I have been using the Petzl Sirocco helmet now for just over a year on everything from British trad climbing to Grandes Courses and have found it’s performance to be nothing short of brilliant. My Sirocco was a replacement for a very well used Petzl Elios, a helmet that I had used and abused for many years but had finally reached retirement age.
Dave using his Sirocco during BMG Summer training. Credit: Steve Long.
The Sirocco has been around for a few years now and is currently the lightest fully certified climbing helmet on the market. Unlike many of the other very light helmets around today it is made of expanded polypropylene foam and not polystyrene which means it has a certain amount of ‘give’ and can flex a little without breaking, a definite advantage when being lugged around in your pack or when travelling abroad. The design is simple and uncluttered and comes complete with a magnetic buckle (useful for one-handed operation), head torch clamps and a very basic but supportive strapping system. The helmet is well ventilated so doesn’t get too hot when being used for mid summer cragging or when things start to heat up in the Alps.
Dave and Kev Avery (both Sirocco fans) on top of the Matterhorn after an ascent of the North Face Schmidt route. Credit: Kev Avery, CGR.
The helmet is still definitely not as durable as an ABS type shelled design (I have put a couple of dents in mine) but with a maximum weight of only 165g for the larger size, a compromise will always have to be reached. As a testament to how lightweight and comfortable the helmet is I have forgotten to take mine off when walking out from routes on more than one occasion. A stark contrast to helmets of the previous generation…
Pros – Lightweight, very comfortable.
Cons – Not as durable as other, heavier helmets. Also has a tendency to blow away if left unsupervised on a windy day!
Overall though, it is a brilliant, comfortable helmet and a solid bet if you are after the lightest possible helmet and don’t mind compromising a little on durability / longevity.
Dave is a Trainee IFMGA Mountain Guide and rope access IRATA L3 based in Kendal. He enjoys all different types of climbing and skiing, but has a particular passion for Scottish winter climbing and Alpine climbing. Click here to see his page.
Petzl Sirocco Helmet Features:
- Certification(s): CE EN 12492, UIAA
- Monobloc shell of expanded polypropylene (EPP)
- Textile adjustment system
- Excellent ventilation distributed around the shell
- Entirely adjustable and adapts to all head shapes
- Removable comfort foam is quilted and lined with absorbent fabric
- Magnetic buckle allows the chinstrap to be attached with one hand
- Two lateral holes for VIZION visor
- Two hooks and rear elastic for attaching a headlamp