Anyone have issues with darker colored climbing helmets absorbing heat in summer, etc.?

climbingmonkey24

Well-Known Member
Location
United States
Currently I have a Kask Super Plasma helmet, color white. I'm considering getting a new one, maybe color black. I've pretty much always had lighter colored helmets. First one was blue, second one was orange, and now I have the white Kask. Anyone ever have issues with a darker color helmet becoming too hot, etc. especially during the warm months when the sun is strong?
 

Jonny

Well-Known Member
Location
Buffalo
Makes sense that it’d get hot, and even being vented, having extra heat absorption on the head is absolutely miserable when trying to stay cool.
Climbing helmet is usually ground work helmet too, and I’m very partial to high visibility helmets, shirts, and jackets.
 

Mitch Hoy

Well-Known Member
Location
Rochester
I’ve worn a black Protos for the last year and had an orange Protos that I wore for years before it. If there is a difference, I haven’t noticed it. This last year was the first that I didn’t get heat exhaustion, which I attribute to religious use of a hydration supplement.

Safety colors are always good. That’s why I chose the safety black protos.
 

Chris Schultz

Active Member
Location
Minturn
I agree with the being seen part. 99% of the time I am aloft, but when ground crew is working on pavement/blacktop and anybody is wearing a black hoodie or hard hat they blend right in. After about 5 minutes or a near miss I usually demand the safety colors come out.
 

Mitch Hoy

Well-Known Member
Location
Rochester
Why would anyone not wear a helmet in hi Viz color?
My ground crew is a sea of earth tones and hi-viz. When you see my dark outline, you know I am in charge.
The black Protos is a very professional looking helmet; it’s a nice touch for sales on the job situations.
I am and have been the only personnel performing aerial work for my company. Nobody enters my drop-zone without a hi-viz helmet on. My helmet choice does not create a safety issue. I own several other hi-viz helmets and indeed have one in the truck if needed.
I am somewhat surprised by some of the death wish comments. They strike me as lacking a little imagination. I am not going to wave a flag here, but people should have the liberty to decide what color of helmet is right for their situation without being called stupid. You can call me Batman, and I will call you Road Cone, but no one’s intelligence needs to be insulted.
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
If you're relying on your helmet color to keep you safe you're already too late.
This is true, but I think helmet color helps - our ground hands all wear hi-viz hats so it’s easier to find them on the ground from the air; easier to be sure nobody is where they should not be when things are falling.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
I’ve worn a black Protos for the last year and had an orange Protos that I wore for years before it. If there is a difference, I haven’t noticed it. This last year was the first that I didn’t get heat exhaustion, which I attribute to religious use of a hydration supplement.

Safety colors are always good. That’s why I chose the safety black protos.
X2, and cheers to the advent of safety black into our lexicon. I went from an original red/yellow to black Protos. Haven't noticed a difference. I also wear a black Stein shirt, gray zeroes, and black Scafel lites (removals only). To me, the breathability is important, early hydration is important, and knowing when to call it a day is important. I think the most breathable helmet is the Vent. The breathability of the Protos is fine for me and it's recessed ear muffs and integrated glasses are too good to pass up for a small gain in breathability. When I sweat, my black Stein shirt gets pretty cool if there is a breeze of any sort. The clogger zeros are nicely vented and seem to insulate very little because they are thin. The boots are hot but I feel like that is because of how thick they are - a chainsaw protective feature. We tried the coolvest (black of course) - did not work because it also insulates one's own heat inside the vest and it's a tad heavy. Black and brown stay clean, the rest funk up. I think the coolvest may be better for bucket work where you don't move around so much? Main point - heat exhaustion management should be holistic and a black protos is just one small part of a small part of it.
 

Chaplain242

Well-Known Member
My ground crew is a sea of earth tones and hi-viz. When you see my dark outline, you know I am in charge.
The black Protos is a very professional looking helmet; it’s a nice touch for sales on the job situations.
I am and have been the only personnel performing aerial work for my company. Nobody enters my drop-zone without a hi-viz helmet on. My helmet choice does not create a safety issue. I own several other hi-viz helmets and indeed have one in the truck if needed.
I am somewhat surprised by some of the death wish comments. They strike me as lacking a little imagination. I am not going to wave a flag here, but people should have the liberty to decide what color of helmet is right for their situation without being called stupid. You can call me Batman, and I will call you Road Cone, but no one’s intelligence needs to be insulted.
I must admit I don’t care what helmet ground crew has on if they have a hi-viz shirt. I do like different colour helmets for everyone so I am not wasting time trying to identify colour clones, especially if inexperienced are part of the crew. The shirt is bigger and more visible, especially in thick vegetation. I guess it helps visibility a little, but most here wear the same cheaper shirt so often the helmets all that’s left to ID someone when looking down....
 

Boomslang

Well-Known Member
Location
NB
On the topic of heat though....there is some interesting science behind black body radiation. We all know black absorbs heat from the sun, but it also absorbs heat from your body. In the presence of a light wind to carry the heat away this can actually help cool your body more effectively than white clothing. White reflects heat from the sun, but also reflects your body heat back on you. Wind and loose clothing is the key though. You need a breeze to pull away heat if your wearing black and you need space between the clothing and your skin to allow for the airflow. In the absence of wind white is definitely better.

There is real world evidence of this effect in traditional nomadic desert dwelling people's such as the Tuareg. Much of their clothing is dark in colour and very loose fitting and flowy.
 
On the topic of heat though....there is some interesting science behind black body radiation. We all know black absorbs heat from the sun, but it also absorbs heat from your body. In the presence of a light wind to carry the heat away this can actually help cool your body more effectively than white clothing. White reflects heat from the sun, but also reflects your body heat back on you. Wind and loose clothing is the key though. You need a breeze to pull away heat if your wearing black and you need space between the clothing and your skin to allow for the airflow. In the absence of wind white is definitely better.

There is real world evidence of this effect in traditional nomadic desert dwelling people's such as the Tuareg. Much of their clothing is dark in colour and very loose fitting and flowy.
I’m glad you made that point. I was thinking of Ravens in the desert while reading this thread and reminded of something I heard in an ornithology class years ago about a layer hot air on the surface of their feathers that gets moved away through convection.
I have both a yellow protos and a black and white Protos and have not observed any difference in heating.
 

swingdude

De' Island Buzzer
Location
Barbados
This went south. Fuck helmet color. Poor communication gets people killed not helmet color. That is some crazy talk. Keep it simple. I wear black shirts and black helmets. But I rotate out 4 helmets. A yellow...white....blue and black. Like a dry well maintained helmet everyday, akask super plasma.. Still a free world. Too many hard and dry comments. Groundies wear green white red whatever. I hate color coordination. Let those that do have it. Their choice. I wear what I like on given day. The world needs less rules and more common sense.
 

RyanCafferky

Well-Known Member
As a contract climber, I work with a number of different companies and crews. A lot of companies do not mandate high vis helmets or clothing. Some of the companies I work with buy their crew dark colored shirts or the crew members wear whatever outerwear they need to use to stay warm and dry which notably are not high vis. From my experience, adding a veritable game of “Where’s Waldo” trying to count people on the job site every time a cut is made just makes the job of anyone who is aloft harder than it needs to be. Especially if communication is complicated by running equipment, road noise, and/or a lack of communication helmets.
 

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