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

Petzl Meteor Review

A great value helmet that strikes a balance between low weight and affordability
Best Buy Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $100 List | $74.95 at Amazon
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, easily adjustable with slider bar, not as expensive as Sirocco, well ventilated
Cons:  Magnetic buckle collects dirt, not as cheap as BD Half Dome
Manufacturer:   Petzl
By Andy Wellman ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 17, 2019
  • Share this article:
74
OVERALL
SCORE


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

Our Verdict

The Petzl Meteor is newly redesigned for 2019 and is our Best Bang for the Buck winner for lightweight helmets. While its $100 price tag is still significantly more than the $60 bargain of the Black Diamond Half Dome, the Meteor weighs considerably less and is far more comfortable. The Meteor features a combination of EPS foam wholly covered with a thin polycarbonate shell that improves day-to-day durability. This combination is both lighter than heavier ABS shell helmets, while more affordable than the even lighter EPP foam helmets, offering the perfect compromise for someone who understands that light weight is all important in helmet design, but is still concerned about how much they spend. Numerous helmets fit this description, but in our testing the Meteor performs better than the rest, making it the best value choice for a lightweight helmet.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Petzl Meteor
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award   Top Pick Award 
Price $74.95 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
$105.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$139.95 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$74.96 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$134.96 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
100
0
74
100
0
80
100
0
77
100
0
72
100
0
72
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Lightweight, easily adjustable with slider bar, not as expensive as Sirocco, well ventilatedSuper light, very comfortable, great ventilation, versatile for use while ski mountaineering, protects all sides of headLightweight, great ventilation.Adjustable, good headlamp clips, ventilates well.MIPS BPS technology, lightweight, well-ventilated, comfortable
Cons Magnetic buckle collects dirt, not as cheap as BD Half DomeNot 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.Easy to over-tighten, chin strap buckles under chin and not to the side.Expensive, not super adjustable
Bottom Line A great value helmet that strikes a balance between low weight and affordabilityThe lightest, most comfortable, and most enjoyable climbing helmet to wear.A comfortable and lightweight model for sending days but not heavy use.A lightweight EPS foam helmet that's good for a variety of uses.A beefed up version of our one of our favorite helmets -- the Mammut Wall Rider – with MIPS technology added in.
Rating Categories Petzl Meteor Petzl Sirocco Black Diamond Vapor CAMP USA Storm Mammut Wall Rider MIPS
Comfort (30%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
8
Adjustability (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
6
Weight (20%)
10
0
7
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
7
10
0
8
Headlamp Attachment (10%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
7
Durability (10%)
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
7
Specs Petzl Meteor Petzl Sirocco Black Diamond Vapor CAMP USA Storm Mammut Wall Rider...
Weight in ounces (size 2) 8.5 6.1 7 8.7 8.5
Shell Style EPS, Polycarbonate EPP and EPS foam, polycabonate top piece EPS foam with Polycarbonate EPS foam with Polycarbonate EPP foam, hard plastic top piece
Number of Sizes 2 2 2 2 2
Number of colors 3 1 4 4 2
Warranty 3 year 3 year 1 year 3 year limited Lifetime

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Petzl Meteor is made entirely of molded EPS foam covered in a shell of polycarbonate plastic to protect it from the outside. It uses a plastic slider bar adjustment system in the back which is both simple and convenient, and provides a broader range of adjustment than the super minimalist webbing adjustments found on the pricier Mammut Wall Rider. This helmet suits both climbing and ski mountaineering, with a rear elastic bungee that can hold a headlamp strap or ski goggles, and with CE certification for ski mountaineering use. It also has attachment holes pre-drilled for either of Petzl's two visor options to be added on, a nice feature for ice climbing that some ski-mo racers also use. We want to recognize this helmet specifically because it is a more affordable option for those who don't want to lug around and wear the overly heavy ABS Black Diamond Half Dome, but we also must point out that it's still only $40 less expensive than the Petzl Sirocco, our best overall award winner. If you can find the extra $40 to pay, the Sirocco would still be our first recommendation.

Performance Comparison


The Meteor is a lightweight EPS foam helmet with a polycarbonate shell that is ideal for any style of climbing  as well as skiing and ski mountaineering. We like its easy-to-use adjustable headband.
The Meteor is a lightweight EPS foam helmet with a polycarbonate shell that is ideal for any style of climbing, as well as skiing and ski mountaineering. We like its easy-to-use adjustable headband.

Comfort


The Meteor sits on top of the head cushioned by a couple of foam pads, one on top and one across the front of the forehead. In the rear, the head is held in place by the adjustable plastic slider band, discussed more below. The helmet is deep and elongated, but we still felt some contact between our head and the inside of the helmet in places where there isn't padding, in particular in the back of the head. We also bought a large version of this helmet but found that for our head testers particularly large head, it is only comfortable when maxed out adjustment wise, so people with especially large heads might be wary and make another choice.


There is no doubt that this is a comfortable helmet, but we have to get nitpicky to differentiate grading between all these great options, and by that standard feel that the Mammut Wall Rider, as well as the Petzl Sirocco, are slightly more comfortable. How a helmet actually feels on your head has a lot to do with head shape, and so don't take our word for it. Some may find this to be the most comfortable choice of all, and others may find it un-wearable!

This helmet owes much of its comfort to its shape and fit  along with the grey foam and felt pads shown here. They cushion your head nicely against the inside of the helmet as well as absorb sweat. The white adjustable harness is on the back of the helmet (right side) in this photo.
This helmet owes much of its comfort to its shape and fit, along with the grey foam and felt pads shown here. They cushion your head nicely against the inside of the helmet as well as absorb sweat. The white adjustable harness is on the back of the helmet (right side) in this photo.

Adjustability


This helmet is more adjustable than the Mammut Wall Rider MIPS or Petzl Sirocco, which use nothing but light webbing to hold the helmet firmly in place on the head. Much like the design on the back of the Black Diamond Vapor, the Meteor is adjustable by tightening or loosening a sliding plastic band across the back of the head. There are adjustable sliders on each end of the band that click into tiny notches as you push them together to tighten, or slide apart to loosen as you depress orange release buttons.


Showing the back of the Meteor. You can see the white adjustment band that tightens up by pushing the two white buckles together  or loosens by pushing the two orange buttons on the white buckles  then pulling apart  a very simple motion. In this photo you can also see the orange bungee cord and hook attachment for headlamp straps or ski goggles.
Showing the back of the Meteor. You can see the white adjustment band that tightens up by pushing the two white buckles together, or loosens by pushing the two orange buttons on the white buckles, then pulling apart, a very simple motion. In this photo you can also see the orange bungee cord and hook attachment for headlamp straps or ski goggles.

This system is easy to use with the helmet in your hands or on your head. It also provides an extensive range of adjustability, so it makes an excellent choice for more than one person using the same helmet. However, we bought a large size helmet, and one tester couldn't tighten it at all because it was already max size for his head, so people with extra large head sizes may not find the adjustability very helpful. This system is also sort of easy to over-tighten, leading to a headache after a couple of hours, so be sure to fine-tune the fit, so it's snug but not applying pressure. In addition to the rear adjustment, the v-yoke slings that go around the ears are easily adjustable, which isn't the case with the Black Diamond helmets, as is the chin strap.

Magnets in the chin strap buckle help them to close automatically without the need to fiddle with both hands. Unfortunately  these magnets also collect magnetized dirt a bit too easily  gumming them up and rendering this feature a tad gimmicky.
Magnets in the chin strap buckle help them to close automatically without the need to fiddle with both hands. Unfortunately, these magnets also collect magnetized dirt a bit too easily, gumming them up and rendering this feature a tad gimmicky.

Weight


Our large size Meteor weighed 8.5 ounces on our independent scale, the same weight as the Mammut Wall Rider.


This weight is relatively light, but nowhere near as light as the 6.1 ounce Sirocco, or even the 7.0 ounce BD Vapor. That said, its EPS and polycarbonate construction is over four ounces lighter than the ABS plastic BD Half Dome, which may not seem like all that much on paper, but is quite significant when on the head.

At a mere 8.5 ounces  the Meteor is one of the lighter options available out there  and sits right in the middle of the pack for lightweight EPS/polycarbonate helmet options.
At a mere 8.5 ounces, the Meteor is one of the lighter options available out there, and sits right in the middle of the pack for lightweight EPS/polycarbonate helmet options.

Ventilation


With 21 ventilation holes spread out over the front, sides, and rear of the helmet, the Meteor is one of the most ventilated helmets that you can choose.


In particular, there are two large and wide vents on the front of the helmet, a location that seems to have a greater bearing on how cool one feels while wearing it, as it allows wind or air to enter over the forehead and pass out the sides or rear of the helmet. While it isn't as ventilated as the Black Diamond Vapor, it is about equal to the Wall Rider or Sirocco.

With a large amount of vents on both sides of the helmet  and smaller ones in the front and back  there is ample room for heat to escape and air to flow in to cool one off.
With a large amount of vents on both sides of the helmet, and smaller ones in the front and back, there is ample room for heat to escape and air to flow in to cool one off.

Headlamp Attachment


We found the headlamp attachment system on this helmet to be one of the best. It features two low-profile orange clips with small teeth on the front that are relatively flexible and easy to slide a headlamp strap up underneath. On the back of the helmet is found a single V-shaped elastic bungee held in place with a small hook that closes over the top of a headlamp strap, and can hold ski goggle straps in place.


We like this versatile system, which holds both ski goggles and headlamps alike. Only the four-clip methods used on the Petzl Boreo and the BD Half Dome, which were very simple and easy to slide a headband under, got a higher rating.

With two orange clips in the front  shown here  and an elastic bungee in the back  this helmet very easily holds a headlamp in place  and also works great with ski goggles.
With two orange clips in the front, shown here, and an elastic bungee in the back, this helmet very easily holds a headlamp in place, and also works great with ski goggles.

Durability


We can't comment on the long-term durability of this helmet, or how durable it is when taking a long fall where you hit your head or when a rock lands on the helmet. However, this helmet does meet both CE and UIAA specs for climbing helmets and is also CE certified as a ski mountaineering helmet. We can say that its polycarbonate shell, designed to protect the EPS foam beneath from daily abuse, is thick and sturdy, and doesn't show a single blemish after our testing period.


Compared to the polycarbonate shells on both the BD Vapor and Black Diamond Vector, which become very easily dinged and dented, even from just setting them on the ground, the shell of this helmet seems much harder and more durable. We didn't feel the need to be overly protective about babying it in our pack or when setting it on the ground. Be aware, however, that EPS foam can crack and break when absorbing the impact from a blow, so be sure to carefully check your helmet if something happens to it, and retire it after sustaining a significant impact.

Best Applications


The Meteor is a perfect helmet for rock or ice climbing, as well as mountaineering and ski mountaineering. It makes a good choice for those who want a lightweight helmet without spending too much money.

The Meteor is so light that there is no style of climbing we wouldn't use it for. On this sport climb at Smith Rock  we barely noticed we were wearing it.
The Meteor is so light that there is no style of climbing we wouldn't use it for. On this sport climb at Smith Rock, we barely noticed we were wearing it.

Value


This helmet retails for $100, which is right around average for a lighter weight EPS foam helmet. There are several other helmets in this review, such as the Camp USA Storm, that have a similar design and price. However, among these, we feel the Meteor is the best, and so think it presents solid value.

The Meteor presents the best value for lightweight helmets because it is both relatively affordable and performs better than its similar EPS foam competitors.
The Meteor presents the best value for lightweight helmets because it is both relatively affordable and performs better than its similar EPS foam competitors.

Conclusion


The Petzl Meteor wins our Best Bang for the Buck award for lightweight helmets because it offers good value while still cutting down on weight as much as possible. While it is more affordable than our Editors' Choice winning Petzl Sirocco, it's also heavier and scores a bit lower in our overall ratings. If you need a new helmet, want something light, but don't want to buy the most expensive one you can find, then the Meteor is an ideal choice for you.

Climbing a route on the welded tuff of Smith Rock while wearing the lightweight Meteor helmet. The hard polycarbonate outer shell is mostly just a light covering to protect the single impact EPS foam beneath.
Climbing a route on the welded tuff of Smith Rock while wearing the lightweight Meteor helmet. The hard polycarbonate outer shell is mostly just a light covering to protect the single impact EPS foam beneath.


Andy Wellman