Trango Zenith Helmet
- Good ventilation thanks to nine generously shaped holes
- Lowest-priced lightweight, foam helmet reviewed
- Adjusts simply and easily
- Headlamp attachment features are easy to use and effective
- Thorough protection from side and rear impacts as well as impacts from above
- Lacks padding on rear suspension system
- Not as effective for fitting all head shapes
- Slightly heavier than other molded foam helmets
- Not as durable as traditional hard shell helmets
The Trango Zenith is great for rock and ice climbers looking for a good value on a lightweight molded foam helmet that is lighter and more protective than traditional hard shell helmets. We found this helmet to be among the most comfortable, well ventilated, and easy-to-adjust helmets in our Spring 2013 test.
The Trango Zenith is a lightweight, adjustable and ventilated molded foam helmet designed for a variety of climbing adventures.
The Trango Zenith received high marks from our testers on comfort. It has soft felt padding throughout the interior of the helmet, including the brim of the helmet, though it lacks padding is on the rear adjustment piece—which makes it slightly less comfortable than similar molded foam helmets like the Grivel Air Tech or Petzl Meteor III+. There is a simple piece of padding on the chin strap, and the straps are designed in a nicely ergonomic way.
The Zenith has nine ventilation holes of varying size boost ventilation. The molded foam also has channels for additional airflow between the top of the helmet and the ventilation holes. The design is effective but it isn’t as thorough as other molded foam helmets such as the C.A.M.P. Speed or Grivel Air Tech, which have more ventilation (and more well-placed) holes.
A rear adjustment wheel makes for quick and easy refitting. Other adjustment options are offered with sliding adjustments on the chin-strap so that the strap can be position correctly around the ears. The chin-strap buckle adjustment is easily accessed and the chin-strap padding can move easily.
The Zenith offers better protection than traditional hard-shell helmets thanks to the contoured, molded-foam construction. (Molded-foam helmets offer great protection for climbers from impacts from the side or rear as well as from above.) The shape of the Zenith does not obstruct your ears or vision, but also doesn’t leave you exposed.
At 9.3 ounces, the Zenith is lighter than other hard shell helmets that have foam beneath the shell, such as the Singing Rock Kappa. For climbers accustomed to traditional hard shells, it will feel very, very light. It’s over 40% lighter than helmets such as the Trango CPU and Petzl Ecrin Roc. It is not the lightest helmet on the market, however, and it is still an ounce or two heavier than the Petzl Meteor III+ or C.A.M.P. Speed.
Four simple, wide, and easy to use attachment points allow you to easily attach a headlamp. The Zenith has a light plastic shell protecting the molded foam and, as is common with molded foam helmets, it is not as durable as a traditional hard shell helmet. A visor for ice climbing or ski mountaineering can easily be added, via two threaded attachment points on the side of the helmet.
Anyone using it ought to know that molded foam helmets need to be retired after any impacts that cause the foam to deform.
The Zenith is a great value for a lightweight, molded foam helmet. At $99.95, it is $10 to $30 cheaper than similar helmets like the Petzl Meteor III+ and C.A.M.P. Speed.
How We Tested It
I used this helmet at a number of sport climbing areas in western Colorado, such as Rifle and in Glenwood Canyon, and while trad climbing single and multi-pitch routes in Glenwood Canyon and Joshua Tree National Park.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
About the Author
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