I hit my head less and often forgot I was wearing a helmet at all. When wearing a bulky touque (Canadian for beanie) the nylon straps can take a bit of fiddling to get just right but once that’s done the helmet still fits great. On the down side I found that I couldn’t completely remove helmet movement with the soft harness system. I would tighten up the straps and still be comfortable but have just a bit of a wiggle. Not a big deal though and I would often forget about it as soon as I started climbing.
The venting and airflow within the helmet is great. The inside seems to be higher volume than other helmets, which I assume helps keep the noggin a bit cooler on a hot day and provides a little space for a toque in the winter.
The combination of a low profile, hard plastic top with the lightweight EPP body allows the Wall Rider to provide a high level of protection and durability in a comfortable and reasonably lightweight package. Some helmet designs have shaved off a few grams here and there by adding more vents, which also makes them a bit flimsy, or by removing features. This helmet has added features to increase safety and durability but still falls on the lighter end of the spectrum of lightweight helmets. An innovative and elegant design from the crew over at Mammut.
Pros: Durable, very comfortable, low profile, good venting and airflow.
Cons: I found that there could be a little movement in the harness system.
Overall: The Wall Rider provides a high level of protection and durability in a lightweight, low profile and comfortable package. And it looks really cool to boot!
Mammut provided a review sample for review but of course that didn’t influence us in any way. Photos are by Bonsta.ca.