Best helmet for skiing
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Best helmet for skiing

The best ski helmet is easier to define and decide upon than picking a new pair of skis. Ski helmets have progressively more and better safety technology included in each model as the price increases. This means that if you see a more expensive helmet from a reputable brand, there is a very good chance it is going to be a better helmet, and will keep your head safer than a cheaper and more affordable ski helmet.

Although on appearance and on first impressions, there may not be much of an apparent difference between a ski helmet for $100 and a ski helmet for $350, the expensive helmets for any brand will be far superior in terms of safety technology. Regardless of which brand of ski helmet you opt for, the leading technology to keep your precious head safe and intact, is a technology called MIPS.

MIPS ski helmet

MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System. The purpose of MIPS is to protect your head by reducing rotational forces and impacts on your head. By absorbing some of this rotational force when you fall and hit your head on the snow, while moving at speed, this can help protect from brain injury. Generally speaking, you will have a hard time finding helmets with MIPS technology in helmets costing less than $200.

Everybody should be wearing a helmet for skiing, both adults and children. It is so easy to fall and hit your head on the compact snow, that it is just not worth the risk of injuring your head. Although I wont go into detail about the ins and outs of wearing a ski helmet in this article, have a read of Do skiers wear helmets to find out a bit more about why it is so important to wear a helmet while you are skiing. A ski helmet is one of a number of essential items to make sure you have packed for any ski holiday you are going on, or if you would rather save a bit of money, it is always possible to rent ski helmets at the resort. Have a look at the article What to pack for skiing to see a comprehensive list of everything you need to remember for a ski holiday!

The main brands to look out for when you are choosing your ski helmet are Smith, Giro & Bollé. Though there are other brands that make ski helmets, these brands made the most reputable ski helmets, and you can be absolutely sure what you are getting for your money. As well as this, these brands make a nice range of helmets at different prices and to fit slightly different head shapes and sizes, meaning you will definitely find what you are looking for with these brands.

Smith Quantum MIPS

First up is the Smith Quantum MIPS. Widely regarded as one of the most advanced ski helmets on the market, and with a price tag to match it at $300 or there abouts, depending on where you purchase it from (it is ALWAYS going to be more expensive to buy in the resort). As described above, the MIPS technology found in the higher end ski helmets such as Smith Quantum MIPS or Smith Vantage MIPS give extra protection compared to normal helmets, by protecting against rotational impacts as well as blunt impacts. The Smith Quantum MIPS is made even safter with the inclusion of even more Koroyd honeycomb mesh to protect your head against blunt impacts.

Putting safety aside, both the Smith Quantum MIPS and Smith Vantage MIPS are even more superior in comfort than their cheaper counterparts. With 22 air vents controlled by 2 slider controls, you can easily cool yourself off on a warm Spring day, or else keep every last ounce of heat in when it gets down to -10°C! As with all good helmets, the helmet can be adjusted using the boa wheel. I found the Smith Quantum MIPS helmet to be the warmest helmet I've tested. Other helmets such as Smith Vantage MIPS and Giro Zone MIPS came close, but the Smith Quantum MIPS just edged it with warmth for me because of vents and warm ear covers.

If you are planning a ski trip and want one of the safest and highest tech helmets on the market, have a look at this link to buy Smith Quantum MIPS and to find out a bit more about this top of the range ski helmet and everything it offers.

Smith Vantage MIPS

Smith Vantage MIPS is a very worthy second placed ski helmet to the Smith Quantum MIPS in my opinion. There really isn't much separating these two helmets made by Smith, though there are a few advantages which might push you one way or the other. Where Smith Vantage MIPS excels ahead of Smith Quantum MIPS is goggle compatibility and weight. Simply due to the fact that extra safety material has been place the Smith Quantum MIPS helmet makes it that little bit weightier than the Smith Vantage MIPS, however slight that difference might be. Unless you were directly comparing them both, you really would notice too much of a difference.

On the whole, Smith make helmets which are very compatible with most ski goggles, in particular their own brand of ski goggles. The Smith Vantage MIPS however I found to be a little more comfortable with the Smith I/O ski goggles I normally wear. Have a look at this article to find out a bit more about the ski goggle Smith makes as well as other fantastic brands What are the best goggles for skiing.

Giro Grid MIPS

Although Giro arguably doesn’t have the same prestige as the likes of Smith simply due to Smith’s strong hand in the goggle market and the fantastic helmets Smith makes, Giro are also one of the leading helmet manufacturers in the skiing world. With MIPS integrated into the Giro Grid MIPS as well, there is added protection and safety to this helmet. One of the great advantages of the Giro Grid MIPS is its weight. This helmet is one of the lightest ski helmets with MIPS included at only 400g! Like with both the Smith Quantum MIPS and the Smith Vantage MIPS, the supply of fresh air on your head is in abundance with a good array of vents included in the helmet which are adjustable. Basically like an air con in a car!

Have a look at Buy Giro Grid MIPS to find out a bit more about this helmet and purchase it if you fell this is the one for you.

Bollé Backline Visor

When writing reviews of ski helmets, I couldn’t leave out a review of at least one ski helmet with a visor. The Bollé Backline Visor is one of the best picks for ski helmets with attached visors. You either love these helmets or hate them. Personally, I actually really liked having the extra large visor to give me excellent peripheral vision on the slopes, and because it is attached to the helmet with a simple pivot system on each side of the helmet, it is so easy to remove when you’ve just got to appreciate those views! You don’t need to worry about being stuck with one lens, as just because it is attached to the helmet doesn’t mean you cant change to a low light lens. This helmet comes with 2 lenses as standard.

Unfortunately, the Bollé Backline Visor doesn’t contain the MIPS technology that the other helmets I have reviewed here contain, and there is no getting around that is a disadvantage. Despite this the helmet is made out of the super protective ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene). As with each of the other helmets you can get a nicely ventilated head with adjustable ventilation!

To find out a bit more about this helmet and if you are interested in picking one of these up, you can buy the Bollé Backline Visor here.

Oakley Mod 5 MIPS

Only recently have Oakley decided to enter the competitive market of ski helmets. Just because you havent associated Oakley with top quality ski helmets until now, doesn’t mean the v isnt worth a strong consideration. The reality is, a brand as large as Oakley, who is known for making top notch ski goggles and optics across a huge range of sports, can be relied upon when they make a new product, even if it isnt something they are well known for. That’s where the Oakley Mod 5 MIPS comes in. With MIPS safety technology included, as you would expect for any top of the range ski helmets, this helmet is up there competing with the best from other large brands such as Smith.

Given how fashionable and sleek Oakley’s ski goggles range (such as the Oakley Flight Path XL Factory Pilot full review) are, they just had to continue this elegant look for their helmets. As possibly my favourite looking helmet on the market, this helmet also features an excellent ventilation system to help prevent your goggles from steaming up. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed with the Oakley Mod 5 MIPS only having 11 air vents in the helmet. Compare this with other high end ski helmets such as Smith Quantum MIPS, and your head may get a little warmer throughout the day.

If you are interested in finding out more about this helmet and are interested in buying it, have a look at buy Oakley Mod 5 MIPS, and compare with the other helmets in this article.