SINGING ROCK introduces a brand-new HEX climbing helmet. We seized this opportunity to ask our developer Aleš Steklý, the specialist for helmets who designed and developed HEX, several questions.
The helmet has an interesting design, and it looks very well ventilated. Can you tell us what was your inspiration during the designing process?
I drew inspiration for this helmet from natural shapes and structures, such as the characteristic pattern of honeycombs.
What materials is the helmet made from and what are their characteristics? What makes these materials a good choice for a climbing helmet?
The HEX helmet is made from two main materials: durable ABS, used for the shell, and highly resilient EPP foam to absorb the impact force. This combination made it possible for us to create a helmet which is safer and better ventilated compared to the previous generations of helmets.
The product description mentions a high level of protection against impact, including repeated impacts. Does that mean that I can continue using the helmet even after it has been hit by a rock?It all depends on the number and force of the hits. The EPP foam of the HEX helmet can absorb two hits affecting the same place according to the EN 12492 standard. This equals to a hit by a 5-kg load from the height of 2 meters – that is quite an impact! The force transmitted to the dummy must not exceed 10 kN.
If the user is not sure about the condition of the helmet, s/he should contact us as recommended in the Instructions for Use.
What is the difference between HEX and Penta helmets?
In comparison to Penta, which aims for the smallest weight possible, HEX is more heavy-duty and thus safer. It is also better ventilated thanks to the regularly placed air vents – there are 35 of them in total. The size of the HEX helmet can be adjusted with a rotary dial wheel similar to the one in cycling helmets, it is quicker and easier. Compared to Penta HEX is available in two sizes (M, L) and 5 colours, which makes it attractive for a wider range of users.
This is a climbing helmet, but what other activities is it suitable for? Can I use the helmet for canyoning or ski mountaineering, for instance?
HEX is certified as a climbing helmet according to the EN 12492 standard, so it can be used for sport climbing, mountaineering, alpine climbing, via ferratas, rope parks and similar activities on rope. Feel free to use it for canyoning or speleology. It is not certified for ski mountaineering or skiing, though. It would not meet the requirements of the standard for ski helmets which are tested by being impacted by a steel cone not only from above like climbing helmets, but also from the side. The requirements of the standard for skiing cannot be met due to the ventilation holes. Ski mountaineering is a combination of mountaineering and skiing, though, so better to wear a climbing helmet than having none at all.
What are your recommendations when trying and choosing a helmet? How to adjust the helmet correctly?First of all, the helmet must fit you well! Before putting on the helmet, loosen it with the rotary dial wheel, put it on and tighten enough. The helmet should hold on to your head even if the chinstrap is not fastened. Then move the strap dividers symmetrically to the suitable position. The straps cannot be placed over your ears. And then finish by adjusting the length of the chinstrap. Only use the helmet in the ideal position, otherwise you will look pretty silly (and you will not be protected well, either).
Do not forget to try the helmet on a thin cap or on an elastic hood of your sweatshirt. Try drawing the hood of your waterproof jacket over the helmet, too! And, last but not least, you should like the look of your helmet and it should match to your climbing outfit 🙂
And the last question: what colour of the HEX helmet would you pick?
Definitely the "ice white" one!
Thank you for the interview.