Author Topic: Petzl Borea  (Read 1006 times)

Offline Fjell

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Petzl Borea
« on: November 12, 2020, 07:50:40 pm »
Has anyone used one of these with a lamp on it? And a ponytail.

It sort of looks like it should be more stable than the Petzl efforts of the past decade. The large foam area looks more grippy. I am a bit suspicious of the adjustment thing at the back.

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Petzl Borea
« on: November 12, 2020, 07:50:40 pm »
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Offline Stuart France

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Re: Petzl Borea
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2020, 09:11:18 am »
Can't help you re the pony tail, but I have a Boreo (the male version of the Borea) used for cycling and it is comfortable and stable.  I won this in a competition and would not have bought it otherwise.  My bike lights are on the bike, not my head.

One disadvantage of Boreo/Borea for caving purposes is that it is full of big slats/holes on the sides which need to be blocked up to stop water getting in.  Also the outer plastic is flimsy which has been compensated for by a thick expanded polysytrene (?) inner shell.  This thick inner foam interferes badly with attaching gear to the front/rear/sides of this helmet like lamps/torches/battery and the outer shell is so flimsy that drilling holes into it will likely lead to cracks developing.  The other problem is the curved shape of the outer shell which makes attaching something flat quite a problem.  The front of Boreo is at an angle of about 30 degrees off vertical which means a lamp attached here in the familiar way would point upwards - which is not exactly helpful in a cave or anywhere else.  The rear of the Boreo is near vertical which would be optimal for a battery pack, but it is still curved.

These issues apply to all current models of Petzl helmet.  I have an adapted Petzl Elios for caving which is the wobbles-all-the-time kind.  This is because the height of this helmet (when stood on a table) is an inch or so less than the Boreo, so there is simply a lot less material to grip the sides of your head with Elios.  Again, it has slats to let the water in.  I blocked these up by removing the foam inner shell and cutting pieces of 1mm PVC sheet to size, softening them with a blowlamp to the curved shape of the inside surfce of the helmet, then gluing them in, and finally replacing the foam shell inside the plastic shell.

Nothing surpasses the typical building site and coal mine helmets of the last century in terms of ease of adaptation for caving:  adding a caplamp/battery to them, and obtaining stability by attaching a decent webbed adjustable chin strap.  These mining ones had a flat vertical face at the front for attaching a caplamp securely and pointed at the correct angle so the beam points slightly down towards the floor.

The disadvantage of the building site helmet is that it doesn't have the thick foam inner shell, so if it's hit by a rock and the rock smashes the outer shell then there is only a layer of fresh air to stop its onward journey into your head, which is the only reason I shelled out (pardon the pun) for the Elios.

The desired features of an ideal generic helmet to adapt for caving use are:
1) outer shell made of robust hard plastic that can't develop stress fractures from adaptation or underground use (i.e. being banged and abraded on the passage roof frequently and having a lamp fitted to it)
2) has an inner shell made of thick foam to decelerate any rock that breaks through the outer shell
3) vertical flat front area for attaching caplamp easily and at the right angle
4) vertical flat rear area for attaching battery pack easily
5) no holes or slats in the outer shell that let water in or reduce the protection from falling rocks
6) inner cradle to fit well to sides of your head so as not to wobble around

Boreo addresses points 2 and 6 above, but I feel it lacks all the other caving-friendly features.

Offline Stuart France

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Re: Petzl Borea
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2020, 09:54:16 am »
Perhaps the search should be on for a mining helmet to import from countries that still do Big Mining that can be adapted for caving?

https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Professional-helmets-coal-miner-helmet-helmet_60108480958.html?spm=a2700.pc_countrysearch.main07.36.271650d0ZU1Zdr

This model called AURORA AU-M02 has the inner foam shell, a sensible chin strap without the flimsy hard-to-join thingy found on Petzl products, small mesh-filled holes in the outer shell that are easily waterproofed fully with silicone sealant.  Still has the slightly curved front and rear surfaces but they are close to vertical. And costs USD27 in lots of 18 units, compared to GBP 38-43 for a Boreo from various .co.uk sources.

Here's another helmet that ticks most of the boxes and costs £28 in lots of 1 and ships from UK.

https://www.thesafetysupplycompany.co.uk/p/5847686/climax---professional-working-at-height-safety-helmet---conforms-to-en-12492--en-3972012---orange---cl-helmet-o-cadi--.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIo5Tnl57_7AIVW-3tCh0DXwVSEAYYBCABEgJ45vD_BwE

Caving helmets are a job for that elusive E&T committee of the BCA to get sorted out!  If what we want as cavers is not on the market then make it ourselves from something already fairly close to ideal - which I'm afraid isn't the Petzl offerings.



Offline MarkS

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Re: Petzl Borea
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2020, 10:07:14 am »
Caving helmets are a job for that elusive E&T committee of the BCA to get sorted out!

Not sure the E&T committee is especially elusive, but that's somewhat of a tangent.

If all cavers shared a common view on helmets then this might have some mileage, but in my experience cavers' opinions on what makes a good helmet vary hugely.

Offline Roger W

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Re: Petzl Borea
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2020, 10:30:47 am »
Stuart - that "coal miner helmet" on Alibaba looks just like the "lightweight engineering telecom safety helmet" in the "you may also like" section.

One needs to be very careful with these "safety helmets" from uncertain makers in the Far East.  They may well give very little protection in the case of a serious knock.
"That, of course, is the dangerous part about caves:  you don't know how far they go back, sometimes... or what is waiting for you inside."   JRR Tolkein: "The Hobbit"


Offline Roger W

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Re: Petzl Borea
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2020, 10:59:43 am »
By gum!  That's better than aluminium foil!
"That, of course, is the dangerous part about caves:  you don't know how far they go back, sometimes... or what is waiting for you inside."   JRR Tolkein: "The Hobbit"

Online pwhole

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Re: Petzl Borea
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2020, 11:31:08 am »
Keeps out Covid-19, David Icke broadcasts, 5G waves and the massed powers of the Illuminati too, which more than makes up for the lack of a chin strap, IMO  :)

Seriously though, the unvented rope-access Vertex model that Petzl makes is quite suitable for caving, despite being (or seeming) a bit higher than most models - one of my three is one of those. They have quite a long 'back' which may also help underground. I've got a vented Ecrin Roc too, which has a lower profile but it's heavier and slides around more than the Vertex. The Kask helmets are very comfortable too, but also 'suffer' from a lot of foam inside that may spoil drilling plans.

Offline Stuart France

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Re: Petzl Borea
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2020, 12:22:19 pm »
The Petzl Vertex model breaks my rules no. 1 and 2 as it isn't going to stand up to banging around and abrasion in a cave (it's not intended to) and it has no expanded polysytrene internal shell in case you get hit by falling rocks.  I've seen images of criss-crossed webbing internally, like a building site helmet, so loads of fresh air sits between your skull and the shell apparently.

I'm aware that the Aurora is marketed broadly to all kinds of client groups as the link that I provided shows.  The photo here compares one of Aurora's many offerings (green) with Kask (right).  I'd be prepared to believe they're both made in the same factory in China - and it would be worth calling the factory in China (other photo) and see if they will make a caving variant that meets all our needs as cavers.  It's quite easy to adapt an injection mould with metal inserts for variants of the original product - I've done that myself.  The Aurora variant on the left in the photo has a flat front face that suits a caplamp even, so the factory can probably put together what I would most want for caving from existing subassemblies if offered a reasonable sized order.


Offline Fjell

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Re: Petzl Borea
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2020, 04:45:37 pm »
I have yet to find a human of any size that fits the Elios/Spelios. They are all going. I barely restrained myself from hacksawing the Duo out of a Spelios.
The problem was the Ecrin falling forward, but after Deep Thought tried one today with the thin padding. It moves it backwards and it seemed to help. The problem seems to be not using the Aceto: never thought of it, but the pipe pulled it backwards I think.


Online PeteHall

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Re: Petzl Borea
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2020, 05:13:47 pm »
Good picture there Fjell.  ;D

For kids, I've found that a skating style bike helmet (with more of a vertical front) works well as they come in small sizes and there's plenty of choice to get a good fit. A Petzl Myo is very light and bright, so works well cable tied on.



For myself, I'm a big fan of the Ecrin; preferably Ecrin Best (without the holes), but otherwise an Ecrin Roc with the holes gaffa taped up. I find the cradle very stable if it's adjusted properly. It's easy to drill and bolt on any type of light. There is space in the cradle to store a neoprene hood. Though admittedly, I don't have a pony tail to worry about.
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Offline Fjell

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Re: Petzl Borea
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2020, 05:31:15 pm »
Our authorised household team has one with pony tail, and one with no hair to speak of. All of the kiddies are slightly bigger now and the last time we took one with us we did Swinsto. We seem to have done a thorough job on caving and they would rather go climbing now they are all grown up. Can’t imagine why....

Offline Sam Richards

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Re: Petzl Borea
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2020, 06:57:00 pm »
I use a Boreo for climbing, and it's been used for some impromptu caving trips.
All personal preference, but I find it comfortable, more so than my usual helmets including the Ecrin Roc. The catches at the back are far more convenient than the Elios/Elia wheel, and as they don't involve as much contorting of the plastic to adjust I'd expect them to last longer.

I can understand the comments about the vents, they are noticeably large when in damp pitches.
Given that it's not my primary caving helmet I've always just slotted an elasticated headtorch with a tilt adjustment under the external clips.

I think the Boreo would be good for an occasional caver (can't speak for the Borea, but it should be the same).

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Petzl Borea
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2020, 07:29:41 pm »
I have two in-use Elios and one now retired (all the 'newer' models, and the only helmet I've worn underground other than a Vertex Vent). They have all fit my fairly large head fine, and my new climbing Boreo also fits well. Once the two current Elios need retiring (once they have been battered around too much rather than hitting the 10 year guideline) the Boreo will probably be relegated to caving.

Offline Cripplecreeker

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Re: Petzl Borea
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2020, 08:28:06 pm »
The Petzl Vertex model breaks my rules no. 1 and 2 as it isn't going to stand up to banging around and abrasion in a cave (it's not intended to) and it has no expanded polysytrene internal shell in case you get hit by falling rocks.  I've seen images of criss-crossed webbing internally, like a building site helmet, so loads of fresh air sits between your skull and the shell apparently.

The Petzl Vertex will definitely stand up to a bit of caving! Industrial helmets will typically receive far more abuse/misuse than the average caving helmet. Personally I much prefer the thick outer shell with no liner type helmet (Vertex, Ecrin Roc etc.) for caving than the thin shell/foam lined helmets (Boreo, Elios etc.). It really is personal choice though.

Offline badger

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Re: Petzl Borea
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2020, 08:39:36 pm »
I get extremely hot, so a helmet with vents has lots of advantages to a closed helmet, I know a few people who use the boreo for caving and all of them think it is the best helmet they have used. I have a kask helmet for work and find it very comfortable, how it would feel with a scurion on not sure. use a ecrin roc for caving and find that ok. But now more than 10 years old and quite battered so thinking of changing it soon.

Offline Stuart France

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Re: Petzl Borea
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2020, 10:13:38 pm »
I don't particularly like the expanded foam stuff inside modern helmets either as its nice to put a cloth or chocolate bar in the air space at top of a helmet, but I gave up with 'builders helmets' lacking the foam stuff instantly after a friend of mine was hit with a sizeable rock falling down a dig.  He took a direct hit to his helmet which was then a write-off.  The rock went straight through the plastic outer as if there was nothing there, and then through the foam coming to a stop for a few moments touching his skull but fortunately not fracturing anything, then it fell sideways and hurt his shoulder.  It was quite a big rock followed by quite a re-think about foam because if there been no foam in his helmet he'd have had worse than a bad shoulder.

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Petzl Borea
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2020, 08:32:23 am »
Both the Boreo and the Vertex comply with EN12492, the mountaineering helmet standard, which requires a standardised drop test with a maximum transmitted force of 10kN. I'm not sure there's any reason to think either helmet will greatly exceed the standard, so I think assuming one is better than the other is probably guesswork.

Builders helmets should comply to EN397, which has a similar but more limited test.

Offline Tseralo

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Re: Petzl Borea
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2020, 07:38:04 pm »
Both the Boreo and the Vertex comply with EN12492, the mountaineering helmet standard, which requires a standardised drop test with a maximum transmitted force of 10kN. I'm not sure there's any reason to think either helmet will greatly exceed the standard, so I think assuming one is better than the other is probably guesswork.

Builders helmets should comply to EN397, which has a similar but more limited test.

The Camp Rockstar, Petzl Panga and Edelrid Ultralight all have little to no foam and conform to EN12492. Not everyone needs or wants a helmet with foam in as it makes them rather buoyant.

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Re: Petzl Borea
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2020, 08:50:40 pm »
I would have thought with impacts sufficient to smash the helmet we're already in 'possibly fatal' territory, so going beyond that in strength may be a moot point really, as surely a person's neck would be the next weak point in the system likely to fail?

 

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