There are very few things in life that are more important than your head is. There is just no way around it. You have to protect it, no matter the cost. Skiing, while extremely fun and breathtaking, is not the kind of thing that you want to be doing without that protection. So, a helmet is naturally an item that you have to have to prevent something terrible from happening. You never know what lurks around that next corner, so a helmet is very much a necessity. With that being said, helmets have other purposes as well. In our buying guide today, we are going to be taking a look at everything you need to know about skiing helmets, from protection and prevention all the way to comfort. We will then take a look at the top ten helmets on the market, helping you to make the best choice for you. So, let’s get to it!
Top Ski Helmets Comparison Chart
|Name||Construction||Compliance||Price||Where to Buy?|
|WildHorn Drift Ski Helmet||Composite foam||ASTM F2040||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Akaso Dial Fit Ski Helmet||EPS foam||$||Check Price on Amazon|
|TurboSke Ski Helmet||ABS, EPS||EN1077 and ASTM||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Giro Ledge Snow Helmet||Hard shell||CE EN1077||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Retrospec Traverse H3 Youth Ski Helmet||ABS, EPS||EN 1077 and CPSC 16 CFR||$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Odoland Snow Ski Helmet and Goggles Set||ASTM F2024 & CE EN1077||$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Smith Optics Unisex Adult Vantage Snow Helmet||ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077||$$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Giro Nine MIPS Snow Helmet||In-mold||CE EN1077||$$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|OutdoorMaster Kelvin Ski Helmet||ABS, EPS||ASTM Certified||$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Gonex Ski Helmet||Hard shell||ASTM F2040-11||$||Check Price on Amazon|
Ski Helmets Buying Guide
Safety Is #1
Helmets are going to be your best friend when you are on the hills and slopes, and you should never forget that they are there for you. Without them, you are prone to serious injuries. People have even been injured while wearing them, such is the danger of skiing, so it’s safe to say that you need to wear them in order to be the most safe that you can possibly be. This is why you need to have a helmet that is not only covering your head but is made with skiing in mind. Sometimes we forget that fact and will assume that all helmets are equal. But that’s just not true. A helmet for other sports might not cover as much areas as a ski helmet would, and it might not provide the same kind of ventilation to the wearer, either. That is needed by many, so you don’t want to compromise and throw that out the window, so to speak. There are certifications and safety standards to help you out, so don’t just stick with a helmet that’s not up to code!
How your helmet is made is vital to making sure that your noggin’ is protected. The way that nearly all ski helmets are made is with a couple of materials. These two parts cover the inside and outside. The inner part is made out of a softer, foam like material, while the outer part is a hard shell. This is done, obviously, so that it can take a blow if you do happen to fall and hit a rock, tree stump, or other hard object that is on the ground. Without that hardness, you wouldn’t have anything to keep you protected. Basically, there are three types of constructions that you can see for ski helmets: ABS, in-mold, and then the hybrid. Here’s a look at each.
ABS sounds and looks a little confusing, but it’s not as complicated as it might sound, so don’t worry! ABS is represented when a helmet is made from a hard, plastic shell with a foam liner that is placed inside. Most typically this is glued in. This makes it very tough and durable, but it also means that it’s pretty heavier than most other options that you can find out there. When compared with others, it is going to be heavy, but the positive side of ABS is that the price is very affordable. So, for beginners and those that won’t be skiing all that often, it might be worth going with ABS since it’s so affordable and is going to be great for taking some super hard hits that you might just experience as a newbie.
In-mold helmets are going to take the idea of the ABS helmet and turn it on its head, seeking to make the helmet much more comfortable to you. It does this by using a thinner outer shell, made most often out of lightweight polycarbonate, and then has a foam liner that is molded to it. This makes the whole helmet lighter and is thus easier to wear around. On top of that, it’s more plush inside, so that’s a plus as well. The other advantage in-mold helmets bring to the fore is that they offer better ventilation. The drawbacks to this type of helmet are going to be the price and the durability. The price is going to end up being higher since they are mostly going to be seen with helmets that are more toward the higher end of the spectrum. The durability won’t be quite as good simply due to the fact that they don’t take dings and slight knocks nearly as well.
Hybrid technology is actually very much similar to in-mold, and you will see the two names used quite often interchangeably. They both have many of the same ideas, so don’t be put off if you see that listed as the name. It’s not a blend of ABS and in-mold, so that’s the main reason it needed to be stated here!
We briefly brought up ventilation earlier, but we need to go into more detail here. Ventilation, or breathability, is a fancy word for getting air into the helmet. A lot of people would assume that you don’t want any to get in at all, since it is cold and wintry out while skiing, but this is not the case. While there might be some frigid days where you don’t want any, most of the team you are going to want to have some airflow that can get in to the system. Without it, you can overheat, or feel as if you are, leading you to not have nearly as good a time on the slopes as you should be having.
One way to cut through and figure out how well a helmet is going to supply you with air is by taking a look at the total number of vents and their size. A helmet that has ten small vents is basically going to let in the same amount of air as a helmet that has five large ones, after all, so you can’t just go on numbers. If you see a large number of vents, it’s probably going to be good at airing you out. But that’s not always the case, due to the positioning of the vents, so you have to be poised and ready to make a call on what works best and be willing to listen to people that have used the helmet before.
The option that is most appealing to very serious skiers is going to be the adjustable ventilation helmet. These helmets are made with your comfort solely in mind, and it means that you are able to control how much air gets in, or how much isn’t allowed in. While it is true that this is typically seen in mid to high range helmets, it’s often seen as very much worth the price since you have so much control. Helmets that are at the entry level price point are most likely going to have a set ventilation system. You can neither close them or open them up more, so it does constrict you a little bit.
As far as money goes, you will have to pay up to get vents that can be adjusted. Budget choices opt to go with static vents, meaning you will just have to deal with them being open and set to one spot throughout the course of the day. This might be just fine with you if you only go once and aren’t that serious, but it could be a major deal breaker for a serious skier. Not all static ventilation systems are poor, with that being said. A lot of them do a very good job at cooling you off, so you shouldn’t just totally discount them. Ventilation is just so, so important, because it is one of those things that could possibly make you want to take your helmet off and can lead to you eventually ending up injured in the process if you were to do so.
The lining of the helmet is going to be just as vital to you as the outside of it is. While the outside is going to keep you protected from falling rocks and all sorts of other dangers, the inside has got to be up to par in order for you to keep the helmet on and take advantage of the protection that it yields. Liners are meant to do a couple of things. One of them is to keep you decently warm. The other is to make sure you are comfortable. If these two things don’t exist, then you will be ready to take your helmet off quickly.
Helmets that come from the premium end of the spectrum are going to feel more lush and comfy than those that you pay a budget price for. You won’t be getting as much of that ‘squishy’ feeling, and you won’t be able to have the helmet essentially mold to your own head. Part of the problem with the lower priced options takes place when you have plastic sitting right on top of your head. What this causes people to do is to either just live with it, causing uncomfortable and sometimes painful creases to form, or for them to wear their helmet too loose. This is a major no-no, but it’s done all of the time and erases the whole purpose of wearing a helmet to begin with. You can and should avoid this by finding something comfy for you to wear.
Warmth is another aspect that you have to examine as well. A helmet’s main concern is protecting your brain (and your pretty face, too), but it’s also got the added bonus of helping keep you warm. When it’s a winter sport, that’s a major plus to have in your back pocket. Helmets that have a lack of warmth are not preferred because it can throw off your sizing and fit a great deal when you bring a hat of some kind into the mix. This is oftentimes forgotten and leaves you with a chill!
A big part of being comfortable is ensuring that your helmet doesn’t weight way too much for you to handle. A helmet might prove to be cumbersome to you, and if it’s forcing you into making mistakes on the slopes or limiting you from moving, then it’s time to upgrade to something lighter. ABS is going to be the go-to helmet for those on a budget, but it’s not the lightest you can find and will haul you back at 20 ounces or more. For a lighter ride, you should turn to in-mold or hybrid styles, which runs anywhere from 14 ounces to about 19. Remember, you are going to be carrying this load basically all day once you get on the trails. It may seem like you can last with it on, but trust us, it’s going to be much harder for you than you first think it is. You are putting a lot of pressure on your back and neck to have to support the weight, so it’s wise to keep that in mind before you make your pick.
Skiing is not one of those sports where you can wear just about anything. There is a lot of equipment, from gloves to goggles to jackets, and that means you have to make sure that everything blends together and meshes well. One area where this is the case is between the helmet and the goggles. Goggles, like a helmet, are paramount to not only your safety but also your overall enjoyment of the sport of skiing. But not all goggles are going to be able to be used in conjunction with your helmet, so you have to be careful and do research. Helmets that have little clearance to them won’t afford you enough space to wear your bigger goggles. One thing that you can do to make sure that your goggles are always accommodated is to make sure that they are made by the same brand that the helmet is. This almost always solves that problem, allowing you to buy what you need and hit the trail running, er, kind of at least.
To make using goggles easier for you, some helmets will have the additional feature of a retainer clip included along with it. What this is is rather simple yet an effective tool to help you hold on to your valuable goggles. This is a clip at the back of the helmet that you slide your goggles through. This just makes sure that your goggles don’t get lost in the event of a crash or just poor skiing on your part.
All of this goes without saying, but it’s all going to be useless if you don’t have the right size to wear. Without the proper size, even the most careful and prudent of skier will be tempted to take off his or her helmet. This is a dangerous proposition, for sure, and it’s something that has to be avoided at all costs. Preferably, going in person to try on helmets is recommended. But for many, especially in the age of online shopping, this is just not an option. So, it’s necessary for you to take steps toward doing it yourself by measuring the circumference of your own head so that you don’t have to do any guess work.
Once you have done this, all you have to do is compare your size to the chart that a company puts on their listing. This should either correspond to a size range, or it could possibly be a more customized fit. Either way, you should be very close to having a perfect fit by doing this. Make sure to always try on the helmet before going out on a run, just to check that it’s fitting properly and feels right. There is a chance that it won’t match up well with your head. Also, you should never size yourself too big or too small. Helmets that are too big are going to be a danger and will let in air and other debris. Helmets that are too small will constrict and make you feel like you are losing circulation. Be sure to never size a smaller child up, since they have even more fragile heads than us adults do.
Chin straps, even if they seem to be a little annoying at times, can be a valuable tool to helping you make sure your helmet stays fit properly. They have the ability to make it so you are able to breathe while still making the helmet tight enough that it doesn’t have any openings and fully surrounds and protects you. Make sure not to pull them too tightly, since it will just make you feel like you are choking and will end up having you taking the helmet off entirely. Some chin straps are more comfortable than others, featuring padding, so look for those if you want to ensure that you are comfy and only thinking about the trail ahead.
Helmets aren’t the cheapest of all sporting good materials, but there are also some that are going to set you back a small fortune, too. This should help you rest a tad easier knowing that you won’t be spending a fortune on them, unless you are planning on getting super serious and advancing up the charts. The price is going to, however, affect how much quality you find. While all of them on the list are going to be plenty protective, helmets are going to depend on the materials for how well they behave. Some will breathe better, those typically being ones that cost more than budget choices. We will have some of both varieties on our list so that everyone can find something that is within their comfort zone.
The Top Ten Ski Helmets of 2019 Reviews
1. WildHorn Drift Ski Helmet
Leading off our list here is a moderately priced option from WildHorn, the supplier for the US Ski Teams. Unlike so many out there, particularly in this price range, this helmet does an excellent job at reducing the weight and bulk and helping you to remain comfortable on the ride while being plenty protected. On average, it is 25% lighter than others in the market, making it stand up to the test of the longest of rides. With its VNT technology, it’s easier than ever before to simply select when you want to have the vents open and when you want them closed because it’s a little too cold for you. With a plush liner inside that is also insulated and even has ear pad that allow audio to be played, you get even more pluses than you’d imagine from this helmet.
- Lighter than most
- Plush lining
- Able to control vents
2. Akaso Dial Fit Ski Helmet
Closer to the budget side of things comes this offering from Akaso, which is sure to keep your wallet happy. Coming with ear pads and a fleece liner that can be detached if you like, it’s easy to fine tune how much warmth you need to bring to the mix. For a budget price, it’s excellent that it has vents that can be controlled as well, a thing that would have been previously unheard of at this range. With a certified construction, this is going to be a super durable pick for you to wear if you are just beginning or are not a frequent skier. It even comes with a lifetime warranty against getting broken, so the customer service is tough to beat for sure as well. It may not have all the bells and whistles, but it comes close and is supreme value!
- Very low price
- Adjusts warmth
- Very durable
3. TurboSke Ski Helmet
With a design that is fairly similar to the Akaso and a price that is in the same range, the TurboSke is another helmet that offers a lot of bang for your buck. It’s safety certified, and it is made from ABS to ensure that it’s as strong as possible over the long haul. Some won’t like this because of the added weight, but for the price it’s hard to beat this, especially with a beginner in mind. With adjustable venting, as is becoming standard now, you are able to keep yourself warm and able to see without your goggles fogging up unnecessarily for the 14th time. With a chin strap at the bottom and a dial, you can get comfortable and find that optimum fit that is just right for you. They do also guarantee that you will like it, so if you don’t like your pick you can get a refund from them, helping drive confidence up a bit.
- Very durable helmet
- Vents adjust
- Dial allows perfect size to be found
4. Giro Ledge Snow Helmet
This is an example of us wandering out a little from the budget stuff to something a bit more expensive but still not going too far. This helmet from Giro, a leader in skiing, is made from a hard shell that complies to standards for skiing. With its auto loc fit system, it’s very easy to not only adjust it but to do so while wearing it, making you able to make changes while you are on the slopes to remain as comfy as you can be. With a removable goggle retainer and ear pads and a place for audio to be pumped in, the options afforded to you are ramped up tremendously as you approach the hills. The one drawback some might not like about this model is that the vents, while great, are not able to be adjusted, meaning you just have to live with it.
- Fit is easy to adjust
- Good mix of durability and comfort
- Plenty of options
- Vents can’t be adjusted
5. Retrospec Traverse H3 Youth Ski Helmet
If you are looking to purchase a helmet for a youth skier and don’t want to spend a fortune and a half, then this is a good choice. With a ton of colors to pick from and all of the safety certifications being met, it’s surer to make all parties happy as the youth skier gets his or her start. With ABS, it’s sure to be super durable, only giving up a little since it’s going to be heavier. With a chinstrap that can be adjusted and ear muffs to ensure that they are kept warm, this a good choice that has thought about a lot of features and provides them in earnest. Equipped with a goggle clip in the back, you won’t even have to worry about them losing those, either, since you know falls are more likely for them as they begin their skiing journey.
- Great for beginners
- Good price
- Very durable
- A little heavy
6. Odoland Snow Ski Helmet and Goggles Set
This is a bit of a bonus here, and it’s going to come for you at a new price as well. With a set that includes both goggles and a helmet, you are getting a heck of a deal and will be certain that they are compatible with each other as a result. Featuring a fully certified helmet that is both resistant to shocks and penetration, it also has 12 built in air vents to provide you with plenty of breathability. While this is not adjustable, you do get to make alterations to the feel, with the lining being detachable and the ear muffs and very soft chin strap also being easy to remove and tinker to your liking. If it’s a budget that you have to meet, then there are few out there that can beat this deal here!
- Two for the price of one
- Plenty of air vents
- Tons of alterations
- Vents can’t be adjusted
7. Smith Optics Unisex Adult Vantage Snow Helmet
Smith is a major player in the world of snow sports, and this is a top of the line helmet that comes to the fore here. With a number of colors to pick from, everyone is sure to be happy and stylish. With a helmet that has an adjustable system to help it fit you better, a very lightweight goggle pic in the back, and snap on ear pads, you can see the difference from the cheaper items. With 21 total vents, you will never be left wondering if you are going to have adequate airflow, an amazing amount of them in truth. They come with all of the certifications, as well as Bluetooth capability, making it an excellent all around choice for someone that’s looking to be very serious with their skiing. The big negative is going to be the price, which is up there some ways!
- Lots of vibrant colors
- Size can be perfected
- Tons of vents
- Very premium price to pay
8. Giro Nine MIPS Snow Helmet
Giro makes it way back onto the list for a second time with an offering that is pretty close to the Smith one above. It’s a more premium option than their first, with a ton of colors to pick from an in-mold construction to make it a super cool, comfortable fit. With a tuning system to help you get that fit just perfect, you’ll never have to worry about just stuffing your head in there and being uncomfortable. The vents do an awesome job, relative to competitors at letting in air, but if you don’t want to use them, you can adjust them to the closed position and go about it until you need them again. The ear pads are also easy to put on and take off, meaning you have so much you can do with them on to make your comfort off the charts. The main issue with this helmet, like the Smith one, is that it does cost a pretty penny, and that’s something that some just can’t justify.
- Comfort is king
- Vents can be opened or closed
- All day relief for serious skiers
- Price is too rich for some
9. OutdoorMaster Kelvin Ski Helmet
With all of the certifications needed to keep you safe and a very low price, the lowest on the list, this offering is sure to keep your wallet and you safe and happy. With a dial, adjusting to your perfect size is easy and effective, helping you cut out time and keep from wasting it. With removable and easy to wash ear pads and a fleece liner, you can tailor it to meet your needs regardless of the temperature outside. It even has 14 vents, more than a lot of others, which is great given the price of it. Those can’t be closed, and the ABS is a little heavy, but overall this is a great choice for a beginner to make as they begin their skiing experience.
- Excellent price
- Removable and easy to wash
- Lots of vents
- Not the lightest
- Vents can’t be adjusted
10. Gonex Ski Helmet
Rounding out the list is this product from Gonex, which is another in the budget category for sure. With a lot of anti shock built into it, this in-mold is one of the cheapest you can find. This means, for the price, that this helmet is among the most comfy. The size adjustment dial also contributes to that goal. Then, you throw in the eight vents that it offers, which isn’t great, but is something, and you have a good, comfortable ride for you over the course of the day that isn’t going to freeze you to death on those lifts. With removable lining and ear pads, you can further customize how you feel. The lightness is the thing that has to stand out most, as it’s just superb to see it at such a low level given the price.
- Absorbs shocks well
- Very low price
- Comfortable relative to the price
- Not able to control vents
Conclusion And Final Ski Helmets Recommendations
It can get very trying and confusing to figure out what kind of helmet to buy, particularly when you are looking online. There are a number of websites that attempt to help, but it’s difficult to find all of the information in one place. It’s even harder to narrow down actual selections, too, however, because there are just so many of them. Search engines don’t always narrow it down for you like you’d hope, and it can contribute to you stressing out and just giving up. But, that’s no longer a fear after our buying guide and reviews today. We’ve got your back (and your head) and now all you have to do is decide what you want and need and then get to skiing! So, get to it!