I remember when I thought wearing a ski or snowboard helmet wasn’t cool. As a kid, I would try to get away my helmet In my bag when getting ready for ski trips. One icy day Our local hill– I was probably 13 – My friend and I successfully fooled our escorts into thinking we had helmets on. We both, within a few rounds of each other, got caught on a ledge and ate shit. My fall was enough to scare me, but my friend got a concussion from hitting his head on the ice. After that, I began to realize that slope safety is nothing to scoff at.
Over the years, I’ve had sprains, cuts, fractures, and other injuries while on the mountain, but I’ve never had a scary head injury. Even in warm late-season weather, I always wear a ski helmet, and I think you should, too.
ABS vs. Snowboarding and In-Mould Helmets
Ski and snowboard helmets are typically made of either an acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic shell or a one-piece molded polycarbonate shell. Both have advantages and disadvantages.
ABS helmets are more durable. They’ll withstand being tossed in a truck or dropped, and they can withstand severe bumps. On the downside, ABS helmets are heavier.
Compared to ABS models, in-mold helmets often disperse the force of softer impacts (a standard fall) better, which can reduce the potential for concussion. barter? Scratches and dings may appear more quickly than an ABS helmet. High-end helmets often offer a hybrid construction made of a rigid ABS layer and an in-mold layer.
What about MIPS?
MIPS stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System. Basically, this technology helps protect your head from angled impacts. Hitting your head at an angle can increase your chance of a concussion because it puts rotational forces on your head. MIPS aims to reduce these forces with a special low-friction coating that glides and absorbs rotational stress.
Since falls while skiing or snowboarding are not particularly predictable, MIPS technology is a great extra helmet for extra head injury protection (although it’s not the only technology that matters). Especially in backcountry, ensuring your helmet has solid impact protection is crucial – MIPS is a great extra insurance to have when skiing or riding in more varied terrain.
Take care of your helmet
While it’s tempting to store your helmet in the garage, it’s best to keep it in a dry closet so it won’t be exposed to temperature fluctuations. Large temperature changes cause the components of the helmet to expand and contact, causing them to wear out. If your helmet has a removable liner, remove it and let it dry completely every-time I’m done skiing or riding all day. If it starts to smell funky or look dirty, take it out and wash it.
Below, I’ve compiled a list of 10 excellent ski and snowboard helmets based on price, features, fit, and quality. While you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get basic protection, it’s worth investing in a well-made and dependable ski or snowboard helmet. The good news is that when cared for properly, snow helmets can last for years.
Note: While some of the helmets below are made by companies specific to skiing or snowboarding, all of them will work for either sport. The important thing is to protect your skull while on the mountain.
The best ski and snowboard helmets
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