I was given a bit of kit about 6 months ago ostensibly for standing around and looking good in (see previous posts on Gok Wan – sadly I never made the final cut) but I did promise to review them. I was also furnished with a 360° helmet and a classic Syncro Ziplock harness (see pictures in gallery). I’ll come to the Alpine Shield in a bit but a quick word on the 360 and Syncro – they’re perfectly good bits of kit and reasonably priced and they are my 1st choice for my clients. I don’t wear them myself but this shouldn’t be seen as a criticism – the Syncro is really well padded and very comfortable and has lots of lovely gear loops, attachments for ‘quick clips’ and ice gear hangers – none of which I use. The 360° helmets are also brilliant and to be honest I initially wanted to wear them on camera as I found the Alpine Shields sat too high on my unfeasibly large head – it felt quite unusual. This sitting position was not a problem with the 360 which sits nice and low with a lovely rear cradle to help you feel snug and safe.
The reason I don’t wear them (apart from the fact they are obviously aimed at the activity centre market) is that I got used to the Alpine Shield.
It is my first foam helmet – I never really liked the Petzl Meteor so stuck with the Elios’ which to my mind represented the nadir of functionality and form in the helmet world. Not to mention cheap. However the Alpine Shield has changed my view entirely.
It’s comfortable, sits nicely on a be-hatted head and seems to be stable and offer good protection. It is light and (weirdly) easy to fit in a rucksack.
It looks good and I wear it when trad-ing.
Another benefit is that due to its relative position I have found it is useful for some kids who find normal helmets annoying or that might interfere with their hearing aids – bonus.
So in short, I’m no Alpinist but I recommend this helmet.