CAMP USA Storm Review
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CAMP USA Storm
$89.95 at REI
$114.95 at REI
Check Price at REI
|$40.48 at Backcountry|
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$59.95 at REI
|Pros||Adjustable, good headlamp clips, ventilates well||Super light, very comfortable, great ventilation, versatile for use while ski mountaineering, protects all sides of head||Lightweight, easily adjustable with slider bar, not as expensive as Sirocco, well ventilated||Fully adjustable harness, rigid plastic rear adjustment band, lightweight, excellent headlamp clips||Affordable, hard plastic shell is very durable, wide range of adjustability, easy to adjust|
|Cons||Easy to over-tighten, chin strap buckles under chin and not to the side||Not as durable as ABS options, expensive, less easily adjustable, magnetic buckle not for everyone||Magnetic buckle collects dirt, not as cheap as BD Half Dome||Not as well-ventilated as other lightweight helmets||Heavy, not super comfortable, not much ventilation, not easy to adjust v-yoke around ears|
|Bottom Line||A lightweight EPS foam helmet that's good for a variety of uses||One of the lightest, most comfortable, and most enjoyable climbing helmets to wear||A great value helmet that strikes a balance between low weight and affordability||A comfortable and lightweight helmet with good adjustability, but not very durable||A great choice for the budget conscious, but nowhere near as light or comfortable as our top choices|
|Rating Categories||CAMP USA Storm||Petzl Sirocco||Petzl Meteor||Black Diamond Vector||Black Diamond Half...|
|Headlamp Attachment (10%)|
|Specs||CAMP USA Storm||Petzl Sirocco||Petzl Meteor||Black Diamond Vector||Black Diamond Half...|
|Measured Weight in Ounces (largest size)||8.7 oz||6.1 oz||8.5 oz||8.6 oz||12.7 oz|
|Shell Style||EPS foam with Polycarbonate||EPP and EPS foam, polycabonate top piece||EPS, Polycarbonate||EPS foam with Polycarbonate||EPS foam with ABS shell|
|Number of Sizes||2||2||2||2||2|
|Number of Colors||4||1||3||4||4|
|Warranty||3 year limited||3 year||3 year||1 year||1 year|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The CAMP USA Storm features an EPS liner and a polycarbonate shell, and it weighs 8.7 ounces in the Large size that we tested. The Small helmet fits a 48-56 cm range, and the Large a 56-62 cm range.
The CAMP USA Storm feels lightweight and comfortable initially, but after two hours in it, we started to get a headache from the tensioning system and pressure from the click-wheel. As with most wheel-tensioned helmets, we found it easy to overtighten them, and the knob pushes down your ponytail (if you have one). There is a nice, soft fleece liner on the forehead and top of the helmet, and it is lighter than the hardshell helmets that we tested, which makes a difference over a long day.
Like other helmets that also use a click wheel tensioning system, this is one of the easiest helmets to adjust. The click-wheel at the back tightens quickly and efficiently, and there are clips on the V-yoke to adjust the positioning around the ears. Some of our testers felt this helmet was a bit tight under the chin, which affected our comfort a bit. CAMP includes a nice fleece cover for the buckle, but that makes the chin strap even bulkier, and none of us like the feel of something bulky under our chins.
This helmet weighs 8.7 ounces in the Size Large that we tested. That makes it slightly heavier than some of the other EPS foam helmets that we tested, but not by much. Other helmets in the same weight range use a slider bar in the back instead of a knob, so it's up to you to decide which features you prefer and if you can handle an extra ounce or two on your head to get them.
This helmet ventilates well, with 21 vents located all around the helmet. While it feels significantly cooler than most of the hardshells that we tested.That said, the vents themselves are relatively small, and other EPS models seem to feature much larger vents throughout, thus offering better ventilation in general.
The headlamp attachments on the Storm feel secure and are easy to use. We tried putting a headlamp on while still wearing the helmet and struggled a bit to find the clips because they are so low profile. This aspect makes them less likely to snag on clothing or slings though, which is a good thing.
We noticed no major issues or design flaws while testing this helmet. We expect this helmet to hold up similarly to other polycarbonate shell helmets, which is to say you can put it in your pack without cracking it and drop it a few feet without shattering it. It is surely a bit more durable than Black Diamond models, which use a similar EPS/polycarbonate shell design, but which gets dented and dinged seemingly just by touching it. While we aren't commenting on the ability of the helmet to withstand repeated heavy impacts, it will certainly live up to the everyday abuse that you would expect of a climbing helmet.
This helmet retails for about the same as all of the other EPS helmets on the market. Our best recommendation is to try it on, as well as the others, and then go with the model that is the most comfortable on your head. In our opinion, at least one other helmet in this price range performed better, and thus offered a better value, but the deciding factor will be individual comfort.
The Storm takes some of the popular elements of their Speed 2.0 helmet (a combination climbing and ski mountaineering helmet), and puts them in a climbing specific helmet. We liked what they've created, and it's a great option for a variety of uses.
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