Imagine gliding down the slopes, the wind running through you hair, when WHACK! A newbie skier has come out from nowhere, knocking you off your skis. When accidents occur on the mountain, the best ski helmets will help protect your noggin and potentially save you from cancelling the rest of your vacation. Nowadays, more skiers and snowboarders than ever before are choosing to wear helmets.

The great news is that modern ski helmets not only protect your head from brain injury, but they look good too. They come in a variety of designs and features to suit even the most style-conscious or fussy skier or boarder. 

One of the big goals here at The Adventure Junkies is to make your life easier when it comes to choosing the right ski and snowboard gear. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to choose a ski helmet and show you our selection of the best models of the year.

 

QUICK ANSWER: THE BEST SKI HELMETS

  1. Smith Vantage MIPS
  2. Smith Variance
  3. Giro Nine MIPS
  4. Giro Range MIPS
  5. POC Fornix Backcountry MIPS
  6. POC Receptor Backcountry MIPS
  7. Smith Holt
  8. POC Receptor Bug Adjustable
  9. Giro Union MIPS
  10. Smith Aspect

 

 

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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO FIND THE BEST SKI HELMET

PICTURE
SKI HELMETS
BEST FOR
CONSTRUCTION
VENTS
MIPS
PRICE
RATING
PICTURE
SKI HELMETS
BEST FOR
CONSTRUCTION
VENTS
MIPS
PRICE
RATING
Smith Vantage MIPS
Overall
Hybrid Shell
21
Yes
$$$
5.0
Smith Variance
Overall
Hybrid
18
No
$$
4.8
Giro Nine MIPS
Audio Compatibility
In-Mould
N/A
Yes
$
4.8
Giro Range MIPS
GoPro
Hard Shell
13
Yes
$$$
4.7
POC Fornix Backcountry MIPS
Backcountry Skiing
In-Mould
8
Yes
$$$
4.8
POC Receptor Backcountry MIPS
Backcountry Skiing
Hybrid Double Shell
8
Yes
$$$
4.9
Smith Holt
Budget
In-Mould ABS
14
No
$
4.5
POC Receptor Bug Adjustable
Budget
Hybrid Double Shell
8
No
$$
4.7
Giro Union MIPS
Resort Skiing
In-Mould
12
Yes
$$
4.6
Smith Aspect
Resort Skiing
In-Mould
14
No
$
4.7

 

 

SKI HELMETS 101

 

9 THINGS TO CONSIDER TO FIND THE BEST SKI HELMET

 

1. MATERIALS

Ski helmets are typically made from two different types of materials – the outer, hard shell and the foam padding. The outer shell needs to be made out of a durable material which can take a high-impact knock, such as polycarbonate or ‘ABS’ – acrylonitrile butadiene styrene.

You’ll find most ski helmets are either ‘in-mould’ or ‘hard shell’. The hard shell has a separate tough outer shell fixed to a foam interior padding. These types of helmets tend to be more affordable than the in-mould construction, which has a hard plastic shell moulded to a softer foam. The benefit of the in-mould helmets is that they are lightweight and allow for less rebound on impact.

 

2. FIT 

Just like choosing a bicycle helmet, a ski helmet needs to fit the user properly in order to be used as head protection, not decoration. It’s best to try on different sizes and styles to ensure the best helmet possible for the shape of your head. Wobble it around while it’s on your head.

Is it secure? Does it slip to one side? A loose helmet is not only annoying, but potentially dangerous and won’t do its job of protecting your skull.

The best ski helmets have a Boa, which is a dial where you can adjust the fit. You still need a helmet in the right size to start with – this adjustment is simply fine tuning the fit.

 

3. CHIN STRAPS

You’ll need to have adjustable chin straps to ensure the helmet is secure, while you can still breathe! Chin straps that are too tight can be uncomfortable and you may be tempted to leave them undone – making the helmet relatively useless in an impact. Some helmets have padding over the strap, which means you can have a secure fit that is extremely comfortable for the user.

 

4. EAR COVERS

If you get cold ears, then padded ear covers are a dream! Some helmet designs, especially in the women’s range, have soft, padded and even fluffy ear covers coming down from the helmet, which is ideal if you’re not wearing a beanie underneath and need extra protection from the cold. If you want flexibility to choose, some helmets have removable ear covers so if you’re enjoying a bluebird day or planning on spring skiing, you can take them off to allow for more air flow.

 

5. AIR VENTS

Helmets come with different air vent systems which are important if you get hot while skiing or snowboarding, or are in warmer climates. The best ski helmets have adjustable air vent systems, meaning you can close or open the vents depending on the temperature outside and how warm you need your head to be.

 

6. SKI GOGGLE COMPATIBILITY

In the past, wearing helmets could get in the way of your goggle fit. But modern helmets are designed to be compatible with your ski goggles – so there’s really no excuse not to wear one. Compatibility allows your goggles to sit close on your face and create a seal so they don’t fog up. Most helmet brands are designed to be compatible with the same brand ski goggle. A good fit will mean goggles fit comfortably on your face without pressing or digging into certain areas. Bring your ski goggles with you to try on at the same time to check for compatibility.

 

7. EARPHONE INTEGRATED

If you’re worried wearing a helmet means you can’t listen to your sounds on the slopes, then think again. Some ski helmets are audio compatible, meaning they’re designed to fit earphones or chips along the back of the helmet and into the ear padding. And there are enough headphones and audio systems these days designed specifically for the skier and snowboarder in mind to wear with their helmets.

 

8. CAMERA MOUNTS

With the rise of the GoPro and other types of sport-cams, it’s no surprise some ski helmets have specific camera mounts already attached to them. If you’re a budding videographer, or just want to show off your new tricks on social media, then choosing a helmet with a pre-attached camera mount will save you a the hassle of trying to glue a mount on yourself – and potentially having your precious camera come loose in a tumble.

 

9. MIPS

MIPS is a ski helmet technology which helps better protect the brain in the event of a ski crash. It stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System. Designed by Swedish neurosurgeon Hans van Holst, MIPS can reduce the rotational impact on brain tissue significantly, adding extra protection from serious brain injury.

 

best ski helmets

Photo by istockphoto.com/portfolio/FinStock

 

SKI HELMET REVIEWS

 

1. BEST SKI HELMETS OVERALL

SMITHS VANTAGE MIPS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

BEST FOR: Skiers and snowboarders wanting the very best head protection and top-of-the-range helmet 

WOMEN’S VERSION: Smith Optics Vantage

CONSTRUCTION: Hybrid. Shell: Koroyd with Nanosilver Performance Lining

COMPATIBILITY: Compatible with a range of goggles, also Skullcandy audio systems

WEIGHT: 1lb 1oz

PROS: Excellent performer, top of the range ski helmet. Warm, good ventilation, comfortable

CONS: Expensive

 

 

 

SMITHS VARIANCE

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

BEST FOR: Skiers needing good ventilation options

WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A

CONSTRUCTION: Hybrid. Shell: Combined polycarbonate and injection-moulded ABS with Nanosilver Performance Lining

COMPATIBILITY: Skullcandy audio

WEIGHT: 1lb 2.5oz

PROS: Snug, high quality, good ventilation system

CONS: Can’t remove ear flaps without removing Boa system

 

 

 

 

2. BEST SKI HELMET FOR AUDIO COMPATIBILITY

GIRO NINE MIPS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

BEST FOR: Skiers and snowboarders http://bit.ly/2yHpd8Xwho value high quality sound while on the slopes

WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A

CONSTRUCTION: In-mould. Shell: Polycarbonate

COMPATIBILITY: Giro audio systems and Giro goggles

WEIGHT: 1.88 lbs

PROS: Internal height adjustment to suit different shaped heads, ventilation control, low profile. Great affordable MIPS helmet

CONS: Padding on earpads could be thicker

 

 

 

 

3. BEST SKI HELMET FOR GOPRO

GIRO RANGE MIPS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

BEST FOR: GoPro Users who don’t want to have to attach a separate mount

WOMEN’S VERSION: Giro Stellar MIPS

CONSTRUCTION: Articulated Hard Shell

COMPATIBILITY: Compatible with Giro audio systems

WEIGHT: 1.18lbs

PROS: Integrated camera mount, comfortable fit, goggle venting

CONS: Not as low profile as it claims to be

 

 

 

 

4. BEST SKI HELMETS FOR BACKCOUNTRY SKIING

POC FORNIX BACKCOUNTRY MIPS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

BEST FOR: Backcountry skiers who want extra protection

WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A

CONSTRUCTION: In-mould polycarbonate shell

COMPATIBILITY: POC Goggles with goggle vents to release fog

WEIGHT: 15.87 oz

PROS: Recco Avalanche Rescue system, goggle vents, warm and comfortable

CONS: No audio compatibility

 

 

 

POC RECEPTOR BACKCOUNTRY MIPS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

BEST FOR: Skiers and snowboarders who get frustrated with foggy goggles

WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A

CONSTRUCTION: Hybrid Double Shell. Shell construction: ABS/polycarbonate

COMPATIBILITY: Compatible with goggles, headphone options with detachable neck roll

WEIGHT: 1lb 6.6oz

PROS: Recco Avalanche Rescue system, adjustable ventilation, goggle vents

CONS: Goggle clip positioned low on helmet

 

 

 

 

5. BEST BUDGET SKI HELMETS

SMITH HOLT

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

BEST FOR: Beginners

WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A

CONSTRUCTION: Injection moulded ABS

COMPATIBILITY: Compatible with Skullcandy earphones

WEIGHT: 1lb 3oz

PROS: One of the most affordable decent-quality ski helmets out there

CONS: Slightly heavier than some of the new, more advanced designs, foam padding is quite thick, no Boa, instead uses an elasticized band at the back for adjustment

 

 

 

POC RECEPTOR BUG ADJUSTABLE

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

BEST FOR: Skiers wanting a durable mid-range helmet

WOMEN’S VERSION: POC Receptor Bug Adjustable

CONSTRUCTION: EPS In-Mould. Shell: ABS/polycarbonate

COMPATIBILITY: Compatible with POC Goggles and with separate communication neck roll

WEIGHT: 1lb 2.3oz

PROS: Detachable ear pads, good ventilation, tough double-outer shell

CONS: Thin padding

 

 

 

 

6. BEST FOR RESORT SKIING

GIRO UNION MIPS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

BEST FOR: Skiers who like sticking to groomed runs

WOMEN’S VERSION: Giro Fade MIPS

CONSTRUCTION: In-mould. Shell: Polycarbonate

COMPATIBILITY: Compatible with Giro Audio systems

WEIGHT: Unavailable

PROS: Comfortable, affordable good-quality ski helmet for all-round use.

CONS: Small vents

 

 

 

SMITH ASPECT

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

BEST FOR: Recreational skiers and snowboarders

WOMEN’S VERSION: Smith Arrival

CONSTRUCTION: In-mould, polycarbonate

COMPATIBILITY: Skullcandy audio system

WEIGHT: 14 ounces

PROS: Lightweight, adjustable ear flaps, affordable

CONS: Not as durable as other more advanced designs

Top 10 Best Ski Helmets of 2017 – Accessories for Skiing and Snowboarding - Snow Clothes For Women, Men and Kids – Best Ski and Snowboard Gear
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