The Grivel Salamander 2.0, while designed with zero frills to keep operation straight-forward, is a versatile helmet with a few highlights as well as drawbacks. Designed for alpine, rock and ice use, the 2.0 comes in three colors – white, yellow, and black. The Salamander 2.0 is an improvement over it’s predecessor, the OG Salamander, though ultimately, in my testing, the 2.0 disappoints in a few categories.
Reviewed by Al Smith III, co-founder of The Zine
You’d think with an updated version that a few tweaks, especially in specs would result. Not so entirely with the 2.0. The weight of the helmet, sized to be adjustable between 54cm and 62cm, still weighs the same as the original Salamander at 13.58 ounces. While the overall look of the 2.0 is sleeker, as evidenced by the head lamp clips and shift away from the bulk of polystyrene foam, Grivel made few improvements – in my opinion.
First placing the helmet on my head, I had a quick learning curve to understand the suspension adjustment system – thin webbing with two small pull tabs. As I stated before, this helmet is adjustable between 54cm and 62cm, so it can fit a variety of head sizes, and figuring out exactly how the adjustment straps works is a breeze. A positive about this is the reduction of extraneous parts, thus making the 2.0 worry-free, as compared to other helmet manufactures suspension systems, which rely heavily on plastic click wheels or sliders to adjust.
Climbing with the 2.0, I did find that with a bald head, the helmet easily slid back and out of place as I looked up the rock pitch. Not the most inspiring thing to have happen – feeling as if you’re helmet is about to slid off while trying to figure your next good rest or piece of pro. Climbers with hair may find the fit to be a bit more inspiring, and for this bald tester, I was unimpressed with the fit and security of said fit on my dome. There is a reason I love my Black Diamond Vector – the fit on my head is like a glove, and the adjustment is fairly easy to dial-in snug.
Overall, things I liked about the Grivel Salamander 2.0:
- Updated look – modern for the industry compared to the OG Salamander
- Suspension system – pull tabs on thin webbing make for quick adjustments with minimal plastic parts to break
- Head Lamp clips – secure a lamp no problem
Overall, what I feel detracts from the Grivel Salamander 2.0:
- Weight- it is an updated version, and it still weighs the same
- Price – it is more expensive then helmets of typical construction, and if I’m paying more, I want better features and/or specs, which the 2.0 does not deliver
- Fit – not great for this bald head; haired users may have a different perspective
Would I use this helmet in certain applications? Yes. I do find that as a single pitch instructor, this helmet has its advantages over closed-cell foam, and if I can wear a beanie or buff underneath, then no problem in keeping it poised atop my bald dome.
In the vertical world, quality gear is as important as good weather or the right partner. At the Climbing Zine, we review gear that we put to the test in our personal climbing pursuits, over months of use. If we like it we’ll tell you, and if we don’t we’ll tell you. That’s our policy…If you have gear for us to consider for a review please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About us: The Climbing Zine was started in 2010 by Al Smith III and Luke Mehall. It continues to the day with the mission of representing the true essence of climbing. Our crown jewel is our printed version, but we also do the interweb thing, and Kindle.