First Look: CAMP Pulse Helmet

CAMP Pulse Helmet, Blister Gear Review.

CAMP Pulse Helmet

First Look: CAMP-USA Pulse Helmet

Size: Large / Size 2

Features:

  • In-mold construction
  • Rotating size adjustment wheel
  • Goggle and headlamp compatible
  • EN 12492 / EN 1077 ski certified

Size 1: 52-57 cm

Stated Weight: 10.1 oz

Size 2: 58-62 cm

Stated Weight: 12.5 oz  / Blister’s Measured Weight: 13.05 oz

Reviewer’s Head Diameter: 57.5 cm

MSRP: $120

This past spring, I didn’t want to lug my winter ski helmet up peaks under a hot sun while mountaineering. My 9-year-old Pro-Tec ski helmet is not only heavy, it doesn’t even have vents.

So instead, I’d  bring my Petzl Elios helmet to protect my noggin from falling ice or rocks, even though the climbing-specific helmet isn’t designed for a ski accident.

Enter the CAMP Pulse helmet, one of the few helmets on the market certified for both climbing and skiing.

The 123-year-old company started in a small Italian village in the Italian Alps. CAMP—which stands for Concezione Articoli Montagna Premana (or Conception of Articles for Mountaineering Made in Premana)—is known for producing some of the lightest gear in rando racing and ski mountaineering on the planet.

Sizing

The Pulse comes in two sizes—small and large or, in CAMP’s nomenclature, size 1 and size 2.

I realized I was between the two sizes after measuring my head at 57.5 cm, but I ultimately decided on the size 1 because:

1) I figured I would usually use the helmet in warm conditions, without a hat or liner.

2)  I’ve had some difficulty keeping my size 2 Petzl Elios helmet snug, (partly because of the shape of the headband, and partly because of the range of the adjustment). The size 2 Petzl Elios doesn’t quite tighten enough, even though it is supposed to accommodate a 53-cm circumference.

But the size 1 CAMP Pulse turned out to be too small for me. Even when I cranked the headband open as far as possible, the helmet squeezed my head enough that I knew I’d likely have a headache after about half an hour of exertion.

Size 2 proved to be a far better fit. I can adjust size 2 to tighten smaller than my head, and it definitely opens up larger.

Fit

I found the plastic ends at the end of the Pulse’s headband would catch my ponytail when I removed the helmet.

There are two overlapping bands of plastic that run through the ratcheting dial. The ends of these plastic bands sit against the user’s head, and can catch hair. Don’t expect to fit a ponytail between the base of the helmet and the headband—there just isn’t room.

The chinstrap has open/close pieces to easily adjust the size of the harness around the ears.  The strap webbing is just as soft and smooth as the webbing on my Petzl Elios.

Goggle / Headlamp Attachment

The Pulse has attachments to hold either a headlamp or goggles. I’m interested to see how well the plastic withstands abuse—the attachment arms, especially on the front, are very thin and light. And because a section of this plastic arm sits flush against the helmet, I foresee difficulties sliding the headlamp band out.

On first glance,  I prefer the headlamp attachment of the Petzl Elios—it allows simple slip-in, slip-out setups. Its low profile also reduces catch-and-break potential.

Venting System

The CAMP Pulse allows you to open or close three front vents with a sliding plastic bar on the forehead of the helmet.

Open vents are covered in a plastic mesh, while closed vents are solid plastic.

CAMP Pulse Helmet, Blister Gear Review.

CAMP Pulse with open vents.

Ten additional vent holes are always open through the mesh of the interior lining. The Pulse has a fleece/mesh lining and will definitely be warmer than the Elios, which has a foam interior.

You can also purchase a $35 Winter Kit for the Pulse that includes plugs for the side and rear vents as well as ear flaps for cold alpine days.

That’s it for now. Once I’m able to get more time in the Pulse, I’ll update with a full review of its performance.

You can now read Iris’ full review of the Pulse.

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