The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Mammut Skywalker 2 Review

An affordable and adjustable ABS helmet, but not the first one we would recommend.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $60 List | $54.00 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Affordable, easily adjustable
Cons:  Heavy, poorly ventilated, not super comfortable, headlamp attachment difficult to use
Manufacturer:   Mammut
By Andy Wellman ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 25, 2019
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
65
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort - 20% 6
  • Ease of adjusting - 20% 8
  • Weight/Profile - 20% 4
  • Ventilation - 10% 7
  • Headlamp Attachment - 10% 8
  • Durability - 20% 7

Our Verdict

The Mammut Skywalker 2 is a hard ABS plastic shell helmet with an EPS foam liner on the inside, providing extra impact resistance for the top of the head. It has an easy to adjust click wheel tensioning strap on the back, and lots of soft cushioning pads on the inside where the helmet makes contact with the head. The most notable feature of this helmet is its affordability, so those on a tight budget may want to give it a try. That said, this helmet is heavy, hot, and compared to the competition, not one of the most comfortable by a long stretch, making it hard for us to find a reason to recommend it.


Our Analysis and Test Results

The Skywalker 2 comes in a variety of colors and two sizes to help you narrow down the sizing range when you buy. It comes with a few notable attributes, including its very easy to adjust click wheel that makes it a good choice for sharing among multiple climbers. We found, however, that the downsides far outweigh the benefits, especially compared to other choices in the same price range. The ABS shell is lined on the inside with EPS foam, although this foam is positioned only over the top of the head, and so this helmet does not provide great coverage for side or front impacts that one may take while falling. While beginners or infrequent climbers may appreciate the low cost, we recommend checking out our Best Buy winner instead.

Performance Comparison


The Skywalker 2 is an affordable and highly adjustable ABS shell style helmet that comes in two different sizes. Here testing it on some runout sport routes (always a good idea to wear a helmet!) at Smith Rock.
The Skywalker 2 is an affordable and highly adjustable ABS shell style helmet that comes in two different sizes. Here testing it on some runout sport routes (always a good idea to wear a helmet!) at Smith Rock.

Comfort


Worn in isolation, that is, without the opportunity to compare it to multiple other helmets, one might feel that this helmet is fairly comfortable. However, when compared to others, we think it is among the least comfortable overall. The fit is fairly shallow, so it sits high on the head and is thus prone to moving about, especially side to side (many online photos we see of people in this helmet show it to be sitting cockeyed on their heads). Cranking down the tensioning wheel is the only solution, but this adds too much pressure to the cranium. The straps around the ears, and especially under the chin, are constantly present and a bit annoying, and frankly, this is a helmet we just wanted to take off as soon as we put it on.

Front view of the fit of the Skywalker 2. While it appears to be effectively covering the forehead from a potential blow  there is only EPS foam on the top inside  so the forehead and temple region remains without impact cushioning.
Front view of the fit of the Skywalker 2. While it appears to be effectively covering the forehead from a potential blow, there is only EPS foam on the top inside, so the forehead and temple region remains without impact cushioning.

Side view showing the fit of the Skywalker 2. This is a size large  but obviously you can see that it is designed shallow and rides high on the head  not offering much in the way of protection for the back of the head.
Side view showing the fit of the Skywalker 2. This is a size large, but obviously you can see that it is designed shallow and rides high on the head, not offering much in the way of protection for the back of the head.

The inside of the helmet is lined with all sorts of felt padding that can be removed and washed if need be  and does a good job soaking up the sweat.
The inside of the helmet is lined with all sorts of felt padding that can be removed and washed if need be, and does a good job soaking up the sweat.

A small foam pad comes threaded onto the chin strap to protect against the buckles. It feels (and looks) pretty silly  although can very easily be removed.
A small foam pad comes threaded onto the chin strap to protect against the buckles. It feels (and looks) pretty silly, although can very easily be removed.

Adjustability


One of the commendable attributes of the Skywalker 2 is its adjustability. It features a click wheel tensioning band on the back of the head that turns very easily to tighten or loosen to the desired fit. Additionally, the v-yoke straps around the ears, as well as the placement and length of the chin strap, are easily adjustable via slider buckles. The only way this helmet could be even more adjustable is if the height of the tensioning band in the back could be adjusted up or down to accommodate a ponytail more easily, but it cannot. Regardless, this is one of the most easily adjusted helmets you can buy.

Like all helmets that use a similar click wheel  adjustment of this helmet is very easy by simply turning the click wheel one way to tighten the tensioning band  and the other to loosen it. Since this helmet rides high on the head  we found we had to tighten it more than we preferred in order to keep it in place  which could eventually cause discomfort.
Like all helmets that use a similar click wheel, adjustment of this helmet is very easy by simply turning the click wheel one way to tighten the tensioning band, and the other to loosen it. Since this helmet rides high on the head, we found we had to tighten it more than we preferred in order to keep it in place, which could eventually cause discomfort.

Weight


We tested the largest of the two sizes of this helmet, and on our independent scale, it weighed 13.5 ounces. This may not sound like much, but in fact, it was far and away the heaviest choice in this review. The lightest helmet is less than half as heavy, and we have found time and again that weight is one of the most critical factors in our experience while wearing a helmet all day.

13.5 ounces makes this the heaviest helmet in our review  more than double the weight of the lightest one  and heavier than all of the other ABS shell style helmets. Its hard for us to recommend a product that is so heavy.
13.5 ounces makes this the heaviest helmet in our review, more than double the weight of the lightest one, and heavier than all of the other ABS shell style helmets. Its hard for us to recommend a product that is so heavy.

Ventilation


This helmet has very poor ventilation. On each side there are three tiny vent holes, with two additional tiny vent holes on the back, for a total of eight. The small openings in the ABS outer shell, unfortunately, taper to become even smaller as they punch through the interior EPS foam. While the lack of foam around the bottom edges of the helmet means there is a gap between the shell and the head to allow a little bit of airflow on the inside, we found this helmet to be a real sweat-fest, something we didn't appreciate on warmer days.

This helmet is among the least ventilated that you can buy or wear. There are a mere four tiny holes on each side  but what you can't see here is that these openings taper to half their size through the interior foam. This is a hot helmet to wear in the summer.
This helmet is among the least ventilated that you can buy or wear. There are a mere four tiny holes on each side, but what you can't see here is that these openings taper to half their size through the interior foam. This is a hot helmet to wear in the summer.

Headlamp Attachment


One can attach a headlamp to the outside of this helmet using the standard design of four plastic clips that the headlamp band can slide up and under, but we warn you, with this helmet, it is not easy! The plastic clips are so tight with latent tension that we found it impossible to pry them open enough using our bare fingers and needed to slide a knife under them to pry them away from the shell. At this point, we couldn't easily slide the headlamp band in. Essentially what we are saying is that we found this system to be impractical and unusable, a poor design, so don't even consider picking this helmet up for caving use.

Using a butter knife to help us pry the headlamp attachment clips far enough away from the shell to slide in the band of a headlamp. OK  so we like to keep our fingernails short  but these clips are so stiff and un-bendable as to be impractical for attaching a headlamp.
Using a butter knife to help us pry the headlamp attachment clips far enough away from the shell to slide in the band of a headlamp. OK, so we like to keep our fingernails short, but these clips are so stiff and un-bendable as to be impractical for attaching a headlamp.

Durability


While we didn't attempt to destroy the helmet to see how durable it was, our experience is that ABS plastic shell helmets are far and away the most durable. We tossed this one into our packs and on the ground repeatedly during the test period, never babying it like we would have to with a soft foam helmet, and while a few scratches are visible, it is none the worse for the wear.

We tossed this helmet around for months  showing it absolutely no respect. While it ended up scratched here and there  no dents  cracks  or other damage can be found. The hard ABS shell is among the most durable you can buy.
We tossed this helmet around for months, showing it absolutely no respect. While it ended up scratched here and there, no dents, cracks, or other damage can be found. The hard ABS shell is among the most durable you can buy.

Value


This helmet is among the most affordable and durable that you can buy, which will make it a top target for those on the tightest of budgets. However, we think it performs considerably lower than our Best Bang for the Buck award winner, which costs the same and is quite a bit more comfortable. With this in mind, we don't think it presents the best value.

Racking up and tying in for a lead on the parallel sided cracks at Trout Creek  OR. The adjustability of the Skywalker 2 makes it versatile for sharing among many climbers who may not all own a helmet.
Racking up and tying in for a lead on the parallel sided cracks at Trout Creek, OR. The adjustability of the Skywalker 2 makes it versatile for sharing among many climbers who may not all own a helmet.

Conclusion


The Mammut Skywalker 2 is a durable and easily adjustable hard shell ABS style helmet that may appeal to beginner climbers or those who climb infrequently. However, it is also hot, heavy, and uncomfortable, so it is not one we recommend over the many other top selections featured in this review, despite its affordability.

The Skywalker 2 being tested on a hot day at Smith Rock  cowering in the shade. While it is a good budget option to check out  it wasn't a top performer by any means.
The Skywalker 2 being tested on a hot day at Smith Rock, cowering in the shade. While it is a good budget option to check out, it wasn't a top performer by any means.


Andy Wellman