Each year, helmet technology gets better. The outer shells get more sophisticated as a result of new plastics, the interior foam more durable and better able to disperse impacts, and overall the helmets get lighter and more comfortable. The new Petzl Boreo helmet is a manifestation of these trends.
The Boreo feels agile and not cumbersome, with no pressure points when worn snugly, and it is light enough (285 grams, just over a half a pound) to be your go-to helmet in rock, alpine or mountaineering adventures. It’s not the lightest helmet in their line-up—the foam-only Sirocco, for instance, weighs 160 grams and costs twice as much—but Petzl is marketing this helmet as an all-arounder. And they are right to do so.
Typically, I’m a medium in just about everything, but I am a M/L in the Boreo (size options are S/M and M/L). If you’re unsure, size up, which also guarantees that you can get a beanie under there in colder temps. Adjusting the helmet is intuitive and easily done while it’s on your head, or, assuming you’ve got a no-hands rest, when you are on route. A pet peeve of mine is when the side straps dig into your ears. Thankfully, the Boreo’s straps were barely noticeable. Sleek headlamp clips adorn the front and rear, and with ten ventilation holes, it breathes. Lateral protection is ample, and its rear drops down to the concave back part of your skull. Inside, the liner pads can be unvelcroed for easy washing. At around $65, it’s hard to go wrong with this one.
Rock and Ice vigorously tests all gear it reviews for either 50 days or 50 pitches. This is a time-consuming process and limits the amount of new equipment we can present to our readers. Every year hundreds of new products hit store shelves, and most of these aren’t reviewed due to our stringent selection and review process. To better keep you more up to date on what is new, we present First Look. Gear in First Look has not always been field tested, but is gear we think you’d like to know about as soon as it is available. Some of the gear will be reviewed using our 50 days/50 pitches criteria, in future print and online editions of Rock and Ice.