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Petzl Meteor Review

A great helmet at an unbeatable value, it strikes a balance between low weight and durability
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Petzl Meteor Review (Climbing a route on the welded tuff of Smith Rock while wearing the lightweight Petzl Meteor. The hard polycarbonate...)
Climbing a route on the welded tuff of Smith Rock while wearing the lightweight Petzl Meteor. The hard polycarbonate outer shell is mostly just a light covering to protect the single impact EPS foam beneath.
Price:  $95 List
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Manufacturer:   Petzl
By Andy Wellman and Jeff Dobronyi  ⋅  May 15, 2023
79
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 13
  • Comfort - 30% 7.0
  • Adjustability - 20% 9.0
  • Weight - 20% 7.8
  • Ventilation - 10% 8.0
  • Features - 10% 8.0
  • Durability - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

While its price tag is still significantly more than some helmets on the market, the Petzl Meteor weighs considerably less and is far more comfortable, making it one of our favorite climbing helmets. The Meteor combines EPS foam wholly covered with a thin polycarbonate shell that improves day-to-day durability. This combination is lighter than ABS shell helmets yet more affordable than the lighter EPP foam ones. As a result, this helmet offers the perfect compromise for someone who understands that weight is all-important in helmet design but is still concerned about how much they spend. Not only that but this helmet is also dual-rated for climbing and ski touring. Other helmets also fit this description, but in our testing, the Meteor performs better than the rest, earning our Best Buy award for the most affordable, dual-rated helmet. This helmet will serve you well whether rock or ice climbing, in the alpine, or even on skis.
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight
Adjustable
Durable
Inexpensive
REASONS TO AVOID
Magnetic buckle collects dirt
Editor's Note: We retested this helmet and updated this review on May 15, 2023, updating its award title and offering recommendations to other helmets we like.

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petzl meteor
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Petzl Meteor
Awards Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award   
Price $94.95 at REI
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$115 List
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$57.88 at Amazon
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Bottom Line A highly adjustable climbing and ski mountaineering helmet with a low weight and fair priceYou will barely notice wearing this comfortable, ultra-lightweight helmetA very popular, albeit clunky helmet at an unbeatable price pointA great value that can take some serious abuseA lightweight and inexpensive helmet that provides great value, if it fits
Rating Categories Petzl Meteor Petzl Sirocco Black Diamond Half... Petzl Boreo Singing Rock Penta
Comfort (30%)
7.0
8.0
4.0
5.0
6.0
Adjustability (20%)
9.0
8.0
10.0
6.0
3.0
Weight (20%)
7.8
9.5
4.7
6.0
8.7
Ventilation (10%)
8.0
9.0
5.0
6.0
7.0
Features (10%)
8.0
7.0
9.0
9.0
5.0
Durability (10%)
8.0
5.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
Specs Petzl Meteor Petzl Sirocco Black Diamond Half... Petzl Boreo Singing Rock Penta
Measured Weight (Size Medium or M/L) 8.5 oz 6.1 oz 12.7 oz 11.0 oz 7.2 oz
Shell Style EPS, Polycarbonate EPP and EPS Foam, Polycabonate Top Piece EPS Foam with ABS Shell ABS Shell with EPP and EPS Foam Polycarbonate Shell, EPS Foam
Certifications EN12492, CE Ski Touring EN12492, CE Ski Touring EN12492 EN12492 EN12492
Number of Sizes 2 2 2 2 1
Number of Colorways 3 1 4 4 4
Warranty 3 year 3 year 1 year 3 year Not disclosed

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Petzl Meteor is less expensive than other high-performance options and weighs nearly as much as the lightest helmets on the market. And it carries CE certification for ski touring – but, importantly, not downhill skiing – in addition to mountaineering.

Performance Comparison


petzl meteor - the meteor is a lightweight eps foam helmet with a polycarbonate...
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 soft 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.


There is no doubt that this is a comfortable helmet, but we have to get nitpicky to differentiate grading between all these great options. There are a couple of options that are slightly more comfortable.

petzl meteor - this helmet owes much of its comfort to its shape and fit, along...
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 highly adjustable, thanks to a sliding plastic band across the back of the head. Adjustable sliders on each end of the band click into tiny notches as you push them together to tighten or slide apart to loosen as you depress the orange release buttons. This allows for a wide range of size options, and also makes the helmet useful for all kinds of weather and activities ranging from warm rock climbing to ice climbing and even backcountry skiing.


petzl meteor - showing the back of the meteor. you can see the white adjustment...
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.

In addition to the rear adjustment, the V-yoke slings that go around the ears are easily adjustable. The chin strap tightens and loosens with ease. The chin strap clip uses a magnet to close, rather than a simple plastic buckle, and this magnet attracts metallic rocks and dust in certain geological areas. Over time, the build-up of dust and rock in the chin clip can inhibit the device from closing properly, which is annoying.

petzl meteor - magnets in the chin strap buckle help them to close automatically...
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, easily placing it among the lightest in our test. This is especially impressive considering the degree of coverage the polycarbonate shell provides around the EPS foam. For the weight, this is one of the most protective and fully-featured helmets on the market.


While you may save a couple of ounces by choosing a helmet with a smaller shell, this helmet is relatively durable, lasting much longer than exposed EPP foam helmets. And even though weight savings can contribute to a more comfortable user experience, the Meteor is light enough that we couldn't feel the difference between this helmet and lighter options.

petzl meteor - at a mere 8.5 ounces, the meteor is one of the lighter 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 helmet's front, sides, and rear, the Meteor is one of the most ventilated helmets 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.

petzl meteor - with a large amount of vents on both sides of the helmet, and...
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.

Features


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 a single, V-shaped elastic bungee held in place with a small hook that closes over the top of a headlamp strap. This setup is also designed to hold ski goggle straps in place.


Of note, this helmet is one of a few on the market to be labeled “certified for ski touring” by the European Union (CE). This certifying body is the most reputable in the climbing helmet category. While other companies are now making dual-rated helmets for climbing and downhill skiing, Petzl is the only one who makes helmets specifically listed as “certified ski touring helmets”. In addition to meeting CE standards for mountaineering helmets, ski-touring-certified helmets may offer additional impact protection. Still, we must be clear that this helmet does not meet the international standard for alpine skiing helmets (EN 1077).

petzl meteor - the meteor's headlamp clips are effective and well-designed.
The Meteor's headlamp clips are effective and well-designed.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Durability


This helmet meets CE and UIAA specs for climbing helmets and is also CE-certified as a ski touring helmet. It uses a polycarbonate shell around EPS foam, and while this shell protects the foam from critical damage, our experience with polycarbonate shells is that they tend to dent and crack over time. That said, the shell used on this helmet is thick and sturdy, and our test sample has shown no signs of weakness.


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. While this helmet seems resilient, we still treated our testing helmet carefully.

petzl meteor - the petzl meteor is so light that there is no style of climbing we...
The Petzl 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.

Should You Buy The Petzl Meteor?


This helmet is not cheap, but is right around the average price for a lighter-weight EPS foam helmet. Several other helmets in this review have a similar design and price. However, when compared side-by-side with its direct competition, the Meteor is the most versatile based on performance, weight, and certification.

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

What Other Climbing Helmets Should You Consider?


If you are looking for the lightest helmet out there, the Petzl Sirocco is our favorite, and the ultra-lightweight Black Diamond Vapor is also a great choice. Our favorite all-around climbing helmet is the Black Diamond Vision MIPS, which includes a super-protective MIPS system in a lightweight package. If you are enticed by the low price of the Meteor and don't care that much about other performance attributes, the Black Diamond Half Dome is our favorite helmet for users on a budget. And if you are looking for a climbing helmet also rated for downhill skiing, the Smith Summit MIPS carries certifications in both disciplines (remember that the Meteor isn't certified for downhill skiing!)

Andy Wellman and Jeff Dobronyi