Whatever your skill level may be, the best snowboarding helmet is a must-have if you’re planning to jump on a board and hit the slopes. Even the most experienced riders experience a fall from time to time, there is no shame in admitting that, and it is much better than your pride be the only thing that gets bruised instead of your brain if that happens.
Once a heavy and clunky piece of equipment, the best snowboarding helmets available today have become lightweight and very adjustable. Nonetheless, they maintain all their protecting capabilities and also keep your head warm and ventilated. Just like you choose the best boots and gloves to protect your legs and hands while on the slopes, a good snow helmet is crucial for your safety and comfort. Read carefully the snowboard helmet reviews we have compiled below to be sure of making the right choice.
How To Choose A Snowboard Helmet – Buying Guide
Snowboard helmets fall into two types, the hardshell build and the in-mould construction. The difference between the two is that in the hardshell models the outer layer and the EPS foam on the inside are two separate pieces that are put together. This is the cheapest way to make a helmet and will, therefore, be the kind of build you find on less expensive models. In-mould construction, on the other hand, means that the outer shell and the inner foam are cast in a single layer. This leads to advantages as far as weight and ventilation are concerned, but will cost you more money. Both types guarantee the same amount of protection and impact absorption, so the decision is entirely up to your comfort and the depths of your pockets.
To know what size to buy your snowboard helmet, wrap a soft measuring tape around your head just about 1 centimeter above your eyebrows, making sure it stays at the same height all around, and read the number you get after one round. Picking the right size helmet is crucial for it to be an effective protective barrier for your head. If it wobbles or doesn’t fit right it may risk being a hazard instead of a help, so be sure to try it on when you receive yours and return it immediately if you got it wrong. Helmets often come with features that let you adjust the fit, so you have some margin of error, but don’t push it too much, your health depends on it. Manufacturer’s don’t help since a size “large” is not the same across all brands, so be sure to double check before you hit the slopes.
To make your snowboarding experience even more enjoyable, there are several accessories available on the market and designed for this exact purpose. First and foremost, music speakers that can slide into the earpads, or sometimes are already present. Nothing beats the feeling of sliding down a mountain like having the perfect soundtrack in the background. Some models feature Bluetooth capability, while others even allow you to communicate with other people equipped with the same helmet, if you want to work as a team. To remember the experience even more clearly, you can sometimes attach an action camera to the top of your helmet to record the whole thing, if the model provides the space to do it.
As we have seen, snowboard helmets, which are specifically designed for snow so should not be used on bicycles or motorcycles unless explicitly written, are made up mostly of an exterior hard shell and interior foam layer. The hard exterior is there to protect from impacts with hard or sharp objects and stop them from penetrating your skull. The interior foam is designed to compress and absorb most of the energy transferred in the collision, preventing your delicate brain from having to deal with suck a shock.
Ventilation is an essential feature of any helmet since the temperature around your head can get to be extremely high when you’re sliding down the slopes, because of all your exertion. Vents allow fresh air to flow in providing you with cool snowboard helmets if you need some. The nice thing about vents is that they are usually customizable, in the sense that you can choose how many to keep open or how much, in order to regulate how much air you let it, but different manufacturers have chosen different ways to allow you to do so. Some helmets feature removable plugs but they require you to take the helmet off if you want to remove then and you also end up having an extra piece of equipment to store in your pocket that risks getting lost. Higher-end helmets, on the other hand, feature a lever that can regulate the airflow and is much more convenient to operate on the fly.
Liners also play a big role in determining how comfortable and warm your helmet is, and you should pay close attention to choosing a model that has plenty enough to guarantee a snug fit. Keeping your helmet clean will also be much easier if you manage to find a model with detachable liners, which can then be washed before being put back in making the helmet stay nice and fresh.
Compatibility With Goggles
Many helmet manufacturers also make goggles, so if you purchase both from the same brand you can be sure they have been engineered to fit perfectly together and work as one. If you’re buying goggles from a different brand though, you need to make sure the helmet is capable of properly securing and fastening them with the attaching system most models have at the back of the head. You also need to try them on together to feel if the helmet is pushing down on them in any way or if there is a gap between the goggles and the helmet. If you feel something moving don’t waste time in trying to adjust the fit but rather ask to change your goggles for another pair.
Most of the helmets we have presented on our list feature some degree of adjustability, with only a few requiring you to get the size exactly right when you purchase them. This is usually achieved with some kind of knob or tightening belt situated towards the back of the helmet, and on the best models, it is designed to be usable even with thick snow gloves on. Some of the models on our list can adjust their internal diameter by up to 6 centimetres, but if you need to adjust it that much it probably means you’ve picked the wrong size helmet, in which case we recommend returning the product. A large helmet tightened around your head will still provide less protection than a correctly sized helmet that doesn’t wobble.
At the end of the day, protection is the ultimate reason for which you look for a snowboarding helmet, since blows to your head are by far the most dangerous and life-threatening injury you might sustain on the mountains. The helmets we have presented on our list may differ in style, features or design but they all provide excellent protection and do the job they were designed to do, so you can rest assured that whatever amount of money you decide to invest you will end up with a reliable product. If you want to be extra safe you can look for helmets which feature the MIPS yellow dot (more on that in a second) which means they are applying the latest and greatest technology designed to reduce damage to the brain in case of collision.
Q: Do You Need To Wear A Helmet For Snowboarding?
Yes, there is no doubt about that. However experienced you may be, protection for your head is something you can absolutely not do without when you’re on the slopes. While it may not be compulsory to wear one in certain sky resorts, but physicians unanimously recommend wearing one to reduce the risk of concussion or other, more serious injuries. It has been calculated that the risk of serious head wounds decreases by an astounding 60% if you wear a helmet, and more and more people have been realizing this, so nowadays the ones who do not wear protection are in the minority. Helmets are surely more expensive than a simple hat, but how much do you think your head is worth?
Q: What Is MIPS Helmet?
MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System and is a technology designed to reduce the amount of force that is directly transmitted to your brain in the case of a collision. The rotational motion your brain can experience in a crash is the most harmful, and the MIPS system, usually found between the EPS padding and the outer shell, allows the helmet to rotate around your head without dragging it along. This lets the helmet to absorb most of the rotation motion that would otherwise be transferred to your brain, possibly causing a concussion. Helmets that make use of the MIPS system will be identifiable thanks to a yellow dot and will be more expensive than regular ones, but now you can clearly see why it may be worth spending that extra dollar.
Q: Do You Wear A Hat Under A Snowboard Helmet?
This comes down mostly to personal preference and fashion taste. Most helmets will be warm enough to keep you cosy so you shouldn’t need to add an extra layer underneath them, but nothing is there to stop you if you feel you absolutely need one. Some models even come with an included balaclava. Be careful, though, as to not put a layer that is so thick between your head and the helmet that the fit is compromised. Remember that a correct fit is the best guarantee that your helmet will provide maximum protection if it is ever put to the test.
Q: Are Ski And Snowboard Helmets The Same?
No, they are not. Whatever difference you might have heard exists between ski and snowboarding helmets is most probably the result of clever marketing rather than actual features. In fact, snow helmets can be used for either one of these activities and the only real difference you might find will be regarding the different accessories available. However do not, under any circumstance, use a bicycle helmet when you’re skiing or snowboarding. They are built differently, serve a different purpose and are not interchangeable.
Q: How Do I Clean My Snowboard Helmet?
When cleaning your snowboard helmet, taking care of the outer shell is relatively straightforward, since it can be cleaned with water, soap and a cloth to wipe off dust or other residues. The detachable liners on the interior, on the other hand, can be machine washed but it is best to keep the water temperature low. Avoid using solvents or chemicals to clean the helmet as they can reduce its shock-absorbing capabilities and be careful not to put it close to intense sources of heat but let it dry slowly. Cleaning a snowboard helmet should be done after every season in order for it to last a long time.
Q: How Long do Snowboard Helmets last?
Firstly, if you ever suffer a crash in which your helmet is involved, replace it as soon as you can. Even if it may look whole from the outside there could be some microfractures along the shell that greatly reduce its effectiveness. In case your helmet has not sustained any hits, manufacturers still recommend replacing it after 3 to 5 years as its protective capabilities naturally decay over time. Avoid storing them in places with extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, to maintain their integrity longer.
Globo Surf Overview
We hope you have taken all the time you needed to closely examine the snowboard helmets we have presented to you. Choose carefully, they might well save your life! In any case, we have selected for you only the best of the best snowboard helmets, so you can be sure that whatever product you pick from our list you will end up with a quality piece of gear that will leave you free of worries when you’re sliding down the slopes.