With most things we own in life, they tend to get broken, battered, too old or out-of-date. The world moves on and climbing companies create new bits of equipment that are upgraded.
The Petzl Meteor’s first model was originally released back in 1997. When it was released, it was a big step for the helmet category. Unlike other helmets with heavy padding, the meteor was exceptionally light and well ventilated, becoming the first choice for many climbers worldwide.
The Meteor is newly redesigned in 2019. It has new colors and new protection standards. It weighs 240 grams, features a lot of ventilation to keep you nice and cool, and is a real step-up in helmet design.
If you change from an older, heavier and non-ventilated helmet, this improved airflow makes such a difference. The more air you can get blowing around your head, the less likely you’ll sweat like crazy in your helmet.
The styling on the new Petzl Meteor is a matte finish with two colors, separated into blocks. There’s grey, purple and orange.
The appearance resembles most like the PETZL Sirocco. This model looks a bit more professional than the previous versions of the helmet.
The vents are tweaked on the new model, whereas on the older model the vents were more backward oriented, giving a sleek look.
While the new helmets are blocky, but wider, which gives better ventilation, there are also 8 vents on the side of the new model, compared to the 5 on the old model. In the back, there are 7 vents compared to 5 on the older model. More ventilation, more breathability, and a totally different look to the helmet.
These vents also allow the helmet to be more lightweight. They’ve added a lot of features to the new helmet, which means an increase in weight. Cutting away sections of the helmet and adding more vents decreases the overall weight. What remains is 240 grams of pure protection.
So, what are those extra features you might ask? The helmet has been beefed up and extended on the side and the rear. This is to protect the climber from side impact. It’s for all those weird kinds of accidents where you fall and swing off route, or a sport climb where you hit the side of your head in an awkward fall.
While most helmets don’t use that kind of rating system for side-impact, this one is protected fully from the side, taking standard regulation up a notch.
The helmet itself is EPS foam injected in a polycarbonate shell. This kind of technology is what keeps it strong and light. This now extends all the way to the edge of the helmet. Now you know that wherever you get hit during a fall you’re protected.
With the certifications being quite complicated, PETZL creating the Meteor complicates certifications even more. They created a new standard: “ski touring” helmet that’s certified by CE. The reason behind this is that the alpine ski helmet standard has strict helmet requirements. Size and integrity ventilation should ensure that a ski pole can’t penetrate the vents or that a ski edge can’t easily damage a vent.
A fitting helmet is very personal and everyone’s head is shaped differently. Therefore, no helmet is universal and can be worn by everyone. With that being said, before buying a helmet, trying it on is essential. You can never know if a helmet will be a good fit for you if you haven’t tried it on.
The adjustable cradle system on the back of the head on the Meteor is very similar to the one used by most climbing/mountaineering helmets on the market. The adjustment range is large and holds the helmet in place securely.
Another reason which makes this helmet more comfortable is its weight. It is so light that it can hardly be felt on the head. While it is not the lightest helmet out there, it definitely takes one of the top spots on the market.
The Petzl Meteor features attachments that work for both ski goggles and headlamps. The chin strap also looks pretty standard, but it has a set of magnets that helps guide the two ends of the clasp together. That’s useful when you’re blindly fumbling for the clasp in bulky gloves during a windy climb.
The durability is pretty good. Meeting both CE and UIAA specs for climbing helmets, it is certified as a ski mountaineering helmet. Compared to other helmets, this one, in particular, could be tossed around (it is not recommended though) without a problem. Its durability is on a high level and can absorb a tough impact.
This helmet’s weight is impressive considering the price and features it offers. Even on the longest rock climbing days, you won’t even notice it. Compared to most of the dedicated skiing/mountaineering helmets, this one has significantly better ventilation. It is lighter and offers a great range of adjustment.
Conclusion on the Petzl Meteor
If you’re planning on using this helmet only for skiing, you’d better go with a ski-specific helmet. But if you’re looking for a helmet more specifically geared towards rock climbing sport (which is probably why you’re on this site), this helmet is excellent for climbers with the added bonus of being ski-ready as well.
The PETZL Meteor offers good value while cutting down as much weight as possible. It is one of the top helmets on the market and is definitely a good choice for many people. As always, try a helmet on for a couple of activities before using it on a more intense climb. If the helmet is a good fit, you will have no problems with it staying on top of your head.