Best Ski Helmets 2021 (Family Buying Guide)

Best Ski Helmets 2021

Published: Oct 19, 2020

When engaging in extreme activities, the last thing we want are injuries; whether just scratches or bruises, it is important that we have the most essential protective gears to keep us safe. Keeping our head safe from fatal blows and damages should be our utmost priority. That's where ski helmets come in. Investing in quality head protection is vital.
There are a lot of manufacturers out there who produce high-end helmets and it will be difficult to narrow down which one is better, so to help you choose the right ski helmet, we've listed down some of the best ones.

Best Ski Helmets: Our Quick Answer

Go to Comparison Table

 

Best Overall

1. POC Obex SPIN

POC Obex SPIN

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 16.5 oz

Construction: In-mold

Ventilation: Adjustable

The Obex SPIN is one of POC's most versatile helmets, which is designed specifically for both skiers and snowboarders. This tough and well-rounded helmet will surely keep you safe while you enjoy the sport.

What we like about the Obex SPIN is its comfortable interior. SPIN refers to Shearing Pad Inside and it is a silicone pad technology system, which is aimed at providing you optimum protection, comfort and fit. It is designed to follow the pattern of your head and shears from the shell upon impact to reduce the force transmitted to you.

The helmet is constructed with a lightweight, in-mold EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) liner, a Polycarbonate (PC) shell and an ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) top shell to make this helmet shock absorbent.

The Obex SPIN features built-in communication with an integrated Bluetooth speaker and a mic for those who are always on-the-go or who love listening to music and are looking for a Bluetooth ski helmet. It is compatible with POC AID communication ear pads.

Additionally, the helmet has adjustable ventilation panels; these sliding vents can let more or less air in and it is positioned in such a way that you do not have to worry about your goggles fogging. It also has an interior adjustment system for a snug fit without having to change out its pads.

What we do not like about this POC ski helmet is that the adjustability is not as flexible as other helmets, and although the adjustable vents are great, one of its disadvantages is the possibility of running cold on frigid days. However, these are only minor drawbacks, and this helmet is still one of the best in the market as it focuses more on superior protection. It is an  all-around helmet, which is a good option for those who are looking for a ski helmet with visor, or a ski/snowboard helmet with speakers.


Best for Kids

2. Giro Crue Kids Snow Helmet

Giro Crue Kids Snow Helmet

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: Approx. 14 oz

Construction: In-mold

Ventilation: Passive

Giro is a company which was founded in 1985 in California. It manufactures snow, cycling, MTB helmets, goggles, apparel and shoes, as well as soft goods for skiing, snowboarding and cycling. Giro is a part of Vista Outdoor, a parent company to many ammunition makers and a marketer of outdoor sports and recreation products.

What we like about the Giro Crue Kids snow helmet is that it is designed with MIPS technology. MIPS is an acronym, which stands for ‘Multi-directional Impact Protection System', which means that the hard shell will protect skiers at all directions, with the use of the latest impact technology. Its hard shell construction comes with a molded outer shell, which is attached to an EPS foam liner, making it a durable helmet.

It features an In Form Fit System that will let you dial at the base of the helmet, to find that comfort fit, providing 6cm of adjustability. It is equipped with Giro's very own, “Super Cool,” vents to keep your child dry by pulling fresh air in and pushing heat out. Stack vents are in line with the center vent to keep the goggles from fogging.

What we do not like about the Crue Kids snow helmet is that the earpads are not removable and it runs a bit small; however, it will fit kids with smaller heads. Overall, the Giro Crue is a good option for young shredders. It is available in a lot of distinct colors, which also helps with visibility. This kids ski helmet also meets the snow safety standards of ASTM international.



3. Anon Kids' Define Ski/Snowboard Helmet

Anon Kids' Define Ski/Snowboard Helmet

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: Approx 17 oz.

Construction: Hybrid

Ventilation: Passive

Anon is a brand that manufactures goggles and helmets. It is one of the leading snowboard accessories brands, belonging to Burton Snowboards. The Anon Kids' Define is one of their quality helmets to keep your kids happy during your snow adventures.

What we like about the Kids' Define snow helmet is that it comes with goggles attached to it. These built in goggles also allow for prescription glasses to be worn underneath. To keep the goggles in place and aligned, it comes equipped with Anon's Strapper-Keeper technology where the straps are attached at either side of the helmet and do not go around the helmet like most goggles. It also has a Fidlock magnetic snap buckle that you can easily open and close with just one hand, even with gloves.

The helmet has an Endura-Shell construction, which is a two-layer construction, featuring an injection-molded ABS exterior for durability and strength. It has passive vents for pulling the moisture out while it draws air in, which also keeps the goggles clear. For optimum warmth and comfort, classic fleece is incorporated on the liner and ear pads. Additional features include Anon's Youth 180° Boa Fit system, which allows you to turn a knob at the helmet's base to expand or shrink its interior circumference.

What we do not like about the Anon Define is that it runs a bit small and may not fit kids with a bigger head circumference. But aside from that, this is a good choice for a kids ski helmet, it is easily cleaned, it's lightweight and has quality features to keep your child protected.


 

4. Lucky Bums Doodlebug Toddler/Kids Ski Helmet

Lucky Bums Doodlebug Toddler/Kids Ski Helmet

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 9.6 oz

Construction: In-mold

Ventilation: Passive

Lucky Bums is a brand that designs, manufactures and engineers products for children. They make camping, fishing, hiking and other outdoor gear and apparel. The company was founded in 2004 in Idaho.

What we like about the Doodlebug ski helmet for toddlers/kids is that it utilizes an In-mold construction that is combined with a PC (polycarbonate) outer shell and an impact-absorbing foam liner, making this a versatile helmet, which can also be used for cycling, snowboarding and other activities. The vents are strategically placed  for good airflow and are sculpted into the helmet to reduce the helmet's overall weight.

The Doodlebug features detachable ear pads, which will allow you to customize warmth and drop liners that are removable and easily washed. We also like that the helmet's lining and ear padding contains antibacterial treatment, which is great for kids who suffer from allergies or kids who have sensitive skin. For adjustment, it utilizes a Dial Micro Adjust Fit system, which is easily manipulated for finding the exact fit.

What we do not like about this kids ski helmet from Lucky Bums is that the child's forehead might be exposed to the cold air, so it would be better if used with the right sized goggles or ski mask. Overall, this helmet is CE certified and will provide comfort to children with its quick and simple design.


 

Best for Women

5. Giro Stellar MIPS Womens Snow Helmet

Giro Stellar MIPS Womens Snow Helmet

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 32 oz.

Construction: In-mold

Ventilation: Adjustable

The Giro Stellar MIPS is one of the best choices for women's ski helmets because of its unique technology and functional features.

What we like about the Stellar MIPS women's ski helmet is that it makes use of a Conform Fit technology where the entire outer shell molds into the shape of the head rather than just the lining and interior shell, which allows for a secure fit. The interior lining and ear pads are breathable and removable.

This helmet also uses a Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) and a durable EPP construction to keep you safe and protected.

The Giro Stellar has six vents, the four on top are adjustable while the two on the back are non-adjustable. These vents' low profile control buttons are very easy to manipulate even with gloves on. Additional features include a goggle holder, a POV camera mount, a magnetic buckle system and it is compatible with aftermarket Giro Audio Systems.

What we do not like about the GIro Stellar MIPS helmet is that it does not run true to size and its chinstrap is a little difficult to adjust, but other than these, the Stellar MIPS is loaded with premium performance and safety features that will allow you to stay focused on the slopes.


 

6. BERN Winter Lenox EPS Snow Helmet

BERN Winter Lenox EPS Snow Helmet

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 18.5 oz

Construction: In-mold

Ventilation: Passive

Bern is a private helmet company that started in 2005. Its main focus is to design stylish, purpose-built and innovative helmets that will appeal to riders who are looking for something out of the ordinary.

What we like about the WInter Lenox helmet is that it is certified safe for both bike and snow activities. It is constructed with ABS Thinshell, lined with EPS hard foam technology to keep it lightweight and low-profile. The helmet has seven vents at the top of the helmet and three back vents for adequate airflow. It features a BOA adjustable fit system, which is a 360 degree system to dial it into a secure, perfect fit. The liners are replaceable, making the helmet versatile enough to be worn for different seasons. It is also compatible with aftermarket Outdoor Tech headphones and a Quickmount Asteroid micro-USB rechargeable bike light that can be easily fastened to the mount located on the rear of the helmet's shell.

What we do not like about the Bern Winter Lenox helmet is that most women might not like its design construction; it is a baseball-hat inspired helmet and is not the traditional design.

Overall, this women ski helmet provides reliable protection and meets the ASTM and CPSC standards for snowboarding, skiing, biking and skating.


 

7. Smith Optics Mirage Snowboarding Helmet

Smith Optics Mirage Snowboarding Helmet

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 15.5 oz

Construction: In-mold

Ventilation: Adjustable

The Smith Optics Mirage offers one of the best overall price-to-value ratios in snow helmets for most skiers and snowboarders.

What we like about the Mirage women's ski/snowboard helmet is that it uses traditional EPS foam that is fused with the exterior shell and Koroyd cylinder sections. The Koroyd acts like a spring that absorbs energy from impact and releases it very quickly. This advanced structure reduces the risk of injury. The lightweight in-mold construction and Aerocore construction allows for the helmet to be breathable and well-ventilated. It has fourteen vents, ten of which are adjustable and the four around the sides are non-adjustable.

The helmet is also designed with a Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS), which has been developed to reduce strains associated with rotational acceleration, thus reducing the risk of brain injury. Helmets with MIPS are generally a better option for action sports.

The interior padding, ear pads and chinstrap are comfortable and it has an adjustable dial system that works well and helps you to get that perfect fit. Additionally, it is compatible with Outdoor Tech audio systems.

What we do not like about the Smith Optics Mirage is that the vents on the sides cannot be closed and can be an issue when heading out in a blizzard. Its fleece lining is also better if it's thicker around the forehead; however, it still does a great job in keeping you warm and the whole liner is removable for easy adjusting and cleaning.

Overall, the Mirage is a decent choice for a women's ski helmet, even if it has basic features, it is still functional and adequate enough to protect adventurous skiers and boarders.


 

Best for Men

8. Smith Vantage MIPS Snow Helmet

Smith Vantage MIPS Snow Helmet

Click to view on amazon.com.


Weight: 17.7 oz

Construction: Hybrid In-mold

Ventilation: Adjustable

The Vantage is one of the best quality snow sports helmets from Smith Optics, a company that has been making protective equipment since 1965 and is now known as a leader in the ski helmet market.

What we like about the Smith Vantage ski helmet is that it fits a broad range of head shapes, with its BOA closure system that is very easy to use and molds the helmet evenly to your head. With regards to comfort, the helmet will not press tightly against your ears, its padding provides a great cushion on the inner shell and it has an antimicrobial lining to keep the helmet fresh even after long hours of use. The chin strap also has a plush padding and it is very easy to tighten and loosen.

The Vantage features twenty-one vents; more than half of the vents near the front and crown of the helmet are easily adjusted with one slider, and the other eight vents along the sides and the back are controlled by a separate slider. When the vents are all closed, it will keep your head warm and cozy and will have enough room to fit a thin beanie or balaclava.

For safety, it is designed with MIPS technology to reduce potential damage to the brain due to impacts. In addition, it also utilizes Smith's Aerocore construction, which not only absorbs energy in a crash but also increases airflow and regulates temperature.

What we do not like about the Smith Vantage is that it does not run true to size so be careful to measure your head circumference and consider sizing up as they tend to run small. Other than that, this is a great helmet choice that is well-built with functional features such as being lightweight, comfortable and compatible with Smith goggles and even most goggles from other brands.


 

9. Oakley Mod 5 Snow Helmet

Oakley Mod 5 Snow Helmet

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 20 oz.

Construction: Hybrid In-mold

Ventilation: Adjustable

This is another high-end helmet that is suitable for ski and snowboard enthusiasts. It comes from Oakley, Inc., that is best known for their sunglasses and snow goggles, but now has their growing helmet line.

What we like about the Oakley Mod 5 is that it utilizes Oakley's Modular Brim System, which will allow you to swap out the brim to better accommodate small or large goggles. This feature will save you from the hassle of looking for goggles that fit. The helmet is equipped with a Multi-directional Impact Protection System that allows movement between its inner and outer shells to reduce the effects of an impact and to minimize the risk of an injury.

The earpads have a thick layer of padding so it would not press tightly around the ears; it has standard chin strap padding and a Fidlock magnetic buckle that is easily used even with gloves on. With its Boa Fit system, you can easily tighten or loosen the inner liner with the use of a click wheel at the back of the helmet.

The Mod 5 has eight vents; two are located on the top of the helmet and have a switch for opening and closing. There are vents up just under the brim, and also at the front and back of the helmet. This integrated vent system is designed for good airflow and to keep your goggles from fogging.

What we do not like about the Mod 5 is that even with its ventilation system wide open, it is still prone to overheating. The earpads also tend to get a bit cold on frigid days so you might want to wear a balaclava if you are prone to getting your ears cold. All in all, this men's snowboard helmet or ski helmet is unique, sturdy, and has functional features that are suitable for avid skiers and snowboarders.


 

10. Giro Range MIPS Snow Helmet

Giro Range MIPS Snow Helmet

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 19 oz

Construction: Hybrid In-mold

Ventilation: Adjustable

The Giro Range MIPS is one of the best products in Giro's line of snow helmets as it brings its own unique features and low-profile design to the table.

What we like about the Giro Range is its ConformFit retention system, its articulated hardshell design where the outer shell can expand and contract to fit your head perfectly. It can also accommodate an oval-shaped head.

The Inform wheel at the back of the helmet opens and closes the sides of the helmet, which tucks or opens away from the centerpiece as it adjusts the entire helmet to the fit of your head rather than adjusting an internal retention system.

The helmet is constructed with two separate EPP foams. The first runs from the top of the forehead to the back of the helmet and the other wraps around the helmet and under the first EPP foam.

There are twelve vents on the Giro Range, the six are located at the top and can be opened and closed via a switch and the other four remain open to allow moisture retention.

For added safety, it has a MIPS liner to protect riders from the risk of concussions.
The Giro Range features a magnetic Fidlock buckle, a camera mount, well-padded ear pads that are compatible with OutdoorTech audio devices, and a soft, lined chinstrap.

What we do not like about this Giro snowboarding helmet or ski helmet is that because of its close fit, the vents lack the ability to fully circulate air through the helmet and tend to run a little warm during high-impact activities. Its Fidlock also may take some time to get used to. Overall, the helmet is sturdy, has functional features and a uniquely adjustable fit. It is also compatible with other goggle brands.


 

Best For Beginners

11. Smith Holt Ski Helmet

Smith Holt Ski Helmet

Click to view on amazon.com.


Weight: 19 oz

Construction: In-mold

Ventilation: Fixed

This simple yet effective ski helmet from Smith will surely protect you from the slopes, whether you are a beginner or an experienced skier/snowboarder.

What we like about the Smith Holt ski helmet is that it features a bombshell construction, with a molded ABS shell that is impressively resistant to scratches and dings. It has a self-adjusting fit system to find that perfect fit and has fourteen well-spaced vents that will provide the right amount of airflow.

The Holt ski helmet has been tested again and again to ensure that it is able to withstand hard impacts and to provide a high level of protection.

Additional features include bombshell ear pads and a removable goggle lock; the helmet is also compatible with Skullcandy and other audio systems.

What we do not like about the Holt ski helmet is that it does not have the best adjustment system and it only has basic features; but other than that, this helmet is still adequate enough to provide protection, warmth and comfort, especially for beginners.


 

Best for Racing


12. POC Skull Orbic X Spin

POC Skull Orbic X Spin

Click to view on amazon.com.


Weight: 21 oz.

Construction: In-mold

Ventilation: None

The Skull series has been around for a long time and POC has been adding some impressive changes to it. As a result, it is one of the best racing helmets in the market.

What we like about the Skull Orbic X is that it is an FIS approved helmet. FIS stands for Federation Internationale de Ski or International Ski Federation, which is the highest governing body for international winter sports. Being FIS certified means that it offers excellent protection against extreme impacts.

It features POC's SPIN internal shearing pads, which are pockets of silicone, placed at key areas of potential impacts; it is also made with a hard shell ABS outer layer and a multi-layer EPP liner that is also thicker in areas susceptible to repetitive forces.

Along with these is the Armid Anti-penetration Deflector Panel that will prevent sharp objects from penetrating the shell and possibly affecting your head. The ear chambers are also designed to improve hearing and balance while you are at speed. The helmet is compatible with POC's Maxilla break-away hard shell chin guard.

What we do not like about the Skull Orbic X SPIN is that it does not have any vents at all, which means it will get warm on the race. It also runs a bit large but the chin strap can be adjusted for a tight fit. Overall, this is still one of the ski racing helmets that is out on the market; it is FIS certified, has quality features and will surely provide extreme protection against impacts.


 

Best for All-Mountain Skiing

13. Salomon MTN LAB

Salomon MTN LAB

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 12.7 oz.

Construction: Hybrid in-mold

Ventilation: Fixed

Salomon is a manufacturer of sports equipment and was founded in 1947 in France. It is currently the European leader in outdoor sports equipment.

The Salomon MTN Lab is the all-around snow helmet. It is suitable for downhill skiing and even climbing.

What we like about the MTN Lab is that it is lightweight, has large venting and it is easy to wear; it is equipped with Salomon's patented EPD 4D technology that has the ability to absorb shocks by 30% and exceed the standard shock absorption requirement. The helmet comes with two removable and washable Merino wool liners, one winter-weight liner that has the ability to provide ample warmth on colder and one summer liner for warmer days.

The MTN Lab has twelve fixed vents, two are located in the front, three on both lower sides and four at the back. Additional features include a bungee strap to keep your goggles in place and headlamp hooks.

What we do not like about the helmet is that the overall fit is wide and shallow, which means that some may find the fit a bit off but it will perfectly fit people with rounded head structures; however, its dial-fit system can help to customize the fit or cinch it up to a tighter fit if needed. Additionally, the vents do not have any sliders or plugs for opening or closing, but you can always wear a hat of your choice underneath the helmet for warmth.

In conclusion, the Salomon MTN Lab is not for everyone, due to its fit and for the specific purpose it is built for, it is more for backcountry and ski-mountaineering enthusiasts.


 

Best under $100

14. Giro Youth Launch Snow Helmet

Giro Youth Launch Snow Helmet

Click to view on amazon.com.


Weight: 11.6 oz.

Construction: In-mold

Ventilation: Fixed

The Giro Youth Launch is a snow helmet that kids will surely love. It has a wide array of colors and adequate features for our young shredders.

What we like about the Giro Launch is that it is made with an in-mold construction that is fused with a tough polycarbonate shell and has an impact-absorbing foam liner. It has an in-form fit system to make sure that it will comfortably fit your child, this system provides up to 6cm of adjustment by turning an ergo-friendly dial at the base of the helmet. It also has a Vertical Tuning feature to accommodate goggles and different head shapes.

The helmet is equipped with Giro's Super Cool vents to maximize airflow by letting fresh air in and pushing stale air out; its vent shapes are designed to help in regulating the temperature and keeping the goggles from fogging. Additional features include a soft, plushy liner and ear pads for additional comfort.

What we do not like about this kids ski helmet from Giro is that the design is not very durable; the shark design is prone to breakage, especially for the more active kids. But other than that, the Giro Youth Launch still meets the standards for safety and even with its basic features, it is still adequate enough to protect your child during their snow activities.


 

15. Pret Helmets Lyric X Helmet

Pret Helmets Lyric X Helmet

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 15.5 oz

Construction: In-mold

Ventilation: Passive

Pret is a ski and snowboard helmet company that is based in Utah. Their main focus is to create products responsibly and to support communities and athletes from all walks of life in any way that they can. One of their helmets that made it on our list is the Lyric X helmet.

What we like about the Lyric X helmet is that it is constructed with a polycarbonate shell with carbon plates in key areas, to be able to absorb shock upon impact. It is also equipped with MIPS technology for added protection. Its vents are located on the front, top and rear. The front and top is completely closed with a washable liner that is composed of a wool-blend fabric with X-static liner that is antibacterial and helps to keep odors at bay.

The Pret Lyric X helmet features a chinstrap and a goggle strap that is easy to adjust, a fit system dial, a buckle system that can be easily released using one hand, an interior lining and ear pads that are both removable. The helmet is also compatible with a variety of goggles and has goggle holders. Additionally, it features a RECCO rescue system technology and is also audio systems compatible.

What we do not like about the Lyric X is that the vents are non-adjustable due to its lack of sliders or dials. The only way that you can vent out extra warmth is by removing the liner; furthermore, the buckle and adjust fit systems are a bit difficult to manipulate.

In conclusion, this is a good option for a budget ski helmet and it is in compliance with ASTM ski and snowboard helmet safety standards to make sure that you are well protected during your ski adventures.


 

16. Giro Ledge MIPS Snow Helmet

Giro Ledge MIPS Snow Helmet

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 18 oz

Construction: ABS

Ventilation: Fixed

The Giro Ledge is one of the more affordable ski helmets on our list that is equipped with MIPS technology. MIPS usually costs a bit more, but with this basic helmet, the manufacturers made sure that you and your wallet are protected.

What we like about the Giro Ledge snow helmet is that it has a minimalist design but consists of a hard shell construction and is equipped with MIPS technology. It features an Auto Loc 2 system to be able to adjust the fit; this system comes with an elastic band at the back that merges with straps that you can adjust in three different circumference settings.

The On-the-fly vertical tuning helps to customize your fit and goggles without having to remove the helmet. In addition, this helmet features removable ear pads to provide warmth and are not too tight against the ear when attached. The vents are located at the temple, to and back to allow for good airflow. The Stack vent on the front aligns with the goggles and keeps them fog-free.

The Giro ledge is compatible with most goggle brands and with aftermarket Outdoor Tech audio systems.

What we do not like about the helmet is that the vents do not have any adjusters for opening and closing, and the fit adjustment system is a bit tricky to use. However, for an affordable helmet that is equipped with MIPS technology and meets CE certification on safety standards, the Giro Ledge is already a good option.


Best Ski Helments Comparison Table

Foto Backcountry Skis Construction Ventilation Weight
POC Obex SPIN

1. POC Obex SPIN

In-moldAdjustable16.5 oz
Giro Crue Kids Snow Helmet

2. Giro Crue Kids Snow Helmet

In-moldPassiveApprox. 14 oz
Anon Kids' Define Ski/Snowboard Helmet

3. Anon Kids' Define Ski/Snowboard Helmet

HybridPassiveApprox 17 oz.
Lucky Bums Doodlebug Toddler/Kids Ski Helmet

4. Lucky Bums Doodlebug Toddler/Kids Ski Helmet

In-moldPassive9.6 oz
Giro Stellar MIPS Womens Snow Helmet

5. Giro Stellar MIPS Womens Snow Helmet

In-moldAdjustable32 oz.
BERN Winter Lenox EPS Snow Helmet

6. BERN Winter Lenox EPS Snow Helmet

In-moldPassive18.5 oz
Smith Optics Mirage Snowboarding Helmet

7. Smith Optics Mirage Snowboarding Helmet

In-moldAdjustable15.5 oz
Smith Vantage MIPS Snow Helmet

8. Smith Vantage MIPS Snow Helmet

Hybrid In-moldAdjustable17.7 oz
Oakley Mod 5 Snow Helmet

9. Oakley Mod 5 Snow Helmet

Hybrid In-moldAdjustable20 oz.
Giro Range MIPS Snow Helmet

10. Giro Range MIPS Snow Helmet

Hybrid In-moldAdjustable19 oz
Smith Holt Ski Helmet

11. Smith Holt Ski Helmet

In-moldFixed19 oz
POC Skull Orbic X Spin

12. POC Skull Orbic X Spin

In-moldNone21 oz.
Salomon MTN LAB

13. Salomon MTN LAB

Hybrid in-moldFixed12.7 oz.
Giro Youth Launch Snow Helmet

14. Giro Youth Launch Snow Helmet

In-moldFixed11.6 oz.
Pret Helmets Lyric X Helmet

15. Pret Helmets Lyric X Helmet

In-moldPassive15.5 oz
Giro Ledge MIPS Snow Helmet

16. Giro Ledge MIPS Snow Helmet

ABSFixed18 oz

FAQs

Is there a difference between snowboard and ski helmets?

Several years ago, most ski helmets were the full-type of helmets and were a bit heavy. It was the snowboarding-specific brands that started the use of lighter materials and cutaway style. Today, there really is no difference between the two, but just a label or a marketing decision. Most manufacturers now offer helmets for both skiing and snowboarding, where it varies only in design and features but are adequate enough for snow sports. And the choice of features, fit and style are simply personal preference.

How tight should a ski/snowboard helmet be?

A helmet is a protective gear that should fit snugly and comfortable around your head and not be too tight because an ill-fitting helmet defeats its intended purpose. To test for the proper fit, wear the helmet and shake your head from side to side, if the helmet shifts, choose a smaller size, and if it feels too tight, try sizing up.

The helmet should fit snug all the way around your head and mustn't move around. There shouldn't be any excess space between your head and the helmet; also pay attention to any pressure points. Additionally, there shouldn't be a gap between the top part of your goggles and the helmet. Make sure that the helmet fits well with the top of the goggles, and not so low that it obstructs vision or presses down the goggles.

 

BUYING GUIDE

By wearing a helmet, you can protect yourself against the possibility of head injuries due to falls and impacts. To be able to find the right helmet, one must know and understand the different features and materials incorporated in ski/snowboard helmets.

Construction

In-mold: It is made by fusing the shell and shock-absorbing foam in a single molding process. This allows for a sleek and much lighter design than an injection-molded helmet and allows less rebound upon impact because it will collapse under lots of force.

Injection molded: These types of helmets use EPS foam that is combined to a separate shell that is usually made of high-impact ABS plastic.

Semi-Hard Shells: An In-Molded Design with a fully enclosed outer shell. This design is more resistant to penetration upon impact. It is fused with EPS foam inners to absorb energy.

Hard Shell: This is made with the use of thicker ABS plastic that is molded and glued to a harder foam inner shell.

Double Shell: These are constructed with the use of a very tough ABS plastic exterior shell, which makes for a viable multi-sport helmet. On the inner shell is a fully made In-Mold design.

Hybrid Shells: These are a combination of hard shell and In-Mold shell. An In-mold design that is added with hard ABS plastics placed in impact areas provides comfort and safety. Both weight and comfort aren't sacrificed in the construction of these multiple styles.

Zip Mold: These are a foam injected style of helmet. Foam is injected and fused to a polycarbonate shell, which makes it a multi sport helmet that is smooth and very lightweight.

Components

Shell: This is the outer layer of the helmet, a rigid surface that helps protect the head against sharp objects, knocks and abrasions and helps extend impact energy over a wide portion of the helmet during a fall.

Inner liner: Typically made from expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam, a material that looks like Styrofoam and is designed to absorb impact.During a fall, the liner foam gets compressed, which you may or may not be able to notice. After a serious fall, a helmet should always be destroyed and replaced.

Fit:  You can find your correct size by measuring your head. Use a tape measure and position it just above your ears and about an inch above the eyebrows. Measure around the broader part of your head to determine the circumference. Then look at the size chart that the manufacturer has provided to find your best size.

Certifications

CE: This is the European standard where all helmets must meet or exceed so that it can be sold on the European Market.

ASTM: Helmets that meet or exceed these safety standards mean that  they can be sold in the United States marketplace. All helmets in the United States should meet the ASTM standards. Some helmets that are marked CE, also means that they meet the standards of both the ASTM and CE.

 

Ventilation

Fixed and Passive: These are vents that cannot be adjusted and are always open to allow airflow to continuously pass through the helmet.

Adjustable Vents: These come with a switch, slider, or toggle located on a specific area of the helmet to allow you to open and close the vents and regulate temperature.

Fit Systems

Boa or Adjustable wheel system: This adjustment system makes use of a dial or wheel that you can turn to be able to adjust the helmet, to be able to fit your head properly

In-Fit system: This is also an adjustable wheel system but makes use of a strap or a ratchet.

Replaceable pad system: This system consists of a padding that can be removed or replaced and adjusted so that it can match the head. It is ideal for young shredders who eventually outgrow their helmet.

Air-inflation system: Some helmets make use of an inflatable air system to perfectly match the head structure.

 

Features

MIPS: Multi-directional Impact Protection System. This is a safety feature that is integrated into a helmet's construction to be able to reduce rotational forces on the brain that are caused by angled impacts.

Chinstrap: This is important so that your helmet will stay on and protect you from a fall. Chinstraps with fleece lining add warmth and comfort and prevent chin chafe.

Goggle security: Helmets have a strap, a clip or a bungee to keep the goggles in place. Many manufacturers design helmets to fit seamlessly with their goggles, some are also compatible with goggles from different brands.

Removable ear pads: This feature comes in handy when it gets warmer, and can be swapped with audio compatible systems. Some earpads have a hollow area to improve hearing and for inserting headphones.

Visors: Some helmets have goggles already attached to them. The visor can be adjusted up and down; it doesn't have a frame to allow for a wider range of view. The feature is also great for people who have prescription glasses.

Audio: This feature lets you add drop in kits or ear buds that are sold separately. Some helmets also have built-in speakers for MP3 players, mobile phone or a two-way radio.

Camera mount: This allows you to easily integrate your action camera.

Hard case: Some manufacturers provide a hard storage or travel case to keep your helmet looking new.

Style

Full Face: These helmets have a chin guard and a visor and offer the utmost protection.

Full Shell: Full coverage helmets that include hard sides over the ears and are typically used for racing.

Half Shell: These consist of soft ear pads on a hard shell helmet. These soft ear pads are usually removable along with liners that are also removable and washable.

It is good to keep in mind that most manufacturers make helmets of different quality and features, so you have to take note of their provided care instructions so that they will last for a few more seasons. For single impact helmets, once they have taken a hard crash and have damages, dents or dings, they have already served their purpose and should be disposed of.


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