Pros and Cons
Filed under:Climbing & Mountaineering, Gear reviews, Helmets
Paul Smith tests out the latest lightweight helmet from Grivel
Over the years Grivel have produced some quite radically-shaped helmets and the Stealth is no exception, with its distinctive, angular-patterned outer shell. It is made from a shell layer of polycarbonate co-moulded on a layer of injection-moulded expanded polystyrene foam (EPF). The shell protects the foam from simple knocks and damage from day-to-day usage, while also providing the Stealth with some additional rigidity. As a result I felt confident that the Stealth was going to come out of my rucksack in one piece, something that hasn’t always been the case with other helmets I’ve used. I did find one small bit of the shell hadn’t bonded with the foam as well as it could have, resulting in an annoyingly sharp edge that seemed to catch on everything.
Weighing in at just 190g, you hardly notice the Stealth when wearing it, and thanks to its 16 air vents it is relatively comfortable in warmer environments. I don’t agree with Grivel’s claims that the Stealth has ‘the best airflow ever made’, having used a large number of different designs recently, but I would say that it has possibly the best combination of airflow, durability and protection, when all of those areas are considered. The simplicity of the adjustment method for the helmet’s harness is just wonderful; a simple strap on the back of the head that you can pull from either side, secured by ladder lock buckles, provide ample adjustment and means that weight is saved and, more importantly, the whole of the harness sits inside the helmet when not in use.
Grivel quote the sizing of the Stealth as being 54-62cm while the sticker in my test helmet states 53-61cm. Either way I have a large head and have a tough time finding helmets that fit correctly. In this case the Stealth just fits me, but in colder conditions there isn’t the room for me to wear a hat underneath it. Given the number of vents, this does mean that I have experienced a cold head on a couple of occasions recently.