Helmets! Love them or hate them, they are an absolute necessity in today’s industry. To be honest the vast majority of folk currently working in our sector will likely have always donned a lid, not known otherwise and frankly questioned anyone who didn’t wear one! The days of PPE being a preference rather than a requirement are long gone thankfully.
In my time I’ve used various brands of various shapes, sizes and colours. To the untrained eye, there might not be much to think about when it comes to that plastic thing you put on your head. You pick the colour you want (if you’re lucky enough to get a choice!) and off you go. But in reality, there are some big differences beyond colour. Equally there are some more subtle ones too that can dictate what you chose when buying your helmet. So when I was asked to try out a brand I hadn’t used before, namely Climbing Technology with their Aries Tree offering, I was hoping for good things.
My first ever helmet was typical of the newbie. I.e it was the knackered old one that smells funny, is likely way out of date and always gets handed to the new starter! It’s part of the process all over the world I’m sure! My first real purchase was a staple of the trade, the Petzl Vertex Vent. And like most newbies do, I opted for the one colour that nobody else had as I’m super original, and I went for blue. It’s only after a few years that you realise the next helmet a newbie gets after the manky old borrowed one, is a blue one. Level 2, complete! Since then I’ve had Kask, Husqvarna, Stihl and I’m currently rocking the mighty Protos. So I feel it’s fair to say I’ve handled a few helmets (steady now) over the years.
So what the CT Aries Tree like then? First impressions are great, they sent me an orange one so we are all ready doing well. It feels and looks well built. The overall quality of the materials is fantastic. It’s hard to describe, but it definitely has a top end feel to it, if you know what I mean. The outer shell is flawless in its appearance, and the chinstrap and head cradle are also very neatly made and finished. You can tell it’s Italian put it that way. The clear visor is also well made and feels secure and not flimsy at all. This is a very handy addition in my opinion. Mine was equipped with Sordin EXC ear defenders on standard mounts to the helmet, nothing out of this world to report there.
Once on my head, the helmet feels light and airy. If you compare it to my Protos then it feels almost weightless! But you must remember these are two different beasts. The Aries is a joy to wear on warmer days, and we’ve had a few of those up North recently I can confirm. The vents work well allowing a breeze to get through, especially handy at the moment as I have a full on lockdown mullet going on currently. The size adjuster on the back is smooth to work, and solid once set as needed. The visor as I mentioned before is an excellent addition. For me as a machine operator of a compact forwarder with no windows or doors, having some extra protection for my eyes is invaluable. Rogue branches, pheasants, mud, hails stones, you name it, and it’ll attempt to get into your eyes. This visor is a good size offering a decent area of protection. Being clear too it doesn’t alter your view either. My only concern will be it’s longevity against scratches and damage, but it is easily replaced should it become unusable. It hardly folds up out of the way when not in use also. The cradle system inside the helmet is also very good. It’s cool to wear and not sweaty at all like I’ve found with previous helmets that have a foam cradle. Those things can get ultra grotty!
So to add a bit of SCIENCE I did some research and the Aries comes in 90g lighter than the offerings from Kask and Petzl. Now that not might not sound much but if you add that 90g saving to other weight savings you can make with your PPE then it starts to add up. If you were wearing this all day for saw work or climbing that extra weight saving might just be noticeable but the end of the day.
Climbing Technology Aries Tree
Very nicely made helmet that has been comfortable to wear. Be different, get a Climbing Technology Aries Helmet!
- Very well made
- Marginally pricey vs competition
- Vents are permanently open, no way to close.