The Elios
The Elios

Is there one singular multi-sport, multi-purpose helmet out there?

Is there one singular multi-sport, multi-purpose helmet out there? I like to participate in most outdoor sports, kayaking, biking, ski/snowboarding, climbing, etc. Are there any multi-sport helmets that would work for all those sports? Having four different helmets seems like a waste. Ad Hood River, OR

The Elios

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I concede, four helmets does seem like a waste. Then again, any one helmet is going to compromise just about every usage, so there’s an argument to be made that four helmets is the best route.

The Elios The Elios

That said, it’s helpful to think of how the different activities you mention affect helmet usage. I think the best argument for a purpose-built helmet can be found in cycling, where it’s easy to generate a lot of heat in a hurry. So a cycling helmet works best for that sport, something such as the Bell Array ($100). An excellent, light, well-vented helmet.

Kayaking helmets are not unlike climbing helmets, but tend to have a foam liner that could make them hot when climbing. So maybe take a climbing helmet kayaking—Petzl’s Elios ($70) would do double duty nicely, in my view. It might even work for cycling, if you’re doing sort of casual rides. And it’s actually intended as a bit of a multi-sport helmet.

For winter, ski helmets are designed to be warm with liners and ear covers and to give you a handy place to park your goggles. Cycling helmets are definitely out. But you could don a thin stocking hat and wear the Elios, and you’d be just fine. Otherwise, Giro’s G9 ($100) gives you good skull protection at a reasonable price.