Wild Country Helmets: The 360 and the Alpine Shield

© Mick Ryan -
Wild Country Alpine Shield Helmet

From News page

Wild Country's One Helmet That Does it All - The Alpine Shield by Mick Ryan.

It was only a decade or so ago when you hardly saw anyone wearing a helmet, especially at single-pitch crags. New lightweight sporty designs influenced by cycle helmets changed all that. Go to most crags these days, even sport climbing venues and you will see many, if not most climbers wearing a helmet.

This is reflected with a whole array of choices when you go to your climbing shop. Petzl, C.A.M.P, Edelrid, Black Diamond, Grivel, and DMM all have various helmets for you to have a look at: lightweight cragging expanded plastic foam (EPS) bicycle type lids, the more robust Shell/Cradle type and the hybrid Shell/Foam helmets (read the UKC Article - Helmets - Everything you need to know!).

The UK company, Wild Country Limited, have now joined the club with two new helmets and one, the Alpine Shield, was rated highly in a design and innovation competition at the recent Friedrichshafen OutDoor Show.

First off is the 360 helmet, a polycarbonate shell with an closed cell foam (EPS) liner. It's an attractive lightweight helmet with high top impact and side impact resistance.

The real innovation is however, the Alpine Shield. This is a modular helmet, the first of its kind, that is suitable for cragging to Scottish winter and anything you can throw at it, or drop on it.

Why is it special?

Designed by Neil Preston and Kevin Brown of Wild Country this is again a EPS/polycarbonate helmet, lightweight and strong enough for crag use but it has a removable polycarbonate cover. If you need extra protection in a winter or alpine environment you simply pop the clear polycarbonate shield onto the crown of the helmet and get 30% enhanced stonefall protection; it attaches by a simple coin-slot attachment system. Then remove the shield when you are normal cragging. One helmet to do it all.

It was deemed that innovative it made the short list in the OutDoor INDUSTRY AWARDS 2008 at Friedrichshafen, an award for "innovative product developments that proved surprising." Although the Wild Country Alpine Shield didn't make the roster for the gold and silver awards it did make the short list of 27 products cited for exceptional design and innovation out of 196 entries.

Both helmets pass the CEN and UIAA standard and are 3 Sigma rated. Available early 2009, the Alpine Shield will retail for £60.00, the 360 for £40.00

Jason Myers, James Blay and Steve Foster of Wild Country at the OutDoor Show, Friedrichshafen, Germany

From Wild Country

Alpine Shield - the advantage is clear!!!: £60.00: Available early 2009.

alpine shield logo The awesome new Alpine Shield takes an innovative and stylish approach to creating the ultimate in adaptability and the perfect 'year round' helmet.

One of the first pictures of the new Alpine Shield helmet....

Alpine Shield with detachable clear polycarbonate shield

This modular design adopts a 'two-in-one' approach, combining a lightweight, in-mould EPS/Polycarbonate helmet with an exclusive 'Alpine Shield' cover that can be quickly attached to give enhanced protection.

Worn uncovered, this helmet is perfect for all round cragging; supremely light and with an optimal fit via quick-click volume adjustment, soft EVA pads and a super secure, quick release chin strap.

Worn covered, by adding the bonus Alpine Shield shell - providing 30% extra stone and icefall protection - it goes further than any other helmet of its type can go. Meaning this fully featured model becomes a true winter lid and one of the lightest choices around.

Simple to switch around and easy to fit and wear, the Alpine Shield is the first helmet with this modular capability – so from gritstone games to winter workouts it converts from best in class to a class of its own.

Alpine Shield with detachable clear polycarbonate shield... in black

Features: Lightweight best in class EPS/Polycarb helmet, Exclusive free extra 'Alpine Shield' polycarbonate cover (up to 30% enhanced stonefall protection with cover), Simple 'coin-slot' alpine shield adjustment, Quik-Clik- glove friendly adjustable sizing, Adjustable EVA cushioned, head hugging inner pads, Nexus Acetal (better in low temp) quick release chin strap buckle, Smooth16mm nylon chin strap, 4 Torch grips (acetal – better in low temps), Foil covered vents, Hood friendly sizing for winter wear, 3 Stylish colour choices, Emergency inner sticker, Free storage bag, One size.

CE EN 12492 / UIAA 106 / 3 Sigma rated.

360 - Best in class safety for all year performance: £40.00: Available early 2009.

360 logo Durable, stylish and super safe the 360 is an exceptional polycarbonate helmet built with style and the safety credentials to blow the opposition away.

Created to act as a cross-season all rounder the 360 is a reliable and fully featured model that will be at home on first forays out to longer expeditions away. Built with safety in mind the 360's testing pedigree is its strength. Optimal shaping, optimal material use and top impact resistance - due to extra EPS foam protection – mean great test results, including a best in class side impact result.

360 blueprints

However, this strength is not a sacrifice to weight or fit and the 360 remains a lightweight choice. Internally, it adjusts via a glove friendly 'dial-system', cinches and releases simply and sits comfortably on adjustable, cushioned EVA pads.

A safety conscious go anywhere, do anything, all rounder with a strong sense of style, an excellent fit and a price tag that protects the wallet; the 360 redefines polycarbonate performance.

Features: Lightweight best in class Polycarb/Eps helmet, Quik-Dial glove friendly adjustable sizing, Adjustable EVA cushioned, head hugging inner pads, Nexus Acetal (better in low temp) quick release chin strap buckle, Smooth16mm nylon chin strap, 4 Torch grips (acetal – better in low temps), Foil covered vents, Hood friendly sizing for winter wear, 3 Stylish colour choices, Emergency inner sticker, Free storage bag, One size.

CE / UIAA / 3 Sigma rated.

Available early 2009

Wild Country Website:

For more information visit Wild Country Website

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28 Jul, 2008
The prices look good, but explain to me why this isn't total marketting? Helmet's that really do do it all are made by Salewa - they're rated for Kayakng and Cycling too. WC've just matched the product categories that Petzl started, both the Meteor or that cheap budget £30 ish one, and the daft Robocop one with the visor which admittedly they've made `modular' or tinkered with, and gone for a slice of the market with the buy British USP - as BD have already got in on the light weight helmet action for the Us of A for at least a year now I asume the lack of any data I can find easily, in particular with regards to product weight, is because the Meteor III's still lighter? And even if the 360 is lighter, then I'm sorry WC, early 2009 is three years too late! As I expect my Meteor will more than last until then (as long as I don't lose it or put it in airport hold baggage which is what happened to my last two).
28 Jul, 2008
Does seem they've created a product which doesn't need to exist... are you REALLY going to be putting in an extra plate to give you extra protection? Why wouldn't you just use the plate all the time and afford more protection whilst cragging too. If its purely based on weight then surely a few grammes here or there is not going to matter that much? Sorry Wild Country - don't want to put a downer on it but don't quite understand...
28 Jul, 2008
Chaps I think you are both being unfairly critical. What is the perfect helmet? Well I think it is one that is as light and airy as the BD tracer or Petzl Meteor, and as robust and with as much top down protection as the Ecrin Roc/Vertex. Well if you want lightness and side of head protecion for cragging and a hard as tails lid for the mountains it generally means 2 helmets and a £110 investment. Nobody wants to have to but 2 helmets. I have not seen one of these new WC ones yet so I am going to reserve judgement untill I have. On the other hand I don't believe either of you have seen one either so perhaps you should do likewise. Sneering at inovation does not do anyone any favours. All the best.
28 Jul, 2008
Certainly not sneering. Just questioning whether people really buy two helmets and whether there is a real need for their product. I know just as well as you do what real innovation means and how it can affect what we do in the world and somehow I don't see how this helmet is THAT groundbreaking. What its doing is compromising on both specifications and more than likely being master of neither - thats the way of engineering - build one area up and lose in another. However if they really have managed to make the perfect helmet then of coure they deserve congratulations. I'm just sceptical... Now if you were to talk to me about the Edelrid Madrillo helmet, well that really IS innovative - it addresses an actual need...
28 Jul, 2008
I sneer at dubious claims of innovation,I celebrat the genuine artticle as much as anyone. Why do they go to all the effort of telling us you get a free bag for it yet neglect to simply put the prototype on some kitchen scales and tell us its weight? Trade secrets?
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