While skiing there is always a risk factor associated, choosing the best ski helmet drastically reduces the chances of risk. If you are a skier, you probably understand the importance of a ski helmet. It is a vital component of your ski outfit, and it is a precautionary measure that must be taken to avoid accidents. A helmet protects you from severe crashes and is the best form of protection during falls.
What is the best ski helmet?
Besides safety, it keeps you warm and boosts your confidence. A good ski helmet must score high on impact reduction, ventilation, comfort, style, warmth, and functionality. Getting the best one is complicated and based on where you use it, there are varying helmets on offer with differing looks and feels. The fit of a ski helmet is a crucial factor that determines the comfort and whether it is suitable for all-day usage.
If you are a beginner and are more prone to falling, having an advanced helmet should suffice the need for added protection. Advanced helmets are also advised for racers who might encounter high-speed crashes. I have prepared a list of the best helmets ranging from racing helmets to fully ventilated ones. Based on your unique needs and personal preferences you will find a suitable helmet this season.
Best ski helmet overall – Smith Optics Nexus MIPS Unisex Snow Helmets
Item Package Dimensions L x W x H – 11 x 10 x 9 inches
Smith snow helmets have helmets for every skier, right from riding the park to ripping groomers or exploring the backcountry. This helmet has an ionic fit and lining which has sweat-activated odor control. Featuring a BOA 360 Fit system and it has an adjustable fit that can be done at a turn of a dial. Having a Fidlock strap buckle that provides operation with one hand, it gets an Air-Evac ventilation system which comes integrated with Smith goggles for fog-free lenses. It gets removable ear pads which provide form-fitting comfort.
It features a dual regulator climate control that allows adjusting the front and rear vents with one hand. The helmet gets a hybrid shell construction which blends a durable exterior with the lightweight in-molded shell. It gets a complete Koroyd coverage which is lightweight and energy absorbing and also provides ventilated impact protection. It gets a MIPS protection system which reduces the rotational forces incurred by angled impacts. The exoskeleton of the helmet improves impact protection in zones of a side impact.
What I liked
- This helmet features MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) technology which provides additional protection against rotational forces.
- This helmet has a 14-vent system that offers optimal airflow which keeps your head cool and comfortable during physical activity.
- It has a BOA fit system which allows you to adjust the fit easily and precisely giving a secure and comfortable fit.
- This helmet has ear pads that are audio-compatible which allows you to listen to music without having to remove your helmet.
What I disliked
- It is relatively expensive compared to other snow helmets on the market.
- It has a bulky look as opposed to a streamlined look which some may prefer.
- It has limited color options.
- The ventilation system might not provide enough cooling in warm conditions.
Best ski helmet affordable – Giro Ratio MIPS Ski Helmet
Product Dimensions: 12 x 11 x 10 inches; 2.34 Pounds
Established in 1985, Giro Sport develops new ideas to enhance every ride. Giro has a strong focus on creating products that enhance the feel of every rider’s experience. The brand is an expert in design, fit, and engineering which makes it the first choice amongst riders worldwide. This helmet has MIPS (Multi-directional impact protection system) and a hard-shell construction which makes it a helmet of great value. It has a rugged outer shell and is attached to the EPS foam liner. This helmet features an in-form fit system which makes it easier to get a customized fit with your gloves on in seconds. This helmet has an ergo-friendly dial at the base of the helmet and can be adjusted up to 6 cm for stability.
It has a vertical tuning feature that accommodates different goggles and head shapes giving a customized fit without any gaper gap. It features a thermostat control adjustable venting which allows you to customize the airflow with a simple and low-profile control button. The front of the helmet has a stack vent which when aligned with your goggles keeps it clear and fog-free. This helmet is compatible with all goggles from Giro, and with Giro audio systems.
What I liked
- It comes with MIPS (multi-directional impact protection system) which offers protection against rotational forces in case of an impact.
- It has a comfortable fit which is beneficial during intense activity.
- It has adjustable ventilation to keep your head cool at all times.
- The helmet is lightweight so that you don’t feel weighed down.
- It is stylish and comes in many range of colors.
What I disliked
- It is pricier compared to other ski helmets in the market.
- The helmet sizing might not be fully accurate.
- It has limited adjustability which might be a cause of concern if you have an unusual head shape.
- Some parts of the helmet might break or crack over time.
Best ski helmet with visor – Giro Orbit Spherical MIPS Ski Helmet
Item Package Dimensions L x W x H – 13.5 x 10.5 x 10 inches
This helmet has a sophisticated design and incorporates the multi-directional impact protection system (MIPS). It gets two layers of EPP foam which fit together like a ball and socket. This system helps in protection from rotational energy. Featuring a smart and stylish shield that keeps you protected from the elements without interfering with your eyewear or makeup.
Having a plush and comfortable face foam on the shield and nose bridge. It gets a thermostat control adjustable venting which allows customizing the airflow with the assistance of a control button. It features a stack vent in front of the helmet and it aligns with your goggles to keep it clear and fog-free. The integrated visor has vivid optics by ZEISS and features Polartec power grid padding.
What I liked
- It has a MIPS feature that reduces rotational forces in the event of an impact.
- The helmet has a plush and comfortable lining which will wick moisture away from the skin.
- It has adjustable ventilation which can control the airflow and keeps you cool even on warm days.
- It has a custom fit which allows you to adjust based on the shape of your head.
What I disliked
- It is pricey and may not fit a low budget.
- If you are weight sensitive and if you are wearing it for long periods, you could feel the helmet to be a little heavy.
- The aesthetics might not be to everyone’s liking. The helmet’s size could run small and finding the right size could be difficult.
Best for ventilation – Sweet Protection Switcher MIPS Helmet
Sweet Protection is known for industry-leading innovation and the best craftsmanship. They create the safest and most advanced helmets and protective gear. This is a great helmet for progressive skiers as it gives a perfect fit with style. It gets a hybrid shell construction that is lightweight on the head with no compromise on protection. This helmet uses one-turn ventilation which uses a dial and it opens the uniquely shaped vents to avoid overheating and regulate your temperature. It gets Impact shields in the front and the back which optimizes the impact distribution and offers extra protection in case there is a crash.
This helmet features 3D shaped vented liner which gets moisture-wicking properties so that your head remains cool. This helmet gets fully box-constructed ear pads that feature molded hearing ports. This helps in better hearing abilities when you are in the mountains. Sweet’s helmet also gets an Occigrip Turn Dial fit system which gives the perfect fit for improved comfort and safety. This helmet gets a FidLock Magnetic Buckle on the chin strap which lets you fiddle with your gear. Overall, this helmet has a great amount of style and is highly ventilated and protective.
What I liked
- The MIPS feature in this helmet will protect you against rotational forces during an impact.
- This helmet has a comfortable fit and it has an adjustable sizing and a well-cushioned interior.
- This helmet has plenty of ventilation with 22 vents which can be opened or closed depending on the weather condition.
- It has a hard shell construction that can withstand impact and abrasion.
- It can work seamlessly with Sweet Protection glasses and create a comfortable and secure fit.
What I disliked
- It is slightly heavier than other helmets on the market.
- There are cheaper alternatives available in this class.
- The sizing can be tricky, so getting the right size is important for head shape and size.
- The helmet’s ventilation system can cause a whistling noise at high speeds.
Best for visibility – Oakley MOD7 Integrated with Goggles
Item Package Dimensions L x W x H – 13.11 x 11.18 x 10.55 inches
This helmet comes integrated with optics to provide a seamless experience. The secure-connect magnetically connects and secures the visor to the helmet making it suitable for a ride and stowed positions. The integrated visor on the helmet gets a dual lens powered by Prizm Lens technology which enhances the contrast and clarity to detect snow contours, textures, and obstacles. It also features an inner anti-fog lens and it gets an adjustment button built on the side of the helmet which allows the visor to be pushed into the user’s face. This helps in creating a customized and comfortable seal. Located on either side of the visor is the lens eject button which releases the visor from the helmet. Besides the integrated goggles, this helmet comes with a helmet bag, an Oakley Sticker, Designer iWear Collapsible water bottle with a Carabiner.
What I liked
- It is a convenient snow helmet that can get integrated with goggles.
- These goggles provide a broad field of view and it sits close to your face so as to eliminate the gap between the goggles and the helmet.
- This helmet is adjustable and the goggles st snugly across your face.
What I disliked
- The pricing of this helmet is a potential downside.
- Maintenance and cleaning have to be done with utmost care so as to avoid damage to the lenses or the helmet’s attachment mechanism.
Best for racing – POC, Skull Dura Comp MIPS, Snow Helmet
Item Package Dimensions L x W x H – 11.7 x 10 x 10 inches
This helmet features the innovative Race Lock turn wheel adjuster giving a secure fit for high speeds. It gets a Skull Dura Comp Mips which gives comfort to help you stay focused on racing. It is shaped for the perfect fit on the head and has no pressure points. This helmet features a multi-impact EPP liner for added protection, and the Mips increases rotational impact protection. It gets a VPD deflector panel which absorbs energy from repeat impacts, and the helmet liner protects your head in a fall. It gets ear chambers for improved balance and this helmet is compatible with the Maxilla Breakway chin guard.
What I liked
- The MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) is designed to reduce rotational forces in the event of an impact.
- This helmet has a tough outer shell that can withstand sharp objects and hard impacts.
- Designed with a comfortable fit and ventilation system.
- It has adjustable padding and a customizable fit.
What I disliked
- It is relatively expensive compared to other helmets in the market.
- It has a distinct look and might not be as per everyone’s aesthetic taste.
- It could be heavy on the head and could cause discomfort over long periods of time.
- Not enough ventilation for hot and humid conditions.
Best ski helmet kid’s – Smith Optics Glide Jr. MIPS Helmet/Gambler Goggle Combo – Kid’s
Item Package Dimensions L x W x H – 11.85 x 10.04 x 9.72 inches
This helmet is lightweight and the in-mold construction fuses with the exterior shell. It has EPS foam for a one-piece design making it lightweight and durable. This helmet gets a MIPS protection system and reduces rotational forces incurred through angled impacts. It gets an adjustable dial fit for easy and on-the-go size adjustment.
This helmet can be integrated with Smith goggles and the AirEvac ventilation system integrates with the Smith goggles for fog-free lenses. This helmet gets fixed vents for consistent airflow and it has a fuzzy lining that adds warmth and comfort. It also features a removable goggle strap lock for a streamlined shell when the goggles are worn under the helmet.
What I liked
- The MIPS technology protects the head from rotational impacts.
- It is fully compatible with Gambler goggles.
- This helmet has a dial ft system which allows for easy adjustments on a wide range of head sizes.
- It has a plush lining and ear pads which keeps kids warm and comfortable while skiing.
What I disliked
- It is more expensive than other goggles.
- Available in limited color options.
- Although ventilated, users have expressed overheating after intense activity.
Factors determining the best ski helmet:
Helmets are worn for the entirety while you ski, so, having a comfortable one with the right fit is essential. You would not want to have a helmet that has pressure points causing headaches. Having the right fit will allow you to ski all day without any unnecessary hindrances. Getting a helmet with the right padding, weight, shape, and adjustment system will go on to provide exceptional comfort.
The helmet you intend on getting should be reliable and should be durable. Ski helmet should have impact-absorbing foam and durable shells. It should also offer rear and lateral protection along with a rotational impact system. It is recommended to use helmets with MIPS multidirectional impact system which allows the helmet to rotate independently off the head during impact.
The weather condition widely varies in the mountains, it could be freezing or warm. A good ski helmet must have temperature regulation control. Such helmets usually have adjustable vents and they provide cooling airflow on warmer days. When it’s cold, closed vents help to seal the body heat and protect the head from chill winds. Many modern helmets allow the air to channel through your helmet while skiing. Based on the number of vents and where they are placed, the cost of the helmet tends to vary. It is recommended to use helmets that offer adjustable vents so that you could close or open them as per requirements. Also, removable ear flaps allow you to customize your helmet as per the conditions.
Helmets with a customizable harness can be customized for the perfect fit. Modern-day helmets feature an adjustment system with a dial that can be regulated with your gloves.
Helmets that seamlessly integrate with goggles are compatible. Many manufacturers try to get helmets compatible with their in-house goggles, whereas others are compatible with any ski goggles. There should be a minimum gap between your goggle and helmet, and the goggle attachment clip must be durable. It should also be compatible with the width of your goggle and the goggle secure strap should be secured by a snap.
The weight of different ski helmets can vary depending on the style and features. For long time usage, it is recommended to get a lightweight helmet. Lighter helmets tend to offer lesser features compared to a feature-rich helmet which might weigh a few more ounces.
Audio compatibility –
Helmets that are compatible with headphones or audio-compatible ear pads are good for those who wish to be engaged with some music while in the mountains. Typically, audio systems that are integrated with the helmet and are Bluetooth-compatible allow you to link to your music and make calls. Some helmets have an integrated speaker in the ear pads and with an auxiliary cord, the user can listen to music on their phone.
Chin straps –
Modern helmets feature a magnetic clip closure or a simple buckle on the chin strap. Chin straps are adjustable and should be done before you begin your ski adventure.
In conclusion, helmets are essential gear for your ski outfit. It is recommended to use the best ski helmet for any kind of skiing. This way you can stay protected from collisions and impacts. It can save you from brain injury and fatal accidents. The helmets listed in this blog post are of the highest quality and you can learn about them based on your personal needs.