Though the Petzl Elios helmet is categorized as a “hardshell” option, it is relatively lightweight and agreed to be more comfortable than Black Diamond’s Half Dome. Composed of ABS shell over polystyrene foam, the Elios is perfect for nearly all types of climbing and outdoor expeditions. However, this new version of the Elios did away with the click wheel and replaced it with two large buttons on the back of the helmet, which now require two hands to adjust. However, the new system is far less bulky than the old, making for a lighter and less top-heavy helmet.
Voted as the most comfortable hardshell on the market, it barely edged out the Black Diamond Half Dome for this esteem for two reasons: 1) the soft and fuzzy padding of the Elios is more desirable than the firm, smooth padding found in the Half Dome, and 2) the rear adjustment bands provide for a more comfortable feel when the helmet is tight.
The large red buttons that replaced the rear click wheel allow for ease of adjustment, though do require you to use two hands. However, if you want to loosen the helmet by a notch or two, you may be able to do so with a single hand. The size of the buttons makes the adjustment strap quicker and easier to operate, with and without gloves on.
At 11.6 ounces, the Elios is one of the heavier helmets on the market, but the lightest of the hard shells. Compared with the 5.8 ounces of Petzl’s Sirocco, the Elios feels huge. However, if you’re not a performance oriented climber looking to reduce weight, you may not care much about the difference.
With ten vents in the outer shell, the Elios is well ventilated. As an added bonus, Petzl added sliding shutters to the helmet, allowing you to close off the vents in wet or windy conditions. Made from the same ABS materials as the shell, the shutters are sandwiched between the outer shell and the polystyrene liner and can be difficult to move at first. However, after some use, they become easier to slide. While the shutters were a great concept, they don’t necessarily make much of a difference on windy days.
Though the four headlamp clips are small and sleek looking, they are difficult to use and make for a hard time when trying to slide the headlamp straps beneath them.
As for durability, this is where the Elios excels. Along with Black Diamond Half Dome, the Elios is the most durable hardshell helmet available today. Thanks to its tough ABS exterior, it is meant to withstand everything from bumps when packing to falling objects when climbing. At just $5 more than the Black Diamond Half Dome, the Elios is a great value, though not as great as a value as the Half Dome.
Sliding ventilation shutters
Compatible with VIZION eye shield
Used for all types of climbing, cragging, zip lining and biking adventures. Not ideal for performance oriented climbers.
Overall, the Petzl Elios is a versatile helmet perfect for any number of climbing adventures. Though a hardshell helmet, it is the lightest option, and one of the most durable. Comparable only to Black Diamond Half Dome, the Petzl Elios is a great value if you’re looking for a long-term investment.