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HB Dyneema, $100, 13 ounces
Summary: For those who can’t bear to part with their old fiberglass Joe Brown, the HB Dyneema is for you. It’s almost the same shape, but weighs significantly less than its older sibling, thanks to its unique and visually stunning Dyneema (known in the United States as Spectra) and carbon fiber construction. That construction also makes it incredibly stout; it survived 10 repetitions of the UIAA/CE penetration test. Those seeking absolute comfort may want to look elsewhere, as the Dyneema is a bit Spartan on padding, with stiff plastic tabs poking out of the suspension. It does, however, sport a cushy chin strap. It also has a front-and-rear shock-cord headlamp system that is dated. Like the original Joe Brown, ventilation is not this helm’s strong suit. Overall, dedicated Joe Brown lovers should find it money well spent.
Pros: Strong and durable.
Cons: Uncomfortable suspension; limited headlamp compatibility.
Overall grade: B-
Hugh Banner/Climb High: