I use affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

If you are planning to do whitewater packrafting or kayaking then you should consider wearing a helmet that protects your head in case you flip in whitewater. It is one of the most important safety gear which you should have besides a dry suit, PFD, etc. I have selected a few helmets, which I would consider buying (from this list I have tested the Petzl Meteor 3+, NRS WRSI and Sweet Protection Strutter helmet).

However, I also need to mention that I am not a real whitewater paddler (usually I do class 2 and sometimes 3) so please select a helmet at your own risk. For whitewater, I would probably select the Sweet Protection Rocker Helmet as it also protects the side of your face (ear section). If you want more protection then the Sweet Protection Rocker Full Face Helmet is probably the right choice. Also, I would probably not consider the weight of the helmet that much if you want to protect your head properly.

There are certain criteria you should look out when buying a new packrafting helmet:

  • Is the helmet certified for whitewater (e.g. CE EN 1385)?
  • Do you need a visor for additional face protection or against the sun?
  • Is the helmet lightweight so it feels comfortable to wear it for a longer period?
  • Do you need ear protection?

Best packrafting and kayaking helmets

Disclosure: We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases which helps us to keep this blog running.

Weight comparison table

NRS WRSI Current Helmet

Best packrafting and kayaking helmets

Weight: 517 grams

NRS WRSI Current Helmet is made of an ABS plastic shell with a polyurethane sub-shell and features an EVA foam liner.

You can get the NRS WRSI Current Helmet on Amazon.


NRS WRSI Current Pro Helmet

Best packrafting and kayaking helmets

Weight: 793 grams

Similar to the NRS WRSI Current Helmet the Pro version also offers protection around the ears.

You can get the NRS WRSI Current Pro Helmet on Amazon.


NRS WRSI Trident Composite Helmet

Best packrafting and kayaking helmets

Weight: 848 grams

The NRS WRSI Trident Composite is made of a carbon composite shell and features a visor, EVA pads to customize your helmet.

You can get the NRS WRSI Trident Composite helmet on Amazon.


Petzl Meteor 3+ Helmet

Weight: 235 grams

The Petzl Meteor 3+ helmet is one of the lightest certified paddling helmets on the market. If you want to go light then the Meteor 3+ is probably your helmet. The best alternatives are probably the Sweet Protection Strutter Helmet or the Rocker Helmet which offers more protection than the Strutter.


Predator Shiznit Helmet

Best packrafting and kayaking helmets

Weight: 500 grams

The Predator Shiznit helmet looks good and protects your face. With 500 grams it’s a bit heavier than the Sweet helmet but comes with a lower price tag.


Shred Ready Standard Full-Cut Kayak Helmet

Best packrafting and kayaking helmets

The Shred Ready Standard Full-Cut Kayak helmet is made of an ABS injection molded shell with EPP liner, a soft nylon webbing, stainless steel rivets, and a four-point retention system.

You can get the Shred Ready Standard Full-Cut Kayak helmet at here.


Shred Ready Super Scrappy Kayak Helmet

Best packrafting and kayaking helmets

Certification: CE 1385

The Shred Ready Super Scrappy Kayak helmet is an ABS molded shell with a VN foam liner.

Removable ear flaps can be attached to the helmet. The helmet can be worn backward and forwards.

You can get the Shred Ready Super Scrappy Kayak helmet here.


Sweet Protection Rocker Helmet

Best packrafting and kayaking helmets

Weight: 550 grams

The Sweet Protection Rocker Helmet is probably going to replace my Petzl Meteor 3+ helmet in the future. I believe that the Rocker helmet offers better protection and is also more comfortable to wear.

You can get the Sweet Protection Rocker helmet on Amazon.


Sweet Protection Rocker Full Face Helmet

Best packrafting and kayaking helmets

Weight: 725 grams

The Sweet Protection Rocker Full Face Helmet is probably the safest option of all helmets listed on this list.

You can get the Sweet Protection Rocker Full Face helmet on Amazon.


Sweet Protection Strutter Helmet

Best packrafting and kayaking helmets

Weight: 400 grams
Certification: EN 1385

The Sweet Protection Strutter Helmet features LFT shell technology which combines polyamide and long fiberglass and an EVA liner absorbs impacts without cracking

You can get the Sweet Protection Strutter helmet on Amazon.


Conclusion

Wearing a helmet is an important part of (whitewater) packrafting and kayaking.

With many options on the markets, you have to decide which helmet is the best for you considering, weight, protective features, design, and price.

As a lightweight helmet, I am quite happy with the Sweet protection Strutter helmet. However, I am considering exchanging it to the Sweet Protection Rocker helmet as I would also like to have protection around my ears.