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Mammut Wall Rider Review

A solid lightweight helmet that’s a good alternative to the Sirocco.
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Price:  $120 List | $119.95 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Easy to adjust, light, comfortable, durable plastic top piece
Cons:  Not as light as lightest helmets, pricey, difficult headlamp clips
Manufacturer:   Mammut
By Andy Wellman ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 17, 2019
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 11
  • Comfort - 30% 8
  • Adjustability - 20% 6
  • Weight - 20% 6
  • Ventilation - 10% 8
  • Headlamp Attachment - 10% 7
  • Durability - 10% 8

Our Verdict

The Wall Rider is Mammut's lightweight helmet made of a combination of EPP foam and a partial hard plastic top. Featuring a comfortable fit, simple yet effective minimal harness system, and plenty of ventilation, it is one of the highest overall scorers in our comparative testing. It makes for a great alternative to the Petzl Sirocco for those who find it to fit more comfortably than that helmet, likely a judgment call based on head shape. However, despite using ultra lightweight EPP foam, the advantages are a bit offset by the addition of heavier plastic on the exterior. Regardless, this is one of the lighter and more comfortable climbing helmets you can buy and one we highly recommend. Also available for those who like the fit but want even more potential protection is the Mammut Wall Rider MIPS, the first climbing helmet with integrated MIPS technology.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Mammut Wall Rider
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award  
Price $119.95 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$128.00 at Amazon
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$139.95 at REI
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$74.95 at Amazon
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$74.96 at Amazon
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Easy to adjust, light, comfortable, durable plastic top pieceSuper light, very comfortable, great ventilation, versatile for use while ski mountaineering, protects all sides of headLightweight, great ventilation.Lightweight, easily adjustable with slider bar, not as expensive as Sirocco, well ventilatedAdjustable, good headlamp clips, ventilates well.
Cons Not as light as lightest helmets, pricey, difficult headlamp clipsNot as durable as ABS options, expensive, less easily adjustable, magnetic buckle not for everyoneFragile, chin strap doesn't adjust forward, removable headlamp clips are easy to lose or forget.Magnetic buckle collects dirt, not as cheap as BD Half DomeEasy to over-tighten, chin strap buckles under chin and not to the side.
Bottom Line A solid lightweight helmet that’s a good alternative to the Sirocco.The lightest, most comfortable, and most enjoyable climbing helmet to wear.A comfortable and lightweight model for sending days but not heavy use.A great value helmet that strikes a balance between low weight and affordabilityA lightweight EPS foam helmet that's good for a variety of uses.
Rating Categories Mammut Wall Rider Petzl Sirocco Black Diamond Vapor Petzl Meteor CAMP USA Storm
Comfort (30%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
Adjustability (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
Weight (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
Ventilation (10%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
7
Headlamp Attachment (10%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
7
Durability (10%)
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
7
Specs Mammut Wall Rider Petzl Sirocco Black Diamond Vapor Petzl Meteor CAMP USA Storm
Weight in ounces (size 2) 9 6.1 7 8.5 8.7
Shell Style EPP foam, hard plastic top piece EPP and EPS foam, polycabonate top piece EPS foam with Polycarbonate EPS, Polycarbonate EPS foam with Polycarbonate
Number of Sizes 2 2 2 2 2
Number of colors 1 1 4 3 4
Warranty Lifetime 3 year 1 year 3 year 3 year limited

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Wall Rider is Mammut's top of the line helmet that competes directly with other lightweight EPP foam offerings such as the Petzl Sirocco, but without offering quite the same level of comfort or light weight. We found it to fit a bit shallower on the top of the head, and to be designed to a more circular shape, that for our head tester didn't fit. This issue caused more pressure points against the top and especially back of the head, lowering its comfort score. The caveat, of course, is that comfort is relative and so what wasn't as comfortable for us may prove to be far more comfortable for you, so be sure to try both on if you are in the market for a lightweight EPP helmet. While we have awarded this helmet our Editors' Choice award in the past, we currently feel that the heavier weight, slight dip in comfort, and difficulty with the headlamp clips, have dropped it down a notch from that perch. It is also more expensive than the EPS Petzl Meteor, which performs higher in our overall ratings. When considering the benefits of the Wall Rider, we are more inclined to throw down an extra $60 and purchase the Wall Rider MIPS, for its brain protection technology--the reason we wear helmets in the first place. It seems worth the extra money.

Performance Comparison


The Wall Rider is an EPP foam helmet with a hard plastic shell covering that adds to its durability. It is comfortable  light  and easily adjustable  making it a great choice for any sort of climbing.
The Wall Rider is an EPP foam helmet with a hard plastic shell covering that adds to its durability. It is comfortable, light, and easily adjustable, making it a great choice for any sort of climbing.

Comfort


Much like the other foam helmets we have tested, this one relies on a couple of foam pad inserts Velcroed to the inside of the helmet to act as cushioning — one on top and one across the front of the forehead. These pads can be removed and swapped out or washed if desired, but we found them to be slightly less cushy than those in the Petzl Sirocco. As we have already mentioned, for us the fit and shape of the helmet are not as perfect as the Black Diamond Vapor, with slight pressure points against the back of the head where the unpadded foam rests against our skull. For many, this will be a very comfortable helmet, and for us, it isn't overly uncomfortable, but rather doesn't quite live up to the standard set by the other competitors.

The thin black pads on the top and front of this helmet provide some comfort and padding  as well as sweat absorption. As with most helmets  the comfort level is somewhat dependent on how well the helmet matches the shape of your head. The Wall Rider is a bit shallower and rounder than the deeper and more oblong Sirocco.
The thin black pads on the top and front of this helmet provide some comfort and padding, as well as sweat absorption. As with most helmets, the comfort level is somewhat dependent on how well the helmet matches the shape of your head. The Wall Rider is a bit shallower and rounder than the deeper and more oblong Sirocco.

Adjustability


This helmet uses a lightweight webbing harness system to hold the helmet securely in place on top of the head in a very similar design as that found on the Sirocco. The rear strap is adjustable with buckles on each side, so if you need to tighten it up a bit, you can do so in an even way that keeps the helmet perfectly centered. These straps and buckles are fairly easy to pull and tighten with the helmet on your head, as long as you know what you are trying to grab. The location of the chin strap along the v-yoke that goes around the ears is effortless to slide back and forth, and likewise, the chin strap itself is easily adjustable. This helmet does not have the adjustability range of the Black Diamond Half Dome, with its spinner wheel, or even one of the slider bar options like the Petzl Meteor, but is still fairly easy to adjust.

Adjusting the fit of this helmet is done by pulling on the two tabs of webbing that run through these two buckles. It is best done with the helmet on the head to nail the fit perfectly  and if you know what you are reaching for  this is rather simple.
Adjusting the fit of this helmet is done by pulling on the two tabs of webbing that run through these two buckles. It is best done with the helmet on the head to nail the fit perfectly, and if you know what you are reaching for, this is rather simple.

Weight


Our size large version of the Wall Rider weighed in at 8.5 ounces. While this is fairly light, it is over two ounces heavier than the Sirocco, the lightest helmet in this review. Two ounces may not seem like much when you read about it, but try both on, and you can immediately notice the difference. Even tiny weight differences like this have an impact on a long multi-pitch or alpine route, and we lament the fact that despite using the lightest EPP foam available, this helmet is still not competitive with the lightest. Those interested in the Wall Rider MIPS should know that adding that technology only adds 0.5 ounces to the weight of the helmet, so comes at only a minimal price in weight.

This is a light helmet at 8.5 ounces  although not as light as the EPP foam could be. The extra weight is due to the large and rather thick plastic shield protecting the top and front of the helmet.
This is a light helmet at 8.5 ounces, although not as light as the EPP foam could be. The extra weight is due to the large and rather thick plastic shield protecting the top and front of the helmet.

Ventilation


This helmet has 16 rather large vents spread out on the sides and back, with a couple of vents in the front positioned directly over the temples. These two front vents, in particular, seem to help with cooling off the head, especially if there is a wind blowing. While it isn't as airy as the incredibly vented Black Diamond Vapor, it is one of the best at not heating up too much on a warm day.

With plenty of large vent holes on the sides and back of this helmet (and two in the front as well)  this is one of the "cooler" helmets in this review. The exposed black foam is EPP  which can take more impacts than EPS without becoming permanently deformed. This saves weight  since that part of the helmet doesn't need to be covered with a plastic shell.
With plenty of large vent holes on the sides and back of this helmet (and two in the front as well), this is one of the "cooler" helmets in this review. The exposed black foam is EPP, which can take more impacts than EPS without becoming permanently deformed. This saves weight, since that part of the helmet doesn't need to be covered with a plastic shell.

Headlamp Attachment


There are a couple of features to note to attach a headlamp: two clips in the front with teeth on the bottoms, combined with the single elastic bungee and hook system in the back that latches over the top of the headband. This rear bungee is also designed to work well to hold ski goggle straps in place, making this a more versatile helmet for use while mountaineering or ski mountaineering. Our one complaint is that compared to the straightforward headlamp clips found on the Petzl Boreo, as well as most of the other helmets, the ones on this helmet are extremely tight, and take a bit more effort to slide the strap up underneath. This tension seems pretty unnecessary considering how effectively these clips hold a headlamp in place anyway.

The dual front clips and single elastic band in the back hold a headlamp in place without concerns. However  compared to other contenders  the front clips on this helmet are very tight and harder to force the headlamp band under quickly  especially if the helmet is already on your head.
The dual front clips and single elastic band in the back hold a headlamp in place without concerns. However, compared to other contenders, the front clips on this helmet are very tight and harder to force the headlamp band under quickly, especially if the helmet is already on your head.

Durability


The Wall Rider is made entirely of EPP foam, known for its resiliency to taking many blows without cracking. However, for gentle everyday abuse, this foam needs protection, and this comes in the form of a large hard plastic top piece that covers the entire top and front of the helmet, but leaves the foam on the sides and back exposed. Some care is needed to keep from unnecessarily damaging the exposed foam, but we like the solidity of the top piece for allowing this helmet to take multiple smaller hits without needing to be retired.

Made with exposed EPP foam and a hard plastic shield on top  the Wall Rider is both lightweight and durable enough for long term use.
Made with exposed EPP foam and a hard plastic shield on top, the Wall Rider is both lightweight and durable enough for long term use.

We should point out that our judgments on durability are only for daily wear and tear, and are not a statement about how well a helmet can take a direct hit from a rock or ice and be usable afterward. This helmet does meet EN standards for climbing helmets, however.

Best Applications


The Wall Rider is a great choice for any climbing, whether that's single pitch cragging, long multi-pitch routes, alpine climbing, or ice climbing.

The Wall Rider is a good helmet for any sort of climbing  whether its alpine  multi-pitch  ice  or even single pitch cragging. We found it to be comfortable and light and barely noticeable on the head while attempting harder sport projects.
The Wall Rider is a good helmet for any sort of climbing, whether its alpine, multi-pitch, ice, or even single pitch cragging. We found it to be comfortable and light and barely noticeable on the head while attempting harder sport projects.

Value


This helmet retails for $120, making it a bit more expensive than the majority of lightweight helmets, but not as expensive as the Petzl Sirocco or Black Diamond Vapor. If you are looking for a lightweight helmet and this one fits you better than those options, then we think it presents a good value. Otherwise, the Petzl Meteor offers a hair better performance at a slightly lower price.

Conclusion


The Mammut Wall Rider is a lightweight, comfortable, well-ventilated helmet that should serve as a great alternative to the lightweight Petzl helmets for those who don't like the way they fit. Despite being made of EPP foam, it isn't the lightest choice, and for us, it doesn't fit quite as comfortably as some others, but we still feel it's a good lightweight option that isn't prohibitively expensive.

Nearing the summit of Mt. Hood  Oregon's tallest mountain  on a ski mountaineering mission. The Wall Rider is a great option for adventures like this because it's light and allows for wearing a beanie underneath.
Nearing the summit of Mt. Hood, Oregon's tallest mountain, on a ski mountaineering mission. The Wall Rider is a great option for adventures like this because it's light and allows for wearing a beanie underneath.


Andy Wellman