Of all snowboarding and skiing gear, the heaviest expectations are placed on a helmet. It has to be protective but comfortable, warm but breathable and safe but stylish. With all of those considerations — and the plethora of options available — it’s no wonder that skiers and snowboarders can spend a long time obsessing over finding the perfect helmet. And while we can’t promise that we’ve found the one, we can at least give you some inspiration.
Though there’s a good chance that you have a helmet lying around somewhere, it’s not sufficient to rely on a bicycle, ATV, or another kind of helmet for snowboarding and skiing. Ski helmets are specifically designed to meet the challenges of the slopes, and they’re shaped in a way to accommodate ski goggles, which are an absolute must.
A ski helmet has two components — the shell and the inner liner. The shell is the outer part that is the first line of defense against an impact. The inner liner provides warmth and additional protection. The thing that visually sets ski helmets apart from similar-looking BMX helmets is the ear padding, which is typically a breathable mesh that covers the sides of your face. Pretty much every ski helmet has slots on top to allow circulation. All of these features are designed to keep you warm while preventing you from overheating and sweating too much. Some helmets even have adjustable ventilation, since weather can vary greatly on the slopes.
Ultimately, the best way to find the ski helmet is to try on a few. That may make it seem like buying online would be too much of a hassle. Fortunately, Amazon makes shipping and returns easy. These are some of our favorite ski helmets on Amazon.
1. Wildhorn Drift Snowboard & Ski Helmet
Wildhorn is a supplier to US Olympic teams. Fortunately, owning Olympic-level gear doesn’t have to be too expensive. These helmets from Wildhorn come in several unisex matte colors. The helmet has a variety of adjustable features to make it more comfortable and ensure a better fit. There’s a dial on the back that tightens the helmet, and the vents are all adjustable. The helmet is also lightweight and comfortable.
Pros: Trusted brand that supplies US Olympic teams. Adjustable vents. Features a dial on the rear that tightens or loosens the helmet.
Cons: Can run tight, which may be an issue for those with larger heads.
2. Retrospec Traverse H1 Ski & Snowboard Helmet
We may have said that you shouldn’t use a bike helmet as a ski helmet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go the other way — at least with this helmet. The padding on this helmet is interchangeable, allowing you to remove the earpads and use it as a bike/skate helmet. The helmet comes in a range of stylish colors, and there are smartly-designed features like an adjustable size dial and a clip for goggles.
Pros: Convertible to bike/skate helmet. 10 vents for breathability. Available in a range of stylish colors.
Cons: Somewhat bulky.
3. OutdoorMaster KELVIN Ski Helmet
OutdoorMaster focuses on making affordable helmets that can stand up to the rigors of the slopes. This helmet comes in a range of muted or statement-making colors, and an adjustable dial on the back makes it easy to find a comfortable fit. There are 14 vents that allow for breathability, and the ear pads and lining are removable.
Pros: Affordable value. Adjustable dial to tighten or loosen the helmet. Removable lining.
Cons: Earmuffs don’t always stay in place.
4. Smith Optics Smith Optics Unisex Adult Holt Snow Sports Helmet
Smith Optics is best known for sporty eyewear, but they also make great helmets. This option features convertible padding that allows it to be used as a skate helmet or for snowboarding/skiing, and the cleverly designed vents effectively push out hot air while letting in cool air. It comes in a wide range of matte colors, like black, orange and lilac.
Pros: Reasonably priced. Convertible to a skate helmet. Breathable vents. Available in a wider range of sizes for those with bigger heads. Stylish design and colors.
Cons: Goggle clip is not very securely designed.
5. AKASO Ski Helmet, Snowboard Helmet
If you’re looking for an affordable option that still has a variety of safety and comfort features, consider AKASO’s stylish helmets. The fleece lining and ear pads are detachable, making them easy to clean or air out. The back of the helmet has a clip to hold your goggles in place, and there’s a dial on the back to loosen or tighten the helmet.
Pros: Detachable fleece liners and earpads. Knob to tighten. Affordable value. Stylish design. Adjustable vents.
Cons: Earflaps don’t always stay in place.