Whether you’re heading out to the slopes for the first time or the tenth, skiing is quickly becoming one of the most popular pastimes in America.
Skiers can enjoy a thrilling outdoor exercise experience with not nearly as much of the sweat as summer sports. Likewise, ski resorts across the country utilize the existing snowfall in the area to craft and carve brilliant ski routes into their mountains—creating a unique skiing experience at any ski resort.
Because of the unique nature of skiing, the need for protection from fast winds, and from the elements, skiers utilize a host of equipment that’s dedicated to helping them keep safe and ready to ski another day. And perhaps the most vital of all of their gear includes the ski helmet.
Ski helmets are designed with two distinct purposes in mind—to protect the head from the elements and to protect the head from injury. Both are equally important to ensuring the safety of skiers, and many resorts are being to require headgear for passage down their latest and greatest routes.
To skip the sidelines and bask in the glory of a slope well traversed, we’ve put together our top eight best ski helmets that we think you can utilize this coming winter. With any of these picks, you can hope to shred the slopes and make sure you make it to the end in one piece.
We’ll also be breaking down exactly what you need to be looking for in a ski helmet, as well as going over some key features and functionality in our Buyer’s Guide, so be sure to stick and around to uncover which of these great ski helmets is best for you.
What to Look For In A Ski Helmet
Ski Helmets tend to look similar to each other, but the truth is, there is so much more to the modern ski helmet than design choices and aesthetics. Of the many facets of helmets that you need to keep in mind, the modern ski helmet needs to be proficient in these categories:
- Shock absorption
- Ear protection
- Snug fit
- Ergonomics with goggles
Shock absorption should probably be a self-explanatory feature. As skiers will most likely have a terrible fall once or twice in their skiing career, the ability for the helmet to bear the brunt of the impact—not the skier his or herself—is vitally important.
Rough impacts can cause concussions, which over time will damage the brain and reduce its ability to effectively operate not only in skiing but in all aspects of life.
Insulation is also very valuable. If you’ve ever taken a snowball to the face, you can attest first hand as to the importance of insulation. Properly insulated helmets will ensure that you don’t overheat, but the necessary amount of heat is kept in to keep you nice and warm as you traverse the icy routes.
Ear protection is also important, as strikes to the side of the head can be especially deadly. However, ear protection is also where helmets to get the bulk of their size from, so if you need a smaller helmet, we recommend looking into an injection molded model.
Injection molded ski helmets are thinner and sleeker without sacrificing on insulation and shock absorption. However, these helmets do tend to be more expensive, as you’ll see with our top picks.
A snug fit is also something to keep in mind. Helmets should fit like a good hat—with the hat equally gripping your head on all sides without creating pressure points or upsetting your temples. Correct sizing measurements are important for this process, which we’ll be getting into a little later on in our Buyer’s Guide.
All of these considerations and more need to be made before you can hope to hit the slopes with your new helmet.
How We’ve Chosen Our Helmets
The eight helmets that made this list range wildly in composition, craftsmanship, and of course, price. We think that any of these helmets may work for one of our readers, but not every helmet is going to work for any skier.
Why? Because each skier is different, and to appeal to each, a large and vast amount of ski helmets much be considered. We’ve sorted the wheat from the chaff to provide you with the best options available on the market today.
Keep in mind the types of helmets you want, and never compromise on safety. While you can always get a helmet that’s too good, you should never settle for a helmet that risks your life to save a few dollars.
8 Of the Best Ski Helmets
Without further adieu, if you’re hoping to get back into the ski game, then consider purchasing one of these eight best ski helmets to get you skiing with safety and with style:
1. SMITH OPTICS UNISEX ADULT HOLT SNOW HELMET
If you need a helmet that’s simple in design and light on price, this low-budget option from Smith Optics might be right up your alley.
The Smith Optics Unisex Adult Holt Snow Helmet is designed with price in mind, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t get some great options alongside it. Seemingly inspired by skateboarding helmets, this helmet uses a hard shell that changes into a soft shell for ear protection. It comes in a variety of colors and can easily be adapted for summer sports use.
There’s not much in terms of advanced features, but for functionality and versatility, we can’t help to think there’s not much better at this price point.
2. TRAVERSE H2
- 14 vents for ultimate temperature regulation with unyielding ABS shell exterior and firm, shock-absorbent EPS interior
- Certified ABS exterior and EPS Foam interior to provide you, the rider, with top of the line quality and protection.
- Helmet safety certifications include EN 1077:2007 for Ski Helmets and CPSC 16 CFR, Part 1203 for Bicycle Helmets.
Building off of the versatility of the Smith Optics helmet, this option provides a better color palette and slightly better protection from the elements.
The H2 2-in-1 Ski and Bike Helmet is ready for action with 14 temperature control vents and an adjustable framework within the helmet for a more accurate fit. Inside the helmet, you’ll also find wire mesh and cloth to ensure that the ventilation holes are far more than just aesthetic.
These helmets seem to be better contenders for the slopes then the skate park, but having the option to go back and force is a valuable option to have.
3. GIRO LEDGE SNOW HELMET
- Size M (55.5-59cm) - CONSTRUCTION - Hard Shell construction produces great helmets at great value. A rugged outer shell...
- FIT SYSTEM - Auto Loc 2 Fit System (removable) is a durable self-adjusting fit system designed to take the hassle out of...
- VENTILATION - Stack Vent in the front of the helmet which aligns with your goggles and helps to keep them clear and fog...
Comparatively speaking, this helmet may be similar to the previous two picks when it comes to aesthetics. However, this Giro product is solely aimed at mountaineering.
The Giro LEDGE Snow Helmet uses an auto-locked two-fit system and vertical turning for an advanced fit that outclasses anything we’ve gone over thus far. Likewise, the removable goggle retainer is a simple but necessary tool for the slopes. We also appreciate the compatibility with Giro goggles, which are also worth looking into if you need the gear. There’s not much to say about this product other than, aside from color options, this helmet is for everyone.
4. TRAVERSE SPORTS DIRUS CONVERTIBLE HELMET
- 10 vents for ultimate temperature regulation with unyielding ABS shell exterior and firm, shock-absorbent EPS interior
- Adjustable dial to customize fit
- Removable plush earmuffs for warmth and protection, with pocket for storing headphones
This second Traverse product on our list is another convertible helmet that seems to be more geared towards better outer shells and more adept ventilation.
The Traverse Sports Dirus Convertible Helmet comes with an easy-grip handle on the back to help you cart your gear from the home to the car to the slopes, and the wood grain finish on the main model is sure to draw attention from nearby resort attendees.
However, aside from a great bottom line, there’s not too much that stands out from this Traverse helmet that the other doesn’t also do. Therefore, we recommend the Traverse Sports Dirus Convertible Helmet as a secondary option to the other line.
5. TRAVERSE SPARROW YOUTH SKI HELMET
- Equipped with all the comfort features and helmet safety certifications you would want including EN 1077: 2007 for ski...
- Durable ABS hard exterior protects against any bumps and bruises while the EPS foam interior absorbs any shock of impact...
- Padded chinstrap to provide a perfectly snug fit while eliminating any annoying chin chaffing
Traverse’s third and final entry on our list gives particular attention to young skiers, and skips skateboard functionality for better protection.
The Traverse Sparrow Youth Ski Helmet uses plush earmuffs and a more flexible fit to make sure that no snow is getting into this helmet. We appreciate the advanced features for a child’s product, and given the cost, we’re struggling to see any downsides here.
6. ZIONOR H2 SKI HELMET
- All Weather Compatible - H2 ski helmet featured with manual air flow control system for different weather and vent...
- Durable Material - Made of top quality thermal insulation EPS and shock-absorbent APS shell providing solid head...
- Warm and Comfortable - Superior liner and ear pad ensure the comfortable wearing and keep you warm. Removable parts for...
Moving into some of the more premium options on our list, Zionor’s unisex helmet comes with a sleek design and a focus on durability.
The Zionor H2 Ski helmet uses manual air flow control so that you can keep your helmet as warm or as cool as you’d like. The helmet also uses modified vents to keep your goggles snug and fit perfectly on your face each time. It’s a powerful helmet for those who’ve skied more than once, and because of that, we’re comfortable giving this helmet our best possible score.
7. SMITH MEN’S ASPECT HELMET
- AirEvac 2 Ventilation and Adjustable Dial Fit System (DFS2)
- Regulator Adjustable Climate Control and 14 Vents
- Snapfit SL Ear Pads and a Removable Goggle Lock
This second product on our list from Smith Optics skips the versatile design and goes straight into what skiers really want from their products.
The Smith Men’s Aspect Helmet comes with an EPS foam liner, 14 adjustable vents, and is one of the lightest helmets on our list by far. That last point is especially impressive, as there’s no discernible difference between the cushioning power of this product when compared to the others on our list.
8. ZIONOR LAGOPUS H1 SKI HELMET
- Dual Mode Airflow Evacuations - Regulator on the helmet to open and close front vent holes. Close for better windproof...
- Full Protection on The Slope - Reinforeced construction with strong impact-resistance ABS and EPS material which provide...
- Comfortable and Customizeable - Adjustable thickened sweat-absorbent chin strap and dial fit button on the back for...
This unisex helmet from Zionor mirrors the H2 from the same company, which has also made our list.
The Zionor Lagopus H1 focuses more on airflow than the H2, and comes with regulations to mess with ventilation and full plush lining to help disperse it. Otherwise, the classic features you know and love are all here—from advanced goggles compatibility to lots of small adjustable moving parts.
Our picks here ranged from the affordable to the not-so-affordable, but the price isn’t always what needs to be considered first, especially when it comes to your protection on the slopes.
Our advice is to make sure the helmet you’re picking comes with adjustable inner construction to get the helmet fastened correctly. Each of these helmets comes in three or four sizes to get close to what you need, but it is only after specific adjustments that you will be able to comfortably wear the helmet in all conditions and on all slopes. Otherwise, we hope that you’ve taken the time to consider what you need in a ski helmet so that aesthetics and design choices can come next. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that your helmet is fashionable enough to make the way you want to look as you’re speeding past the competition.
We hope that our list here has shown you some of the best ski helmets on the market and showed you that you don’t need to drain your bank account to get some serious protection in a stylish package.
Remember to always wear your helmet—no matter what—and ensure that the skiers around you are doing the same. A safe sport is a fun sport, so you can skip the injuries and concussions, brush yourself off, and get back onto the route in no time at all.