First Look Gear Review
Street Price: $100
Pros: Light, versatile, good look
Cons: Can't adjust chin with one hand, easy to lose screws
Best Uses: Rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering
The Wild County Alpine Shield is the Transformer of the climbing helmet world. Put on the plastic shield and it is a burly ice-deflecting helmet. Take off the shield and it is a lightweight rock climbing helmet. According to Wild Country, this extra plastic shield makes it far exceed certain helmet safety standards.
I have been using this helmet for over a year for climbing, biking, paragliding, and mountainboarding. It is only intended for the first of those four activities. The first thing I did was remove the plastic shield. So far I have not been able to test the signature feature of this helmet. So this review is not complete until I do that.
However, I have used this helmet a ton without the shield. Which means I am basically just using the Wild Country Rock Lite. The Rock Lite is very similar in weight and shape. It has a different interior lining and the Rock Lite has a dial sizer rather than the pinch sizer on the Alpine Shield.
The Alpine Shield (sans shield, or call it the Rock Lite) is a competitor to the Petzl Meteor III Plus. The Meteor 3 is 0.9 ounces lighter and $10-20 more expensive. It's hard to notice the weight difference in your hand; both are really light. So far I like the Meteor more for climbing. It's lighter, ventilates better, and the chin strap is easier to adjust. But I love the Alpine Shield and use it probably more than any other helmet.
Check back soon for the full review.
— Chris McNamara
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: March 21, 2012
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