Hands-on Gear Review

Compare climbing helmet ratings side-by-side >

CAMP Armour Review

   

Climbing Helmets - Men's

  • Currently 3.8/5
Overall avg rating 3.8 of 5 based on 8 reviews. Most recent review: June 9, 2013
Street Price:   Varies from $45 - $60 | Compare prices at 7 resellers
Pros:  sleek, tough, comfy
Cons:  does not take headlamp well, bulky chin strap
Best Uses:  big wall, ice, alpine, moderate free climbing
User Rating:     
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.6 of 5) based on 7 reviews
Recommendations:  50% of reviewers (2/4) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   CAMP
Review by: Chris Van Leuven, Chris McNamara ⋅ December 4, 2009  
Overview
The CAMP Armour stood out for its comfort. Most people who tried it on were surprised by how nice it felt on the dome. Truth be told, and since our review helmet was green, we felt a bit like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle while donning it. Turtle look aside, this became a favorite for many testers for helmets in the $60 range. Despite being heavier than most other helmets tested (by a fraction of an ounce), the Armour still felt like one of the lighter helmets because it is so comfortable.

It stays in place (doesn't ride up on your forehead and slide back onto your neck), takes a beating well, and has a slim, breathable profile. Not all helmets stay put on your head, but the Armour does. This helmet gets tough competition from the following $60-65 helmets that are also great: Petzl Elios, Black Diamond Half Dome and Mammut Skywalker 2. We have a hard time saying which is best so try them all and see what fits you best. You might be surprised, as we were, at just how comfy this helmet is. If you don't mind a more expensive and fragile helmet, it's hard to beat the Petzl Meteor III.

Compare top rated competitors side-by-side >

  • Photos
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge


OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Likes
The Armour stood out for comfort. It uses open cell foam that is cushy and had most testers saying "ahhhh" when they put it on. This foam is on the top of the helmet, around the edges and even on the chin strap. Unlike the Skywalker II or Altios that sit on top of the head, the Armour wraps around the forehead, which gives it a secure feeling.

The Armour is definitely the helmet with the most vibrant color combinations. Most helmet colors are pretty conservative but CAMP gives you five bold color combos.

While we have not used this helmet enough to truly test its durability, it does feel like one of the more durable helmets out there. When you squeeze the sides in with two hands it bends much less than most other helmets. That is not a very scientific way to test durabilty. However, we have found that helmets that crack easily either a) are made of light foam (like the Meteor III or Black Diamond Tracer) or b) feel flimsy when you squeeze them together. The key question in science is always: is that correlation or causation? We don't know and we are not scientists. But we will keep using this helmet and write back here once we have a chance to test its durability.

Dislikes
The Armour is one of the heaviest helmets tested (but is only a one-half ounce heavier than most other helmets in its class). Honestly, we didnt notice that the Armour weighs more than the other helmets tested; this is likely due to its streamlined design.

In some ways the chin strap is very comfy because it has a removable padded sheath. But in other ways the chin strap is a little clunky. It is not possible to adjust easily while wearing and is even a little hard to adjust when you take it off because of the extra padding sheath. In cool temps the larger padded chin strap is comfy. But when the temps climb the larger chin strap becomes more noticeable because it breathes less. In these situations we removed the padded sheath. This helped, but the chin straps were still on the big size.

This helmet did poorly in the headlamp test; the clips were too tight in the front. This is not a big deal because most people don't need to put a headlamp on and off a lot. And who knows, maybe the tighter clips in the front mean the headlamp is less likely to come off in a fall.

Best Application
The Armour makes a great wall climbing helmet. In fact, it works equally well for nearly any situation you'll encounter climbing, from ice, trad, sport and big wall (including nail-ups), even alpine. When big wall free climbing, we generally go for a polycarbonate helmet such as the Petzl Meteor III, but despite the heavier weight of the Armour, we still reached for it because it felt tough and has great ventilation. It also feels more out of the way than the Half Dome.

Personal Stories
For most of this review Chris Van Leuven thought the Armour was one of the lightest helmets. But when we put it on the scales it actually was one of the heavier ones (but not by much). This underscores the fact that while the Armour is not one of the lightest, it certainly feels like it is.

This helmet isn't de rigueur at the crags. Perhaps this is because its a brand fewer people are familiar with and it is not quite standardlooking. That said, it is gaining popularity and is a top seller at the Yosemite Mountain Shop, one of the best-known mountain shops in the United States. We put the Armour in the category as the Mammut Skywalker II: priced competitively, comfy and easy to adjust, but not a common sight at the crags… yet.

Value
The CAMP Armour is an awesome value. It is tied for least expensive helmet with the Black Diamond Half Dome and Mammut Skywalker II.

Chris Van Leuven, Chris McNamara

Compare this product side-by-side to top competitors >

Where to Buy?


Thinking about buying some gear we've reviewed? Help OutdoorGearLab out if you do. Just click on any of the above seller links and if you make any purchase, the seller will contribute a portion of the sale to help support this site. It won't cost you anything extra, and it's a simple way to help us fund our gear reviews. Thanks!

*Most retailers free shipping offers apply only to lower 48 US states using ground/economy shipping. See retailer's website for details.


OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: June 9, 2013
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.6)

50% of 4 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
6 Total Ratings
5 star: 17%  (1)
4 star: 50%  (3)
3 star: 17%  (1)
2 star: 17%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 7 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
Write a Review on this Gear

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Jun 9, 2013 - 05:52pm
Fishtrap · Climber · Bass Lake, CA
This is the second part of the review (see below).

As I mentioned before the tightening mechanism has broken on a number of these helmets. I recently phoned the folks at CAMP USA and they very quickly send me a box with 15 of the new tightening pieces to fix the broken ones that I have. This was a very easy fix (took me about 1 minute per helmet) and I was happy with the quick customer service. My guess is that they've got this problem fixed on the newer helmets. All this to say I would now probably give the helmet 4 stars instead of 3.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   May 22, 2013 - 09:44pm
Fishtrap · Climber · Bass Lake, CA
I work for an outdoor program and have purchased 50+ of these helmets over the last 5 years. For the price this is a descent helmet that easily adjusts and looks pretty good.

I have two complaints. The first is that the foam insert has come unglued on about 25% of these that we have in our inventory. This is a somewhat easy fix with some gorilla glue but this seems like an easy fix for the folks at CAMP. The other complaint is that the adjustment mechanism at the back of the helmet breaks way too easily. I recently phoned CAMP and they offered to send me the parts and said it was an easy fix so we'll see how that works out. I was happy that it seemed like they were aware of the problem and did not charge us for the replacement parts. If we were using these helmets all the time I wouldn't have a problem with these issues but they are only seeing maybe 10 days of use per year.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Aug 26, 2010 - 10:44am
kc · Climber · the cats
I loved this helmet because of the green color, and in store, I thought it fit me really well. I did like the lightness of it compared to helmets I was previously using. In practice, though, I could not get the thing to sit on my head properly, and it was constantly sliding off the back of my head. Very annoying on lead. I do like a tight helmet, and this one just couldn't get it done. Sigh.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Jun 7, 2010 - 02:06pm
SCseagoat · Climber · Santa Cruz
Just bought the women specific version. Very happy with it. The only one that the chin strap came under my chin/middle jaw and not further back against the top of my throat/way back of chin which created a choking feeling as I moved my head around. (and I spent at least two hours trying on helmets). No sloppy or bobble head feeling and didn't feel like my head was in a vise when cranked on snug.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Mar 10, 2010 - 12:17am
schwortz · Climber · "close to everything = not at anything", ca
most comfortable helmet i've worn. fits me better than the black diamond tracer or half dome, and petzl elios or meteor. the fact that its slightly heavier is definitely more than offset by its comfort. i don't find the buckle/chinstrap any more/less annoying than any other climbing or bike helmet i've worn. the orange color makes for good photos and high visibility in bad weather or snow. the price is about as good as it gets these days.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Dec 14, 2009 - 11:59am
karodrinker · Climber · San Jose, CA
Click to enlarge
Mike, about to take the plunge...
Credit: karodrinker
good comfy helmet. But the crappy plastic buckle broke, CAMP, want to ship me a new buckle???
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No

Dec 11, 2009 - 05:14pm
 
Ashley Helms · Climber
Most comfortable helmet I've worn.
Click to enlarge
Andy Walliver being safe in his new CAMP Armour helmet on Flight Time at Indian Creek
Credit: Ashley Helms
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No


Have you used the CAMP Armour?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...

Write a Review on this Gear
Click to enlarge
The Armour is stylish, durable and well ventilated.
Credit: CAMP website
Where's the Best Price?
Seller Price
Backcountry $44.96  -  25% off!
Amazon $44.96  -  25% off!
CampSaver $44.96  -  25% off!
Compare prices at 7 sellers >

*Help support OutdoorGearLab. If you click on one of the seller links and make a purchase, a portion of the sale helps support this site
Related Best-in-Class Review
The Best Climbing Helmet

The Best Climbing Helmet

We took eight of the best and most popular climbing/mountaineering helmets and rated them for comfort, weight, ventilation, headlamp attachment, durability and ease of adjustment.
Helpful Buying Tips
Get More OutdoorGearLab
Follow us on Twitter, be a fan on Facebook!
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Related Gear Reviews