We gave the Switcher MIPS a Gear of the Year award. “After more than a dozen testers placed the Switcher on their noggins, all agreed that it was the most comfortable helmet they’d worn,” we wrote. The helmet ticked all the boxes we wanted (like a MIPS construction and…
Only the very best makes it into print. But there are some pretty great runners-up you should know about, too.
Lids that let you push your limits
We may be closer to answering lingering questions around concussions. Plus, we provide a rundown of the most common head injuries—and what you need to know about them.
The Quantum MIPS nearly won our Gear of the Year award in 2017. “With its intuitive magnetic strap connector that closes easily with one hand and its supremely well-fitting Boa tightening system, the Quantum seemed to work with us as we skied, not just sit on top…
Versatile lids that keep your noggin safe, inbounds and out
State-of-the-art protection, minus that clamped-down feeling
Paying top dollar isn't always an option, but that doesn't mean you need to skimp on quality
Safety first! In this episode of The 101, Bryan Rogala walks us through the basics of buying a ski helmet and goggles
Preferably one with gobs of comfort and safety features
It's important to protect your noggin
Better safe than sorry and concussed
Just remember one thing: it’s all about fit
Start preparing for the season at REI's Labor Day Sale
With talking helmets and bike apparel with built-in lights, the Swedish brand has developed a reputation as a forward-thinker when it comes to protecting high-speed athletes. Now it's partnering with Volvo to bring psychology into its hard goods.
The new SPIN technology inside POC's 2017/18 helmets could have a significant impact on skiers in coming years
The most exciting new products from the country's largest ski trade show
This helmet has superior fit and protection capabilities.
Safety first, but style always
Italian motorcycle brand Dainese will bring the first true, safety-certified soft helmet to market next winter. But will buyers go for it?
The $800 Forcite Alpine packs a 4K action cam, GPS, and accelerometer into its shell. You don't need all this tech in a snowsports lid. But do you want it?
Safety comes first
Helmet: An apparatus designed to protect the wearer against head injuries.
Sweet claims its new Grimnir is the first lid on the market certified to protect you in crash while wearing a camera mount.
For (only!) $4,254
How to build a high-quality quiver on a budget
The world's top skiers and snowboarders share their favorite mountain accessories.
The Skull Orbic H.I. MIPS tells you when it's sustained too many impacts and is no longer safe to use.
Get maximum protection for your head.
After a long period of stasis, helmet design is about to get much better
Giro’s Combyn helmet is made from the same material used to protect football players’ noggins.
Think you can squeeze in another season with that old lid? Read this first.
Ready to hit the hills? If your gear needs an update—this winter or next—consider these pieces from POC.
Outside reviews the best gear from SIA's 2013 Snow Show, including the Giro Combyn.
When it comes to holiday giving, you should never have to choose. This year, our editors have pulled together 68 perfect ideas—priced from $4 to $50,000—guaranteed to make anyone on your list feel like a million bucks.
Scaling rock and ice in the winter is serious business. Bring the right stuff.
It’s all about fit. Too loose and your head is a yolk inside an eggshell. Too tight and you’ll get migraines from all the pressure points. Most of today’s helmets have features that allow you to maximize fit.
We crack the evolution of the safety helmet
Outside picks the essentials for January, including the Icebreaker Oasis Crewe Razor Shirt.
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Pro-Tec B2 Snow helmet.
It's the little things that can make or break your day on the slopes.
When Price is No Object
It doesn’t get much simpler than this. The low-profile Riot has a few small air vents, fleece-lined earflaps, a molded (read sturdier) brim, and that’s about it. The earflaps detach too easily. A nonadjustable liner means it either fits your head or doesn’t. TAGS: no frills, low-profile…
What started as a utilitarian whitewater helmet has crossed over to snow sports. With alternating layers of plastic and energy-absorbing foam, the Fresh Roy is the safest helmet for the money. Wear it as is with a thin beanie or Velcro in the included fleece liner with ear…
The Chapter might look like it’s short on vents—just four small closable ports up top—but the inside has big circulation channels to let cool air flow around. As with the Smith, dialing in the right fit is a cinch, although some testers noted odd pressure points around the channels…
Unlike most park-and-pipe helmets, the Mutiny has a hidden, adjustable vent system and a removable, two-position goggle clip. Remove the ear pads and wear it all spring. burton.com…
A pump inflates a bladder at the back of this audio-enabled lid, snugging up the fit, and the removable earflaps are loaded with better-than-average speakers. Smart detail: The cord has a volume adjuster, and it breaks away easily from the helmet if it gets snagged. TAGS: wired, inflatable…
Two sports, one helmet. That’s the idea behind WRSI’s highly adjustable snow- and kayak-ready Fresh Roy. The only downside: With no vents, it’s the least breathable helmet here. Get the optional detachable face mask ($40) if you take big risks but like the way your face looks.
A top-quality helmet with a (literal) twist. The inner shell rotates on impact, potentially reducing the twisting forces transmitted to your brain. Eight offset vents provide extra protection from pointy objects (like a branch or ski pole), but they restrict airflow a bit. TAGS: rotates, best protection…
More of a Budweiser man than a High Life guy? The Trace is also available in seven colors, each with ten vents. But this is the only style that has a rear vent that conveniently doubles as a bottle opener. redprotection.com…
Top it off with an ultralight lid like CAMP‘s SPEED HELMET.
The upper vents are lined with mesh, while the two in front create good airflow—our goggles never fogged up. But our favorite thing about the Vigilante is the Boa fit system. Just spin a knob at the back of the helmet to dial in the perfect fit.
Our testers’ clear favorite this year, the lightweight Smith looks cool and has a low profile. Smart feature: The venting system can shutter closed on the fly if you get cold or the snow starts coming down hard. smithoptics.com…
Because the Bug’s vents are recessed between its two slightly overlapping shells, you get a 100 percent puncture-proof helmet that breathes moderately well. pocsports.com…
The micro-brimmed, crash-helmet styling of the Holt—often worn with goggle straps on the inside—is the choice for the park-and-pipe set. Come summer, the winter pads are removable for a warm-weather skate setup. smithoptics.com…
Designed specifically for the park and pipe, the Shiv’s eight vents do an adequate job of cooling, and the detachable magnetic goggles clip is a smart feature—just don’t lose it. giro.com…
Building off its success in mountain-bike helmets, Giro incorporates ample, switch-closable vents and a style-conscious but functional visor on this freeskiing lid. For $30 more get speakers built into the ear pads. giro.com…
Except for a few tiny holes on the brim and back, the Rival has no vents. The result is better weather sealing during storms but a sweatier head come spring. It’s a high-volume helmet. TAGS: simple, well-priced…
At 13 ounces, the featherweight of the bunch is for freeskiers who don’t want to feel like they’re wearing a helmet at all. Trim padding makes this a good-looking helmet for narrow faces. markerusa.com…
The Vantage is a freak for climate control, with no fewer than 14 sealable vents; the front four independently close for more or less A/C on the descent. Its slim profile, good interior air channels, and easily adjustable fit made this our favorite helmet of the test. TAGS:…
Julia Mancuso took hers to Olympic gold. On you, foam insulation, a honeycomb Aramid air layer, and multiple pad configurations make for a snugger (and slimmer) alter-native to the traditional bobblehead-style racing helmets. pocski.com…
ON THE LEFT Columbia’s moisture-wicking Omni-Dry Mountain Tech Thermal Baselayer. ($60; columbia.com) Few‘s acrylic Moa Hunter Sweater, for the bold. ($54; few.co.nz) Aigle‘s lightweight Polartec recycled-fleece Walker Track Jacket. ($105; aigleusa.com Obermeyer‘s insulated Tungsten Jacket is tricked out…
Innovations for the eco-minded
1. Bern Muse Helmet Slope Style This downsized lid has zero bobblehead factor yet still has room for a removable liner (with speakers). $99; bernunlimited.com 2. Marmot Furlong Like it or not, you will get noticed in the lift line when you’re…
The newest ski shapes will turn a lot more than your head