Best Ski Helmets
How do you choose a ski helmet and do you really want to wear one? Whether you are looking to buy your first ski helmet or you want to replace your old one, there are some things to consider and some research to do before you decide which one you want. Doing your homework on this topic can be slightly overwhelming with all of the options available and factors to consider. We have taken some of the guesswork out of the process with our buying guide below. Read on for some tips on what to look out for when you’re buying and check out our reviews of some of the best ski helmets on the market.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 16 hrs of research
Nicely padded chin strap
EPS inner shell
- Lucky Bums
- Smith Optics Holt
- Traverse Vigilis
- Lucky Bums Fleece Liner
- Giro Surface-S
- SUNVP Upscale Windproof change
- ZIONOR Lagopus H1
- SUNVP Unisex
- OutdoorMaster Ski
- ProRider HS
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Lucky Bums
Nicely padded chin strap
EPS inner shell
- The helmet is not padded
This helmet provides everything you can possibly want in your helmet for a very affordable price. It is a very comfortable helmet and it’s also quite durable and functional. The helmet features a nicely padded chin strap, two reinforced layers of protection, and goggle loop.Read more
The shell is made of very strong ABS plastic and it’s covered with EPS supporting inner shell to provide you with dual protection. The helmet is CE certified. The fabric lining on the inside of the helmet and the ear padding are made of a hypoallergenic material with antibacterial treatment.
The inner ESP shell has multiple vents covered with mesh screens that allow the good airflow while preventing the snow buildup. Because the helmet is so nicely ventilated and has hypoallergenic lining it is extremely comfortable even if you wear it all day. The padded chin strap and goggle loop just add to the comfort.
You can choose from 4 sizes available and every helmet features an adjustable strap so the helmet can fit on almost anyone’s head. The helmet is really well made and each one comes with a lifetime warranty.
2. Smith Optics Holt
Skullcandy Audio System
This innovative helmet is suitable for all weather conditions. The convertible pad kit will keep you warm during the winter and cool during the summer when you skate in your favorite skate park.Read more
The dual regulator system for ventilation allows you to control both rear and front section independently, giving you maximum control over the moisture and temperature management. For example, you can keep the front vents sealed and rear ones open. This way you avoid the brain freeze headache while you exhaust the heat through the rear vents.
The helmet also features a removable goggle lock which is a pretty convenient addition. The Bombshell construction is impact resistant and it utilizes a durable ABS injection molded shell to maximize the level of protection of your head.
Additionally, you can buy separately a Skullcandy Audio System which integrates into the padding completely and allows you to rock your favorite tunes while you ski.
Overall, this is one great versatile helmet that has an excellent value for the price.
3. Traverse Vigilis
Netted fleece cap inside
- Not too durable
There are not too many things out there that are as versatile as this helmet is. This lightweight helmet features an ABS outer shell and an EPS interior. The small visor on the front is nicely shaped so it can accommodate your goggles and there is a very convenient clip on the back to help you secure them.Read more
The inside of the helmet is lined with a netted fleece cap that helps remove the moisture while keeping you warm. The mesh improves the helmet ventilation. The ear pieces on this helmet are removable and they have a zippered headphone pocket.
The helmet shell features 14 vents to keep your head dry and regulate your body temperature.
The helmet can be customized easily and it can fit perfectly on almost any head, thanks to the red adjustable dial that can tighten or loosen it. The chin strap has a really soft cushion and it is also adjustable.
Additionally, you can transform this helmet into a bike/skate helmet by removing the earpieces and the fleece cap and installing the foam padding.
4. Lucky Bums Fleece Liner
EPS outer shell
Strong ABS material
- Sizes tend to run small
This helmet is extremely robust and feature-rich for a helmet this cheap. It features the dial lock type adjustment strap on the back side that enables you to adjust the suspension system on the inside and change the size fit. But make sure you buy the right size because these adjustments are minimal.Read more
The helmet also has a line snap fastener on the back side for retention of the goggle strap which is much handier than you might think.
The shell is made of strong ABS material and covered with an EPS outer shell providing a dual protection. The shell has vents on it but they are not adjustable which means you will be comfortable in a much narrower range of temperatures.
It is very comfortable and I would recommend it to anyone because it might be the best cheap helmet out there and it is surprisingly well made. This helmet has an excellent value for the price.
5. Giro Surface-S
The vents tend to whistle a bit
This model is a bit cheaper version of the Giro’s Seam helmet. It has a more “skateboard” look that snowboarders prefer. It is a budget helmet, but it has a very high quality and features.Read more
The helmet features the dial lock for adjustment that allows you to get the perfectly comfortable fit. This is an excellent feature and it is quite useful if you like to wear a cap on your head to be extra warm and comfortable.
You can be confident that this helmet will protect you because it is constructed as a one-piece hardshell. The multi-directional impact protection technology provides a full protection of impact no matter where the helmet was hit.
The helmet is quite warm even when the temperatures are below zero degrees and in case the weather gets warmer, the ventilation system is there to keep you cool. Additionally, you can remove the ear pieces if you feel too warm.
It also features the retention system for your goggles which can be easily removed without any tools and it’s compatible with all of the Giro audio systems.
6. SUNVP Upscale Windproof change
Removable lining and earmuffs
- Not suitable for cold weather conditions
This is another cheap helmet for those of you who don’t want to break your head. The outer shell of this helmet is made of strong and durable ABS plastic and it has an EPS inner shell and padding made of velvet foam.Read more
The helmet is available in many different colors so you can match it with the rest of your gear. The earmuffs and the lining are removable, making this helmet very versatile and usable in all weather condition. The removable earmuffs and lining also make the cleaning much easier.
SUNVP Ski helmet features the adjustment button which allows you to adjust the circumference and provides a perfect fit on any head.
On the forehead of the helmet, there is a windshield switch that allows you to change the size of the air vents so you can regulate the airflow and cooling to make your skiing adventure as comfortable as possible.
The price of the helmet is more than reasonable and the helmet has an excellent value for the price.
7. ZIONOR Lagopus H1
- Reinforced construction
- Adjustable chin strap
- Breathable top-grade lining
- The ear pads are not made for cold weather conditions
This helmet is suitable for both ski resorts and skate parks. It gives you the full protection and it’s made with a very strong shell and very comfortable padding on the inside. It will keep you warm during the winter and cool during the summer.Read more
The helmet features the regulator which allows you to open or close the air vents on the front of the helmet to make it windproof or to allow the airflow to keep your head cool. The helmet is suitable for all of the winter sports.
The helmet is made of very strong ABS plastic and EPS material with reinforced construction for full protection.
The chin strap is very well padded and adjustable, and there is a dial fit button on the back of the helmet, making it adjustable to fit on different head sizes. The top-grade lining is very breathable and it will keep you warm and comfortable.
The loop on the back side keeps your goggles in place and it’s compatible with all of the Zionor ski goggles.
8. SUNVP Unisex
- Soft and thick velvet cotton lining
- Wind shield button
- Impact resistant outer shell
- The ventilation system is not suitable for high temperatures
This nice and affordable helmet is very adjustable. It features the size adjustment button which allows you to customize the circumference for the perfect and most comfortable fit.Read more
The outer shell is, of course, made of ABS material and it’s resistant to impact and low temperatures. The inner shell is made of EPS material and it’s very light and provides a good insulation.
The helmet is lined with very soft and thick velvet cotton that feels quite soft and keeps you warm and comfortable. To keep you in the most comfortable state, the helmet features a wind shield button which allows you to adjust the vents size and regulate the air flow.
The earpieces and the lining are removable so you can use the helmet in all weather condition. The earmuffs and the lining are very soft and warm and they will not shrink when you wash them.
9. OutdoorMaster Ski
- Lightweight helmet
- Adjustable air vents
- Well padded chin strap
- Some users might experience problems with goggle fit
OutdoorMaster Ski Helmet is very comfortable and safe ski helmet for both men and women. The helmet is CE certified and it meets the EN1077 safety standards.Read more
The helmet features the adjustable dial on the back side so you can adjust the circumference for the snug and comfortable fit. The goggle clip will keep your goggles in place and the adjustable air vents will enable you to regulate the airflow. The chin strap is very well padded and soft, providing the maximum comfort.
The helmet is very light and you won’t even notice that you have it on your head. The lining on the inside is very soft and warm and the helmet also features the leather earmuffs.
It’s available in many different sizes so you can choose the one that fits perfectly and in many different colors so you can match it with the rest of your gear.
10. ProRider HS
Excellent ventilation channels
- Sizes tend to run small
This helmet is very affordable but also a very high-quality one. It features the spin-dial ring for fit adjustment on the back side and the adjustable and padded chin strap with quick release buckle for perfect fit.Read more
The inside of the helmet is padded with soft foam to keep you warm and comfortable and it can be removed easily. It meets the CPSC bike helmet standard so you can be sure you will be protected.
The helmet features the ventilation channels for maximum cooling comfort while the cushion keeps you warm.
The helmet is very nice looking and stylish and the reflective logo provides extra safety in low-light conditions.
Overall, it is a quite well-made helmet that you can get for more than affordable price. It has an excellent value for the price.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
take expert tip here?
The fit of the helmet is extremely important! Consider this the first step when choosing the right helmet. The ski helmets are quite rigid and your head is very sensitive to pressure, especially when exposed to wind and cold.
The fit affects the comfort and vulnerability of your head to the elements.
First of all, you need to determine the shape of your head. To do this the easiest way, just ask your friend to observe your head from above. This is the shape we are talking about. When you have determined the shape, you can choose the helmet accordingly. When you try out the helmet you should feel the same amount of pressure all around. Not too much pressure, but enough pressure for the helmet to sit securely on your head even when the strap is not locked.
When it comes to the strap, you should be able to talk and breathe when it’s locked.
If you are not able to try the helmet, check out the sizing chart on the manufacturer’s website, and measure the circumference of your head with a tape measure.
You would be surprised how warm ski helmets can be. A proper ski helmet in combination with good goggles can keep your head protected from the wind and cold better than anything else. Every helmet has thick foam that provides a certain level of insulation. The protection against the cold that the helmet provides depends mostly on the insulation that ear covers provide and the draft blocking.
Also, the very important thing for the proper insulation is the compatibility of the helmet and the goggles. They must create a good seal. The ear covers need to be thick enough and to curve down in order to provide you with good insulation.
Now, because the ski helmets are used in cold weather conditions, the insulation is way more important than ventilation. But if your helmet does provide a very good insulation, you will eventually get hot, so it’s not bad if you also have some ventilation to let off some steam.
The best ski helmets have the vents that can be closed and opened and removable ear pieces. Small vents will provide a certain amount of air to enter the helmet, but the most cooling you will get from removing the ear covers.
So, decide which is more important to you, ventilation or warmth, and choose the helmet accordingly.
After consideration of the fit, ventilation, warmth, and compatibility with your goggles, you can consider some of the minor features you would like your helmet to have. For example, you can choose the helmet that has a cable and wheel system for fit customization. Maybe you would like that your helmet has a built-in visor.
Some of the helmets feature a GoPro camera mount, or built-in audio system with voice control for your smartphone. There are so many features you can consider when you’re buying a helmet.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
The shell on these helmets is made of a thin but quite durable plastic that has very high resistance to impact, known as polycarbonate. The shell is filled with polystyrene, very tough and rigid foam. These helmets are usually more expensive and very light. They are molded much closer and they feature more vents than the hard-shell helmets. These are not as expensive as the injection molded helmets, but they are a bit heavier. They are usually made in more rounded shapes. The material that is usually used for the shell is acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and this is a very tough and durable plastic. On the inside of the shell, there is EPS foam.
Ensure that the helmet is compatible with your accessories! For example, goggle-helmet compatibility is essential for both comfort and weather protection. If they don’t fit properly they might press down your nose, or push your helmet back, or let the draft in. For the perfect fit, the upper curve of the goggles needs to be similar to the shape of the helmet. OR, maybe you want to mount a sports camera to your helmet. Ensure you have the ability to do so when deciding which helmet is best for you.
Other Factors to Consider
Well, of course, that style is important. The look of the items can influence our decisions very much. Especially if we are buying something we will wear on our heads. The helmets are available in so many different colors and shapes, and you can match them with the rest of your gear easily.
Additionally, the chances are that you have a few different jackets, but you will use only one helmet. If you want your helmet to match all of your jackets, you might want to consider a neutral color. On the other hand, the bright helmets will allow you to be spotted by your friends easier.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Do I really need a ski helmet?
Ski helmets were used only by high-speed competitive racers for a long time, but lately, we can see the increase in the use of this piece of gear amongst the recreational skiers. This increase in the utilization of helmets has reduced the number of head injuries by 50% and gave peace of mind to most of the parents.
Of course, the helmets do protect you from the head bumps and lacerations, but the number of fatal head injuries was not reduced with the increase in helmet usage. But, despite the fact that there are no strong arguments on the effectiveness of ski helmets in the prevention of serious injuries, helmet usage did increase drastically in the past few years. After all, we can all agree that it is much better to wear a helmet than to hit the ground with your bare head.
q: What types of helmets are there?
There are a few different types of helmets available, but we divided them into 3 major categories. There are injection molded helmets, hard-shell helmets, and specialized helmets. You will notice that we didn’t make the difference between ski and snowboard helmets. This is because the most important aspects, protection and fit, are completely the same for these two and the main difference is in style.
The main difference between the first two types of helmets is in construction while the function is quite similar. Both of these types are for general purposes and they cover your ears with fabric to keep you warm and to block the draft. The third type is specialized for certain winter sports activities and they have an option to have an added camera.
q: Can you wear a hat under a ski helmet?
No, you are unable to wear a hat under a ski helmet as the ski helmet should fit snuggly, and it won't do so if you've jammed a woolly hat underneath. Ski helmets are now so warm that you will not normally need to wear anything any extra.
q: Are skiing helmets mandatory?
Starting the season many ski resorts and provincial parks require you to make sure you are wearing your helmet and have your helmet at all times on the hill. It is now illegal in many parts of the world for you to not be wearing a ski helmet on the slopes. It is believed that in 5 years all places around the world will legally require you to wear a ski helmet.