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The Best Ski Helmets of 2023 Gear Guide – Reviews and Ratings

Best ski helmets

A good ski helmet can keep you safe on the mountain, keep your head warm or cool, and help keep your goggles fog free. The wrong ski helmet can make you feel uncomfortable and not provide the safety you are looking for. Ski helmets come in a wide variety of styles and prices with features such as MIPS, WaveCel, and BOA. Making the right choice can be difficult. We spend our time on the mountain putting gear to the test so we can help you find the perfect ski helmet this winter. Below are the best ski helmets of winter 2022-2023.

Keep reading after the reviews for our Ski Helmet Guide with everything you need to know about ski helmets.

How we test

We ski throughout the winter in a variety of conditions. We ski everything from east and midwest icy conditions to powder out west. There is no one helmet that is perfect for all conditions. We try to use everything we test and review in as many situations as we can. We considered performance, features, safety tech, and price, in our ski helmet recommendations.



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1. Top Pick – Smith Vantage MIPS ($9)

Smith Vantage Product Image

Specifications

  • Construction – Hybrid in-mold with Zonal Koroyd honeycomb
  • MIPS – Yes, Optional
  • Weight – 1 lbs 2 oz
  • Ventilation – Adjustable, dual zone
  • Goggle Defog Vents – Yes
  • Audio Compatible – Yes

The Smith Vantage MIPS is a lightweight snow helmet full of advanced features. It is no longer at the top of the Smith lineup with the introduction of the Quantum and now Nexus. It has almost every feature any skier could want.

It has a modern look with lots of visible vents and a small brim on the front. It will work with both low and high profile goggles. The AirEvac defogging vents are designed to work with Smith goggles. They will improve the defog performance of almost any ski goggle.

The Vantage has 21 adjustable vents that make it work well for almost any cold or hot ski day. The vents in the front and back can be adjusted separately. It’s almost light enough to work for backcountry use at 1 lb 2 ounces. There are lighter weight helmets out there but not with all the features of the Vantage.

The fleece lining of the Vantage makes it one of the warmest helmets on cold days. There is enough fleece in the liner and chin strap to be comfortable without feeling bulky.

It is available in both MIPS and non-MIPS versions. We always recommend going with MIPS on any ski helmet. The MIPS versions of the helmet run small. If you normally need a medium ski helmet, you should look for a large. The helmet also comes in a round head fit version.

Overall Rating
4.9

What we liked:

  • Lightweight design
  • Dual zone adjustable vents
  • Goggle defog vents
  • Available with MIPS
  • Honeycomb construction for better energy absorption and extra ventilation
  • Compatible with most goggles
  • Available in regular and round head fits
  • BOA adjustable fit system

What we didn’t like:

  • MIPS version sizes small
  • Chin could be longer
  • High cost

Bottom line:

The Smith Vantage MIPS is lightweight, warm, with enough adjustable ventilation to work on any day hot or cold. It uses the latest in-mold construction combined with honeycomb energy absorber.


2. Top Pick – Oakley MOD5 ($260)

Oakley Mod5 product image

Specifications

  • Construction – Hybrid In-mold
  • MIPS – Available
  • Weight – 1 lbs 6 oz
  • Ventilation – Adjustable
  • Goggle Defog Vents – Yes
  • Audio Compatible – Yes

The Oakley MOD5 has been redesigned for winter 2022/23. It has a more lean and clean look than the old model while still maintaining a unique Oakley style. It retains most of what we loved about prior versions. It has hybrid construction with a mix of in-mold and ABS hard shell construction. It has a comfortable fleece lining and audio compatible ear pads. It has a BOA fit system for adjusting size. It has MIPS for extra safety.

The MOD5 is very comfortable to wear and doesn’t feel like it’s squeezing your ears. The fleece lining has just enough padding without feeling overly bulky.

The helmet has adjustable venting with the vents hidden along the character line. The ear pads are removable to adjust the helmet for warmer conditions. The helmet brim works well with almost any set of goggles. You will get the best fit and defog performance from Oakley goggles. The helmet no longer has the Modular Brim system that the old MOD5 had. The brim is big enough to cover the tops of thicker goggles like Oakley Fall Line and Flight Deck.

The MOD5 retails for $260 making it cheaper than the Smith Vantage and quite a bit cheaper than the Smith Nexus. At this price, it is a good value for a high end ski helmet with full features such as hybrid construction and MIPS.

Overall Rating
4.8

What we liked:

  • Oakley style
  • MIPS safety performance
  • Hybrid construction for less weight
  • Hidden adjustable venting
  • Very comfortable to wear
  • BOA adjustable fit
  • Goggle defogging vents
  • Magnetic fidlock buckle

What we didn’t like:

  • Not as much venting as other designs
  • Heavier weight

Bottom line:

The Oakley MOD5 is stylish and functional for those who want to stand out. It is very comfortable and has MIPS, hybrid construction, and innovative hidden adjustable venting.

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3. Best Value – Outdoor Master Diamond MIPS ($90)

diamond mips helmet product image

Specifications

  • Construction – In-mold
  • MIPS – Yes
  • Weight – 15 oz
  • Ventilation – Adjustable
  • Goggle Defog Vents – Yes
  • Audio Compatible – Yes

The Outdoor Master Diamond MIPS is a great value ski helmet. It is one of the cheaper MIPS helmets out there. Don’t let its cheapness fool you. It is a great ski helmet with a lot of great features.

It uses in-mold construction with a polycarbonate shell. It comes in at 15 ounces total weight making it a very lightweight ski helmet. It has MIPS for extra safety. It has adjustable vents. It has enough ventilation to work for anything except for backcountry skiing with a lot of hiking. It has plenty for warm or cold resort skiing days. We have tried out the goggle defog vents on a few horrible foggy wet days at Whitefish and they worked well.

The Diamond helmet is very comfortable to wear. It has enough padding in the liner to feel good. It doesn’t have any pressure points on my head in the front, back or sides. It has wider depth ear pads that work well with most Bluetooth audio speakers. It’s one of the few helmets I can wear with speakers that don’t feel like they are pressing my ears too much. The chin strap is padded and has enough adjustment to fit most head shapes.

Overall Rating
4.8

What we liked:

  • MIPS and ASTM2040F-18 certification
  • Goggle anti-fog vents
  • Very comfortable to wear
  • Adjustable vents
  • Polycarbonate In-Mold construction
  • Lightweight
  • Wide ear pieces that are comfortable with speakers installed

What we didn’t like:

  • No nonsense skateboard helmet styling
  • No XL or Asian fit sizes are available

Bottom line:

The Outdoor Master Diamond MIPS is a great value MIPS helmet. It is very comfortable to wear and lightweight.

See Best Deals!

Use the Coupon Code ERO2022 for up to 20% off at OutdoorMaster.com


4. Best for Terrain Park – Oakley Mod1 MIPS ($135)

Oakley MOD1 Product image

Specifications

  • Construction – In-Mold
  • MIPS – Available
  • Weight – 15 oz
  • Ventilation – Fixed
  • Goggle Defog Vents – Yes
  • Audio Compatible – No

The Oakley MOD1 MIPS was designed for freestyle skiing and snowboarding. Top professionals such as Eileen Gu use it during competition along with Oakley Line Miner goggles. The Mod1 is a lightweight helmet with a simple skater look. It offers full protection on the mountain.

The MOD1 is available in regular and MIPS versions. We always recommend the MIPS version when it is available. It uses in-mold construction with low profile ear pads. The ear pads are thinner than most other helmets allowing you to easily hear around you. They don’t feel bulky or thick. They do not have pockets for placing speakers. This ski helmet uses a BOA fit system to provide a more secure fit.

The helmet weighs in at 15 ounces making it very light weight. It doesn’t have the modular brim system of the MOD3 and MOD5 helmets. It integrates very well with Oakley Goggles such as the Line Miner or Flight Deck. It has goggle defog vents to keep goggles clear.

The MOD1 has fixed vents. It doesn’t have a lot of ventilation compared to other helmets. It has enough to stay comfortable for a day in the park or any other resort skiing.

Overall Rating
4.7

What we liked:

  • Durable tough construction
  • Lightweight design
  • BOA adjustable fit system
  • Removable goggle clip
  • Goggle defog vents
  • Removable low profile ear pads
  • Fidlock magnetic buckle
  • Anti-microbial linings
  • Available in Regular, Round Fit and Youth versions

What we didn’t like:

  • Fixed vents
  • Not a lot of ventilation
  • Ear pads aren’t audio compatible

Bottom line:

The Oakley MOD1 MIPS is designed to be the ultimate freestyle ski helmet. It is lightweight, has thinned out ear pads, optional MIPS protection, and an aggressive skater look.

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5. Best Cheap Ski Helmet – Outdoor Master Kelvin ($40)

Outdoor Master Kelvin Product Image

Specifications

  • Construction – ABS Hard Shell
  • MIPS – No
  • Weight – 1 lbs
  • Ventilation – Fixed
  • Goggle Defog Vents – No
  • Audio Compatible – No

The Outdoor Master Kelvin Snow Helmet is the most popular ski helmet on Amazon. It has over 7400 reviews and counting. It is popular for a reason. It is a good solid no frills basic ski helmet. It has a little more styling than a basic skateboard style dome helmet.

The Kelvin has basic ABS hard shell construction with an EPS foam liner. It is sturdy and well made. The straps are riveted to the hardshell. The size adjuster is easier to turn and feels smoother than what you will find on expensive helmets. The inside of the helmet has a removable fleece liner. The ear pads are fleece lined and removable as well. They do not have pockets to put speakers in.

The Kelvin is comfortable to wear with enough vents for warm days. The vents are fixed so you’ll want to wear a thin hat on cooler days. This helmet sizes tend to run small and there is no XL size available for people with larger heads.

Overall Rating
4.6

What we liked:

  • Rugged construction and ASTM 2040F certified
  • Very low cost
  • Stylish appearance
  • Good ventilation
  • Comfortable to wear with or without hats
  • It works with a variety of goggles with no goggle gap

What we didn’t like:

  • The chin strap needs to be a little longer
  • There is no XL size available
  • The vents can’t be closed

Bottom line:

The Outdoor Master Kelvin is a good basic cheap ski helmet. It is perfect for people who are new to skiing, who want to be safe but don’t want to spend hundreds on a ski helmet.

See Best Deals!

Use the Coupon Code ERO2022 for up to 20% off at OutdoorMaster.com


6. Sweet Protection Switcher MIPS ($269)

Sweet Protection Switcher Product Image

Specifications

  • Construction – Hybrid
  • MIPS – Optional
  • Weight – 1 lbs 4 oz
  • Ventilation – Adjustable
  • Goggle Defog Vents – Yes
  • Audio Compatible – Yes

The Sweet Protection Switcher MIPS has one of the best adjustable vent systems out there. It has 20 vents that can be opened and closed with a dial on the back of the helmet. The dial is smooth and easy to operate. The 2 vents in front of the helmet can be opened and closed independently of the rest of the vents. This helmet has a lot of adjustment for controlling temperature.

The Switcher has hybrid construction with MIPS technology on the inside. It also has impact plates that help distribute the load better in critical spots. This helmet goes beyond a simple EPS foam liner for absorbing impact energy.

The helmet is comfortable. It does not have a lot of padding on top of the head. Depending on your head shape you may or may not notice the hard feeling top. The size adjustment dial works well for fine tuning the helmet to different head sizes. The ear pads are removable with zipper pockets for speakers.

Overall Rating
4.8

What we liked:

  • Impact shields inside helmet that provide better load distribution
  • Advanced hybrid construction that matches stiffness with protection needs
  • MIPS protection
  • Fidlock magnetic buckle
  • 20 adjustable vents with independent front vent adjustment
  • Goggle defogging vents

What we didn’t like:

  • Heavy weight
  • Doesn’t have much padding on top of head
  • Higher cost

Bottom line:

The Sweet Protection Switcher MIPS has one of the best adjustable vent systems along with added protection of impact shields and it looks good too.

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7. Wildhorn Highline MIPS ($129)

Wildhorn Highline MIPS Product Image

Specifications

  • Construction – In-Mold
  • MIPS – Yes
  • Weight – 15 oz
  • Ventilation – Adjustable
  • Goggle Defog Vents – Yes
  • Audio Compatible – Yes

The Wildhorn Highline MIPS Ski Helmet is a great value at just over $100. It has most of the features of high end ski helmets at half the cost. It has advanced in-mold construction with MIPS technology for added safety. It weighs in at 15 oz making it one of the lighter helmets out there.

The Highline has a Polycarbonate shell with in-mold EPS foam liner. They uses a 2 part mold to give it a bit more character with 2 tone appearance. It has adjustable vents with plenty of vent for anything you will do at a ski resort.

Inside the helmet is an anti-microbial fleece lining that is removable for washing. The removable ear pads are fleece lined with pockets for putting speakers. It uses a magnetic buckle for easy on and off.

Goggle compatibility is good with most ski goggles. The Wildhorn Pipeline goggles are a good affordable choice that completes the look with the Highline helmet.

There really isn’t much to dislike about the Highline helmet. Our only complaint is there isn’t an XL size available for people with larger heads. There is no round head fit version either.

Overall Rating
4.8

What we liked:

  • Very light weight
  • Good ventilation with adjustable vents
  • Anti-microbial helmet lining
  • Magnetic buckle
  • Audio compatible removable ear pads
  • Overall comfortable fit and feel
  • Goggle defog vents in front
  • Adjustable size
  • MIPS for added safety

What we didn’t like:

  • No size XL or round fit available

Bottom line:

The Wildhorn Highline MIPS helmet has all the features you need including MIPS safety for a very reasonable price. It has styling that looks like a much more expensive helmet.

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8. Smith Mission MIPS ($140)

Smith Mission MIPS product image

Specifications

  • Construction – In-mold with Koroyd honeycomb
  • MIPS – Available
  • Weight – 1 lbs
  • Ventilation – Adjustable
  • Goggle Defog Vents – Yes
  • Audio Compatible – Yes

The Smith Mission MIPS is a mid-level helmet from Smith Optics. It is an excellent helmet for resort skiing with all the features most skiers will ever need. The Mission MIPS has adjustable venting, a removable fleece lining, goggle defog vents, and a size adjuster.

It uses in-mold construction with a polycarbonate shell and EPS foam energy absorber. It uses Koroyd plastic honeycomb in place of the EPS shell around the sides of the head. This gives it better energy absorption. It also allows venting through the honeycomb without giving up any structure. The helmet comes in at a very light 1 lb.

The helmet has audio compatible earpieces that are removable. They are not easily removable. You have to unhook the size adjuster from the helmet to remove the single piece ear pad.

The helmet feels comfortable and roomy. I have no problem fitting a small hat underneath on the MIPS version of the helmet. The size adjuster has enough range to fit people who are in between sizes.

Overall Rating
4.7

What we liked:

  • Roomy and comfortable
  • Fleece lining is warm and comfortable
  • Goggle defog vents
  • Available MIPS
  • Koroyd energy absorbing honeycomb construction
  • Adjustable vents
  • Lightweight at 1 lb total weight

What we didn’t like:

  • Size adjuster feels a bit cheap
  • Earpads are difficult to remove

Bottom line:

The Smith Mission MIPS helmet is a solid mid level ski helmet good for resort skiing. It is comfortable with MIPS and Koroyd energy absorber and goggle defog vents.


9. Giro Tor Spherical ($250)

Giro Tor Product Image

Specifications

  • Construction – HYbrid with Hardshell upper and In-Mold lower
  • MIPS – Yes – Spherical Tech
  • Weight 
  • Ventilation – Adjustable
  • Goggle Defog Vents – Yes
  • Audio Compatible – Yes

The Giro Tor Spherical is the latest helmet from Giro. It comes with a slew of advanced features. The most significant is the Spherical safety technology. Spherical uses 2 layers of energy absorbing foam instead of 1. The 2 layers can rotate like a ball and socket. They have different stiffnesses. The outer layer is tuned for hard impacts. The inner layer is tuned for less severe impacts. A MIPS layer on the inside rounds out the system.

The Tor has a modern look with low profile vents and a small bill to cover the top of your goggles. The vents are adjustable and there is enough venting to cover most warmer days on the mountain. The liner features anti-microbial fleece that will keep the helmet fresh longer.

The helmet is a little shallower than other helmets because of the thickness of the Spherical tech. The chin strap padding is fixed. It can’t slide along the chin strap. If you need to lengthen the chin strap to fit your head, you will have a chin pad that is way off center.

Overall Rating
4.7

What we liked:

  • Spherical impact protection tech
  • Lots of adjustable ventilation
  • Comfortable feeling liner and helmet
  • Deep ear pads that are comfortable with speakers
  • Modern stylish design
  • Anti-microbial fleece lining keeps it fresh

What we didn’t like:

  • Fix position chin strap pad
  • High price

Bottom line:

The Giro Tor Spherical is for skiers who want style and the safest helmet. The Spherical Tech adds upon MIPS making it one of the safest helmets available.

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10. Salomon Husk Pro MIPS ($220)

Salomon Husk Pro product image

Specifications

  • Construction – Hybrid
  • MIPS – Optional
  • Weight – 15 oz
  • Ventilation – Adjustable
  • Goggle Defog Vents – Yes
  • Audio Compatible – Yes

The Salomon Husk Pro MIPS ski helmet has Salomon EPS4D liner for better safety. Salomon has been well known for making skis, bindings, and boots for a long time. They also make some really good ski helmets and goggles. Their helmet follows the Salomon way of being reasonably priced and innovative.

The EPS4D system uses dual density EPS foam. You have the standard high density foam liner. You have low density softer foam in critical areas giving you more protection. This means that the helmet will soften the blow more than with a standard single density EPS foam liner. Salmon claims that it can absorb up to 30% more energy than is required. It handles oblique and off-center impacts better too.

The Husk Pro has adjustable vents with a large amount of vent area. It has all the other features you expect on a high end ski helmet such as audio compatible removable ear pads and a BOA size adjuster.

Overall Rating
4.7

What we liked:

  • EPS4D dual density EPS foam liner for better energy absorbtion
  • Adjustable vents with lots of ventilation
  • Goggle defog vents
  • Audio compatible revocable ear pads
  • MIPS technology for added safety
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Lightweight design

What we didn’t like:

  • No XL or round head fits sizes are available
  • Not as commonly available as other helmet and goggle brands

Bottom line:

The Salomon Husk Pro is a solid free ride ski helmet with the added protection from their ESP4D Dual density foam liner and lots of adjustable ventilation.

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11. Giro Ledge MIPS ($85-105)

Giro Ledge Product Image

Specifications

  • Construction – ABS Hard Shell
  • MIPS – Optional
  • Weight – 1 lbs 1 oz
  • Ventilation – Fixed
  • Goggle Defog Vents – Yes
  • Audio Compatible – Yes

The Giro Ledge MIPS Ski Helmet is one of the most popular helmets for park skiers. It has a simple skateboard helmet dome look. It has optional MIPS for better safety. The Ledge has fixed vents and their Auto Loc 2 fit system.

The Auto Loc 2 system uses an elastic band to give a good fit. It has 2 adjustment ranges that can be set while not wearing the helmet. It lacks the adjustment dial that higher end helmets have. For people who want a durable helmet for use in the terrain park, it is one less item that can break.

The helmet is lightweight at just over 1 lb weight. It has fixed vents that provide good ventilation for all but the hottest ski days. You will want to use a hat under the helmet for cold days because the vents can’t be shut to keep cold air or snow out. The ear pads are removable with pockets for placing Bluetooth speakers.

Overall Rating
4.6

What we liked:

  • Sturdy construction
  • Simple skater styling
  • Has goggle defog vents
  • MIPS version is available for a few bucks more
  • It has a size adjuster
  • Available in a bunch of different colors
  • Compatible with most ski goggles
  • Available slalom version with mouth guard
  • Easily removable goggle clip

What we didn’t like:

  • Fixed vents
  • Sized adjuster can’t be adjusted while wearing helmet

Bottom line:

The Giro Ledge is a no frills, lightweight helmet that is popular among park skiers. It has a simple skater look and optional MIPS for safety.

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12. Smith Nexus MIPS ($325)

Smith NEXUS Product Image

Specifications

  • Construction – Hybrid with Koroyd
  • MIPS – Yes
  • Weight – 1 lbs 3 oz
  • Ventilation – Adjustable dual zone
  • Goggle Defog Vents – Yes
  • Audio Compatible – Yes

The Smith Nexus is the latest and greatest helmet design from Smith Optics. It replaces the Smith Quantum this year. The Nexus uses a full Koroyd energy absorber combined with hybrid shell construction.

The most common complaint about the Quantum helmet is that it was heavy. The Nexus shaves a few ounces off. At 1 lb 3 oz it is just a little heavier than the Smith Vantage.

What does the Nexus give you beyond the Vantage? The Nexus uses a full Koroyd honeycomb energy absorber instead of Koroyd combined with EPP foam. It has dual adjustable vents similar to the Vantage. It also uses a Fidlock magnetic buckle instead of a conventional buckle.

The Nexus keeps the very comfortable fit and feel of the Quantum helmet. The anti-microbial lining means it will stay fresh feeling longer between washes.

Overall Rating
4.6

What we liked:

  • Full Koroyd honeycomb energy asborber
  • Dual adjustable vent controls
  • Lots of ventilation including goggle defog vents
  • Audio compatible ear pads
  • BOA adjustable fit system
  • Anti-Microbial lining

What we didn’t like:

  • Very high cost
  • Heavier weight
  • Ear pads are difficult to remove

Bottom line:

The Smith Nexus is the top of the line helmet from Smith. It offers some improvements over the Vantage including dual adjustable vents and more Koroyd.


13. Smith Maze MIPS ($155)

Smith Maze MIPS product image

Specifications

  • Construction – In-Mold
  • MIPS – Optional
  • Weight – 12 oz
  • Ventilation – Fixed
  • Goggle Defog Vents – Yes
  • Audio Compatible – Yes

The Smith Maze MIPS helmet is a lightweight freestyle ski helmet. At 13 ounces, it is one of the lightest ski helmets made. It is designed with a simple low profile skater look. It uses in-mold construction with optional MIPS. We always recommend getting the MIPS version of a helmet. It’s worth the extra few bucks.

The Maze has no dial for adjusting the size. It uses an elastic band combined with removable foam pieces to adjust the size. It works okay but the fit can’t be fine tuned as well as helmets with a dedicated size adjuster. It’s one of the items that was left off the helmet to get it as lightweight as it is.

The helmet has fixed vents. There is enough venting to work for most resort skiing. There is not as much venting as helmets with adjustable vents. Most skiers will need a thin hat for colder days.

Goggle compatibility is excellent, especially with Smith goggles. Smith Mag Squad goggles with flat lenses look great with this helmet.

Overall Rating
4.6

What we liked:

  • Very lightweight
  • Available MIPS
  • Low profile skater look
  • Removable ear pads that are audio compatible
  • Removable goggle clip
  • Goggle defog vents
  • Good goggle compatibility especially with Smith goggles

What we didn’t like:

  • Fixed vents
  • No size adjustment dial
  • Not a lot of ventilation

Bottom line:

The Smith Maze MIPS helmet is a lightweight freestyle helmet that offers great protection and style. It is one of the lightest helmets available and still has MIPS.


14. Anon Merak WaveCel ($319)

Anon Merak product image

Specifications

  • Construction – Hybrid
  • MIPS – WaveCel
  • Weight – 1 lbs 1 oz
  • Ventilation – Adjustable
  • Goggle Defog Vents – Yes
  • Audio Compatible – Yes

The Anon Merak WaveCel ski helmet is the latest innovation from Anon Optics. Anon is the goggle/helmet brand of popular snowboarding brand Burton.

The Merak’s standout feature is the WaveCel technology. WaveCel is a new competing technology trying to equal or perform better than MIPS. It is designed to be a better energy absorber than the standard EPS foam. It reduces risk of injury due to rotational forces in a similar manner to MIPS. The WaveCel structure can rotate inside the helmet.

The Merak has 19 vents which will keep you cool on hot days in the resort or backcountry. Only 8 of the large vents are adjustable. It doesn’t have dual vent zones like the Smith Nexus for a similar price.

The helmet has a Polartec fleece lining that is removable for washing. The helmet uses a BOA size adjuster. The BOA dial is mounted on the back of the helmet shell. This means the shell can extend lower for better protection. It doesn’t give you a plastic band digging into your neck like some size adjusters.

Overall Rating
4.6

What we liked:

  • WaveCel safety technology for absorbing impacts and rotational energy
  • 19 vents to keep your head cool
  • Fidlock magnetic buckle
  • Goggle defog vents
  • Removable ear pads with speaker pockets
  • BOA size adjuster mounted on the back of helmet shell
  • Hybrid helmet construction

What we didn’t like:

  • Very high price
  • Only 8 vents are adjustable

Bottom line:

The Anon Merak is a top of the line ski helmet offering improved safety with WaveCel technology. It has lots of venting and a comfortable fit.

See Best Deals!


15. Anon Logan WaveCel ($239)

ANON Logan product image

Specifications

  • Construction – Hybrid
  • MIPS – WaveCel tech
  • Weight – 15 oz
  • Ventilation – Fixed
  • Goggle Defog Vents – No
  • Audio Compatible – Yes

The Anon Logan WaceCel Ski Helmet has advanced safety features at a mid level price. It has basic skater styling with a little bit of flare in the vent design.

The Logan is built with hybrid construction using WaveCel technology. WaveCel is designed to flex and absorb energy during falls and provide a softer cushion than EPS Foam. It should help reduce the risk of concussions. The WaveCel structure can slide and rotate in a similar manner to MIPS so that MIPS isn’t needed. You get the benefit of better rotational protection along with better energy absorption on direct impacts.

The Logan is a thinner profile helmet thanks to WaveCel. It only has fixed vents. You may need to wear a thin hat underneath on cold days. For the price, it should have adjustable vents.

It is a really comfortable helmet to wear. There is enough roominess in it for a thin hat to work. It’s available in 4 sizes up to XL so it will work with larger head sizes. It has a BOA size adjuster mounted on the back of the helmet shell to fine tune the size.

Overall Rating
4.5

What we liked:

  • WaveCel safety technology
  • Lightweight design
  • Enough ventilation to work on warmer days
  • Low profile helmet design with a little bit of style
  • BOA Size adjuster
  • Fidlock magnetic buckle
  • Removable ear pads with speaker pockets

What we didn’t like:

  • Fixed vents
  • No goggle defog vents

Bottom line:

The Anon Logan WaveCel helmet has advanced safety features and basic styling with a little character. It’s good for park or resort skiing.

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oakley flight deck M at the slopes

Ski Helmet Guide

There are a lot of ski helmets out there to choose from in a wide range of prices and styles. What helmet is best for you? Let’s discuss some common ski helmet features so you can better understand what to look for when you go shopping.

1 – Safety Certifications

The 2 most common safety certifications for ski helmets are ASTM2040F and EN1077. ASTM is the US certification. EN is the European certification. Ski helmets sold in the US will comply with one or the other. We would not recommend any helmet that isn’t certified. They both involve hitting a ski helmet with an impactor and measuring forces. Both standards produce helmets that are equally safe. You will find a sticker or tag inside your ski helmet that shows which standards it is certified to.

2 – Price

Ski helmets can run from $25 to over $500. How much do you need to pay to get a safe ski helmet? Every ski helmet sold in the US has to comply with some safety standard. The 2 common standards are ASTM2040F and EN1077. Even the cheapest of helmets will meet these and provide some level of protection.

A $50 to $100 ski helmet will not have MIPS or other features such as adjustable vents. Almost all of these helmets will be missing features you will want as an experienced skier. There are a few exceptions such as the Outdoor Master Diamond MIPS that is full featured (adjustable vents, MIPS, goggle defog, audio compatible) for under $100.

You will find that ski helmets in the $100-$200 range can have all the most popular features. These include MIPS, adjustable vents, goggle defog vents, size adjuster and audio compatible ear pads. This is where the best value is found in ski helmets.

When you go above $200 you are getting features such as Koroyd or Spherical energy absorbers. When you go above $300 you are buying the latest and greatest helmet from any vendor. You are only getting small improvements over the $200 helmets and for most people they are not worth it.

3 – Ski helmet construction

Ski helmets use 3 main types of construction these days. They each have advantages and disadvantages. The construction types are hard shell, in-mold, and hybrid.

ABS Hard Shell

Hardshell is the most simple and cheapest ski helmet construction. It consists of an ABS plastic outer shell and an EPS foam liner. The foam liner is molded separately from the ABS shell. They are glued together to make the finished helmet. This construction is cheap to make. Vents and other features cannot be as intricate with hard shell construction. Helmets with hardshell construction tend to look plain with too many features. ABS is heavier and more scratch resistant than polycarbonate.

Polycarbonate In-mold

In-Mold construction ski helmets use a single mold to make both the outer helmet shell and EPS foam liner. The outer shell is made from polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is lighter and stronger than ABS plastic. It is 3 times more expensive than ABS plastic. Polycarbonate also scratches easier than ABS. To make an in-mold helmet, a polycarbonate outer shell is created. The foam is molded and attached directly to the shell in the mold which is where the name in-mold comes from. In-mold construction is lighter weight, allows more venting channels and detail in the vents and other features. The downsides to this method are higher cost and easier to scratch.

Hybrid

Hybrid ski helmet construction is a mix of In-Mold and Hard Shell. They use a hard ABS shell for the top of the helmet. They use in-mold for the sides of the helmet. The top of the helmet will have a harder surface for absorbing impacts and not getting scratched. It makes an overall lighter weight helmet as well. Hybrid construction can be cheaper than pure in-mold construction but it depends on how intricate the molds and parts are. It can also cost a lot more than in-mold construction.

4 – Safety technologies

There is safety tech that take ski helmet performance beyond the basic ASTM and EN certifications. The most common is MIPS. There are several others such as Spherical and WaveCel and more are on the way. What do these technologies do?

MIPS

MIPS stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System. It uses a separate plastic layer inside the helmet that can slide and rotate relative to the EPS foam liner. When you hit something at an an angle or glancing blow that tries to rotate your head, MIPS slips and reduces the load on your head. Most real world accidents don’t involve perfectly head on impacts. I always get MIPS version of any ski helmet I am buying.

Spherical

Spherical is an enhanced version of MIPS. It uses 2 layers of foam in the energy absorbing liner. A high density layer outside and a low density softer layer inside. The 2 layers act as a ball and socket joint. When you impact something, the 2 layers can rotate relative to each other. This further reduces the rotational impact load on your head.

The second benefit comes from the 2 foam densities. If you hit something not that hard, the softer layer of foam will absorb the impact. This means less impact on your head. If you hit something really hard, you will crush the soft layer and then the stiff layer will absorb the impact. This improves the overall safety of the helmet. Your head sees lower forces for both low severity and high severity.

WaveCel

WaveCel is an alternative technology to MIPS. It uses a wave shaped plastic energy absorber in place of EPS foam. The plastic wave can bend and crush to absorb impacts. It allows for softer or stiffer resistance depending on how the impact happens.

When you get hit by a glancing blow that causes the helmet to rotate, the plastic waves can rotate relative to each other and the helmet shell. This acts in a similar manner to MIPS. The WaveCel structure lets the helmet shell rotate without rotating your head.

EPS4D

EPS4D is a more advanced EPS foam energy absorber than the standard EPS foam liner. EPS4D uses 2 layers of foam with a softer layer in areas where your head is more prone to injury. This gives a softer impact force for your head. It also improves the effectiveness of MIPS by also allowing some rotation inside the EPS foam layers.

5 – Fit and Sizing

Ski helmets tend to come in adult or unisex sizes. Most helmets come in small, medium, and large. Some have an extra large size as well. Most ski helmets are unisex. A few helmet makers produce separate men’s and women’s versions. The difference is more colors than anything else. The size ranges may be shifter slightly smaller as well. There are a few ski helmets have also have a youth version. This is a size smaller than the Adult Small.

Round Contour fit or Asian Fit

For people with more round head shapes such as Asians, some helmets come in a “round contour fit” or “Asian Fit” version. This helmet has a wider profile than the standard adult helmet size. If you have a wider head, you may need to go up a size with a regular fit helmet. This will leave you with a helmet with lots of space in the fore/aft direction no matter how tight you make the size adjuster. The round fit version of the helmet solves this problem.

6 – Goggle Compatibility

Most ski helmets and goggles have a similar shape these days. Almost any new ski goggle will work with almost any ski helmet without giving you a goggle gap. There are some small shape differences. You will get more gap towards the edges of your goggles mixing some brands. Giro seems to have a little different shape than everyone else.

You want a tight fit between the top of your goggles and the bottom of your ski helmet. This helps the goggle defog vents work better. You won’t look like a Gaper (someone who doesn’t know what they are doing) to everyone on the mountain.

Every ski helmet will have some kind of clip or hook to hold goggle straps on the back. These can range from a plastic clip to a rubber strap to a bungee. This comes down to personal preference. I prefer bungee straps. A lot of people wear ski goggles inside helmets. They tend to prefer plastic clips because they are removable.

7 – Helmet ventilation

A ski helmet can function as an insulator on cold days. Every ski day isn’t cold. This is where helmet ventilation comes in. Air vents in the helmet transport hot air and sweat out of the helmet. More vents are better on warm days so your head doesn’t overheat.

Adjustable vents are preferred on almost all ski helmets. This means that the vents can be opened or closed depending on the temperature.

If a ski helmet has fixed vents then they are always open. This means you get cold air flowing through your helmet on cold days which will make your head cold. You will also get snow and if you are unfortunate rain going into your helmet through the open vents. A thin hat can help on cold days if you can’t close the vents.

Helmets meant for backcountry skiing or ski touring will have more vents. You build up a lot more heat while climbing, skinning, or walking with skis.

8 – Goggle defog vents

Some ski helmets have vents on the front that help draw air through your ski goggles. This reduces fogging in your goggles. It works quite well. If you get fog in your goggles while standing around, start skiing. The combined helmet and goggle vents will clear the fog right out of your ski goggles.

9 – Removable Ear Pads

Ski helmet ear pads can vary a lot from helmet to helmet. Removable ear pads are good for warmer spring days when the helmet is too hot with all the vents open. Ear pad material can vary from fuzzy fleece feeling material to smooth neoprene material. The Oakley Mod1 has a very thin smooth feeling earpad. The Outdoor Master Diamond has a very fuzzy thick feeling ear pad.

All earpads do not go on and off easily. Smith Optics earpads tend to be difficult to remove and need you to unhook the size adjuster to do it. Other brands can go on and off easier.

10 – Audio compatible ear pads

Some people like listening to music on the slopes. There are small Bluetooth speakers made to fit inside the ear pads of some ski helmets. Audio compatible ski helmets will have small pockets in the ear pads where you can place speakers. They will have neoprene or mesh where the speaker will go instead of fleece so you can hear the speaker better.

11 – Helmet weight

Ski helmet weights range from about 12 oz to 22 oz. A lighter helmet will not feel as heavy after a long day. The lightest helmets usually give up features to get that light such as size adjusters or adjustable vents. If you are backcountry skiing every ounce on you is another ounce you have to carry up climbs. If you are doing freestyle skiing, you want to be as light as possible for jumping and tricks. The average weight for a helmet for resort skiing is around 15 to 20 oz. (1-1.25 lbs).

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About the author

My name is Doug Ryan. I am an outdoors enthusiast always looking forward to my next adventure. I spend as much time skiing, biking, and paddleboarding as I can. I decided to start Endless Rush Outdoors as a way to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for all things outdoor adventures and to help other people have as much fun as me.