How Do Climbing Helmets Protect Your Head? - Climbing Magazine
Experts at Petzl break down protection certifications so you can make the safest helmet choice. Most helmets focus on protection from the top. Petzl has released TOP AND SIDE PROTECTION.

The Current Status of Helmet Protection

Currently, all climbing and mountaineering helmets provide a certain level of protection that helps protect the top of the head from falling objects. This level of protection is guaranteed by the requirements of the EN 12492 and UIAA 106 standards.

Whipper China Doll gif

Jorg Verhoeven's whipper on China Doll (5.14a R), Upper Dream Canyon, Colorado.

However, impacts to the front, rear, and sides of the head occur just as frequently as impacts to the top of the head. For this reason, Petzl is manufacturing helmets that guarantee a certain level of protection throughout the entire helmet and not just the top. These helmets carry Petzl’s proprietary label--TOP AND SIDE PROTECTION--for easy identification.

Copy of top-and-side-protection

Proving Safety: Requirements for a TOP and SIDE PROTECTION LABEL

When a helmet has the TOP AND SIDE PROTECTION label, it means that it meets both the testing requirements of the EN 12492 and UIAA 106 standards as well as Petzl’s in-house testing protocol. The EN 12492 and UIAA 106 tests focus on the top portion of the helmet while Petzl’s in-house testing protocol extends to all areas of the helmet.

Copy of Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 11.23.50 AM

EN and UIAA energy absorption testing is as follows: 

A 5 kg (11 lbs) mass is dropped on the top of the helmet from a height of 2 m (6.5 ft) as well as on the upper sides of the helmet from 50 cm (19.6 in). To pass the test, the helmet must not transmit a force greater than 10 kilonewtons (kN) to the headform to meet the EN standard or 8 kN to meet the UIAA standard.

Copy of Standard protection test

Petzl additional in-house energy absorption testing is as follows: 

A 5 kg (11 lbs) mass is dropped on the lower front, rear, and side parts of the helmet from a height of 50 cm (19.6 in). To pass the test, the helmet must not transmit a force greater than 10 kN to the headform to carry Petzl’s TOP AND SIDE PROTECTION label.

Copy of Enhanced protection test

Helmets That Protect All Angles

With the TOP AND SIDE PROTECTION label, Petzl is the only climbing helmet manufacturer that guarantees a certain level of protection against impacts from above, as well as from the front, rear, and sides. For more information, visit Petzl.com 

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