Salewa is launching its newest multisport climbing helmet in the spring of 2022. We got a sneak peek at the fresh headgear — here’s what you can expect from the Piuma 3.0.
There’s a motto among climbers and alpinists that says: “Carry as much as necessary and as little as possible.”
It’s good advice for any outdoor sport, really. Advice that Salewa clearly took to heart when they started designing their new Piuma 3.0 helmet. The Piuma 3.0 is the lightest alpine climbing helmet they’ve ever made (and one of the lightest climbing helmets anywhere on the market). And, at the same time, it offers considerable wearer protection from different angles of impact.
But, arguably the most appealing quality about the new Piuma is the fact that it’s a multisport piece of gear. You won’t need to keep a separate sport-specific helmet for every outdoor alpine adventure you go on anymore.
In short: With the Piuma, you’ll have one helmet to rule them all.
Salewa’s Lightest Lid, With Enhanced Protection: First Look
Fortunately, I didn’t get a chance to put the impact protection elements of the Piuma to the test when I got to take a first look at it. There were no falling rocks or lead whippers taken that day.
But, it’s clearly been designed with functional safety in mind — something that the folks at Salewa were adamant they wouldn’t compromise for weight or aesthetics. Made with an expanded polypropylene (EPP) foam shell and a polycarbonate outer lid, the Piuma is designed to protect wearers from multiple angles.
It doesn’t just have the capacity to absorb energy from top-of-head impacts like falling rocks; but also from front-, side-, and back-of-head impacts that can happen if a climber slips backward.
An added polycarbonate insert at the top means even more protection, and offers even more peace of mind when you’re staring up at an unstable section of rock.
Salewa Piuma 3.0 Helmet
- Materials: polypropylene foam shell, polycarbonate insert
- Ratings: UIAA 106 and CE12492 certified
- Features: “Dry Head” ventilation, adjustable straps
- Weight: 6.17 oz.
- Price: 120 euros
“It’s So Light, You Almost Forget You’re Wearing It”
Of course, Salewa packed all of that protection into just 175 g of helmet. That weight is less than a roll of nickels. And it’s the first thing I noticed when I tried the helmet on. The minimalist adjustment system then allowed it to be cinched snugly (and very comfortably) on.
“It’s so light, you almost forget you’re wearing it. The fit is great,” commented Simon Gietl, one of the professional alpinists who tested the product.
Part of the design that helped Salewa achieve that impressive lack of weight, also makes this helmet extremely breathable. Salewa’s “Dry Head” ventilation system allows air to circulate freely through deliberately placed slits around the wearer’s head. Yes, most climbing helmets have vents, but this is a step further.
Instead of baking your brain inside a big plastic turtle shell, the Piuma’s surround-ventilation system keeps your head breathing and dry — which is important no matter what season or environment you’re playing it.
Multiple Sports, One Helmet
As mentioned, the Piuma 3.0 isn’t just a one-trick pony. While Salewa designed it primarily for alpine climbing, it’s also certified for rock-climbing, ice-climbing, and mountaineering.
Light, reliable, head-protection is also a high priority for ski tourers — the breathable Piuma is perfect for keeping your head both dry and protected when you’re skinning through the backcountry. Elasticated clips on the helmet’s exterior shell make it simple to fasten your headlamp or ski goggles to it, as well.
It’s even conceivable to wear the Piuma 3.0 on the river — on a paddleboard, in a kayak, or on a raft.
That’s a lot of utility from a single piece of gear. Helmets start to add up when you’re buying a new one for every high-risk adventure sport you’re doing — and then there’s the Tetris issue of storing all of them somewhere.
Whenever I find a single piece of gear that can replace a few others, it’s exciting. Especially when it’s one as comfortable and functional as the Piuma 3.0.
When it releases next spring, Salewa’s Piuma 3.0 will be available in grey, green, white, and blue. The current MSRP is 120 euros (roughly $141). We’ll be sure to update our review as soon as the Piuma 3.0 hits the market.