Whether you’re planning for a winter getaway or live near some resorts, strapping on a set of skis is an activity enjoyed by countless adrenaline junkies. Top ski resorts can be found all over Europe, the US, and even here in Australia (although we’ll admit they can’t quite compare when it comes to run selection) all of which offer a chance to get chilly thrills.
But aside from wanting to look best-dressed on the slopes – and with a wide range of brands offering sublime ski jackets and pants, it’s pretty easy to – your clothing will go to waste if you have a fatal accident and end up in the hospital, or worse… That’s where a ski helmet comes in. The majority of resorts won’t let you step foot into your boots without having one, but you’ll often see that one guy who thinks he’s invincible.
He’s not, and neither are you. So investing in some serious head protection is absolutely vital and should really be your first port of call when stocking up on ski and snowboard gear.
What to look out for in a ski helmet
There are countless construction methods, materials, and technologies to help keep your noggin safe, along with other third-party products that add to their protectiveness, comfort, and ease of use. But for the best ski helmet, you ought to look out for the following features:
MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System. It’s been developed by brain surgeons and scientists, and is an added layer fitted to helmets to help reduce rotational forces applied to your head in crashes. When you fall off your skis, you’re likely to fall at an angle.
Helmets that don’t have MIPS will rotate with your head, which can apply potentially damaging forces on your brain. What MIPS does is allow the helmet to move by up to 15mm during an impact, absorbing more of the energy and transferring it around the rest of the helmet to take the stress away from your brain.
Not all helmet manufacturers have adopted MIPS, but the ones that have will rock a yellow logo, so be sure to look out for this.
In-Mould is a form of building method that sees an inner foam layer fused directly to the outer helmet layer. Some manufacturers have their own various ways of referring to it (in-mould, in-mould, co-moulded) but they all relate to the same thing.
In-Mould helmets are tough-as-nails, being highly resistant to cracks from impacts and they allow for larger vents to be integrated too, improving airflow and keeping your head cool.
Fitting & Adjustment
It should go without saying that a ski helmet will only be truly effective if it is well-fitted to your head. You may need to try on a few different models to find one that works for you, and much of that will depend on the adjustment system it provides. Helmets come in sizes such as S/M and M/L, to cater for a range of head sizes, but then offer an adjustable inner layer to secure it in place.
Different manufacturers may use their own in-house systems, K2, for example, has a K2 Dialed system. Others, such as Smith and Oakley, have adopted the BOA Fit system. This third-party system is used on snowboard boots and ski helmets and allows the wearer to turn a dial to tighten or loosen the fit. Once you’ve found a fit that works, you simply push the dial in to hold it in place (and push to release it to make changes).
Chin Strap & Fastening
With the fit snug to your head, all that’s left to do is fasten the chin strap. With thick ski gloves on though, it can sometimes be tricky, especially if your helmet has a conventional clasp fastening. Helmet manufacturers are now turning to magnets to make the process much easier.
The most common system – and arguably one of the best – you’re likely to see, comes from Fidlock, masters of magnetic fastenings. Helmets with Fidlock buckles can be operated with one hand and without looking. All you need to do is slide the opposing pieces together and they’ll remain securely in place until you need to take it off.
Ski Helmet FAQs
Yes. You can put your ski helmet in your carry-on bags when travelling through airports. Others can also get away by clipping them outside their cabin bags. To know your ski helmet size, use a fabric tape measure around the circumference of your head, about 2.5 cm above your ears and eyebrows. Absolutely not. A bicycle helmet is not designed for skiing or snowboarding. You must wear the proper gear to protect yourself from injuries in case of accidents.
Can you take a ski helmet as hand luggage?
How to measure for ski helmet?
Can I use a bike helmet for skiing?
Yes. You can put your ski helmet in your carry-on bags when travelling through airports. Others can also get away by clipping them outside their cabin bags.
To know your ski helmet size, use a fabric tape measure around the circumference of your head, about 2.5 cm above your ears and eyebrows.
Absolutely not. A bicycle helmet is not designed for skiing or snowboarding. You must wear the proper gear to protect yourself from injuries in case of accidents.
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There is a myriad of manufacturers with high-performance helmets, so we’ve sifted through the vast baulk to let you know which ones are the best ski helmets for men.
Known for their POC obex spin collection, these helmets are engineered to be traceable, durable helmets perfect for backcountry skiing. The POC obex collections make strong and durable snow helmets with a combination of polycarbonate and ABS shell strong. Its EPS foam absorbs and disperses shock while offering adjustable fit helmet systems that make it feel like a customised fit. Additionally, POC obex helmets include adjustable ventilation which helps you cool off and defogs your goggles.
Smith makes some of the best skiing helmets as they integrate a multi-directional impact protection system (MIPS) into their gear, reducing rotational forces that can result from impact. Also, their Smith Vantage collection features some of their best sellers as helmets come with a hybrid shell construction for maximum durability and strength, a BOA fit system, and removable ear pads. Also, Smith has pioneered Air Evac ventilation, which generates airflow and helps clear the fog out of goggles, promising crystal clear vision.
Their Oakley mod collection features their highest selling helmets with a classic skate style, offering MIPS and a modular brim system allowing riders to choose between a brim or no brim aesthetic; without comprising goggle integration.
Also, 360-degree BOA fit helmets are available, delivering full wrap-around comfort, suitable for extreme weather conditions. Also, the Oakley mod collection features removable ear pads and odour and bacterial eliminating technology. You're sure to feel fresh and clean while repping this brand.
Promising a comfortable and sturdy helmet for you to feel super safe in, Giro ski helmets have built-in MIPS technology with a hard-shell construction protecting the head from rotational forces. Also, if you're looking for a helmet designed for comfort, then look no further, as Giro makes its helmets to be snug through its In-Form Fit System, while its In-Mold Construction helps to absorb shock, guaranteed to make you feel little to no rebound from impact. These ski helmets are perfect for tackling harsh terrain.
With their hardshell construction, safety comes first with Salomon helmets while also offering extreme comfort with their foam interior and custom dial at the back of the helmet, securing a snug and easy fit. The Thermal Control System also allows for adjustable ventilation, ensuring your head stays cool and dry, while its MPS low-friction liner reduces the impact of rotational forces. Also, its liner and ear pads can be removed for washing.
Their ski helmets are ideal for aggressive riders as their EPP multi-impact technology features expanded polypropylene that increases durability and helps the helmet retain protective shock absorption properties for longer. Designed to be an easy fit, Rossignol helmets are easy to adjust with their flexible elastic, providing comfort without compromising protection. Additional adjustable vents are available, offering on-the-fly temperature control.
K2 designs are extremely tough, hardshell helmets, however, their strong construction never compromises comfort as they have added Active Matrix adjustable vents, allowing control of temperature and airflow. Also, many of its collection comes with built-in audio systems, so you can enjoy a little music, heightening the outdoor experience.
Their ski helmets feature MIPS technology, helping to deflect rotational forces while its EPS foam absorbs impact and distributes full force. Many of Sweet Protection's range includes low profile helmets with a magnetic buckle that's easy to slip on and off. Also, if you're looking for a ski helmet that lets you play your tunes while you ride, Sweet Protection headgear includes audio-compatible pads.
Many of Anon's collection features helmets made from an In-Mold Shell Construction with MIPS built-in too. Anon helmets come with a passive and goggle venting system, ensuring your eyewear won't get foggy, providing a clear field of view. Also, The Expedition fleece on its liner and ear pads will keep you nice and warm while also providing moisture-wicking comfort.
Bern ski helmets are designed to be highly functional as they offer a range of MIPS helmets, making whiplash no problem. Many of their helmets are also extremely tough as they're constructed out of a hybrid shell while offering a BOA dial system that quickly locks in the perfect fit every time. Helmets also come with drop-in ear pads with audio compatibility.