Being certified for both climbing and skiing makes the Pulse helmet a safe choice for ski mountaineering. The 13 vents make it a safe choice for doing it light and fast. It's also one of the only helmets on the market that lets you adapt to the weather, with an optional Winter Kit that plugs the vents and covers your ears. This makes the Pulse a safe choice for full-on downhill skiing. Add it up, and it seems CAMP's decision to make this one helmet quiver was a safe choice.
- Three front vents can be opened or closed with a slider to help regulate your temperature.
- In-mold construction with open-cell foam offers EN 12492 certified impact protection.
- EN 1077 certified for skiing with the addition of the Winter Kit (see below for details).
- Rotating size adjustment wheel and comfort chin strap help you fit the helmet securely to your head.
- Clips in the front and rear are compatible with goggles or a headlamp.
- Comes with a stash sack to help keep everything together.
||Polystyrene inner, polycarbonate shell|
|Skimo Co Says|
|Usage||Uphill or dowhhill skiing, ice climbing|
|Notes||Certified for climbing or skiing|
|Bottom Line||One helmet quiver|
Questions & Reviews
Greetings from Switzerland.
Does the Pulse come with the Winter Kit?
The Camp website suggests it's a separate item and (for them at least) permanently out of stock.
Background on product familiarity: I bought my Pulse helmet in Spring 2008 and used it on some tours. The size Small fit me perfectly with either the winter kit or without. But without the winter kit yet with a wafer-thin sun hat underneath – too tight! (The size Large though was absurdly big on me.) Then one day my brother happened to be visiting and randomly tried on the helmet, pronouncing it the most perfect helmet he had ever tried, so it’s been his since then.
First, the first impressions out of the box: If you’ve previously worn only ski helmets typically designed for the resort, then you’ll be astonished at the lack of weight. And the adjustment dial in the back is simple and effective. See the prior paragraph though for fit concerns.
Second impressions, in use: Overall a very comfy helmet and without any of that “crystal dome” effect that plagues many bike-style climbing helmets. And already set up nicely for goggle retention unlike most climbing helmets. The vents are limited though compared to some ski helmets so as to meet the climbing certification spec.
Third impressions, for long-term durability: All of these expanded foam bicycle-style helmets are essentially one-hit wonders, designed to sacrifice their lives for you. But it’s held up well during its second life with my brother.
I have only used the helmet twice so far, but I like it pretty well. The shell itself feels solid but is fairly compact size-wise. The headlamp holder clips feel flimsy but they do hold my headlamp securely and in a good position. The tightener in the back operates smoothly and snugs down comfortably. The liner is comfortable and doesn't have any scratchy spots.
The straps are easy to adjust, however, the forward straps attach to the shell a bit too much in the vicinity of my ear. This can be annoying when it's windy and the straps are flapping around in my ear. The chin strap also has quite a bit of slack that I need to tuck out of the way.
Here are some things to know:
- I bought the Large, which is specified to 62cm, but it barely fits my head which I measured at 59cm. I doubt I could even fit a thin skull cap under this helmet. I own a climbing helmet that is specified to 61cm and fit into it with plenty of room to spare (regularly wear it with a hat).
- The ventilation holes narrow toward the inside of the shell, making the effective ventilation area MUCH smaller than it would seem by looking at the product photos. There is a silly mechanism on the front of the helmet to open and close the front vent holes, but it does not work very well and I wish they had done without it. A headlamp or goggle strap also covers up some of the holes, including the rear ones which are the largest. I did a race a little over an hour long in about 28F and needless to say the liner was completely soaked with sweat by the end. This is obviously not a racing helmet and I suspect it will do better on a mellower paced winter tour, but wearing it on the uphill for spring and summer mountaineering in the PNW will probably be very hot.
Despite these minor issues, it's a great comfortable helmet, and the best one I could find that fit my criteria of being minimalistic but not compromising on safety. I was also looking at the Smith Maze, but ruled it out due to having very little ventilation. I will probably pick up a Speed eventually for better ventilation while racing, but this is likely to remain my helmet for skiing in the backcountry.
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