CAMP updated the Armour, gracing it with it a new fit profile that is designed to fit a wider range of head shapes and sizes. It also gets an updated rotating adjustment wheel and some larger headlamp clips. Compare the updated helmet (in red) to the grey model we tested.
We haven't tested the updated Armour, so the review below still refers to the previous design.
Hands-On Review of the Armour
The CAMP USA Armour helmet is made with ABS plastic with an EPS liner. It comes in one size only (53 — 61 cm), but is available in a smaller CAMP USA Armour Junior and CAMP USA Armour Lady that are both for 54-57 cm heads (according to CAMP — see Adjustability below).
The Armour was the heaviest and least comfortable model that we tested, though it's sure to last a while.
This helmet was one of the least comfortable ones that we tested. Because this helmet sits so high on your head, in order to keep it in place the rear adjustment knob has to be cranked down fairly tightly, creating a lot of tension around your head. We did like the soft padding inside on the top, and the plastic tensioning band is covered in a soft fleece, but the chin strap is very thick (four strands of webbing) and we felt it bunching up under our chin.
There's so much going on under there that even the soft fleece can't make it comfortable. We much prefer the single strand chin strap over the doubled-up option here.
The click-wheel on the back of the head is a quick and effective way of adjusting the circumference of the helmet. The chin strap has a sliding buckle to quickly adjust the positioning on the side of the head, but then both ends come out of the buckle and then double up through the end, leaving you with four strands to negotiate when trying to shorten or lengthen the chin strap length. This is one of our pet peeves about climbing (and bike helmets), and we much prefer the helmets that have only one strand to pull when adjusting the chin strap, like on the Black Diamond Half Dome.
On the Armour (left), the chin strap doubles up through the buckle, making it difficult to adjust and bulky in a spot where you don't want bulk. We preferred the single strap closure like on the BD Half Dome, right.
We also found the sizing on this helmet to be a bit off. It comes in only one size, and CAMP states that this helmet should fit 54-60 cm heads, but anyone who tried this one on that typically wears a M/L or Size 2 helmet from other brands could not get it to fit. It did fit our female tester with a 56 cm head, but she couldn't get a good fit in the "female" version of this helmet (just the same helmet in pink), which is rated for 54-57 cm heads. Long story short, if you have a small head this might be the helmet for you!
This helmet fit our female testers and those with smaller heads better.
This helmet was the heaviest in our review, weigheing 12.8 ounces. That's more than twice the weight of our Top Pick for Lightweight, the Petzl Sirocco. It's also still quite wide around (28.5 inches), which is more than most of the other ABS helmets in this review.
This beast of a helmet sits up high on your head, and doesn't offer much protection in the rear.
In a weird way, this helmet vented better than the other ABS helmets in this review, because it sits so high off your head! It still feels hotter though than the all EPS or EPP helmets in this review.
The vents are small and not very effective, but it sits up high on the head and that provides more airflow than other ABS helmets.
The headlamp clips are really tight on this helmet, and you can't slide anything under them but instead have to lift them up. That makes them more secure once the headlamp is on, but it is finicky to get the strap under them. This is one helmet you have to take off to really get the headlamp on correctly.
Well, there is one area that this helmet excels at, and that's durability! One of our testers purchased the Junior version of this helmet for his kids, and after 5 years, it's still in great shape. According to him, this helmet had been dropped, kicked, drop-kicked, used as a seat, etc, etc, and it's still hanging in there. The biggest issue is that the kids have outgrown it, since the sizing range is so small.
This helmet is a good choice for people looking for durability, those that have a smaller head, and for programs that need something inexpensive for rock climbing groups or high-rope courses.
Given the choice between wearing this helmet, or not wearing one at all, we'd probably opt for the later. But, it's still a good option for those that can get a good fit in this lid, and who don't want to spend a lot of money on it.
This helmet retails for only $60, making it one of the least expensive models out there. For the same price, you can purchase the Black Diamond Half Dome, our Best Buy winner, which fit better, provided more coverage, was significantly lighter, and which you'd be more likely to wear every day… you get the idea! We also really liked the latest offering from CAMP, the Storm helmet. This is lightweight foam helmet costs $100 but feels a world better than this one.
While there is still a niche market for this helmet, other manufacturers do such a better job (in our estimation) with their ABS helmet offerings that the CAMP Armour really pales in comparison. Who knows — maybe you'll get a good fit in this lid, but it just didn't work well for any of our testers for many reasons.