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Whatever activities you take part in, safety always comes first, especially in dangerous sports like skiing. We know selecting a helmet might not be the most thrilling thing to do, but we guarantee it’s one of the most helpful ones.
No matter how excellent your ability is, there’ll always be risks. And when accidents occur, only safety gear can reduce the damage. Therefore, skiers now are all about finding the right equipment. And the helmet is no exception.
While most helmets back to the old times performed ineffectively and looked unappealing to users, modern helmets nowadays have overcome both issues.
Not only do they have more advancements, but they also come in a lot of new, eye-catching designs and varieties. In our article today, we’ll bring you the 13 best ski helmets for your next vacation.
Top 5 Best Ski Helmets
- Smith Variance Snow Helmet
- Smith Optics Unisex Adult Vantage Snow Sports
- Demon Phantom Helmet
- Smith Vantage MIPS
- Giro Nine MIPS
What Should We Search for in a Ski Helmet?
As the market of ski helmets is huger days by days, it’s challenging for skiers to sort out good models among all. As we did our research, we’ve come through a lot of products and drawn our standards of a good helmet.
We know the brand name sometimes cannot reflect the real quality of a product, but in ski gears, it plays an essential role. Compared to unknown brands, it’s much more guaranteed buying helmets from well-known manufacturers.
Helmets from famous names also come in lines and work well alongside the goggles. This feature creates ventilation, in which they won’t steam up, and the whole gear system performs harmoniously.
In our list below, there are also a few helmets from lesser-known brands. But don’t worry, we’ve already ensured that their technology and safety are up-to-date.
The second note to take is the quality of the helmets. It’s reasonable why most buyers head for high-quality ones.
Helmets are meant to protect ourselves, and obviously, no one can guarantee the performance of the safety features in low-quality products. We cannot expect solid materials and advanced technologies in those helmets.
Also, because of low-priced materials used in low-grade helmets, they won’t last long. Skiing is already a costly hobby and spending hundred dollars replacing gear isn’t the best idea. All of our products below will be your great companions for years if you know how to treat them.
As stated, helmets aren’t for fun. People buy them to protect their heads! As an adventurous sport, skiing requires not only the courage of players, but it also asks for their knowledge of safety.
Although there has been no global consensus on helmet safety, many foundations and areas have published their regulations. When purchasing a helmet, check whether they comply with these following certifications or not:
- Standard F2040 of the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM)
- Standard Snell RS-98 of Snell Memorial Foundation
- CEN (Common European Norm)
Which Basic Safety Standards Should A Helmet Follow?
When purchasing a ski helmet, buyers should search for those with proven and tested technologies such as ABS shells and EPS linings. Top-notch helmets nowadays have MIPS technology to prevent your head from rolling inside.
Real User Experiences
It’s true that nothing is more realistic than reviews from real users. We cannot judge the quality of one product just by skimming through its description box on websites.
With that in mind, we’ve rummaged through the internet for experts’ opinions and skiers’ reviews to list down top 13 best ski helmets with positive feedback from users.
As mentioned, we understand that skiing (and others’ snow sports too) are expensive; therefore, the price truly affects the consideration of skiers.
Everyone wants to buy high-quality helmets with advanced technologies, which requires lots of money. Well, in this case, not all of us could afford the cost.
But it doesn’t mean that you won’t find a good one. Just relax! We’ve selected the best products from different price ranges for you!
What Features Should a Ski Helmet Offer?
While beginners often layer themselves up to fight the cold atmosphere on mountains, skiing experts like us don’t. It’s true that the temperature up there can be low, but that’s only a part of the story.
The weather in mountainous regions is erratic, and skiers can easily be overheated when wearing too many gears. And trust us, it’s as dangerous as hypothermia.
Therefore, nowadays, ventilation has become a must-have system in ski helmets. High-quality and well-known brands also launch advanced models with vents which skiers can adjust to fit the temperature outside.
For those who have a lower budget, typical helmets with one-setting ventilation are still good to go!
Not only do liners exist in ski helmets, but they also play a critical part in other dangerous sports like motorbiking, biking, skateboarding. Liners aren’t there for nothing as they provide both comfort and safety.
When buying a helmet, please look for those with EPS liners – a tested and proven technology to help lessen the rotational forces in accidents. Therefore, a model without liners won’t give you up-to-scratch safety.
Polycarbonate and expanded polystyrene are the two most popular materials in making ski helmets. While the majority use polycarbonate to produce the outer shell, some manufacturers make them out of carbon fiber or fiberglass.
The differences between these materials aren’t significant: they’re all lightweight and excellent at taking up and reducing the impact.
Now, your head has received the full protection. It’s time to think about your ears, which undoubtedly will freeze under the cold atmosphere.
Many people love to layer a balaclava or a wooly hat under their helmets while others, who don’t like to do so, search for products with earbuds. Trust us when we claim it’s never a waste to invest in ear covers.
They will keep your ear warm in inclement weather and lesser-damaged in accidents. Some advanced helmets even provide removable earbuds for other purposes.
It’s evidence that without chin straps, there will be nothing keeping your head stick to the helmet. High-quality helmets should come with comfortable and adjustable chin straps to fit different head sizes. It would be ideal to have the sweat absorbing technology, too.
No one tells you this, but misfitting goggles won’t give you a nice ride. Although most manufacturers claim that their helmets are compatible with all kinds of glasses, that’s not always the case. Therefore, better check it before you take it.
Top Ski Helmets For Skiers!
And now, for the most thrilling part, let’s find out our top 13 most outstanding helmets in 2020!
Smith Vantage MIPS
The Smith Vantage MIPS is a hybrid in-mold helmet weighing 17.5 oz. It gives skiers a flawless experience with a high performance, an absolute comfort, full protection, and an eye-catching appearance.
Among all models we’ve tested and tried, none have usurped the throne of this one. The helmet and the soft yet supportive liners will comfortably embrace your head.
The adjustable chin strap will lock you in pleasantly while the superior 21 vents provide absolute ventilation. It’s not exaggerated to say you would feel NOTHING when wearing it.
The only problem lies at its big-budgeted price – over $260. Good helmets come with a high cost.
Sweet Protection Switcher MIPS
The first runner-up in our list today is the in-mold Sweet Protection Switcher MIPS helmet. It was close to the Smith Vantage one. All of our testers placed this helmet onto their noggins. None of them spared any disappointments.
Sweet Protection can fit nearly every head size as it has no pressure points. With 18 vents on top and two vents at the front which can be quickly adjusted using only a knob, no weather can subdue this one.
We’re talking about burning days in the cornfields and freezing days with rushing winds on the high ridges. None can challenge the mighty Sweet Protection Switcher MIPS.
It also provides both top unique and protective features like the headphone compatibility, the dial-in system, and so on. The only downside of Sweet Protection is the average comfort because of the rough chin straps.
Compared to the high-end price, we’ve expected a higher level of comfort. But overall, the superior performance and the absolute protection of this helmet still win our heart.
Smith Optics Unisex Adult Vantage Snow Sports
The Smith Optics Unisex still comes in the shape of an in-mold hybrid helmet (like most of its predecessors) with 21 sealable vents.
Thanks to the advanced AirEvac 2 ventilation, it is now one of the best-ventilated helmets on the planet! There are three types of vents on this helmet.
The vents near the front side are both closable and openable using a slider mechanism. Although lower rear vents always stay open, they’ve done an excellent job in filtering unwanted air. The last vent type on the crown of the Smith Optics Unisex is adjustable, too.
Another improvement comes from the materials as Smith has brought this helmet into a new level of safety by using Koroyd in its liners. Koroyd can absorb 30% more rotational forces than other materials, meaning when accidents happen, your head is more protected.
Besides its pros, many testers and users agree that the comfort of this helmet isn’t high. The earbuds make their skin irritated, and the goggle lock seems to be easily worn out after a short period. The audio quality of the Skullcandy audio system isn’t up to their expectation, too.
Smith Variance Snow Helmet
The existence of the Variance Snow helmet is again the living proof of how high-quality and superior the Smith’s products are. Whatever standards you ask for: the style, the warmth, the comfort, or the safety; this helmet can satisfy all.
Although it isn’t the best-ventilated one like the Optics Unisex Adult or the warmest helmet like the Vantage MIPS, this helmet is the most balanced one. As one stated, it’s a top scoring product with no significant flaws.
While most top helmets only weight 17.5 – 18 oz, the Variance belongs to the heavier side with 19 oz. So, if you’re all about the lightweight, then this product might be not what you want! That said, we found a hard time telling the differences!
POC Auric Cut Backcountry SPIN
Mentioning the latest technologies, POC never disappoints skiers. And in this helmet, the SPIN technology, which promises to reduce impacts received in accidents, steals the spotlight.
This innovation copies the internal protection system of the human brain. When we fall, it will secrete the cerebrospinal fluid protecting our head. The SPIN technology works based on the same mechanism! The fitted cushions inside the helmet will slide in different directions during impact to protect your head.
The POC Auric Cut Backcountry Spin also features an EPP liner and an ABS shell, which increase the safety even more. The RECCO adjustment reflector gives skiers a gentle and pleasant fit. The front-to-top adjustable ventilation system also offers extra comfort.
We only met one problem with the 360-degree adjustable pass system. It’s difficult to operate when wearing gloves. But besides that, this helmet is fantastic: not too heavy, not too bulky, modern, and ventilated.
Scott Symbol 2 Plus D
The Scott Symbol 2 Plus D also steps up its game with a higher level of skiing safety. We could say that the Scott Symbol helmet has carried out a brand new measurement for low-, mid- and high-velocity impacts thanks to the D30 inserts and the integrated MIPS technology.
The 360° Pure Sound ear pads also serve as a big plus as they offer better noise detection, which is a huge difference we noticed. The helmet is also a fabulous fit according to all of our testers: It fits every head size and performs comfortably.
This helmet possesses an attractive low profile design, and you would feel like nothing sitting on your head, which is satisfying. It’s also so easy to open the vents.
Talking about ventilation, the Scott Symbol 2 Plus D also offers two venting switches. The first one sits in the front letting air going the two front vents while the other in the back allows you to open the vent holes on the top of the helmet. Thanks to this, you can easily dial in the temperature.
Oakley Mod 5
Most folks only recognize the name of Oakley by their famous goggles. But know what? They’ve already embarked on helmets with the Mod 3 and the Mod 5. Expectations for Oakley quality are always up to the sky, and these two products didn’t let us down.
Thanks to the tough ABS plastic panels, which provide more protection, Mod 5 is more preferred. Using the BOA fit system, the helmet itself embraces the head fitly yet comfortably.
The Modular Brim System (MBS) offers two brim sizes (small and large) to get rid of the dreaded gap which turns it into the most all-around solution in the 2018-2019 market.
The helmet also comes with magnetic chin straps and a chimney-like ventilation system. The vents draw the air out through the goggles and the top, helping to dump heat as quickly as the Smith Vantage one.
However, the liners are a little flat and skiers will meet a tiny issue when wearing headphones due to the ear pads. Overall, skimming through its pros and cons, this helmet is still worth-to-try one.
POC Obex Spin
Another name from the well-known low profile manufacturer – POC. The Obex Spin not only earns credits because of the advanced SPIN technology, but it’s also famous for eliminating the cumbersome design of the typical models.
It follows the minimalist style and is light-to-wear. The adjustable vents are easy-to-use even with gloves on. The ear pads are fantastic: they gently hug and warm up your ears without smashing them.
The Obex only has one flaw: the always-open-up front vents, which might give skiers headaches in low temperatures.
Giro Range MIPS
Giro is one of the few brands focusing on the fit system. Therefore, it’s why their Range MIPS has the best-in-class low profile design.
This helmet offers an adjustable two-piece shell which can be expanded or closed by a glove-friendly dial button. It will give you excellent coverage all around your head no matter which sizes you are. And its compatibility with goggles is also high thanks to the low profile brim.
The only thing we’d ask for is a more substantial and supportive ear pad. Besides that, everything is fantastic from the useful magnetic straps to the superior premium features.
Although its ventilation is inferior to the Vantage, all the vents (13 in total) are adjustable and perform excellently.
An expansive air bladder, instead of a dial or strap system, has led Salomon Sight into the top 13. It’s a brilliant solution to adjust the fit of the helmet.
Skiers only need to push the button on the back until they fit, and hit another one to release all the air out. We know that it sounds gimmicky, but it works like magic. Most of our testers gave this feature extra credits.
Also, this Salomon Sight helmet made it to the top 10 thanks to the comfort. One of our testers, who had neck issues, exclaimed that wearing this helmet didn’t cause her any discomforts or engage any pain.
Giro Nine MIPS
Giro Nine MIPS is a long-lasting statue in skiers’ heart: a high-end helmet at a cannot-be-more-reasonable price. That’s what we have drawn from this helmet.
It’s high-quality and reliable. It won’t be the one who wows you since the first try, but the more you use it, the more you love it.
The Giro Nine MIPs is a good helmet which excellent performance. It’s not overloaded with the bells and whistles or the one with leading technology and innovation.
It’s just a basic and solid helmet with MIPS technology. And the good news is no one has to break the bank purchasing one.
Bern Watts EPS Snow
The Bern Watts gets into the list thanks to its flat-out comfort. Skiers have to put it on their head and twist the BOA adjuster, and there they go. Quick and easy!
Another notable advantage of the Bern helmet is its dual-usage. In the offseason period, we can pick it up and enjoy biking.
At this low-budget range, we have to compromise. Here, we sacrifice the ventilation and the goggle fit. To start, the ABS construction itself has already a limited number of vents. But the vents it provides are also non-adjustable.
It’s also challenging to find a fitting pair of goggles for this helmet. Medium-sized ones can be compatible, but those that are too big or small don’t.
Demon Phantom Helmet
The 13-ranked helmet is a Demon Phantom product. You might have never heard of its name before, but it doesn’t mean that it’s low-quality.
At the price of less than $100, there will be a lot of shortcomings in this helmet. For examples, it’s non-adjustable, which means you have to make sure your head fits in before purchasing it.
Also, it doesn’t have an actual ventilation system, which can be tricky if you’re skiing under certain weathers.
But the wonderful Brainteaser audio system comes to save the product. It offers built-in high-quality earbuds allowing you to listen to your tunes without wearing headphones.
Besides that, its design is also refreshing and mysterious giving skiers a powerful look. And no basic protection standards are missing.
To wrap things up
There you go, the list of top 13 best skiing helmets. Skiing is such a fun and exciting outdoor sport, but it also comes with serious risks. Therefore, a solid and reliable helmet will be your best buddy. Get a nice-looking one and slide right now!
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