Our Mammut Nordwand MIPS helmet review details a lightweight mountaineering helmet from this widely respected Swiss brand. We hope you find it useful.
Mammut have been producing cutting edge outdoor equipment since 1862 and we’ve been proud to use and review many of their products. Their extensive range includes ropes, technical equipment, footwear, clothing and rucksacks. They also produce helmets and that’s the focus of this review. Their Nordwand MIPS is a fully featured helmet which also incorporates MIPS (Multi Impact Protection System) technology. Here is my Mammut Nordwand MIPS helmet review.
Helmets for climbing and mountaineering have come a very long way in recent years. There is the combination of improvements in materials and the development of advanced techniques for the way they are used. There is also a much more thorough understanding of impact forces. We’ve never had it so good. The Mammut Nordwand MIPS sits at the cutting edge of these developments.
The helmet combines a lightweight outer shell with a kevlar reinforced in mold EPS (expanded polystyrene) core. The Nordwand also incorporates the MIPS multi impact protection system.
For comfort and a secure fit there is interior cushioning and an adjustable chinstrap and head band. Mammut have also incorporated large openings and a through channel for efficient ventilation.
A reflective sticker aids visibility and there’s an efficient headlamp attachment system. Mammut supply the helmet with a storage/transport bag.
The helmet I reviewed was supplied in a colour Mammut describe as safety orange. It is also available in black. The helmet is available in 2 sizes and has a quoted weight of 229 grams. It doesn’t make it clear in the information whether this weight applies to the size 1 or size 2 model. I’m guessing it is the size 1 as the size 2 helmet I received actually weighs 241 grams. The Nordwand complies to EN CE EN 12492 which is explained here.
The model I received came in safety orange colour which Mammut say ensures visibility in the mountains. Yes, the helmet is certainly orange! As a fan of bright colours I like the colour and hopefully you will too. Just be aware that it certainly lives up to its claim of visibility. If you like something more stealth there is a black colour available too.
The Nordwand MIPS is a very good looking helmet. Mammut always seem to get this right. It has a low profile shape which avoids the bulbous sides that used to be typical in EPS helmets. The outer shell is cut away at each vent to show the white EPS core. The shape and position of the vents also adds to the neat appearance. Finally, the colour co-ordinated straps and neat detailing finish the package perfectly.
The next thing you’ll notice when you first handle the Nordwand is its weight. This is a very light lid. I would say that, in the style of these EPS style helmets there are lighter models, but it is still extremely light. This is also especially impressive given that this helmet incorporates MIPS (more about MIPS later).
A key definer of what makes a good helmet, of course, has to come down to fit. For me, right from the off, the Nordwand MIPS has fitted like a glove. It feels light on the head and adjusts to fit comfortably. Although I’ve not yet used it in very hot conditions, the ventilation works really well in the conditions experienced so far. It is truly an all day comfort helmet.
MIPS (Multi Impact Protection System)
Another stand out feature of the Nordwand is the addition of MIPS. I am very familiar with MIPS from use in mountain biking helmets like the Smith Forefront II cycling helmet (which I reviewed here) and I’ve also used it in skiing helmets. This is the first climbing helmet I’ve been aware of that includes this system. But what is MIPS?
In some impacts a helmet striking the ground will create a rotational motion. This may transfer force to the brain. The Multi Impact Protection System (MIPS) is designed to help mitigate these rotational forces. The company describe it as a Brain Protection System (BPS). It works by having a cradle inside the helmet that can twist independently of the shell. This offers 10-15mm of rotational compensation in all directions. You can find out more about MIPS on their website here.
I can’t say I’ve ever tested how well the MIPS system works and I take this to be a good thing! However, it has been subjected to over 20,000 test cycles and is the choice of many leading helmet manufacturers. It makes perfect sense that it would be an additional safety benefit for climbing lids.
Aside from that, the Nordwand has the features you want in a mountaineering helmet. It has a simple and efficient head torch retention system and the reflective sticker detailing adds a safety element. Apart from that, Mammut haven’t been tempted to incorporate unnecessary additions. It is stripped down and efficient.
My Mammut Nordwand MIPS helmet review details a comfortable and ultralight helmet with mountaineering specific features. I also congratulate Mammut on adding the benefit of MIPS. It is also well ventilated and great looking. I really do consider it to have everything you need in a quality climbing helmet. It may not be able to make you climb harder, but you’ll certainly be well protected while trying! Another great Mammut product. The Nordwand retails for £130 and full details are available on the Mammut website here.