The CAMP USA Storm is a good lightweight EPS/polycarbonate helmet. It has a similar construction to other popular helmets on the market, like the Petzl Meteor, but with a slightly different shape. There's a lot of similar helmets out there that are all in the same price range and made with the same materials, but each fits a little differently — so if this one fits your noggin well then it's a great purchase. We also really like the EPP helmets that we tested, including our Editors' Choice winner, the Petzl Sirocco.
CAMP USA Storm Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Adjustable, good headlamp clips, ventilates well.
Cons: Easy to over-tighten, chin strap buckles under chin and not to the side.
Manufacturer: CAMP USA
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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.
Using a similar system to the Black Diamond Half Dome, 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 a little heavier than some of the other EPS foam helmets that we tested, like the 8.5 ounce Petzl Meteor or the ultralight 7.0 ounce Black Diamond Vapor. Both of those helmets 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, it doesn't quite compare to the large open construction of the Black Diamond Vapor or the Petzl Sirocco, as the vents themselves are relatively small.
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 the Petzl Meteor, 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 the BD Vapor, which uses 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.
The CAMP USA Storm is a great choice for a variety of climbing pursuits, from sport cragging to long days in the alpine where you want something light on your head. We can't think of any climbing that this helmet for which this would not be useful.
This helmet retails for $100, or about the same as all of the other EPS helmets on the market, minus the Black Diamond Vapor. Our best recommendation is to try it on, as well as the Best Bang for the Buck winning Petzl Meteor, the Mammut Wall Rider, and the Black Diamond Vapor (all $100), and then go with the model that is the most comfortable on your head. But, if you're looking for a better deal, the Black Diamond Half Dome, another Best Buy winner, retails for only $60.
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.
— Cam McKenzie Ring