Black Diamond Vapor Helmet

9.4
9.4 score
[Editors rating (9.4)] = (GearWeAre.com) score (9.4)/10

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Editor rating: 9.4 / 10
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Black Diamond Vapor Helmet Review Facts

Are you a climber in need of a helmet that is both lightweight and protective? If so, the Black Diamond Vapor may be exactly what you’re looking for. This helmet is intended to be comfortable when out on the climb while offering great ventilation and adjustability. For those who plan on wearing their gear for most of their adventure time, the Black Diamond Vapor is a logical choice. Unfortunately, you will find that you lose a few important requirements due to the increased comfort offered by this helmet.

While many reviewers find the Black Diamond Vapor to be a bit of a hit or miss situation, in this review we will take a look at both the good and the bad. Yes, comfort and ventilation receive high marks with this one, but we’ll also look at the lack of durability and other issues many find themselves dealing with when it comes to purchasing the Vapor. Hopefully, this review will help you weigh the pros and cons and decide whether the Black Diamond Vapor is the helmet you want to add to your gear arsenal.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Breathable
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Not Durable
  • Chin strap fit is troublesome
  • Company recommends avoiding backpack stowing
Comfort

Comfort

One aspect of the Black Diamond Vapor that can’t be denied is the comfort this helmet provides users. Unlike others in the Black Diamond line, the Vapor is quite lightweight, which adds to the comfort aspect. On the interior of this helmet, you’ll find a thin line of padding at the top. By avoiding excess padding, the Vapor is able to fit more snuggly, which adds to the comfort it provides. With an adjustable rear band, you’ll find everything falls into place when this helmet is in position and fitted properly. One issue to be noted when it comes to the comfort of the Vapor is the adjustable chin strap. If not fitted properly this strap may situate itself across the front of your neck. When on a climb, this can be quite annoying and honestly, uncomfortable.
Weight

Weight

The Black Diamond Vapor is easily one of the lightest weighing helmets on the market. This lightweight feel makes the Vapor a favorite of enthusiasts who want to spend the day out and about taking on a quick climb or ride. Keep in mind however, that with this lightweight advantage also comes a few disadvantages. A helmet of this weight can’t possibly offer great protection or durability. If you aren’t in need of helmet for extended, rugged, use then this one may be your best option.
Breathability

Breathability

When considering a helmet that offers great ventilation, the Black Diamond Vapor is at the top of the list. This helmet comes with tons of vents making it a favorite of reviewers who find themselves scaling the mountain side on a blistering summer day. With a total of 21 vents and an inner lining that is used to promote ventilation, you’ll find the Vapor to be possibly the most breathable helmet on the market. For those who love being out on hot days, this handy piece of gear may be your best option to keep the heat at bay while doing what you love.
Adjustability

Adjustability

When choosing a helmet to wear out on a climb, adjustability must be one of the key factors you take into consideration when making your choice. The Black Diamond Vapor offers climbers some adjustability but possibly not everything you’re looking for. As mentioned above, the chin strap can be a bit of an issue, especially considering it is attached to the yoke created by the straps located in the front and the back. This is not adjustable and may cause discomfort to wearers if not properly fitted. A rear adjustment band is also provided by the Vapor that can be used to press your head against the sweat band located in the front. Many reviewers found using this adjustment require both hands and a bit of work. When not being used, this rigid band can be stowed away for safe keeping.

While the Black Diamond Vapor may not offer perfect adjustability, choosing the right sizing will help when it comes to ensuring this helmet fits properly. It is important to note most of those who found themselves experiencing issues with the fixed chin strap used helmets of a smaller size.
Durability

Durability

The Black Diamond Vapor cannot be considered one of the most durable helmets available on the market. As with many lightweight gadgets, it is constructed of polystyrene and is then covered by a thin, polycarbonate shell. This doesn’t offer much in the way of protection for the helmet. While Black Diamond does recommend that you don’t carry this helmet inside a backpack, that leaves users with the problem of where to carry it when not in use. For most, this may mean attached to the side of their pack. Reviewers found this to be an issue as well. The materials used in the design of this helmet did not hold up well under any kind of pressure. These helmets receive cosmetic dents, scratches, and dings quite easily. It is clear, when it comes to a helmet that can last an entire season of adventure, the Vapor isn’t a top contender. While the Vapor offers the ventilation and comfort one may want, keeping in mind the lack of durability is important before deciding to spend your money on this addition to your gear.
Protection

Protection

Taking the lack of durability into mind, it is relatively understandable that most wouldn’t consider The Black Diamond Vapor to be overly protective. A helmet is designed to protect the wearer from injury to their head during a climb. If the helmet can’t withstand simple wear and tear without significant damage, it may not be the one you want to trust with the protection of part of your body.
Style

Style

The Black Diamond Vapor looks great for those in need of a helmet for their next climbing or riding adventure. Available in many colors, you’ll find yourself able to choose the one that best suits your tastes. Keep in mind, however, this is a one trick pony. This helmet is to be used for adventuring not out on the busy streets of a town. To avoid strange looks from locals, keep this helmet for the days when you find yourself seeking fun on the trail. That’s where you’ll find yourself looking a bit stylish.
Attachments

Attachments

One of the features of the Black Diamond Vapor is its ability to allow for a headlamp to be attached. Although the lamp itself is sold separately, the Vapor has removable clips you can add for this purpose. According to Black Diamond, it is important to keep these clips put away and secured when not in use. This is to help you avoid damaging them when on climbs or bike rides. When the time comes, and a bit of extra light is needed, simply attach these clips, attach your headlamp, and continue your journey without worry of the darkness putting an end to your activities.
Price

Price

The Black Diamond Vapor markets itself as a lightweight, comfortable, and adjustable. All those things are great and something climbers and other outdoor enthusiasts love, but keep in mind, this helmet isn’t as durable as one might hope. Many reviewers found themselves needing to purchase another helmet before their season of adventure was finished due to the damage the Vapor can take. Unfortunately, when issues like that happen, you’ll be spending quite a bit of money considering the Vapor is one of the most expensive helmets of its kind on the market. In all honesty, the hefty price of the Vapor most likely comes from the materials used in constructing this helmet in hopes of providing users with the breathability and comfort they desire. If value and pricing are important to you, taking a look at the other helmets available may be your best option. Yes, the Black Diamond Vapor delivers on what it promises, great weight, comfort, and adjustability, but not durability. You’ll also see other helmets just as good for less money when you take the time to shop around.
Terrain

Terrain

The Black Diamond Vapor was designed for those who love the climb in mind. Yes, it is versatile enough in that bikers and other enthusiasts can use it but its intended purpose is for mountain climbing. The terrain where you find yourself immersed in the rocks and crevices in front of you, where trees and other debris may find their way into your comfort zone is where you’ll want to ensure you have the Vapor snuggly in place. Taking on trails where branches and trees are cause for concern are also other great places to keep your Vapor handy.
Brand

Brand

The Black Diamond is a well-known name in adventure gear. They offer a wide range of products including men’s and women’s apparel as well as the gear needed to face off against a steep terrain in any type of weather. When it comes to helmets, Black Diamond is known for one of the best-selling one’s on the market, the Vector. This means they know a thing or two about producing merchandise that people not only trust but find themselves relying on when things get rough. If the Black Diamond Vapor isn’t suited for your needs or you need a helmet that offers more advanced protection, perhaps looking into Black Diamond’s other helmets and gear will help you find exactly what you are in the market for.
Best Applications

Best Applications

As mentioned above, the Black Diamond Vapor is intended for use by mountain climbers and bikers who will be needing a bit of protection on their journeys. Unfortunately, with the protection issues with this helmet and its ease to get dented or damaged, the Vapor isn’t the one you would turn to for heavy use. If you are an avid climber or rider who intends on using a helmet daily, in areas where damage can be taken, the Vapor may not be the one for you. This helmet with its great weight and comfort features is best used on short excursions or light activity days. Having this helmet for those types of adventures is great but having a sturdier helmet for hard use is a good idea for those who intend to face numerous adventures on the mountain.
The Bottom Line

The Bottom Line

To sum things up about the Black Diamond Vapor is a bit hit or miss. Those who are on the hunt for a helmet that is adjustable, comfortable, and of course lightweight may have found their diamond in the rough with this product. It is considered one of the most lightweight helmets on the market and is designed with the wearers comfort in mind. The addition of color options, an adjustable strap, and strategically placed ventilation throughout makes this helmet one that many would love to add to their gear.

Like with many products, however, there are a few downsides to owning the Vapor. One of the most notable things you may see when comparing this helmet with similar ones on the market is the price. Yes, the Black Diamond Vapor is one of the most expensive you will come across. This is due to the use of polycarbonate in the shell and Kevlar throughout. These materials can bring the price of a product up a bit. Luckily, you’ll also know you’ve spent money on a helmet that is made from some of the best materials available and is from a company you can trust. Another thing to keep in mind when debating whether the Black Diamond Vapor is right for you is its durability. Many reviewers found issues with the damage this helmet can take on an outing. Black Diamond urges people not to stow this helmet in a backpack, therefore you are left leaving it exposed. Whether you are using the Vapor or carrying it around, this helmet isn’t as sturdy as one may be hoping for. Keep in mind, it is best used for short trips and light climbing days. You’ll love the good features of the Vapor such as the comfort and breathability when you stick with its intended purpose.