Expanded polypropylene (EPP): that's the magic fairy dust used to make this helmet. This material along with a webbing retention harness translates to the Petzl Sirocco being the lightest climbing helmet made and infinitely adjustable to ensure a comfortable fit. EPP, in addition to being very light, maintains the ability to be somewhat flexible. A lesser touted benefit of this helmet is the ability to throw it in a pack or the trunk of your car and not have it get crushed. Excellent ventilation, and a nifty magnetic buckle system that is easy to use with gloves on round out a terrific design. Try one on and you'll immediately understand its popularity, possibly despite the color.
- Excellent ventilation distributed around the crown.
- Entirely adjustable and adapts to just about all head shapes.
- Removable comfort foam is quilted and lined with absorbent fabric; washable.
- Magnetic buckle allows the chinstrap to be fastened with one hand (Petzl patent).
- Two hooks and rear elastic for attaching a headlamp.
- Two mounting holes for VIZION visor.
- Available in two sizes.
- Three-year warranty.
Update for 17/18: Same durable EPP shell material as before, this time with a polycarbonate crown that aids in deflecting rocks and debris. A lower profile shell shape sits further down and offers better protection against side and rear impacts. The venting capabilities have noticeably increased, especially at low speeds. The orange model is the helmet from prior seasons.
|Certifications||EN 12492 (climbing)|
|Skimo Co Says|
|Usage||Climbing, skimo racing.|
|Bottom Line||Featherweight yet still protective.|
|Compare to other Helmets|
Questions & Reviews
So Petzl has certified this as a "ski touring" helmet under the CE EN 12492. However, it won't hold up to racing standards and it won't pass a general alpine helmet test. It seems that Petzl has gone out and made their own ski touring certification. From what I can tell it's not tested by a third party.
Following up on this, I reached out to our Petzl rep and got an official answer!
Petzl went through the process of creating a new ski touring certification because they recognized there were some issues having only a climbing/mountaineering and downhill ski certifications.
The new ski touring certification (EN 12492) blends the requirement to ventilate while wearing it from sun up to sun down while also offering enhanced protection against lateral, frontal and rear impact. It basically blends the mountaineering and downhill ski certifications, finding a happy medium while still offering sufficient protection.
Lastly, it is not rated for the ski pole poke test.
I will now confidently crash into trees.
Well-thought out features. It holds a headlamp (particularly Petzl Nao and Tikka XP) extremely securely. It is comfortable and easy to adjust considering its light weight. It fits well with a hat under.
Docking a star for two reasons:
- It is one of the funkier looking helmets. Try on if you can to be sure you like the style.
- The magnetic closure is an innovative idea, but if you live in an area with granite rock and also use this helmet for climbing, the magnet will collect small pieces of iron-based rock, which makes it difficult or impossible to clip closed securely.
Details, drawbacks first:
1. Sizing seems too big for the spec. My head circumference is 57.2cm, which over the years has matched up well with my ski helmets, bike helmets, the CAMP Speed "1.0" 56-62cm range, and other climbing helmets. The Sirocco Size 2 is 53-61, and front<>back was okay, but the sides were just sticking out far too much. I was able to get the Size 1 48-56cm to work by removing the small comfort foam piece in front.
2. Appearance is so bad that it's good, like a really good bad movie (or when Orwell decided that Kipling was not a bad good poet, but rather a good bad poet). Something about the contours, the color, and the texture all taken together is just so very wrong. Either Petzl designers are so good that they care only about function, or instead if they care about styling then they are utterly incompetent. So try to take your pictures such that the top of the helmet can be cropped out (seriously), like in the attached photo.
3. The straps are so narrow that they're easy to twist up when putting on the helmet. But they're so thin that even when twisted they're still super comfy.
4. The magnet to enhance one-handed connection of the chin strap is clever, but it can allow the strap to be closed insecurely with only one of the two side clips engaged. Once aware of this possibility though, it's not longer a problem -- just need to remember to check that both sides of the clips are engaged.
5. Compared to the CAMP Speed, seems to have slightly less side protection. Although if that is an important issue for you, should get a dual-cert ski/climb helmet.
6. Vents are impressively ample. But realistically no climbing helmet will ever vent well at ascent speeds, since it has to be solid up on top to be certified. Does cool down very well on skiing descents at speed, so well that when I tried it in a race with nothing underneath on what I thought was a warm day I got the worst "ice cream headache"!
And now the pros:
1. Weight. Yes, that can be summed up adequately in a single number, but it's still amazing.
2. Durability. As demonstrated to me by a Petzl rep, you can step on this helmet, smush it, etc., w/o worrying about damage to the thin plastic exterior ... because there is no thin plastic exterior, just a single piece of foam. So it's been my favorite now going into its fifth season when strapping a helmet to the back of my pack for long dry approaches in late spring and summer when it might get jostled around back there.
3. Can also attach a Petzl Vizion visor, but my impression is that those are more for ice climbers, so I've stayed with the usual assortment of sunglasses, wrap-around shields, and ski goggles.
4. Strap system is brilliant. With just thin straps, Petzl has achieved the same adjustable and snug front<>back fit that is usually achieved by much more bulky adjustment systems/knobs/etc. at the back of the head. In addition to weight savings, less interference with wearing a sun cap underneath or sunglasses retainer.
5. Headlamp clip in back is minimalistic (well, of course, everything has to be at this weight) yet effective, and even securely holds a wide ski goggle strap.
Should be obvious, but my review is for the all-orange original model, i.e., prior to the multi-color versions of the 2017-18 season.
Detailed compare/contrast of the two different versions here.
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