The Trango Skull Cap is a helmet for rock climbing. The Skull Cap’s design places a premium on being lightweight, comfortable, and low profile. Unfortunately the Skull Cap skimps on a helmet’s most important function, protecting the head.
The Skull Cap helmet has some good qualities. The system for attaching a headlamp is simple, quick, and easy to use. It is also extremely lightweight. At 7.9 ounces, it is one of the lightest rock climbing helmets on the market. It has a low profile and is well ventilated, which combine with its featherweight to make it one of the most comfortable helmets I have ever worn. The system for attaching a headlamp is also simple, quick, and easy to use.
Unfortunately all the comfort comes with a price. The Skull Cap is the least protective helmet I have ever worn. No matter how I adjusted it, I could not get it to stay in place on my head. A light tap on the front of the helmet would rotate it backwards, exposing my forehead. A hard blow could even push the helmet entirely off of my head. Most of my personality functions are located behind the forehead, so I want a helmet that will stay in place and protect them in the event of impact. The Skull Cap would not do that if the impact was to the front of the helmet with an upward force, or even if the force was straight back. I have used many different helmets for climbing, caving, whitewater, and bicycling through the years, and I have never had one that would be as easily moved by an impact as the Skull Cap.
In addition to this poor design, the Skull Cap is cheaply made. Velcro anchors the adjustment system in the helmet. After one day of use, the glue holding the Velcro strip in the helmet began to fail. Without decent glue to hold the adjustment system in place, the helmet becomes even more insecure. The only other person I know who has the Skull Cap had the same glue failure with his model. For a suggested retail price of $89.95, Trango should have used glue that actually works. Then again, they also should have created a helmet that stays in place on a head.
Trango makes some products I love, but this climbing helmet is not one of them. The bottom line is that the Trango Skull Cap is a poorly designed and poorly made helmet. Wearing it would be better than wearing nothing if you slammed your head into a rock wall or a rock fell on your head, as long you made sure the impact was to the top of the helmet. However, if you are unfortunate enough to be slamming your head into a rock, you are probably not going to be fortunate enough to make sure you hit it in just the right way to keep your lousy helmet on. If you are going to wear a helmet while rock climbing, you should probably get one that will protect you better than the Trango Skull Cap.
If you are looking for a helmet for rock climbing, then you are probably also interested in shoes for rock climbing. If you are new to rock climbing, then you should read this article for advice on finding the right rock shoe and this article reviewing several good climbing shoes for beginners. For reviews of other rock shoes, just click here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.. Have fun climbing!