Three Things to Consider Before You Buy a Ski or Snowboard Helmet

Protect your head and look good doing it.

There are some inherent risks with skiing and snowboarding, but brain-injury is not something you want to take your chances with. Thankfully, snow helmets are not only light and comfortable these days, they actually look cool, and on the mountain, you’ll see more people wearing them than not. That’s good for everybody. But there’s a wide range of features out there when it comes to ski helmets. Here are three things to consider.

Protection

This no-compromises helmet features 21 vents with two adjustable toggles, and a Boa system for optimal fit. Smith Optics

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A helmet can provide a lot of warmth, which is generally a good thing. In many cases, they may eliminate the need for a hat underneath. But the last thing you want is to overheat and start sweating. A helmet with adjustable ventilation is very versatile. Close the vents when you’re feeling chilly, or open them and enjoy the wind in your hair as you warm up.

Adjustable Vents

This helmet, designed for the U.S. Ski Team, has 13 fully adjustable vents which will let you dial in an ideal temperature without even taking your helmet off. Wildhorn Outfitters

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A helmet can provide a lot of warmth, which is generally a good thing. In many cases they may eliminate the need for a hat underneath. But what about those warmer spring ski days? The last thing you want in the snow is to overheat and start sweating. A helmet with adjustable ventilation is very versatile. On cold mornings, you can keep the vents closed. Then as the sun cuts through the clouds, start opening them and enjoy the wind in your hair.

Fit

This affordable helmet scores high marks for safety, but it also features, a removable (and washable) liner, as well as a quick adjustment knob to get your fit perfectly dialed. OutdoorMaster

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This may sound like a no-brainer (sorry for the pun), but having a helmet that fits is critically important. Too big and it won’t protect your head properly, and it may even slip forward and obscure your vision. Too small and you’ll find yourself with a nasty headache in no time. When buying a helmet, measure your head and pay attention to the manufacturer’s size recommendations. Also, look for helmets that are adjustable. Things like removable liners and pads, or a quick adjustment system, will let you tweak the fit on the fly.