The Rock Lite is a minimalist, lightweight helmet designed for rock climbing. It's actually more or less an Alpine Shield but without the polycarbonate cover. The first thing that struck me when I first saw the Rock Lite was that it looks great. For a company who have built their reputation on designing and manufacturing hardware it's great that they have managed to start making products that are not only well made and reliable, but also look fantastic.
The Rock Lite been designed in a similar mould to the Petzl Meteor and the Black Diamond Tracer. The weight of our sample comes in at 260g - very similar to both the Meteor and the Tracer. Fit seems pretty good - everyone here at planetFear who's tried it has given the thumbs up. It doesn't sit too high on the head and has an easily adjustable chin strap with a quick release buckle. The Rock Lite only comes in one size but the wheel adjustment at the rear works well for adjusting the helmet's size.
Excellent comfort is provided by slim-line but soft EVA padding that lines the helmet. This is definitely one of the sleekest and most effective solutions I've seen on this type of helmet. It provides comfort without bulk and doesn't take up too much room if you want to wear a hat or balaclava underneath the lid. Wild Country have informed us that the internal label that currently sits at the front on the forehead will move to the rear on the production model, which is a good call as I can imagine it getting a little sweaty on the forehead on warm days. Ventilation meanwhile is pretty good and fairly standard for this type of helmet.
One feature that does set the Rock Lite apart from the competition is the ability to fix the polycarbonate cover from the Alpine Shield onto the shell. The shield will be sold separately as an accessory and attaches on via 3 screw holes much in the same way as it does on the Alpine Shield. This transforms the Rock Lite into a helmet that's usable for alpine and winter climbing, not just cragging.
The Rock Lite will retail at £65.00 and at this price represents good value for money. Keep an eye out for it in the planetFear shop next spring.
Images: Dave Mac / planetFear
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