Can I Use A Climbing Helmet for Kayaking?

Can I Use A Climbing Helmet for Kayaking?

Climbing helmets are meant to protect your head from falling boulders, loose rocks, and other hazards. They also keep your head warm in cold climates and allow for greater ventilation when it’s hot outside. Climbing helmets are pretty versatile, and many avid climbers also love kayak. Can these same helmets, which protects you in the mountains be used for kayaking? Yes, but there are a few things you need to consider and be aware of to make sure the helmet will give you adequate protection.

Climbing Helmets versus Kayaking Helmets

Climbing helmets are designed differently than whitewater helmets. Climbing helmets are often made of hard plastic shells with adjustable straps on the inside. The hard plastic shell offers protection from falling objects like rocks or ice, whereas a kayaking helmet is soft with foam padding.

Even though a climbing helmet might protect your head better than a kayaking helmet, it is NOT the best choice over kayaking. A kayaking helmet is designed to protect your head from things like falling objects, colliding objects underwater, capsizing in rapids, and even entrapment. Simply put, a climbing helmet won’t offer the necessary protection you need during an accident in the water.

Types of Helmets in Sports

While the climbing helmets have been in use for climbing, kayaking, and other activities, these helmets may be used as a helmet when doing any activity which requires comfort or safety: 

1. Skiing Helmet

2. Biking Helmet

3. Skateboarding Helmet

4. Canoeing Helmet

5. Kayaking Helmet

6. Stand Up Paddling, SUP, Kayak Helmet

7. Mountain Bikes Helmet

8. Hiking Helmet

9. Rock Climbing Helmet

10. Snow Helmet

Some of these helmets include twin helmets, quad helmets, three helmets, etc. If you are a beginner in kayaking or rowing speed, you should start with a basic helmet. It would be best to get an adjustable helmet that will suit your head shape and comfort level according to your experience level or age.

Wearing a Climbing Helmet for Recreation

Suppose you will use a climbing helmet while kayaking; you should still take proper precautions while in the water. Be sure to wear a PFD (personal floatation device) and learn how to use your PFD properly. A kayaking helmet is only intended for recreational use and not for protection from an accident or drowning. However, if you insist on wearing a climbing helmet with your kayak, then be sure to observe these safety precautions:

1. Always wear your helmet on your head’s back.

The front tends to absorb too much water and is not made for protection from entrapment or capsizing.

2. Not for surfing in the ocean or paddling over flat water. 

A helmet is not designed for kayaking paddle activities and will only make it harder to swim. In general, a helmet will offer limited protection for an accident in flat water, so stay away from the whitewater, cold-water rivers, and surf areas at your own risk.

3. Always make sure to keep your inner ears out of the water.

Having water in your ears will only result in difficulty in hearing commands from the instructor and other kayakers.

4. Wear a flotation device while surfing or paddling over flat water. 

A helmet is not designed for these activities and will only make it harder to swim. In general, a helmet will offer limited protection for an accident in flat water, so stay away from the whitewater, cold-water rivers, and surfy areas at your own risk.

5. Don’t practice diving or jumping off cliffs while wearing a climbing helmet. 

Hard plastic helmets can only absorb so much pounding before they crack, and the foam padding is not designed to handle such high speeds. It’s also important to note that the foam found in climbing helmets is often made with Styrofoam, which is not waterproof.

6. Your helmet should remain on while underwater. 

The helmet is not made to hold the same amount of pressure as a dive helmet, which is meant to stay even when submerged. Even though the climbing helmets’ foam has been designed to absorb water, you still need to keep your head at the surface whenever possible.

7. You may want to remove your helmet while in a rapid

It is not necessary to wear a helmet while in a rapid. The foam is designed to absorb shocks, but it won’t protect you from an accident or allow for better breathing.

8. Make sure your climbing helmet is the proper size for you. 

If you have a big head, it might be too tight and cause pressure on your head. Additionally, if there is not enough space in the helmet for your head to move around, it will not offer proper protection.

9. Lastly, you should always wear a helmet with your all-weather clothing when kayaking. 

Climbing helmets are an added safety precaution when traveling down a river or whitewater area. However, helmets were never designed for this purpose and may prevent the proper use of your hands and arms while kayaking. Another question is should you go kayaking if you can’t swim? The answer is yes! Just be sure to wear a PFD (personal floatation device) that will always protect from accident or drowning.

Can You Find a Singular Helmet That Wears Multiple Sports and Functions?

There are climbing helmets in the market that protects in various sports. That includes:

  • Rock climbing
  • Backpacking
  • Skiing
  • Mountain biking
  • Whitewater sports
  • And even gymnastics

You can find a specific helmet that offers the protection you need for every sport you do. However, it’s important to look for the right size and features before purchasing.

When looking for climbing helmets that function for other sports, make sure they have extra padding on the inside to protect your head from impacts during water sports. While purchasing a helmet, make sure it’s made with some solid construction material. The helmet should also have a strap that goes across your forehead to keep the helmet on your head.

Also, choose a climbing helmet that has vents on the top and sides so you can adjust the amount of airflow in the air on a hot day. Many climbing helmets come with extra features like ventilation systems. Some helmets have adjustable vents that allow you to adjust the flow of cool air and hot air in your head. The rest of the helmet’s design should also support your neck and head as you move around while climbing.

What to Look For Before You Buy

1. Helmet size

You must look at the exact size of the helmet that you’re buying. When looking at a climbing helmet, make sure it’s snug enough on your head to create a snug fit but still allows for enough room to move your arms and legs freely.

2. Comfortable straps

Some helmets have very thick straps that can dig into your forehead and neck as you carry out your activities. When purchasing a climbing helmet, make sure it has adjustable straps to give you maximum comfort.

3. Safety

You should purchase a climbing helmet that fits your head and provides you with maximum protection even though it’s stylish and attractive. It would be best to look for helmets with a test report or information on the amount of impact or protection it offers. It should be easy to obtain before purchasing the helmet.

4. Durability

It’s important to look for climbing helmets durable enough to protect you for many years of daily use. It’s recommended to read the product reviews from other users to see how long their helmets lasted. Ensure the helmet design isn’t too complex or intricate that it will break easily.

Price Ranges and Comparisons of Climbing Helmets

Climbing helmets range from $40 to $200, depending on your helmet’s size, complexity, and capacity. Here is an example of two climbing helmets available on Amazon with a list of features and benefits.

Grivel G10 Climbing Helmet:

• This helmet has a big capacity, so it’s suitable for those with long hair.

• The helmet has a buckle at the nape to secure extra thick hair easily.

• Can hold a headlamp, climbing goggles, and many other accessories in the removable pockets of the helmet.

• The Grivel G10 Climbing Helmet has a unique and engaging design.

• The helmet has attributes such as great features and a fantastic design.

• This model is less expensive than the other option, but it still has a great performance. It’s not necessarily an inferior product to the other options, just an example of different choices at different prices.

AlpineAire AB 5944 2-Person Climbing Helmet:

• This helmet is more expensive than the other options, but it has many features that are very beneficial to climbing.

• It is adjustable to fit your head perfectly.

 • It comes with padding in the ears, which can be removed and replaced with earplugs. This feature is beneficial while climbing and when you are belaying a friend who has very thin ears.

 • You can click the visor down so that it blocks any sunlight that might be bothering you.

 • There are two filters on it for removing nuisance odor and moisture from inside the helmet.

 • It has thick straps that are easy to adjust.

 • You can store and secure extra items like a headlamp, camera, or even a climbing GPS in the helmet’s pockets.

Climbing Helmets VS. Whitewater Kayaking Helmets: Which is Better?

Climbing helmets won’t provide adequate protection for your head while kayaking because they aren’t designed. Even so, wearing a climbing helmet will still provide you with some protection from falling rocks during a whitewater adventure. The best choice for a helmet while doing kayaking is to wear a proper PFD, which will also protect your head from entrapment or capsizing in the water. A PFD will also support your neck and head if you go full-speed down a rapid without any extra cushioning around your head.

The Importance of A climbing helmet

You cannot stress the importance of using an appropriate climbing helmet for your activities enough. The fact is that one of the first warnings we are given when we begin to climb usually concerns headgear. That is because you must give your head the protection it requires since it doesn’t have any bones to protect it, and those few that are in there can take a while to heal if they sustain even a minor injury.

Emergency medical care

Another reason why climbers must have a helmet is that first responder might be hard-pressed to administer first aid when the climber finally comes down if they don’t. If you do get into a mishap and are compelled to call 911, the emergency medical personnel will not even start to treat you until you tell them of any pre-existing conditions that require attention. They will then work out what is best for you to ensure your body gets the best care possible. Now, you might be wondering why climbers must wear helmets. If we look at the statistics of how many accidents happen in climbing and then couple that with the chances of death or permanent disability after an accident occurs, it becomes clear that climbing is not something to take lightly. It is a dangerous sport.

Severe Brain Injuries

The fact that climbing is a dangerous sport does not mean that it is not a fun sport. Climbing can be a great activity to take part in other sports. However, suppose you are engaging in an activity that can harm your body. In that case, there is always the possibility that you could be severely injured and suffer from permanent brain injuries or death. Climbers need to wear helmets since they need protection from any head injuries they may sustain during their recreational climbing activities.

What if I wear it in kayaking?

Brain buckets are headgears used by rock climbers to protect their heads. It covers the forehead area and is designed to absorb the force of any falling rocks or other heavy objects. In addition,  it protects the climber from any impact his head may endure as he is dangling on the end of his belay rope. 

Using the brain bucket for kayaking

If you engage in climbing with other people, you will realize that there are times when one or more of your friends will be apart from you, and they could fall into a crevice or off a ledge. Your friends will be relying on their helmets to protect them from head injuries in such cases. You must consider the use of a climbing helmet for your kayaking escapades.

Why People Use Climbing Helmets for Kayaking

There are several reasons why people use climbing helmets for kayaking. First, they can protect themselves from head injuries resulting from falling rocks. Second, the helmet covers the forehead and head area, which means that people will not have any issues with their skin getting damaged when the climber falls into a crevice or off a ledge.

The Bottom Line

A climbing helmet is not the best choice for a kayaking helmet. The two helmets are made of completely different materials and offer varied protection. It might seem like using a climbing helmet during kayaking might be a good idea, but in reality, it puts you at risk for injury or drowning. A kayaking helmet is designed to protect you from falling trees, rocks, and debris that may cause you to hurt yourself or flip your boat.